Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Top 25 of the Aughts, #10

As we hit the top ten, we come to what is probably the least-seen movie on this list. Incidentally, the blurbs that I'll be using from here on out were originally submitted by me for James Frazier's "You Aught to Know" poll this past spring. Anyway...

One of my greatest cinematic discoveries this past decade was the world of Peter Watkins, and his epic La Commune (Paris, 1871) is one of his finest works. La Commune tells the story of the Paris Commune, who briefly took over Paris before being overthrown by the government. But instead of making a straightforward period piece, Watkins presents the Commune’s story through the lens of two television networks, one presenting the Communards’ point of view, the other voicing that of the establishment. Paradoxically, this dueling-media device gives the story a greater immediacy than a conventional telling ever would, turning a safe history lesson into a rallying cry for dissent and activism in today’s world.

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