For my first list in the new Silver Screen Streak Movie Challenge, my fellow Flickcharter Mike Seaman has assigned me the February 2019 edition of "The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films" from the website "They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?"
For those who don't follow the highbrow online film community, They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? is a director-focused website for movie enthusiasts and is best-known as an aggregator of "best of" lists. One of their flagship lists is "The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films," which features 1000 movies and is compiled from thousands of sources. You can read about it here.
According to this version of the list at Letterboxd, I've already seen 547 of its 1000 movies, including many of my favorite movies from the past two decades, including Zodiac, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, You Can Count on Me, Django Unchained, There Will Be Blood and hundreds more.
But this challenge is about movies that I haven't seen, and this list plunges me pretty quickly into arthouse territory.
According to the rules of Silver Screen Streak Movie Challenge, I guarantee to watch at least the first two movies from each list, after which point my continuation through the list will depend on how well the movies rank on my Flickchart. My benefactor for this list has invoked the "no documentaries" rule, possibly sparing me from a 9-hour Chinese examination of something depressing.
The first two movies on this list are:
Russian Ark (2002) — This is supposedly a dazzling technical achievement, one of those "looks like it was filmed in one long continuous shot" projects. It's been on my watchlist for years, with my concern that I may not know enough of Russian history to appreciate it affecting my motivation.
If this list's opening brace is strong enough to push me further, here's what lies in wait:
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010) — This is one of my favorite movie titles, so I'm wary of watching it and having the film fall short of its glorious moniker. I watched my first movie from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul a few months ago, Tropical Malady. While his overall tone hit a sweet spot for me, the narrative zigs didn't pay off for me and it landed just below 50% on my Flickchart.
The Turin Horse (2011) — I also watched my first Bela Tarr film a few months back. I loved parts of Werckmeister Harmonies, especially the marvelus opening scene. It charted at 60% but made me eager to see more from the Hungarian arthouse favorite.
Platform (2000) — I haven't heard of this movie prior to encountering it here, but a few months ago I watched the most recent movie from director Zhangke Jia, Ash Is Purest White, which was a compelling drama with a fantastic performance from actress Zhao Tao, who also stars here. It landed on my Flickchart at 62%.
Elephant (2003) — Gus Van Sant is hit-and-miss for me, but I'm always interested in his work, as he's a local filmmaker (who I once interviewed for my college newspaper). I actually don't have any of his movies charted higher than 46% on my Flickchart, which is a bit harsh, but most of them deserve a rewatch after 20+ years.
Inland Empire (2006) — I like dashes of weird in a David Lynch project, but I've been avoiding this one, which I understand is excessive even by his standards (and in length). If I make it this far in this list, I will be thankful for the nudge to finally see the one with the rabbits.
Amour (2012) — I'm a moderate fan of director Michael Haneke, but this acclaimed drama about, as I understand it, an old person slowly dying, is hardly motivating. Whether I make it this far on this list, AMOUR is near the top of at least one other list waiting for me later in this challenge, so I am sure to have to face it eventually.
Silent Light (2007) — The tenth movie waiting for me in this list, should it propel to such heights, is from director Carlos Reygadas. I watched his newest film, Our Time, earlier this year, and found it lovelier to look at than it was interesting regarding its subject matter.