(In a Terrance Malick-esque voice-over whisper):
What is this struggle? This annual attempt to contain all that is good in the cinema in a mere list? Always it wrestles inside me...always it will.
As I tried to get at in my last post on my favorite discoveries of 2011, there is a big part of me that resists the list. Reading David Lynch's book "Catching the Big Fish" over the holidays brought me one good explanation why the ritual of making concrete the year's favorites might make me uneasy :
"I like the saying 'The world is as you are.' And I think films are as you are. That's why, although the frames of a film are always the same--the same number, in the same sequence, with the same sounds--every screening is different. The difference is sometimes subtle, but it's there. It depends on the audience. There is a circle that goes from the audience to the film and back. Each person is looking and feeling and thinking and feeling and coming up with his or her own sense of things. And it's probably different from what I fell in love with."Are we even the same people who saw that movie back in February? And, aside from the way in which time changes our perceptions, isn't watching movies often an empathetic act? Most of us, I would hope, know the feeling of loving a film because of what it does for somebody else, and how exciting it is to see that reflected in them. So, does War Horse make my year end list because I saw it with my Dad and his wife (for whom the film is tailor made), an experience which facilitated me abandoning all of my critical hang ups about Spielberg and allowed me to just go along for the schlocky ride? Well, no. It's not my cup of tea. But, the experience was a joy, and the memory is grand, and what might have been a tedious experience in another context was transformed into a pretty good time at the movies.
Pina directed by Wim Wenders
The Turin Horse directed by Bela Tarr
Sucker Punch directed by Zach Snyder
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
The Tree of Life directed by Terrance Malick
Into the Abyss directed by Werner Herzog
Road to Nowhere directed by Monte Hellman
|Carey Mulligan in Steve McQueen's Shame|
|Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol|
|Miranda July's The Future|