Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top 10 Films SEEN in 2007 (2 of 5 parts)

Pickpocket (1959)
Directed by Robert Bresson

French director Robert Bresson, one of the masters of the medium, is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. This is probably my favorite of his works. Like Pickup on South Street, this one deals with a pickpocket (Indeed, Bresson was said to have been inspired by Pickup on South Street and those two films would make a really interesting double-feature) who seems to steal for the thrill of it but is redeemed at the end in one of the most moving scenes ever captured on film. Often cited by Paul Schrader as an influence in a lot of his works including Taxi Driver, it is an outstanding film. It's austere atmosphere and minimalistic acting (Bresson trademarks) make this film an acquired taste for most people but those open-minded enough will find much to love. (7/15)

Ratatouille (2007)
Directed by Brad Bird

The beauty of cinema is that great films come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore we go from the moving yet rather grim cinema of Bresson to a more colorful (and a hell of a lot funnier) vision of Paris from director Brad Bird which further cements PIXAR's reputation as the best source for feature length CGI animated features. The film about a rat who wishes to become a chef is such a joy to watch from start to finish, I couldn't wait to repeat the experience again and again and again. Truly, it's one of the best films of the year. (7/25)

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