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If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot Glenn Heath Jr.’s Top 10 Films of All Time

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If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Glenn Heath Jr.’s Top 10 Films of All Time
If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Glenn Heath Jr.’s Top 10 Films of All Time

It’s hard not to get a little nostalgic while trying to determine one’s favorite films of all time. Memories of first viewings come flooding back, even thoughts of long lost friends who shared those moments with you. In this sense, these 10 films have sculpted my life as a cinephile, programmer, and writer, some even in ways that I’m still discovering years later. While their initial impact was undeniably potent, each one continues to influence how I think about cinema as art, entertainment, and a mirror to human nature. If narrowing this list to 10 entries has taught me anything, it’s that great movies evolve over time, and as I’ve grown older each one has become more personal, more essential to my existence. Not surprisingly, many are concerned with the detailed process of aging, or more specifically the juxtaposition of physical deterioration and emotional vitality. Others even dynamically examine heightened memory and inevitable, sometimes forceful change. But all of my choices waver between visions of lyrical, horrific, and sometimes heart-wrenching transition. They are keys to my decidedly intimate canon, one when taken as a whole acts as a reminder that movies aren’t always everything in this fragile life.

If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Budd Wilkins’s Top 10 Films of All Time

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If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Budd Wilkins’s Top 10 Films of All Time
If I Had a Sight & Sound Film Ballot: Budd Wilkins’s Top 10 Films of All Time

Bearing in mind the fundamentally mercurial nature of any such list (at least as far as I’m concerned), apt to alter its constituent membership with the swiftness of a weathervane buffeted by hurricane-force winds, I hereby present the 10 films that rank as my current favorites.

An Interview with Project Nim Director James Marsh

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An Interview with Project Nim Director James Marsh
An Interview with Project Nim Director James Marsh

With Project Nim, James Marsh has created a documentary that feels more like a biopic—and one that avoids the genre’s usual pitfalls. He follows the life of a chimp named Nim, who was brought up to live with a human family to see whether chimps could communicate as people do. However, Nim soon showed an aggressive side; in one instance, he ripped open a woman’s face. He’s shuffled from family to institution, including a spell at a lab that tests hepatitis vaccines. As in his previous documentaries, Marsh uses fictional recreations to fill in the gaps in the available footage. The results tell a lot about both animal and human nature.

What are the differences between domesticated animals like dogs and Nim? [Note: I asked this question because a dog was roaming around the office where I interviewed Marsh.]

A dog has been bred for thousand years to live with us. Domestic animals are very different from wild animals. That’s a small footnote to Project Nim, but I found that out when I was making the film.