- Le scaphandre et le papillon (Julian Schnabel, 2007): definitely my favorite movie of 2008.
The rest of the list is in alphabetical order:
- Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg, 2007): There’s no place like London.
- El Orfanato (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2007): “The 6th Sense” for Realists.
- Gomorra (Matteo Garrone, 2008): Neorealismo reloaded.
- I’m not there (Todd Haynes, 2007): Enigmatic like a Dylan song, a purely cinematic experience.
- Juno (Jason Reitman, 2007): crisp writing and a wonderful soundtrack, when was the last time I enjoyed a teen romance?
- No country for old men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007): A narratological masterpiece.
- Shotgun stories (Jeff Nichols, 2007): Laconic like Kaurismäki, affecting like Eastwood.
- Sita sings the Blues (Nina Paley, 2008): A truly independent animated feature off the beaten tracks.
- Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa): A gentle take on social criticism.
Of all the classic movies I saw for the first time this year, I must include David Lean’s Great Expectations (1946) here. I wonder how I’ve managed to miss this masterpiece until now.
Among the films that almost made it into the list were In the Valley of Elah, Into the Wild, Wall-E, Heimatklänge, Sweeney Todd and Paranoid Park.
It is the second year in a row that some of the most violent movies I have seen are also among my personal favorites. I’m not so sure how this makes me feel… Let’s hope this is merely a coincidence...
As far as short subjects go, I’ve chosen Skhizein by Jérémy Clapin (I wrote about it here and here).
The five films with the most interesting color schemes I saw in 2008 were all classics (most of them revisited):
- Alice in Wonderland (Geromini/Jackson/Luske, 1951): most playful of all the Mary Blair films (along with segments of the package features).
- All that heaven allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955): Sirk at his most stylized, Fassbinder’s inspiration.
- Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958): Subtle primary and secondary colors; traffic lights.
- 101 Dalmatians (Geronimi/Luske/Reitherman/Peet, 1961): Well, who’d have guessed?
- Don’t look now (Nicholas Roeg, 1973): A red raincoat in overexposed Venice.
Happy New Year to everyone!