Oldboy (South Korea, dir. Park Chan-wook)
If I had to describe 2003 in a word, it would be offbeat. The best films of 2003 are unified only by their non-conofrmity. Each was a surprize to stumble across and those that have stood the test of time best are those that bucked the genre trends, even if what made them fresh and original nine years ago has since become passe. Films like Oldboy, Bored in Brno, The Story of the Weeping Camel, Lost in Translation, Kill Bill and Ong Bak have all seen their fair share of immitators and admirers follow their lead in the last few years. But few of those imitators, if any, have come close to matching the exquisite blast of fresh air let in by the wave of Asian genre flicks that rooted themselves in Western cult circles in the first half of the millenial decade and continue to tempt the most adventurous cinephiles out of their comfort zone (see Gozu for a particularly harsh but rewarding test of your limits).
In the underrated flops category, Peter Weir’s Master & Commander and Michael Winterbottom’s wonderful but greatly flawed Code 46 both landed with a pitter-patter in cinemas and, just as soon as they had come, were taken outside to be put out of their misery. The loss of Weir’s potential series of adaptations of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin stories was, for me, 2003’s greatest movie tradgedy.
NUDA V BRNĚ: KOMEDIE NAVZDORY OSUDU (Czech Republic, dir. Vladimir Morávek)
2003 Watchlist: 15 – CARANDIRU – THE CORPORATION – CRIMSON GOLD – ELEPHANT – THE FLOWER OF EVIL – FUSE – KITCHEN STORIES – SARABAND – SAVE THE GREEN PLANET! – SPRING, SUMMER, FALL , WINTER … AND SPRING – TARNATION – TIME OF THE WOLF – TOKYO GODFATHERS – TOUCHING THE VOID – VODKA LEMON
Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World (USA, dir. Peter Weir)
Gozu (Japan, dir. Takashi Miike)
Read my blog, Films Of Every ColourRead less