Best of the 2000’s: Discussion #10

The Filmist has posted our tenth and final discussion where we tackle Edward Yang’s Yi Yi and Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men, our respective favorite films of the decade. You can find it here.

I also want to thank you readers out there who’ve been following our trek through this insurmountable wealth of material.  Without you, we would be screaming into the wind.

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Best of the 2000’s: Epilogue

The Best of the Rest: Honorable Mentions for the 2000’s

For every beginning, there must be an end. Sadly, our joint venture has come to its waning days, but the experience has been invigorating and therapeutic. So we have a decade nearly in the books, ten personal favorites revealed, and plenty of great Cinema to spare.

As previously stated in the Prologue, a rash of other masterful films deserve mention as best of the 2000’s, and I’d like to consider each in short bursts. I’ve ranked them 11-20 but in truth, they are interchangeable on any given day. To be followed by my Top 10 performances of the decade. Continue reading

Best of the 2000’s: Discussion #9

The following is the ninth of ten planned online discussions between MATCH CUTS and THE FILMIST regarding the best films of the 2000’s. These transcriptions have been slightly edited due to length, but the published content remains exactly as written.

THE FILMIST: Paul Thomas Anderson is one of those filmmakers that people seem to regard purely by his influences, for some reason or another. I think that’s a little fallacious, myself – while his inspirations are obvious, this isn’t a fault. And, with that in mind, I believe that if that is the attitude people are going to take toward his films, then surely we can regard There Will Be Blood as the best Kubrick film by someone who – well, isn’t Kubrick.

MATCH CUTS: Interesting, since most critics reference Altman when discussing Anderson. But Kubrick definitely comes to mind with Blood, especially in the opening moments where it’s just visceral images and sounds, no dialogue. Directors like PT Anderson, even Wes Anderson, always will have their detractors because their films are uncompromising and personal. There Will Be Blood is basically a beast of a film, a shifty, expansive epic that complicates ideas about family, and how religion and commerce fit in with familial relations. Continue reading

Best of the 2000’s: #2

– “The Best of the Decade Project” is an ongoing series of essays written by Match Cuts and The Filmist concerning the finest films of the last ten years.

Grace can be a difficult thing to pin down in the Cinema, as it is often a fleeting and subjective monicker for a vague feeling we can’t quite fully describe. But maybe more so than any other canon of work, the films of Terrence Malick exude a bracing gracefulness, pictures gliding along with a ferocious understanding of historiography, re-wrapping vantage points with poetic confessions and fragmented moments of silence. Malick moves time and space as if the camera were directly tapped into nature’s subconscious, feeding sounds and vibrations of environment though a striking lens of extremes, producing organic visions of love, war, and responsibility in the process. Continue reading

Best of the 2000’s: Discussion #7

– The following is the seventh of ten planned online discussions between MATCH CUTS and THE FILMIST regarding the best films of the 2000’s. These transcriptions have been slightly edited due to length, but the published content remains exactly as written.

THE FILMIST: The Fall was a film I’d first seen mentioned here and there online. I didn’t recognize the name in the director’s chair at first, but then I realized that it was the guy who’d done The Cell, and my interest gradually began to perk up. And – then, I didn’t hear about it for several months, until around August of 2008, after it had been released in theaters, when the reviews came pouring in – most of them good, a few of them middling. My brother and I made the long trek across town to the Angelika to see it, and – well, we weren’t disappointed. The Fall is the film that Salvador Dali – or, any other and better Surrealist artist – would have made if they’d had the funds and the resources. Constantly and intentionally dreamlike and lyrical, especially in it’s last half-hour – and, speaking of Dali, he also seems to be referenced visually quite a bit throughout the course of the film, in the red mask of the young girl and the structures in the desert.

MATCH CUTS: I found The Fall on DVD, mostly because I had heard nothing but negative reviews, and because I despised The Cell, but the story intrigued me. The Dali-esque visuals definitely come to mind, the strange use of scale and horizons really make the film interesting, but the opening sequence really stands as a beautiful testament to the deep tragedy in the film. Most films use slow motion to gratuitous effect, but this film seems to revel in the subtext of slow motion. Continue reading

Best of the 2000’s: #3

– “The Best of the Decade Project” is an ongoing series of essays written by Match Cuts and The Filmist concerning the finest films of the last ten years.

In David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., the nightmare stalks the dream, brutally pouncing only after maiming its prey with false pretenses and conflicting identities. Seething with spite and deceit, the nightmare watches as hope builds, ambition blossoms, and talent formulates, undermining a romantic origin story with a horrific dose of alternate reality. The main weapons are chance and circumstance, fabricated dimensions of an evil master plan without motive or meaning; just control over all fabrics of life. Everything comes crashing down, but when and where is always up for debate. But who’s the villain behind the nightmare? Continue reading