CC Issue 35 / Film / TV / Social Work

A Calendar of Films: Part Two (2006)

To date, I have only had one truly life-changing film experience.  Undoubtedly, cinema has offered me plenty of magical, moving, and memorable occasions the deposits of which have only burrowed deeper over time – but what I am speaking of is something that evokes a little more violence.  You see, things were processing quite happily in one direction till I saw a particular film in 2006.  The experience was so disruptive, so haunting, that it was difficult to ever think, feel, or act the same again.

Sometime early in the summer of 2006, my father told me he had been to a press event with the director of a new documentary on North Korea.  Two DVDs were part of the press pack which my father brought home that day.  I looked at them and because I didn’t know much about North Korea at the time, I didn’t given them much notice.  Several days later, home alone, I decided to watch “Seoul Train” on little more than a whim.

It can be frustrating not to have one thing to care about deeply.  I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few people who radiate this kind of singular passion.  I both admire and envy this honed focus as I’ve never been able to distill my concerns in such a manner.  Watching “Seoul Train,” and especially the ravenous interest it produced relative to all things North Korea (from the human rights situation to refugees), was the closest I have ever got to finding my one thing.

My subsequent “efforts” resulted in a compilation of original music especially created on behalf of the people of North Korea.  It was a small but inspiring project, made possible by some talented friends and buttressed by the support of countless others.  I dreamed about the possibility of giving the compilation to a North Korean refugee as a way of expressing solidarity and care.  Little did I know that I would have the privilege of doing so within a year.  And even littler (?) did I know that the first refugee I  met would be the man whose story had featured so prominently in “Seoul Train.”

As you can imagine, my 2006 film list is a special one for me.  It also features my first real foray (if you can call it that) into Indian cinema with Deepa Mehta’s excellent film “Fire.”  2006 was also the year that I saw my favourite documentary of all time (aside from “Seoul Train,” I suppose), “Without Memory.”  It was a fantastic experience, magnified greatly by having Hirokazu Kore-eda (the director) present for the screening and getting to ask him a question in the subsequent Q&A.  Last but not least, how could I forget the impeccable “Paradise Now” – the first Palestinian film I saw and underlying issues which could be a close second should I ever actually have a one thing (the oppression of the North Korean people at the hands of the political juggernaut of the state produces similar things in me to the oppression of the Palestinians at the hands of the juggernaut of the Israeli Occupation).

I dedicate this installment to Hirokazu Kore-eda for so compassionately portraying the human condition, and to the poor in spirit in India, Palestine, and North Korea – yours is the kingdom.

Film Title | Director | Date of Release | Country (or Primary Location)
* Entries in bold are personal favourites.

han-mi_gate

01. Amores Perros | Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu | 2000 | Spain
02. Cinderella Man | Ron Howard | 2005 | USA
03. Ice Age | Chris Wedge | 2002 | USA
04. Memoirs of a Geisha | Rob Marshall | 2005 | USA
05. Les Dames du Boi de Boulogne | Robert Bresson | 1945 | FRANCE
06. The Constant Gardener | Fernando Meirelles | 2005 | USA
07. Japon | Carlos Reygadas | 2002 | MEXICO
08. Fire | Deepa Mehta | 1996 | INDIA
09. Late Autumn | Yasujiro Ozu | 1960 | JAPAN
10. The Chronicles of Narnia | Andrew Adamson | 2005 | USA
11. Diary of a Country Priest | Robert Bresson | 1951 | FRANCE
12. Brokeback Mountain | Ang Lee | 2005 | USA
13. Broken Flowers | Jim Jarmusch | 2005 | USA
14. Crash | Paul Haggis | 2004 | USA
15. 21 Grams | Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu | 2003 | USA
16. Taste of Cherry | Abbas Kiarostami | 1997 | IRAN
17. Allegro | Christoffer Boe | 2005 | DENMARK
18. Manderlay | Lars Von Trier | 2005 | DENMARK
19. Always Sunset on 3rd Street | Yamazaki Takashi | 2005 | JAPAN
20. L’Enfant | Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne | 2005 | BELGIUM
21. Paradise Now | Hany Abu-Assad | 2005 | PALESTINE
22. Matchpoint | Woody Allen | 2005 | USA
23. Breaking the Waves | Lars Von Trier | 1996 | DENMARK
24. A Time for Drunken Horses | Bahman Ghobadhi | 2004 | IRAN
25. Or | Keren Yedaya | 2004 | ISRAEL
26. Dogville | Lars Von Trier | 2003 | DENMARK
27. Kadosh | Amos Gitai | 1999 | ISRAEL
28. Seoul Train | Jim Butterworth & Lisa Sleeth | 2004 | SOUTH KOREA
29. Mighty Aphrodite | Woody Allen | 1995 | USA
30. Bowling for Columbine | Michael Moore | 2002 | USA
31. Invisible Waves | Pen-Ek Ratanaruang | 2006 | THAILAND
32. The DaVinci Code | Ron Howard | 2006 | USA
33. 15 Park Avenue | Aparna Sen | 2005 | INDIA
34. Water | Deepa Mehta | 2005 | INDIA
35. Earth | Deepa Mehta | 1998 | INDIA
36. Munich | Steven Spielberg | 2005 | USA
37. The Pink Panther | Shawn Levy | 2006 | USA
38. The Corporation | Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott | 2003 | USA
39. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter & Spring | Kim Ki-Duk | 2003 | SOUTH KOREA
40. Seeds of Doubts | Samir Nasr | 2005 | GERMANY
41. Zozo | Josef Fares | 2005 | LEBANON
42. Le Grand Voyage | Ismael Ferroukhi | 2004 | FRANCE
43. Ceasefire | Tahmineh Milani | 2006 | IRAN
44. Trois Coleurs : Bleu | Krzyztof Kieslowski | 1993 | POLAND
45. Trois Coleurs : Blanc | Krzyztof Kieslowski | 1994 | POLAND
46. Trois Coleurs : Rouge | Krzyztof Kieslowski | 1994 | POLAND
47. Cache | Michael Haneke | 2005 | FRANCE
48. L’Enfer | Danis Tanovic | 2005 | FRANCE
49. Lady in the Water | M. Night Shymalan | 2006 | USA
50. The Double Life of Veronique | Krzyztof Kieslowski | 1996 | POLAND
51. The Willow Tree | Majid Majidi | 2005 | IRAN
52. Maborosi | Hirokazu Kore-eda | 1995 | JAPAN
53. The Birds | Alfred Hitchcock | 1963 | USA
54. Without Memory | Hirokazu Kore-eda | 1996 | JAPAN
55. Volver | Pedro Almodovar | 2006 | SPAIN
56. The New World | Terrence Malick | 2005 | USA
57. Scoop | Woody Allen | 2006 | USA
58. After Life | Hirokazu Kore-eda | 1998 | JAPAN
59. Nobody Knows | Hirokazu Kore-eda | 2004 | JAPAN
60. The Science of Sleep | Michel Gondry | 2006 | FRANCE
61. Casino Royale | Martin Campbell | 2006 | USA
62. The Russians are Coming | Norman Jewison | 1966 | USA
63. Mickey Blue Eyes | Kelly Makin | 1999 | USA
64. Borat | Larry Charles | 2006 | USA

2 thoughts on “A Calendar of Films: Part Two (2006)

  1. Pingback: Best Films of 2013 | Checkerboard Collective

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