Bill’s Picks for the Best Films of 2006.
15. United 93 (Universal, dir. Paul Greengrass, R, Cinemascope) reenacts Flight 93 as the passengers would have experienced it. Audiences repeatedly would leave the theater in silence. This is the most important theatrical release about 9/11 to date, and I think opens up more that Oliver Stone's World Trade Center. There have been several cable films about Flight 93, and at least one more book (about Mark Bingham) that seems very filmable for the future.
16. The Lives of Others (Sony Pictures Classics/Buena Vista International, dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, in German, R, Cinemascope) lives up to the hype, and if it weren't for the delay in showing and my desire to pick one of the nominated five, I think I would pick this German film about Stasi surveillance on an East German writer before the wall falls. The comparison of professional writing on typewriter drafts in the old days and the perception of writers as "threats" makes an interesting comparison to the issues raised by blogs and social networking sites today.
Picture: The old Varsity Theater in Lawrence, across the street from the Granada (previous post).