29 July 2011

Exciting Moments in Modern Cinema

Alamar Pedro González-Rubio, 2009
The Holy Girl Lucrecia Martel, 2004
Blissfully Yours Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002
A Snake of June Shinya Tsukamoto, 2002
Distant Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002
Unknown Pleasures Jia Zhangke, 2002
Police, Adjective Corneliu Porumboiu, 2009
Take Care of My Cat Jeong Jae-eun, 2001
Kings and Queen Arnaud Desplechin, 2004
Friday Night Claire Denis, 2002
Sparrow Johnnie To, 2008

Each of these is a thoroughly modern film; the list expresses my preference for a broad range of styles, thematic interests, and modes of representation. I confess that I favor a cinema of minor revelations and quiet epiphanies. The purpose of this entry is to nakedly recommend all of the films listed as examples of some of my favorite movies. This list is intended to provoke curiosity about under-exposed films and not to echo a thousand wonderful things that have been said about other modern greats*. My first draft was longer - this one is 100% business, so much so that it's even arranged in my suggested order, and the final two are candidates for a rapturous double-feature. I also confess that these filmmakers have other great films that should have made the list, perhaps even over the ones that did, depending on my mood and yours; other countries and regions should be represented, for example there are zero declarations of love for certain Scandinavian, Middle Eastern, and English speaking films, that I in fact do love (#12 is probably A Somewhat Gentle Man, 2010, dir: Hans Petter Moland), but there's only so much a list can express, and I don't even think this list demonstrates my expansive appreciation for the national cinema of countries that are represented, because for example I flip out over many more Romanian New Wave films.

I'll make it a goal to write about all of these, as at this point only Police, Adjective has an entry.

* But, okay, even though it's not my goal to write about or expound on my love for the following movies, which at this point I think have already been well-received and analyzed, I also want to make another list, so here are movies that already have critical and/or popular validation that I also love (perhaps the way that I demarcate this distinction is arbitrary and/or biased). This list is not recommendation ordered but preference ordered:

In the Mood for Love Wong Kar-wai, 2000
Enter the Void Gaspar Noé, 2009
Talk to Her Pedro Almodóvar, 2002
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days Cristian Mungiu, 2007
Caché Michael Haneke, 2005
Poetry Lee Chang-dong, 2010
The Son Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002
Revanche Götz Spielmann, 2008
Carlos Olivier Assayas, 2010
The Protector Prachya Pinkaew, 2005
Gomorrah Matteo Garrone, 2008

I confess that this list leaves out so many great films and filmmakers, and that I didn't reuse a director previously mentioned, although that means well-established directors from the previous list with other great movies were omitted. There's so much to see, what can I say? I also confess that I couldn't decide on which list or due to which film Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Andrea Arnold, Roy Andersson, Ulrich Seidl, Hong Sangsoo, Tsui Hark, or Lars von Trier should be merited inclusion, among others. Also also I confess that, actually, for example, I prefer Lynne Ramsay to Andrea Arnold (and I'm waiting to see what Steve McQueen does next: and holy fuck because they each have new films coming), but my favorite Ramsay is Ratcatcher, which is beyond my self-enforced 21st century boundary, as are my favorites from other important 21st century filmmakers, for example Jafar Panahi's The Mirror. And, really, these lists are hard for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment