Features of the Decade

Well I suppose a decade of top ten lists had to lead to this. I’ve got a lot of good film memories from the last ten years : interviewing film makers for the London Film Festival; breaking down on the motorway on New Year’s Eve as I tried to bag my 100th film of the year; hell, I even had my first ever cinema walkout. As with every decade there were some mindblowing highs as well as chunk blowing lows. All of the movies here resonated with me, have continued to improve on repeat viewings and are sure to last.

In chronological order –

Requiem for a Dream
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
I still feel Ellen Burstyn was robbed of an oscar for her portrayal in this. Frenetic movie making from beginning to end. Aronofsky manages to shine a spotlight on the absolute filthy depths that drug addiction will take you without being, you know, judgemental.

Memento (2000)
Boy did this film make you sit up and take notice. A revenger triller not only told backwards but from the point of view of someone who has no long term memory, but the the narrative reset each time he blacked out and woke up a stranger in a strange land.

Amores Perros
Amores Perros (2000)
Whenever I see pedestrians walking confectionary dogs in the park I can’t get the pathetic cries of ‘Riiicky’ out of my head. Beautifully matched ensemble piece that promised to herald a new wave of Mexican cinema that, as far as I can see at least, we’re still waiting for.

City of God
City of God (2003)
Wow. A much heralded picture that not only lived up to but far surpassed the hype. Phenomenally well shot – each shot either bleached by the Rio sun or illuminated by the light of a reefer. Wonderfully paced and a crackerjack soundtrack – this set the bar for all of the remaining films this decade.

Old Boy
Old Boy (2003)
Park’s most innovative and thrilling part of his vengeance trilogy with a twist at the end I defy anyone to have predicted.

dead mans shoes
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
This remained superbly malevolent from beginning to end and Meadows seems to bring out the best of Paddy Considine. One question tho’…how on earth did he get that guy into the suitcase?

A Very Long Engagement (2005)
A better movie than Amelie, and far more satisfying to watch. A quietly paced story following a wonderfully naif investigator who keeps pulling at loose threads until an entire complex of stories unravels.

the new world
The New World (2006)
Mallick almost became a personal persona non grata post Thin Red Line so I steered clear of this for quite some time. Stupid me. Breathtaking mise-en-scene, lovely pace and good facial hair on Firth.

United 93 (2006)
Greengrass pitched this perfectly – not sentimental, mawkish or macho. The story was allowed to develop at its own pace and the full horror was fed to the audience in the same realtime as it was to the passengers, while the ending was so dramatic I honestly thought they were going to pull it off.

Cargo 200 (2008)
This remains one of the most disturbing films I can remember seeing. A spectre of dread permeates every frame and one scene in particular is spectacularly, yet fascinatingly disgusting. Despite the horror this is film making at its very best.

Let the Right One In
Let the Right One In (2009)
As bloody as you might expect from a vampire movie set in the Stockholm hinterland in dead of winter but under the surface a very sweet story of two vulerable people who just want to look after each other.

Just, and only just missed the cut

The Royal Tennenbaums
Mulholland Drive
The Lives of Others
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Me, You and Everyone We Know
Harsh Times
The Prestige
You Can Count on Me
Lord of the Rings Trilogy