Last week, the New York Times published The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century So Far (nyti.ms/2s7ZYdi) which got us to thinking ... Here’s our Top 10 (in chronological order), so far:
Aleksander Sokurov, 2002: bit.ly/2s8adhw. Filmed entirely in the Winter Palace of the Russian State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg using a single 96-minute Steadicam sequence shot on Dec. 23, 2001 and a cast of thousands. Cecil B. DeMille meets Max Ophuls.
IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA
José Luis Guerín, 2007: bit.ly/2sZ8ZVL and Hopelessly romantic, experimental cinema: The films of José Luis Guerín: bit.ly/2tju2BO plus NSN interview with Guerin (bit.ly/2siVPmL): The second part of Guerin’s work, Unas fotos en la ciudad de Sylvia, made up of still images, received its world premiere at the Vancouver film fest in 2007.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD
Andrew Dominik, 2007: bit.ly/2s7ZOCw. Filmed in Alberta and Manitoba with a Nick Cave/Warren Ellis soundtrack.
MAN ON WIRE
James Marsh, 2008: bit.ly/2slGALT. James Marsh documentary looks back at Philippe Petit’s 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York’s World Trade Center with archival footage and newly-shot scenes.
Claire Denis, 2009: bit.ly/2sqfEvl. Out of Africa, an age-old story of post-colonial chaos. Isabelle Huppert plays a coffee plantation owner who decides she wants to stay in a nameless country despite an ongoing civil war.
Richard Linklater, 2014: bit.ly/1nUfymn. Epic experimental narrative shot off and on over 12 years with the same cast. Linklater had the general storyline in place and then everybody helped connect the dots and fill in the spaces. Brilliant.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015: bit.ly/1M9HgqC. Western survival thriller, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, feels authentic from the get-go. Shot mostly in B.C. and Alberta the crew had to move south to Argentina when they needed snow for the ending.
A BIGGER SPLASH
Luca Guadagnino, 2015: bit.ly/1Qefk2t. Stellar Euro pulp fiction based on Jacques Deray’s French film La Piscine, which starred the quartet of Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin. The new cast, Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts and Tilda Swinton, can more than hold their own. Guadagnino’s Côte d’Azur noir is worthy of Hitchcock and Highsmith.