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Archive for December 12th, 2020

by Duane Porter

When considering what might be the best films of the past decade it is perhaps worthwhile to think about how such films come to be. Great art doesn’t emerge fully formed on its own. Many recent films, I might even say, the best recent films have been engaged in a dialogue with cinema history. The best filmmakers of the present evoke and engage with the work of the past, building on the history of cinema. When, 125 years ago, Auguste and Louis Lumière set up a camera in front of their factory as the workers were leaving, it was then cinema happened. From this beginning evolved the nature of cinematic consciousness. It was a new way to look at the world. D.W. Griffith (True Heart Susie, 1919) used camera movement and close-ups along with film editing to stir emotions and tell a story. Sergei Eisenstein (Battleship Potemkin, 1925) used film editing to create a montage of disjunctive images to arrest and hold the audiences attention. Buster Keaton (Seven Chances, 1925) enacts his comedies within a world of phenomenality, cars pass by and people walk down the street, tree branches move in the breeze and clouds float in the sky. Dziga Vertov (Man with a Movie Camera, 1929) explored perception and consciousness by disrupting in surprise the flow of expectation. The persistence of cinema, from the first film to the most recent, given an intimate experience of its continuous ambiguities, its inimitable contradictions, its convergent equivalence, its quiet moments of truth, it’s then, a single frame contains the world.

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I. Certified Copy 2010 ‘Copie conforme’ Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

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2. Goodbye to Language 2014 ‘Adieu au langage’ Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

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3. No Home Movie 2015 Directed by Chantal Akerman

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4. Inherent Vice 2014 Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

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5. Melancholia 2011 Directed by Lars von Trier

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6. Before Midnight 2013 Directed by Richard Linklater

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7. A Quiet Passion 2016 Directed by Terence Davies

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8. The Other Side of the Wind 2018 Directed by Orson Welles

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9. Elle 2016 Directed by Paul Verhoeven

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10. Phoenix 2014 Directed by Christian Petzold

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11. La Flor 2018 Directed by Mariano Llinás

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12. The Tree of Life 2011 Directed by Terrence Malick

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13. Winter Sleep 2014 ‘Kış Uykusu’ Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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14. Film Socialisme 2010 Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

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15. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 2010 Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

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16. Communists 2014 ‘Kommunisten’ Directed by Jean-Marie Straub

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17. Certain Women 2016 Directed by Kelly Reichardt

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18. Mad Max: Fury Road 2015 Directed by George Miller

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19. Twin Peaks: The Return 2017 Directed by David Lynch

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20. The Irishman 2019 Directed by Martin Scorsese

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21. Personal Shopper 2016 Directed by Olivier Assayas

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22. The Assassin 2015 Directed by Hou Hsiao-hsien

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23. Under the Skin 2013 Directed by Jonathan Glazer

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24. Holy Motors 2012 Directed by Leos Carax

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25. Margaret 2011 Directed by Kenneth Lonergan

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