my favorite movies of the 2000s, #13 and #14

Happy Christmas everyone!  Now that present opening and such is over, time to give you a few more movies to my list!

Here’s what we have so far (click on the movie to read the description on the previous blogs):
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

And now for two more!

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
I hate to admit this, but I really knew nothing about the recent history of Rwanda until I saw this movie.  Some of that is because of my age (I was still only 12 in 1994 when the movie is set), but also I think it has a lot to do with the lack of attention I, and probably many of you, give to what’s going on in Africa.  Again, I claim ignorance.  But this movie (and my current reminiscence) began to serve as a wakeup call to the horrible tribal violence and genocide happening in Africa.  In the movie, Don Cheadle plays a hotel manager who houses people to save them from being killed.  It’s really a simple story, but it’s intensely powerful.  I was able to stay steady throughout the movie, but I cried for probably three or four minutes straight once the credits hit.  It’s based on a true story, using a script and actors, but it plays like a documentary of horror.

#13: Elephant (2003) (it’s said el ih font)
This movie isn’t for everyone.  It follows a similar premise of the Columbine shootings, which is hard to take.  But I enjoy movies that take you into difficult psychological realms, and this movie does just that.  Throughout the movie, you get to see the personal vignettes of different characters: killers, victims, those lucky enough to escape.  Perhaps the most interesting part to me is watching one of the characters playing Fur Elise and then moving on to plan the massacre.  The film has a dark mood, which is usually true of Gus Van Sant, and the visual pictures add to that mood.  The characters ring true as real adolescents with problems, dreams, and questions.  No matter their status in the situation, you want them to have the chance to strive for their dreams, but you know it won’t be happening for all of them.  Perhaps that’s the true tragedy of it all.

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