Wednesday, 16 December 2009

A Decade of Movie Memories: 2001


2001 was quite an uneven year for me, although for film it was a pretty awesome one. It was the first year I remember making a point of watching the Oscars, and the year that Gladiator won 5 awards and I enjoyed the film so was a happy camper. Might have been the first and last year I was a happy camper with the results of the Oscars, but more on that in the years to come. When I look back at what I saw that year it's a bit of a mish mash of awards type stuff with some harsher off the beaten track films and a lot of big of style and fun films. That really parallels the year as I was all about style being still a fashion student for most of the year but also still really getting back on the 'film is awesome!' train. Other than that the year was pretty rocky which looking back seeing the escapist type films makes a lot of sense.

As with my 2000 list, films are listed in the chronological order in which I saw them and are limited to films seen theatrically. This is a list of favourite movie memories, not a best of list. Series are not included as they would take up too many spots overall!

The Crimson Rivers / Les rivières pourpres
Started off the year witha bit of a dark one and looking back I'm a little surprized that this French crime/thriller directed by Mathieu Kassovitz was playing at my very local multiplex. Location and timing were my reason for going - it was actually the first film I saw in the theatre by myself after a fight with my then husband. Who knew there would be solace in a dark film starring Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel? Ok, I'll admit that Jean Reno being in it also played a part in wanting to see it, although I'm a little surprized I made it through the gooey, gory opening credits.

Keeping in dark with a film that I'm sure will hit many lists, but Memento is one of those films that I found at the time was not only an amazing film in terms of style, innovation and acting but also a great litmus test that brought fellow film fans together. Yeah, that's it - it was the cool kid litmus test of 2001 - at least for me.

Save the Last Dance
Oh my goodness, I loved this movie - where to begin... dance movie, had a new spin on the whole 'wrong side of the tracks' thing, combined more classical dance with urban, clubbing and... it had great clothes. My entire fashion design class would talk about it with such enthusiasm I think we even convinced our instructor to go see it. I also love that it featured an interracial couple, something I wish we would see more often. It's also highly quotable with snappy dialogue and ridiculously re-watchable.

Josie and the Pussycats
Yes, it's silly but that is exactly why Josie and the Pussycats makes the list. This movie is 100% fun. So much of it is ridiculous and over the top, but again that is what makes it awesome. I was in stitches watching it, and I especially loved Tara Reid's character who was so sweet and full of life.

Pearl Harbour
This is a total guilty pleasure film but mostly on this list because when I saw it I laughed at thinking all the guys who convinced their girlfriends to go see an action/war flick that really is a romance. Too funny. Side note: this film was inspiration/realization to get a new TV as when I watched this on my old one with wide screen the subtitles were too small to read.

Moulin Rouge!
Baz does it again. First Strictly Ballroom, then Romeo + Juliet and in 2001 Moulin Rouge. I almost didn't believe it was possible - Ewan McGregor singing? Nicole Kidman singing and dancer? John Leguizamo as Toulouse-Lautrec? Yes, yes, yes and it all works. The film is absolutely captivating and sheer creative genius. The songs are beautiful combinations of favourites, and it was before people called anything a mash up but that term doesn't do it justice. It's positively wonderful, full, rich and alive on so many levels. If it wasn't so sad I would watch it more often.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
I remember when this came out what a marvel it was that the animation was so life like. Amazing how far things have come since then, eh? But it is still very impressive. In one part this is one the list as I remember going terribly hungover the day after a wedding, and also because it because one of my favourite films to fall asleep listening too - I love the sounds and the voices which is key for sleepy factor. I also enjoyed that it's very much about hope. Who knew all that would come from a film based on a video game?

Monsters, Inc.
I went to see this at a rep theatre with my Mom - we planned to meet there and I was on time but she was late, so I wanted outside so we must of missed the beginning. She totally thought I would have gone into the film, but I would never do that in case something was wrong - although there is no way I would now if something was wrong. Ah, meeting for movie etiquette. Anyhow, we both saw and loved the film (while enjoying some burrito's that magically appeared from her purse) in the end. It made me remember that I can like animated film, which I hadn't for a while (save Final Fantasy), and not to discount films just because they look like they are for kids. And.. for "Kitty!". Awesome.

Like Memento, Amélie is a film that will grace many lists. The creativity and quirkiness captured many of our hearts as we watched the crazy adventures of Amélie. It was also so very, very clever, I always appreciated the factor as well - wrapping everything up in ways I wouldn't have imagined and didn't see coming, now that is a true treat.

I've always been a Michael Mann fan so it was a no brainer to go see it but the big revelation here was to see Will Smith as such a great actor as up until this point he'd been in blockbustery films like Independence Day and Wild Wild West. But in Ali, wow - he is phenomenal. I also remember recognizing almost every single actor in it which was wild. I went to this with a bunch of friends as a countdown to the Oscars, and before the film we had a discussion where we tried to remember what the origin of Spiderman's mutation was but couldn't remember, and contemplated going into the comic book store across the street to ask the staff but ultimately resisted. That was before Spider-Man came out, and I have no idea why I remember that conversation so well. Life is weird!


Univarn said...

I have to admit despite the final fantasy fanboy anti-love I do really enjoy Spirits Within, beautiful scenery and a great plot, solid emotional animated film. Great pickup!

As for Pearl Harbor... I'll stick with Tora! Tora! Tora! :).

blake said...

This is not a judgement in anyway, but I would never guess Josie and the Pussycats would be on this list when I consider La Strada is your favorite (or one of them) film.

The song 'One of these things is not like the other' comes to mind. :)

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Yay for Spirits Within love! I didn't know it had fanboy anti-love to be honest, this came out before I was a gamer, hehe.

Well I do like to surprize people Blake! Again, it's not a best of but rather movie memories and watching Josey was very memorable - great to see a film about a group of girl friends with musical abilities and it had a pretty good message about being true to yourself and not selling out. I really enjoyed it.

Have I mentioned that Gidget is in my all time favourites along with La Strada? As is In the Mood for Love and Rashoman. It's a weird list. :)

Jamie Ridler said...

OMG I love this list. It took me right back to that year and made me realize just how many movies I enjoyed in 2001! You know, before I even finished reading, I went to Amazon and put Josie and the Pussycats on my wish list!

And Moulin Ruoge! Well, it's the only other movie in my Hall of Fame list keeping Star Wars company.

You know, I'd love to hear your take on movie etiquette!

Thanks for the memories! c

Jamie Ridler said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that even when I just looked at your photo for today I was taken right back! I love that you have DVDs for these film memories!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Oh my goodness Jamie, I should have mentioned how many of the films of these we saw together - must be at least half! We saw a lot of fun movies that year!

Funny, I don't I sorted out with Mom what to do if one of us was late again... I bet I would stay out front and she would go in. I'd never go in. Never!

Most in the pic are actually.. um... VHS tapes. It was 2001 after all! Still have to upgrade a few of those suckers but luckily (both) my VCRs still work :)

Ryan McNeil said...

(Realized I had some catching up to do on your decade lists - pardon the comment bombardment)

Really happy to see ALI on your list - as a big fan of Michael Mann I feel that the film gets overlooked sometimes. I'm a big fan of Muhammed Ali so that was one of my most anticipated films that year and it didn't disappoint at all!

Chris said...

I’ve recently discovered your movie blog while blog hopping, and I look forward to revisiting. I'll link to your site on my blog.

I would appreciate it, if you, and others, would become a “follower” and/or link on your site to my new movie + music blog, just to help get it going:

We can help each other discover new movies that we might not otherwise have heard of ( :

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