I’ve written two posts in English, but fellow Swedes out there, don’t you fret! It’s only an exception, and I’ll be back ranting in my native tongue sooner than you think!
Tomorrow, on Sunday the 15th of April, I’m going to post a little something called My Movie Year. It will be a part of Fandango Groovers´ lovely project, with my thoughts on which year is the best in the history of movies, and why. Only rule: name five movies to back up your decision. Easy enough, right?
Well, not really. To start things off, I can actually say that choosing a year took far more work than writing about the films. I mean, look at all the choices, they’re just too many! I need to go through each year from at least the 1950’s and forward.
Yes, the first half of the last century can be ignored without any guilt – some good stuff, but rarely more than one or two titles in a year. But the 50’s! Ah, so many great noirs there, and Hitchcock perfected the whole art of movies. Still, not enough bull’s-eyes to call any of those years my favorite.
I have issues with the 60’s, or at least I thought I did – wonderful music, less wonderful films. But looking at it now, I see ’66 with Leone, Bresson and Bergman. Those are some spectaular titles! And ’69, with Chabrol and Melville, and Bergman again! Impressive, but let’s not be hasty, because nothing can beat the 70’s. Right?
Well, almost every year of said decade is a strong contender, mainly due to Hollywood’s real golden age, but also with Monty Python, and European auteurs like Herzog, Fassbinder and Antonioni working hard. And Bergman too, yet again.
Moving on, I realized the 80’s had nothing, I repeat, nothing to offer. Sure, I was born, and so was the action comedy genre, stories of yuppies rising and falling hit the silver screen, and cheap slashers spread on VHS’s around the world, but where was the substance?
Hanging around, waiting for a new age, I guess. The Coen’s and David Lynch made their first few appearances in the 80’s, but they weren’t in full bloom until the early 90’s, coinciding with the rise of the new American independent. Richard Linklater, Hal Hartley, Gus Van Sant, even Tarantino. Kieslowski made his departure from this earth even sadder, with not three, but four masterpieces. And then there was Von Trier, Jarmusch, Egoyan, Kusturica, Almodovar, Kaurismäki, all refining their works.
Sounds like I probably should pick a 90’s year then. And I thought I would, until I remembered that the 00’s was where it all happened. From 2000 through 2004 I was not only in my early twenties, mostly having a good time (and sometimes not so good) but also experiencing the best fricking movie years of all time. I think. Or was 1996 through 1999 still better? Or maybe 1974 through 1979? Choices, choices…
As you’ve understood by now, I’m just hopeless when it comes to questions like these. So hopeless, in fact, that I had to make a Top 6 list.
So without further ado, here is the list, in all its glory. Read it and… oh yeah, just one more note! 2004 had some of the best movies ever, like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and the almost as great A Very Long Engagement and Fahrenheit 9/11, but I just couldn’t come up with one more title… A shame, but it had to be five, them’s the rules, as they say. So, my top 6:
All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar)
Being John Malkovich (Spike Jonze)
Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Straight Story (David Lynch)
Twin Falls Idaho (Michael Polish)
The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola) [Yes, I had to name six!]
American Splendor (Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini)
Dogville (Lars von Trier)
Goodbye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola)
The Return (Andrej Zvjagintsev)
The Station Agent (Thomas McCarthy) [Sorry, six again!]
And finally, my number one, my favorite, my movie year is… Well, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow and see!