Favorite new films (alphabetically):
- At Sea (Peter Hutton, USA)
- Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, Holland)
- Fengming, A Chinese Memoir (Wang Bing, China)
- Flight of the Red Balloon (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France)
- I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, USA)
- Inland Empire (David Lynch, USA/France/Poland)
- In the City of Sylvia (Jose Luis Guerin, Spain/France)
- Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, France)
- The Last Mistress (Catherine Breillat, France)
- Paranoid Park (Gus van Sant, USA/France)
- The Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Eric Rohmer, France)
- Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea)
- Useless (Jia Zhang-ke, China)
Favorite older films seen for the first time this year (chronologically):
- Hangover Square (John Brahm, 1945)
- Story of a Love Affair (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1950)
- Tokyo Twilight (Yasujiro Ozu, 1957)
- Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1976)
- Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977)
- Ms. 45 (Abel Ferrara, 1981)
- À Nos Amours (Maurice Pialat, 1983)
- El Sur (Victor Erice, 1983)
- Sombre (Philippe Grandrieux, 1998)
- Films by Pedro Costa: In Vanda’s Room and Where Does That Hidden Smile Lie? (2000/2001)
Revisited films that look better every time:
- L’Age d’Or (Luis Buñuel/Salvador Dali, 1930)
- They Live By Night (Nicholas Ray, 1949)
- Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, 1950)
- The Cloud-Capped Star (Ritwik Ghatak, 1960)
- Bobby (Raj Kapoor, 1973)
- Deewaar (Yash Chopra, 1975)
- Films by Martin Arnold: Pièce Touchée, Passage à l’acte, Alone: Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1989/1993/1997)
- Surviving Desire (Hal Hartley, 1991)
- La Ceremonie (Claude Chabrol, 1995)
- Domino (Tony Scott, 2005)
And finally, 10 great writers I had been aware of but only started reading seriously this year:
- Nicole Brenez: Abel Ferrara; “For it is the Critical Faculty that Invents Fresh Forms,” in The French Cinema Book; essays in Rouge and Screening the Past.
- Jean-Pierre Coursodon: 2-volume American Directors, with Pierre Sauvage.
- Jonathan Culler: Literary Theory; Roland Barthes.
- Fergus Daly: Leos Carax; on Maurice Pialat in Rouge and Hou Hsiao-hsien in Movie Mutations.
- Paul Hammond: The Shadow and its Shadow; L’Age d’Or (BFI classics).
- James Naremore: See this post.
- Bill Nichols: Introduction to Documentary; Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary; Ideology and the Image; Movies and Methods, vols. 1 and 2 (editor).
- Sam Rohdie: Antonioni; Montage; essays at Screening the Past.
- Robert Stam: Film Theory: An Introduction; Reflexivity in Film and Culture: From Don Quixote to Jean-Luc Godard.
- David Toop: Ocean of Sound; Exotica; Haunted Weather.
A large survey at Screening the Past collects key contributions to the field–books, essays, DVDs, etc.–as nominated by numerous scholars/cinephiles including Dudley Andrew, Nicole Brenez, Thomas Elsaesser, Craig Keller, Bill Krohn, Adrian Martin, James Naremore, Andy Rector, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Paul Willemen.
One or more of your favorites of 2007, in either films or books, old or new?
pic: At Sea (Peter Hutton).