ONCE IN A LIFETIME
The other day I was catching up on Roger Ebert's always entertaining blog, when I came across something that I've been thinking about ever since. In the first of his Cannes updates, he wrote, "Fifty years ago, the Palme d'Or winner at Cannes was Fellini's La Dolce Vita. More every year I realize that it was the film of my lifetime."
There is something so haunting about these two sentences to me. But also something so dramatic, so stately, and so poetic. Aside from the way in which he said it, let's think for a minute about what he said. The film of my lifetime. This is what I have been thinking about off and on (a/k/a nonstop) ever since I read it.
What is the film of my lifetime? What is the film of yours?
I still don't have the answer. Maybe because there are many I haven't seen or because they haven't been made yet. Or maybe because I tend to change my mind so much about things like this (but who doesn't?). Or maybe because a lot of the films I would immediately want to list are not from my lifetime. I would want to say Last Year At Marienbad for its endless and inexplicable mysteries. Or A Time To Live And A Time To Die for being entirely flawless and showing us what life is really like. Or Fanny And Alexander because it is that one film that you want to jump straight through the screen and live inside of. Or One From The Heart (this blog's namesake), for its impossibly gigantic and unmatched neon sense of magic, romance, and big dreams. Or Red Desert for its sad factories, overt modernity, and industrial beauty. Or Ordet because there is nothing more pure in all of cinema.
But my lifetime?
There are certainly a handful of films that come to mind that excited me or changed me or made me forget about everything else. The more I think about it, I'm pretty sure Roger was not referring to his favorite film or even what he considers the greatest. I think what he means are those films that come along and leave their mark on you, that stay with you for hours, days, months.. even years after seeing them. Films on such a grand scale that do nothing short of take your breath away, make you forget who you are, or where you came from. Those that change everything: erasing the past, obscuring the present, and igniting the future. With that being said, here are ten that come to mind.. from my lifetime.
ANTICHRIST, dir. Lars Von Trier, 2009
สัตว์ประหลาด (TROPICAL MALADY), dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2002
WERCKMEISTER HARMÓNIÁK, dir. Béla Tarr, 2000
ÜÇ MAYMUN, dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2008
SHIRIN, dir. Abbas Kiarostami, 2008
YI YI: A ONE AND A TWO, dir. Edward Yang, 2000
LOST IN TRANSLATION, dir. Sofia Coppola, 2003
STELLET LICHT, dir. Carlos Reygadas, 2007
طعم گيلاس (TASTE OF CHERRY), dir. Abbas Kiarostami, 1997
花樣年華 (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE), dir. Wong Kar-Wai, 2000