As I mentioned last week, another decade is about to come to a close. Over the weekend, I put my thinking cap on to determine how I can sum up these 10 action packed years of cinema.
With roughly 10 weeks remaining this year, I’ve decided to do my wrap up over this period. Each week, I’m going to focus on a different genre and name my 2 best films from each. I was only going to name one film initially in each genre but just found it too hard. The buffer gives me a chance to expand a little further.
Just because a film featured prominently in my top 10 list for a certain year didn’t guarantee it a spot in my decade wrap. Some films do age better than others and have had the chance to see some of the films a second, third, fourth… time has helped me develop a better appreciation for just how great it is.
In total, I’ve seen and reviewed 2,021 films between 2000 and 2009. There’s still two months to go of course so the final total is to be determined. I point this out because it wasn’t an easy assignment trying to pick my favourites. I started with a brainstorming session on a bit of paper and slowly narrowed the field. It was sad to leave certain films out but I might sneak them in for a quick mention along the way.
Matt’s Best Of The Decade – Foreign Language Films
Foreign language films have exploded in Australia over the past decade. With many new cinemas opening their doors, the demand for different types of movies has increased. At the start of the decade, one of your only chances to see foreign language films was at the Brisbane International Film Festival. Now, it seems there’s a foreign language film released each week.
On top of that, there’s a multitude of mini festivals shown in Palace and Dendy cinemas. There’s also Bollywood which has infiltrated Australia – there’s a new film shown at the Hoyts Regent here in the city each week.
Having sifted through them all, my two favourites were:
Y Tu Mama Tambien (released in 2002) – full review can be found here.
The Lives Of Others (released in 2007) – full review can be found here.
I remember seeing Y Tu Mama Tambien at the 2002 Brisbane International Film Festival. It started with a full-on sex scene and it finished with one of my all time favourite endings – Julio and Tenoch sitting in a café with a narrator describing events. Mexican director has since gone on and made Harry Potter & The Prisoner Of Azkaban (the third in the series) and Children Of Men. He’s creative and knows how to tell a story.
The Lives Of Others was my favourite film of 2007. It had won the Oscar for best foreign language film but even I wasn’t prepared for how good it was. It opened my eyes to a period of German history that I didn’t know much about. Many German films focus on the atrocities of World War II but this film was set in the 1980s – just prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I have to say that I was saddened to learn of the passing of star Ulrich Muhe who died not long after the film was released. Her earned a posthumous BAFTA Award for best actor but lost to Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood.
Honourable mentions in the foreign language category go to films including The Spanish Apartment, The Motorcycle Diaries, Downfall, Turtles Can Fly, The Diving Bell & The Butterfly, The Counterfeiters, Summer Hours, No Man’s Land, The Man On The Train, Talk To Her and Kitchen Stories.
Next week, I’ll look at my favourite animated films of the decade.