Inspired by Dave Hicks’ excellent blog, I have decided to write about my favorite film for each year from 1926-2008.
2005: Les amants réguliers (Philippe Garrel)
I love to lose myself in certain movies, particularly those that abandon more traditional time structures and suck you into their temporal vortex. I’m thinking of movies like McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Mother and the Whore and this 2005 entry from Philippe Garrel. I had the good fortune of seeing it in a Parisian theater and remember being transformed for days afterwards.
The first half of the film, the 1968 riot footage, is shot in such an obscure way that it helps plunge the viewer into this other space. By the time we arrive in the more drug-induced part of the film, there’s a hazy quality already well-established between film and viewer.
A challenging film, but also one of the more poetic and audacious ones I’ve seen in a long time. Garrel, along with his DP, longtime Rivette collaborator William Lubtchansky, create a unique, cinematic world that after 183 minutes simply seems to end far too soon.
What moviemakers can learn: Wondering what black and white can still do for you in 2012? Take a look at Garrel and Lubtchansky’s work here, the cinema’s most effective use of black and white in over 10 years.
Other contenders for 2005: From this year, I still have some things to see. These include: Hou Hsaio-Hsien’s Café Lumière, Hong Sang-soo’s Tale of Cinema, Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Tropical Malady and Jacques Audiard’s The Beat That My Heart Skipped. I’ve struggled a little with Terrence Malick’s The New World the couple of times I’ve seen it, yet I know that many people I respect and admire place it extremely high. From this year, though, I really like Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow and Bennett Miller’s Capote. I love Steven Spielberg’s Munich. And my closest runner-up is Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.
After living in Los Angeles for seven years, Jeffrey Goodman returned to his hometown of Shreveport, Louisiana to direct The Last Lullaby. Co-written by the creator of Road to Perdition, and starring Tom Sizemore and Sasha Alexander, The Last Lullaby was filmed entirely in and around Shreveport and financed by 48 local investors. Goodman is now at work raising money for his next feature, Peril.