Robert Koehler’s Best of 2007


In the City of Sylvia

THE FILMS OF 2007

By ROBERT KOEHLER

This is a long list because it was a great year. And it was a great year because weíre in the midst of a new golden age for world cinemaóof which this list is submitted as proof. And because this list is long, Iíll be brief. 2007 was the year that ushered in the greatest film of the new centuryóJose Luis Guerinís combined film and video meditation on what it is to be an artist, to be a lover, to see and to listen otherwise known as Dans la ville de Sylvia and Fotos en la Ciudad del Sylvia. It was also the year that I discovered Raya Martin, who is on track to fundamentally change cinema, and the year that The Philippines, Rayaís country (nobody calls him ìMartinî), further extended its place as a nexus of extraordinarily exciting independent cinema. It was also the year we said goodbye to Straub/Huillet, with one of their most sublime films. And the U.S., frankly, rockedóthe U.S., that is, of Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher, Lee Isaac Chung, Laura Dunn, James Benning, Ronald Bronstein, Chris Fuller, Nina Menkes, and Peter Hutton.

BEST IN WORLD (UNRELEASED IN U.S.):

DANS LA VILLE DE SYLVIA/UNAS FOTOS EN LA CIUDAD DEL SYLVIA (Jose Luis Guerin, Spain)

DEATH IN THE LAND OF ENCANTOS (Lav Diaz, Philippines)

AUTOHYSTORIA and A SHORT HISTORY OF THE INDIO NACIONAL (Raya Martin, Philippines)

SECRET SUNSHINE (Lee Chang-dong, S. Korea)

THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN (Abdellatif Kechiche, France)

PARANOID PARK (Gus Van Sant, U.S.)

GO GO TALES (Abel Ferrara, U.S.)

NIGHT TRAIN (Diao Yinan, China)

VACATION (Thomas Erslan, Germany)

THE PAPER WILL BE BLUE (Radu Muntean, Romania)

HE FENGMING: A CHINESE MEMOIR (Wang Bing, China)

QUEI LORO INCONTRI (Jean-Marie Straub/Danielle Huillet, Italy/France)

THE ANTHEM (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

SILENT LIGHT (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico)

THE TIME THAT RESTS/EL TIEMPO QUE SE QUEDA (Jose Luis Torres Leiva, Chile)

SCHINDLERíS HOUSES (PHOTOGRAPHY AND BEYOND PART 12) (Heinz Emigholz, Austria)

EVERYTHING WILL BE OK (Don Hertzfeldt, U.S.)

LA FRANCE (Serge Bozon, France)

CASTING A GLANCE and RR (James Benning,U.S.)

THE ELEPHANT AND THE SEA (Woo Ming Jin, Malaysia)

THE DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS (Jacques Rivette, France)

FROWNLAND (Ronald Bronstein, U.S.)

TARRAFAL (Pedro Costa, Portugal)

A DIRTY CARNIVAL (Ha Yu, South Korea)

VAL LEWTON: THE MAN IN THE SHADOWS (Kent Jones,U.S.)

MY WINNIPEG (Guy Maddin, Canada)

LOREN CASS (Chris Fuller,U.S.)

MUNYURANGABO (Lee Isaac Chung, U.S.)

VHS KALOUCHA (Nejib Belkadhi, Tunisia)

A CASA DE ALICIA (Chico Teixeira, Brazil)

THE LIVING WAKE (Sol Tryon, U.S.)

CA BRULE (Claire Simon, France)

THE UNFORESEEN (Laura Dunn, U.S.)

MUSICA NOCTURNA (Rafael Filippelli, Argentina)

EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY (Michelange Quay, Haiti/France)

LE DERNIER DES FOUS (Laurent Achard, France)

EL HOMBRE ROBADO (Matias Pineiro, Argentina)

THE LAST DINING TABLE (Gyeong-Tae Roh, South Korea)

SLINGSHOT (Brilliante Mendoza, Philippines)

TOUT REFLEURIT (Aurelien Gerbault, France)

SANTIAGO (Joao Moreira Salles, Brazil)

LITTLE MOTH (Peng Tao, China)

COPACABANA (Martin Rejtman, Argentina)

ACIDENTE (Cao Guimaraes/Pablo Lobato, Brazil)

JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN ((Julien Temple, U.K.)

HELP ME EROS (Lee Kang-sheng, Taiwan)

THE MOURNING FOREST (Kawase Naomi, Japan)

NOMADAK TX (Raul dea Fuente, Spain)

COMRADES IN DREAMS (Uli Gaulke, Germany)

USELESS (Jia Zhang-ke, China)

AT SEA (Peter Hutton, U.S.)

PHANTOM LOVE (Nina Menkes, U.S.)

POP SKULL (Adam Wingard, U.S.)

BALAOU (Goncalo Tocha, Portugal)

ITíS WINTER (Rafi Pitts, Iran)

HOW IS YOUR FISH TODAY? (Guo Xiaolu, China/UK)

BODY RICE (Hugo Vieira da Silva, Portugal)

BEST U.S. RELEASES (UNRELEASED IN LOS ANGELES):

COLOSSAL YOUTH (Pedro Costa, Portugal)

LOS MUERTOS (Lisandro Alonso, Argentina)

SYNDROMES AND A CENTURY (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)

HONOR DE CAVELLERIA (Albert Serra, Spain)

REGULAR LOVERS (Philippe Garrel, France)

WHITE PALMS (Hajdu Szabolcs, Hungary)

I DONíT WANT TO SLEEP ALONE (Tsai Ming-liang, Malaysia)

ëTIS AUTUMN: THE SEARCH FOR JACKIE PARIS (Raymond De Felitta, U.S.)

BELLE TOUJOURS (Manoel Oliveira, France)

THE SUGAR CURTAIN (Camila Guzman, Cuba/France)

THE BOTHERSOME MAN (Jens Lien, Norway)

LíICEBERG (Dominique Abel/Fiona Gordon, Belgium)

MY FATHER, THE GENIUS (Lucia Small, U.S.)

SUNFLOWER (Zhang Yang,, China)

BEST LOS ANGELES RELEASES:

THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson, U.S.)

LADY CHATTERLEY (Pascale Ferran, France)

ZODIAC (David Fincher, U.S.)

BAMAKO (Abderrhamane Sissako, Mali)

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD (Sidney Lumet, U.S.)

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