The Reporter's Top 10

Daniel Berman is one of Chlotrudis' newest members. He has a show on Brookline Cable Access that reviews movies. Here is a wrap-up of his 2006 Movie Experience.

A Banner Year for Independent Films 'Ten Best Named', 2006
by Daniel Berman

Well folks, the art-deco movie houses are swarming with all kinds of interesting films to keep at the forefront of your minds. In the scheme of things I have another archival collection of documentaries, experimental animation, and newly discovered feature films to behold.

This year I made my way too the local film festival scene including the Boston Film Festival, Nantucket Film Festival etc. and got too visually in-take some of these documentaries.

As we being the filmic junkies of the smaller movie houses that we witness David Leaf's eye-catching THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON to the intriguing THE TRIALS OF DARRYL HUNT. We continue our venture with the highly controversially talked about Kirby Dick's THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED as we go behind the iron curtain of the MPAA rating system.

In one of the best documentaries to hit the independent film circuit is the U.S. corporate America's electric automobile and its rise and fall. The brilliantly crafted and well-documented film that investigates the question that who is too blames government, consumers, oil manufacturers; it could be even the hydrogen-powered car that brought down these popular vehicles. In Chris Paine's extraordinary and insightful filmic masterpiece with WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR?

Director Andrew Bujalski (FUNNY HA-HA, 2005) is giving moviegoers another fascinating feature film with his latest social commentary piece with MUTUAL APPRECIATION. Currently, in its experimental stages the newest animated flick called RENAISSANCE is a James Bond in sleek and stylish black and white images.

The original film to use this animation is the philosophical speaking WAKING LIFE 2001 directed by Richard Linklater. RENAISSANCE is a gritty, dark story of a society ruled by one major corporate empire named Avalon. In reminisce of sci-fi classics like METROPOLIS and BLADE RUNNER this is a story about a society on the verge of imploding on itself. In a future that crime is escalating rapidly with little hope of survival of coming out alive.

Sydney Pollack (1975, THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR) directed a visually astonishing bio-picture entitled SKETCHES OF FRANK GEHRY. Pollack takes in the genius of one of the most recognizable, controversial Architects of the twentieth century.

In conclusion, Ric Burns just released a four-hour televised documentary on one of the most important artistic figures in our American culture entitled ANDY WARHOL: A DOCUMENTARY FILM. Burns enthralls us with Warhol's vision in unseen archived video clips and still shots that give light to his work. Years ago WGBH released Ken Burns historical look into America's pastime with "Baseball," and his most recent televised documentary on the world of "Jazz" to "Jack Johnson: Unforgivable Blackness."

`Ten Best Named' Independent Films:

1. The U.S. vs. John Lennon
2. The Trials of Darryl Hunt
3. Renaissance
4. Who Killed the Electric Car?
5. This Film is Not Yet Rated
6. Sketches of Frank Gehry
7. Mutual Appreciation
8. Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film
9. Neil Young: Heart of Gold
10. Who Gets to Call it Art?

Honorable Mentionable(s):

Drawings and War: The Testimony of the Children of Uganda
49 UP
The Cult of the Suicide Bomber
Not a Photograph: The Mission to Burma Story