1. She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz)
2. First Cow (Kelly Reichardt)
3. Uncut Gems (Ben & Joshua Safdie)
4. La Flor (Mariano Llinás)
5. The Metamorphosis of Birds (Catarina Vasconcelos)
6. Frances Ferguson (Bob Byington)
7. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma)
8. Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
9. Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello)
10. Atlantics (Mati Diop)
11. Sibyl (Justine Triet)
12. The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu)
13. What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini)
14. Fourteen (Dan Sallitt)
15. Deerskin (Quentin Dupieux)
16. Jeanne (Bruno Dumont)
17. Małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore (Sky Hopinka)
18. Bill & Ted Face the Music (Dean Parisot)
19. Tenet (Christopher Nolan)
20. Undine (Christian Petzold)
21. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonca Filho & Juliano Dornelles)
22. The Vast of Night (Andrew Patterson)
23. Collective (Alexander Nanau)
24. Dick Johnson Is Dead (Kirsten Johnson)
25. The Mole Agent (Maite Alberdi)

Favorite movies from the last five years, first watched this year:

1. Asako I & II (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
2. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot)
3. Little Joe (Jessica Hausner)
4. One Cut of the Dead (Shin’ichirô Ueda)
5. Shadow (Zhang Yimou)
6. Sixty Six (Lewis Klahr)
7. In Transit (Albert Maysles & Lynn True & David Usui)
8. Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (Ben Wheatley)
9. Winter Song (Otar Iosseliani)
10. Endless Poetry (Alejandro Jodorowsky)
11. Rojo (Benjamín Naishtat)
12. Ouroboros (Basma Alsharif)

Favorite older movies watched this year:

1. Dusty Stacks of Mom (2013, Jodie Mack)
2. Cemetery Man (1994, Michele Soavi)
3. In a Lonely Place (1950, Nicholas Ray)
4. Footlight Parade (1933, Lloyd Bacon)
5. The Match Factory Girl (1990, Aki Kaurismaki)
6. Invention for Destruction (1958, Karel Zeman)
7. The Devil’s Nightmare (1971, Jean Brismée)
8. A Day in the Country (1936, Jean Renoir)
9. Salome’s Last Dance (1988, Ken Russell)
10. Beauty and the Beast (1978, Juraj Herz)
11. Time Regained (1999, Raoul Ruiz)
12. The Steamroller and the Violin (1960, Andrei Tarkovsky)
13. The Hands of Orlac (1924, Robert Wiene)
14. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, Martin Scorsese)
15. Medium Cool (1969, Haskell Wexler)
16. The Whole Town’s Talking (1935, John Ford)
17. Tales from the Hood (1995, Rusty Cundieff)
18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974, Sam Peckinpah)
19. How to Disappear Completely (2013, Raya Martin)
20. The Vanishing (1988, George Sluizer)

Favorite shorts watched this year:

1. Visit (2020, Jia Zhang-Ke)
2. Asparagus and Pinball by Suzan Pitt
3. World of Tomorrow Episode Three: The Absent Destinations of David Prime (2020, Don Hertzfeldt)
4. Ballad of the Green Wood and Projekt by Jiri Barta
5. Aria (2001, Pjotr Sapegin)
6. ExtaZus (2019, Bertrand Mandico)
7. Hampton (2019, Kevin Jerome Everson)
8. Lucifer Rising (1972, Kenneth Anger)
9. Engram of Returning and Trees of Syntax, Leaves of Axis by Daïchi Saïto
10. The Capsule (2012, Athina Rachel Tsangari)
11. Nose Hair and How to Kiss by Bill Plympton
12. Seeking the Monkey King (2011, Ken Jacobs)
13. House of Small Cubes (2008, Kunio Kato)
14. Four by Sky Hopinka
15. What Did Jack Do? and Fire (Pozar) by David Lynch
16. Veslemøy’s Song (2018, Sofia Bohdanowicz)
17. The Fall and Strasbourg 1518 by Jonathan Glazer
18. Stump the Guesser (2020, Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson)
19. The Amateurist (1998, Miranda July)
20. Night Without Distance (2015, Lois Patiño)

Favorite rewatches of the year
(ranked by rewatch-experience, not quality of film)

1. In the Mood for Love (2000, Wong Kar-Wai)
2. Naked Lunch (1991, David Cronenberg)
3. The Grand Bizarre (2018, Jodie Mack)
4. Before Sunrise (1995, Richard Linklater)
5. Diabolique (1955, Henri-Georges Clouzot)
6. Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1988, Shinya Tsukamoto)
7. It Happened One Night (1934, Frank Capra)
8. Andrei Rublev (1969, Andrei Tarkovsky)
9. Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988, Stephen Chiodo)
10. Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988, Tony Randel)

Favorite movies from the last five years, first watched this year:

1. The Wolf House (Joaquín Cociña & Cristóbal León)
2. Shin Godzilla (Hideaki Anno)
3. The House That Jack Built (Lars Von Trier)
4. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski)
5. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra)
6. Casting JonBenet (Kitty Green)
7. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont)
8. Shoplifters (Hirokazu Kore-Eda)
9. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)
10. Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono)

Favorite older movies watched this year:

1. Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film (2012, Hanly Banks)
2. The Church (1989, Michele Soavi)
3. The Lair of the White Worm (1988, Ken Russell)
4. Election and Election 2 (2005-2006, Johnnie To)
5. The Red Chapel (2009, Mads Brügger)
6. The Invisible Man (1933, James Whale)
7. Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, John Huston)
8. Trial of Joan of Arc (1962, Robert Bresson)
9. Khrustalyov, My Car (1998, Aleksei German)
10. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927, Walter Ruttmann)

Favorite shorts watched this year:

1. Four by Bertrand Mandico (2012-2018)
2. Essanay shorts (1915, Charles Chaplin)
3. Shake! Otis at Monterey (1989, D.A. Pennebaker)
4. Trees Down Here (2018, Ben Rivers)
5. Filmstudie (1926, Hans Richter)

1. A Hidden Life (Terrence Malick)
2. Transit (Christian Petzold)
3. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho)
4. Coincoin and the Extra-Humans (Bruno Dumont)
5. Cold Case Hammarskjöld (Mads Brügger)
6. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
7. The Mountain (Rick Alverson)
8. Climax (Gaspar Noe)
9. High Life (Claire Denis)
10. Ash Is Purest White (Jia Zhang-Ke)
11. The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack)
12. Bodied (Joseph Kahn)
13. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
14. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
15. Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
16. One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang & Jialing Zhang)
17. Up the Mountain (Zhang Yang)
18. Us (Jordan Peele)
19. Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt)
20. The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers)
21. Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell)
22. The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (Terry Gilliam)
23. Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi Gan)
24. Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez)
25. 24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami)

2018 Movies I Missed:

I made a “complete” list of movies that played somewhere I could reach (Nebraska, Atlanta, blu-ray, streaming) in 2018 that I wanna watch on letterboxd. I’m not going to forget the ones on everybody else’s year-end lists, or the latest by major directors, but here are some others I don’t want to miss:

Taming the Horse
Dirty Computer
The Work
The Wolf House
Those Who Are Fine
Happy as Lazzaro
The Tale
Under the Silver Lake
The Woman Who Left
Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts
Djon Africa
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Le fort des fous
Good Luck
Lu Over the Wall
The Nothing Factory
An Elephant Sitting Still
Classical Period
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling

SHOCKtober 2018 Post Mortem:

I previously made a couple of must-see horror lists from 2009 and 2010 here and I collected a few more lists in 2015 here. It’s getting so I’ve seen almost all the titles on the latest “100 best horror films ever made” lists, but here are some I’m still missing, from all around the internet…

Slant list 2018:
Blood and Black Lace (1964)
Deathdream (1972)
The Hitcher (1986)
Opera (1987)

Indiewire 2018:
The Ghost Ship (1943)
The Lodger (1944)
Hangover Square (1945)
Village of the Damned (1960)
Viy (1967)
Messiah of Evil (1973)
Tales from the Hood (1995)

Indiewire Underappreciated Horrors 2018:
The Entity (1982)
Wild Zero (2000)
The Unseeable (2006)
P2 (2007)
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)
The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)
We Are The Flesh (2016)
Bear With Us (2016)
Don’t Breathe (2016)
The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

Roger Ebert Underrated Horrors:
The House That Screamed (1969)
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Razorback (1984)
Parents (1989)

Time Out’s 2012 and 2016 lists:
Threads (1984)
The Vanishing (1988)
Lake Mungo (2008)

Edgar Wright’s list:
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)
Theater of Blood (1973)
Death Line (1973)
Frailty (2001)

Older Slant list that went to 200:
Witchfinder General (1968)
Wake in Fright (1971)
Blood Spattered Bride (1972)
Shock Waves (1977)
The Entity (1982)
The Church (1989)

Selections from my own list:
Five Dolls for an August Moon (1970)
Beauty and the Beast (1978)
Boxing Helena (1993)
The Happening (2008)
The Baron (2011)
Over Your Dead Body (2014)
Unfriended (2014)
The Devil’s Candy (2015)
The Shallows (2016)
Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys (2004)
Puppet Master parts 9-11 (Axis trilogy, 2010-2017)

BBC Foreign-Language Film Poll 2018:

Hooray, another one of these. Original list is here.

A selection of movies from the Top 100 I need to (re)watch

Landscape in the Mist (Theo Angelopoulos, 1988)
In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991)
Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman, 1973)
Ran (Akira Kurosawa, 1985)
Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1962)
To Live (Zhang Yimou, 1994)
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1987)
Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988)
Farewell My Concubine (Chen Kaige, 1993)
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

And some enticing selections from the individual lists:

Macario (Roberto Gavaldón, 1960)
Sentimental Education (Júlio Bressane, 2013)
Macunaíma (Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, 1969)
A Chinese Odyssey: Part Two: Cinderella (Jeffrey Lau, 1995)
Things of the Aimless Wanderer (Kivu Ruhorahoza, 2015)
Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009)
My Son, the Hero (Ismael Rodríguez, 1961)
Year of the Devil (Petr Zelenka, 2002)
Last Night (Kamal El Sheikh, 1964)
Chronicle of a Boy Alone (Leonardo Favio, 1965)
Pyaasa (Guru Dutt, 1957)
New Dragon Gate Inn (Raymond Lee and Ching Siu-tung, 1992)
The Adventure of Three Reporters aka Miss Mend (Boris Barnet and Fyodor Otsep, 1926)
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)
Big Green Valley (Merab Kokochashvili, 1967)
Falling Leaves (Otar Iosseliani, 1966)
Salt for Svanetia (Mikheil Kalatozishvili, 1930)
Mr. Long (Sabu, 2017)
Angel’s Egg (Mamoru Oshii, 1985)
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Shun’ya Itô, 1973)
Green Snake (Tsui Hark, 1993)
Ariel (Aki Kaurismäki, 1998)
The Iron Rose (Jean Rollin, 1973)
Girl with Hyacinths (Hasse Ekman, 1950)
The Bitter Stems (Fernando Ayala, 1956)
The Last Family (Jan P Matuszynski, 2016)
Fehérlófia / Son of the White Mare (Marcell Jankovics, 1981)
Red Wood Pigeon (Nanni Moretti, 1989)
The Disenchantment (Jaime Chávarri, 1976)
Little White Dove (Raúl Ruiz, 1973)
Udzinarta mze (Temur Babluani, 1992)
Cargo 200 (Alexei Balabanov, 2007)
Salto (Tadeusz Konwicki, 1965)
Reconstruction (Lucian Pintilié, 1970)
East Palace West Palace (Zhang Yuan, 1996)
The Heroic Trio (Johnnie To, 1993)
The Illumination (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1973)
Fruit of Paradise (Věra Chytilová, 1969)
Teza (Haile Gerima, 2008)
A Hole of My Own Making (Tomu Uchida, 1955)
The Graceful Brute (Yûzô Kawashima, 1962)
Still Life (Sohrab Shahid Saless, Houshang Baharlou and Morteza Momayyez, 1974)
Entranced Earth (Glauber Rocha, 1967)
The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918)
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Elio Petri, 1970)
Sinbad (Zoltán Huszárik, 1971)
The Things of Life (Claude Sautet, 1970)
A Hometown in Heart (Yoon Yong-kyu, 1949)
The Eternal Breasts (Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
Long Arm of the Law (Johnny Mak, 1984)

50 Under 50 Redux

Six years ago I got excited about Cinema Scope’s 50 Under 50 list and made vague plans to watch a film or two by each of the listed directors. I lost steam on this a while back, but still ended up watching about 40 movies because of one magazine issue, so it seems worth revisiting.

Twelve of the most obvious directors, and the films of theirs I had seen, were listed on the original page (and I forget why I was angry with Film Comment back then, but I resubscribed to it and Filmmaker last year) – here are the others, with links to movies I watched, unlinked are the ones I’ve meant to watch.

Pretty well-covered:

Paul Thomas Anderson
Johan Grimonprez
Yorgos Lanthimos
Matteo Garrone
Ben Wheatley
Ben Rivers
Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Maren Ade
Bertrand Bonello
Albert Serra
Lucretia Martel
Paul WS Anderson
Lisandro Alonso

In progress:

Azazel Jacobs: The GoodTimesKid / Momma’s Man / Terri / The Lovers
Miguel Gomes: Tabu / Our Beloved Month of August / Arabian Nights
Carlos Reygadas: Battle In Heaven / Silent Light / Post Tenebras Lux
Andrew Bujalski: Computer Chess / Results / Support the Girls
Ben Russell: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness / Let Each One Go Where He May
Denis Cote: Bestiaire / Vic + Flo Saw a Bear / Joy of Man’s Desiring / Boris Without Beatrice
Joao Pedro Rodrigues: Last Time I Saw Macao / The Ornithologist / To Die Like a Man
David Gatten: Hardwood Process / Secret History of the Dividing Line
Wang Bing: Coal Money / Dead Souls / West of the Tracks / Three Sisters / Ta’ang
Xavier Beauvois: Of Gods and Men / Le petit lieutenant
Zhao Liang: a couple of shorts / Crime & Punishment / Petition / Behemoth
Corneliu Porumboiu: 12:08 East of Bucharest / When Evening Falls on Bucharest / The Treasure / Infinite Football
Raya Martin: Independencia / Buenas noches, España / The Great Cinema Party
Nicolas Pereda: Greatest Hits / Summer of Goliath / Perpetuum Mobile
Cristi Puiu: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu / Sieranevada
Hirokazu Kore-eda: Still Walking / After The Storm / Shoplifters

Still unseen:

Jennifer Reeves: The Time We Killed / a lot more shorts
Liu Jiayin: Oxhide / Oxhide 2
Matt Porterfield: Putty Hill / Hamilton
Pema Tseden: The Search
Romuald Karmakar: Deathmaker / Nightsongs
Serge Bozon: La France / Madame Hyde
Sergei Dvortsevoy: Tulpan
Sharon Lockhart: Pine Flat
Ulrich Kohler: Sleeping Sickness / In My Room

Top 15 of the year:

1. First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
2. Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)
3. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene)
4. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker)
5. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
6. Burning (Lee Chang-dong)
7. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)
8. Mission: Impossible 6: Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie)
9. The Wild Boys (Bertrand Mandico)
10. Let the Corpses Tan (Cattet & Forzani)
11. The Rider (Chloé Zhao)
12. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos)
13. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay)
14. Faces Places (Agnès Varda & JR)
15. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles)

Next 15 – maybe not all-timers, but I’d watch any one of ’em with you right now:

16. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Masaaki Yuasa)
17. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross)
18. Blaze (Ethan Hawke)
19. Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley)
20. The Challenge (Yuri Ancarani)
21. Western (Valeska Grisebach)
22. Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)
23. Makala (Emmanuel Gras)
24. Resolution and The Endless (Benson & Moorhead)
25. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik)
26. Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda)
27. Crime + Punishment (Stephen Maing)
28. The Green Fog (Maddin & Johnson)
29. The Wandering Soap Opera (Raoul Ruiz & Valeria Sarmiento)
30. The Girl Without Hands (Sébastien Laudenbach)

Late-breaking unranked addition: Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

15 honorable mentions, in viewing order … the ones I wouldn’t necessarily recommend, but I thought about a good bit in the weeks after watching:

The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro)
Escapes (Michael Almereyda)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison)
Primas (Laura Bari)
The Task (Leigh Ledare)
Shirkers (Sandi Tan)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
Annihilation (Alex Garland)
Avengers 3: Infinity War (Anthony & Joe Russo)
Hereditary (Ari Aster)
Let the Sunshine In (Claire Denis)
The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)

Favourite Recent (last ~5 years) Movies watched in 2018:

1. American Made (2017, Doug Liman)

2. Kate Plays Christine (2016, Robert Greene)

3. Three by Hong Sang-soo:
Our Sunhi (2013)
On the Beach at Night Alone (2017)
Yourself and Yours (2016)

4. Butter on the Latch (2013, Josephine Decker)

5. Columbus (2017, Kogonada)

6. Blade of the Immortal (2017, Takashi Miike)

Favourite Older Movies watched in 2018:

1. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999, Isao Takahata)
2. Throne of Blood (1957, Akira Kurosawa)
3. Coeur Fidele (1923, Jean Epstein)
4. A Poem is a Naked Person (1974, Les Blank)
5. The Sect (1991, Michele Soavi)
6. Bright Star (2009, Jane Campion)
7. Chambre en ville, Une (1982, Jacques Demy)
8. The Devil (1972, Andrzej Zulawski)
9. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief (1968, Nagisa Oshima)
10. Millennium Actress (2001, Satoshi Kon)

Favourite Rewatches of 2018:

1. Rashômon (1950, Akira Kurosawa)
At the Alamo with Katy

2. A Zed & Two Noughts (1985, Peter Greenaway)
3. Innerspace (1987, Joe Dante)
4. The Dead Zone (1983, David Cronenberg)
First time seeing these in HD, and in many years.

5. Mission: Impossible (1996, Brian De Palma)

6. Cure (1997, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)

7. Rumble Fish (1983, Francis Ford Coppola)

8. The Beyond (1981, Lucio Fulci)

Favourite Shorts of 2018:

1. Me the Terrible (2012, Josephine Decker)
Decker also made my top-5 new movies and top-10 recent movies lists, so is probably the discovery of the year.

2. Bao (2018, Domee Shi)

3. The Burden (2017, Niki Lindroth Von Bahr) (oops, forgot to write this up)

4. The Stranger and Six Cents in the Pocket (Ricky D’Ambrose)

5. Winnie-the-Pooh and Winnie-the-Pooh Pays a Visit (Fyodor Khitruk)

6. Heat of a Thousand Suns (1965, Pierre Kast)

7. Blanket Statement No. 1 & 2 and Curses (Jodie Mack)

8. Muta (2011, Lucrecia Martel)

9. Love’s Refrain (2016, Paul Clipson)

10. Pure Flix and Chill (2018, Anthony Simon)

Favourite TV Shows of 2018:

I still can’t talk to anyone about TV shows because I like to catch up with four-year-old seasons of comedies while everyone else is watching the very latest dramas – even in Atlanta where Dream Corp LLC billboards float above Ponce and the Connector, I get oblivious frowns when I mention the show.

Tales from the Tour Bus season 1

The Good Place season 2

BoJack Horseman season 2
Big Train season 2
Archer season 6
Bob’s Burgers season 2

Documentary Now season 1
Who Is America season 1

Master of None season 2
Review season 2

Honorable mentions to The Great British Bake Off and Dream Corp LLC

Unfinished and Abandoned in 2018 (in no order):

Episode of the Sea
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (series)
The Boy and the World
Pelican Dreams
Les Cousins
The latest season of Kimmy Schmidt
Wild Wild Country
that Martin Short and Steve Martin special
The Breadwinner
The Deuce

0. Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch) *

1. Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas)
2. A Ghost Story (David Lowery)
3. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
4. Good Time (Ben & Joshua Safdie)
5. Get Out (Jordan Peele)

6. Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
7. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo)
8. The Other Side (Roberto Minervini)
9. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)
10. Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz)

11. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonca Filho)
12. The Florida Project (Sean Baker)
13. Black Mirror: San Junipero (Owen Harris)
14. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)
15. Song to Song (Terrence Malick)

16. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)
17. Atomic Blonde (David Leitch)
18. Quest (Jonathan Olshefski)
19. Coco (Adrian & Lee Unkrich Molina)
20. The Unknown Girl (Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne)

21. The Other Side of Hope (Aki Kaurismäki)
22. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)
23. Strong Island (Yance Ford)
24. Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes)
25. 20th Century Women (Mike Mills)

So many runners-up… it was a good year for movies, if nothing else.

*I’m not saying Twin Peaks is a movie, but I didn’t make a TV list and it’s the greatest thing I watched in 2017.