Thai film tops TIFF list of decade's best

A Thai arthouse film is the most respected movie of the decade, according to a poll of film curators, historians and festival programmers.

A survey of film curators, historians, and festival programmers has chosen a Thai art-house movie to top the list of the decade's most respected films.

Syndromes and a Century by Apichatpong Weerasethakul heads the tally of more than 50 films chosen as the best of the 2000s by TIFF Cinematheque, the year-round screening program of the Toronto International Film Festival.

The film about a husband and wife working as doctors in rural Thailand has two stories set 50 years apart and is an examination of memory and the desire to become better people.

Two films by Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke took the second and third spots on the list — Platform and Still Life.

The list includes works by Agnes Varda, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Almodóvar, Gus Van Sant and David Lynch.

Canadian filmmakers on the list include David Cronenberg for A History of Violence, Guy Maddin for The Heart of the World and My Winnipeg, and Zacharias Kunuk for Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner.

The list has 21 films from France, nine from the U.S., seven from Germany, six from Taiwan, and four each from Japan, China and Italy. Canada had three, as the Cronenberg film was categorized as an American production.

The rankings are based on a poll of more than 60 film experts around the world, with films that got equal votes sharing a ranking.

The list:

  1. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand).
  2. Platform (Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong, China/China/Japan/France)
  3. Still Life (Jia Zhang-ke, China).
  4. Beau travail (Claire Denis, France).
  5. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, China),
  6. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand/Germany/Italy).
  7. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, Romania); Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, Hungary).
  8. Éloge de l'amour (Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland/ France).
  9. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, Romania).
  10. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands).
  11. Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany).
  12. The New World (Terrence Malick, U.S.)
  13. Blissfully Yours (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, France/Thailand).
  14. Le Fils (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France).
  15. Colossal Youth (Pedro Costa, Portugal/France/Switzerland).
  16. Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse (Agnès Varda, France); In Vanda's Room (Pedro Costa, Portugal/Germany/Italy/Switzerland); Songs from the Second Floor (Roy Andersson, Sweden/Denmark/Norway).
  17. Caché (Michael Haneke, France/Austria/Germany/Italy); A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, classified as a U.S. film despite the director's Canadian nationality.); Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, France/USA); Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan).
  18. Rois et reine (Arnaud Desplechin, France).
  19. Elephant (Gus Van Sant, U.S.)
  20. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, Spain).
  21. The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran/France); Yi Yi (A One and a Two) (Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan).
  22. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, Spain).
  23. L'Enfant (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France); The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, Canada); I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France/Austria); Star Spangled to Death (Ken Jacobs, U.S.)
  24. The World (Jia Zhang-ke, China/Japan/France).
  25. Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Japan); The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy); L'Intrus (Claire Denis, France); Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France); My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, Canada); Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden); Spirited Away (Hiyao Miyazaki, Japan); I'm Not There (Todd Haynes, U.S.)
  26. Gerry (Gus Van Sant, U.S.).
  27. Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey); Dogville (Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/UK/France/Germany); The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, U.S.);
  28.  Alexandra (Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France); Demonlover (Olivier Assayas, France).
  29. Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner (Zacharias Kunuk, Canada); Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan).
  30. Longing (Valeska Grisebach, Germany); Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, South Korea); Vai e Vem (João César Monteiro, Portugal); Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, U.S./France).