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the 2009 project

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Re: the 2009 project

#121

Post by matthewscott8 » January 27th, 2019, 1:28 pm

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Rabbit à la Berlin / Królik po berlinsku / Mauerhase (2009 - Bartosz Konopka)

I got lucky again :thumbsup: This one is a surreal documentary about the Berlin Wall, and the rabbits that lived in the zone between the two stretches of the wall. It also dips in and out of using this metaphorically to describe the situation of people affected by the Wall at the time. The style is mostly archive footage with narration, and eerie music that adds to the surreal atmosphere, although there are also some interviews, often with guards who worked on the wall. As anyone who has watched Watership Down will know, rabbits are very evocative and they are a potent symbol. They are social animals and also vulnerable and oppressed.

It has a haunting quality and is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Runtime is 50 minutes.
Last edited by matthewscott8 on March 18th, 2019, 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#122

Post by matthewscott8 » February 17th, 2019, 6:17 pm

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Man tänker sitt / One's own thoughts / Burrowing (2009 - Henrik Hellström, Fredrik Wenzel)

Oh wow I struck the motherlode, truly one of the best films I've ever seen. Thanks to nimimerkillinen who chose this as best of 2009 in the ten decennia back thread, forcing me to watch it.

Burrowing I thought was a quite poor title, so I went with the translation from Swedish of "One's own thoughts". This is a contemplative slow cinema piece following some boys and men who live on the same housing estate in Sweden, which is also surrounded by marshy moss-laden forest. The location seems picked very carefully to contrast the unnaturalness of the manicured lawns and banality of the tidy shrubs compared to the forest. A young, probably autistic, boy narrates, using a mixture of Thoreau quotes and observations about his neighbours. von Trier is an obviously major influence.

All of these men prefer their own company to being a part of their community, with its demands on their behaviour. They have different amounts of money and social capital, but mostly find community negative and all at some stage go wandering in the primeval forest.

It is one of the best looking films I've seen with excellent genuinely original camerawork and an amazing sacred soundtrack. The soundtrack is by Erik Enocksson and is on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOEJcwJON7I, it's one of those unfairnesses of distribution, 49 likes and 0 dislikes, probably very few will ever hear it.

It is currently rated 5.9/10 on IMDb, a completely absurd rating.

Good review on Screen Daily: https://www.screendaily.com/features/bu ... 39.article
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#123

Post by OldAle1 » February 17th, 2019, 6:27 pm

I dunno, do I trust you or do I trust one of our other resident geniuses?

A rubbish film with a rubbish soundtrack

- monty

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#124

Post by matthewscott8 » February 17th, 2019, 6:37 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
February 17th, 2019, 6:27 pm
I dunno, do I trust you or do I trust one of our other resident geniuses?

A rubbish film with a rubbish soundtrack

- monty
Hehe, I laughed out loud when I read that. If I can checkbait you, it's on "FLM's Best Swedish Films of All Time", so official (list chosen by Swedish academics and critics). It's only 76 minutes long so maybe the Dr Pepper line could help, "What's the worst that can happen?".

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#125

Post by OldAle1 » February 17th, 2019, 6:59 pm

A rec from you is much more enticing than official checkdom, any day.

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#126

Post by St. Gloede » February 20th, 2019, 11:51 pm

Burrowing was not on my radar at all, but it looks and sounds amazing, adding it to the top of my 2009 watchlist - and I'm looking forward to the rubbish soundtrack.

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#127

Post by prodigalgodson » February 21st, 2019, 2:26 am

Ah I forgot about your interest in 2009 Matt. Definitely a good year for movies. My top 20 more or less in order:

Like You Know It All (Hong Sangsoo) - I believe the first film of his I saw, opened my eyes to some new shit; an all-time favorite
A Serious Man (Ethan and Joel Coen) - as funny and ambitious as underground comedies get
The Hangover (Todd Phillips) - as funny and ambitious as mainstream comedies get
Valhalla Rising (Nicholas Winding Refn) - my favorite Refn
Phantoms of Nabua (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) - pure unfiltered Joe
Bluebeard (Catherine Breillat) - my favorite Breillat
Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine) - my favorite Korine
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans (Werner Herzog) - Herzog and Cage is a legendary collab
The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch) - the first Jarmusch I saw in a theater, fascinating hypnotic stuff
Mother (Bong Joon-ho) - one of Bong's most overlooked, brilliant slice-of-life crime stuff
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino) - my favorite Tarantino
Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont) - disturbing, haunting Dumont that called to mind some of my favorite directors
Juntos (Nicolas Pereda) - slice of life done just right
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke) - in retrospect seems a bit overrated, though I loved it at the time
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog) - loved it at the time but it didn't make as lasting an impression on me as many of his others, still an impressively odd, creepy movie
In the Loop (Armando Iannucci) - funny, biting stuff
A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop (Zhang Yimou) - well-crafted, clever stuff, underrated neonoir
Antichrist (Lars von Trier) - my favorite von Trier
Ne change rien (Pedro Costa) - oddly the only Costa I've seen but I thought it was a great hypnotic take on the music doc, nice to see in a theater
Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe) - nutty, stimulating stuff

Shouts out on the artsy side also to Moon, Still Raining, Still Dreaming, Ghost Algebra, Wild Grass, Lost in the Mountains, and Dogtooth, and on the fun side to Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Sherlock Holmes, Fish Story, Solomon Kane, and Watchmen.

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#128

Post by matthewscott8 » February 21st, 2019, 2:42 pm

prodigalgodson wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 2:26 am
Ah I forgot about your interest in 2009 Matt. Definitely a good year for movies. My top 20 more or less in order:

Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont) - disturbing, haunting Dumont that called to mind some of my favorite directors
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke) - in retrospect seems a bit overrated, though I loved it at the time
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog) - loved it at the time but it didn't make as lasting an impression on me as many of his others, still an impressively odd, creepy movie
A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop (Zhang Yimou) - well-crafted, clever stuff, underrated neonoir
Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy! Good to see you man! I've seen most of the ones you mentioned now. I bought the dvd for A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop years ago when you mentioned your list on my IMDb thread, I'll see if I can't finally check it out on the weekend. Hadewijch felt very Bressonian to me (over used adjective). Agree with My Son, My Son, it spoke to me a lot on first viewing but has faded in the mind. One for rewatch.

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#129

Post by peeptoad » February 21st, 2019, 2:51 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
January 27th, 2019, 1:28 pm

Rabbit à la Berlin / Królik po berlinsku / Mauerhase (2009 - Bartosz Konopka)

I got lucky again :thumbsup: This one is a surreal documentary about the Berlin Wall, and the rabbits that lived in the zone between the two stretches of the wall. It also dips in and out of using this metaphorically to describe the situation of people affected by the Wall at the time. The style is mostly archive footage with narration, and eerie music that adds to the surreal atmosphere, although there are alsosome interviews, often with guards who worked on the wall. As anyone who has watched Watership Down will know, rabbits are very evocative and they are a potent symbol. They are social animals and also vulnerable and oppressed.

It has a haunting quality and is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Runtime is 50 minutes.
I really liked this one as well. I watched it last year for the German challenge. I loved some of the close up shots of the rabbits and the photography overall. It's a pretty unique doc imho.
And I have 52 films on my watch list from 2009... a lot of work to do!

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#130

Post by matthewscott8 » March 3rd, 2019, 10:21 am

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Kinatay / The Execution of P / Butchered (2009 - Brillante Mendoza)

I've been putting this one off for a long time due to its violent reputation. It is indeed a violent film in the second half and hard to take. Kinatay was the most controversial film of 2009 and netted Mendoza a Best Director prize at Cannes, even whilst Ebert quipped that he would be forced to apologise to Vincent Gallo for calling The Brown Bunny the worst film ever to be shown at Cannes.

This is not a bad film at all, in fact I felt it was exceptionally well shot and directed. I worry that some have confused their moral response with their technical assessment.

I am not clear why this film was made, or who the target audience is. The story is familiar, groups of murderers have for time immemorial had ways of inducting new recruits by making it almost impossible for them to avoid complicity in a major crime. This is what happens to police academy trainee Peping who is inducted by a group of criminal police officers.

It is not much of a spoiler to point out a woman is raped and brutally murdered in the story, the movie is after all saying that in its title. I would not recommend watching it, it just makes you feel dirty, although it is not an exploitation film as such. Maybe the film was meant to be seen by politicians in The Philippines.

I wasn't able to eat my lunch after watching this, because of the violence and also because of the food in the movie - balut. I saw that the trainee had to go and buy it from a specialised vendor and so wondered what it was. It's a fertilised duck egg, the bird embryo is basically a delicacy.

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#131

Post by matthewscott8 » March 3rd, 2019, 6:36 pm

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Los abrazos rotos / Broken Embraces (2009 - Pedro Almodóvar)

This came across initially as a bit rambling and episodic, and I often wondered where it was going. But I felt it came together perfectly in the end. It's a billet-doux to the movies, an exercise in style, and also, in the end, a fine neo-noir. It reminded me of Wild Grass from Resnais, also 2009, obsessed with filmmaking, classical cinema, but also highly experimental, whimsical and I think both are highy rewatchable. I intend to watch Broken Embraces many times. A real stunner.

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#132

Post by matthewscott8 » March 5th, 2019, 6:51 pm

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Next Day Air (2009 - Benny Boom)

Somehow this made it onto Armond White's selection of the 5 best movies of 2009, in his ballot for Sight and Sound's end of year poll. He said of it, "First-time director Boom brings hip-hop energy to a funny and jolting moral fable about money and its effect on community relationships." Well, I'm here to tell you the guy is a few sandwiches short of a picnic... and some lemonade. This was an embarassment, Tarantino-wannabe schlock, entirely disposable and of no moral consequence. There's no style here, there's nothing. Just a load of black criminal stereotypes lazily thrown together.

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#133

Post by fori » March 8th, 2019, 4:42 am

Can’t believe Kinatay had still escaped your attention! Has grown to be a film I really like after feeling mixed upon first viewing. Is there a list or spreadsheet cataloguing the whole project? Perhaps there is more for me to add.

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#134

Post by cinewest » March 8th, 2019, 10:28 am

matthewscott8 wrote:
March 3rd, 2019, 6:36 pm
Image

Los abrazos rotos / Broken Embraces (2009 - Pedro Almodóvar)

This came across initially as a bit rambling and episodic, and I often wondered where it was going. But I felt it came together perfectly in the end. It's a billet-doux to the movies, an exercise in style, and also, in the end, a fine neo-noir. It reminded me of Wild Grass from Resnais, also 2009, obsessed with filmmaking, classical cinema, but also highly experimental, whimsical and I think both are highy rewatchable. I intend to watch Broken Embraces many times. A real stunner.
As you probably noted from my earlier recommendation, I think that Broken Embraces has been "overlooked Almodovar, and it has risen quickly to become one of my favorite post 2000 films from him.

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#135

Post by matthewscott8 » March 8th, 2019, 12:50 pm

fori wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 4:42 am
Can’t believe Kinatay had still escaped your attention! Has grown to be a film I really like after feeling mixed upon first viewing. Is there a list or spreadsheet cataloguing the whole project? Perhaps there is more for me to add.
Haha, well, it was probably the highest profile film for me in 2009, there was a lot of talk about it on the IMDb board I was on at the time, Quentin Tarantino wrote Mendoza a love letter about the film and it created a brouhaha at Cannes. However I had shied away from watching a film which is about a brutal and graphic murder. I probably never would have watched it but for this project. It is a fair point that if you were aware of all the films I have watched already and also the ones on my radar that you could contribute to the thread much more easily. I will try and do a violentmonkey script tonight or on the weekend and create a master list on IMDb and ICM.

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#136

Post by matthewscott8 » March 8th, 2019, 1:14 pm

cinewest wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 10:28 am
As you probably noted from my earlier recommendation, I think that Broken Embraces has been "overlooked Almodovar, and it has risen quickly to become one of my favorite post 2000 films from him.
Yup I looked into the critical response and it definitely sticks out as underrated within his oeuvre.

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#137

Post by St. Gloede » March 8th, 2019, 1:19 pm

I can't even remember hearing about Kinatay, guess I should have paid more attention to FG, was not anywhere on my '09 watchlist. :D

Added it now.

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#138

Post by matthewscott8 » March 10th, 2019, 5:54 pm

fori wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 4:42 am
Is there a list or spreadsheet cataloguing the whole project? Perhaps there is more for me to add.
This is the long version of my watchlist: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls046389283/ 177 at the moment
This is the list of films I've already seen: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls046399519/ 174 currently

Hopefully this helps to see what films you're enthusiastic about which are not on my radar. Let me know if not.

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#139

Post by cinewest » March 11th, 2019, 2:50 am

If I may chime in: I don't see The Wind Journeys (one of my top 5 for 2009) on either of your lists (nor Southern District or The Man Next Door, which I recommended before).

It's an ambitious project that also may become quite tedious as you move further into your watch list, with fewer and fewer gems to discover... which begs the question: Is there any sense of order to your watch list? If it is preferential, I might move Castaway on the Moon higher up... on second thought, it might prove a welcome relief where it is. There are definitely a few that I wouldn't recommend. That said, I did mine your lists for some interesting titles, and may comment when I get around to them.

I noticed that there are a few very good ones by women directors (or with female protagonists) that you have ignored up to now, and I wonder if there is a particular reason?

As for the one on your "Watched" list that I disliked the most (more than Avatar, which at least had the CGI / 3-D wow factor going for it), it's a toss up between Public Enemies and Agora, which despite high production values were just based on awful, cliche ridden scripts.

Love checking this page from time to time, and you keep it interesting by sharing your thoughts about what you see and discover. Cheers.

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#140

Post by matthewscott8 » March 11th, 2019, 7:38 am

cinewest wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 2:50 am
If I may chime in: I don't see The Wind Journeys (one of my top 5 for 2009) on either of your lists (nor Southern District or The Man Next Door, which I recommended before).

It's an ambitious project that also may become quite tedious as you move further into your watch list, with fewer and fewer gems to discover... which begs the question: Is there any sense of order to your watch list? If it is preferential, I might move Castaway on the Moon higher up... on second thought, it might prove a welcome relief where it is. There are definitely a few that I wouldn't recommend. That said, I did mine your lists for some interesting titles, and may comment when I get around to them.

I noticed that there are a few very good ones by women directors (or with female protagonists) that you have ignored up to now, and I wonder if there is a particular reason?

As for the one on your "Watched" list that I disliked the most (more than Avatar, which at least had the CGI / 3-D wow factor going for it), it's a toss up between Public Enemies and Agora, which despite high production values were just based on awful, cliche ridden scripts.

Love checking this page from time to time, and you keep it interesting by sharing your thoughts about what you see and discover. Cheers.
I've added those to the watchlist now. I haven't actually been able to source Castaway on the Moon, I bought a blu-ray only to discover it had no english subtitles! There is some form of rationing going on, I am definitely forcing myself to watch films I have very little expectations for. One natural form of rationing is long play movies, so Cafe Noir and Sense of Architecture for example are highly anticipated but I need to find three hours apiece to watch them. I have a shorter higher priority watchlist here https://www.imdb.com/list/ls041227238/ 4 of which you'll notice I saw recently.

As to women directors and stars, it's important to me to watch as many of films with women creative paritcipants as I can. Another 2 that were on my list were Map of the Sounds of Tokyo by Isabel Coixet and The Rebel, Louise Michel by Sólveig Anspach. I have had to prune my list a fair bit as it was growing too long. Louise Michel is an important figure in the women's rights movement so I felt a massive pang taking that off, but I can't claim that it is as accomplished as everything else on the list, even though it is still a very good film.

Why was Muratova's movie barely released? Why did Le Herisson not find an audience? Was it nothing personal that noone went to see Nothing Personal? I can't really say that women directors overall were ignored, looking at Sight & Sound 4 of the top 10 movies from their critics poll of 2009 are directed by women (35 Rhum, Hurt Locker, Bright Star, White Material - 2 of these are IMDb 2008, personally I didn't care for any of them). Claire Denis, Jane Campion and Kathryn Bigelow were all very established directors at the time. Potentially noone is watching the films of more subtle, less established women.

I would prefer that Cannes put half of the in competition slots aside for female directors every year. 3 out of 20 for 2009 main competition wasn't enough. Also I get a bit tired of seeing baity Hollywood movies made by men taking inappropriate excursions with feminist tropes, I think probably the time has come to start saying, look the industry isn't promoting female directors so we're going to start doing quotas for female directors.

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#141

Post by matthewscott8 » March 11th, 2019, 9:29 am

cinewest wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 2:50 am
I noticed that there are a few very good ones by women directors (or with female protagonists) that you have ignored up to now, and I wonder if there is a particular reason?
I misread this one, I thought you said something completely different, e.g. I noticed you had some good ones by female directors on your top list.

I think Alle Anderen by Maren Ade and The Milk of Sorrow by Claudia Llosa are the high profile ones I haven't rated yet. I actually was so bored by Alle Anderen that I had to turn it off, though I will get to it when I'm less impatient, and am hoping it got better! The Milk of Sorrow I have fallen asleep watching twice.

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#142

Post by cinewest » March 11th, 2019, 10:03 am

@matthewscott8 ,

I think I saw Castaway On The Moon a few years ago on Netflix Stream.

As for women filmmakers, I remember discussing Map of the Sounds of Tokyo with you before, and while I'm not into quotas, I am glad that things have finally started to change in the last couple of years, though it's not yet clear whether those changes will have a long term effect.

As a Lit major in University roughly 40 years ago, I remember how difficult it was to find female authors being taught or treated well by literary critics (there were always a symbolic few), and a generation earlier they were still having trouble getting published. Doesn't surprise me that the same thing is going on in the film business, which has been dominated by lecherous men since it became a business. Not only are women attracted to different kinds of stories and themes, but they tend to have a very different sensibility in terms of how they treat given subject matter, as well as what they pay attention to.

Personally, I find the different sensibility as enriching as cultural and class differences can be.

I have seen 81 films from 2009, which amounts to a small fraction of your combined list, but what prompted my comment/question, is that you haven't yet gotten to various standout films from '09 that are by or about women (personally I didn't think much of Julie & Juia, but Everyone Else, An Education, La Teta Asustada, Lourdes, The Father of My Children, Precious, and The Maid all stood out to me in mostly a good way).

In fact, I just saw An Education again recently when I showed it to my English class, and I continue to be impressed with how well done it was, at least in terms of the principle story, which was not unique in the slightest (a young woman's passage into adulthood during the jazz age in England, complete with issues about class and female victimhood). What makes it rise above what could have been rather cliche is perhaps the filmmaker's "female sensibility," and the amazing, nuanced performance by Carey Mulligan in the lead.

You said you didn't care much for Bright Star (which was OK for me) or the 2 Denis films (two I liked well enough to put in my top 20), but again, one of the things that made them stand out again comes back to what I would call a difference in sensibility.

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#143

Post by cinewest » March 11th, 2019, 10:23 am

matthewscott8 wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 9:29 am
cinewest wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 2:50 am
I noticed that there are a few very good ones by women directors (or with female protagonists) that you have ignored up to now, and I wonder if there is a particular reason?
I misread this one, I thought you said something completely different, e.g. I noticed you had some good ones by female directors on your top list.

I think Alle Anderen by Maren Ade and The Milk of Sorrow by Claudia Llosa are the high profile ones I haven't rated yet. I actually was so bored by Alle Anderen that I had to turn it off, though I will get to it when I'm less impatient, and am hoping it got better! The Milk of Sorrow I have fallen asleep watching twice.
And I just came back to this in my post above.

I would say that both of the films you have mentioned above are very "female." All Anderen, for example, is a detailed examination of a relationship that has begun to crack- the kind of film few men have attempted (Bergman and Cassavetes come to mind first, if only because they were more stylistically akin), at least not in the same way.

Could be a matter of a difference of intention and attention that I alluded to before, as I don't know many women that can really tune into or take interest in some of the filmmakers that men seem to love so much, like Sergio Leone, for example.

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#144

Post by matthewscott8 » March 11th, 2019, 11:16 am

cinewest wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 10:03 am
@matthewscott8 ,

I think I saw Castaway On The Moon a few years ago on Netflix Stream.

As for women filmmakers, I remember discussing Map of the Sounds of Tokyo with you before, and while I'm not into quotas, I am glad that things have finally started to change in the last couple of years, though it's not yet clear whether those changes will have a long term effect.

As a Lit major in University roughly 40 years ago, I remember how difficult it was to find female authors being taught or treated well by literary critics (there were always a symbolic few), and a generation earlier they were still having trouble getting published. Doesn't surprise me that the same thing is going on in the film business, which has been dominated by lecherous men since it became a business. Not only are women attracted to different kinds of stories and themes, but they tend to have a very different sensibility in terms of how they treat given subject matter, as well as what they pay attention to.

Personally, I find the different sensibility as enriching as cultural and class differences can be.

I have seen 81 films from 2009, which amounts to a small fraction of your combined list, but what prompted my comment/question, is that you haven't yet gotten to various standout films from '09 that are by or about women (personally I didn't think much of Julie & Juia, but Everyone Else, An Education, La Teta Asustada, Lourdes, The Father of My Children, Precious, and The Maid all stood out to me in mostly a good way).

In fact, I just saw An Education again recently when I showed it to my English class, and I continue to be impressed with how well done it was, at least in terms of the principle story, which was not unique in the slightest (a young woman's passage into adulthood during the jazz age in England, complete with issues about class and female victimhood). What makes it rise above what could have been rather cliche is perhaps the filmmaker's "female sensibility," and the amazing, nuanced performance by Carey Mulligan in the lead.

You said you didn't care much for Bright Star (which was OK for me) or the 2 Denis films (two I liked well enough to put in my top 20), but again, one of the things that made them stand out again comes back to what I would call a difference in sensibility.
I think you're right about the "symbolic few". Also I think with some of the more famous women, Jane Campion and Kathryn Bigelow, I never really felt that they are in the "different sensibility" camp.

When I read the synopsis of "An Education" I immediately bought it for my mum, as she was the same age in the same era and place as the protagonist in that movie. She absolutely adored it, she said it was like going back in a time machine, and she loved all the little details, and she found the whole thing hilarious. So it is slightly odd that I haven't myself got round to it!!! I was actually quite intrigued by 35 Rhum, although it needs a second viewing as a fair amount of it went over my head.

Bizarrely Father of my children is practically the only Mia Hansen-Løve film I haven't seen!

I think I am probably a bit behind on films by female directors for this year.

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#145

Post by cinewest » March 11th, 2019, 12:04 pm

Bigelow's films don't feel particularly female at all, but Campion's do. Which of hers have you seen?

I would say that when I was younger, my own sensibilities were decidedly male, aside from an attraction to an occasional romantic drama.

As I've gotten older, I think that I have expanded my sensibilities, if only through my experience, greater exposure, and a developing appreciation, moreover an empathy for what exists beyond what is "natural" or "familiar" to me. All of my life experiences and relationships have no doubt contributed to that.

In fact, it is the capacity of cinema to create "empathy" or "feeling" with the unknown that makes it one of my ongoing attractions, and this is something that female filmmakers are particularly interested in and good at.

35 Rhums is a good example of this, where without major incidents or plot points in the story, Denis is not only able to create a feel for the central father / daughter relationship, but also illuminate the emotional conflicts that they are wrestling with under the surface as various changes are taking place that also anticipate others. Though Denis made the film in part as a tribute to Ozu, it is difficult to image many other male filmmakers treating the characters and their story the way that she does- as part of an organic process of change that is felt and intuited all along.
Last edited by cinewest on March 12th, 2019, 4:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#146

Post by matthewscott8 » March 11th, 2019, 6:44 pm

cinewest wrote:
March 11th, 2019, 12:04 pm
Bigelow's films don't feel particularly female at all, but Campion's do. Which of hers have you seen?

I would say that when I was younger, my own sensibilities were decidedly male, aside from an attraction to an occasional romantic drama.

As I've gotten older, I think that I have expanded my sensibilities, if only through my experience, greater exposure, and a developing appreciation, moreover an empathy for what exists beyond what is "natural" or "familiar" to me. All of my life experiences and relationships have no doubt contributed to that.

In fact, it is the capacity of cinema to create "empathy" or "feeling" with the unknown that makes it one of my ongoing attractions, and this is something that female filmmakers are particularly interested in and good at.

35 Rhums is a good example of this, where without major incidents or plot points in the story, Denis is not only able to create a feel for the central father / daughter relationship, but also illuminate the emotional conflicts that they are wrestling with under the surface as various changes are taking place that also anticipate others. Though Denis made the film in part as a tribute to Ozu, it is difficult to image many other male filmmakers treating the characters and their story the way that she does- as part of an organic process of change that is felt and intuited.
I'm probably going to backtrack on the Campion comment, I remembered her movie "In The Cut" which very much had a female sensibility, probably regarded as a failure by most but I loved it.

I'm on the same track to you with otherness, it became my main interest in film about age 16. Also living in the UK, which is an emotionally retarded country it's help to have exposure to foreign films, particularly French ones.

I plan on starting a 2008 project, maybe next year if I make good headway here, 35 Rhum will be on the top of the rewatch list for that.

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#147

Post by cinewest » March 12th, 2019, 2:38 am

"I'm on the same track to you with otherness, it became my main interest in film about age 16. Also living in the UK, which is an emotionally retarded country it's help to have exposure to foreign films, particularly French ones."

We share something in common, here.
Given the social climate and place where I grew up (San Francisco in the late 60's, early 70's), combined with early exposure to travel, and a "foreign film" awakening as a teenager (also at age 16), as well as a developing interest in the arts, I have essentially expanded as much as reexamined and clarified my taste in films ever since.

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#148

Post by cinewest » March 13th, 2019, 1:49 am

One of the things I am guessing that your project has revealed is how many very good films from the 2000's have flown under the radar and not received nearly the attention they deserve.

I have argued on various occasions that this decade may be second only to the 60's in terms of the number of interesting films that appeared.

What is your take?

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#149

Post by matthewscott8 » March 18th, 2019, 11:34 am

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À l'origine (2009 - Xavier Giannoli)

This is a film that focuses on a true life story of a conman (pictured as played by François Cluzet) whose initial small time tool theft con gets out of control, and he ends up reviving an abandoned major infrastructure project with a large proportion of the local town working for him. The point of the movie isn't a sort of fascination with crime. Rather is has a socioeconomic ambition, it's suggesting that people value work, people value being included, and being in a community, in a relationship, with a shared vision and are at their best when these structures are in place; stuff that may be fairly "obvious", few would vocally disagree with these, however in practice mostly people live in a state of profound atomisation and avoid these structures. Conman Paul is the catalyst that perversely brings the people together working for a common purpose, but it's all a lie.

The movie has its moments and some occasionally fine cinematography. Its running time is too long at over 2 hours, and it often felt odd or maudlin. Giannoli is confused about the conman character, and thinks he can be reformed if shown love. In fact, as a real life follow on from the epilogue to the film, he resurfaced doing another con in 2010, preying on people after Cyclone Xynthia and pretending to be part of the relief effort.

This was shown in the main Competition at Cannes, seemingly getting a free pass from home bias.

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#150

Post by 3eyes » March 18th, 2019, 10:27 pm

recent additions

OSS 117: Rio ne répond plus (French J Bond spoof)
Tardid / Doubt (Iranian take on Hamlet)
:run: STILL the Gaffer!

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#151

Post by matthewscott8 » March 19th, 2019, 7:07 am

I saw both modern OSS 117. The joy with this one was all the completely overdone editing techniques, cinephile catnip.

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#152

Post by matthewscott8 » March 26th, 2019, 11:16 am

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Postia pappi Jaakobille / Letters to Father Jacob (2009 - Klaus Härö)

This film cheered me up a lot, and it felt like it gave me some moral strength, I felt that I wanted to do better things for others after watching it.

It's about a woman, Leila, who is released from prison where she is serving a term for murder. She takes a job as a secretary to an infirm priest and makes some first steps to recovering from a state of self-abnegation and withdrawal from the human fold, and learns to live with the priest Jacob who exists within God's grace and responds to letters from afar calling for his intercession in the world via prayer.

It seemed to make an important point about faith, with logic not being enough. At one point Leila finds the postman in the house creeping around. Has he come to check up on the priest's wellbeing, or to steal the priest's money. Logic simply says that it could be one or the other. How many times a day are we faced with the actions of others and a choice on how to interpret them? Is kindness always taking the most positive interpretation? Do interpretations become self-fulfilling?

The movie is subtle, it requires you to open up your heart too. It is a religious puzzlebox, which does not mean as so often with modern films, that it is insoluble. At the heart of this enigma is not another enigma, but truth.

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#153

Post by St. Gloede » March 26th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Btw Matthew, did you see Cavalier's Irene? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1426368/

I have not seen it yet, but I'm working on Cavalier's filmography and would love to hear your thoughts if you saw it.

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#154

Post by matthewscott8 » March 26th, 2019, 2:02 pm

St. Gloede wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:23 pm
Btw Matthew, did you see Cavalier's Irene? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1426368/

I have not seen it yet, but I'm working on Cavalier's filmography and would love to hear your thoughts if you saw it.
It has never been released in the UK and I haven't been able to find a subtitled copy unfortunately!

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#155

Post by TandalaiHove » April 2nd, 2019, 10:08 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm
TemporaryOne-1 on IMDb is also fascinated by this year, and recently published this list https://www.imdb.com/list/ls023549911/

Is T11 on this forum too?

It's an amazing list, so many choices in common and he really has gone into huge depth on the year, not just regurgitating the critical darlings. 199 at the moment, maybe it's meant to be a top 200? Anyway has given me a lot of fodder!

EDIT: Sadly looks like T11 has been victim of the public lists going private bug
10 months too late but the list url is ls026477021....

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#156

Post by St. Gloede » April 2nd, 2019, 10:14 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 2:02 pm
St. Gloede wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 12:23 pm
Btw Matthew, did you see Cavalier's Irene? https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1426368/

I have not seen it yet, but I'm working on Cavalier's filmography and would love to hear your thoughts if you saw it.
It has never been released in the UK and I haven't been able to find a subtitled copy unfortunately!
Forgot to thank you for the feedback. Did 6 Cavalier's last month, will likely do for now, but next time I ventures into his filmography I'll probably catch Irene, and come back here (I assume this will run for at least a few more years).

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#157

Post by matthewscott8 » April 2nd, 2019, 11:40 pm

TandalaiHove wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 10:08 pm
matthewscott8 wrote:
March 3rd, 2018, 12:09 pm
TemporaryOne-1 on IMDb is also fascinated by this year, and recently published this list https://www.imdb.com/list/ls023549911/

Is T11 on this forum too?

It's an amazing list, so many choices in common and he really has gone into huge depth on the year, not just regurgitating the critical darlings. 199 at the moment, maybe it's meant to be a top 200? Anyway has given me a lot of fodder!

EDIT: Sadly looks like T11 has been victim of the public lists going private bug
10 months too late but the list url is ls026477021....
Unfortunately this is a private list (possibly a victim of an imdb bug)

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#158

Post by matthewscott8 » April 3rd, 2019, 1:08 pm

http://sensesofcinema.com/2010/feature- ... orld-poll/ I found a bit of a treasure trove here. Numerous film of which I wasn't aware. I didn't even know Senses of Cinema did an annual poll, and that they allowed quite a lot of annotation and quirkiness from participants. I'm going to put it in an IMDb list, i.e. all films mentioned from 2009, this will be a little tricky as a lot of the date annotations are wrong and I will have to make subjective judgements about the level of support films are given. Should a sublist of the 10 best Filipino films from a Filipino film critic be let in, do you tabulate a "film which I greatly admire but have reservations about", does Olaf Moller really get ONE HUNDRED picks (it looks about that many, haven't counted yet).

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#159

Post by matthewscott8 » April 7th, 2019, 6:46 pm

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City of Life and Death / Nanjing! Nanjing! (2009 - Chuan Lu)

This is a very upsetting film portaying the Rape of Nanjing in 1937-1938. Nanjing at the time was the capital city of China, and the Japanese invaders captured it and destroyed the inhabitants. The film is relatively matter of fact, simply portraying what happened. For 2 hours you see people shot and raped. There are only small moments of humanity, and tiny shreds of hope.

In countries that the Japanese occupied they would often pressgang local women into enforced prostituion, these were the so-called comfort women, used to keep the troops happy. This practice is depicted in the movie. The Japanese government came to agreements on atonement money for many Asian countries where this practice had occurred in the 90s (c $18,000 in prices of the time was delivered to each surviving comfort woman). They never were able to come to an agreement with China (or North Korea, where there were no established diplomatic relations). There have been a variety of apologies from Japanese officials. One massive setback was Shinzo Abe (prime minister of Japan then as now) claiming in 2007, in a magazine article, that the practice never happened. The film then appears to want to keep the memory of what happened alive. It doesn not try and be particularly graphic concerning the atrocities, it is relatively matter of fact.

We can only hope that humans stop creating death cults. The victory procession by the occupying soldiers is particularly disturbing in that regard.

A well made and very high budget movie that I would never care to watch again.

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#160

Post by St. Gloede » April 8th, 2019, 9:53 am

Nanjing! Nanjing! is a film that I have kept noticing, and even had a general idea that I would like, but never actually got around to watching, but I had no idea what to expect (except seemingly good b/w cinematography) and it was always passed over for other films. I had to idea it was such a cold and harrowing experience. Are we then essentially talking about the methodical and minimalist (?) cousin of Come and See? If so, this has suddenly become one of my major must-sees.

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