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Film and Music Electronic Magazine

2001-2020: The best films of the 21st century to date

Oldboy

 

Twenty years ago in the 21st century, we saw the seventh art mutate again and again. To bring fresh thematic and aesthetic proposals to the surface, to invent new expressive forms, and to confirm from the beginning the key cultural and non-cultural effect it brings to human life. In recent months, the planet has consumed more cinema than ever before in one way or another. Platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, etc provide countless opportunities for movie watching the same way Casino Sites offers a variety of games.

And while the reality seems ominous at the moment, it is particularly interesting to remember that one of the first trends to emerge in the ‘00s was that of a modern-day social realism with a sharp political commentary. It is the period when Jean-Pierre and Lic Darden double the Golden Palms they have in their possession with “The Child” (2005), at a time when Romania is emerging as the next cinephile center in Europe. Thanks to films that boldly handle complex topics such as the collapse of the welfare state in “Mr. Lazarescu’s Odyssey” (Christie Puiu, 2005) and the silenced aspects of historical memory in the landmark film “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (Christian Mungiou, 2007), the Balkan country comes to the forefront of the cinephile of interest.


But this was not the only national cinema that flourished in the first decade of the millennium. Spanish horror films became a point of reference, completely renewing the genre with films such as the atmospheric “Others” (Julio Amenabar, 2001), the elementary “Orphanage” (Juan Antonio Bayona, 2007), and the handmade “[• REC]” (Haume Balaguero and Paco Platha, 2007) who successfully modernized the stylistic depiction of zombies on the big screen. At the same time, films related to the “new french extremity” were on the rise in neighboring France. An informal trend that included horror and arthouse films of various styles, with the only common theme being provocative themes, but also the willingness to reach new heights to the degree of extremism they can portray. Examples include “Trouble Every Day” (Claire Denny, 2001), “Irreversible” (Gaspar Noe, 2002), and “29 Phoenixes” (Bruno Dimon, 2003).

Of course, the most “silent” cinematic acme belongs to the South Koreans. The sequels of the festival circuits that then translated into unexpected box office surprises, such as “Oldboy” (Park Chan-wook, 2003) and “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Spring” (Kim Ki-Duk), with the latter cutting over 60,000 tickets in Greece, brought new players to the international cinema arena who gradually became protagonists. First and foremost, of course, is Bong Joon-ho, who made history by winning this year’s Academy Award for Best Picture for “Parasites” (2019). With them on the path of constant evolution are the Mexican auteurs, who in the five years 2013-2018 won five (!) Oscars for directing. Specifically Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”, “Roma”), Alejandro Gonzalez I Iñárritu (“Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Innocence”, “The Return”) and Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”, 2017).


But the latest groundbreaking film that has emerged recently is the so-called Greek Weird Wave. The appearance of “Fang” (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2009) and then “Attenberg” (Athena Rachel Tsangari, 2010), gave a new impetus to the Greek cinema that now starred abroad, while at the same time formed an unprecedented cinematic language which is still affected to date.

Hollywood, for its part, through successive grunts came to a rupture with the past and redefined its image. The studios realized that the competition is no longer played exclusively with each other but with streaming platforms such as Netflix and Disney +, which changed the rules of the game by producing movies that premiere almost simultaneously on small and large screens. At the same time, the studios found the magic recipe for consistent box office success. Superhero blockbusters have become the norm, with Marvel and DC creating separate movie universes and breaking box office movie by movie. The highlight is the historical receipts of “Avengers: The Last Act” (Anthony and Joe Rousseau, 2019) /, which to date have reached a total of almost 3 billion dollars. All this while Disney became a giant by acquiring the studio – the giant of Fox, acquiring, among other things, the rights to legendary franchises and bringing itself to a hegemonic position in the world film market.

In the finale of the ‘10s, another tectonic change took place that shook the Hollywood establishment. The Weinstein scandal caused a collective disgust with the tolerance of sexism in the entertainment industry, leading to the creation of a mass movement for practical changes in working conditions within it. It was preceded by claims of more cinematic visibility of people and stories without reason or space until recently on the big screen, with a first justification coming with the Oscar for best film in “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins, 2017).


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