Caché (France/Austria, dir. Michael Haneke)
There has never been such a thing as a meagre year for cinema, however I would not describe 2005 as a spectacular year of releases (so far – my watchlist goes deeper than the films I have included below). That said, one couldn’t ask for a Top 5 richer than Michael Haneke’s most understated masterpiece, a Terrence Malick film, the last film from Fabián Bielinsky and no less than two genre-twisting offerings from the Mobile Republic of Werner Herzog.
Beyond those, the conclusion of Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy (in which the director’s passion for kitsch reached levels as squirmy as the trilogy’s violence) and the second of Byambasuren Davaa’s Mongolian slice-of-life series provided reasons to be cheerful from Asia, whilst Fabián Bielinsky’s El Aura and Marcelo Piñeyro’s adaptation of El Método provided grit and intrigue in the year’s Spanish-language releases.
By far the decade’s most sexually explicit and absurd rumination on the responsibilities of fatherhood and growing up came from Japan’s low-rent pink cinema sub-genre in the form of The Strange Saga of Hiroshi the Freeloading Sexmachine.
El Aura (Argentina, dir. Fabián Bielinsky)
The Cave of the Yellow Dog (Germany/Mongolia, dir. Byambasuren Davaa)
2005 Watchlist: BATTLE IN HEAVEN -THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED – BLACK SUN – THE BLOODIEST – THE DEATH OF MR LĂZĂRESCU – HOUSE OF SAND – THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND – LUNACY – THE NOTORIOUS BETTIE PAGE – THE SQUID & THE WHALE – THE SUN – THE WAYWARD CLOUD
Lady Vengeance (South Korea, dir. Park Chan-wook)
BEST TITLE OF THE YEAR: The Strange Saga of Hiroshi the Freeloading Sexmachine (Japan, dir. Yûji Tajiri)
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