|La dolce vita||1960||Federico Fellini|
|Vivre sa vie||1962||Jean-Luc Godard|
|Tara moarta (The Dead Nation)||2017||Radu Jude|
|The Souvenir||2018||Joanna Hogg|
|Le Bonheur||1965||Agnès Varda|
|The Beaches of Agnès||2008||Agnès Varda|
La dolce vita
It captures both the extreme vitality and the decadence of the 1960s while also speaking about the relationship of art and life in a magnificent tapestry, equalling Bruegel's canvases in modern cinema.
Vivre sa vie
It shows effortlessly what cinema is all about, capturing what makes it abstract, philosophical, sensuous and playful at the same time.
The perfect balance between the visible and the invisible, between visual stylisation and emotional engagement, also between the story that is not happening and the story that cannot really happen. The most wonderful open ending of a film ever conceived.
The feeling of being an outsider to other's lives (or 'life') has never been presented with more understatement and visual finesse. It is not the outcast status of a social misfit or of a marginalized person in society, simply a state of mind, an emotion that many can identify with: not being in the centre of attention, of things that happen.
Tara moarta (The Dead Nation)
An astonishing film made of a slideshow of digitised images from the collection of glass-plate photographs made in the 1930s and 40s by a photographer from a small south-eastern Romanian town, while in the voiceover, read by Jude, we hear excerpts from the diaries of a Jewish doctor, Emil Dorian, living in Bucharest at the same time, recalling the growing antisemitism and persecution of the Jews. The incongruence of the sound and image, along with their subtle interactions, the minute details in the images, the slow procession of the images capturing the realities of the age without explanation, unfolds a tapestry of life and death that is simply staggering.
A unique 'portrait of an artist' film, with rich layers to be unravelled with connections to art history, cinema history, literature and music. A film that mixes analogue and digital techniques and creates authenticity from extreme artificiality.
A great film about what films can represent and what they cannot, what an 'image' is all about, presenting all this in a string of scenes that captures the zeitgeist of the 1960s. A film that encapsulates what modern cinema is capable of. Pure film-philosophy.
Beautiful and heartrending but not in a conventional way, it 'works' on the viewer long after having watched the film. It poses some very unconfortable questions about what we think happiness should be.
The Beaches of Agnès
The most astonishing self-portrait in cinema about the interpenetration of art and life, not about the art and life of Varda, but about the way life is art and art is life for her in a wonderful, affective symbiosis.
A meditation on cinema without parallel, deconstructing and reconstructing cinema from its elementary 'building blocks' of image, raw emotion, haunting spectrality, the tensional relationship between words and images, silence and sound.