The best indie movies of 2007

There must be some kind of human tendency to seek intellectual convergence that kicks in, I suspect, whenever movie critics (or ordinary citizens) start concocting year-end top-10 lists. Maybe pop-science genius Malcolm Gladwell has a name for this phenomenon, but it can be both as subtle and as hard to resist as the flowing current of a river. You might not notice the force of this opinion-suck, even as it sweeps you off your feet and pulls you downstream in a rushing torrent of groupthink. Even if you sense it and nobly struggle against it, that doesn't mean you've escaped its effects.

Maybe the term exists; maybe it's "herd mentality." Or brainwashing. Read enough of the top-10 lists that American movie critics put together, for one thing, and you might wonder whether a single damn film worth watching came out before the first of October. There are exceptions to this rule, naturally enough, but by and large the films that rack up the rave reviews and award nominations, and thereby begin to emanate "Oscar buzz" like some mutant horror-movie bumblebee, are films of a certain kind, released in a certain season.

(Source: Salon)

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