2010s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 3)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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mfunk9786
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#51 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:43 pm

Not to imply those are the only excellent ones!

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#52 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:14 pm

Swo didn't need to introduce me to his spotlight, Victor Kossakovky's wondrous Vivan las Antipodas!, but he did prompt me to watch it again over the weekend.

It's a great film, but it's hard to describe without comparing it to a whole lot of really bad films, such as Baraka. So, if you can somehow imagine a Baraka with wit, humility, humanity, and genuine visual imagination (yes, a kind of anti-Baraka), that's what you get.

Kossakovsky explores inhabited areas on opposite sides of the globe. This is a pretty severe constraint, since the antipodes of almost everywhere is water, but Kossakovsky is the kind of filmmaker who can find interest everywhere and anywhere (a hole in the road outside his house, watching his two-year-old see himself in a mirror for the first time), so he sees and creates spectacle in even the most modest circumstances. Thus, a caterpillar reflected in a puddle is as much of a wow shot as acres of lava pouring into the sea, or cars on a motorway in Shanghai. It's a film of beauty, invention and wise calm. It isn't tendentious like so many other films of its ilk, but it does suggest points of commonality for further contemplation. Its juxtapositions open up meaning rather than close it down.

But mostly it's gorgeous (and the available DVD is a terrific SD transfer, though if any film is crying out for HD it's this one - there's a French Blu, but it's unsubbed: you'd still get 95% of the film, however). Kossakovsky continually finds new ways of shooting ordinary things without becoming hollowly flashy or turning the 'real world' into props.

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jindianajonz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#53 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:13 pm

zedz wrote:(yes, a kind of anti-Baraka)
Not sure if there's a reference there that I'm missing...

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swo17
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#54 Post by swo17 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:27 pm

Nice appreciation, zedz! Incidentally for anyone curious, the film's director is Russian but the title is in Spanish because three of the antipodes are in Spanish-speaking countries. I wonder if this might also be something of an homage to ¡Qué viva México!? The title and director's heritage wouldn't be the only similarities between the two films--they're both innovative travelogues that become enamored with their subjects and try to pay them due reverence while still conveying a sense of awe.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#55 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:41 pm

Oh, and I forgot to mention that Vivan las Antipodas! swiftly became my dog's favourite film of all time. Normally she completely ignores whatever we're watching, but she was transfixed at various moments by shots of animals (not all of them: the sheep, several dogs, the lions) and got very excited when she thought there were strange cats in the house.

(Our cat is much more of a cinephile, but she snoozed through this. Her favourites tend to be slow black and white art films. When I watched Why Should I Buy a Bed When All That I Want Is Sleep?: A Chamber Film with Robert Lax she sat bolt upright for a few seconds, then walked up to the screen. climbed up on the front speaker and spent the rest of the film trying to climb into it. She's also quite attuned to cats appearing in films, but they have to be totally black like her.)

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knives
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#56 Post by knives » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:59 am

Of interest here's a pretty comprehensive set of lists from the Dissolve for the two years it was running. It features a lot of good and surprising gems and works as a good primer. More in-depth explanations are on their website.

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Tommaso
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#57 Post by Tommaso » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:48 am

domino harvey wrote:All things considered, Another Earth has my favorite final scene in any film. It's so rare, even in the best of films, to see a finishing touch that is literally perfect. Devastating and thought-provoking in equal measure. The film will be finishing near the top for me, and yes, if you somehow haven't seen it yet, what are you waiting for?
Thanks for the recommendation. This film had completely flown under my radar, perhaps because it was released over here at the same time as Lars von Trier's Melancholia (my favourite film of the decade so far) and almost feels like a chamber-play companion piece to it in the way that both films use the other planet as a metaphor for exploring the main character's psychological problems and the possibility of overcoming it. And yes, the final scene of Another Earth is pitch-perfect and thought-provoking (and so is Melancholia's, in a totally different way), even though it didn't really clarify anything for me. In any case, a very beautiful and moving film, and Brit Marling is a revelation. This will almost certainly make my list.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#58 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:09 pm

I'm in the very odd position of having a shorter short list than usual (limiting the list to twenty five films has helpfully eliminated the possibility of including anything from the 'merely fantastic' tier of films that usually occupies positions 25 to 80), AND having most of those films available to rewatch, AND having enough time to rewatch them, so I'm going to try and do exactly that.

Last night I rewatched The Strange Little Cat, and I'm even more impressed by it than the first time through. It's a supremely confident first feature, with an astonishingly creative soundtrack that carries a huge storytelling burden. On the surface, it's a low-key, nicely observed family drama / comedy, but everything is observed with such obsessive precision and empathy (right down to the personality tics of the family pets) that it skirts the surreal. Zurcher's technique is to frame characters and events closely, but have their entire world spill into the frame via off-screen sound. To a certain extent, almost none of the central events in the film happen onscreen. For instance, at various points, characters tell little stories from their lives which are more packed with comic and dramatic incident than the main action of the film, but the attendant flashbacks are simply closeups of the characters involved, excluding the visual correlation of those various dynamic details. It creates a very unusual mood for a film, and at a certain point my wife joked: "does anything actually happen in this film?" About twenty minutes latter, after she was tuned in, she said: "My god, there's so much going on I can't cope!"

Over the course of the film, Zurcher gradually teaches us what every sound in the small apartment signifies (the cat's purr, the dog's growl, the coffee maker, Carla's scream, the dropping of a ball, the hackysack being kicked in the street, the rattle of a bottle in a pan, the washing machine, a toy helicopter) as well as introducing us to various significant objects (a handwritten shopping list, a peeled facemask, orange peel, a glass of milk with a hair in it, a loose button) which all have their own micro-narratives along with those of the characters. And in the final act all of these small details come into play along with the characters passing in and out of the frame and contributing from off-screen so that you end up with dozens of meaningful things happening simultaneously, which is a kind of realism you very rarely see in cinema.

At the heart of it all, holding everything together, is the mother of the family, and she gets a couple of moments of quiet melancholy that may hint at depression or could simply be bemused exhaustion.

It's a really great film, and marvellously concise at just over an hour. This feels like a top-ten inclusion for me at the moment.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#59 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:47 pm

Mysteries of Lisbon - One of Ruiz's straighter films, but it's still all kinds of kinked. On the surface, it's the epitome of a tasteful historical drama, with lavish costumes, spectacular sets and exquisite lighting, but on closer inspection, it's a heritage film on very serious drugs. The plot is outrageously heightened and complicated, with literary tropes piled on top of one another willy nilly (characters don't just have one secret identity, but half a dozen; eavesdropping isn't a plot device but a principle of existence) and countless flashbacks and flashbacks-within-flashbacks glancing off one another or colliding into one another in unexpected ways. At the very end of the film, Ruiz presents us with a lady or the tiger conceptual trapdoor that forces us to reassess the very nature of the narratives he's been spinning for several hours.

Formally, the film is uncommonly elegant (cinematographer Andre Szankowski, a comparative tyro, does wonders with the lighting), but it's also studded with visual flights of fantasy (oneiric superimpositions, tracking shots that glide through walls, fake POV shots, mirror / lens work that evokes Jose Val del Omar's more extreme experiments) that keep you on your toes. Ruiz is having fun throughout, and he wants you to join the party. It's hard the imagine another literary adaptation of this density or length that's so light on its feet.

A totally absorbing journey and the kind of large-scale masterwork Ruiz only rarely got to make.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#60 Post by zedz » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:14 pm

La Sapienza - This is probably the most stylistically extreme Eugene Green film to date, in terms of the presentational acting style, so I don't know if it's that great place to dive in and test the waters. (And although his films are often very funny, this film contains what is possibly his first strictly comic scene, involving an Australian tourist, and the tone just doesn't work there.)

It is also quite possibly his most straightforwardly beautiful film, so maybe it's not too bad an entry point after all. At least you'll have pretty pictures to look at.

A couple that has grown apart and suffered professional disappointments goes on a voyage to Italy (as you do), and has a chance encounter with a much younger brother and sister who offer them the potential of new roles. Will this be enough to bring them back together? There's plenty of other high quality food for thought in the film, particularly about the nature and function of architecture, and even about contemporary politics, in an odd, yet oddly moving scene, in which Green himself appears out of the darkness as the last Chaldean, forced to flee Iraq and delivering his final monologue to a stranger in northern Italy.

The brittle artificiality of Green's cinema works perfectly for this subject, in which the emotions of the central couple have been so suppressed as to appear dead, and yet the architecture in the film is shot in a ravishing, highly emotional manner (which makes a huge amount of sense in a film where it's posited that architecture at its best can help us live better, more spiritual lives). There's a stern dichotomy between the presentation of the characters and the world around them right up to the end
SpoilerShow
- which offers the massive release of a simple kiss. Given the context, it feels like one of the greatest screen kisses of all time, and all of a sudden the central couple feel like they belong in the exquisitely beautiful setting they've been merely inhabiting.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#61 Post by zedz » Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:56 pm

Holy Motors - Second time around was pretty much like the first. A wild dream-poem to cinema with lots of free-associating ideas about acting as a profession and as a way of life, with shards of the director's and actors' past films pushing through. Moving, moody, funny, swift, and a real creative blast. Don't mistake it for a puzzle film and just enjoy the ride.

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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#62 Post by dustybooks » Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:31 pm

zedz wrote:Holy Motors - Second time around was pretty much like the first. A wild dream-poem to cinema with lots of free-associating ideas about acting as a profession and as a way of life, with shards of the director's and actors' past films pushing through. Moving, moody, funny, swift, and a real creative blast. Don't mistake it for a puzzle film and just enjoy the ride.
This might have been my problem in my initial (and so far only) viewings of this and Certified Copy; though I like to think I'm long past this sort of thing, I got wrapped up in attempting to "decipher" them and in retrospect, the puzzle-like plot elements are the least interesting aspects of both films. Revisits are obviously in order.

I enjoyed and was, to echo zedz, completely absorbed in Mysteries of Lisbon, which I saw specifically because of high opinions at this board; it's such a great jolt to anyone accustomed to single-conflict, perfectly linear stories while also remaining accessible in the way it builds on literary traditions. I swear I mean this as a compliment: it made me think of the convoluted "novel" Snoopy wrote in Peanuts . "Could it be that she was the sister of the boy in Kansas who loved the girl with the tattered shawl who was the daughter of the maid who had escaped from the pirates? The intern frowned."

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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#63 Post by dustybooks » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:01 am

Continuing with catchup for this project:

Blue Ruin: Knowing nothing about this going in except that it was famously brought to fruition by a Kickstarter campaign, I was really intrigued at first by the mystery it laid out and the information it withheld. If the initial enigmatic quality had been sustained this would have been potentially on my list. Unfortunately, almost as soon as the first bit of violence occurred, it seemed to become very much just another revenge fantasy, even as it tried to pull in bits of believable Americana. There were some good moments and the photography was often gorgeous but I don't seem to be in the audience for this sort of wispy indie film, especially as squeamish as I am about blood 'n' guts. There's something extremely striking about Macon Blair's eyes, but I can't decide if they're haunting or eerily vacant.

Clouds of Sils Maria: This is the kind of film you could spend a long time unpacking and still barely scratch the surface of it. Most of my observations have been made by others elsewhere and more thoughtfully than I could; the Persona-isms of the midsection, for example, and the thoughtful, multifaceted twist on the general tradition of dramas about the internal crises in actors who've come to feel aged-out. Maria struck me as a particularly believable character in the way that she is both playful and engaged with her assistant Val but also disdainful of some of her opinions and actions, and it seems like the entire story here hinges on her acceptance of how getting older alters her relationship to her career, people, and the culture at large... which makes this sound terribly broad, but I ended up finding it moving. I'm sure a lot of that is down to the two main performances which are both wonderful; I know Kristen Stewart is divisive but I came down firmly in favor of her work here, having little to no opinion about her beforehand. It will take some more time for me to determine how I feel about Chloë Grace Moretz; it was fun to watch her as a tornado-chaotic starlet but she's a lot less developed and her moments are less inspired than the rest of the movie, but even that is something I could come around on when I see this again, which I certainly will.

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TMDaines
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#64 Post by TMDaines » Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:56 am

I've done a provisional ballot early for a change to try and plug a few of the lesser known films that are likely to make my final one.

Oslo, 31. august (2011): Melancholic drama about a recovering heroin addict on day release from a rehab centre. He appears to be making progress in his recovery and seemingly wants to move on with his life. He spends the day visiting old friends, attending a job interview and traipsing around the city, although there is continual sense of a relapse around every corner.The film is an enthralling and moving character study about an individual beginning the first day of his new life or a final one of his current existence. Apparently it is a loose adaptation of Le feu follet by Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, but I am not overly familiar with the book aside from knowing of Malle's adaptation.

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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#65 Post by swo17 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:04 pm

I remember liking the artistry of that one a lot--the music and blocking choices felt like something of a gift. I had a similar visceral reaction to Audiard's Rust and Bone.

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TMDaines
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#66 Post by TMDaines » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:07 pm

zedz wrote:Mysteries of Lisbon - One of Ruiz's straighter films, but it's still all kinds of kinked.
How batty does this get? It looks like a straight costume-drama on the surface, so I'm wondering if it is a drama that my missus would be happy to watch. I've only seen one Ruiz film, Ce jour-là, and that was batshit, I didn't really like it and I know others wouldn't either.

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domino harvey
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#67 Post by domino harvey » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:12 pm

You should at least check out Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, which is one of the best post-60s cryptic art house pics. It's "weird" too, I guess, but logically and quite enchantingly so. A puzzle film that solves itself for you. Plus, it's real short, so the investment is fairly low

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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#68 Post by swo17 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:16 pm

Lisbon isn't so much batty as it is a showcase for inventive camerawork. One of his classier films. Ruiz really did make a film for everyone--you should keep watching until you find yours.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#69 Post by zedz » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:51 pm

TMDaines wrote:
zedz wrote:Mysteries of Lisbon - One of Ruiz's straighter films, but it's still all kinds of kinked.
How batty does this get? It looks like a straight costume-drama on the surface, so I'm wondering if it is a drama that my missus would be happy to watch. I've only seen one Ruiz film, Ce jour-là, and that was batshit, I didn't really like it and I know others wouldn't either.
I think it would be quite possible to watch the entirety of Mysteries of Lisbon and not even notice quite how crazy it gets, apart from a handful of entertainingly eccentric shots. Although it unfolds in a fairly conventional manner minute by minute, it's the kind of film that reveals its ambition and special madness when you start trying to cross-reference everything in your head (e.g. attempting to reconstruct the biography of certain characters out of the various fragments we receive from various characters' flashbacks).

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#70 Post by zedz » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:54 pm

domino harvey wrote:You should at least check out Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, which is one of the best post-60s cryptic art house pics. It's "weird" too, I guess, but logically and quite enchantingly so. A puzzle film that solves itself for you. Plus, it's real short, so the investment is fairly low
I don't think I'd heard your views on that film before. Another one we can add to our small cabinet of curiosities of shared likes!
domino harvey wrote:cryptic art house
Possibly the most appropriate use of this phrase ever!

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knives
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#71 Post by knives » Fri Feb 19, 2016 7:12 pm

Drug War
I really wish a greater variety of To's films were easily available because I feel like I'm getting only his least interesting films. This is a perfectly competent and slightly stylish procedural, but it doesn't really go above the level of well done episode of Law and Order. There has to be more to To then this considering his reputation, right?

Wild Tales
I feel like I'm saying this every time now, but this was surprisingly good given the usual level of omnibus films. It's still really tepid playing out like a less gritty and more single minded Amicus anthology. This film despite being fun is just too classy to emotionally invest one in its theme of the destructive upper class. It's also too one note to be meaningful intellectually. The Little Bomb segment comes the closest to a mature and multifaceted approach to the subject, but is stretched way too thin to engage fully. Till Death Do Us Part also feels a fair bit more accomplished since it extends its theme of the failure of revenge by the underclass into a slight feminist paradigm. It's also the only one of the long segments to have no moments needing to be cut for pacing. Excluding The Rats which is just terrible and without merit (and also it reminds me too much of an episode of Amazing Stories) the rest of the tales are okay if overly telegraphed.

Interstellar
This really gives The Prestige a run for its money as Nolan's best film. Certainly it is his best usage of all of his ticks with the various isolated obsessives, emotional distance, monochromatic colouring system (though this may be so much better thanks to Wally Pfister being nowhere near the film), and Michael Caine. Even his tendency toward reappropriating literature for modern political meaning has an odd poignancy with Mann (who is easily the best part of the movie). It's a little thing with Mann, but the way he becomes the sole piece of colour in the sea of white explodes the inhumanity that McConaughey embodies. I would never call this film subtle, but the few breaks in the rhythm like that one are unusually effective.

Really this has a few unique aspects despite how typical of Nolan it is. The contradiction is no more clear then the extreme Nolan goes with his scientific interest to the point where even Kip Thorne has a story credit, yet the movie is probably the most blatant imitation of Spielbergian optimism I've seen. There's a great sense of the fear of technology while at the same time a love and interest for it like Nolan is forcing the '50s nuclear age to battle the '60s space age optimism. Those aren't the only eras emphasized either leaving this ode to emotions oddly politicized with the present era and the dust bowl being reversed allowing Nolan to romanticize the present. We happen to be living the end result of that optimism.

While We're Young
Massive step up from Frances Ha, but still not as good as as Baumbach was before it. Thematically it is super derivative of the previous Stiller film, but the relations are so switched around and the film is so much more friendly that it comes across as a fresh examination. Still, I don't like this friendly Baumbach.

The Water Diviner
This film is so corny and out of touch that I almost feel bad writing negatively on it. It's '40s programmer nature makes it slightly endearing, but that endearment doesn't cover up for the over the top yet underplayed melodrama which simply doesn't make any tonal sense. The central romance for example just doesn't feel right given the opening prologue which sits as a good reason why the film shouldn't be heading in this direction. Also casting Jai Courtney as anyone born before 1980 is a dumb move.

Mr. Turner
This is a frustrating experience even by my usual experience with Leigh because of the extremely high artistic accomplishments from pretty much everyone involved. This is, if nothing else an amazingly acted, beautiful film that clearly had a lot of love and effort put in. Even the score, which seems more appropriate for a horror movie is evocative for reasons you'd never expect with this sort of film. Leigh's (plus Pope's, Davies', and I'm sure many others) efforts have made something utterly unique and truly rare. Yet it is so hard to love this film as much as it deserves due to Leigh's typical hatred of the working class (though he directs a fair amount of ire against the wealthy classes here) and laughter at the miseries of his characters. I recognize I'm in the minority on viewing Leigh this way and the film does have a few moments to undercut this critique (Spall's encounter with the prostitute), but I get the sense that Leigh hates Turner for his lack of up bringing, there are many scenes where he tries to show himself and his company as intellectual that seem very teasing. So as usual Leigh expresses that with emotional immaturity rather then it seeming like a necessarily organic outgrowth of Turner. I have to admit Leigh makes me sympathetic to those who lobby the same critiques at the Coens while keeping me in check with my distaste.

Who Took the Bomp?
This is one of those old Oscilloscope discs I had from the circle of trust deal and never bothered to open assuming it would be a mediocre album extra for some band I never heard of. It turns out I'm a really great estimator of my taste though fortunately the music is good. The band and how the film explores them are pretty boring with nothing to say. A few moments like the exercise montage and the general personality suggested by the stage scenes make it seem like they would be perfect for an A Hard Day's Night type of film, but I guess they're not as punk as Paul McCartney.

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zedz
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#72 Post by zedz » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:20 pm

Next up from the rewatch pile:

Nana - Valerie Massadian's first and (to date) only feature is an extremely confident debut that takes a modest idea and executes it beautifully in a little over an hour. Not much happens: we're just following day-to-day life on a French farm. Granddad owns a piggery and his daughter lives in a run-down farmhouse nearby with her four-year-old daughter Nana. The film begins with a few scenes establishing the small community of the piggery (as they - warning for the squeamish! - slaughter a pig), then shows Granddad educating Nana about the life of the farm (how to pet a piglet, how to set a trap, don't be afraid of the cows!), then shifts to the point of view of the daughter as she looks after Nana in basic bucolic bliss. Then, about halfway through the film, the point of view shifts again to that of Nana herself, as she potters around the farm applying, in her own idiosyncratic way, the life lessons she's gleaned from her elders. It's both cute and somewhat terrifying, especially with the dawning realisation that
SpoilerShow
the adults seem to have left the film for good
.
Simple, patient, but very skilled filmmaking. I think I'm going to have several first features vying for my top ten this time around.

In Another Country - And here's a film from an old master who'd only been making films for about fifteen years at this point and was already onto his thirteenth feature (an unremarkable pace for an earlier age, but pretty unusual nowadays). This is the one with Isabelle Huppert, and it's another in his string of gems. I have no idea which of his seven (!) features from this period will end up on my list, but this would certainly fit there nicely. A woman waiting with her mother for their dodgy uncle to turn himself in and save them from financial ruin (a far more exciting plot than anything in the film proper, and one we never return to) starts writing a more upbeat screenplay than the one about the poor old woman in crippling debt that she'd previously been working on. She writes a story about an exotic French visitor to their sleepy seaside town. Then another. Then another. All the women are French, they're all called Anne, and they're all played by Huppert. They all stay in the same guest house, and encounter the same places (a beach, a teeny tiny lighthouse, a barbecue restaurant) and people (a filmmaker and his pregnant wife, the meek guest house employee, a strapping lifeguard with a thing for foreign women). And although each of the stories, and each of Huppert's characters, are quite different, exactly the same conversations recur throughout them (often in strikingly different contexts). It's a delightful narrative game, with each story playing like a transmogrified dream of the others (a sensation exacerbated by the interpolation of several dream sequences within the discrete narratives, with their own phantom recurrences of scenes and dialogue), but more importantly it's also a delightful and funny film, with Hong's trademark oafish Korean men relatively benign this time around.

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TMDaines
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#73 Post by TMDaines » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:51 am

Asghar Farhadi is the only director who is going to have two films on my ballot at this point, so here's a bit on both.

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin // A Separation (2011): The final scene of the film is one of the most perfect in all of cinema for me. Open endings can too often be a unimaginative way out and bring about an unsatisfactory finale, but the closure of this film has real purpose and impact, saying far more than any potential conclusive final scene. It's the culmination of a family's journey on the verge of separation. Simin wants her daughter to grow up abroad. Her husband, Nader, wants to remain and care for his father. Their daughter, Termeh, is caught in the middle. Farhadi is a master of these sort of chamber pieces and this is probably his best.

It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film and was so self-evidently fantastic that it even managed to get a screenplay nomination, so it probably does not need too much plugging.

Le passé // The Past (2013): Ahmad, an Iranian man who remigrated back to Iran, returns back to France to finalise his divorce proceedings with his wife Marie. Marie is now with a younger man, Samir, who her oldest daughter from her first marriage does not approve of. Samir too has a previous relationship on life support. Peter Bradshaw summed this up well as a "loss-of-love triangle". Whilst the three participants want to move on with their lives and seek closure on aspects of their past, all are struggling to make acknowledge that their past is still much of their present.

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TMDaines
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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#74 Post by TMDaines » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:59 am

zedz wrote:
TMDaines wrote:
zedz wrote:Mysteries of Lisbon - One of Ruiz's straighter films, but it's still all kinds of kinked.
How batty does this get? It looks like a straight costume-drama on the surface, so I'm wondering if it is a drama that my missus would be happy to watch. I've only seen one Ruiz film, Ce jour-là, and that was batshit, I didn't really like it and I know others wouldn't either.
I think it would be quite possible to watch the entirety of Mysteries of Lisbon and not even notice quite how crazy it gets, apart from a handful of entertainingly eccentric shots. Although it unfolds in a fairly conventional manner minute by minute, it's the kind of film that reveals its ambition and special madness when you start trying to cross-reference everything in your head (e.g. attempting to reconstruct the biography of certain characters out of the various fragments we receive from various characters' flashbacks).
Thanks, I'm probably going to go the mini-series route. It's unlikely I would find time for another incredibly lengthy film.

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Re: 2010-2014 List Discussion and Suggestions

#75 Post by swo17 » Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:54 am

Daines, given your esteem for Farhadi, I'm curious if you've seen anything by Rasoulof. His best film, The White Meadows, is from the last decade, but his two more recent films are worth a look for this project. I wrote a little about Goodbye here. And Manuscripts Don't Burn is another very fine film, even gutsier than Panahi's "non-film" protests, made in secret while being banned from filmmaking and very critical of the current regime.

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