FilmKojo Abuduart, film

The Film Archive

FilmKojo Abuduart, film
The Film Archive

The Film Archive is a selection of my favourite movies ever made. Admittedly, the listing has a very contemporary bent as most of these films were created within the last two decades. However, more than just being an arbitrary preference, this is due to a higher degree of relatability and critical engagement with the visual culture of my own time. 

The films below represent a diverse range of genres, cinematic styles, time periods and geographic settings. However, they all share a critical tendency toward challenging and subverting the technical and conceptual conventions of mainstream cinema.

For example, movies like 45 Years (2015), After the Storm (2016) and Squid and the Whale (2005) illuminate on the complex personal tensions that arise in everyday life between family members, couples and friends. This realist approach to film, also including works like Boyhood (2014), Sideways (2004) and Little Men (2016), are typified by attention to time, sensory experience and non-stylised human interactions, thus showcasing the subtle beauty of banal quotidian moments. 

Some of these films, however, embrace a bolder stylistic approach to tell their stories. Films such as Phantom Thread (2017), Carol (2015) and Jackie (2016) pair the visual allure of a former epoch, through the use of elegant wardrobes and glamorous set designs, with moving orchestrated musical scores, to produce scenes that reimagine the magic of classic Hollywood. Other works like Moonlight (2016), The Florida Project (2017) and A Single Man (2009) embrace the cinematographic power of colour to evoke a wide-ranging palette of moods, actions and thoughts. Similarly, Looking for Langston (1989) eschews the need for linear story-telling, instead blurring the line between the real and the imagined by reworking the relationship between image and sound. 

Furthermore, movies such as Things to Come (2017), Metropolitan (1990) and The Before Trilogy (1995-2013) use the art of conversation to transform audiences from passive viewers into critical thinkers, by centring several scenes around dialectical intellectual dialogue. Columbus (2017) and Paterson (2016) embrace a more minimalist approach, by incorporating a multitude of still landscape shots and silent solitary scenes into their calming contemplative narratives. Other films including Lost in Translation (2003), Brooklyn (2016) and Black Girl (1966) bring themes of cultural isolation and unfulfilled expectations to the fore. 

All in all, these works of the moving image enchant viewers with their visual prowess, sophisticated dialogue and nuanced perspectives - not to mention the brilliant acting. Some films lead viewers to reflect on their socio-cultural realities, provoking explorations of the self and its relation to others, while other films seduce viewers into a world that is fantastic or absurd, facilitating an escape from the present. Both these qualities speak to the power of cinema - an art form that has continuously pushed on the boundaries of visual culture since its origins in the late 19th century. I hope that the works included on this list exemplify such innovative qualities and are able to showcase the artistic achievements of contemporary independent cinema. 

 
 

 

Sideways (2004)

Directed by Alexandre Payne

 

Columbus (2017)

Directed by Kogonada

 

Moonlight (2016)

Directed by Barry Jenkins

 

Her (2013)

Directed by Spike Jonze

 

Lost in Translation (2003)

Directed by Sofia Coppola

 

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

 

Phantom Thread (2017)

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

 

45 Years (2015)

Directed by Andrew Haigh

 

Blue Jasmine (2013)

Directed by Woody Allen

 

A Single Man (2009)

Directed by Tom Ford

 

After The Storm (2016)

Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

 

I Am Love (2009)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino

 

The Florida Project (2017)

Directed by Sean Baker

 

Metropolitan (1990)

Directed by Whit Stillman

 

Looking for Langston (1989)

Directed by Isaac Julien

 

An Education (2009)

Directed by Lone Scherfig 

 

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

Directed by Anthony Minghella

 

Carol (2015)

Directed by Todd Haynes

 

Little Men (2016)

Directed by Ira Sachs

 

The 'Before' Trilogy (1995-2013)

Directed by Richard Linklater

 

Squid and the Whale (2005)

Directed by Noah Baumbach

 

Black Girl (1966)

Directed by Ousmane Sembéne

 

Weekend (2011)

Directed by Andrew Haigh

 

Boyhood (2014)

Directed by Richard Linklater

 

20th Century Women (2016)

Directed by Mike Mills

 

Paterson (2016)

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

 

The Lobster (2015)

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

 

Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Directed by Wes Anderson

 

Things to Come (2016)

Directed by Mia Hansen-Løve

 

God's Own Country (2017)

Directed by Francis Lee

 

Listen Up Phillip (2014)

Directed by Alex Ross Perry

 

Brooklyn (2015)

Directed by John Crowley

 

Jackie (2016)

Directed by Pablo Larraín

 

Medicine for Melancholy (2008)

Directed by Barry Jenkins