I recently did some research on a self-help program that will go unnamed to help a friend determine if a family member had joined a cult (alas, no). In reading about this program's tenets - basically, a grab bag of Eastern and Western philosophy backed by an aggressive marketing strategy - I was struck by the distinction the program makes between "change" (bad) and "transformation" (good), words that I had believed to be synonyms. The difference, according to this program, is that change is defined in contrast to the past (like Mant), whereas transformation is a present-tense decision to start a new way of being independent of the past (like Brundlefly). Fascinating. So in an effort to transform, I've decided to skip the part explaining the reasons why I've let the blog stagnate (mostly mundane) and get on with one of the many ideas I've been procrasinating on.
So now then.
I wanted to wait on one idea until the flood of end-of-decade lists had slowed down and give time to some of my readers who, like me, needed the DVD window to fully absorb last year's movies. Those of you who have been visiting the blog for a long time might remember the tournament-style voting competition a few years back to determine the readers' choice for Best Movie Ever (the winner was 2001). I'd like to try to same thing to determine Cinevistaramascope's Best of the Aughts. As with the previous contest, a pool of films will be created from readers' top 10 lists, with more points awarded by ranking (unranked lists = equal points for each movie). The highest-scoring films - up to 128 - will face off over the course of five or six rounds until a winner is named. Hopefully, as with any "best of" list worth its salt, lively debate will ensue.
The only rule is that movies submitted must have made their non-festival (or commercial, if you prefer) theatrical debut between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2009. The more diverse the selection of competing films, the more fun the contest will be (and with 128 slots open, it's very possible that one vote is all a film will need). So whether you wish to bring attention to the work of Pedro Costa or argue that Kangraroo Jack is ripe for rediscovery, please e-mail your top 10 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also indicate if you'd be interested in contributing a brief write-up of a film from your list, which I hope to run during the contest as well (I'd also appreciate suggestions for a contest title). Top 10s will be accepted until 12PM EST on August 29; the contest will start on September 1. Those of you looking for ideas should check out my friend Paul Clark's ongoing Top 25 of the Aughts, or the submissions from last year's Muriel Awards.
Speaking of the Muriels, the recently launched blog Our Science is Too Tight looks to serve as a sort of meeting place for the many talented film writers and bloggers who contribute to the awards every year. Nearly every day there are new links to Muriel voters' work as well as original content. I'm looking forward to writing for the blog - I'm looking forward to writing, period.