Is it too early to come up with a list of the greatest films of the 21st century? The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) don't think so. This public service broadcaster asked 177 film critics from around the world, and the result didn't surprise us. The list would mean critics have seen more films than regular moviegoers. It would also be likely that they haven't made a full-length feature film/short film/documentary. And they may not have a normal life. The last one may be uncalled for, but I should have guessed "Mulholland Drive" topping the list.
David Lynch's feature was a love story in a city of dreams, but I didn't fancy the open endings at all. The critics who picked it as the best movie (of the 21st century) may love it, but I would suspect that they were too critical of Hollywood blockbusters. Watching Marvel films won't be a waste of my money, while my coursemates have their share of guilty pleasure. (Bill enjoyed "Sharknado: The 4th Awakens".) "In the Mood for Love" would delight viewers who preferred subtle ways of showing affection. I won't be one of those people. I have reservations about "There Will Be Blood" occupying the third spot. This was Paul Thomas Anderson's fifth feature, and I would prefer "Magnolia." Alas, his third feature was released in 1999.
Instead of rounding up the list, I would present an alternative line-up. One more list won't hurt, as some films don't deserve to make the BBC list. (Christopher Nolan is probably the most overrated filmmaker. If he didn't move to America. Bill compared him to the talented hoop players from Europe who would join the NBA. And they would be far from their best.) It would be better not to rank my preferences. In random order:
Amores Perros (2000) by Alejandro GonzÃ¡lez IÃ±Ã¡rritu. A car accident would bring the characters together, and IÃ±Ã¡rritu exposed the world without hope and redemption. I was uneasy with the director's cynical outlook after witnessing an idealistic teacher turning into a hitman. He would poke on the human goodness, which left me bruised in the end. But the ironic moments would make me thought twice.
Battle Royale (2000) by Kinji Fukasaku. The presence of Takeshi Kitano would turn Koushun Takami's dystopian novel into a ghoulish delight. This was a disturbing tale of middle school students who must kill each other on a remote island. It was televised, which would discourage the public from uprising. The author could allude to recent events, which might influence the future. It might be a case of history repeating itself, but Fukasaku was rather fatalistic about it. This action film won't be for everyone, yet it was a stylishly grim motion picture with characters that haunted me for days.
Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner (2001) by Zacharias Kunuk. The script (by Paul Apak Angilirq) may not be special, but the story was set in the Arctic wilderness. It resulted in a different, if not unforgettable, experience. I would love the cold weather.
The Incredibles (2004) by Brad Bird. This would be my favorite Pixar film, and it had nothing to do with my inability to outgrow superheroes. The incisive screenplay was a satire on suburban life, but the viewers would forget it before the end credit appear on the big screen. Blame it on the characters. (I would feel sorry for Syndrome, as he only wanted attention.) And Michael Giacchino's groovy score made it fun to watch.
El Aura (2005) by FabiÃ¡n Bielinsky. I thought film noir was a thing of the past until I saw this psychological thriller. A taxidermist was obsessed with committing the perfect crime, which intrigued me. He had bouts of epilepsy, and it might be linked to his obsessions. On the other hand, he led an uneventful existence, and he became cynical (due to a monotonous routine). Checco Varese's shots would rely on natural lighting, yet it would remind me of the black-and-white pictures feature Humphrey Bogart (or Robert Mitchum). Patagonia, a postcard-perfect terrain, would have a sinister side. Bielinsky would recall his fairy tales, as the woods terrified me.
You might have seen the list. Do you agree with it?