Top films from the past 2005 (6)6. Spartan (David Mamet, 2004)
The new test of believability of cinematic Special Forces-type badasses is do they act like Val Kilmer in Spartan.
5. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
Nothing really to add to what I wrote here. Though to respond to msic, I don't think that having the "white male power structure" in on it is really revisionist. I seem to remember that was the set-up of The Big Heat, for example.
4. Awara (Raj Kapoor, 1951)
Is Raj Kapoor in the canon yet? If not, shame on us all.
3. Menilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1926)
Another great director who has fallen through the cracks. He seems hard to classify. Here we have Soviet montage, documentary depictions of Paris streets, and silent avant-garde poetics synthesized into something totally different from anyone else of the time.
2. Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995)
I knew this was great from the opening use of Purcell. Seemingly about everything. It's a film about two young people that remembers that they and we are mortal.
And now for the winner...
1. Brumes d'automne (Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1929)
A truly sensuous film in that it really feels like sitting inside by warm fire and then going out into the damp of a wet autumn day.