I’ve never sat down to come up with a top ten list before in my life. Thankfully, when the list you’re compiling consists only of 10 films seen for a column such as this, it makes things far easier. While choosing which films to see while braving the weather in Park City, Utah over opening weekend of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival (coincidentally celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) one can read all they want into synopses but it may never fully prepare you for what you’re in for.
While some of these have already been picked up for distribution, there are many that may never see a national release and could head straight for a deserved direct-to-video death (at least in one case). A few will undoubtedly be picked up in the long run and rightly deserve so while others probably won’t but more than deserve to. I have tried to come up with the best way to lay out the list and think the best way to go about things is to split it in half and start with the bottom of the heap…
10. Southern District (Zona sur)
The less said about this, the better. Here is a film so rancid, contrived, and flat-out boring that even if writer/director Juan Carlos Valdivia had centered his entire movie around the voyeuristic sex scenes it would rightly earn itself the ultimate death of the MPAA’s much dreaded NC-17 rating. If you think sitting around listening to the rich whine and moan about how hard life is or how much it sucks that your mom would never understand why you would rather live life as a poor outcast lesbian in Bolivia is enjoyable, then you desperately need to have your head examined. This is such a disgusting display of humanity that even a somewhat interesting cinematic technique can't save it. (The camera literally seems to be positioned on a lazy Susan and just slowly spins around the room while characters do whatever they think is necessary to carry the scene to another dull fadeout where you wish it was you fading out instead.)