By Alvin Chung
Almost two decades into the 21st century, some may think the cinema is in decline. At times there’s the impression that this century’s best films are products of nostalgia. For example, La La Land is a homage to Golden Age Hollywood and French New Wave musicals, or the works of Quentin Tarantino are mere pastiches of old B-movies.
To prove this view false, here is a list of great 21st century films that deserve more attention. With each film as evidence, it is clear that contemporary cinema is as innovative as in the older times. Some works on this list are by the old masters such as Werner Herzog, Ingmar Bergman, and Andrzej Wajda. While others are made by obscurer directors from non-English speaking regions such as Greece and Hong Kong.
Some of the movies deal with history, some are pure fiction. The films’ common feature is their deep attention to the universal human experience. These motion pictures are chosen for both their technical virtuosity and intellectual depth while being at the same time great entertainments.
10. Invincible (2001)
Werner Herzog’s minor masterpiece recounts the life of an extraordinarily strong Jewish blacksmith in Nazi Germany. The film treats historical cruelty with imaginative powers. In a dream sequence, crabs walk along railway tracks amidst the fog, waiting for the train to come, as if mourning the Jewish tragedy.
Tim Roth’s portrayal of the Nazi-affiliated astrologer, Erik Jan Hanussen, is particularly gripping. Like his intricate performances in Quentin Tarantino’s works (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight), Roth’s charisma dominates each frame. He crafts Hanussen’s fears and discontents with studied control while preserving the character’s mystery.
On a side note, Invincible should be compared to István Szabó’s Hanussen:Hitler’s Astrologer (1988). Szabó sympathizes with the character while Herzog sees him as wholly unpleasant. The → continue…
From:: Taste Of Cinema