I agree. Sekzee confuses a great story with a great film.
although Mystic River does have its merits.
Rachel Getting Married
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
(love to put Children of Men on the list but I am confused about who really claims it. Auteurs has it listed as Japan. Really?)
Terror at Blood Fart Lake.
“…without using the words ‘blood’ or ‘country’?” – Rumplesink
Why are these two films always compared? Is it only because they came out around the same time? I’m almost suspicious of this comparison being made only because of the boldness of their titles.
“THERE WILL BE BLOOD”…
I’ll get flamed if I say Little Miss Sunshine?
@Lou – It isn’t just that they were released in the same year, or that they have bold titles. NCFOM and TWBB share a few other things in common. Both were shot around Marfa, Texas, and both have a preoccupation with violence (though they treat violence very differently). More importantly they went head to head for the Best Picture award, and they are both generally loved by cinephiles. That combination is rarely found today. It also appears that people usually have a definite preference for one over the other. For me it’s NCFOM.
But in the end, you’re right. These two movies should be seen on their own terms.
I’m a big fan of A Prairie Home Companion. Everyone involved is in top form (Kevin Kline’s Guy Noir is fantastic) and the subject matter took on an eerie significance after the passing of Robert Altman.
I must say that when people start giving The Wrestler and The Fountain I start worrying about american film-making… Jesse James, Into the wild, are these the first things that come to mind?
To come up with a decent list takes a study, but the last three American movies that totally satisfied me were My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin), Mutual Appreciation (Andrew Bujalski) and I’m not there (Todd Haynes). I think I would rate them as belonging to the best of the last 5 years.
Rachel Getting Married
Eternal Sunshine, United 93, and Children of Men are rare films in the last 5 years that were, in my mind, truly original in their own way.
Olaf, not to knitpick but as you must know Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg is Canadian.
Not to knitpick, but last time I checked Canada was in (North) America…:)
Olaf, in Canada we consider an “American film” one from the USA.
Inland Empire by lynch
Ah I forgot INLAND EMPIRE, yes that too.
MDB, In The Netherlands “American film” is ambiguous.
>>I’m a big fan of A Prairie Home Companion.<<
Oh, absolutely a wonderful film. And dealing with some significant subject matter with the lightest touch imaginable.
Also, and I’m throwing it out there in part to hear what y’all think – VIVA (2007, Anna Biller). Yes, its fierce and fabulous, but also bleak, politically impassioned and surprisingly melancholy, as the star/director’s “overly embedded concerns” ( Dargis’ phrasing) seem to realize that there’s no possible way an homage to sexploitation can ever be reconfigured to allow for female agency. The movie is “flat” in the most deliberate ways, from the tautological dialogue to the performances that consist of repeated gestures.
Mary by abel ferrara
No Country for Old Men
Million Dollar Baby
It depends on how strictly we interpret “the last five years,” but I would place “The Brown Bunny” at the top (it was made in 2003, but not released in the US until 2004). Its mise en scène is more potent and beautiful than anything in recent American cinema. And it is certainly more bold and reckless than anything else made by an American in the last several years. Movies that are so deeply polarizing at the time (like “Salo,” Cronenberg’s “Crash,” “Performance,” even “Taxi Driver” or “A Clockwork Orange”) often end up being the great ones.
Also at the top, I’d put Crispin Glover’s “What Is It?” and “It Is Fine, Everything Is Fine!” That’s also a gray area since those movies haven’t been released theatrically. I was fortunate enough to see them here in Austin when Glover presented them in 2005 and 2008.
Otherwise, the answer is an emphatic “No.”
“A History of Violence” was made by a Canadian and shot in Canada. Even if we include Canadian movies, I consider it “lesser” Cronenberg (though not bad at all).
Most of the others I can think of are fairly good movies by directors who have done much better work in the past:
Solondz – “Palindromes”
Herzog – “Grizzly Man”
Mamet – “Spartan”
Araki – “Mysterious Skin”
Jarmusch – “Broken Flowers”
Ferrara – “Mary”
Allen – “Match Point”
Romero – “Land of the Dead”
I’ve read good things about these, but haven’t seen them:
“Wendy and Lucy”
I only half-watched “Inland Empire,” so I don’t have an informed opinion on it.
I thought “Starting Out in the Evening” was good, but nowhere near “truly great.”
I’m not really on board with all the praise that’s been heaped on Van Sant’s more recent work.
And it’s probably evident that I don’t think PT Anderson, Wes Anderson, Aronofsky, recent Coen Brothers, et al, are even worth talking about.
(“300”? Really? When I saw it, I remember ranting to someone about how it might be the “most racist movie since ‘Birth of a Nation.’” I think I also called it “orientalism in full force.” The only thing that makes me consider looking at it again is the fact that Slavoj Žižek apparently likes it.)
Perhaps a good thread would be “Has American cinema been in decline since the end of the 1970s?”
The Hurt Locker!
There have been many great ones mentioned here, but can we get some love Comedy? There have been some great ones over the last few years particularly coming from the Apatow camp, 40 Year Old Virgin was probably my favorite. My least favorite, probably Superbad, it was just too derivative for me…
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
SYNECDOCHE, NEW YORK
Bof…. You know, I know there must be at least one film I really liked from the past five years….
I’ll let you know if I can think of one.
Shouldn’t the appropriate name for this thread be “Name a minimum of 20 great American films in the last five years.” I certainly can:
1) There Will Be Blood
3) Brokeback Mountain
4) Frozen River
5) Million Dollar Baby
6) Letters from Iwo Jima
7) Match Point
9) United 93
11) A Prairie Home Companion
12) A History of Violence
13) Into the Wild
14) Before Sunset
15) The Aviator
17) I’m Not There
18) The Bridge
19) Gran Torino
the film these two fellas
are making might be absolutely irresistible