blocho wrote: ↑September 19th, 2020, 5:26 pm
1. Let the Right One in
3. Waltz with Bashir
8. Tropic Thunder
9. Burn After Reading
10. Entre les Murs
13. The Hurt Locker
14. Everlasting Moments
16. Frozen River
18. Flame & Citron
19. The Dark Knight
20. In Bruges
Anvil: The Story of Anvil, Appaloosa, Che, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Machan, Max Manus, Pineapple Express, Revolutionary Road, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Stop-Loss, Sunshine Cleaning, Tyson
Dishonorable Mentions (there were a lot of bad movies this year):
Bronson, The Brothers Bloom, Choke, Frost/Nixon, Gomorra, Gran Torino, Hamlet 2, The Happening, The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones, Leatherheads, Miracle at St. Anna, La Mujer sin Cabeza, The King of Ping Pong, Quantum of Solace, Stone of Destiny
Since you managed to denigrate 3 of my top 10 in your dishonorable mentions, I thought the least I could do was try to enlighten you by providing a review of my #1, La Mujer Sin Cabeza:
(written shortly after it debuted in 2009, San Francosco)
Martel is quickly becoming a master of her own filmic sensibility, which I might call the "art of eavesdropping cinema," and she makes consummate use of something inherent to the medium to take us inside the characters and content of stories that have almost nothing to do with traditional plot points.
As an audience, we are all eavesdroppers (or voyeurs) when we watch a movie. And Martel's sensibility, or way of telling a story, is not only to provide clues to what she is investigating, but to inform us with what she considers important about it. There is a bit of Hitchcock (Rear Window comes to mind), and certainly some of Altman's audio technique around conversation. There is also an exploration of neurosis that one might liken to Almodovar (her producer), yet without the bold, soap operatic farce. And there is something of Bergman and Antonioni.
La Mujer Sin Cabeza (while not my favorite of her films) is still a sure step forward as a filmmaker. This is not only her most focused film, but it makes use of a more developed cinematic technique than either of her previous two films. Strangely, it has not been received as well. The problem, I believe, has much to due to the predisposition of most film viewers, who not only lack of patience, but the ability to adjust to a film operating in ways they are not accustomed to.
Martel's narratives may seem disjointed at first, as they jump from one scene to another without obvious connection, but they are extremely well thought out. The problem, as I said, has more to do with confounded viewer expectations, and the inability to adapt to a different approach in cinematic narrative, one that is very appropriate to the content of Martel's design. For the uninitiated, her films benefit from a second viewing, if only because what at first seems insignificant or disconnected is actually very important, and provides access to her dry subtle satire.
The power of "Mujer Sin Cabeza," (as with all films) is grounded in our perceptions of the main character's experience (or our experience of her perceptions), which not only infect us with her mental / emotional state, but draw us into the kind of life that she leads, in the balance, providing us a window into modern day Argentina.
Here, we are also made aware of a social system in the midst of decay, being held together by the ever more twisted and frayed threads of a colonial past that seeks preservation, in spite of increasing moral dysfunction, and the inability to take responsibility for anything that interferes with the social system beyond making it disappear...