By R. Emmet Sweeney
[Photo: “Inland Empire,” 518 Media Inc/Absurda]
1. Inland Empire
4. Pan’s Labyrinth
5. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
6. Breaking News
8. Inside Man
9. La Moustache
10. Stick It
“Inland Empire” and “Stick It” would make a canny double bill. In their own ways, through muddy nightmare and candy-colored dream, they examine the use and abuse of the female body (by Hollywood and the gymnastic-industrial complex) while gleefully celebrating the performers’ reclamation of their own agency. Both are love letters to their actresses with Lynch’s howling ode lifting Laura Dern to cinematic sainthood, while Jessica Bendinger’s sprightly hiccup of a movie turns Missy Peregrym into more of a sassy film girl scout leader.
Any of the following could have slipped into the bottom three depending on my mood: “Three Times,” Dave Chappelle’s “Block Party,” “Volver,” “The Proposition,” “The Hidden Blade,” “Miami Vice,” “Flags of Our Fathers,” “Borat,” “Running Scared” and “A Prairie Home Companion.”
The film event of the year, hands down, was the American Museum of the Moving Image’s screening of “Out 1,” Jacques Rivette’s legendary 12 1/2 hour whatzit. Only the sixth time it’s been shown in theatres since 1971, it pits two rehearsals of Aeschylus against a rapidly expanding conspiracy plot traced back to Balzac’s “The History of the Thirteen.” The fiction multiplies like a fungus and lingers in the brain for weeks.
What I’m looking forward to in ’07: Jia Zhangke’s “Still Life” (if any distributor is brave enough to pick it up) and “The Bourne Ultimatum.”