PRINT December 2009

Film: Best of 2009

Ian Birnie


1 Vincere (Marco Bellocchio) Mussolini’s scorned “first wife” descends into madness while Italy rushes to crown the Duce. Mixing Soviet montage, Expressionist lighting, silent films, newsreels, melodrama, and parody, Vincere plunges the viewer into the black hole of Fascism.

2 The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke) In a north German village ca. 1914, evil walks among the farmers and sits down with the teacher, the baron, the doctor, the midwife, the pastor, and their flaxen-haired offspring. Angst-meister Haneke’s tale of twisted Protestants and patriarchs is impossible to shake.

3 Modern Life (Raymond Depardon) A portrait of the cattle farmers whose “vie moderne” is rooted in the ancient, rocky landscape of southwestern France. Depardon packs every frame with visual information that provides further insight into his stoic subjects.

4 Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn) A cross between Fight

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