The Top Ten Films Of 2009, According To John Waters

I'm fairly sick of lists by this point every year, and this year, with all the roundups of the past decade, the listmania is way out of hand. But this is one I can get behind. I like it in part simply because it was penned by John Waters, the long-standing champion of bad taste. I like it more because there are a few entries I hadn't much considered before, and that is the only purpose I see in any year-end list.

As I've said before, I don't need to read a dozen roundups that reinforce my own ideas of what the best movies were; I want to see lists that make me reconsider other stuff. The list Waters came up with might do that for you. Given his tastes and the films he's made over the decades, none of these choices are terribly surprising, but they're definitely fun to read. Check it out after the break.

Art Forum ran the list, and I'll excerpt a couple entries so you can get an idea of what makes the cut for the eccentric director. He ranks Antichrist number two — no surprise for a guy who made his career based on provocation — and his take on the film is classic Waters: "If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins, this is the movie he would have made."

He also highlights World's Greatest Dad, the excellent Bobcat Goldthwait film that almost excuses all the lousy comedies Robin Williams has made over the last decade. Waters says, "Why, oh why, wasn't this blackest of comedies a hit? Appallingly rude, decidedly family unfriendly, this [REDACTED] tale of a hateful son and his clueless father left the viewer gasping in surprise." I edited his summation slightly to preserve what might be a spoiler about the film; keep that in mind if you read the entire list and haven't seen the film.

And I'm reminded that I really need to see Import Export, the top film on the list ("The miserable lives of Ukrainian immigrants in Vienna make this agonizing but brilliantly directed opus the cinematic equivalent of slitting your wrists. A new genre? Depression porn? Hey, I got off.") and The Headless Woman ("Bleached hair, hit-and-run accidents, in-laws with hepatitis? Huh? I didn't get it, but I sure did love it!"). The latter is on DVD already, the former will be available at the end of January.

[via Anne Thompson]

1. Import Export

2. Antichrist

3. In the Loop

4. World's Greatest Dad

5. Bruno

6. Lorna's Silence

7. Broken Embraces

8. The Baader Meinhof Complex

9. Whatever Works

10. The Headless Woman