Ten years ago, it seemed like we all had a pretty solid idea of movies — what they can do, who they’re for, and where they’re watched. That idea was inflexible, and supported by a century of precedent. It came with the added benefit of making the people in charge comfortable with the idea that cinema’s future wouldn’t look all that different from its past. DVD sales were strong, Netflix was still just a sad little envelope at the bottom of your mailbox, and China was starting to give studios the biggest safety net it ever had. Perhaps the arrival of James Cameron’s “Avatar” in the waning moments of 2009 could have been seen as a harbinger of strange things to come, but no one in Hollywood has ever lost sleep over a movie that grossed nearly $3 billion.
Things have changed. Cinema is in a constant state of flux, but it’s never mutated faster or more restlessly than it has over the last 10 years. And while the decade will no doubt be remembered for the paradigm shifts precipitated by streaming and monolithic superhero movies, hindsight makes it clear that the definition of film itself is exponentially wider now than it was a decade ago.
In a decade where reality and fiction blurred, these movies showed us who we really are.
20. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017)
To make Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison — who often works with old footage — reused hundreds of reels of nitrate film shot in the 1910s and 1920s and unearthed in 1978 in Dawson, a town on the Yukon River in northwestern Canada. The reels had been presumed lost, and Morrison stitches them together to reconstruct the history of the town, which is loaded with wild stories of fortunes made and lost, with twists and turns as exciting as any fictional film. It plays like a silent film, at times, but one with an eye toward the present, and toward the way old stories shape the future.
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
Literally Everything Should Connect To The Internet
…Then there’s the Griffin Connected Toaster ($99), which sends a notification to your smartphone when your toast is done. Perfect for those who can’t hear the sound of the toaster while swimming in their giant money bin. For some real Star Trek meets Idiocracy shit, the toaster can also pair with the upcoming Griffin Connected Mirror (estimated at $1,000), which displays the weather, news headlines, and toast readiness while you brush your teeth. So much more convenient than glancing at your phone.
There are even smart flip-flops, which pair with an app to send you “special offers” (ads) as you walk around. Not even the makers seem able to justify this. Onvi is developing a toothbrush that films the inside of your mouth and beams the footage to your phone, presumably to market to some fetish community we haven’t heard of. And if you’re thinking Silicon Valley can go shove this tech up their ass, don’t worry. They literally can with the Kinsa Smart Stick rectal thermometer ($125). You simply connect the thermometer to your phone via the headphone jack, and it displays the results through an app! Just, uh, make sure you plug each side into the right hole.
A lot happened, in other words, over the back half of the 2010s. If there was a comfortable constant, it was that for all the changes to the cinema landscape, movies themselves still delivered. Without fail, people kept making good ones, in stubborn defiance of the bellyaching cliché that they never make ’em like they used to. Whether judged as a whole or as two five-year parts, the 2010s were a terrific decade for film; you just had to be willing to go looking for the best, and to look outside of an increasingly IP-obsessed studio system—not that the multiplex didn’t offer some gems of its own, including the movie you’ll find at the very top of The A.V. Club’s new list of the decade’s best.
That one summer when Pokémon Go was being played by everyone.
I will never forget the sight of my neighbour clipping her iPhone to her dog’s collar and getting him to run around the yard for the steps.
I am pre-cable TV. I think there will be a generation marked by post-cable TV.
And this – “Remember the olden days when you had to wait a WHOLE WEEK to watch the next episode of your favorite TV show???”
This ‘golden age’ of comic book movies