Important 2010 movies that weren’t released in most of the USA

These are the ones that are popping up most often on the "Best of 2010" lists, although some of them have earlier formal release dates, often because of Cannes.  Most of these have been shown only in New York and Los Angeles, but they all are likely to appear on Netflix and some are there already.

1. Valhalla Rising, an English-language but Danish production about early Scandinavian visitors to the New World.  It's violent and arty at the same time and it was one of my favorite movies of the year.

2. Vengeance: a good mix of French noir and Hong Kong action drama, with a dose of Memento, starring Johnny Halladay and set in Hong Kong and Macau.

3. Everyone Else (Alle Anderen): A German chronicle of a dysfunctional relationship between two young people on vacation, standing in for a story about Germany itself.  It asks whether the intelligent, indecisive Germans are simply aspiring to become thoughtless jerks.  A strong film, with a dose of Roissy. 

The ones I have not seen (not yet on Netflix) are:

4. Enter the Void, French, bombastic, receives very mixed reviews.

5. The Strange Case of Angelica, Portuguese, by a 102-year-old director.  I am likely to see this movie today.

6. Vincere, a Mussolini love story, has that been done before?

7. No One Knows About Persian Cats: The rock scene in Iran, by Bahman Ghobadi, who did the excellent "A Time for Drunken Horses."

8. Monsters: Northern Mexico, immigration, and visiting space aliens in a UK production; most people seem to like this one.

9. Secret Sunshine: A long Korean drama from 2007, which receives very strong reviews.

Comments

Enter The Void was definitely the best movie I saw all year (though it was definitely released across the USA, just in independent theaters). This movie will shake you up and knock you over; the first few hours after the movie you feel disoriented and depressed. It's great!

MR-

I am a daily reader of this site and enjoy it very much.

Just curious what your take is on the issue of peak oil. I watched the documentary "Collapse" (http://www.collapsemovie.com/ )

the other night and it kind of spooked me. Most people haven't the foggiest idea what peak oil is about, and a few people have responded with "it sounds like an urban legend to me..."

Whats your take?

Doug

"Valhalla Rising": Thought it was OK but not brilliant

"Enter the Void": Mixed feelings: very creative in some ways, but went on a bit and I'd like to unsee one particular shot.

"Monsters": Didn't really like it: the aliens are basically just a background for a dull romance-drama. People who like wistful relationship dramas seem to like it though.

Valhalla Rising did what it attempted to do extremely well. It did not attempt to tell a story, and it did not attempt to show off any characters. If you can enjoy it for what it tries to be, you'll like it. The cinematography is absolutely amazing, for example. I think that if Pink Floyd ever made a movie about Vikings going to the New World, it would be quite similar.

@jimi

6.5 on imdb but 69% on RT. When in doubt, always go by the tomatometer.

Monsters is good; it's beautifully shot but could have used better actors. Watch for the clever Aquirre reference :)

Vincere is available on Netflix -- at least on the Instant Viewing Queue.

Another thumbs down on Valhalla Rising. It starts out well, but goes downhill once they reach the new world.

"A strong film, with a dose of Roissy."

You mean there is a dose of white nationalism in it?

A big hit in Mexico about the drug wars, El Infierno, an angry satire about what has become of Mexico, has never yet screened in the U.S. I liked the director's Herod's Law about PRI in 1949, so I'm looking forward to it.

"Vincere" and "No One Knows about Persian Cats" were both released in the US, I saw both of them in Houston, and recommended them to friends in Minneapolis who saw them as well. I know they also both played in Dallas. Enter the Void was in pretty wide release and even played in Spokane. All of these were at large chain multiplexes. So unless Texas, Minnesota, and Eastern Washington State are not in the US, they were released here

"Vincere" was brilliant, a must see.

I'm fairly excited about the idea of Vengeance - having watched one of director Johnnie To's previous films, Election, dubbed into French (from Cantonese), which made the gangsters seem even slicker than they already were, I suspect a french To film would be pretty much the perfect gangster flick.

Also, my pick for best not-screened-much-in-the-west film of the year is Japan's 'Love Exposure' by Sion Sono. A four-hour epic about a guy who uses martial arts to take up-skirt photos, who must save a girl (who thinks the only men who aren't scum are Jesus and Kurt Cobain) from a cult. Shouldn't work, but does. Came out in Japan in '08 but only got a few festival screenings in the English speaking world last year.

My gosh - Vincere played the Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY. I never thought of netflixing it!

It's a bio-pic, but it takes a line that most Mussolini biographers have rejected (the most recent I've read is the Jasper Ridley one, which treats Ida Dalser as being about as crazy as Mussolini made her out to be).

I just watched Valhalla Rising based on this post. It was very superficial. Minimal plot, characters, and dialog. Just cool costumes, scenery, and gory murders. Not what I'd expect from this site.

Vincere was absolutely terrible.

I think it's the only movie this year that I stopped watching halfway through.

I have seen the movie Vincere with my girl friend and it has what it takes to be good movie...

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