matthewscott8 wrote: ↑May 24th, 2022, 5:50 pm
I've not seen Veronique yet. Certainly did my bit for Wong. Got to be the 80s and this century before you see LvT votes from me.
Yes, some of the most distinctive films on my list (roughly the top 40) are not for everyone, but they are being ignored by far too many, here, and that just makes me want to recuse myself once again from participating in the polls here. It's great to see that a lesser known film in my top ten, like Moment of Innocence, has struck a chord with a handful of voters, but it's not very interesting to celebrate the popularity of Pulp fiction and others that claim most of the attention whenever the 90's are mentioned.
It's not just the decade where American indie cinema began to take off, it's a decade that marks an explosion in world cinema that deserves some attention as well. A film like Before the Rain uses the same circular narrative as Pulp Fiction to much more meaningful effect in describing the way tribal / religious / nationalistic hatreds can be stoked and lead to war (The Perfect Circle is a film about such a war that has pretty much served as a precedent for all those that have come in the 21st century). It is great to see Underground (a very different film with similar themes) has gained some support, but what will it take for people to discover Cabeza de Vaca (a film I have been pumping since my arrival on this board), which deserves to be a companion piece to Aguirre Wrath of God as highly artistic summations on Spanish Colonialism in the Americas.
Assuming most people here love their mothers, or some elder in their family that they have witnessed on their deathbed... well there is no finer cinematic meditation on the love for one's mother than Sokurov's Mother and Son, which at least one person loves as much as I do. Another brilliant meditation about the end of life is Angelopoulos' Eternity and a Day, though I can see why that may not appeal to the under 40 crowd, despite being such poetic cinema.
Though perhaps the filmmaker of the decade was Kiarostami (from Closeup to The Wind will Carry Us- Taste of Cherry is the one that resonated the most for me ), The Crown Jewels for me are still the two Kieslowski's (Double Life, and Blue), so I'll leave you with my short review of Blue:
The Beauty of Blue
18 November 2007
The "beauty" of Kieslowski's later films, and his cinematic imagination is particularly special in the way that it taps into and enriches the emotional, spiritual, and aesthetic content of his work.
The opening sequence to "Blue," involving the car passing through a tunnel, as we are immersed in the ambient sounds: Hearing bits of familial conversation, viewing the swish of vehicles and splash of lights through the window, followed by the passage into late afternoon light (and the silvery blue balloon being sucked out the side window, flapping in the breeze) just before the accident, is as astounding in its beauty as it is penetrating in its content....
This film is resplendent with cinematic sequences as unique and touching as its opening, and, throughout," Kieslowski's use of sound as a way to access Binoche's interior process is absolutely brilliant. Witness the sequence, when she finally feels able to step out into the world again and move into the city after the accident. She rents an apartment on an upper floor of a large, strange vacuous building, and there, that first night, through her window, witnesses the beating of a man on the street, who escapes and runs into her building, the fear on her face, as she listens to him climb the long metal escape stairway, floor by floor, still followed by his assailants, as he comes closer to her could be something out of Hitchcock, but it goes much deeper than primal fear because of everything she has gone through and is trying to recover from.
Still, it is not only the imagery (Binoche blurry through window, staring vacantly somewhere as she experiences intimate relations for the first time since the accident), or ambient sound (the sudden clamor and echo of the indoor swimming pool as she comes up for air from under water) that reflects the nature of her psyche, but Preisner's haunting music that simultaneously takes us back to her husband and her tragedy, as much as towards her recovery of self as she engages her creative process. She is a woman who has lived in the shadow of her husband, while yet participating in the creation of the very music he is famous for, and as the music enters the film, each time, it is her reflecting on and coming to terms with all that it represents to her, including, finally, the bridge to her salvation....
This is not a typical Hollywood redemption tale handing us the standard prescription for such a tale of woe, no "how to reclaim your power as a woman course 101." This is a tale of truth, and we believe Binoche every time she makes a decision because we are not only privy to her experience, but fully involved in the process of transformation that becomes her liberation.
PS. You might actually like Von Trier's Europa Zentropa, Mathew.