Every year, the lists. Lists lists lists.
And with each one comes trouble. For example, do we include films that we saw this year or films that were released this year? And how do you define "released?" Rules rules rules.
But more interesting than legalities are the inevitable philosophical problems. For instance, if my list omits a film that many other respected film watchers and blabbermouths have included on their best-of lists, does that mean I didn't like it or didn't see it?
I could answer that question in the accompanying remarks, but even an informative didn't-see-it seems to reinforce the year-end canon, a brick in the wall that keeps out the little movies that few people saw. Bricks. Walls. Slippery slides into oblivion. Make your own metaphor.
There's no solution, of course, but let's see if we can think of a new way to examine the field. Daily Plastic wasn't around last year, but with any luck this will become our tradition: we're going to dig into a number of year-end lists that we find interesting, one by one, day by day, and we'll examine not what they've left out (which will be covered implicitly by our own year-end lists) but by what they've included.
It's "2008 in Negative," not negative as an attitude but negative as a bas-relief.
At the end of the series we'll reveal our own favorites of 2008. I like to eject mine from the movie Jeep as the ball drops on New Year's Eve; my Plastic colleague J. Robert Parks prefers to mull the options well into January. Until then, we'll look at the early birds, the canaries in the mine.
And finally, our own lists: