Thursday, January 21, 2010

List-less and Fickle: Films of the Decade

Can this blog entry really be by the same person who, not one month ago, articulated his discomfort with writing movie lists in a response to Senses of Cinema's request for a list of the best films of '09?

Hmm. All it took was a friendly query in an email as to what my favourite films of the last decade were... And look what happened!

However, it should be specified that this is strictly an autobiographical outpouring, not a statement on what cinema is today or what it isn't or what it should be...

Listed below are a mixture of unassailable masterpieces and quirky personal favourites. I haven't the foggiest clue which films belong to which of these categories. Actually, I don't care...

I might add to this list as more films spring to mind. However, I won't add any films that I haven't seen before today. But I might delete films if I see them again and find they don't live up to memory- there are three films on this list which I suspect might not sustain another viewing.

And then there are strange cases like Hirokazu Koreeda's Distance which I loved in 2002 and should probably be on the list... Except that I can only remember two or three images from it, that's all!

Amazingly, Garrel, my favourite filmmaker, isn't on the list- he's done really good work in the past decade, but he's competing with his own past films which puts him at a disadvantage. Also, no Bela Tarr, even though I was very keen on The Man from London. Although I appreciate his value, I haven't quite caught up with Apichatpong Weerasethakul. He's still sinking in. And I need to see Tsai Ming-Linag's recent work, something I hope to do very shortly... Also, have yet to see any of Pedro Costa's major works.

Film of the decade: Eloge de l'amour (Jean-Luc Godard)

Runners up for film of the decade: Come and Go (Joao Cesar Monteiro) & As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (Jonas Mekas)

Film of the future: Imburnal (Sherad Anthony Sanchez)

and, in complete disorder:

Juste avant l'orage
(Jean-Claude Rousseau)
Deux (Werner Schroeter)
Lo Sguardo di Michelangelo (Michelangelo Antonioni)
Trouble Every Day & 35 Shots of Rum (Claire Denis)
La vie nouvelle (Philippe Grandrieux)
Millenium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
Father and Son (Alexander Sokurov)
Sky Song (James Fotopoulos)
De la hospitalidad, derecho de autor & Profanaciones (Oriol Sánchez)
Belle Toujours (Manoel de Oliveira)
Mulholland Drive & Inland Empire (David Lynch)
Don't Touch the Axe (Jacques Rivette)
The Flower of Evil (Calude Chabrol)
Dream Work (Peter Tscherkassky)
The New World (Terrence Malick, specifically the long version)
Les anges exterminateurs (Jean-Claude Brisseau)
A Perfect Couple (Nobuhiro Suwa)
The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
The Feature (Michel Auder)
Tiresia (Bertrand Bonello)
Slow Mirror (Ivan & Igor Buharov)
Mary (Abel Ferrara)
La Vie moderne (Raymond Depardon)
2046 (Wong Kar Wai)
Nightshots (Stephen Dwoskin)
Medee Miracle (Tonino de Bernardi)
The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo)
Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay)
Ouroboros (Alan Lambert)
Miotte vu par Ruiz & Klimt (Raoul Ruiz)
Lovesick (Bill Mousoulis)
Vacanza Permanente (Adolfo Arrieta)
Martyrs (Pascal Laugier)
Dead or Alive 2 (Miike Takashi)
Demonlover & Boarding Gate (Olivier Assayas, the latter mainly out of love for Asia Argento)
July Trip (Wael Noureddine)
Triple Agent (Eric Rohmer)
Shara (Naomi Kawase)
El cant dels ocells & Honor de cavalleria (Albert Serra)
Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs)
Four Nights with Anna (Jerzy Skolimowski)
Melancholia (Lav Diaz)
Battle in Heaven (Carlos Reygadas)
The Pianist (Roman Polanski)
Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes)
Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant)
Black Book (Paul Verhoeven)
Saraband (Ingmar Bergman)
The Black Dahlia (Brian De Palma)
There Will Be Blood (P.T. Anderson)
Baise-Moi (Virginie Despentes / Coralie Trinh Thi)
Ten (Abbas Kiarostami)
The House of Mirth (Terence Davies)


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