Toronto – Beginning January 21, 2010, TIFF Cinematheque presents The Best of the Decade: An Alternative View, a curated series based on a poll conducted by TIFF Cinematheque’s Senior Programmer James Quandt. An esteemed panel of over sixty film curators, historians, archivists and programmers from festivals, cinematheques and similar organizations around the world participated and were asked to pick the films they thought were the most important of the past decade. The poll’s participants are connected by their leadership in the field of historical film curation, with most having published books, essays and polemics on cinema, bringing perspectives that distinguish this poll from other end-of-the-decade polls.
“Their perspective,” says Quandt, “should give us a longer view of the films made in this decade, the films that should stand the test of time and be acknowledged as historically influential works in the decades to come.” The poll includes works by venerable masters such as Abbas Kiarostami, Agnès Varda, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and Pedro Almodóvar; directors who broke onto the international scene in the past 10 years, including Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Carlos Reygadas, Cristi Puiu, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Jia Zhang-ke and David Cronenberg; and indie renegades like Gus Van Sant, Pedro Costa and Lucrecia Martel. It also features many pleasant surprises, from the inclusion of a largely unknown film, Valeska Grisebach’s Longing (2006), which was highlighted during TIFF Cinematheque’s Berlin School series last Winter, to the strong showings for films that were not necessarily well received on their initial outings, such as Gus Van Sant’s Gerry (2003) and Claire Denis’s L’Intrus (2004).