As 2008 limps to a close, "Best of 2008" lists have begun to congeal like a cheap, off-brand lemon Jell-O in a dusty bundt tin in the back kitchen at a Perkins. Movies, music, performances, TV, photography, porn stars, burrito joints - the usuals. Many of these lists read like Top-Grossing reports - they tend to get "popular" confused with "exceptional." (Special befuddlement was delivered by all the cool-kid music blogs who's Best of Lists for 2007 looked like they all cheated off each other).
Fortunately, for film, we have Hammer To Nail to thank for a truly insightful and educated "Best Of" list. Don't be surprised if you don't recognize some/many/all of the films highlighted. These films probably aren't showing at your mall. However, as they are chosen by over-educated, hardcore film kids (and practicing auteurs), you can be assured of being challenged, enthralled and bemused. Maybe aroused. Perhaps disgusted. But certainly entertained.
From the site:
We started Hammer to Nail at the beginning of 2008 with one
goal in mind: to champion the most adventurous, ambitious, provocative,
and exciting low-budget American narrative cinema of the very moment.
And though we have broadened our horizons to cover exceptional films of
all shapes, sizes, and ages, that primary purpose remains the same. To
prove our commitment to this cause, we present to you the inaugural Hammer to Nail Awards.