Entries in part 1:

Francisco Algarín Navarro
Michael J. Anderson
Geoff Andrew
Rowena Santos Aquino
Miriam Bale
Martyn Bamber
Mike Bartlett
Raphaël Bassan
Conor Bateman
Gustavo Beck
Sean Bell
Yoni Bentovim
Pamela Biénzobas
Lisa K. Broad
Mimi Brody
Thomas Caldwell
Michael Campi
Michelle Carey
Nicolás Carrasco
Michael J. Casey
Celluloid Liberation Front
Daryl Chin
Lesley Chow
Adam Cook
Al Cossar
Jordan Cronk
Aaron Cutler

FRANCISCO ALGARÍN NAVARRO

EDITOR, LUMIÈRE MAGAZINE.

The best film I saw in 2015 was Nothing Sacred, by William A. Wellman.

For the rest, not differentiating between films seen for the first or the second time, all true film-events:

48 (Susana de Sousa Dias, 2009)
A Gathering of Crystals (R. Bruce Elder & Ajla Odobašić, 2015)
Absences répétées (Guy Gilles, 1972)
Actua 1 (1968), L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, 2015), Philippe Garrel
Ancient Parts/Foreign Parts (1979), Daughters of Chaos (1980), The Fallen World (1983), The Answering Furrow (1985), Private Parts (1988), Herein (1991), Marjorie Keller
Annie (Phill Niblock, 1968)
And When I Die, I Won’t Stay Dead, Bob Kaufman, Poet (Billy Woodberry, 2015)
Automatic Free Form (1968), Luminous Zone (1973), Translucent Appearances (1975), Barry Gerson
Band of Angels (1957), Pursued (1947), Raoul Walsh
Beau geste (1939), Thunder Birds (1942), Nothing Sacred (1937), William A. Wellman
Before the Beginning (Boris Lehman, Stephen Dwoskin, 2015)
Bei qing cheng shi (A City of Sadness, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1989)
C’est l’amour (2015), Change pas de main (1975), Corps à coeur (1979), Femmes, femmes (1974), L’Étrangleur (1970), Paul Vecchiali
Communing (Helga Fanderl, 2015)
Creme 21 (Eve Heller, 2013)
Crash (David Cronenberg, 1996)
Deux Rémi, deux (Pierre Léon, 2015)
Détruisez-vous (Serge Bard, 1969)
Die Hohlmenschen (Peter Nestler, 2015)
El mundo sigue (Fernando Fernán-Gómez, 1963)
Faubourg St Martin (Jean-Claude Guiguet, 1986)
Fear City (Abel Ferrara, 1985)
February (2014), Summer (2014), Avraham (2014), December (2014), Prelude (2015), Intimations (2015), Nathaniel Dorsky
Five Year Diary: Reel 22: A Short Affair and Going Crazy (1982), Reel 80: Emily Died (1994), Anne Charlotte Robertson
Four Corners (James Benning, 1998)
Garoto (Kid, Júlio Bressane, 2015)
Goldflocken (1976), Nel regno di Napoli (1978), Palermo oder Wolfsburg (1980), Werner Schroeter
Gloria (John Cassavetes, 1980)
Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler, 1975)
Hangmen Also Die! (1943), Rancho Notorious (1952), Fritz Lang
Happy Birthday (2010), Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums (2013), A Set of Miniatures (2014), Apologies Towards the Inevitable (2015), Jonathan Schwartz
He Stands in the Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (Jonas Mekas, 1986)
Heaven Can Wait (Ernst Lubitsch, 1943)
Heads and Tales (Francis Conrad, 1968)
Histoire de ma vie racontée par mes photographies (Boris Lehman, 1994-2001)
Histoires d’Amérique (1989), No Home Movie (2015), Chantal Akerman
Home Movie, autour du ‘Lit de la vierge’ (Frédéric Pardo, 1968)
Horden Beach (1977), after the music… (1979), Cornish Winter Reads and Skies (1980-90), Journeys (1981), Time at Night (1982-83), Passage (1982-83), Self-Portrait (1983), Deptford Creek (1984), Looking in and out (A Winter Diary) (1984-86), Valletta (1985), Winter into Spring (1985), Sanday (1986-88), Views from a City (1991-93), Bureau de Change (1992), Trissákia (1994), Tessa’s Table (1995-96), Borough Market (1995-96), Variations (1997), Three Short Films (1998-99), Tidemills (2003), Winter Woods (2005), Across the Valley (2006), Loops (2006/07), Trissákia 2 (2007), Momente (2008), Four Silent Films (2009), Where the Arun Meets the Sea (2009), Loutra: Baths (2010), Square and Mountain (2010), Dark Garden (2011), Temple of Apollo, An Afternoon, At Pont du Tarn (2012), Trissákia 3 (2013), Three Little Pieces (2014), Nick Collins
In the Stone House (Jerome Hiler, 2012)
In Rom (2015), Maschile-Roma (2015), Frield von Gröller
Io sono un autarchico (1976), Bianca (1984), La messa é finita (1985), Nanni Moretti
Je t’aime, je t’aime (Alain Resnais, 1968)
John From (João Nicolau, 2015)
Kommunisten (2014), L’Aquarium et la Nation (2015), Jean-Marie Straub
La Nuit claire (Marcel Hanoun, 1979)
Lamentations: A Monument to the Dead World. Part 1: The Dream of the Last Historian & Part 2: The Sublime Calculation (R. Bruce Elder, 1985)
Las Ferias (Paulino Viota, 1966)
Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie (1972), Cet obscur objet du désir (1977), Luis Buñuel
Les Girls (1957), George Cukor
Les Yeux sans visage (George Franju, 1960)
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), Beloved Infidel (1959), Tender is the Night (1962), Henry King
Lumière d’été (Jean Grémillon, 1943)
Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994), Whit Stillman
My Darling Clementine (1946), The Long Gray Line (1951), The Horse Soldiers (1959), John Ford
Mosaic (1966), Hybrid (1967), R-34 (1967), Circle (1969), The Hart of London (1970), Jack Chambers
New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops (Owen Land, 1976)
Nightfall (1956), Night of the Demon (1957), The Fearmakers (1958), Jacques Tourneur
Note to Patti (Saul Levine, 1969)
O Pintor e a Cidade (1956), O Pão (1959), Acto da Primavera (1963), A Caça (1964), O Passado e o Presente (1972), Visita, ou Memórias e Confissões (1982/2015), Vale Abraão (1993), A Carta (1999), O Princípio da Incerteza (2002), Manoel de Oliveira
On the Town (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1949)
Os Verdes Anos (1963), Mudar de Vida (1966), A Ilha dos Amores (1983), A Ilha de Moraes (1984), Paulo Rocha
Philipps 60. Geburtstag (2014), Sakura, Sakura (2015), Ute Aurand
Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, 1948)
Prima Materia (2015), A Study in Natural Magic (2013), Looking Glass Insects (2012), Curious Light (2010-2011), Charlotte Pryce
Pysche (1947), Lysis (1948), Charmides (1948), The Illiac Passion (1964-1967), Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill (1967), Bliss (1967), Gammelion (1968), Political Portraits (1969), The Olympian (1969), Gilbert and George (1975), Gregory J. Markopoulos
Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys! (Leo McCarey, 1958)
Reel 30b01 – Positano (Pierre Clémenti, 1969)
Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo, 2015)
Rio das Mortes (R. W. Fassbinder, 1971)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Sag es mir Dienstag (Astrid Ofner, 2007)
Shrimp Boat Log (2006-2010), So Sure of Nowhere Buying Times to Come (2010), David Gatten
Schwitzkasten (John Cook, 1978)
Shift (1972-1974), Still (1969-1971), Ernie Gehr
Sisters (1973), Raising Cain (1992), Brian de Palma
Smorgasbord (Jerry Lewis, 1983)
Spain (Beryl Sokoloff, 1962)
Spin (Hannes Schüpbach, 2001)
Stella Dallas (King Vidor, 1937)
Still Light (1970/2001), Sotiros (1976-1978/1996), Robert Beavers
Suspicion (1941), Rope (1948), Alfred Hitchcock
The Black Cat (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1934)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (Paul Newman, 1972)
Outer Space (2000), The Exquisite Corpus (2015), Peter Tscherkassky
The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson, 1943)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2015)
The Throw 1 (2006), Eye Eclipse (2007), Fried Egg (2008), The Initiate (2008), Fruit Polyhedron (2009), Hand, Smaller than Hand (2009), The Soup (2009), Cassowary (2010), Pot Smaller than Pot (2010), Spaghetti Tornado (2010), Benguelino putting a spell on the camera (2011), Bread, Tea and Bao Game (2011), Donkey (2011), Dream of a Ray Fish (2011), Getting into bed (2011), The horse of the prophet (2011), The Unparticled Man (2011), Under a Car (2011), Wave (2011), Wheels (2011), Darwin’s Apple, Newton’s Monkey (2012), Placing the Fisheye (2012), Those animals that, at a distance, resemble flies (2012), Triangles and Squares (2013), Water Mill (2012), Proboscis (2013), João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Thorndon (1975), Napkins (1975), Aberhart’s House (1976), Johana Margaret Paul
Three Films from the Room (Peter Todd, 2015)
Tortured Dust (Stan Brakhage, 1984)
Trixi (Stephen Dwoskin, 1969)
Twin Peaks (1990), Fire, Walk with Me (1992), David Lynch
Viaggio in Italia (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
Vivir para vivir (Laida Lertxundi, 2015)
Yolanda and the Thief (1945), An American in Paris (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), The Cobweb (1955), The Courtship of Eddie’s Father (1963), The Sandpiper (1965), Vincente Minnelli
Zanj Revolution (Tariq Teguia, 2013)

 

MICHAEL J. ANDERSON

FILM CURATOR, OKLAHOMA CITY MUSEUM OF ART.

1a. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
1b. Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
3. P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
4. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
5. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)
6. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
7. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
8a. Ja-yu-eui eon-deok (Hill of Freedom, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
8b. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
10. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
11. TAUT (Michael Snow, 2012)
12. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
13. Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What Is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)
14. Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
15. Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)
16. Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
17a. Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
17b. Când se lasa seara peste Bucuresti sau metabolism (When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2013)
19. Haganenet (The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid, 2014)
20. Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
21. Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, 1982) 

World Poll 2015

Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)

GEOFF ANDREW

SENIOR FILM PROGRAMMER AT LONDON’S BFI SOUTHBANK, AUTHOR OF A NUMBER OF BOOKS ON THE CINEMA, AND REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO SIGHT & SOUND.

The list below includes only the new films I saw this year. At time of writing there are still a number of films I have yet to see which I suspect might have made it into this top 30; perhaps they’ll make it into next year’s list. It hasn’t been a remarkable year, but it has been a fairly solid one; the films by Radu Jude and Hou Hsiao-hsien were the most extraordinary and exciting stand-outs, though all the films in my top ten felt special in one way or another.

I should also like to mention two more knock-outs which weren’t exactly new, even if they were new to me. First, there was Lumière! – a compilation of 114 newly restored (and in some cases recently discovered) films shot by the Lumières and their employees, which was brilliantly presented at Cannes by Thierry Frémaux and Bertrand Tavernier. The other was Elaine May’s A New Leaf, a movie that had eluded me for many years. Now released on BluRay, it proved well worth the wait.

My top ten, more or less in order of preference

Aferim! (Radu Jude, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Mia madre (Nanni Moretti, 2015)
La Loi du marché (The Measure of a Man, Stéphane Brizé, 2015)
45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015)
Un etaj mai jos (One Floor Below, Radu Muntean, 2015)
La academia de las musas (L’accademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin, 2015)
El Club (The Club, Pablo Larraín, 2015)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015) 

Then 20 further favourites, in alphabetical order

El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Cialo (Body, Małgorzata Szumowska, 2015)
Court (Chaitanya Tamhane, 2014)
Desierto (Jonás Cuarón, 2015)
Disorder (Maryland, Alice Winocour, 2015)
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson 2014)
Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones, 2015)
Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano, Jayro Bustamante, 2015)
Jia Zhangke, um homem de Fenyang (Jia Zhangke, a Guy from Fenyang, Walter Salles, 2015)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2015)
A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor, 2014)
The Program (Stephen Frears, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Umimachi Diary (Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)
Valley of Love (Guillaume Nicloux, 2015)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus, 2015)

 

ROWENA SANTOS AQUINO

FILM LECTURER AND CRITIC, USA.

Favourite films seen in 2015
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
The Grief of Others (Patrick Wang, 2015)
As Mil e uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Han Yeo-reu-mui Pan-ta-ji-ah (A Midsummer’s Fantasia, Jung Kang-jae, 2014)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Mga Anak ng Unos (Storm Children, Book One, Lav Diaz, 2014)
Geo-jit-mal (The Liar, Kim Dong-myung, 2014)
Meiku rumu (Makeup Room, Morikaw Kei, 2015)

Mentions
Om de wereld in 50 concerten (Around the World in 50 Concerts, Heddy Honigmann, 2014)
Episode of the Sea (Lonnie van Brummelen/Siebren de Hann, 2014)

  

MIRIAM BALE

AMERICAN FILM PROGRAMMER AND CRITIC.

TV is so good right now. And by TV, I mean TCM. I’ve travelled a lot this year, and I can say almost certainly that the best repertory programming in the world is happening on Turner Classic Movies. Their October series of films by women (including Julie Dash and Claudia Weill) was a necessary reminder that we’re not starting from zero, even though it often feels like that. The first step for real progress in the crucial issue of more women directors is to address the erasure, the same old stories that undermine women’s achievement. (We had a chance to watch it happen again this year with Chantal Akerman and the way major papers handled her obituaries.) And then TCM followed that back-to-basics canon with an ingenious series in December of films about women’s friendships.

1. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Also Philippe Garrel’s tribute to Akerman published in Cahiers du cinéma.

2. Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
The original binge watching. (Also I believe the long version is called only Out 1? Let’s nip the erroneous subtitle/nickname in the bud.)

3. By the Sea (Angelina Jolie Pitt, 2015)
I want female auteurs in silk and floppy hats making sexy, odd little films for grown-ups. (I also want MOVIE STARS, and who better to know the perfect angles of a movie star than that movie star herself.) We collectively owe Jolie Pitt an apology.

4. Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
The best documentary of the year.

5. Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie, 2015)
Results (Andrew Bujalski, 2015)
The Intern (Nancy Meyers, 2015)
All ingenious and sincere revamps of either romance in film or the romcom.

6. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)
An anti-nostalgia period piece, for all the people who don’t become Daft Punk.

7. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015)
Hypnotic use of voice and sound design, which have been the key expressive tools in music albums. Why don’t all films use these elements as creatively?

8. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

9. The Steel Trap (Andrew L. Stone, 1952)
This was part of a revelatory series at the (almost all 35mm) Noir City Film Festival in San Francisco. The theme this year was marriage, and so we saw three films made by married couple Andrew and Virginia Stone, all with fascinating themes of mundane bureaucracy as the ultimate hell. I think about these films often.

10. Tired Moonlight (Britni West, 2015)
This lovely film changed the way I think of performance.

11. The Golden State Warriors NBA Playoffs
Nothing I watched in 2015 was as exciting and elegant as the Warriors. Although they have become a bit predictable; you always know how it ends.

12. Short films by Dustin Guy Defa and Zia Anger
The two best new American filmmakers, for my money, have been working entirely in short format.

13. Bitch Better Have My Money (Rihanna and Megaforce, 2015)
Rihanna found actors for this short/music video on Instagram and tapped into the zeitgeist better than Spike Lee or Quentin Tarantino.

World Poll 2015

Eden (Mia Hansen-Lõve, 2014)

MARTYN BAMBER

CONTRIBUTOR TO CLOSE-UP FILM, CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK AND SENSES OF CINEMA.

10 favourite new release films from 2015 seen in the UK (in alphabetical order):

Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
Bande de filles (Girlhood, Céline Sciamma, 2014)
Kaguyahime no monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya, Takahata Isao, 2013)
Mistress America (Noah Baumbach, 2015)
A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor, 2014)
Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
Unfriended (Leo Gabriadze, 2014)
While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014)
Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014) 

 

MIKE BARTLETT

SUBTITLER AND FREELANCE FILM WRITER, LONDON.

10 Best New Films Seen In 2015
The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones, 2014)
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-Liang, 2013)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Kaguyahime no monogatari (The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, Isao Takahata, 2013)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013)
Das merkwurdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zürcher, 2013)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (Ben Rivers/Ben Russell, 2013)

Lots of honourable mentions
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Ostlund, 2014)
Haganenet (The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid, 2014)
Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, 2014)
Muisteja: Pieni elokuva 1950-luvun Oulusta (Remembrance – A Small Film About Oulu In The 1950s, Peter von Bagh, 2013)
Spring (Justin Benson/Aaron Moorhead, 2014)

Guilty pleasures
Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
Oculus (Mike Flanagan, 2013)

This Year’s Award For The Film Everyone Liked But Me
(A tie.)
As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)

This Year’s Award For Most Eagerly Anticipated Film Which I Just Couldn’t Connect With*(Another tie)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2015)

*But will definitely watch

 

RAPHAËL BASSAN

FRENCH FILM CRITIC. WRITES FOR BREF, LE MAGAZINE DU COURT MÉTRAGE, EUROPE, REVUE LITTÉRAIRE AND ENCYCLOPAEDIA UNIVERSALIS, AND HAS ALSO OCCASIONALLY WRITTEN FOR SENSES OF CINEMA.

En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2015)
Pryamokhozhdenie (Bipedalism, Yevgeny Yufit, 2005, screened in the 17th edition of Festival des cinémas différents et expérimentaux de Paris in October)
Chelsea Girls (Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, 1966, screened at the Centre Pompidou in 2015 within the festival Addiction à l’œuvre)
Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971, reissued in long version in theatres in France in 2015)
Révolution Zendj (Tariq Teguia, 2013)
La Sapienza (Eugene Green, 2014)
Feng ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013)

I have chosen ten films. Seven are recent and were released theatrically in France in 2015. Three are “old films”. Two of which are Chelsea Girls by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, and the long version of Out 1 by Jacques Rivette (12 hours 35 minutes), released for the first time in France in its full version. These are mythical films situated between underground American movies and French Nouvelle Vague, close to some avant-garde filmmaking practices during the period when Rivette discovered the American avant-garde and thus extended his own film practice. I discovered this film in 1971 at the Maison de la Culture du Havre in 1971, in a non-calibrated version. A few years ago, I attended the Premiere of Chelsea Girls at the Cinémathèque française with Rivette in person in the theatre. Chelsea Girls was screened at the 2nd festival “Addiction à l’œuvre”, a program that gave me the opportunity to rekindle this mythical film in my mind and also its French “cousin” Out 1. With this in mind, I have chosen a film made by Yevgeny Yufit, the Russian underground filmmaker, Bipedalism (2005), who created the Necrorealist movement in the ‘80s. As for the other films, I have chosen films that work both in formal and political areas and which come from different countries.

  

CONOR BATEMAN

MANAGING EDITOR of 4:3.

Best Australian Theatrical Releases, 2015
Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (David Zellner, 2014)
Hua li shang ban zu (Office, Johnnie To, 2015)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2014)
Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme, 2015)
Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller, 2014)
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2015)
Mistress America (Noah Baumbach, 2015)
Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)
Talvar (Meghna Gulzar, 2015)

Best Festival Only Releases (Worldwide), 2015
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
The Royal Road (Jenni Olson, 2015)
Court (Chaitanye Tamhane, 2014)
City of Gold (Laura Gabbert, 2015)
Welcome to Leith (Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walker, 2015)
Haemoo (Shim Sung-bo, 2014)
In Transit (Albert Maysles, Lynn True, Nelson Walker III, David Usui, Benjamin Wu, 2015)
The Daughter (Simon Stone, 2015)
Snow Monkey (George Gittoes, 2015)
Of Men and War​ (Laurent Bécue-Renard, 2014) [142min cut]

Top Online Only Releases, 2015
Out of the Mist (Tim Wong, 2015)
Fear Itself (Charlie Lyne, 2015)
Bitter Lake​ (Adam Curtis, 2015)
Junun (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2015)

  

GUSTAVO BECK

FILMMAKER AND PROGRAMMER.

The Standout:
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015)

1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
2. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
3. Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (Abbas Fahdel, 2015)
4. Bella e perduta (Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello, 2015)
5. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
6. Sobytie (The Event, Sergei Loznitsa, 2015)
7. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
8. L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
9. Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (Kidlat Tahimik, 2015)
10. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015) 

world poll

Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015

 

SEAN BELL

POPULAR CULTURE BLOGGER AT SEX AND THE ETERNAL CITY.

The Best

Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, 2015)
Pixar’s family comedy about emotional intelligence was astoundingly ambitious not least because it tackles the saddest of human truths – eventually we will lose everything we love, sometimes even the memory of it. That the film remains thoroughly entertaining and uplifting is due to the intelligent handling of the material. Mainstream cinema doesn’t get much better than this.

Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)
Room is a work of considerable imagination and empathy and that rare thing – a film which deals with the aftermath of violence and abuse. Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay give wrenching, naturalistic performances in a story that embraces both the fear and exhilaration of being in the world.

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)
Questioning the win at all costs mentality that justifies psychotic bullying in everything from sports, to business and the arts, Whiplash is a technical tour de force. There are also some expected twists in Chazelle’s bravura jazz film and the face off over Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” is as gripping as any war movie.

Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Whereas the previous collaboration from Todd Haynes and Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There, was arch and pretentious, Carol reveals the rarely seen warmth in both the director and his muse.

Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
This stoner Chinatown is a 70s riff that you can drift in and out of and the most fun I had at the movies all year.

Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
Some critics carped that this bruising documentary further perpetrated the media exploitation of its tortured subject. However, by putting her music front and centre along with the heartfelt testimony of those who knew her best and longest, Kapadia’s wrenching film gives Amy Winehouse back her humanity.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 2015)
This was on my must see list since the trailer dropped after its Sundance debut, though Italian audiences would have to wait 11 months or resort to streaming to see it. Gomez-Rejon wears his cineaste heart on his sleeve and turns what could have been a hipster Fault in Our Stars into something genuinely funny and moving.

Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
Despite winning the Oscar for best documentary feature, this terrifying exposé of the totalitarian expanse of the NSA’s spying program was (suspiciously) poorly promoted and distributed. As taut as the best thriller – with striking visuals and Nine Inch Nails soundtrack – Laura Poitras records her encounter with Edward Snowden and captures history as it’s happening.

Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller, 2014)
Another superlative sports film from Bennett Miller about the corrupting power of money.

Love Is Strange (Ira Sachs, 2014)
Real gay lives on screen in a comedy about the contemporary middle class housing crisis.

I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Disappointed

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)
This flashy black comedy about a nervous breakdown on the Great White Way certainly proves that Iñárritu is a great actors’ director. Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Emma Stone were all justly Oscar nominated and in smaller roles, Amy Ryan, Merritt Weaver and a devastating Lindsay Duncan make an equally strong impression. However, as the film’s pretentious subtitle (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) may have forewarned you, Birdman is not half as clever and profound as it thinks it is. For about 110 minutes it is very funny and enjoyable but then everything is done in by a final scene which undermines all the interesting character work that has gone before it. The ending has been debated across cyberspace but however you interpret it – a dream, a dying hallucination – it reeks of Iñárritu wanting his dramatic cake and sentimentally eating it too. What is worse is that it invites the viewer to ultimately judge Birdman‘s flawed but sympathetic protagonist by his fantasies and not his actions. A cop out for sure, but peddling an uplifting ending surely played a part in its Best Picture success. 

World Poll 2015

Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)

YONI BENTOVIM

LONDON-BASED FILMMAKER.

Highlights of the Year (from cinema and festival screenings):

Cialo (Body, Małgorzata Szumowska, 2015)
Mille Soleils (Mati Diop, 2013)
Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Man of Aran (Robert J. Flaherty, 1934)
Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
White Shadow (Noaz Deshe, 2013)
Ja-yu-eui eon-deok (Hill of Freedom, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015) 

There were many films I didn’t get to see yet so I don’t think the list is complete.

  

PAMELA BIENZOBAS

PARIS-BASED CHILEAN FILM CRITIC AND JOURNALIST.

This is how I will remember 2015 in 20 films. I am mostly considering 2015 premieres, with a few exceptions of films from 2014 that I only saw in this year, in festivals or in their French release. In alphabetical order:

  1. El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
  2. Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, 2015)
  3. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  4. Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
  5. El Club (The Club, Pablo Larraín, 2015)
  6. Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
  7. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
  8. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
  9. Mga Anak ng Unos, Unang Aklat (Storm Children, Book One, Lav Diaz, 2014)
  10. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  11. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  12. La patota (Paulina, Santiago Mitre, 2015)
  13. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  14. Réalité (Reality, Quentin Dupieux, 2014)
  15. La Sapienza (Eugène Green, 2014)
  16. Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
  17. Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
  18. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  19. Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
  20. I leave number 20 open, because lists (specially mine) are always open and in movement.

  

LISA K. BROAD

PHD CANDIDATE IN CINEMA STUDIES AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY.

1. P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
2. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
3. Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
4. Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
5. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
6. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
7. Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015)
8a. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
8b. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
9. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
10. Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs, 2015)

 

MIMI BRODY

HEAD PROGRAMMER, AFI DOCS.

Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, 2015)
As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)

Archival & preservation discoveries:

Khesht va Ayeneh (The Brick and the Mirror, Ebrahim Golestan, 1965)
La Fin du jour (Julien Duvivier, 1939)
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015)
Renato Castellani retrospective at Bologna’s Il Cinema Ritrovato

 

THOMAS CALDWELL

AUSTRALIAN WRITER, BROADCASTER, FILM CRITIC, PUBLIC SPEAKER AND FILM PROGRAMMER.

Favourite ten films released in Melbourne, Australia, in 2015

  1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)
  2. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
  3. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  5. The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, 2014)
  6. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  7. Holding the Man (Neil Armfield, 2015)
  8. Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2014)
  9. Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Vinterberg, 2015)
  10. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)

Honourable mentions (listed alphabetically)
‘71 (Yann Demange, 2014)
A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor, 2014)
Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
La isla minima (Marshland, Alberto Rodríguez, 2014)
Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
London Road (Rufus Norris, 2015)
Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad, 2014)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Plemya (The Tribe, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2014)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Marielle Heller, 2015)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her (Ned Benson, 2013)
The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)
The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt, 2015)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)

Special mention
Most of the other notable films I saw this year will be released in Melbourne in 2016, so I’ll include them on next year’s list rather than here, but I do want to give a special mention to the glorious Song Of The Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014), whose fate in Australia outside of the festival screenings it received throughout 2015 seems to remain unknown.

 

MICHAEL CAMPI

LONG CAPTIVATED BY THE MOVIES. INVOLVED IN NON-COMMERCIAL FILM EXHIBITION OVER MANY DECADES.

2015 has been a rich and rewarding year of discovering new cinema talents and being excited by the ongoing creativity of filmmakers whose work continues to enrich our lives. But before other listings, it seems essential to highlight a film released posthumously from a filmmaker whose career has followed a marvellous trajectory. What other director could claim to be so productive over eight decades and with most of his creativity in his later years when other people are slowing down?

Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015). Another glory from Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna. Let’s hope it comes our way again soon.

Most impressive during 2015

As Mil e uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Chuangru zhe (Red Amnesia, Wang Xiaoshuai, 2015)
El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
Gia Panta (Forever, Margarita Manda, 2015)
Hwajang (Revivre, Im Kwon-taek, 2014)
Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Olive Kitteridge (Lisa Cholodenko, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
La Sapienza (Eugene Green, 2014)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Torneranno i Prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again, Ermanno Olmi, 2014)
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
Umimachi Diary (Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)
Zui Sheng Meng Si (Thanatos, Drunk, Chang Tso-chi, 2015)

Other works that have enriched the year’s movie-going

1001 Gram (1001 Grams, Bent Hamer, 2014)
An (Naomi Kawase, Japan, 2015)
Cha và con và (Big Father, Small Father and Other Stories, Phan Đăng Di, 2015)
Cheol won gi haeng (End of Winter, Kim Dae-hwan, 2014)
Chronic (Michel Franco, 2015)
Đập cánh giữa không trung (Flapping in the Middle of NowhereNguyễn Hoàng Điệp. 2014)
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
Han Yeo-reu-mui Pan-ta-ji-ah (A Midsummer’s Fantasia, Jang Kun-jae, 2014)
K (Darhad Erdenibulag, Emyr ap Richard, 2015)
Li Wen man you Dong Hu (Li Wen at East Lake, Luo Li, 2015)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Seymour: An Introduction (Ethan Hawke, 2014)
Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)

Among this year’s most exciting restorations were Varieté (Variety, E.A. Dupont, 1925), Cover Girl (Charles Vidor, 1944), Kiss Me Kate (3D) (George Sidney, 1953), The Tales of Hoffmann (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1951) and Woman on the Run (Norman Foster, 1950).

In Melbourne we are specially fortunate to have the significant and ongoing presence of the Melbourne Cinémathèque’s weekly screenings, mostly screening 35mm prints, and the Melbourne International Film Festival for over two weeks in late July into August. 

World Poll 2015

As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)

MICHELLE CAREY

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL; CO-CURATOR, THE MELBOURNE CINÉMATHÈQUE; CO-EDITOR, SENSES OF CINEMA.

Actua 1 (Philippe Garrel, 1968/2015)
Ah humanity! (Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2015)
Another Country (Molly Reynolds, 2015)
As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Bella e perduta (Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello, 2015)
Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis, 2015)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
Cosmos (Andrzej Żuławski, 2015)
Fort Buchanan (Benjamin Crotty, 2014)
In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
Li Wen man you Dong Hu (Li Wen at East Lake, Luo Li, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio, 2015)
Stinking Heaven (Nathan Silver, 2015)
Tangerine
(Sean Baker, 2015)
The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
The Memory of Justice (Marcel Ophüls, 1976)
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
Une jeunesse allemande, (A German Youth, Jean-Gabriel Periot, 2015)
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões
(Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015)
Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*nt$ (Karrabing Film Collective, 2015)
Watching Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2002) on TV at 4am with gloriously arresting jetlag in a hotel room in Downtown LA.

 

NICOLÁS CARRASCO

STAFF WRITER AT DESISTFILM, LOCARNO CRITICS ACADEMY 2015.

In no particular order:
Branco sai, petro fica (Black In, White Out, Adirley Queirós, 2014)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong San-soo, 2015)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
La Jalousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
Chant d’hiver (Winter Song, Otra Iosseliani, 2015)
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
Quand je serai dictateur (When I Will Be Dictator, Yaël André, 2014)
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Field Niggas (Khalik Allah, 2015)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
La academia de las musas (L’accademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
Die sechste Jahreszeit (The Sixth Season, Jan Soldat, 2015)
Haftanlage 4614 (Prison System 4614, Jan Soldat, 2015)
Une jeunesse allemande (A German Youth, Jean-Gabriel Periot, 2015)
Chromatic Aberration (Aura Satz, 2014)
88:88 (Isiah Medina, 2015)
Stinking Heaven (Nathan Silver, 2015)
La isla mínima (Alberto Rodríguez, 2014)
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (Abbas Fahdel, 2015)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)
El Perro Molina (Dog Molina, José Celestino Campusano, 2014)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Haganenet (The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid, 2014)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014)
She’s Funny That Way (Peter Bogdanovich, 2015)

Honourable mentions
Great films from Mexico: Te prometo anarquía (Julio Hernández Cordón, 2015), Memoria Oculta (Villaseñor 2014) and Ulterior (Sabrina Muhate, 2014).

 

MICHAEL J. CASEY

FILM CRITIC AND ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER, BOULDER WEEKLY.

Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, 2015)
Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)

  

>CELLULOID LIBERATION FRONT

CREATIVE UNEMPLOYED.

2015 will be remembered in the annals of history as the year when democracy was symbolically and literally stabbed to death in its very own cradle, but the world of cinema was too busy staring at its own navel to even notice. It is precisely in this respect that Joseph Griffin’s accidental Las Vegas holiday selfie and Miguel Gomes’ deliberate six hour one are this year’s most significant films. The worlds before and beyond the screen have become mere props, they no longer are realities to interact with. Films seem to be increasingly unable to refract the light and darkness of our lives whose terrifying state of indeterminacy few dare to even acknowledge, let alone explore or address. With the usual, precious exceptions:

Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (Abbas Fahdel, 2015) – the film against which the western superiority complex appears in all its criminal folly, an epic reminder of the 21st century’s worst crime against humanity.

Gli uomini di questa città io non li conosco. Vita e teatro di Franco Scaldati (I Don’t Know the Men of this City. Life and Theatre of Franco Scaldati, Franco Maresco, 2015) – the year’s greatest film by the world’s greatest living director: a helpless plea for moral resistance against an encroaching and all-pervading cultural involution.

Give Us Back Our Data (Dan Davies, 2015) – a documentary about the truly dystopic dimensions of digital capitalism and the way Silicon Valley has usurped our imagination and made it impossible for us to dream on our own terms.

In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015) – a film about the future of our present that captures the ineluctable death of community and solidarity, and the homologating farce of multiculturalism.

Destinacija Serbistan (Logbook­_Serbistan, Želimir Žilnik, 2015) – a drop of dissent in an ocean of compliance.

Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015) – an urban hymn to the unspeakable acts of love wo/mankind is still capable of.

Red Army (Gabe Polsky, 2014) – a handy, entertaining and erudite guide to the (new) cold war.

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015) – the year’s most realistic docu-fiction; the film’s verisimilitude with our own predicament is almost too accurate to bear.

Discovering at DocLisboa the cinema of Želimir Žilnik, a director this world of ours quite desperately needs.

 

DARYL CHIN

ARTIST AND WRITER WHO MAINTAINS THE BLOG DOCUMENTS ON ART & CINEMA.

The following are my choices for the best films given a theatrical release in the United States in 2015, “theatrical release” defined as a run at a screening venue for at least one week.

  1. Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
  2. Timbuktu(Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
  3. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  4. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  5. Costa da Morte (Lois Patiño, 2013)
  6. The Royal Road (Jenni Olson, 2015)
  7. En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron(A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
  8. Counting (Jem Cohen, 2015)
  9. La creazione di significato (The Creation of Meaning, Simone Rapisarda Casanova, 2014)
  10. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015)
  11. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  12. La Sapienza(Eugène Green, 2014)
  13. Trydno byt bogom(Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
  14. Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
  15. Something, Anything (Paul Harrill, 2014)
  16. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  17. Welcome to This House, a Film on Elizabeth Bishop (Barbara Hammer, 2015)
  18. Taken By Storm: The Art Of Storm Thorgerson And Hipgnosis (Roddy Bogawa, 2011)
  19. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)
  20. Clouds of Sils Maria(Olivier Assayas, 2014)

The theatrical release of Jacques Rivette’s magnum opus, just under 13 hours in multiple episodes, marked a true cinematic event, signifying an overwhelming, immersive ambition which pointed to the developments now in television drama. Other films on my list were important signifiers of alternative cinema, or remarkable instances of international cinema.

 

LESLEY CHOW

AUSTRALIAN WRITER ON FILM AND MUSIC. ASSOCIATE EDITOR OF BRIGHT LIGHTS AND HAS ALSO WRITTEN FOR THE QUIETUS, POP MATTERS, PHOTOFILE, AND CINEASTE.

Best Films

  1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  2. Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2014)
  3. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  4. Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio, 2015)
  5. Focus (Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, 2015)
    The biggest casualty of Hollywood’s obsession with franchises and Oscar bait is the seductive mid-tempo film: the jazzy comedy, the mystery, the erotic thriller not based on a bestseller. What we’re missing is represented by this superb mood-driven caper, which plays like a ‘90s Elmore Leonard adaptation.
  6. The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)
  7. The Dressmaker (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)
  8. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
  9. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  10. The Intern (Nancy Meyers, 2015)
    If I hadn’t come across the review by Scott Mendelson (a wonderful, lucid cultural critic who masquerades as a box office analyst), I might have missed out on this remarkable yet solidly mainstream film. Meyers is notorious for her depiction of lifestyle – those famously well-appointed kitchens and closets – but The Intern knows more about friendship chemistry, grief, age and loyalty than any Hollywood film of the past decade. Characters who would usually be targets for sitcom snark are treated with patience and respect: a househusband, an older male feminist, a female CEO who is overworked but not frazzled. The latter is something we see every day, but never on film – why is that? Like James L. Brooks’ Spanglish (2004), this film is both preppy and intelligent, full of curiosity about the way we actually live.

Best Performances

  1. Louis Garrel and Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent
  2. Jenjira Pongpas in Cemetery of Splendour
  3. Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Shira Piven, 2014)
  4. Margot Robbie and Will Smith in Focus
  5. Rosario Dawson in Top Five (Chris Rock, 2014)
    Typically, a character who is insulted by a witty comedian has two options: to look uptight and humourless or nobly tolerant. Neither poses much of a threat. But just look at the way Rosario Dawson handles a jabbing Chris Rock in Top Five. Those reaction shots have real power.
World Poll 2015

Rak ti khon kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)

ADAM COOK

FREELANCE FILM CRITIC AND PROGRAMMER. REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO CINEMA SCOPE AND COLUMNIST FOR LITTLE WHITE LIES.

A year of incredible variance, cinema has entered, in spite of the issues it faces, a utopia of sorts. Digital’s threat to celluloid is being combatted and we are now witnessing a moment of balance, no matter how transient. Films shot on 16mm, 35mm, 70mm, digital, using their respective mediums for unique formal systems and aesthetic visions. There is no agreed upon way to make a movie. 2015 contained within it what seemed an entire history of cinema. Master filmmakers couldn’t be more apart in sensibility, united only by the power and beauty of their artistry.

This year I’ve expanded my list from 10 to 30, to reflect what I thought was an especially memorable year of film:

  1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  2. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  3. Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
  4. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  5. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
  6. Hua li shang ban zu (Office, Johnnie To, 2015)
  7. Bella e perduta (Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello, 2015)
  8. Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015)
  9. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
  10. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015
  11. Na ri xia wu (Afternoon, Tsai Ming-liang, 2015)
  12. Knight of Cups (Terence Malick, 2015)
  13. 13. Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
  14. Sobytie (The Event, Sergei Loznitsa, 2015)
  15. Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)
  16. Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (Kidlat Tahimik, 2015)
  17. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  18. Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme, 2015)
  19. The Visit (M. Night Shayamalan, 2015)
  20. 88:88 (Isiah Medina, 2015)
  21. Joy (David O. Russell, 2015)
  22. Port of Call (Philip Yung, 2015)
  23. Saat po long 2 (SPL 2: A Time for Consequences, Soi Cheang, 2015)
  24. Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
  25. Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
  26. Results (Andrew Bujalski, 2015)
  27. Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, 2015)
  28. Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party (Stephen Cone, 2015)
  29. Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, 2015)
  30. Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson, 2015)

I have also included a list of my favourite repertory viewings:

  1. Heat (Michael Mann, 1995, 35mm, TIFF, Sept. 15th)
  2. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford, 1949, 35mm, Berlinale, Feb. 8th)
  3. Broken Arrow (Delmer Daves, 1950, 35mm, Berlinale, Feb. 10th)
  4. Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Roberto Rossellini, 1964, 35mm, Vancity Theatre, Mar. 3rd)
  5. Qing mei zhu ma (Taipei Story, Edward Yang, 1985, 35mm, The Cinematheque, Feb. 22nd)
  6. Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967, 16mm, The Cinematheque, Apr. 22nd)
  7. An American Romance (King Vidor, 1944, 35mm, Berlinale, Feb. 12th)
  8. True Romance (Tony Scott, 1993, 35mm, New Beverley, Jan. 2nd)
  9. Nan guo zai jian, nan guo (Goodbye, South, Goodbye, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1996, 35mm, The Cinematheque, Mar. 5th)
  10. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola, 1986, DCP, The Cinematheque, Mar. 1st)
  11. Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948, DCP, The Cinematheque, Feb. 28th)
  12. Titicut Follies (Frederick Wiseman, 1967, 35mm, TIFF, Sept. 13th)
  13. Crossroads (Bruce Conner, 1976, 35mm, The Cinematheque, Nov. 23rd)
  14. The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray, 1955-59, DCP, The Cinematheque, Jun. 5-8th)
  15. To Sleep with Anger (Charles Burnett, 1990, Chicago International Film Festival, Oct. 25th)
  16. One Froggy Evening (Chuck Jones, 1955, New Beverley, Jun. 19th)
  17. Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance (Alanis Obomsawin, 1993, DCP, The Cinematheque, Nov. 16th)
  18. Perfumed Nightmare (Kidlat Tahimik, 1976, DVD, SFU Woodwards, Apr. 26th)
  19. Où gît votre sourire enfoui? (Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, Pedro Costa, 2001, DVD, The Cinematheque, May. 6th)
  20. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954, DCP, The Cinematheque, Aug. 20th) 
world poll

The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015

 

AL COSSAR

PROGRAMMER, MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

After some internal tussling, here are some personal favourites from the year; a list of (arbitrarily) 20 that resonated, challenged, exhilarated, amused or terrified me (or a combination thereof); corralled and alphabetised as below.

Seen January–December 2015: seen on screen, seen on screener, seen near and far; films that I had waited months to view in fevered anticipation, others I discovered joltingly with new eyes, as my fourth or fifth film of a festival day. Some old at the start of this year, some new to the end. There were many more I loved, and there are many more to be caught up on, at the time of writing.

45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015)
Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
Finders Keepers (Bryan Carberry, J. Clay Tweel, 2015)
Bande de filles (Girlhood, Celine Sciamma, 2014)
Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2015)
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, 2015)
Krisha (Trey Edward Shults, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
La Loi du marché (The Measure of a Man, Stéphane Brizé, 2015)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
Sherpa (Jennifer Peedom, 2015)
Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014)
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2015)
Those Who Feel the Fire Burning (Morgan Knibbe, 2014)

Minor notes

Re: Finders Keepers: Seemingly a southern-fried freakshow if taken at synopsis alone, Carberry and Tweel actually realised something slightly heartbreaking here, wrapped in a thin veneer of the ridiculousness – a doc that could have poked fun, but peeled layers off a particularly American breed of aspiration (and a broadly human kind of disappointment), with impressive empathy.

Re: Those Who Feel the Fire Burning: a (literally) hauntingly strange vision of Fortress Europe’s decimation of those whose plight as refugees sees imminent danger at sea replaced by a gnawing, clawing kind of limbo on land. A searingly topical fever dream doco that, in combination with films like Jonas Carpignano’s Mediterranea and Sean McAllister’s A Syrian Love Story, showed that filmmakers were responding to stories of displacement in much more considered, illuminating and human ways than politicians were in 2015.

Re: The Lobster: is there any better minor comedic aside in a movie this year than the cameo of Keith from The Office (Ewen MacIntosh), advising on the hotel’s shooting range that “it’s not a coincidence that these targets look like single people”?

Re: Krisha: Family tensions to the fore, sketched frenetically and with an unexpected unfamiliarity that announces Shults as a fascinating new filmmaker.

Re: Song of the Sea and Inside Out: a strong year for for the high end of kid-friendly family films as well (see also Aardman’s delightful Shaun the Sheep Movie), these two mined the seemingly more adult complexities of grief and sadness, respectively, to lovely, thoughtful and inventive effect.

Re: Embrace of the Serpent: the dark heart of colonialism in the Amazon mixed in alongside hypnotic and hilarious moments, Ciro Guerra’s stunning, singular Embrace of the Serpent would arguably be my best movie-going experience of the year – the one that caught me unawares.

World Poll 2015

The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)

JORDAN CRONK

FOUNDER OF ACROPOLIS CINEMA, CONTRIBUTOR TO CINEMA SCOPE, SIGHT & SOUND, CINEASTE, REVERSE SHOT AND THE LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS.

Fifty-five favourites + five resurrections

3D Movie (Paul Sharits, 1975/2015)
88:88 (Isiah Medina, 2015)
About 11 Minutes (Madison Brookshire, 2015)
La academia de las musas (L’accademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
Actua 1 (Philippe Garrel, 1968/2015)
Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (Kidlat Tahimik, 2015)
Bella e perduta (Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello, 2015)
Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
Boi Neon (Neon Bull, Gabriel Mascaro, 2015)
Branco Sai, Preto Fica (White Out, Black In, Adirley Queirós, 2014)
La calle de la amargura (Bleak Street, Arturo Ripstein, 2015)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
Color Correction (Margaret Honda, 2015)
Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
Cosmos (Andrzej Żuławski, 2015)
Engram of Returning (Daïchi Saïto, 2015)
The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015)
Field Niggas (Khalik Allah, 2014)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
Fort Buchanan (Benjamin Crotty, 2014)
Garoto (Kid, Julio Bressane, 2015)
Greetings to the Ancestors (Ben Russell, 2015)
Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
Hua li shang ban zu (Office, Johnnie To, 2015)
I, Dalio (Mark Rappaport, 2015)
Iec Long (João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2015)
In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
Invention (Mark Lewis, 2015)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Juke: Passages from the Films of Spencer Williams (Thom Andersen, 2015)
Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, 1982/2015)
Lost Landscapes of Los Angeles (Rick Prelinger, 2015)
Mercuriales (Virgil Vernier, 2014)
As Mil e uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Minotauro (Minotaur, Nicolás Pereda, 2015)
Na ri xia wu (Afternoon, Tsai Ming-liang, 2015)
Navigator (Björn Kämmerer, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Noite Sem Distância (Night Without Distance, Lois Patiño, 2015)
L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
Le paradis (Paradise, Alain Cavalier, 2014)
Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)
A Poem Is a Naked Person (Les Blank, 1974/2015)
Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
The Royal Road (Jenni Olson, 2015)
Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellochio, 2015)
Secteur IX B (Sector IX B, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, 2015)
Sin Dios ni Santa María (Neither God Nor Santa Maria, Samuel M. Delgado and Helena Girón, 2015)
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
Snakeskin (Daniel Hui, 2014)
Something Between Us (Jodie Mack, 2015)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2015)
Traces/Legacy (Scott Stark, 2015)
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
The Two Sights (Katherine McInnis, 2015)
Un etaj mai jos (One Floor Below, Radu Muntean, 2015)
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015)
Western (Bill Ross and Turner Ross, 2015)

 

AARON CUTLER

FREELANCE FILM CRITIC AND PROGRAMMER. KEEPER OF WEBSITE THE MOVIEGOER.

The greatest pleasure I generally take from best-of lists is discovering films I might not have found otherwise. I delight in thinking that I will always have work to look forward to, and have organised a year-end list of 12 films, split into two categories, with this thought with this in mind.

Six films that I was happy to meet this year, in alphabetical order:

Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson, 2015)
Retratos de Identificação (Identification Photos, Anita Leandro, 2015)
Invasión (Invasion, Abner Benaim, 2014)
Los reyes del pueblo que no existe (Kings of Nowhere, Betzabé Garcia, 2015)
Maru (Ow, Yohei Suzuki, 2014)
La vie de Jean-Marie (Peter van Houten, 2015)

Six films that I haven’t yet met and hope to meet soon:

Engram of Returning (Daïchi Saïto, 2015)
Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov, 2015)
Maesta, La Passion du Christ (Maestà, the Passion of the Christ, Andy Guérif, 2015)
Mi querida España (Mercedes Moncada Rodríguez, 2015)
Koibitotachi (Three Stories of Love, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 2015)

The sixth isn’t a film as much as it is a hope – to see every minute of the late Anne Charlotte Robertson’s massive Five Year Diary Reel, currently undergoing restoration at the Harvard Film Archive. The six-plus hours restored by the HFA up to now counts among the greatest cinema of which I know.

Lastly, a film event worth looking forward to: The Temenos in Lyssarea, Greece this June for the next screening of Gregory Markopoulos’s Eniaios cycle.

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