Thursday, December 10, 2009

Best of the New Century (and Best of the Nineties): TIFF

There's probably already a million such lists out there, and in another month there'll be a billion. But this looks like a pretty good one: the Toronto International Film Festival Cinematheque's poll of film festival and cinematheque professionals. Tempted to make this my Videomatica queue and do some catching up.

Girish rightly describes it as " a heady and wonderful list that militates unashamedly and polemically for film as art..." It's "a poll conducted by TIFF Cinematheque's Senior Programmer James Quandt. An esteemed panel of over sixty film curators, historians, archivists and programmers from festivals, cinematheques and similar organizations around the world participated and were asked to pick the films they thought were the most important of the past decade. The poll's participants are connected by their leadership in the field of historical film curation, with most having published books, essays and polemics on cinema, bringing perspectives that distinguish this poll from other end-of-the-decade polls."

(By the way, I've renumbered the results in a way that makes more sense to me: same order, different numbering. For fun, I'll boldface the ones I've seen.)

(Score received follows country of origin)

1. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) - 53 votes
2. Platform (Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong, China/China/Japan/France) - 49 votes
3. Still Life (Jia Zhang-ke, China) - 48 votes
4. Beau travail (Claire Denis, France) - 46 votes
5. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, China) - 43 votes
6. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand/Germany/Italy) - 38 votes
7. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania) - 35 votes
7. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Hungary) - 35 votes
9. Éloge de l'amour (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/ France) - 34 votes
10. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania) - 33 votes

11. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands) - 32 votes
12. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany) - 31 votes
13. The New World (Terrence Malick, USA) - 30 votes
14. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand) - 29 votes

15. Le Fils (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France) - 27 votes
16. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Switzerland) - 25 votes
17. Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (Agnès Varda, France) - 24 votes
17. In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, Portugal/Germany/Italy/Switzerland) - 24 votes

17. Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, Sweden/Denmark/Norway) - 24 votes
20. Caché (Michael Haneke, France/Austria/Germany/Italy) - 23 votes
20. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, USA) - 23 votes
20. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, France/USA) - 23 votes
20. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan) - 23 votes
24. Rois et reine (Arnaud Desplechin, France) - 21 votes
125. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, USA) - 20 votes
26. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain) - 19 votes
27. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran/France)- 18 votes
27. YI YI (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan) - 18 votes

29. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, Spain) - 17 votes
30. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France) - 16 votes
30. The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, Canada) - 16 votes
30. I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France/Austria) - 16 votes
33. Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, USA) - 16 votes
34. The World (Jia Zhang-ke, China/Japan/France) - 14 votes
35. Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Japan) - 13 votes
35. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy) - 13 votes
35. L'Intrus (Claire Denis, France) - 13 votes
38. Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France) - 13 votes
38. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, Canada) - 13 votes
38. Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden) - 13 votes
38. Spirited Away (Hiyao Miyazaki, Japan) - 13 votes

38. I'm Not There (Todd Haynes, USA) - 13 votes
43. Gerry (Gus Van Sant, USA) - 12 votes
44. Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) - 11 votes

44. Dogville (Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/UK/France/Germany) - 11 votes
44. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, USA) - 11 votes
47. Alexandra (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France) - 9 votes
48. demonlover (Olivier Assayas, France) - 9 votes
49. Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, Canada) - 8 votes
49. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan) - 8 votes
51. Longing (Valeska Grisebach, Germany) - 7 votes
51. Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea) - 7 votes
51. Vai e Vem (João César Monteiro, Portugal) - 7 votes

51. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, USA/France) - 7 votes


Here's a rundown of the first TIFF poll, of the greatest films of the 1990s...

Dream Of Light (Erice)
And Life Goes On (Kiarostami)
Through The Olive Trees (Kiarostami)
Drifting Clouds (Kaurismaki)
Close-Up (Kiarostami)
Breaking The Waves (von Trier)
Sátántangó (Tarr)
Flowers Of Shanghai (Hou)
Taste Of Cherry (Kiarostami)
Chungking Express (Wong)
Hana-Bi (Kitano)
The Thin Red Line (Malick)
Histoire(s) Du Cinema (Godard)
A Brighter Summer Day (Yang)
A Moment Of Innocence (Makhmalbaf)
Goodfellas (Scorsese)
L’Eau Froide (Assayas)
Mother And Son (Sokurov)
Vive L’Amour (Tsai)
Nouvelle Vague (Godard)
Abraham’s Valley (Oliveira)
Safe (Haynes)
Dead Man (Jarmusch)
The Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)
Unforgiven (Eastwood)
Exotica (Egoyan)
Sonatine (Kitano)
Maborosi (Kore-eda)
Naked (Leigh)
La Vie De Jésus (Dumont)
Fargo (Coens)
Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)
La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette)
Van Gogh (Pialat)
Three Colours: Red (Kieslowski)
The Last Bolshevik (Marker)
Dear Diary (Moretti)
Crumb (Zwigoff)
The Puppetmaster (Hou)
Goodbye South Goodbye (Hou)
Sicilia! (Straub/Huillet)

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