Update: 2010 in Review, best books, movies, etc

Here are my favorite films and books I reviewed this year.  They are all highly recommended…

Best Science Fiction Novel

Brian Aldiss, Non-stop (variant title, Starship), (1958)


Starship is a top-notch 1950s work: fast, action-packed, thoughtful, well-conceived and executed, with a cool twist.  The last few paragraphs (feels like a last minute overbearing editor scissor-and-paste job) of the work slightly mute the bang…  Anyway, generationships always hold my interest.

Best Fantasy Novel

Jack Vance, Showboat World, (1975)


I didn’t read very many fantasy works this year and I suspect that Jack Vance has produced much better works.  However, Showboat World was only the second Vance book I’ve read and very worthwhile.  Although more in the comic vein, the world is well developed and with the appearance of a floating museum ship my fascination grew.  There’s so much more which Vance could have done with the fascinating world of Big Planet and its showboats…

Best Film (Drama)

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Belgium), Le Fils (2002)


Le Fils (2002) is by far one of my favorite films of all time.  This Belgium production is bound to polarize audiences with its sparse style and minimalist delivery.  Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne weave a profoundly poignant gem… Near perfect? Definitely.  Highly recommended…


Unusual Director of the Year

The oeuvre of the Chilean/French director Raoul Ruiz…

MY REVIEW HERE: The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting (1979)

MY REVIEW HERE: Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983)

Ruiz’s works are bizarre and often uncanny.  They evoke the works of Borges mixed with a heady strain of sarcasm (The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting) and Chilean myth (Three Crowns of the Sailor).  They are cinematically beautiful and unusually plotted.


Forgotten Science Fiction Author of the Year

Barrington J. Bayley

MY REVIEW HERE: The Fall of Chronopolis (1974)


MY REVIEW HERE: Collision Course, (variant title, Collision with Chronos), (1973)

Barrington J. Bayley deserves to be more widely read.  His works are driven entirely by concept and often verge on characterless.  That said, the concepts are so fascinating (and cliché avoiding) that they rise above many of the dregs of the early 70s.  Collision Course and The Fall of Chronopolis are both worthwhile time travel novels…


And last but not least, Strangest Film Still!

Guy Maddin’s stunning pseudo-documentary, My Winnipeg (2007) (review here) barely missed out on my film of the year…  But those horse heads…  Oh the strange joys of nostalgia…

Here’s the youtube clip of this fascinating sequence… The cold winter of 1926

9 thoughts on “Update: 2010 in Review, best books, movies, etc

  1. I really need to see Le Fils again. The only Dardenne bros movie I remember well is Lorna’s Silence which is my favorite. But Le Fils, L’Enfant, and La Promesse are all so hazy in my memory that I have to give them a fresh chance (still like them all). Have you see those (as well as Rosetta (which I have not seen))?

    I’ve never seen a Maddin film, but keep meaning to. Though after watching that clip, he might be a little to surreal for my tastes.

    • My Winnipeg is stunning. I have no other adjective….

      I’m afraid to see the other films by the Dardenne brothers — mainly because I consider Le Fils a practically perfect film. I suspect they’re pretty good — hesitant to see La Promesse since it seems substantially different than Le Fils — mais, L’Enfant et Lorna’s Silence semblent être de grands films (the extent of my written French — I can read it — haha).

    • Yes, I was quite impressed as well (I wrote a review if you’re curious). What’s another worthwhile book by Aldiss? I have Greybeard coming at the moment… reviewed recently The Dark Light Years and disliked it greatly…

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