Favorite films 2006 | Bleader

Favorite films 2006

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No complaints from yours truly about annual year-end lists: for "best" films (though actually I'd call 'em "favorites": like, what do I know about best?--no personalized access to "absolute" levels of excellence, whatever that implies, no internal database that even remotely approximates the many, many options available), books, the arts, whatever ... even pop music, which I know next to nothing about: viva Monica, Jessica, Peter, Miles, et al. So it's more a matter of sponging up what intrepid writers throw out there, comparing notes and following connotative leads, or sometimes just plain dissing ("Omigod no, he can't be listing that!" ... "Whatever was M. Wilmington thinking?")--as a kind of Rorschach sampler, autobiography by implication. Which suggests it's not about content so much as the spirit of selection, where individual quirks can flourish, perform a couple of narcissistic pirouettes. But something like true affection (scare quotes optional) has to be the motor--all things pure to the pure of heart--because if not why bother?

So consider this a gift of the talentless, the minuscule contribution of one forever seeker to the ongoing reenchantment of the world. Which somehow captures the the tone of the enterprise, what Diaghilev meant to elicit with his comment to Cocteau: "Etonnez-moi, Jean!" Guess I'm easily astonished, huh?

Incidentally, the production still at top is from Vimukthi Jayasundara's The Forsaken Land (number five on my list), an aestheticized reworking (in my opinion) of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's Thai landscape enigmas--which puts me in mind too (in terms of figure-ground relations) of some 19th-century Pre-Raphaelite Brit painters: Madox Brown, Holman Hunt, Millais ... postcolonial residue in the grip of the cosmic. Or is that pushing the connotative envelope too far?

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  1. THREE TIMES, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan
  2. THE INTRUDER, Claire Denis, France
  3. THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA. Tommy Lee Jones, USA
  4. LADY VENGEANCE, Chan-wook Park, South Korea
  5. THE FORSAKEN LAND, Vimukthi Jayasundara, Sri Lanka
  6. CAFE LUMIERE, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/Japan
  7. BATTLE IN HEAVEN, Carlos Reygadas, Mexico
  8. SUMMER PALACE, Lou Ye, China
  9. L’ENFANT, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium
  10. CHILDREN OF MEN, Alfonso Cuaron, UK/USA
  11. A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, Robert Altman, USA
  12. CACHÉ (HIDDEN), Michael Haneke, France/Austria
  13. A SCANNER DARKLY, Richard Linklater, USA
  14. LUNACY, Jan Svankmajer, Czech Republic
  15. THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP, Michel Gondry, France
  16. COMEDY OF POWER, Claude Chabrol, France
  17. BELLE TOUJOURS, Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/France
  18. HAPPY FEET, George Miller, Australia
  19. SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand
  20. CLIMATES, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
  21. MANDERLAY, Lars von Trier, UK/Denmark
  22. CLEAN, Olivier Assayas, France/Canada
  23. OUR DAILY BREAD, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria/Germany
  24. TAXIDERMIA, György Palfi, Hungary/Austria
  25. THE PRESIDENT’S LAST BANG, Im Sang-soo, South Korea
  26. THE AURA, Fabian Bielinsky, Argentina
  27. 49 UP, Michael Apted, UK
  28. THE GREAT YOKAI WAR, Takashi Miike, Japan
  29. FAR SIDE OF THE MOON, Robert Lepage, Canada
  30. THE GOOD GERMAN, Steven Soderbergh, USA
  31. WOMAN IS THE FUTURE OF MAN, Hong Sang-soo, South Korea
  32. MIAMI VICE, Michael Mann, USA
  33. CHANGING TIMES, Andre Téchiné, France
  34. DON’T COME KNOCKING, Wim Wenders, USA/Germany
  35. MONSTER HOUSE, Gil Kenan, USA
  36. IRON ISLAND, Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran
  37. THE BRIDESMAID, Claude Chabrol, France
  38. THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE, Mary Harron, USA
  39. HEADING SOUTH, Laurent Cantet, France
  40. (tie) THE DEVIL’S MINER, Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani, USA  and THE QUEEN, Stephen Frears, UK

                                                                                                                                                

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