! = recommended
* = all-ages
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I love that Brokeback Mountain is making such a hard gallop into the public consciousness, with all the Oscar® buzz and sold-out theaters and mammoth per-screen averages and all. I enjoyed Ang Lee's revisionist Western, and was thrilled to see Jake and Heath get it on (Bareback Mounting was the popular cheeky play-on-words title, though I preferred Crouching Cowboy, Hidden Penis). The praise is warranted, even if the film didn't quite penetrate my top ten.
Tropical Malady, my favorite film of the year, if not the (young) century, tells a very similar gay-on-the-surface story with its own pair of unlikely lovers and a completely different enchanted wilderness. Apichatpong Weerasethakul's audacious and painfully lovely film baffled me when I first encountered it at SIFF, but it quietly followed me home from the Harvard Exit that balmy night and has lived with me ever since. In the words of another critic: "Just as the crags and bluffs of Brokeback swallow up its star-crossed lovers, at once creating and destroying for them a false Eden, the Thai jungle to which Malady's young men retreat becomes both an erotic sanctuary and a literal fantasy world."
You weren't the only one we asked to vote. We asked our imaginary staffers to gather their best-of-the-year lists too! Here's what has been in highest rotation on our iPods this year.
See all the winners in the TIG Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll (see the top 10 winners, including Death Cab, Tullycraft, the Decemberists, and more).
See all the winners in the TIG Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll (see winners #20-11 here).
See all the winners in the TIG Best Northwest Releases of 2005 Readers' Poll (see winners #50-41 here).
You voted, we tabulated. Here's a print-ready list of the top 100 Pacific Northwest releases of the year for your post-holiday-gift-certificate shopping pleasure...