Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A Decade of Movie Memories: 2006


2006 is the year when my movie memories become very solidified. I started writing about film online at the first blog I ever tired and it was there the newsletter Film Fan Fridays found an online home there 2006. I also started reviewing film, my first was In the Heat of the Night for my first 101 in 1001 list and man, it was a short review! I also reviewed current films and made the conscience effort to see Canadian films in the theatre. As it happens, it was a freaking awesome year for Canadian film and I was thrilled to get out to so many of them. I was about to revel in the fact of how much more film I see or write about now, then I realized I did review all of the 2006 films on this list and I'll be surprized to see if that will happen with my 2009 picks. But now my reviews tend to be a tad longer. I own very few of the films from 2006 because at that time I was focusing on paying off debt and didn't start buying DVDs until later on. Ah, it's interesting to see how things change over time.

As with previous years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 the parameters or the list are films seen theatrically, no series included and films are listed in the chronological order in which I saw them. This is a list of favourite movie memories, not a best of list.

The Rocket / Maurice Richard
I said I went hyper Canadian this year and you can't really get more Canadian than a biopic on the hockey player Maurice Richard. It's an absolutely spectacular film and sweeped the Genies that year including picking up 9 awards including 3 for acting: Stephen McHattie (Pontypool) for supporting actor, Julie LeBreton for actress, and Roy Dupuis for actor in the role of Maurice Richard. There is a calm beauty and strength to this film that makes it so special.

I'm breaking my rules a little bit here as I know I saw Babel in 2007 - on Superbowl Sunday to be exact. You see, the pipes froze in my house and I woke up and it was 10C in my apartment. So I got the flock outta there to give my landlord time to get it fixed. So, in doing so I went to see Babel at the Carlton which was warmer than my place. The film wasn't what I expected, but made me wonder if the 2000's would become known for the format of having lots of different stories told concurrently and then manage to come together. Regardless, it was warm there and I got one more film knocked off the 'to see for awards season' list.

Metal: A Headbanger's Journey
A documentary that looks at the history of Metal music from an anthropological point of view. Un-freaking-believable and again another fantastic Canadian film of 2006. The music is awesome, the interviews are not only entertaining but also informative. It's a beautiful combination of love for the music but also the drive to see who loves it and why. Brilliant.

Night Watch / Nochnoi Dozor
Fantastic fusion of current day with the fantastical/paranormal to bring a vision that is epic and accessible. There are a few things that bring this film to new heights for me - there is a familiarity to the European aesthetic with the characters from sensibility to physicality and the art direction drives me over the top. I love everything about it, and how you can tell that care was everything in every decision made, even the subtitles go the extra mile. It also accomplishes the amazing feat of having the created world make sense in it of itself so it doesn't have to be 'explained' directly to the audience. Having the opportunity to see this one the big screen over at Scotiabank (then Paramount) was amazing, I mean a Russian fantastical sci-fi esque film... in the theatre? Unforgettable.

District B13 / Banlieue B13
How often do you see a futuristic sci fi action crime movie? Not often enough I say! That description was enough to get me in the theatre, another trip to Scotiabank on the big screen, and although I wouldn't ever classify District 13 as Sci Fi but that's okay because it still rocks. It was the first time I'd ever seen parkour (which we saw later in 2006 in Casino Royale) and I was blown away! The action sequences are beyond believe and it's wild to see them set to French rap music. Freaking awesome. What's even better is that it has a great story, interesting kick butt characters, a message and stars the founder of parkour himself, David Belle.

Bon Cop, Bad Cop
Another great Canadian film of the year and this one is unique because it bridged the divide between English and French by making it a inadvertent Ontario/Quebec buddy cop action/thriller. Yep, and it's pretty freaking funny to. Promo'd as a bilingual film it has it's fair share of language jokes, and it played with different subtitles depending where in Canada it was shown.

The Devil Wears Prada
This one is on my list for a few reason, firstly it was the 2nd film in the past 10 years that was actually sold out the first time I tried to see it. I remember being dumbfounded at the theatre. Sold out? That even happens anymore? And it was like a Tuesday or something. Anyway, the second time I saw it I had lots of reservations about it, not the film itself but the main character and her choices. But, over time I've come to change my mind and I always get hooked to watching it if it's on TV. I do love the cattiness of Emily Blunt's character and I also think it's also the first performance of Meryl Streep's that I enjoyed.

Conversations With Other Women
This was one in several films that were 'race to the Cumberland after work to see a matinee' films, and it really stuck with me. It's not the style of the film, which is memorable and interesting but that wasn't what really did it. There is literally one line in it that is such a moment of truth that I will always remember it just for that.

The Fountain
Is it awful to say that before seeing The Fountain I didn't realize that Hugh Jackman could act? I had seen and loved the X-Men films but in this.. I mean, that man can really act! I loved this film for taking on grand big life questions and concepts and putting them all together and all over the place. I wouldn't hazard to say I understood it all but I was marvelled by it, conceptually, visually and theoretically.

What a joy it was to see Dreamgirls in the theatre with my sisters Suzie and Jamie. I remember listening to the soundtrack of the Broadway show at home and singing along - I knew each and every word to it. But, I had never seen a production of the show so in essence I had no idea what the story was at all. So seeing the film was a bizarre experience in familiarity and revelation. But seeing it with my sisters was the best, there were lots of tears shed at that screening!


blake said...

Nice list. Coversations with Other Women really worked for me as well. And I can't put my finger on why, but I really enjoy The Fountain, despite no tunderstanding it.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Thanks Blake! Yep, Conversations really stuck on me and with The Fountain - it was so eye opening but like almost like mind emptying and then you are left with a sense of wonder. Fascinating. I need to revisit that one soon!

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