Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
Here are my runners-up, in alphabetical order: “Caché,” “The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat),” “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” “Let the Right One In,” “L.I.E.,” “Silent Light,” “The Station Agent,” “Traffic,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”
But the best film of the twenty-aught decade is Ingmar Bergman’s 2005 “Saraband,” a sequel of sorts to his monumental “Scenes From a Marriage” (with the indelible Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson reprising their roles from the earlier opus), yet a film as refreshing and original as any other motion picture on my list. It stands alone: a stunning conclusion to a near-perfect career (perhaps of two careers — since filming “Saraband,” Ullmann has appeared in only one other film).
It’s a story of a bond between two people so strong that even after a prolonged absence of more than three decades a shared sixth sense (and female intuition) commands a convocation, a rapprochement of family members, for a time of healing beckons. One of Bergman’s hallmarks, seldom duplicated by other filmmakers, male or female, was an ability to conjure up full-blooded, diverse, complex women: Experiencing Ullmann’s Marianne here is proof he hadn’t lost that knack.
Josephson’s turn as Johan, a man plagued by Parkinson’s, a condition afflicting the actor during the time of filming, gives a demonstration of the devastating power of subtlety. Bergman’s direction of relative newcomer Julia Dufvenius as Johan’s granddaughter makes one marvel at Bergman’s casting genius, and marvel about how stagnant the Swedish film industry must be, given that we haven’t seen her on our shores since.
Bergman filmed “Saraband” masterfully in HD, and it was essential that he shoot with three cameras, as his prolonged reaction shots are second to none. As always he is expert in the use of zooms as a means of slowly (tantalizingly slowly) eavesdropping on his characters. The story is steeped in family revelations, the primal need for companionship, and is visually drenched in Bergman’s beloved color red, from the sanguine maroon costumes to the rich forbidding walls of Johan’s home.
Every spoken line is thrilling. This is cinema as confessional, and every bit as moving.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.
Films of the Decade is a series running in Film Salon, our new collaborative blog.