Except for the lame part where they go to Cuba.
(6) Mutual Appreciation (Andrew Bujalski, US).
(7) The Departed (Martin Scorsese, US).
(8) Woman on the Beach (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea).
(9) United 93 (Paul Greengrass, US/UK/France).
(10) "A Time for Love" segment of Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, France/Taiwan).
(11) Jackass Number Two (Jeff Tremaine, US).
RUNNERS-UP AND MEMORABLE ODDITIES:
• Shadowboxer (Lee Daniels, US). What? Helen Mirren as a female assassin, Cuba Gooding Jr. as her lover, and lots of nudity and graphic sex? I am in awe of its stupidity.
• Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria).
• The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania).
• Same Day Nice Biscotts (Luther Price, US). Price takes 13 identical, abandoned 16mm film prints and turns them into one of the most emotionally wrenching shorts I've ever seen.
• www.sexandsubmission.com. Um, isn't this illegal?
• Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis (Mary Jordan, US).
• The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael (Thomas Clay, UK). Offensive, mean, juvenile garbage, and I've never seen a more pissed-off audience reaction at the Rotterdam Film Festival no small feat against the unshockable Dutch.
• For Your Consideration (Christopher Guest, US).
• Sitting alone in a decrepit theater watching a triple feature of generic "pink" films in Beppu, Japan, feeling boredom and pain so intensely that I began to travel through time and space.
• "The Last Wild Tigers," 60 Minutes, Nov. 19.
• Gravedancers (Mike Mendez, US). Delightful old-fashioned horror, from "After Dark Horrorfest: Eight Films to Die For."
• "Evelyn Lin," sigh.
Joel Shepard is film and video curator at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
SEAN UYEHARA'S COUNTDOWN OF THE 10 MOST OVERUSED DEVICES AND PLOT POINTS IN FILM FESTIVAL ENTRIES
(10) My pet is cute.
(9) To me, "experimental" means playing the same thing 412 times in a row. Crazy, huh?
(8) This old person is kind and sage. Listen to him/her. Or: these old people are kind and sage. Listen to them.
(7) Things are happening to these 10 people. Wait, they all know each other in different ways. Weird.
(6) Someone is following me. I know it because I can hear their echoey footsteps.
(5) I am a struggling writer/director/actor/painter/chef/mime/dancer/sculptor/other, and I smoke cigarettes, and I won't compromise.
(4) There is a woman. She's just like you and me, except that she is a prostitute/stripper and she is so hot. Just watch her.
(4a) It's hard out here for a pimp.
(3) Strange things keep happening to me. Additionally, I am somewhere where I don't know where I am.
(2) God talks to me.
(1) You thought this was real? No way, this is a "mockumentary"!
Sean Uyehara is a programming associate at the San Francisco Film Society.
APICHATPONG WEERASETHAKUL'S 10 FILM-RELATED FAVORITES
(1) The Boy from Mars, film installation by Philippe Parreno.
(2) Hamaca Paraguaya (Paz Encina, Argentina/Paraguay/Netherlands/Austria/France/Germany).
(3) Los Angelesbased Festival Management no longer works for the Bangkok International Film Festival.
(4) Woman on the Beach (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea).
(6) Quay Brothers the Short Films 19792003 DVD (BFI).
(7) Tokyo Filmex.
(8) Nintendo Wii.