Ever since the summer of 2005, I have kept a record of every film I have watched, whether it be in the cinema or on DVD. It was a class I took that year – in my last semester of university – called “Cinema” that did the trick, ushering me from Hollywood fluff (which I wouldn’t have known as such at the time) and into a world of auteurs, subtitles, and film.
I can even pinpoint the exact moment it happened: our professor showed us the opening scenes of Robert Bresson’s “Diary of a Country Priest.” There was something extraordinarily beautiful about the priest riding his bicycle, and I would probably be amiss to try and elucidate why. The important thing is that I learned to view this wonderful art form primarily as a porter which could bring me closer to what it means to be human and live well in this world, as opposed to simply being a means of escape or distraction from it.
I suppose I decided to keep a record not only to document what films I saw, but to have some way of remembering what they made me feel and even what I was pondering at the time. In addition, seeing good films and experiencing greater joy and satisfaction made the prospect of documenting them all the more meaningful; my only sentiment prior to the discovery of cinema (CINEMA!) was ambivalence (I blame the movie “Hard Rain” which, incidentally, wasn’t so bad in retrospect as it afforded me the opportunity of splashing my friend – one of our very own Checkerboard comrades nonetheless – with a cup of his own urine. I’ll leave you to figure out what his “goldilocks” were doing in a cup in the first place, that day in the theater).
Anyway, though I wouldn’t say I have a photographic memory in the slightest, I can probably tell you exactly where I saw most of the films in my lists (all seven years’ worth) and, in many cases, with whom. It’s a nice (albeit terribly nerdy) way of navigating a year of life. I’ll be posting these year lists on occasion for your perusal – feel free to ask me about any of them in the comments. I dedicate this first instalment to Robert Bresson who made visible what perhaps without him might never have been seen, and to Iran for offering the world plenty of cinematic delight.
Film Title | Director | Date of Release | Country (or Primary Location)
* Entries in bold are personal favourites.
01. Les Choristes | Christophe Barratier | 2004 | FRANCE
02. The Motorcyle Diaries | Walter Salles | 2004 | ARGENTINA
03. Finding Neverland | Marc Forster | 2004 | USA
04. Late Spring | Yasujiro Ozu | 1949 | JAPAN
05. Breaking the Waves | Lars Von Trier | 1996 | DENMARK
06. Ten; Ten on Ten | Abbas Kiarostami | 2002 | IRAN
07. Taste of Cherry | Abbas Kiarostami | 1997 | IRAN
08. Cries and Whispers | Ingmar Bergman | 1972 | SWEDEN
09. Under the Skin of the City | Rakshani Bani Etemad | 2000 | IRAN
10. The Circle | Jafar Panahi | 2000 | IRAN
11. The Sea Inside | Alejandro Amenabar | 2004 | SPAIN
12. Live Flesh | Pedro Almodovar | 1997 | SPAIN
13. Balzac and the Little Seamstress | Sijie Dai | 2002 | CHINA
14. Eros | Wong Kar Wai, Soderbergh, Antonio | 2004 | HONG KONG/USA/ITALY
15. Fallen Angels | Wong Kar Wai | 1995 | HONG KONG
16. Infernal Affairs | Wai Keung Lau | 2002 | HONG KONG
17. Under Suspicion | Stephen Hopkins | 2000 | USA
18. The March of the Emperor | Luc Jacquet | 2005 | FRANCE
19. Family Nest | Bela Tarr | 1977 | HUNGARY
20. Shanghai Dreams | Wang Xiaoshuai | 2005 | CHINA
21. 20 Fingers | Mania Akbari | 2004 | IRAN
22. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance | Park Chan Wook | 2005 | SOUTH KOREA
23. The Sunflowers | Wang Bao Min | 2005 | CHINA
24. Chased by Dreams | Buddhadeb Dasgupta | 2004 | INDIA
25. One Summer with You | Xie Dong | 2005 | CHINA
26. Beautiful City | Asghar Farhadi | 2004 | IRAN
27. Dear Frankie | Shona Auerbach | 204 | IRELAND
28. Turtles Can Fly | Bahman Ghobadi | 2004 | IRAN
29. 3-Iron | Ki-Duk Kim | 2004 | SOUTH KOREA
30. Reconstruction | Christoffer Boe | 2003 | DENMARK
31. Donau | Goran Rebic | 2003 | GERMANY
32. A Touch of Spice | Tassos Boulmetis | 2003 | GREECE
33. The Best of Youth I | Marco Tullio Giordana | 2003 | ITALY
34. Valentin | Alejandro Agresti | 2002 | ARGENTINA
35. Me and You and Everyone We Know | Miranda July | 2005 | USA
36. Annie Hall | Woody Allen | 1977 | USA
37. Nobody Knows |Kore-eda Hirokazu | 2004 | JAPAN
38. Control Room | Jehane Noujam | 2004 | USA/IRAQ
39. The Son’s Room | Nanni Moretti | 2001 | ITALY
40. Strayed | Andre Techine | 2003 | FRANCE
41. Time to Leave | Francois Ozon | 2005 | FRANCE
42. L’escquive | Abdellatif Kechine | 2003 | FRANCE
43. Scent of Green Papaya | Ahn Hung Tran | 1993 | VIETNAM
44. Last Life in the Universe | Pen Ek Ratanaruang | 2003 | THAILAND
45. Saving Face | Alice Wu | 2004 | USA
46. Dogville | Lars Von Trier | 2003 | DENMARK
47. After the Sunset | Brett Ratner | 2004 | USA
48. Closer | Mike Nichols | 2004 | USA
3 thoughts on “A Calendar of Films: Part One (2005)”
I have probably seen fewer than forty eight films since 2005.
Note: I can’t see the bloody bold font. Is this just me?
get your eyes checked joe.