So, as promised, and as part of Fandango Groovers´movie blog project, here is my favorite movie year. Some of you may have already guessed it, others not, but yes, it is in fact 2001 – the year of Amélie, Donnie Darko, Ghost World, The Man Who Wasn’t There and The Royal Tenenbaums.
Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet). Cute, sure. Very cute, even. But far from only that. If you’ve ever felt out of place, in some way removed from society, like you don’t belong – then you have to love this. I know I do.
Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly). Before he lost his way, Richard Kelly was a young genius with a vision of combining the sweetness of 80’s high school movies with the darkness of David Lynch. Donnie Darko is still one of the best teenage depictions I’ve seen, with its mix of kind and devious adults, wayward kids and skipping between angst and pure bliss.
Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff). Watching Ghost World, I instantly fell for protagontists Enid’s and Rebecca’s sarcasms, but actually, few films are so filled to the limit with funny, well-written, loveable characters. Roberta, always so well meaning in Enid’s art class. Josh, so awkward behind the counter of the corporate fast food place. Enid’s dad, trying so hard to say and do the right things for his daughter. And of course, Seymour, and his struggling relationships with the like-minded but younger Enid, and the same-age but less understanding, Dana.
The Man Who Wasn’t There (Joel & Ethan Coen). Simply the best modern noir there is. I love how the Coens mix the hard boiled with the mundane, and even silly. Ed Crane and the travelling salesman making evil schemes… about dry cleaning. The lawyer Freddy Riedenschneider preparing a brilliant defense for Ed… while eating tons of pancakes. And then there’s the existentialism in Ed’s ponderings on life and hair, of course. A work of genius, just as funny as it’s tragic.
The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson). Can you be quirky and dead serious at the same time? With skilled writers, and actors experienced enough to be subtle in the most grand moments – the answer is yes, obviously. And it won’t hurt if you add some of the saddest, most tender and bittersweet songs in the history of pop music, by The Velvet Underground, Nico, The Rolling Stones and Elliott Smith. Together, all these brushes paint a complete masterpiece, colorful and bleak, tragic and humorous.