Since it is 2009 we are seeing both best-of-the-year and best-of-the-decade lists. While many of these lists seemingly serve to reinforce critical consensus, the same cannot be said of the Toronto International Film Festival’s list of the best movies from the 2000s. Voted on by representatives from some of the most prestigious film institutions from the world, the list reflects the diverse, and international character of contemporary cinema.
Leading the list is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century. For more on this critically acclaimed Thai director, you can read the aptly titled Apichatpong Weerasethakul, edited by James Quandt.
Other directors whose films made the list of the top 30 include (we’ve linked to directors whose works are the subject of books available from Columbia University Press and Wallflower Press): Terence Malick, The Dardenne brothers, Agnes Varda, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Gus Van Sant, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Pedro Almodóvar, Abbas Kiarostami, Guy Maddin, Todd Haynes, and Ingmar Bergman.
Here is a list of the top ten films of the 2000’s by the Toronto International Film Festival:
1. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand)
2. Platform (Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong, China/China/Japan/France)
3. Still Life (Jia Zhang-ke, China)
4. Beau travail (Claire Denis, France)
5. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, China)
6. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand/Germany/Italy)
7. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania)
Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Hungary)
8. Éloge de l’amour (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/ France)
9. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania)
10. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands)