The Cinéaste's Progress from This List to That Which Is to Come (He Hopes)

Once upon a time, I used to play a coy, rather pointless game w/r/t my annual top ten list -- dramatically "unveiling" it sometime in January, as if most everybody who reads this site didn't already have a pretty good idea of what it was gonna look like. Instead, I now publicly revise the sucker as I go along, so that the whole affair becomes a suspenseful Journey Toward Aesthetic Nirvana. Or something.

Here, then, is what my list would look like if (god forbid) I were forced to make it today:

THE "PURE" LIST (2010 premiere)

01. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, USA)
02. Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, USA)
03. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, France/Italy/Belgium)
04. The Arbor (Clio Barnard, UK)
05. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, USA/UK)
06. Shit Year (Cam Archer, USA)
07. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, UK/Thailand/France/Germany/Spain)
08. How I Ended This Summer (Alexei Popogrebsky, Russia)
09. Beginners (Mike Mills, USA)
10. Leap Year (Año bisiesto) (Michael Rowe, Mexico)

THE "POLLS" LIST (2010 commercial release)

01. Everyone Else (Maren Ade, Germany)
02. Winter's Bone (Debra Granik, USA)
03. Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece)
04. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, USA/UK)
05. Amer (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, Belgium/France)
06. Catfish (Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost, USA)
07. The Social Network (David Fincher, USA)
08. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese, USA)
09. How Do You Know (James L. Brooks, USA)
10. Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, Italy)