Darragh O’Donoghue
SvenErik Olsen
George Papadopoulos
Michael Pattison
Yoana Pavlova
Antoni Peris
Sierra Pettengill
Raymond Phathanavirangoon
David Phelps
Jit Phokaew
Andréa Picard
Matías Piñeiro
Kazik Radwanski
Alessandro Raja
Lalit Rao
Kiva Reardon
Robert Reimer
Bérénice Reynaud
Marcos Ribas de Faria
Stuart Richards
Luke Richardson
Peter Rist
Adam Roberts
Julian Ross
Miriam Ross
André Roy
Ben Russell
Dan Sallitt
José Sarmiento
Howard Schumann
Ravi Shankar
Nick Shimmin
Christopher Sikich
Mark Spratt
Brad Stevens
Graham Swindoll
Gerwin Tamsma
Tan Bee Thiam
Antoine Thirion
Gorazd Trušnovec
Robert Von Dassanowsky
Nicholas Vroman
Tomasz Warchol
Christian Were
Virginia Wexman Wright
Eddie White
Eleanor Wilkin
Barbara Wurm
Neil Young
Alexandra Zawia


<<PART 1   << PART 2


DARRAGH O’DONOGHUE

HIS ESSAY ON ANDRZEJ WADJDA WILL APPEAR IN POLISH CINEMA IN A TRANSNATIONAL CONTEXT (FORTHCOMING).

Highlight of 2013

Finally UK viewers got to see Louie (Louis C.K., 2010- ). I have long revered Larry David; Louie is frequently compared to his Curb your Enthusiasm (Robert B. Weide et al, 2000-2011), but conceptually and formally Louie leaves it in the ha’penny place, frequently, discomfitingly, and thrillingly going beyond mere “funny” (the episode “Miami” had not one laugh) into something else entirely.

Top 5

1. & 2. Goliyon ki raasleela : Ram-Leela (A Play of Bullets: Ram-Leela, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, 2013) and Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Two very different but complementary takes on Shakespeare. Significantly and refreshingly, both dispense with the British performers who tend to bring a whiff of the classroom with them. Whedon’s Much Ado is a monochrome Kammerspiel, and finally raises TV’s greatest auteur to the ranks of major filmmakers. Bhansali’s undoubted visual exuberance has too often been dissipated by bluster and inept story-telling, but, grounded in a failsafe text and powered by sensational chemistry between his leads, he calls in the debt owed by Baz Luhrmann’s Hindi-inflected William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996). Speaking of Luhrmann…

3. The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)
This is how literary adaptations should be made and rarely are: like Mansfield Park (Patricia Rozema, 1999) and Le Temps retrouvé (Time Regained, Raúl Ruiz, 1999), this is a reading rather than a synopsis of a classic novel, informed by accumulated critical speculation, reader response and multiple cultural and historical perspectives. Luhrmann’s using Eastern film styles to adapt canonical Western literature is inspired, while the book’s anti-Semitic conception of Meyer Wolfsheim is recuperated by the casting of Hindi superstar Amitabh Bachchan. But the whole conceptual apparatus stands or falls by the casting of Gatsby. Leo, after a misguided decade seeking “serious” acting “credibility”, was born to play Jay Gatsby. He has always been most potent as surface, image, projecting screen.

4.  Post tenebras lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)

5.  This is 40 (Judd Apatow, 2012)
Forget the increasingly toothless pastiches of Hirokazu Koreeda; when did Judd Apatow become the new Ozu?! Pain, scatology and formal rigour.

With respect to:

Los amantes pasajeros (I’m So Excited!, Pedro Almodóvar, 2013)
The Americans (Adam Arkin et al, 2013)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)
După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
É na terra não é na lua (It’s the Earth not the Moon, Gonçalo Tocha, 2011)
The Lone Ranger (Gore Verbinski, 2013)
Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raúl Ruiz, 2010), the full six-episode TV version
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
“The Secret life of the Cat” (Helen Sage, 2013), episode of the BBC2 series Horizon
This is the End (Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, 2013)

Duds and disappointments

Broadchurch (James Strong and Euros Lyn, 2013)
The affection generated by this series is baffling. It was bombastic and derivative, a Killing-by-the-Sea, right down to the Scandi-ballad over the closing credits. Granted, David Tennant and Olivia Colman were remarkable, but the plotting was at once predictable and unconvincing, the “Expressionist” tics irritating, and the dialogue often atrocious. Yet it wasn’t half as bad as Top of the Lake (Jane Campion amd Garth Davis, 2013), one of the worst things I have ever seen.

Celluloid Man: a Film on P.K. Nair (Shivendra Singh Dungarpur, 2012)
A Field in England (Ben Wheatley, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Krrish 3 (Rakesh Roshan, 2013)
Life of Pi (Ang Lee, 2012)
Lore (Cate Shortland, 2012)
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (Alex Gibney, 2012)
Secretion (Willie Doherty, 2013)
As with John le Carré and the Cold War, Willie Doherty lost his subject with the alleged ending of the Northern Ireland Troubles. His hypnotic narrations and circling cameras, deprived of urgency, have become mere tics.
Spirit of ’45 (Ken Loach, 2013)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, 2012)
To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012)
Although Malick-bashing is no longer such fun when even his sycophants are doing it.

Reissue of the year

On Our Own Doorstep (1983, Kieran Hickey)

Part of the Dublin Film Festival retrospective to Ireland’s great lost auteur, this is a government informational against littering Hickey and writing partner Philip Davison morphed into Buñuel/Tex Avery nightmare.

Conversely, the 2012 Agnès Varda-approved digital restoration of Lola (Jacques Demy, 1961), one of the most beautiful films ever made, is horrible.

Home entertainment of the year

The British Film Institute Blu-ray/DVD of Penthesilia and Riddles of the Sphinx (Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1974 and 1977)

The “essay film” has become increasingly fashionable, but in truth most examples are exactly that, illustrated prose texts. Legendary academics Mulvey and Wollen tried to re-imagine and re-constitute the essay in filmic form. It is easy to critique these political films for their political failures – elitism, Orientalism, blindness to class issues – but easier to be exhilarated by their formal and intellectual daring.

Best actress
At long last our greatest TV comic actress gets a film role worthy of her: Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener, 2013).

Best actor
Benjamin Murmelstein in Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann, 2013).

I mean no disrespect to the subject of this film – Murmelstein was Judenältester in the Theresienstadt concentration camp – or to cast doubt on the veracity of his testimony. I certainly don’t mean to compare his to the psychos’ drama in the faintly dubious The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and Anonymous, 2012). But all appearance in front of a camera is a performance, and whatever prejudices a viewer comes with to this film will be blown away by Murmelstein’s sheer physical and moral presence. Although Lanzmann nearly blows it himself by adding a self-regarding prologue to his astonishing 1975 interview session with Murmelstein.

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing


SVENERIK OLSEN

ARTIST AND CRITIC BASED IN MINNEAPOLIS.
  1. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2013)
  2. Short Term 12 (Destin Cretton, 2013)
  3. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
  4. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2013)
  5. Le Passé (The Past, Asghar Farhdi, 2013)
  6. La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdel Kechiche, 2013)
  7. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
  8. Francis Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2013)
  9. După dealuri (Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
  10. Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)
  11. At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
  12. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2013)
  13. Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013)
  14. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2013)
  15. Passion (Brian De Palma, 2013)

GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS

GENERAL MANAGER OF INDEPENDENT FILM DISTRIBUTOR, ACCENT FILM ENTERTAINMENT, MELBOURNE.

La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan & Joel Coen, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2013)
Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2013)


MICHAEL PATTISON

FILM CRITIC, UK.

2013 unreleased world premieres

1. Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 3013)
2. Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
3. Workers (José Luis Valle, 2013)
4. Eastern Boys (Robin Campillo, 2013)
5. Before You Know It (P.J. Raval, 2013)
6. El futuro (Luis López Carrasco, 2013)
7. El Rayo (Hassan’s Way: El Rayo, Fran Araújo and Ernesto de Nova, 2013)
8. Un ramo de cactus (A Bouquet of Cactus, Pablo Llorca, 2013)
9. Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann, 2013)

2013 UK theatrical releases

1. La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
2. După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
3. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
4. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
5. Stoker (Alexey Balabanov, 2010)
6. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
7. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (Alex Gibney, 2012)
8. Silence (Pat Collins, 2012)

2013 retrospective highlights

1. Deseret (James Benning, 1995) Edition Filmmuseum DVD
2. The Lusty Men (Nicholas Ray, 1952) London IFF
3. Cargo 200 (Alexey Balabanov, 2007) Bradford IFF
4. The Unknown (Tod Browning, 1927) IndieLisboa
5. Remorques (Stormy Waters, Jean Grémillon, 1941) Edinburgh IFF
6. Schalcken the Painter (Leslie Megahey, 1979) BFI DVD/BD
7. L’étrange Monsieur Victor (Jean Grémillon, 1938) Edinburgh IFF

The Story of My Death

The Story of My Death


YOANA PAVLOVA

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF FESTIVALISTS.COM

I admit I am not much of a list person, so my top 3 of 2013 consists of films I find difficult to compare with each other and respectively rate.

Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
An auteur’s work per se without any sense of self-indulgence, an intriguing mixture of genres and a poetically frightening (or frighteningly poetic) take on society.

Trydno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
So many years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, Russian cinema is still a mystery to the Western world. I read a lot of puzzled and/or superficial reviews after the premiere in Rome, written mostly by people who are not familiar with the work of the brothers Strugatsky. As someone who grew up immersed in Russian language and culture due to political reasons (I am Bulgarian), I feel privileged enough to sense the mastermind behind this films, as well as all the difficult decisions that were made by the director in order to create a piece of art that is completely independent from the original novel, yet still conveys its message.

Manakamana (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, 2013)
Fresh and minimalist in a way that gives me hope for the future of cinema, be it documentary or fiction.

I would also like to highlight the full retrospective of Kira Muratova, organised by the IFF Rotterdam in the beginning of 2013. It was amazing to see all these films together!


ANTONI PERIS

WRITER FOR MIRADAS DE CINE AND TRANSIT. 

It’s really been a great movie year and a very difficult selection. Here are (some) of my favourites, many of them reflecting life in a very heterogeneous and cinematographic way:

1.  La grande belleza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
2.  Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
3.  A última vez que vi Macao (The Last Time I Saw Macao, João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2012)
4.  Francis Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)
5.  Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan, 2012)
6.  First Cousin Once Removed (Alan Berliner, 2012)
7.  A Field in England (Ben Wheatley, 2013)
8.  The Congress (Ari Folman, 2013)
10. 36 (Nawapol Thamrongrattanaritt, 2012)
11. Kaze tachinu (The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki, 2013)
12. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
13. Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
14. The Master (P.T. Anderson. 2012)
15. The World’s End (Edgar Wright, 2013)
16. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
17. Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl, 2012)
18. Ernest et Célestine (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar & Benjamin Renner, 2012)
19. Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2013)
20. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
21. Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)


SIERRA PETTENGILL

BROOKLYN-BASED DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER.

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
Butter on the Latch (Josephine Decker, 2013)
Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013)
Démanty noci (Diamonds of the Night, Jan Němec, 1964, at BAM)
Exit Elena (Nathan Silver, 2012)
Fuck for Forest (Michal Marczak, 2012)
Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Kapringen (A Hijacking, Tobias Lindholm, 2012)
Let the Fire Burn (Jason Osder, 2013)
The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear (Tinatin Gurchiani, 2013)
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2013)
Narco Cultura (Shaul Schwarz, 2013)
Northern Light (Nick Bentgen, 2013) **full disclosure: I worked on this
Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
Public Hearing (James N. Kienitz Wilkins, 2013)
Streetwise (Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Clark, 1984, 16mm print at UnionDocs)
Worm (Andrew Bowser, 2013)

A Touch of Sin

A Touch of Sin


RAYMOND PHATHANAVIRANGOON

FESTIVAL PROGRAMMER AND PRODUCER WHO HAS NOT HAD A PERMANENT ABODE FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS.

In no order: 

Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)
Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith, Ulrich Seidl, 2012),
V tumane (In the Fog, Sergei Loznitsa, 2012)
Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster, Wong Kar-wai, 2013)
Kaze tachinu (The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki, 2013)
Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-Liang, 2013)
Djúpiõ (The Deep, Baltasar Kormákur, 2012)
Les Salauds (Bastards, Claire Denis, 2013)

Unfortunately I have not seen many of the American year-end films such as 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, All is Lost and American Hustle. But it has been an exceptional year for first-time directors, with outstanding movies which could have easily been in my top ten such as Grzeli nateli dgeebi (In Bloom, Nana Ekvtimishvili & Simon Gross, 2013), Uroki garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Emir Baigazin, 2013), Chunmeng (Longing for the Rain, Yang Tian-yi, 2013), La juala de oro (The Golden Dream, Diego Quemada-Diez, 2013) and Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013).


DAVID PHELPS

WRITER AND TRANSLATOR WHO HAS CONTRIBUTED TO NUMEROUS PUBLICATIONS, INCLUDING MUBI NOTEBOOK, CINEMA SCOPE AND FILM COMMENT.

Some Events

“1913”, “1933” and “1938-1939” retrospectives (programmed, respectively, by Mariann Lewinsky for Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bruce Goldstein for Film Forum, and Peter von Bagh for Il Cinema Ritrovato)

Allan Dwan retrospectives (programmed by Charles Silver for MoMA and Dave Kehr for Il Cinema Ritrovato)

Traveling Light online/global release (through Lumière)

Some Favourite Discoveries – Older Films (on film)

Les cambrioleurs modernes (1906, programmed in Il Cinema Ritrovato)
Almost a Friar/The Thief’s Wife (Allan Dwan, 1912, programmed by Charles Silver and Dave Kehr in MoMA and Il Cinema Ritrovato’s Dwan retrospectives)
Engelein (Urban Gad, 1913, programmed by Mariann Lewinsky in Il Cinema Ritrovato’s “1913”)
Film de famille Grefhulles – Alphonse XIII à bois-boudran (1913, ibid.)
Léonce cinématographiste (Léonce Perret, 1913, ibid.)
Tigris (Vincenzo Denizot, 1913, ibid.)
Le brasier ardent (Ivan Mosjoukine, Alexandre Volkoff, 1923, programmed by Charles Silver and Vika Paranyuk in MoMA’s “Films Albatros”)
Feu Mathias Pascal (171 min, Marcel L’Herbier, 1924, ibid.)
Frozen Justice (extract, Allan Dwan, 1929, programmed by Dave Kehr in Il Cinema Ritrovato’s “Allan Dwan, Noble Primitive”)
Alibi (Rowland West, 1929, programmed by C. Mason Wells in Anthology’s “Andrew Sarris: Expressive Esoterica”)
Ladies of Leisure (Frank Capra, 1930, programmed by Bruce Goldstein in Film Forum’s “Barbara Stanwyck”)
David Golder (Julien Duvivier, 1931, programmed in Le Desperado’s “Julien Duvivier”)
Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence (Earl Duvall, 1933, programmed by Greg Ford in Film Forum’s “1933)
Rufus Jones for President (Roy Mack, 1933, programmed by Bruce Goldstein in Film Form’s “1933”)
Sitting Pretty (Harry Joe Brown, 1933, ibid.)
This Day and Age (Cecil B. DeMille, 1933, ibid.)
Das Stahltier (Willy Zielke, 1934, programmed in Zeughauskino’s “Wiederentdeckt”)
Ana Imoto (Sotoji Kimura, 1935, programmed by Alexander Jacoby and Johan Nordström in Il Cinema Ritrovato’s “Japan Speaks Out! Part 2”)
Kochiyama Soshun (Sadao Yamanaka, 1935, ibid.)
The Girl of the Golden West (Robert Z. Leonard, 1938, programmed by the Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Summer Holiday (Rouben Mamoulian, 1948, programmed by the Cinemateca Portuguesa)
Weegee’s Coney Island (Weegee, 1954, programmed by Ken Jacobs in MoMA’s “Carte Blanche: Ken Jacobs”)
The Winter Footage/Globe/Make Light on Film (Ken Jacobs, 1964/1969/1995, programmed in Anthology Film Archives’ “Insistent Clamor Forever: Ken Jacobs Turns 80!”)
Story of a Prostitute (Seijun Suzuki, 1965, programmed in Arsenal’s “Seijun Suzuki”)
Troublemakers (Robert Machover and Norman Fruchter, 1966, programmed by Jed Rapfogel and Michael Chaiken in Anthology’s “A Tribute to Amos Vogel”)
The Black Film Series (Aldo Tambellini, 1966-68, programmed by Joshua Siegel in MoMA’s “To Save and Project”)
What’s the Matter with Helen? (Curtis Harrington, 1971, programmed by Nick Pinkerton and Nicolas Rapold in the 92YTribeca’s “Overdue: Curtis Harrington”)
Suite California Stops & Passes 1&2 (Robert Nelson, 1976/1978, programmed by Mark McElhatten in the NYFF’s “Views from the Avant-Garde”)
Primary Stimulus (Robert Russett, 1977, programmed by Mark McElhatten and Mark Toscano in “Views from the Avant-Garde”)
All the Marbles (Robert Aldrich, 1981, programmed by Le Desperado)
The Cable Guy (Ben Stiller, 1996, programmed by Dennis Lim in The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Ben Stiller Directs”)
Im Schatten (aka In The Shadows, Thomas Arslan, 2010, programmed by Rajendra Roy, Anke Leweke, and Sophie Cavoulacos in MoMA’s “The Berlin School”)

Some Favourite Discoveries – Newer Movies** (one on film)

The Act of Killing (159 min, Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and Anonymous, 2012)
Alain Badiou on fictional capital/capital fictions (Bioecon TV, 2012)
Areas of Sympathy (Maximilian Le Cain, 2013)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
Auto-Collider XVIII (Ernie Gehr, 2013)
Bound 2  (Nick Knight, 2013)
Broken Tongue (Mónica Savirón, 2013)
Brooklyn Series (Ernie Gehr, 2013)
The Canyons (Paul Schrader, 2013)
The Conjuring (James Wan, 2013)
Le Dernier des injustes (Claude Lanzmann, 2013)
Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012)
Ennui Ennui (Gabriel Abrantes, 2013)
Fast & Furious 6 (Justin Lin, 2013)
O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
Halbschatten (Nicolas Wackerbarth, 2013)
Irresolute (Scott Barley, 2013)
It’s a Wonderful Face (Hannah Frank, 2013)
Joys of Waiting for the Broadway Bus 1-4 (Ken Jacobs, 2013)
La última película (Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, 2013)
Listening to the Space in My Room (Robert Beavers, 2013)
Ein neues produkt (Harun Farocki, 2012)
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-Soo, 2013) / Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-Soo, 2013)
Pain & Gain (Michael Bay, 2013)
Les Salauds (Bastards, Claire Denis, 2013)
South Park, Season 17 (Trey Parker and Matt Stone, 2013)
Square Dance, McIntosh County, Oklahoma, 1939 (Sílvia das Fadas, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
Time is the Sun (Isiah Medina, 2013)
Trash Humpers (Harmony Korine, 2009) & Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
The Unity of All Things (Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt, 2013)
A Vida Invisível (Vítor Gonçalves, 2013)
Where 2 (A.E. Benenson/Douglas Gordon/Alfred Hitchcock/html, present)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)

** Well, not unfalteringly favourite, but plausibly pivotal – maybe. Newer, in any case.

Least favourite

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysaya (Norte, The End Of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)

At Berkeley

At Berkeley


JIT PHOKAEW

CINEPHILE LIVING IN BANGKOK, THAILAND.

Favourite foreign films

  1. Eclipses (Daniel Hui, 2011)
  2. Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (Lav Diaz, 2012)
  3. Co gai tren song (The Girl on the River, Nhat Minh Dang, 1987)
  4. Innocents (Wong Chen-Hsi, 2012)
  5. The Counselor (Ridley Scott, 2013)
  6. A Harbour Town (Dean Kavanagh, 2013)
  7. Le Camion (The Lorry, Marguerite Duras, 1977)
  8. A Floresta de Jonathas (Jonathas’ Forest, Sergio Andrade, 2012)
  9. Yang tidak dibicarakan ketika membicarakan cinta (What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love, Mouly Surya, 2013)
  10. Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster, Wong Kar-wai, 2013)
  11. Siglo ng pagluluwal (Century of Birthing, Lav Diaz, 2011)
  12. O luna in Thailanda (A Month in Thailand, Paul Negoescu, 2012)
  13. Et la lumière fut (And Then There Was Light, Otar Iosseliani, 1989)
  14. History of Water (Dean Kavanagh, 2012)
  15. Satyagraha (Prakash Jha, 2013)
  16. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
  17. HSP: There Is No Escape from the Terrors of the Mind (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2013)
  18. Silencio en la nieve (Frozen Silence, Gerardo Herrero, 2011)
  19. The Silent War (Felix Chong, Alan Mak, 2012)
  20. Bang Bang (Andrea Tonacci, 1971)
  21. Jag saknar dig (I Miss You, Anders Grönros, 2011)
  22. The Attacks of 26/11 (Ram Gopal Varma, 2013)
  23. Welcome to the Punch (Eran Creevy, 2013)
  24. Der Verdingbub (The Foster Boy, Markus Imboden, 2011)
  25. L’Invitation (The Invitation, Claude Goretta, 1973)
  26. No tengas miedo (Don’t Be Afraid, Montxo Armendáriz, 2011)
  27. Baara (Work, Souleymane Cissé, 1980)
  28. Bushidou shikkusutîn (Bushido Sixteen, Tomoyuki Furumaya, 2010)
  29. Aïcha (Yamina Benguigui, 2009-12) (TV series)
  30. Chanthaly (Mattie Do, 2013)

Favourite Thai films

  1. Kwam lambag yagyen nai chuang cheewit kong nai bew (A Hardship of a Lamp, Trying to Be Like the Sun, Thanapruet Prayoonphrom, 2013)
  2. Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy (Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, 2013)
  3. Roke muang (Wonderful Life, Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2013)
  4. Before Sunset (Supalerk Silarangsri and Atchareeya Jattuporn, 2013)
  5. Friends Shift (Boonyarit Wiangnon, 2013)
  6. W (Chonlasit Upanigkit, 2013)
  7. Luk e-san (Son of the Northeast, Vichit Kounavudhi, 1983)
  8. Rak ngo ngo (Love Syndrome, Pantham Thongsang, 2013)
  9. Pagga kong kru wanpen (The Pen of Teacher Wanpen, Tossapol Boonsinsukh, 2003)
  10. Awasarn Loksuay (The End of Beautiful World, Pun Homchuen and Onusa Donsawai, 2013)
  11. Amoksiklav GPO (Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2013)
  12. Karaoke Girl (Visra Vichit-Vadakan, 2013)
  13. Sai nam tid shoer (By the River, Nontawat Numbenchapol, 2013)
  14. Tonight 2 (Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2013)
  15. Tang Wong (Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, 2013)
  16. Grean Fiction (Chookiat Sakveerakul, 2013)
  17. Rai galwayla (Timeless, Wachara Kanha, 2013)
  18. I Kill My Father (Boonchanin Soodtasom, 2012)
  19. Mue jorn (In Bandits’ Hands, Vichit Kounavudhi, 1961)
  20. Sam wan song khuen rak lerk loey (Three Days Two Nights, Thitipong Chaisati, Samkan Chotikasawad and Sorathep Vetwongsatip, 2012)

Favourite foreign short films 

  1. Avant que de tout perdre (Just Before Losing Everything, Xavier Legrand, 2013)
  2. Nous n’irons pas mourir (We Won’t Go There to Die, Jean Berthier, 2011)
  3. Maritime (Dean Kavanagh, 2012)
  4. Walang kaluluwah (Not a Soul, Jet Leyco, 2012)
  5. Childhood Has Gone (Zhao Shou Wei, 2013)
  6. Marionetten (Boris von Borresholm, 1964)
  7. Gaarud (The Spell, Umesh Kulkarni, 2009)
  8. Atlantic Avenue (Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, 2013)
  9. Good Night (Muriel d’Ansembourg, 2012)
  10. Broken Crayon (Ang Geck-Geck, 2012)
  11. Wahabtoka Al Muta’h (I Offered You Pleasure, Farah Shaer, 2012)
  12. All the Lines Flow Out (Charles Lim Yi Yong, 2012)
  13. Hermitage (Carmelo Bene, 1968)
  14. La Maison vide (The Empty House, Mathieu Hippeau, 2013)
  15. Première neige (First Snow, Michaël Lalancette, 2012)

Favourite Thai short films

  1. Grindhouse for Utopia (Tani Thitiprawat, 2013)
  2. Hungary Man Boo (Viriyaporn Boonprasert, 2012)
  3. Wantayahat (Busarin Seengam, 2013)
  4. Garnbarn pid term (My Homework, Theeraphat Ngathong, 2012)
  5. Her Life (Kanvara Lomthaisong, 2013)
  6. Hong tee 17 (Sign of Sin, Pawinee Mingchue, 2013)
  7. Anajak jai (Endless Realm, Eakalak Maleetipawan, 2013)
  8. Rumlueg hategarn mue wantee 3 meenakom porsor 2549 (Remembering the Incident on March 3, 2006, Pongsakorn Ruedeekunrungsi, 2013)
  9. La double vie de Maniejan (Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, 2013)
  10. The Age of Anxiety (Taiki Sakpisit, 2013)
  11. Gai jig deg tai bon pag ong (A Hen Pecks a Kid to Death on the Mouth of an Earthen Jar, Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 2013)
  12. The Fourthland of Heaven (Pramote Sangsorn, 2013)
  13. Kao gala (Unknown Territory, Eakarpon Settasuk, 2013)
  14. Be-Where (Pornsiri Tongbaisri, 2013)
  15. See yag wangploeng (Wangploeng Intersection, Natpakhan Khemkhaw, 2013)
  16. Lux (“Form” Far Away, Kamonwan Chantarat, 2013)
  17. Kum sap chang kong lao pee prai (The Curse of the Spirits, Viriyaporn Boonprasert, 2013)
  18. Dao tee pen numkang (Star Is Ice, Wachara Kanha, 2013)
  19. Namta wan, namtal ped (Sweet Tear, Spicy Sugar, Ongart Hanchanawong, 2013)
  20. 2413482/The Number You Have Dialed Is Not Available Now (Suphisara Kittikunarak, 2013)
  21. Pooying konnee…suay tee sud (She’s the Most Beautiful, Kittisap Erbsuk, 2013)
  22. Chongwang (Gap, Misak Chinphong, 2012)
  23. Duangjai (My Heart, Eakalak Anantasomboon, 2012)
  24. Sawasdi Manob (Hey Manob I Really Need You, Tanaset Siriwattanadirek, Wandee Taboonpong, 2013)
  25. Darling, Morning, Goodnight (Natchanon Vana, 2012)
  26. Ubattihate (The Accident, Dawut Sassanapitax, 2012)
  27. Surveillance (Prap Boonpan, 2012)
  28. Abacadabra (Kittanai Tang, 2012)
  29. Stana (Status, Chantana Tiprachart, 2013)
  30. No Address (Sattaya Janchana, 2013)
  31. Hug liam rug (Love Twist, Somghad Meyen, 2013)
  32. Lan yai lae ruenglao pee pong (Tales of a Grandmother, Wittaya Kanthapan, 2013)
  33. 10,000 Miles (Poppat Vongsupa, 2012)
  34. Cradle (Tidathip Sanchart, 2013)
  35. Mor plian hua book huasai  (Doctor Changes, Paritas Hutangkoon, 2013)

Favourite documentaries

  1. The Romantic (Tani Thitiprawat and Teeranit Siangsanoh, 2013)
  2. A Story for the Modlins (Sergio Oksman, 2012)
  3. Tundong Magiliw: Pasaan isinisilang siyang mahirap? (Tondo, Beloved: To What are the Poor Born?, Jewel Maranan, 2012)
  4. 100 mankai ikita neko (The Cat That Lived a Million Times, Tadasuke Kotani, 2012)
  5. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and Anonymous, 2012)
  6. Mein Schloss (My Castle, Amy Adler, 2012)
  7. Cambodia, After Farewell (Iv Charbonneau-Ching, 2012)
  8. 40 Years of Silence: an Indonesian Tragedy (Robert Lemelson, 2009)
  9. Nang barn (Homemade, Sivaroj Kongsakul, 2013)
  10. Fahtum pandinsoong (Boundary, Nontawat Numbenchapol, 2013)
  11. Songtaew kwamfun 2009-2012 (Project Version) (Imagery Minibus (Project Version), Supakit Seksuwan, 2012)
  12. Lom tulakom (Octoblur, Patana Chirawong, 2013)
  13. Wanipog panayjorn (The Musician, Poopaan Sornwismongkol, 2013)
  14. Bor pen yang (The Pond, Teerawat Rujenatham, Athapol Tarnrat, 2013)
  15. Justiça (Justice, Maria Ramos, 2004)
  16. The Third Eye (Unaloam Chanrungmaneekul and Thitiphun Bumrungwong, 2013)
  17. Mit sahai tarn nueng (A Comrade, Abhichon Rattanabhayon and Watcharee Rattanakree, 2013)
  18. Rang song (The Medium, Fapirom Waiwong, 2013)
  19. Saint Helena’s Exile (Karl Alexander Weck, 2008)
  20. Green House Effect I (Kompai Kaengraeng, 2013)
  21. Trči za život (Run for Life, Mladen Matičević, 2011)
  22. Prachathipatai (Paradoxocracy, Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Pasakorn Pramoolwong, 2013)
  23. Censor Must Die (Ing K, Manit Sriwanichpoom, 2013)
  24. Le populisme au féminin (Hanna Ladoul, Matthieu Cabanes and Marco La Via, 2012)
  25. Nargis: When Time Stopped Breathing (Muang Myint Aung and Kyaw Kyaw Oo, 2010)

Favourite animations

  1. Oh Sheep! (Gottfried Mentor, 2012)
  2. Le chat du rabbin (The Rabbi’s Cat, Antoine Delesvaux and Joann Sfar, 2011)
  3. Vision (Keawalee Warutkomain, 2013)
  4. Au poil (The Perfect Fit, Hélène Friren, 2012)
  5. Evangerion shin gekijôban: Kyu (Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo, Hideaki Anno, Mahiro Maeda, Masayuki and Kazuya Tsurumaki, 2012)
  6. Dream Jobs (Gail Piyanan Suntasiri, 2012)
  7. I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors (Ann Marie Fleming, 2010)
  8. Meitantei Conan: Zekkai No Private Eye (Detective Conan: Private Eye in the Distant Sea, Kobun Shizuno, 2013)
  9. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories (Tomoya Takashima, 2013) (TV series)
  10. Nowhere (Ekarach Kaewmahing, 2013)

Favourite video installations 

  1. In Transit (Jakrawal Nilthamrong, 2013)
  2. Soi Nana (Fan Hsiao-lan, 2012)
  3. Anonymous (Arnont Nongyao, 2013)
  4. Che Is Still Alive (Nuttapol Sawasdee, 2013)
  5. Monk and Motorcycle Taxi Rider (Chulayarnnon Siriphol, 2013)
  6. Untitled (Son of a Bitch) (Namfon Udomlertlak, 2013)
  7. Tape for Bangkok: Documents (Lin Chi-wei, 2012)
  8. Father and I (Thanaphon Inthong, 2013)
  9. P’Mew (Norapat Sakartornsup, 2013)
  10. Silent Poet (Tada Hengsapkul, 2013)
  11. Upstream (Xu Qu, 2010-11)
  12. Life Draw.i..n…g…g… (Peeraphat Kittisuwat, 2013)
  13. House of Hope (Homage to Montien Boonma) (Navin Rawanchaikul, 2013)
  14. Villa in the Slums (Phil America and Orawan Arunrak, 2013)
  15. Melancholy of a Video (Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, 2013)

ANDRÉA PICARD

FILM WRITER AND CURATOR, WAVELENGTHS, TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

1. Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
2. L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
3. Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
4. Història de la meva mort (Story of my Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
5. Feng Ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013)
6. E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
7. Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zurcher, 2013)
8. Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai-Ming liang, 2013)
9. Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop, 2013); O Corpo de Afonso (The King’s Body, Joao Pedro Rodrigues, 2013); Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)
10. Mouton (Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone, 2013)

Stranger by the Lake

Stranger by the Lake


MATÍAS PIÑEIRO

ARGENTINEAN FILMMAKER, BASED IN NEW YORK.

L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon, (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
El loro y el cisne (The Parrot and the Swan, Alejo Moguillansky, 2013)
Sip’ohi – el lugar del Manduré (Sip´ohi – the Place of Manduré Fish, Sebastián Lingiardi, 2011)
Tang huang you difu (Emperor visits the Hell, Lou Li, 2012)
Història de la meva mort (Story of my Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
The Unspeakable Act (Dan Sallitt, 2012)
Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)
La Jealousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
Los ilusos (The Wishful Thinkers, Jonás Trueba, 2013)
Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann, 2013)
Vous n´avez encore rien vu (You Ain´t Seen Nothing Yet, Alain Resnais, 2012)
Trois exercises d’interprétation (Three Exercises of Interpretation, Cristi Puiu, 2013)
Gebo e a sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
Costa da morte (Death Coast, Lois Patiño, 2013)
Arraianos (Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro, 2013)
E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Outtakes from the Life of a Happy Man (Jonas Mekas, 2013)
The Unity of All Things (Daniel Schmidt & Alexander Calver, 2013)
La última película (Mark Peranson & Raya Martin, 2013)
Traveling Light (Gina Telaroli, 2011)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013)


KAZIK RADWANSKI

CINEPHILE LIVING IN BANGKOK, THAILAND.
TORONTO BASED FILMMAKER, CO-FOUNDER OF MDFF.

At Berkeley (Fredrick Wiseman, 2013)
Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zürcher, 2013)
E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Tang huang you difu (Emperor Visits the Hell, Luo Li, 2012)
Història de la meva mort (Story of my Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
La última película (The Last Film, Mark Peranson & Raya Martin, 2013)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013)
Listening to the Space in my Room (Robert Beavers, 2013)
Ma belle gosse (My Blue-Eyed Kid, Shalimar Preuss, 2012)
Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop, 2013)
Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
Stop the Pounding Heart (Roberto Minervini, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
The War (James Benning, 2012)
Vic+Flo ont vu un ours (Vic+Flo Saw a Bear, Denis Côté, 2013)


ALESSANDRO RAJA

FOUNDER AND CEO OF FESTIVALSCOPE.

Borgman (Alex Van Warmerdam, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Gloria (Sebastian Lelio, 2013)
Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Emir Baigazin, 2013)
Stop the Pounding Heart (Roberto Minervini, 2013)
Heli (Amat Escalante, 2013)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013)

Ida

Ida


LALIT RAO

SCREENWRITER AND MEMBER OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF FILM CRITICS, INDIA, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR (UGC-NET FRENCH) AND SENIOR TECHNICAL TRANSLATOR/INTERPRETER (FRENCH).

L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Nebesnye zheny lugovykh mari (Celestial Wives of Meadow Mari, Aleksey Fedorchenko, 2012)
Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei (Walesa: Man of Hope, Andrzej Wajda, 2013)
Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud de Pallières, 2013)
Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2013)
Mystery Road (Ivan Sen, 2013)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
Zyvie Belarus (Viva Belarus!, Krzysztof Lukaszewicz, 2012)
Yurusarezaru mono (Unforgiven, Sang-il Lee, 2013)
Hannah Arendt (Margarethe Von Trotta, 2012)
Meetings with a Young Poet (Rudy Barichello, 2013)
Le Démantèlement (The Auction, Sébastien Pilote, 2013)
Wara no tate (Shield of Straw, Takashi Miike, 2013)
Suzanne (Katell Quillévéré, 2013)
Poklosie (Aftermath, Wladyslaw Pasikowski, 2012)


KIVA REARDON

FOUNDING EDITOR, CLÉO.

1. Vic+Flo ont vu un ours (Vic+Flo Saw a Bear, Denis Côté, 2013)
2. E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
3. Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
4. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
5. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (Ben Rivers & Ben Russell, 2013)
6. Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)
7. Les Salauds (Bastards, Claire Denis, 2013)
8. O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
9. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)
11. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
12. In a World… (Lake Bell, 2013)
13. Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013)
14. Abus de faiblesse (Abuse of Weakness, Catherine Breillat, 2013)
15. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
16. The Oxbow Cure (Calvin Thomas & Yonah Lewis, 2013)

Most-overrated:
La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)

Museum Hours

Museum Hours


ROBERT REIMER

PROFESSOR OF GERMAN AND FILM STUDIES, UNC CHARLOTTE.

1. Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013)
In a year of over-production of apocalyptic science fiction films, Snowpiercer stands out as an excellent cinematic treatment of a world becoming evermore one with rules for the elite and privileged and one with rules and little else for the rest of humanity. The film did what Elysium wanted to do, address the issues of unequal distribution of wealth brought up in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It avoids the syrupy ending of that film, however.

2. Much Ado about Nothing (Josh Whedon, 2012)
An intelligent adaptation in modern dress of Shakespeare.

3. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Cohen, 2013)
This is a must see for anyone who thought the folk scene was sweetness, love, and goodwill to all.

4. The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)
I hated the novel before seeing this movie. Now I think I understand what Fitzgerald was getting at. And I was entertained.

5. The Hunger Games: Chasing Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013)
I have not read the books and I thought the first movie was unexceptional. Maybe I am just becoming overly sensitive to the insidious way the power structure practices thought control. I also like it when a popular medium such as a film based on a best seller critiques itself. Of course I understand the Brechtian irony that by doing so the studio is making millions of dollars, but that does not diminish the message of “all power to the Soviet” that those three raised fingers represent.


BÉRÉNICE REYNAUD

TEACHER AT THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS AND CO-CURATOR OF FILM AT REDCAT.

By category, and then by alphabetical order of the original title

15 narratives

12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013)
Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012)
Grigris (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Inside Llewyn David (Ethan and Joel Cohen, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsaï Ming-liang, 2013)
Jing Cha Ri Ji (To Live and Die in Ordos, Ning Ying, 2013)
Mother of George (Andrew Dosunmu, 2013)
Mouton (Marianne Pistone and Gilles Deroo, 2013)
Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
The Selfish Giant (Clio Barnard, 2013)
Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son, Kore-Eda Hirokazu, 2013)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster, Wong Kar-Wai, 2013)

7 documentaries

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and Anonymous, 2013)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling, 2013)
E agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Farda Mibinamet Elina (See You Tomorrow Elina!, Rakshan Banietemad, 2013)
L’Image manquante (The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh, 2013)
Réquiem NN (Juan Manuel Echavarria, 2013)

7 shorts and mavericks

Cha Fang (The Questioning, Zhu Rikun, 2013)
Un Conte de Michel de Montaigne (Jean-Marie Straub, 2013)
Dialogue d’ombres (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1954-2013)
Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop, 2013)
Pays barbare (Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi, 2013)
A Study in Natural Magic (Charlotte Pryce, 2013)
Touch (Shelly Silver, 2013)

One restoration

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Jacques Demy, 1964-2013)

One memorial screening

The Forgotten Space (Noël Burch and Allan Sekula, 2010)

One quote

“An image is worth a thousand questions.” (Allan Sekula, 1951-2013)


MARCOS RIBAS DE FARIA

Vous n’avez encore rien vu (You Aint’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!, Alain Resnais,2012)
Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
Keep The Lights On (Ira Sachs, 2012)
Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, 2012)
Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (J.J. Abrams, 2013)
Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
Now You See Me (Louis Leterrier, 2013)
Un Château en Italie (A Castle in Italy, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, 2013)

Caesar Must Die

Caesar Must Die


STUART RICHARDS

Tutor in Screen and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne and programmer at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
L’inconnu du Lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery, 2013)
My Brother the Devil (Sally El Hosaini, 2012)
Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
The Heat (Paul Feig, 2013)
The Act of Killing, (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
Kill your Darlings, (John Krokidas, 2013)


LUKE RICHARDSON

ENGLISH FILM CRITIC BASED IN COPENHAGEN, DENMARK.

While many may regard 2013 as a “vintage year” for film, it will go down in history as one of the worst in recent times for out-and-out comedies. Despite a few chortles, I found myself guffaw-free in the cinema this year. This may be due to the frosty persona that living in Scandinavia brings, or perhaps it is an industry-epidemic; the bitter aftermath of a worldwide austerity. So, with the utmost candour, let us raise a glass to the resplendent year at the movies we’ve all had. Let’s consider all the squeals, tears and trauma our maestri have enkindled, and hope that they return to tickling our ribs in 2014.

The best films of 2013

1. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2013)
2. Uroki garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Emir Baigazin, 2013)
3. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
4. După dealuri (Beyond The Hills, Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
5. La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
6. The Selfish Giant (Clio Bernard, 2013)
7. Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, 2013)
8. Manakamana (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, 2013)
9. Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster, Wong Kar-Wai, 2013)
10. Stoker (Park Chan-wook, 2013)

Most overrated films of 2013 (in order of most grossly praised)

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix Van Groeningen, 2012)


PETER RIST

PROFESSOR OF FILM STUDIES IN THE MEL HOPPENHEIM SCHOOL OF CINEMA, CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY, MONTREAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA.

Surprisingly perhaps, in the new world of (almost) all-digital projection, 2013 was an excellent year for cinema-going. As usual, the first part of 2013 involved catching up on films that came out in 2012, but had just been released in Montreal, such as AmourZero Dark Thirty, the Chilean No, and the best Brazilian film in some time, Neighboring Sounds. It was an exceptional year for U.S. films, with the best-ever efforts from Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha, Harmony Korine, Spring Breakers, and even the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis, while Montreal’s international documentary film festival, RIDM, staged a remarkable retrospective of work from Harvard University’s Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL), with director J.P. Sniadecki on hand to co-host a roundtable session (it was the best of the local festivals).

I found Gravity to be so impressive that I have now watched it three times in IMAX 3D. It is the first studio film in years – is it really a “Hollywood” movie? – that works as it should throughout while delivering on the promise of extraordinary special effects. It completely redefines the action genre. Until Norte, the End of History premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC) in October, no work by Lav Diaz had ever shown in Montreal. I am now struggling to seek out other films of his, because this latest effort is a true masterpiece. Along with Gravity, it is the other best film of the year: I found it to be incredibly moving in its portrait of a Filipina working woman struggling against the odds, and shocking in its suggestion of corruption and violent decadence at the upper end of the class ladder in the Philippines, via Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Both Italian archival festivals (in Bologna and Pordenone) were notable, the former for their second instalment of “Japan Speaks Out.”

Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)
O Som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn and Anonymous, 2012)
Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
Ani imôto (Older Brother and Younger Sister, Kimuro Sotoji, 1936) & Akanishi
Kakita (Capricious Young Man, Itami Mansaku, 1936), both released on 35mm at Il Cinema Ritrovato 27
Top of the Lake (Television miniseries, Jane Campion & Garth Davis, 2013)
Ok-hui-ui yeonghwa (Oki’s Movie, Hong Sang-soo, 2010)
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong sang-soo, 2013)
Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
Shkurnyk (The Self-Seeker, Nikolai Shpikovsky, 1929), and Khlib (Bread, Shpikovsky, 1930), in “Ukraine: The Great Experiment,” Il Giornate del Cinema Muto 32 

No

No


ADAM ROBERTS

FILMMAKER LIVING IN LONDON, AND CO-FOUNDER, WITH JOANNA HOGG, OF A NOS AMOURS, WHICH DEDICATES ITSELF TO SHOWING HARD TO SEE OVERLOOKED OR ESPECIALLY GOOD FILMS, FAVOURING ORIGINAL FORMATS WHERE POSSIBLE.

For me, new films have made up a small part of 2013 – committed as I am at present to the screening of work from the past (currently a complete Chantal Akerman retrospective, whose work has excited me like nothing else, both redefining what film is and reminding me anew of the primal energy of cinema). I should also like to give honourable mention to the extraordinarily refinement and pleasure I found in André Delvaux’s Rendez-vous à Bray (1971, reissued on DVD after restoration), and to Jacques Rozier’s famously overlooked Adieu Philippine (1962).  To make an impossible selection of new films here are just a few – all of them remarkable, all of them rewarding repeat viewing, all of them serving to demonstrate that cinema is a wonderfully subtle and infinitely varied field:

Trudno byt’ bogom (Hard to Be a God, Alexei German, 2013)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
Vous n’avez encore rien vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Alain Resnais, 2012)
Exhibition  (Joanna Hogg, 2013)
La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paulo Sorrentino, 2013)


JULIAN ROSS

RESEARCHER, CURATOR OF FILM PROGRAMS, EDITOR OF VERTIGO.

Artefacts (Cyprien Gaillard, 2011)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainer (Matt Wolf, 2012)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
All the Lines Flow Out (Charles Lim, 2011)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Article Left by the Departed (Takashi Makino, 2013)
Dereviled (David Haines, 2013)
Dad’s Stick (John Smith, 2012)
Sakuhin (Work, Shozo Shimamoto, 1958) 


MIRIAM ROSS

LECTURER IN FILM AT VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON.

According to past trends of boom and bust, 3D should very much be dead by now. However, 2013 saw a steady number of 3D cinema releases and the expansion of 3D technology into new markets, particularly in Russia and Asia. The success of films such as Life of Pi and Brave at the Academy Awards in February signalled favourable recognition whereas the decision by the BBC in Britain to end its 3D trials was less positive for the format. I would argue that the films on offer this year were a mixed bag; some showcased extraordinary visual fields while others seemed unconcerned with the added depth cues. My list of the top ten best 3D films of the year does not reflect on the overall quality of the films (particularly narrative, character development and/or performance) but signals the best use of 3D techniques in the films that were on offer.

Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, 2013)
Oz the Great and Powerful (Sam Raimi, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Beyond the Edge (Leanne Pooley, 2013)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Jon M. Chu, 2013)
The Day of the Doctor (Nick Hurran, 2013)
Iron Man 3 (Shane Black, 2013)
The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (Tommy Wirkola, 2013)
Star Trek Into Darkness (J. J. Abrams, 2013)

Beyond the Edge

Beyond the Edge


ANDRÉ ROY

FILM CRITIC FOR 24IMAGES MAGAZINE.

Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
E Agora ? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
La Jalousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father Like Son, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2013)
Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud des Pallières, 2013)
Mud (Jeff Nichols, 2012)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
Vic+Flo ont vu un ours (Vic+Flo Saw a Bear, Denis Côté, 2013)


BEN RUSSELL

ARTIST AND CURATOR WHOSE RECENT WORK ARGUES FOR CINEMA AS UTOPIA.

Top ten projections of 2013

My experience of cinema is increasingly tethered to both the physical space and the material transmission of the medium. Which is to say: bad cinemas can ruin good cinema, but good cinema becomes totally remarkable when given the proper ray of light to inhabit and the right crematorium / body of water / or porn-theatre to light up. Timing is everything, space is the place! What follows is an alphabetical list of (mostly*) great cinema made exceptional by projection:

Alberi (Trees, Michelangelo Frammartino, 2013) – projected on DCP w/7.1 audio in an abandoned cinema with a centaur mural in the lobby (Milan, Italy)
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) – projected on 35mm on a rooftop cinema with an intermission, a working fountain and coloured lights (Athens, Greece)
Dusty Stacks of Mom (Jodie Mack, 2013) – projected on video w/ live vocal performance in the rainy afterhours courtyard of MOMA PS1 (New York, USA)
Gravity* (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013) – projected on DCP 3D in a strip-mall cinema with all but three rows of chairs removed and a pile of boxes assembled beneath the screen, stoned (Brattleboro, USA)
Ja Ne Vem (Yes, I Do Not Know, Davorin Marc, 1980) – projected on S8mm on a screen erected in the Aegean Sea (Tinos, Greece)
Korotkie vstrechi (Brief Encounters, Kira Muratova, 1967) – projected on 35mm in a cinémathèque (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
The Last Judgement (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2013) – projected on video on the ceiling of a former crematorium (Berlin, Germany)
Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013) – projected on DVD for 3 viewers in a “men’s cinema” (Amman, Jordan)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012) – projected on DCP at the avant-premiere to a 1,000-strong audience of screaming Selena Gomez fans (Paris, France)
Stemple Pass, James Benning, 2013 – projected on DCP in a multiplex at 8am, alone (Wroclaw, Poland)


DAN SALLITT

FILMMAKER AND FILM WRITER LIVING IN NEW YORK.

1. Il futuro (The Future, Alicia Scherson, 2013)
2. Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
3. Travel Plans (Ted Fendt, 2013)
4. I Hate Myself :) (Joanna Arnow, 2013)
5. Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)
6. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
7. La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
8. Care (Brett Wagner, 2013)
9. The Girls on Liberty Street (John Rangel, 2013)
10. L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)

All the above films received their world premieres in 2013. This list will certainly change quite a lot as 2013 films make their way to New York over the course of the next few years.

A few good films of recent years that crossed my path in 2013 and that haven’t received enough attention: O luna in Thailanda (A Month in Thailand, Paul Negoescu, 2012); Sur la planche (On the Edge, Leila Kilani, 2011); Al-khoroug lel-nahar (Coming Forth by Day, Hala Lotfy, 2012); El lenguaje de los machetes (Machete Language, Kyzza Terrazas, 2011); Shyamal Kaku, Korpreshaner Baati, Ebong (Shyamal Uncle Turns Off the Lights, Suman Ghosh, 2012); Vakansi yang janggal dan penyakit lainnya (Peculiar Vacation and Other Illnesses, Yosep Anggi Noen, 2002); Kolka Cool (Juris Poskus, 2011); Nina (Elisa Fuksas, 2012); Ini Avan (Him, Here After, Asoka Handagawa, 2012).

Il Futuro

Il Futuro


JOSÉ SARMIENTO

CO-FOUNDER AND CO-DIRECTOR OF DESISTFILM.COM.

Exceptional 

1. Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)\
2. Trois exercices d’interpretation (Three Exercises of Interpretation, Cristi Puiu, 2013)
3. Los ilusos (The Wishful Thinkers, Jonás Trueba, 2013)
4. Les Trois Désastres (The Three Disasters, Jean-Luc Godard, 2013)
5. Shirley: Visions of Reality (Gustav Deutsch, 2013)
6. P3nd3jo5 (Raúl Perrone, 2013)

Outstanding

7. Soft in the Head (Nathan Silver, 2013)
8. Feng ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013)
9. Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
10. Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
11. Les Salauds (Bastards, Claire Denis, 2013)
12. El quinto evangelio de Gaspar Hauser (The Fifth Gospel of Kaspar Hauser, Alberto Gracia, 2013)

Quite good

13. Vers Madrid (The Burning Bright!) (Sylvain George, 2012)
14. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
15. Pardé (Closed Curtain, Jafar Panahi, 2013)
16. La Bataille de Solférino (Age of Panic, Justine Tiet, 2013)
17. La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
18. Falling Notes Unleaving (Saul Levine, 2013)

Have a redeeming feature

19. Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
20. Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)

The what-the-f!? list

Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)

And a ‘couldn’t watch in 2012’ best films list

Exceptional

1. San zimei (Three Sisters, Wang Bing, 2012)
2. Passion (Brian De Palma, 2012)
3. A última vez que vi Macau (The Last Time I Saw Macao, João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Geurra da Mata, 2012)
4. Leviathan (Lucian Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
5. The Extravagant Shadows (David Gatten, 2012)
6. A Low Life Mythology (Lior Shamriz, 2012)
7. White Epilepsy (Philippe Grandrieux, 2012)
8. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)

Outstanding

9. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
10. Arraianos (Eloy Enciso, 2012)
11. Odayaka na nichijô (Nobutero Uchida, 2012)
12. Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidel, 2012)
13. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
14. După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mingiu, 2012)
15. La noche de enfrente (Night Across the Street, Raúl Ruiz, 2012)
16. The Capsule (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2012)
17. No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)
18. Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
19. Mommy is Coming (Cheryl Dunye, 2012)
20. La Casa Emak Bakía (The Search for Emak Bakia, Oskar Algeria, 2012)
21. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
22. Age Is… (Stephen Dwoskin, 2012)
23. O Gebo e a sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
24. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Alison Klayman, 2012)
25. Linhas de Wellington (Lines of Wellington, Valeria Sarmiento, 2012)


HOWARD SCHUMANN

FREELANCE WRITER.
  1. Short Term 12 (Destin Cretton, 2013)
    Coming from the director’s own experience, the film is permeated with an air of authenticity and contains natural performances from an ensemble cast that includes Brie Larson as Staff Supervisor in an Oscar-worthy performance.
  2. Mud (Jeff Nichols, 2012)
    Remarkable for its combination of reality and lyricism and is marked by outstanding performances from McConaughey and Sheridan.
  3. The Way, Way Back (Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, 2013)
    A warmhearted and beautifully realized teen comedy that is as poignant as it is funny.
  4. Wadjda (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012)
    The first film to be directed by a Saudi woman, Haifaa Al-Mansour, and the first to be shot inside Saudi Arabia, is a powerful indictment of the gender inequality that Saudi women face all of their lives. Though girls riding bikes are frowned upon, Waad Mohammed’s performance as the plucky ten-year-old Wadjda who saves money to buy a bike demonstrates the strength and quiet determination of her character.
  5. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
    Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northrup does not simply relate his story but makes us party to his experience and brilliantly conveys the agony of what it is like to endure the debasement of one’s humanity.
  6. The Place Beyond the Pines (Derek Cianfrance, 2012)
    A suspenseful, multi-layered drama that covers 15 years in the lives of its protagonists. It is a sprawling epic of 140-minutes whose perfect design can only be seen in its totality. With many hairpin twists and turns, the film shows how one moment of poor judgment can affect the rest of a person’s life and carry over to the next generation. 
  7. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (Sam Fleischner, 2013)
    The centrepiece of the film is the boy’s eleven-day odyssey riding the A-train to Manhattan and back as he encounters all that New York has to offer. As his mother looks for Ricky, the threat of Hurricane Sandy adds a new desperation to the search and the film builds an extraordinary level of tension.
  8. Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013)
    A disturbing account of the last day of the life of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22 year-old African American, shot and killed by an officer of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) at the Fruitvale subway station in Oakland, California in 2009. While the film will not end racial tension, it may go a long way towards opening people’s eyes about the reality of police misconduct.
  9. The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt, 2013)
    It is a smart, restrained and honest film that handles the subject of teen alcoholism, relationships, and sex in a sensitive and realistic way. It is not a film about alcoholism but about self-awareness that portrays teenagers like real people and treats them with dignity and respect.
  10. Inside Llewyn Davis (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2013)
    The Coen Brothers’ messagethat it’s difficult for any new artist to be successful in a highly competitive arena, especially when their actions are toxic and self defeating, is not a startling piece of information, yet the film has so much soul and the performances are so touching that it’s hard to tell the difference between the winners and losers anyway.
  11. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)
    A film that has genuine affection for its characters. They have their flaws and are not always self-aware, but the film recognises that the process of growth does not happen suddenly.
  12. To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012)
    Terence Malick’s stamp is written all over it: philosophical voice-overs uttered in hushed tones, panoramic displays of the physical beauty of nature, a story that features little dialogue, and an untranslatable feeling for the spiritual. It is a work that suggests, implies and evokes rather than commands, forcing us to confront how we connect to ourselves and the world around us.
  13. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
    Though it is enigmatic and mandates repeated viewing, it does not reach us on the level of rational understanding, but on that of being. Dreamlike and haunting, with its exquisite cinematography and poetic musical score, it is a film of mood and silences that, regardless of your interpretation, will challenge you to engage both your mind and your emotions.
  14. Blackfish (Gabriela Cowperthwaite, 2013)
    This hard-hitting and disturbing documentary shows the deplorable conditions of killer whales confined to an area the size of a swimming pool for up to twenty or thirty years at marine theme parks such as SeaWorld. In making the film that depicts the death of three trainers by attacking orcas, the director said her purpose was to provide a context for humane treatment for the whales and prevent additional deaths.
  15. Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
    Both a superb character study and an illumination of the effects of oppression on the human psyche. It is a film that transcends the limitations of its setting to become a universal experience.
  16. L’Enfant d’en haut (Sister, Ursula Meier, 2012)
    Based on Meier’s memories, Sister is a devastating look at the result when an unwanted child is brought into the world.
  17. La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 et 2 (Blue Is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
    A complex, deeply intense film that elevates one young woman’s personal struggle into a drama of universal relevance. It is unique in its openness and honesty about same-sex relationships and the performances are so perfect that we are never conscious of anything except the beauty of two human beings discovering the joys of authentic intimacy.
  18. American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)
    It may not be the most profound statement ever made about the corruption that lies below the surface of the American dream, but it is certainly one of the most entertaining. Loosely based on the Abscam case of the late seventies where an FBI sting operation used fake Arab sheiks to convict prominent politicians, it is filled with a relentless energy and some of the finest acting performances of the year.
  19. Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons, Emir Baigazin, 2013)
    Set in a remote village, Harmony Lessons is a poetic but deeply disturbing and often brutal look at power relationships at a Kazakh high school. From the brutality of the police to the bullying at school to the way animals and even insects are treated, the film mirrors an increasing cycle of violence in a society governed by the false notion of survival of the fittest. It is a stunning first feature.
  20. The Attack (Ziad Douiere, 2012)
    In the gripping suspense thriller The Attack, the life of Dr Amin Jafaari, a respected Israeli Arab doctor, is turned upside down when his wife is accused of being a suicide bomber. Although the film is about the seemingly impassable political divide that separates the Israeli and Arab worlds, it is basically a look at the human cost of the conflict.
  21. Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)
    Moves art beyond the confines of a stuffy museum and takes it out into the streets of Vienna. A riveting experience that bonds us to a world beyond the limits of our sense perception, the film widens our view of what is “inside” the museum to include what is “outside,” not as a separate part of the experience but as an integrated whole.
  22. All Is Lost (J.C. Chandor, 2013)
    Known only as “Our Man,” he is a man adrift at sea without any of the identifiers that we normally use to know someone. He just is and we are with him in his fierce struggle for survival.
  23. Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
    Austere and unforgiving, Camille Claudel, 1915 can be compared to the films of Robert Bresson in its long silences, spiritual depth, and uncompromising integrity.
  24. The Book Thief (Brian Percival, 2013)
    Told with power and conviction, it is the perfect film for young people to learn about the dangers of totalitarianism and to appreciate the importance of culture and knowledge in a humane society.
  25. L’Image manquante (The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh, 2013)
    It paints an overwhelming picture of man’s inhumanity to man. 

Honourable mention

Tracks (John Curran, 2013)
The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra, 2013)
The Rocket (Kim Morduant, 2013)
The Gatekeepers (Dror Moreh, 2012)
Atmen (Breathing, Karl Markovics, 2011)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
Lemale et ha’halal (Fill the Void, Rama Burshtein, 2012)
După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mingiu, 2012)

Disappointing

Ginger & Rosa (Sally Potter, 2012)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need, Susanne Bier, 2012)
Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013)
Philomena (Stephen Frears, 2013)

Short Term 12

Short Term 12


RAVI SHANKAR

A FILM BLOGGER – FILMBULB. INTERESTED IN SEEING UNKNOWN WORLD CINEMA.

I’m going to list my best of 2013 Tamil language movies. The list will have a few films released at the end of 2012.

Tamil Language Cinema is just 2-3 years older than Bollywood; it releases close to 100 films but doesn’t enjoy a big market share compared to Bollywood. Most of the films are song-musicals, like Bollywood, but the advent of New Age Tamil Filmmakers are changing the trend by introducing innovative visual story telling.

My Top 10 Tamil films released commercially in Chennai, India during 2012-13 arranged by date of release.

Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (A Few Pages are Missing in Between, Balaji Tharaneetharan, 2012)
A black comedy revolving around four friends, when one of them suddenly suffers from short-term memory loss. With just two days for his wedding, the rest of the friends struggle to make the wedding happen.

Kumki (Prabu Solomon, 2012)
A Seven Samurais kind of film, but without the samurais and bandit. Instead we have elephants in their places. It also interludes a love story, which uses great locals and music.

Neer Paravai (Seabird, Seenu Ramasamy, 2012)
A simple love story portraying the lives of the people living in the coastal regions of South India, especially Tamil Nadu.

Soodhu Kavvum (Evil Engulfs, Nalan Kumarasamy, 2013)
Another black comedy. A story when a kidnapping goes wrong, where the kidnapped starts to dictate the terms. A funny and down to earth dark comedy.

Neram (Time, Alponse Puthren, 2013)
What happens if something doesn’t fall into place? This is what the film’s protagonist suffers from. Nothing new, ah! The director takes the cue from Tarantino’s style of non-linear filmmaking into Tamil Cinema.

Vishwaroopam (Kamal Haasan, 2013)
This film made waves when it was banned by the State government, citing religious sentiments, but it turned out to be a good spy thriller, which had me on the edge of my seat.

Paradesi (Vagabond, Bala, 2013)
A story set in pre-independence India. Portraying the struggle of tea plantation workers in the hands of British. Never before has exploitation been pictured so authentic and raw.

Chennaiyil Oru Naal (A Day in Chennai, Shahid Kader, 2013)
A non-linear and multi-narrative thriller. Very rare to see an ensemble cast. It is a story which happens in a day, when a heart is transported for organ transplantation.

Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer (Therefore, Go Ahead and Love, Susindran, 2013)
A film featuring how the present generation of young Indians differentiate love/romance and the age old tradition of chastity. A very simple story with a powerful ending.

Irandam Ulagam (The Second World, K. Selvaragavan, 2013)
A list without a fantasy film is incomplete. A unique and brave attempt by the maker. This genre is new to new-age Tamil cinema. A story set in two planets.

Explore the unknown. Go beyond Bollywood to explore the colours and flavours of Indian Cinema. 


NICK SHIMMIN

VETERAN SUBTITLER, EDITOR AND PROMOTER, SYDNEY.

Enduring works of art seen this year:

Here Be Dragons (Mark Cousins, 2013)
Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)

Fine films seen this year:

Spirit of ‘45 (Ken Loach, 2013)
Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)

Worst film seen in maybe ten years:

The Dead Speak Back (Jason Sweeney, 2013)

Here Be Dragons

Here Be Dragons


CHRISTOPHER SIKICH

TEACHER, PHOTOGRAPHER AND CINEPHILE, PHILADELPHIA.

Freedom and discovery are the unifying threads throughout my choices for the greatest films of 2013. There was the destruction of self and reconnections to others in Upstream Color and 12 Years a Slave and a loosening of the hold on narrative and contextual boundaries in the likes of Leviathan and Gravity. And if my list could go beyond film and include television, the brilliant Jane Campion and Garth Davis directed mini-series Top of the Lake would fit perfectly within the highlights of the year.

Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, 2013)
Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
Let the Fire Burn (Jason Osder, 2013)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Room 237 (Rodney Ascher, 2012)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
A Band Called Death (Mark Christopher Covino & Jeff Howlett, 2012)


MARK SPRATT

MELBOURNE-BASED INDEPENDENT FILM DISTRIBUTOR.

A top ten (chronological order of viewing)

Poziția copilului (Child’s Pose, Călin Peter Netzer, 2013)
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
Le Passé (The Past, Asghar Farhadi, 2013)
A última vez que vi Macau (The Last Time I Saw Macao, João Rui Guerra da Mata & João Pedro Rodrigues, 2013)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
La Vénus à la fourrure (Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski, 2013)
La Vie d’Adèle: chapitre 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)
To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012)
Gravity(Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)

Some very close runners up

Stemple Pass (James Benning, 2012)
Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2013)
Soshite chichi ni Naru (Like Father Like Son, Kore-Eda Hirokazu, 2013)
Wakolda (The German Doctor, Lucía Puenzo, 2013)
Blancanieves (Pablo Berger, 2012)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
The East (Zal Batmanglij, 2013)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)
La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)                  
Jîn (Reha Erdem, 2013)

And special mention to a quintet of American films, maligned and underrated in some quarters which all in a sometimes cartoonish manner, held up a penetrating mirror to a cartoonish society 

Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
The Canyons (Paul Schrader, 2013)
Pain & Gain (Michael Bay, 2013)
The Counselor (Ridley Scott, 2013)
Starlet (Sean Baker, 2012)

Greatest restoration/discovery

La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda, 1955) 

The Past

The Past


BRAD STEVENS

AUTHOR OF MONTE HELLMAN: HIS LIFE AND FILMS (MCFARLAND, 2003), ABEL FERRARA: THE MORAL VISION (FAB PRESS, 2004), AND THE FORTHCOMING NOVEL THE HUNT (VAMPTASY PUBLISHING).

Films of the year

  1. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
  2. Io e te (Me and You, Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012)
  3. Chantrapas (Otar Iosseliani, 2010)
  4. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
  5. To the Wonder (Terrence Malick, 2012)
  6. La Vie d’Adèle: chapitre 1 et 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
  7. Paula-Paula (Jess Franco, 2010)
  8. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
  9. Stoker (Park Chan-wook, 2013)
  10. L’intervallo (The Interval, Leonardo Di Costanzo, 2012)

Retrospective discoveries

  1. Yuki & Nina (Hippolyte Girardot and Nobuhiro Suwa, 2009)
  2. Eggshells (Tobe Hooper, 1969)
  3. Ôsaka no yado (An Inn at Osaka, Gosho Heinosuke, 1954)
  4. Ruggles of Red Gap (Leo McCarey, 1935)
  5. Subida al cielo (Mexican Bus Ride, Luis Buñuel, 1952)
  6. The Sun Also Rises (Henry King, 1957)
  7. Upstream (John Ford, 1927)
  8. The Blot (Lois Weber, 1921)
  9. The Eddy Duchin Story (George Sidney, 1956)
  10. The Dead Girl (Karen Moncrieff, 2006)

The invitation sent out by Senses of Cinema cautions potential contributors to the World Cinema poll that “This is not a forum to list all your catch up viewing, your list must relate to viewing that could only happen in 2013.” Yet all of us are more or less playing catch-up with the history of cinema. It was only this year that I caught up with The Master and Holy Motors, which appeared on several 2012 lists. And it was only this year that I caught up with Gosho’s sublime An Inn at Osaka, which thousands of Japanese cinemagoers saw in 1954. But for a non-Japanese speaker, this viewing could only have happened in 2013 thanks to the online appearance of fan subtitles. Indeed, the line between “films of the year” and “retrospective discoveries” seems to be narrowing all the time… which is one of the most pleasurable things about being a cinephile in 2013. 


GRAHAM SWINDOLL

DISTRIBUTOR, WRITER, EDITOR FROM BROOKLYN, NY.

2013 theatrical releases (U.S.) 

(In a few occasions, NYC single screening of a film that may not have conventional a theatrical release). Alphabetical order, no preference given.

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Costa da Morte (Lois Patiño, 2013)
Feng Ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013) and San zimei (Three Sisters, Wang Bing, 2012)
O Gebo e a sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
Le Pont du Nord (Jacques Rivette, 1983)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
Stemple Pass (James Benning, 2012)
Vous n’avez encore rien vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Alain Resnais, 2012)

I will refrain from passing judgment on most of 2013’s many festival releases that will appear in theatres next year; there are many I look forward to seeing and re-seeing, and it is better to let these things settle in your mind and in your stomach. I have chosen not to list any films that I worked on in any capacity; had I included such films, the list would look different. I will say that it has been a pleasure and an honour to work on films by Jem Cohen, Matías Piñeiro, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, Dan Sallitt, João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata and, in absentia but never truly gone, Dominique Benicheti and Raúl Ruiz.

2013 repertory screenings

(All NYC screenings, projected in original format, seen for the first time in 2013)

I’ve selected a few highlights from my favourite series across the NYC repertory map. As always, I am equally joyful for this embarrassment of riches and ashamed for any beautiful prints that I couldn’t see projected which now may never return.

Dekigokoro (Passing Fancy, Yasujirô Ozu, 1933) / Tokyo No Yado (An Inn in Tokyo, Yasujirō Ozu, 1935) [Ozu at Film Forum]
Dark Waters (André De Toth, 1944) / My Name Is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis, 1945) [Andrew Sarris: Expressive Esoterica at Anthology Film Archives]
France/tour/detour/deux/enfants (Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, 1977) / JLG/JLG – autoportrait de décembre (JLG/JLG: Self-Portrait in December, Jean-Luc Godard, 1994) [Godard at Film Society of Lincoln Center]
Betty (Claude Chabrol, 1992) / A Life in the Balance (Harry Horner and Rafael Portillo, 1955) [Cine-Simenon at Anthology Film Archives]
Stark Love (Karl Brown, 1927) / Mise à sac (Pillaged, Alain Cavalier, 1967) [To Save and Project at MoMA]
Middle Ages on Film, Parts I, II & III [Anthology Film Archives]
A Girl in Every Port (Howard Hawks, 1928) / Air Force (Howard Hawks, 1943) [Hawks at Museum of the Moving Image]
Zaza (Allan Dwan, 1923) / Man to Man (Allan Dwan, 1930) [Alan Dwan at MoMA]


GERWIN TAMSMA

PROGRAMMER, INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM.

In alphabetical order.

Die andere Heimat – Chronik einer Sehnsucht (Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision, Edgar Reitz, 2013)
E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Feng Ai (‘Till Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013)
Heli (Amat Escalante, 2013)
Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
L’image manquante (The Missing Picture. Rithy Pan, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
La Jalousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
Redemption (Miguel Gomes, 2013)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)

La Jalousie

La Jalousie


TAN BEE THIAM

EDITOR OF CINEMAS OF ASIA AND FILMMAKER WITH 13 LITTLE PICTURES COLLECTIVE.

Animal Spirits (Daniel Hui, 2013) (short)
Avanti Popolo (Michael Wahrmann, 2012)
Big Boy (Shireen Seno, 2013) and Lukas the Stranger (John Torres, 2013)
Jagten (The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)
Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Strangers by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Mater Dolorosa (Adolfo Alix Jr, 2013)
Noche (Leonardo Brzezicki, 2013)
On Such and Such a Day, At Such and Such a Time (Natalie Khoo, 2013) (short)
Prologue to The Great Desaparecido (Lav Diaz, 2013) (short)
Tadpoles (Ivan Tan, 2013) (short)
Vikingland (Xurxo Chirro, 2011)

Retrospective screenings of Sylvain George at the Festival de Cine Lima Independiente in 2013, especially of Qu’ils reposent en révolte (Des figures de guerre).


ANTOINE THIRION

FILM CRITIC, CAHIERS DU CINÉMA 2001-09 AND CO-FOUNDER AND CO-EDITOR IN CHIEF INDEPENDENCIA, 2009-13.
  1. L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
  2. Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
  3. Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
  4. Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
  5. Manakamana (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, 2013)
  6. Loubia Hamra (Bloody Beans, Narimane Mari, 2013)
  7. La Bataille de Solférino (Age of Panic, Justine Triet, 2013)
  8. La última película (Raya Martin and Mark Peranson, 2013)
  9. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
  10. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Stray Dogs

Stray Dogs

 


GORAZD TRUŠNOVEC

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF EKRAN, THE LEADING SLOVENIAN CINEMA & TV MAGAZINE.

Borgman (Alex van Warmerdam, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Class Enemy (Razredni sovražnik, Rok Biček, 2013)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
După dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)
No (Pablo Larraín, 2012) 


ROBERT VON DASSANOWSKY

PROFESSOR OF FILM STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, COLORADO SPRINGS, INDEPENDENT PRODUCER, EDITOR OF NEW AUSTRIAN FILM (WITH OLIVER SPECK, 2011), TARANTINO’S INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS: A MANIPULATION OF METACINEMA (2012), WORLD FILM LOCATIONS: VIENNA (2012), AND AUTHOR OF SCREENING TRANSCENDENCE: FILM UNDER AUSTROFASCISM AND THE HOLLYWOOD HOPE 1933-38 (2014). 

Die Wand (The Wall, Julian Pölsler, 2012)
La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
The Fifth Estate (Bill Condon, 2013)
L’Image manquante (The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh, 2013)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2013)
La migliore offerta (The Best Offer, Guiseppe Tornatore, 2013)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Der Glanz des Tages (The Shine of Day, Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel, 2012)
American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)

Very honourable mentions

Stoker (Park Chan-wook, 2013), Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013), Behind the Candelabra (TV) (Steven Soderbergh, 2013), Elysium (Neill Blomkamp, 2013), Oh Boy (Jan Ole Gerster, 2012), Rush (Ron Howard, 2013), Dallas Buyers Club (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2013), The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2013), Fragments of Kubelka (Martina Kudlácek, 2013), No (Pablo Larraín, 2012), Side Effects (Steven Soderbergh, 2013)

Most overrated film of 2013

World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013)


NICHOLAS VROMAN

LIVES IN TOKYO AND WRITES ON CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE CINEMA.

Living in Tokyo, I’m on the tail end of the international release cycle – particularly in regard to US films. Thus I haven’t seen the likes of Nebraska, Computer Chess or 12 Years a Slave. Films from other parts of the world, I’m largely dependent upon festival screenings. And thank my lucky kamis for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, with its amazing programming, for the several docs that made it onto my list this year. Apart from After Lucia – a devastatingly hard and beautiful film – the other non-Japanese titles were seen at festivals. I added a couple of Japanese films that are perhaps more than obscure. Apart from my desire to promote some underdogs, I genuinely think these are the best Japanese films released this year. Among my usual favourites, Matsumoto Hitoshi’s R100 had a few great moments, but really was a mess. Kore-eda’s Like Father, Like Son was touching, but didn’t affect me as much as, say, I Wish. As for my favourites, Kenji Murakami’s 38 minute super-8 Sound Hunting was a smart, avant-garde celebration (perhaps wake) of the end of making movies on film. And Haruhi Oguri’s second feature, Bad Communication, shows what I’ve always known – that she’s one of the best young filmmakers working in Japan right now. And that she’s growing as a filmmaker. Too bad the rest of the world (and most of Japan) doesn’t know it. Herewith are my 10 best films of 2013.

Después de Lucia (After Lucia, Michel Franco, 2012)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
A World Not Ours (Mahdi Fleifel, 2012)
Sound Hunting (Kenji Murakami, 2013)
Nichnasti pa’am lagan (Once I Entered a Garden, Avi Mograbi, 2012)
Bad Communication (Haruhi Oguri, 2013)
Anni Felici (Those Happy Years, Daniele Luchetti, 2013)
Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg, 2013)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Brma Paemnebi (Blind Dates, Levan Koguashvili, 2013) 

Drinking Buddies

Drinking Buddies


TOMASZ WARCHOL

TEACHES FILM STUDIES AT GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AND RUNS A FILM PROGRAM IN SAVANNHA, GEORGIA.

Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)
Jagten (The Hunt, Thomas Vinterberg, 2012)
American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)
Dallas Buyers’ Club (Jean Marc Vallée, 2013)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
Le Passé (The Past, Ashgar Farhadi, 2013)
Philomena (Stephen Frears, 2013)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
Kapringen (A Hijacking, Tobias Lindholm, 2012)
Before Midnight  (Richard Linklater, 2013)
World War Z (Marc Forster, 2013)
L’ Enfant d’en haut (Sister, Ursula Meier, 2012)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix Van Groeningen, 2012)
Byzantium (Neil Jordan, 2012)
Die Wand  (The Wall, Julian Pölsler, 2012)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Lore (Cate Shortland, 2012)
Mud (Jeff Nichols, 2012)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013)


CHRISTIAN WERE

PRODUCT MANAGER AT MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT.

Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2013)
Neukdae sonyeon (A Werewolf Boy, Jo Sung-hee, 2012)
A Field in England (Ben Wheatley, 2013)
Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Le Passé (The Past, Asghar Farhadi, 2013)
Gamshijadeul (Cold Eyes, Jo Ui-seok & Kim Byung-seo, 2013)
Ji zhan (Unbeatable, Dante Lam, 2013)
Deo tereo raibeu (The Terror Live, Kim Byung-woo, 2013)
Manatsu no Houteishiki (Midsummer Formula, Hiroshi Nishitani, 2013)
Saibi (The Fake, Yeon Sang-ho, 2013)


VIRGINIA WRIGHT WEXMAN

PROFESSOR EMERITA OF ENGLISH AND ART HISTORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO AND AUTHOR OF A HISTORY OF FILM (SEVENTH EDITION) AND OTHER BOOKS ON CINEMA.

In 2013 I attended the following festivals: Palm Springs, Todos Santos, Los Angeles, Bologna, Wood’s Hole, CineCon, Vancouver, Baja, and AFIFest. Here are some of the highlights:

Best new international cinema

  1. Le Passé (The Past, Asghar Farhadi, 2013) (AFIFest)
  2. Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013) (Vancouver)
  3. Bethlehem (Yuval Adler, 2013) (AFIFest)
  4. V Tumane (In the Fog, Sergei Loznitsa, 2012) (Palm Springs)
  5. Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012) (Palm Springs)
  6. Elefante blanco (White Elephant, Pablo Trapero, 2012) (Palm Springs)
  7. The Angels’ Share (Ken Loach, 2012) (Palm Springs)
  8. 7 Cajas (7 Boxes, Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schembori, 2012) (Palm Springs)
  9. In A World… (Lake Bell, 2013) (Los Angeles)
  10. Las Buenas Hierbas (The Good Herbs, María Novaro, 2010) (Todos Santos)

Best retrospective

Vittorio De Sica (Bologna)

Best revivals

  1. Amarcord (Federico Fellini, 1973) (Los Angeles)
  2. La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda, 1955) (Bologna)
  3. La grande guerra (The Great War, Mario Monicelli, 1959) (Bologna)
  4. Futarizuma: tsuma yo bara no yo ni (Wife, Be Like a Rose, Mikio Narusa, 1935) (Bologna)
  5. Suddenly it’s Spring (Mitchell Leisen, 1947) (CineCon)

Festival awards 

Best filmmaker turnout (at screenings I attended): AFIFest
Best fest venues: Chinese 6 (AFIFest), Cinemax (Baja), Regal LA Live (Los Angeles), Egyptian (CineCon, AFIFest), International Village Multiplex (Baja)
Best program notes: Bologna
Most beautiful surroundings: Vancouver
Most enthusiastic audiences: Todos Santos
Best festival volunteers: AFI Fest, CineCon
Longest lines: AFIFest 

In A World...

In A World…


EDDIE WHITE

AUSTRALIAN FILMMAKER WHO HAS WRITTEN AMD DIRECTED SHORT ANIMATION FILMS, THE CAT PIANO (2009), SWEET AND SOUR (2007) AND CARNIVORE REFLUX (2006). CURRENTLY DEVELOPING AN ANIMATED FEATURE FILM.

Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
La Vie d’Adèle: chapitres 1 e 2 (Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
A Band Called Death (Mark Christopher Covino & Jeff Howlett, 2012)
Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)
The Act Of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
Ernest et Célestine (Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar & Benjamin Renner, 2012)


ELEANOR WILKIN

12. Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2013)
An interesting, Kubrickian story which breaks down barriers and challenges the viewer.

11. Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass, 2013)
A slow starter but suspenseful and brilliant depiction of human struggle.

10. Monsters University (Dan Scanlon, 2013)
Made even greater with a helping hand from The Blue Umbrella. A perfect Pixar, albeit incredibly predictable

9. The Way Way Back (Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, 2013)
A beautiful written and magnificently acted coming of age comedy drama. I enjoyed Steve Carrel playing an asshole and I love Sam Rockwell.

8. Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, 2013)
A brilliant, action-packed film that manages to hark back to the classic Monster Movie while bringing something fresh and new to the genre – giant killer robots controlled by humans. Bliss.

7. Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock, 2013)
Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Jason Schwartzman, BJ Novak and Paul Giamatti in a heart breaking, lovely story about the origins of Mary Poppins. A true delight, unlike P.L Travers.

6. This is the End (Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen, 2013)
Hilarious, laugh out loud comedy with incredible quotability and world-class one liners. Rogan, Franco, McBride and Hill at their finest.

5. Elysium (Neill Blomkamp, 2013)
Sharlto Copley is a fantastic, terrifying villain. Not quite as disgusting as District 9, but equally brilliant and refreshing. Jodie Foster was a waste of space though. Nonsense.

4. Stoker (Chan-wook Park, 2013)
Surprisingly brilliant, Stoker ticked many boxes for me. Interestingly explores the complicated intricacies of female adolescence while massively creeping you out at the same time.

3. Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Visual perfection with a gasp-inducing story to boot. The finale brings tears to my eyes every time as every single one of my senses is bombarded by visual splendour and gigantic, sprawling space.

2. Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)
A nail-biting thriller which investigates the theme of loss and betrayal as a father desperately tries to find his missing daughter. A never shredding thriller that leaves your guts wrenching and your lungs gasping for air until the final breathless moments.

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, 2013)
A perfect movie for me. Action, drama, suspense, romance, mystery, fantasy, horror, comedy – everything! I literally didn’t want it to end, every second of it had my eyes glued to the screen and my attention entwined in its marvellous story.

My absolute worst and the most overrated film:

The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)
Nonsense, boring, over the top.

Stoker

Stoker


BARBARA WURM

TEACHES SLAVIC STUDIES AT HUMBOLDT UNIVERSITY, BERLIN; WORKS AS FREELANCE FILM CRITIC AND PROGRAMMER.

All Star Team

Mes Séances de lutte (Love Battles, Jacques Doillon, 2013)
Förseglade läppar (Sealed Lips, Gustaf Molander, 1927)
Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann, 2013)
Yūyakegumo (Farewell to Dream, Kinoshita Keisuke, 1956)
L’Image manquante (The Missing Picture, Rithy Panh, 2013)
Rdeče klasje (Živojin Pavlović, 1970)
Die andere Heimat – Chronik einer Sehnsucht (Home from Home – Chronicle of a Vision, Edgar Reitz, 2013)
Így jöttem (My Way Home, Jancsó Miklós, 1964)
The Company You Keep (Robert Redford, 2012)
Italiani brava gente (Attack and Retreat, Giuseppe De Santis, 1964)
Yīdài zōngshī (The Grandmaster; Wong Kar-Wai, 2013)

Current Team (the future, too, will be theirs)

Rol‘ (The Role, Konstantin Lopušanskij, 2013)
Tiān zhù dìng (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
Shirley – Visions of Reality (Gustav Deutsch, 2013)
Boven is het stil (It’s All So Quiet, Nanouk Leopold, 2013)
Obrana i zaštita (A Stranger, Bobo Jelčić, 2013)
Pardé (Closed Curtain, Jafar Panahi & Kambuzia Partovi, 2013)
Môj pes Killer (My Dog Killer, Mira Fornay, 2013)
Finsterworld (Frauke Finsterwalder, 2013)
Paradies: Hoffnung (Paradise: Hope, Ulrich Seidl, 2013)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2012)
Rocker (Marian Crişan, 2012)

Dream Team (the future should have been theirs)

Die Unehelichen (Illegitime Children, Gerhard Lamprecht, 1926)
Ničnyj viznyk (The Night Coachman, Heorgij Tasin, 1928)
Serdce Azii (Afganistan) (Afghanistan, Vladimir Erofeev, 1929)
Sunagawa no hitobito: Mugi shinazu (People of Sunagawa: The Wheat will Never Fall, Kamei Fumio, 1955)
Verwirrung der Liebe (Love’s Confusion, Slatan Dudow, 1959)
Tri (Three, Aleksandar Petrović, 1965)
Jutro (The Morning, Puriša Đorđević, 1967)
Daichi no toride (Fortress of the Land, Hoshi Kiichi, 1977)
Mike’s Murder (James Bridges, 1984)
Gestos & Fragmentos. Os militares e o poder (Gestures and Fragments, Alberto Seixas Santos, 1982)
Muisto – itsenäisen Suomen ensimmäisten vuosien kertomus (Memory – The Story of the First Years of Finland’s Independence, Peter von Bagh, 1987)


NEIL YOUNG

FILM CRITIC AND CO-DIRECTOR OF THE BRADFORD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)
Aningaaq (Jonás Cuarón, 2013)
Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, 2013)
Greenland Unrealized (Dania Reymond, 2012)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
Les Trois Désastres (The Three Disasters, Jean-Luc Godard 2013)

My fiver says the decade will end without Stray Dogs being surpassed, unless Tsai returns from the cine-purdah into which he has now reportedly retreated. As Bukowski wrote in 1972’s The Golfers:

I stop at a stop sign and
as fire burns the trees and the people and the city
I know that there will be a place to go
and a way to go
and nothing need ever be
lost. 

The Three Disasters

The Three Disasters


ALEXANDRA ZAWIA

FILM CRITIC FOR FILM & FEUILLETON, WIENER ZEITUNG, FURCHE, RAY AND FREELANCE.

2013 top 15 premieres (from: features, documentaries, shorts)

The Buried Alive Videos (Roee Rosen, 2013)
Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012)
Feng ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bong, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
E Agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Nepal Forever (Aliona Polunina, 2013)
Vic+Flo ont vu un ours (Vic+Flo Saw a Bear, Denis Côté, 2013)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
Die andere Heimat – Chronik einer Sehnsucht (Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision, Edgar Reitz, 2013)
Camille Claudel 1915 (Bruno Dumont, 2013)
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhang-ke, 2013)
All is Lost (J. C. Chandor, 2013)
Avanti Popolo (Michael Wahrmann, 2012)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, 2012)

2013 top 5 most overrated:

Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
American Hustle (David O. Russell, 2013)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix van Groeningen, 2013)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez, 2013)

2013 top 5 most underrated:

Jigoku de naze warui (Why Don’t You Play in Hell, Sion Sono, 2013)
Grigris (Mahamat Saleh-Haroun, 2013)
Man tam (Blind Detective, Johnnie To, 2013)
Borgman (Alex van Warmerdam, 2013)
Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zurcher, 2013)

About The Author