TOP 20 Films of the Year (2008)

a year starter

At the break of dawn, I produced in my hands 20 films that changed my whole perspective on cinema. It seemed a bit easy to say but for me it's a nightmare to put everything in line, as if I am big shot in the cinematic world where I could just put the films in front of me and pick anything I want for number one. But then for the cause of my undying and growing love for cinema, and for my six months of viewing films and taking it into the blogosphere, it is almost enough for me to say that this line-up comes incandescently from my heart.


Why twenty?

I want to consider a balance between conventional and non-conventional films. I originally planned to have TOP 10 conventional and TOP 10 non-conventional but due to some difficulty in screening the former from the latter, i finally ended in deciding to have a TOP 20 rooster where the boundaries are insignificant.

How to choose?

I judged the film according to the following:

1) Universality of its content
2) Stylistic achievement and Usage of style
3) Historical significance
4) Strength of narrative/non-narrative
5) Mise-en-scene (includes cinematography)
6) Theoretical significance (If auteurist film, how well he established it)

It find unsentimental films dealing with sentimental themes rewarding. They impart a certain refined individualism to the audience wherein each member of audience has a sense of interpreting and establishing their own interpretations. It's almost Banzinian in nature but it clings to a higher threshold where this individualism presents and elucidates certain philosophical themes making it universal and timeless. The philosophical context of these films are much more important than its stylistic merits. Of course its stylistic merit can greatly contribute to the film, but on some occasions style can become a distraction to the ebb and flow of film.

The Top 20 List

1) YI YI: A ONE AND A TWO (Edward Yang, 2000)

A good film doesn't have to be a riveting drama with too much mourning and struggles. In Edward Yang's masterpiece, it takes away the sentimentality of a family theme. I have seen many approaches to family, but Yi Yi blooms differently. It hits you deep in the core effortlessly without too much drama usually seen in Filipino Films with the same theme such as Tanging Yaman and Mano Po. Its human clarity, depth, and warmth made this epic one of the most remarkable and intimate experience of cinema that i have ever felt. it somehow meant something intangible. It is the only film i know that embodies a 'soul'. It's one of the most important films of twenty-first century.

2) The 400 Blows (Francois Tuffaut, 1959)
3) Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata, 1988)
4) Three Colors Trilogy (Kryzysztof Kielslowski, 1993-1994)
5) A Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)
6) Eternity and a Day (Theo Angelopoulus, 1998)
7) The Wind will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999)
8) 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Chris Mungiu, 2007)
9) Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
10) Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)
11) Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
12) sex, lies, and videotape (Steven Soderberg, 1989)
13) The Godfather part I (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
14) Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
15) The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
16) Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
17) Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier, 2000)
18) Magnolia (Paul Anderson, 1999)
19) Babel (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, 2006)
20) Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

With this treat i wished you all a better, more prosperous, and more rewarding experience for 2009. 2008 has been a good year, a better year than 2007.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.