Here, then, are the group's estimation of the best films that premiered during 2009 but failed to secure New York distribution (and hence eligibility for the Skandies proper, which has a two-year window) by the end of 2011. I used to unveil these simultaneously with the main top 20, but it occurred to me a few years back that they really ought to have their own separate platform, given their undeserved semi-obscurity. Check back for the best films, performances, etc. of '11 around the beginning of February, after everyone's had a chance to see whether purchasing a zoo will solve all of Matt Damon's problems.
As ever, disclaimers abound. While roughly 40 professional and amateur cinéastes vote in the main survey, a smaller subset takes part in what's become known as the Undies—basically the folks who make it out to multiple festivals. (You can find their names way at the bottom.) And of course circumstances dictate that the results will skew in favor of those undistributed films that have been most widely seen, with a particular advantage going to anything that played at Toronto. No doubt many other excellent films were simply not seen by enough people to make the cut; feel free to mention overlooked favorites in the comments.
Alas, I'm too harried at the moment to write up commentary on 20 films, many of which I haven't seen. So I've let various folks who've posted their thoughts on the IMDb provide a characteristic remark (except where noted—you guys admire an awful lot of movies so obscure that they have not a single damn comment).
In reverse chrono:
#20 Accident (Soi Cheang) 22 pts | 3 votes
"So all in all, the potential is there and I must say that I personally enjoyed watching the movie, just because it was so silly and unapologetic in its stupidity (the eclipse at the end, and that road sign...), so in a way this movie would rate 1 star based on script and 10 based on premise, hence the rating of 5."
#19 Ruhr (James Benning) 23 pts | 2 votes
#18 Bena (Niv Klainer) 24 pts | 1 vote
#17 Fish Story (Yoshihiro Nakamura) 27 pts | 2 votes
#16 Eighteen (Jang Kun-jae) 27 pts | 3 votes
#15 Kinatay (Brillante Ma. Mendoza, DGPI) 27 pts | 4 votes
#14 Oxhide II (Liu Jiayin) 34 pts | 3 votes
#13 Air Doll (Hirokazu Kore-eda) 40 pts | 4 votes
#12 Alexander the Last (Joe Swanberg) 45 pts | 5 votes
#11 In Comparison (Harun Farocki) 50 pts | 5 votes
#10 Final Flesh (Vernon Chatman) 54 pts | 3 votes
#9 Symbol (Hitoshi Matsumoto) 55 pts | 7 votes
#8 Let Each One Go Where He May (Ben Russell) 57 pts | 4 votes
#7 The King of Escape (Alain Guiraudie) 63 pts | 4 votes
#6 It Felt Like a Kiss (Adam Curtis) 70 pts | 5 votes
#5 Disorder (Huang Weikai) 76 pts | 5 votes
#4 Like You Know It All (Hong Sang-soo) 78 pts | 8 votes
#3 I Killed My Mother (Xavier Dolan) 103 pts | 5 votes
#2 About Elly (Asghar Farhadi) 113 pts | 8 votes
#1 Face (Tsai Ming-liang) 146 pts | 13 votes
THE VOTERS: Mike D'Angelo, Alex Fung, Sky Hirschkron, Don Marks, Jeff McCloud, Victor J. Morton, Jason Overbeck, Theo Panayides, Matt Prigge, Peter Reiher, Vadim Rizov, Dan Sallitt, Michael Sicinski, Chris Stults, Froilan Vispo, C. Mason Wells, and Blake Williams. Thanks to all.
2000: Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)
2001: Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)*
2002: Turning Gate (Hong Sang-soo)
2003: Not on the Lips (Alain Resnais)
2004: The 10th District Court—Moments of Trial (Raymond Depardon)
2005: Tale of Cinema (Hong Sang-soo)
2006: Taxidermia (György Pálfi)*
2007: Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong)*
2008: Just Anybody (Jacques Doillon)
* (released commercially after the window of eligibility had closed)