Review of the year

This is all relative. I’m well aware, as a film critic and man who has lost all his friends since recommending the complete works of Bela Tarr to them, that what might be right for me, may not be right for some. The films released in 2006 that reminded me (against a frequent, sometimes overwhelming hurricane of doubt) why I still love the greatest art form of the 20th century were Malick’s The New World, Haneke’s remarkable thriller polemic Hidden, Clooney’s liberal, beautifully nuanced Good Night, and Good Luck, raw Aussie outlaw flick The Proposition, Jun Ichikawa’s abject lesson in adaptation, Tony Takitani, and Cristi Puiu’s absolutely brilliant The Death of Mr Lazarescu (about as close to a masterpiece as we are going to get in this list).

Other released films that impressed me included Tommy Lee Jones’ directorial cinema debut The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Noah Baumbach’s exquisitely crafted The Squid and the Whale and Lodge Kerrigan’s painful Keane. Also filmmakers Ira (The Delta) Sachs and Rowan (The Boys) Woods both finally delivered on their early promise with 40 Shades of Blue and Little Fish respectively this year. As autumn and winter set in I enjoyed hiding from the shitty weather watching small gems Red Road, Children of Men, Pan’s Labyrinth and Little Miss Sunshine. Best documentary features were Fatih (Head On) Akin’s Crossing the Bridge, his hymn to the music scene in Istanbul, and of course Herzog’s Grizzly Man. Best re-issues were The Passenger, Melville’s stunning Army in the Shadows, The Asphalt Jungle and Kiss me Deadly. I need to go and get my eyes tested now.

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