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Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando

A Bittersweet Life
South Korea's A Bitter Sweet Life

As 2006 comes to an end, it's time to reflect back on the films that came out during the year to sort out the best from the worst. First of all, in determining the best of the year there are always a few films that have quirky releases, and I never know whether it's fair to include them or not. But two films that played for only a day each at the San Diego Asian Film Festival deserve mention even if they never received a theatrical release here.

Hou Hsiao Hsien is quite simply one of the world's premier filmmakers. For Three Times , the Taiwanese director serves up three segments involving a romance and each set in a different time period but with the same pair of actors (the lovely Shu Qi and Chang Chen) performing the leads. Hou's film explores how the culture and social limitations of each era affect the relationships of the characters. The film is ravishing to look at, with Hou crafting a dazzling and deceptively complex work. A film of a very different nature but equally worth checking out is Kim Ji Woon's A Bittersweet Life from South Korea. With A Bittersweet Life Kim delivers an action film with a dark soul and aching vulnerability buried at its heart. If you can find either of these on DVD, check them out. They would make my Ten Best in any year.

Beth Accomando
December 22, 2006 at 09:03 PM
I'd love to see some best and worst lists from readers. -----

Joyce Carlson
December 26, 2006 at 10:51 PM
We liked Hustle and Flow. We found it informative about a lifestyle very different from our own. It increases our understanding of a different culture from ours -- undoubtedly living very near to us. We needed subtitles and would not recommend it for children. The acting was great.

Rico Zamora
December 27, 2006 at 02:38 AM
I agree with Beth's assertions about Little Miss Sunshine and Pan's Labyrinth. These were, truly, two of the best movies this year. My top 10 favorites this year were: 01. Little Miss Sunshine 02. Marie Antoinette 03. Hard Candy 04. Shortbus 05. Dreamgirls 06. Akeelah and the Bee 07. V for Vendetta 08. The Libertine 09. The Science of Sleep 10. Babel Honorable mentions: The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Fountain, Apocalypto, Volver, The Illusionist and Happy Feet Major disappointments: Idlewild, Lady in the Water, Flags of Our Fathers, Superman Returns, The Da Vinci Code and American Dreamz.

Richard Lawrence
December 27, 2006 at 05:09 PM
I cannot comment on all categories, but I saw several documentaries and found Jonestown: the Life and Death of Peoples Temple to be compelling. It is such a complex story with such hope and such misery and so many unanswered questions.

Drau Sinclair
December 30, 2006 at 06:39 PM
Yes, Pan's Labyrinth without any doubt one of the best films of 2006. Ivan Baquero and Sergi Lopez deserve to be in all lists.

Danish Ali
January 04, 2007 at 11:33 PM
Some of the movies that i liked this year were: Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest Casino Royale The Devil Wears Prada Scary Movie 4 Superman Returns V for Vendetta

January 19, 2007 at 11:47 AM
Best of 2006 1. Brick 2. Capote 3. The Departed 4. Munich 5. Syriana 6. The Descent 7. Walk the Line 8. 8 Below 9. Lady in the water 10. An Inconvenient Truth 11. March of the Penguins

rafidel s. montederamos
August 07, 2007 at 06:17 PM
Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! what anice story and epic.100% i love this movie and yuo know i love fairy tale movie thats y im searching about fairy tale movie that im not ever the way im 1 of ur quit pans of this Pan`s Labyrinth and also you....Ivana Baquero.....hope we meet.

Rafidel S. Montederamos
August 07, 2007 at 06:38 PM
Hi. by the way this s the most fairy tale ive ever seen .the adventure of baron munchausen .the secret garden .jak and the beanstalk .hurry potter1-5 .lord of the ring 1-3 .pan`s labyrinth .the labyrinth .the little princess .the last mimzy .bridge to terabithia hehehehehehhe.... just sharing the fairy tale ive seen.

Rafidel S. Montederamos
August 07, 2007 at 06:41 PM
Hehehehehheh hope all writer and producer make a new Fairy waiting.

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