Monday, 31 December 2007

2007 RETROSPECTIVES PART 1: FILMS

Nothing so neat or arbitrary as a Top Ten here, I’m just going to list things that feel worth listing until I run out. The list goes on awhile, I’m pleased to say, before it runs out.
GHOSTS/ BATTLE FOR HADITHA
I was never much of a fan of Broomfield’s straight-on documentaries, but his forays into the often precarious world of drama docu I’ve found surprisingly effective. Battle for Haditha reviewed here.
INLAND EMPIRE
I will of course shortly be publishing my rigorous account which explains clearly and meticulously everything you need to know about this, Lynch’s craziest film since Eraserhead (and perhaps his best since then). Of course I will…
THE LIVES OF OTHERS
One of the upsides to deserved veneration is that everyone else will go on about this, so I won’t have to.
SUNSHINE
Boyle’s most audacious and challenging film since Trainspotting, at times feeling more akin to the science fiction of 2001 or Solaris than Alien or Star Wars. But highly flawed, stylistically over-egged and seemingly losing the courage of its convictions before the end.
CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
The last and (in honesty) the least of Zhang Yimou’s wire-fu trilogy. But even the least will be better than the most of most others. Macbeth-like family feuds and intrigue, with more scheming and double-dealing than you can shake a samurai sword at!
THIS IS ENGLAND
Shane Meadow’s superb examination of skinhead culture in the early eighties. Reviewed in the old print days of Lucid Frenzy. Maybe I should upload that one…
ZODIAC
At first I was worried Fincher was just re-making Seven with this examination of the Zodiac serial killings. I needn’t have been. It’s not really about the killings at all, which are presented as some kind of inscrutable mystery, so much as human obsession. At least that’s how I read it…
GOLDEN DOOR
Unlike The Lives of Others, not nearly enough fuss was made over Crialese’s splendid fable of Sicilian migration to America, with magic realist undertones frequently breaking to the surface.
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Okay, it’s just a bunch of Simpson’s episodes woven together with vamped-up animation. That’s still pretty good, isn’t it?
CONTROL
As reviewed here.
EASTERN PROMISES
Despite the hyperbole, 2005’s A History of Violence never really convinced me Cronenburg had crossed over from genre to ‘proper’ film-making. To my mind he fared much better with the lesser-rated efforts – 2002’s Spider and this examination of the Russian mafia in London.
4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, 2 DAYS
As reviewed here.
PERSEPOLIS
Reviewed (of sorts) here.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSEE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
As reviewed here

2 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to your explanation of Inland Empire... to see if it tallies with my own, of course!

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  2. OK, but could I just finish work on my cure for cancer first?

    Most common 'explanation' seems to be the lowlife Naomi Watts who enlists the Private Eye is the 'real' one and everything else just her rich imaginings. (Which is pretty much what most said over Mulholland Drive.) I did read one thing which claimed the crying woman watching TV represented 'real life', and everything else was TV shows and films she was watching fusing with her thoughts... or something. I didn't keep the link and probably couldn't find it again now.

    As it was made on the hoof, without a script over a long period, I doubt it has some neat 'explanation'to be drawn out of it. Still a cool film, though!

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