Asian films lead best-of-decade poll

Toronto festival votes 'Syndromes and a Century' as top pic

TORONTO -- Asian films, led by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Syndromes and a Century," dominated the Toronto International Film Festival's best-of-the-decade poll results released Monday.

Weerasethakul's 2006 two-part drama captured the top spot with 53 votes in a poll of 60 film curators, historians and programmers conducted by the festival.

In second place with 49 votes was Jia Zhangke's "Platform," who also grabbed third place for his Venice award winner "Still Life" and its 48 votes.

French filmmaker Claire Denis earned fourth place for "Beau Travail" with 46 votes, followed by Wong Kar-wai's "In the Mood For Love" with 43 votes.

Weerasethakul also earned sixth place for "Tropical Malady," which garnered 38 votes in the TIFF poll.

Romanian director Cristi Puiu was next with "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu" and its 35 votes, the same tally for "Werckmeister Harmonies" from Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr.

Rounding out the best-of-the-decade competition was Jean-Luc Godard's "Eloge de l'amour" in eighth place with 34 votes; Romanian director Cristian Mungiu grabbing ninth place with "4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days" and 33 votes; and Carlos Reygadas' "Silent Night" coming in 10th place with 32 votes.

The TIFF poll also recognized the films of Abbas Kiarostami, Agnes Varda, Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodovar, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne and David Cronenberg.

Many of the films in the festival poll will be screened at the TIFF Cinematheque.