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Cinema Scope Top Ten Films of the Decade

By Cinema Scope / March 18, 2010

1. Platform (Jia Zhangke, 2000) 2. In Vanda’s Room (Pedro Costa, 2001) 3. La libertad (Lisandro Alonso, 2001) 4. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003) 5. 13 Lakes (James Benning, 2004) 6. Evolution of a Filipino Family (Lav Diaz, 2004) 7. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000) 8. Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) 9. Memories…

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Currency | La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (Frederick Wiseman, US/France, 2009)

By Michael Sicinski / March 17, 2010

It’s a bit difficult not to feel as if this review is already written. At this particular point in cinema history, the verdict is in on Frederick Wiseman. Much more than his compatriots in the loose confederation once called Direct Cinema, Wiseman has become consecrated as a kind of national institution, so much so that…

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Interviews | Surfing on the Wave of Reality: Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s Alamar

By Adam Nayman / March 17, 2010

By Adam Nayman “It is a film.” So said Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio when asked by a Toronto International Film Festival patron about whether he would categorize his sophomore feature Alamar (To the Sea) as a “documentary” or a “fiction”—a meaningless-but-inevitable question given its line-blurring particulars. The director’s seemingly off-the-cuff answer drew a smattering of supportive applause, but…

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Features | Taking Time: Peter Schreiner Returns

By Christoph Huber / March 17, 2010

By Christoph Huber “Making films,” says Peter Schreiner, “is a means of talking. Maybe even a substitute for talking. I’ve always had—and still do—a problem with the imprecision of language.” It is the summer of 2009, and we are sitting in the garden of his family’s inherited house in Grinzing, Vienna’s nice, green suburb famous…

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Columns | Letter to the Editor

By Tony Rayns / March 17, 2010

12 March 2010 Shelly Kraicer’s attack on Lu Chuan’s City of Life and Death in Cinema Scope # 41 is the most wrong-headed thing I’ve read in the magazine since some guy assured us that Miike Takashi’s Visitor Q was a validation of the nuclear family. Since the Japanese Right is currently trying to prevent…

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Columns | Global Discoveries on DVD: Here and Not Here

By Jonathan Rosenbaum / March 17, 2010

By Jonathan Rosenbaum So far, this column has mainly devoted itself to available as opposed to unavailable items, following the popular notion that serving the consumer rather than exacerbating the consumer is the major aim. But sometimes I wonder if the only way that certain items might ever become available is if consumers become sufficiently…

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Columns | Festivals | The Sundance-Rotterdam-Berlin Express

By Robert Koehler / March 17, 2010

By Robert Koehler A tour of Sundance to Rotterdam to Berlin makes one thing clear: The big film festivals share much in common with political parties and their conventions. Each has their agendas, interest groups, constituencies, factions, behind-the-scenes power players, changing leaderships, avant-gardes, and rear guards. And parties. (Or, as we used to call them…

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Columns | Film Art | Orphans and Maniacs: Chantal Akerman’s Maniac Summer

By Andrea Picard / March 17, 2010

By Andréa Picard Whether ironic, playful or slightly self-deprecating, the title of Chantal Akerman’s Maniac Summer, recently exhibited at the Marion Goodman gallery in Paris is apt, bemusing, and applicable to many of her other works—at least the maniac part. Pathology is Akerman’s specialty, as she consistently delves into a cinema of solipsism, not unlike…

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Columns | Editors Note: Cinema Scope Top Ten Films of 2009

By Mark Peranson / March 17, 2010

Cinema Scope Top Ten Films of 2009 1. Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu) 2. Everyone Else (Maren Ade) 3. To Die Like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues) 4. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino) 5. Sweetgrass (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash) 6. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson) 7. Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine) 8. Alamar (Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio) 9. Vincere…

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The Decade in Review | Olivier Père

By Olivier Pere / March 16, 2010

Russian Ark by Alexander Sokurov (2002) The last great master, in the Viscontian sense of European cinema. And one of the great digital artists, endowing digital with a Proustian impact. His films raise issues about preservation (of History, Art) and memory. I could equally well cite his magnificent film The Sun. Black Book by Paul…

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The Decade in Review | Cyril Neyrat

By Cyril Neyrat / March 16, 2010

If the films were classified in order of preference, In Vanda’s Room would occupy first place. It’s by chance that Costa’s film tops a chronological ordering: of the ten cited, it is undoubtedly the only one whose importance can be immediately measured against the scale of cinema history. In Vanda’s Room launched a new epoch,…

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The Decade in Review | Charles Mudede

By Charles Mudede / March 16, 2010

The best science-fiction film of the ‘00s is Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008)—the next great science-fiction film of that decade is Silent Light (2007). The interesting thing is that both are set in Mexico. But Silent Light is about aliens in an alien world, and Sleep Dealer is about humans in a post-human world. Rivera,…

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The Decade in Review | C.W. Winter

By C.W. Winter / March 16, 2010

It’s not often that one would write about a film while it’s still in the middle of its first screening. But as it turns out, one of my favourite movies of this decade—a movie that’s also one of my favourites of the ‘90s, ‘80s, and ‘70s—offers no other choice. I’m speaking of Tony Conrad’s Yellow…

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The Decade in Review | Bérénice Reynaud

By Berenice Reynaud / March 16, 2010

One of the most important filmic events of the decade was Wang Bing’s monumental West of the Tracks, which changed the way we look at documentary, social reality, and Chinese cinema. From December 1999 to the spring of 2001, Wang and his sound engineer Lin Xudong stayed at their own expense in the Ti Xie…

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The Decade in Review | Jennifer Reeves

By Jennifer Reeves / March 16, 2010

Every contender for a “best-of” list should be seen more than once. First impressions aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. And if you care about accuracy and fairness, films not commercially distributed should be given as much consideration as widely available ones. As I was unable to view all of my “contenders” multiple…

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The Decade in Review | Tony Rayns

By Tony Rayns / March 16, 2010

Seven hundred words aren’t many to fillet the best from a decade, especially when you’d like to use some of them to discuss how archival DVD releases are helping to demolish the institution of film criticism. Maybe we can get to that topic in a future issue, but for now—best crack on. In September 2004…

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The Decade in Review | Quintín

By Quintin / March 16, 2010

Hong Sang-soo’s most recent film, Like You Know It All (2009), begins with a filmmaker arriving at a film festival in Korea, where he’s supposed to serve on the jury. Hong’s basic plots are usually triggered by his memories, and so some people call him a Proustian director, while others prefer Rohmerian, due to his…

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The Decade in Review | Andréa Picard

By Andrea Picard / March 16, 2010

A decade of remembering (or, Avant que j’oublie) Literally. Or the fear of forgetting. From Godard’s elegiac Éloge de l’amour (an anguished apologia for the ramshackle installation to come—another of the decade’s most memorable moments strewn amid the ruins of abandoned thought), perhaps the most poignant and prescient statement of the ‘00s (one plus one), not…

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The Decade in Review | Mark Peranson

By Mark Peranson / March 16, 2010

When I think of Role Models (2008), the film I’ve seen more often than any other in the last decade—except maybe Colossal Youth—the word that comes to mind is wise. The best of recent American comedies, i.e., the most particular, have trouble off the continent because of their particularities—you might say a discrete sense of…

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The Decade in Review | Raya Martin

By Raya Martin / March 16, 2010

Everything is told, but nothing was ever written. The decade closed like a baffling movie ending: film critics Alexis Tioseco and Nika Bohinc were shot dead during a robbery in the former’s home in Manila. In addition to being one of the few defenders of true independent cinema in the region, Tioseco was also the…

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