Here are my top ten films of '08 so far, in alphabetical order.
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS
I first saw this tense, provocative, much-lauded Romanian film at Toronto last fall. On a second viewing during its Boston release in January, I loved it just as much.
CHRIS AND DON: A LOVE STORY
A documentary about the writer Chris Isherwood and his lover Don Bachardy and an illuminating portrait of any long-term relationship, gay or otherwise. (opens in Boston July 18)
THE FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON
Hou Hsiao-hsien's first film to be made outside Asia may be both his most accessible and poetic.
MAN ON WIRE
A splendid, moving account of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk across the World Tade Center towers. (opens in Boston in August)
A holdover from last year's IFF Boston, The Brattle Theatre played this sly little anarchic Canadian comedy for a weekend in April.
Guy Maddin outdoes himself yet again, combining fantasy, documentary, personal essay, and DETOUR femme fatale Ann Savage. (opens in Boston July 11)
Since my review from about a month ago, this Norwegian film has stayed with me more and more--in retrospect, its flaws seem minor in relation to the film's accomplishment and impact.
THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS
If it weren't for JUNO, you know this groundbreaking Canadian indie never would have played south of the border; more than even MY WINNIPEG, expect this one to be a future cult classic.
THE UNIVERSE OF KEITH HARING
One of the best artist docs I've seen, partially because it's so exuberant and well constructed, and partially because Haring was so one-of-a-kind.
My other favorite from Toronto, I haven't seen it again during its US release. But I'm ecstatic that a film that could've so easily fallen through the cracks has reached the robust (by indie standards) audience it deserves. It proves that in some rare cases, great reviews are all a little film needs.
Also worth seeing: ALEXANDRA, AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR, THE AXE IN THE ATTIC, THE BAND'S VISIT, CHOP SHOP, ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, JELLYFISH, PAGEANT, SONG SUNG BLUE, TOWELHEAD