Top Ten for the first half of 2006

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Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby trevor826 » Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:33 am

All theatrical releases during this period, in no particular order:

Innocence - Lucile Hadzihalilovic
The New World (150 minute version) - Terrence Malick
Cach / Hidden - Michael Haneke
L`Equipier / The Light - Philippe Lioret
Les gars / Strayed - Andr Tchin
Munich - Steven Spielberg
Tsotsi - Gavin Hood
Holy Lola - Bertrand Tavernier
Tickets - Abbas Kiarostami, Ken Loach, Ermanno Olmi
Saraband - Ingmar Bergman

Special mention - Tzameti / 13 - Gla Babluani

There's been almost a total lack of Asian cinema, we've only had the very commercial action based films from Korea plus Seven Swords. Judging by the reactions of others Tony Takitani would probably have made the list, but we're still waiting for it.

For pure entertainment value (though it didn't get a theatrical release) I'll note another film from a first time feature director (along with Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Gla Babluani), a film that is totally kitschy in a purely Japanese way. It has been compared with Pulp Fiction but is far more humorous and not quite as well edited. It also features a caricature of someone I've always regarded as a living caricature (even as a professional soccer player) Vinnie Jones who has the classic quote from the film, "What is your function in life?"

Survive Style 5 - Gen Sekiguchi, his background is in advertising and he actually uses this very cleverly in one of the story strands. A for entertainment value, A+++ for Kitschiness Japanese style.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby A » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:10 pm

My Top Ten (as usual) include the best "new" films I've seen this year in Germany. This includes first screenings at national festivals, direct to DVD releases, films made for TV, etc.
I have already seen (at least) ten great films this year, and I'd be comfortable with submitting the list as it is at the end of 2006. But I'm sure there will be changes, when I catch even more impressive stuff.

These are so far my favorites:

1. Au-del de la haine Beyond Hatred (Olivier Meyrou / France / 2005) [98] 2.18.06
2. The New World [135min. version] (Terrence Malick / USA / 2005) [83] 2.12.06
3. Kaalpurush Memories in the Mist (Buddhadev Dasgupta / India / 2005) [81] 2.17.06
4. Mizu no hana Water Flower (Yusuke Kinoshita / Japan) [76] 2.19.06
5. In Between Days (So Yong Kim / USA, Canada / 2006) [75] 2.12.06
6. L-bas Down There (Chantal Akerman / Belgium, France / 2005) [75] 2.16.06
7. Babooska (Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel / Austria, Italy / 2005) [72] 2.13.06
8. ...Es wird jemand kommen, der ja zu mir sagt Ruth (Michael Blume / Germany) [78] 2.18.06
9. Cach Hidden (Michael Haneke / France, Austria, Germany, Italy / 2005) [85] 3.12.06
10. Amour neutre Love neutral (Pierre Coulibeuf / France / 2005) [79] 3.22.06

runners-up (alphabetically):

46-okunen no koi Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (Takashi Miike / Japan / 2005) [64] 2.17.06
Aus der Ferne From Afar (Thomas Arslan / Germany / 2005) [72] 4.10.06
Invisible Waves (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang / Thailand, Netherlands / 2006) [65] 2.14.06
Kan shang qu hen mei Little Red Flowers (Yuan Zhang / China, Italy / 2006) [75] 2.16.06
Meninas Teen Mothers (Sandra Werneck / Brazil / 2005) [74] 2.15.06
Offside (Jafar Panahi / Iran / 2006) [73] 2.18.06
Profils paysans: le quotidien (Raymond Depardon / France / 2005) [72] 4.07.06
Visul lui Liviu Liviu's Dream (Corneliu Porumboiu / Romania / 2004) [63] 2.14.06

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby wpqx » Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:00 pm

Have not seen nearly enough from this year yet and half the films on Trevor's list were released here in 2005, and my list would be so inaccurate if I put it together now, and with one possible exception I'm not sure if any film I've seen so far will make my year end top ten.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby arsaib4 » Tue Jul 04, 2006 8:55 pm

I can't believe that we're already halfway through the year. Nice thread, Trevor.

You, A, are at an advantage for having been to a major film fest. (Toronto is coming up for me. ) Could you please say a few words about In Between Days? I've read some encouraging reports recently.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby A » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:01 pm

It's a study of a korean teenager who's living alone with her mother in Canada(or the US, I forgot ). She has only one friend with whom she's in love, but she isn't able to communicate it to him. Shot on DV with a handcam that is almost always extremely close to the characters, the film almost appears documentary in its nature, without being simply "distant and observing", but pulls the viewer in and develops an emotional resonance that is in sharp contrast with the bleak winter landscape of the city. The film may seem tedious and pointless to some people, when it actualy focuses only on the important events in the protagonists life. A very personal (autobiographical) story that gives an intimate view at life-shaping events. The ending is also beautiful and poignant.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby arsaib4 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:49 am

Sounds a little like Rosetta...

Trevor: From your list I haven't yet seen Tzameti / 13. Is it a police procedural/thriller?

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby trevor826 » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:38 am

Tzameti deserves a write up and since I appear to have passed my block I'll re-watch it and either add it the thread for French films or start a new thread.

It will probably become a cult hit (and from the look of it could also be down for a remake). Tzameti is a taut thriller but also a very personal film for the director who grew up in an evironment where life is cheap.

Cheers Trev.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby A » Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:59 pm

The similarities with Rosetta would be the documentary touch, and the closeness to reality. But while the Dardenne's kind of made an allegoricall film about the "state of the world", In between days is much more personal. It also totally differs from the urging frenziness of Rosetta, with a very calm and deliberate pace (I can't imagine people being bored or falling asleep during Rosetta ) Both characters can't express themselves or communicate properly with the world but Rosetta is much more extroverted, than the introverted almost invisible protagonist of In between days. The ending of both films is very similar, though it points again in two different directions. While for Rosetta, the world might have opened up a new perspective in a cathartic "finale" of her emotional tour-de-force, In between days offers a a world-weary truth closer to life. Sometimes just nobody cares about yourself, and you are again at the beginning, as you are the only person who can truly help yourself.
I prefer the toned-down In between Days, though the direction of the Dardenne brothers in Rosetta is in a league of its own.

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby arsaib4 » Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:17 pm

"But while the Dardenne's kind of made an allegoricall film about the 'state of the world'"

Interesting. I can't say that I've ever looked at it this way. What specifically is the base of your assertion?

Re: Top Ten for the first half of 2006

Postby A » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:21 pm

I also had this feeling with the other Dardenne's film I've seen, Le fils. I think it has something to do with the overall humanism I feel in these films, a sense that the persons portrayed are more like models and are interchangable, something like with Bresson. And the scope is almost "Dostojevskian", everything is very huge and dramatic, although they are telling rather intimate stories. It has also something to do with the inward being projected outwardly, a way of making the subjective view of the character their own, without giving him/her limits. Like everything could happen any moment, very dramatically condensed, rather "direct" storylines.
This isn't meant in a negative way, but it's how i perceive it.
Somehow it is like these characters could be living anywhere in the world and stuff like that is imo happening every day around our globe. It's just that people don't see the beauty and spirituality in their lives as easily as an outsider (or maybe life is too complex to be compressed into 90 minutes )
In between Days stays much more on the surface of the main character but at the same time makes her less mysterious and powerful, and redemption is presented in a different way. More of a passing look at things with a weary smile, than a dash into the mud and a final ray of light.


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