Entries in part 2:

Michael Da Silva
Fergus Daly
Adrian Danks
Dustin Dasig
Henri de Corinth
Monica Delgado
Wheeler Winston Dixon
Dzondunkellicht
Gerónimo Elortegui
Jeremy Elphick
Miguel Faus
Ted Fendt
Nate Fisher
Felicity Ford
Gwendolyn Audrey Foster
Jean-Michel Frodon
Blanca García
Stephen Gaunson
Flora Georgiou
John Gianvito
Antony I. Ginnane
Leo Goldsmith
Natalie Gravenor
Carmen Gray
Jaime Grijalba
Victor Guimarães
Evgeny Gusyatinskiy

MICHAEL DA SILVA

GRADUATE STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

The following is a list of what I consider to be the best primarily English-language films released in Toronto in 2015. Neither The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015) nor The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2015) were in Toronto theatres prior to the deadline for this list. As a fan of both Westerns and the work of those two directors, I expect they may be of equal quality to many or all of the films below, but I await the opportunity to confirm this suspicion. I also await the release of Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, 2015), which I missed at TIFF. The list below still suggests that this was a year with many good films (if few great ones).

Among non-English films, I was pleasantly surprised by Hrútar (Rams, Grímur Hákonarson, 2015). Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014) and The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014) were my favourite films that only received a limit release in late 2014 and that I had to catch up on in 2015. Quality television continued to fill the screen. Among the many writer-driven classics, Show Me A Hero (Paul Haggis, 2015) stood out for its commitment to a single director. The Knick (Steven Soderbergh, 2014-15) remained excellent.

The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015) was overrated by mainstream audiences. I preferred the previous year’s Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014). Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015) was overrated by many in the arthouse crowd. One of the two is the year’s most overrated film. Given the Oscar buzz surrounding The Martian, I suspect that it should take the prize.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  2. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
  3. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)*
  4. Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)
  5. The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt, 2015)
  6. Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)
  7. Chappie (Neill Blomkamp, 2015)
  8. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach, 2015)
  9. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)
  10. Creed (Ryan Coogler, 2015)

* This film received its limited release in Toronto in March 2015.

 

FERGUS DALY

WRITER ON FILM. WRITING CAN BE FOUND ONLINE: FERGUSDALY.WORDPRESS.COM.

Best recent films seen in 2015

Apartment Troubles (Jennifer Prediger, Jess Weixler, 2014)
À propos de Venise (Jean-Marie Straub, 2014)
At Middleton (Adam Rodgers, 2013)
Christmas, Again (Charles Poekel, 2014)
Danny Collins (Dan Fogelman, 2015)
Free Samples (Jay Gammill, 2012)
The Humbling (Barry Levinson, 2014)
Ja-yu-eui eon-deok (Hill of Freedom, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
Ned Rifle (Hal Hartley, 2014)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Laggies (Lynn Shelton, 2014)
Manglehorn (David Gordon Green, 2014)
Mr Holmes (Bill Condon, 2015)
L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
Pushtar (Alan Lambert, 2015)
Reaching for the Moon (Bruno Barreto, 2013)
La Sapienza (Eugène Green, 2014)
Xi you (Journey to the West, Tsai Ming-liang, 2014)

Worst films seen in 2015

Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
Copenhagen (Mark Raso, 2014)

Best TV Series

Fargo (Season 2, FX)
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (BBC)

Best film-related event of 2015

Miranda July’s audiobook performance of her debut novel The First Bad Man

 

ADRIAN DANKS

DIRECTOR OF HIGHER DEGREE RESEARCH IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION AT RMIT UNIVERSITY. AUTHOR OF A COMPANION TO ROBERT ALTMAN AND A PREVIOUS EDITOR AT SENSES OF CINEMA. 

25 best “new” films screening somewhere in Melbourne (in order of preference):

  1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  2. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
  3. En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
  4. El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
  5. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  6. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
  7. Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
  8. Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (Alex Gibney, 2015)
  9. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
  10. Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014)
  11. Final season of Justified (2015) and second season of Fargo (2015)
  12. Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
  13. Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2014)
  14. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  15. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  16. How to Change the World (Jerry Rothwell, 2015)
  17. Bing Crosby Rediscovered (Robert Trachtenberg, 2014)
  18. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (Ken Burns, 2014)
  19. The final season of Mad Men (2015)
  20. LOmbre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
  21. El Club (The Club, Pablo Larraín, 2015)
  22. Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (Alex Gibney, 2015)
  23. Lambert & Stamp (James D. Cooper, 2014)
  24. Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015)
  25. Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict (Lisa Immordino Vreeland, 2015)

5 pretty good but overrated films:

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Anderson, 2015)
Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis, 2015)

7 not very good but also overrated and/or disappointing films:

Listen to Me, Marlon (Stevan Riley, 2015)
As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto (Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)
The Water Diviner (Russell Crowe, 2014)
Altman (Ron Mann, 2014)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
Kommunisten (Jean-Marie Straub, 2014)

The 5 worst “new” films I saw this year:

Eisenstein in Guanajuato (Peter Greenaway, 2015)
Force of Destiny (Paul Cox, 2015)
The Falling (Carol Morley, 2014)
Big Eyes (Tim Burton, 2014)
Map to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)

Retrospective rediscoveries:

At the Melbourne Cinémathèque (admission: I’m co-curator): Faraon (Pharoah, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1966); Hard Eight (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1996); Brief Encounters (Kira Muratova, 1967); My Life Without Steve (Gillian Leahy, 1986); Quand tu liras cette lettre(Jean-Pierre Melville, 1953); Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, Mikio Naruse, 1960); J’entends plus la guitare (Philippe Garrel, 1991); Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946); Baron Prásil (The Outrageous Baron Munchausen, Karel Zeman, 1962) and Inspirace (Inspiration, Karel Zeman, 1949) – both co-presented by the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (itself a highlight)
At MIFF: A Poem is a Naked Person (Les Blank, 1974); Seeking the Monkey King (Ken Jacobs, 2011); Jing naki tatakai (Battles Without Honour and Humanity, Kinji Fukasaku, 1973)
At the Japanese Film Festival: Yukinojo henge (An Actor’s Revenge, Kon Ichikawa, 1963)
At Home (new to DVD or some other format): Ride the Pink Horse (Robert Montgomery, 1947); A Story of Children and Film (Mark Cousins, 2013); Herzog Blaubarts Burg (Bluebeard’s Castle, Michael Powell, 1963); The Great British Housing Disaster (Adam Curtis, 1984); Who by Water (Bill Morrison, 2007), Release (Bill Morrison, 2010), Light is Calling (Bill Morrison, 2004) on Bill Morrison: Collected Works (1996-2013) released by Icarus.

 

DUSTIN DASIG

PROFESSOR OF COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES, FILM CRITIC AND SECURITY TRAINING DIRECTOR, PHILIPPINES.

Best Films of 2015

  1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  2. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
  3. Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014) and Timbuktu(Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014) (tie)
  4. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
  5. Ich seh, ich seh (Goodnight Mommy, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, 2014)
  6. Bande de filles (Girlhood, Céline Sciamma, 2014)
  7. Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
  8. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  9. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)

Best Performances
Best Performance, Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015) (Runner-up: John Arcilla, Heneral Luna (General Luna, Jerrold Tarog, 2015)
Best Performance, Actress: Nina Hoss, Phoenix (Runner-up: Alicia Vikander, Testament of Youth (James Kent, 2014) and Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)

Narrative and Technical Achievements
Best Directing: Hou Hsiao-hsien, The Assassin
Best Writing (Screenplay): Andrey Zvyagintsev and Oleg Negin, Leviathan (2014)
Best Aural Design: Thomas Newman, composer, Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015) and the sound mixing and editing team of Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Visual Design: Mark Lee Ping Bing, director of photography, The Assassin, and John Seale, director of photography, Mad Max: Fury Road (tie)

World Poll 2015

Ich seh, Ich seh (Goodnight Mommy, Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, 2014)

HENRI DE CORINTH

FILM WRITER.

1. Évolution (Lucile Hadzihalilovic, 2015)
2. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
3. The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015)
4. Sangailės vasara (The Summer of Sangaile, Alanté Kavaïté, 2015)
5. February (Osgood Perkins, 2015)
6. Nicola Costantino: La artefacta (Nicola Costantino: The Artefacta, Natalie Cristiani, 2015)
7. Hiso hiso boshi (The Whispering Star, Sion Sono, 2015)
8. Demon (Marcin Wrona, 2015)
9. La Cérémonie (The Ceremony, Lina Mannheimer, 2014)
10. Horsehead (Romain Basset, 2014)

 

MÓNICA DELGADO

PERUVIAN FILM CRITIC, MANAGING EDITOR OF DESISTFILM.

Best films of 2015
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero), (Abbas Fahdel, 2015)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015)
Machine Gun or Typewriter? (Travis Wilkerson, 2015)
Une jeunesse allemande (A German Youth, Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2015)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Field Niggas (Khalik Allah, 2015)
Lu bian ye can (Kaili Blues, Gan Bi, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
La academia de las musas (Laccademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
The Other Side (Roberto Minervini, 2015)
Zvizdan (The High Sun, Dalibor Matanic, 2015)
Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Samuray-S (Raúl Perrone, 2015)
Las Letras (The Letters, Pablo Chavarría, 2015)
La Terre penche (Turning Tides, Christelle Lheureux, 2015)
Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio, 2015)
Ramybė mūsų sapnuose (Peace to Us in Our Dreams, Sharunas Bartas, 2015)
Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
Noite Sem Distância (Night Without Distance, Lois Patiño, 2015)

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

world poll

Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)

WHEELER WINSTON DIXON

JAMES RYAN PROFESSOR OF FILM STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, EDITOR OF BOOK SERIES “NEW PERSPECTIVES ON WORLD CINEMA”.

10 best list for 2015 (in no particular order)

Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Uncle John (Steven Piet, 2015)
Apollo 18 (Gonzalo López-Gallego, 2011/2015)
Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015)
Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, 2015)
99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani, 2015)
Being Elizabeth Bishop (Barbara Hammer, 2015)
Infinitely Polar Bear (Maya Forbes, 2015)
The Gift (Joel Edgerton, 2015)
Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2015)

I should note that one of the most interesting developments happening in 2015 was the return to film that many mainstream filmmakers embraced, even if the films themselves are derivative mainstream entertainment.

A partial list of new, commercial movies shot on film, though finished digitally in post-production, would include J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight (shot in 70mm, no less, and projected in select theatres in the same format, 70mm film), Sam Mendes’ Spectre, David O. Russell’s Joy and Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

In addition, the emergence of Sean Price Williams as the Raoul Coutard of the indie generation is another hopeful sign; Williams shot Queen of Earth, and along with that film’s director, Alex Ross Perry, is very doctrinaire about using film to shoot a movie, insisting on using actual film during production as an essential, inviolate part of the process. It really does make a difference in the final result, although the nearly universal use of DCPs for final projection really detracts from the overall effect.

I should also note that Barbara Hammer’s Being Elizabeth Bishop, for which she won a Guggenheim Fellowship, stands as proof that even in 2015, truly independent cinema is still possible, and yields remarkable results, both challenging and poetic at the same time.

World Poll 2015

No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)

DZONDUNKELLICHT

WRITES AND TRAVELS FOR CINEMA.

New/Recent
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Yizhi (Traces, Wang Bing, 2014)
L’Aquarium et la Nation (Jean-Marie Straub, 2015)
Scenes from the Life of Raimund Abraham (Jonas Mekas, 2014)
Wa Yanjing (Cut Out the Eyes, Xu Tong, 2014)
Campo Grande (Sandra Kogut, 2015)
Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
Shao nian, xiao zhao (A Young Patriot, Du Haibin, 2015)
Li Wen man you Dong Hu (Li Wen at East Lake, Luo Li, 2015)
Chi (Mr. Zhang Believes, Qu Jiongjiong, 2015)
Shinkiro No Fune (The Ark in the Mirage, Yasutomo Chikuma, 2015)
Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan (Shadow Behind the Moon, Jun Robles Lana, 2015)
Histoire de Judas (Story of Judas, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2015)
Sanrizuka ni Ikiru (The Wages of Resistance: Narita Stories, Otsu Koshiro & Daishima Haruhiko, 2014)
Sobytie (The Event, Sergei Loznitsa, 2015)
By Our Selves (Andrew Kötting, 2015)
They Had It Coming (Jon Jost, 2015)
Soredake (That’s It, Gakuryu Ishii, 2015)
Todo comenzó por el fin (It All Started At The End, Luis Ospina, 2015)
Chauthi Koot (Fourth Direction, Gurvinder Singh, 2015)
Cheondangui Bamgwa Angae (Night and Fog in Zona, Jung Sung-Il, 2015)
Kang Rinpoche (Paths of the Soul, Zhang Yang, 2015)
Rabo de Peixe (Fish Tail, Joaquim Pinto & Nuno Leonel, 2015)
Sulanga Gini Aran (Dark in the White Light, Vimukthi Jayasundara, 2015)
Une jeunesse allemande (A German Youth, Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2015)
Oka (Our House, Souleymane Cisse, 2015)
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, (1982/2015)
Cosmos (Andrzej Żuławski, 2015)
Chant d’hiver (Winter Song, Otar Iosseliani, 2015)
La academia de las musas (Laccademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
Garoto (Kid, Júlio Bressane, 2015)
Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)
Better than Ever (Ernie Gehr, 2015)
Bon Voyage (Ernie Gehr, 2015)
Mist I & II (Ernie Gehr, 2014)
Kim (Fuzakerunjaneyo, Shimizu Shumpei, 2015)
Kaki Kouba (Oyster Factory, Kazuhiro Soda, 2015)
Maraviglioso Boccaccio (Wondrous Boccaccio, Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani, 2015)
Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio, 2015)
Lu bian ye can (Kaili Blues, Gan Bi, 2015)
Happî awâ (Happy Hour, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
Pod electricheskimi oblakami (Under Electric Clouds, Alexei German Jr., 2015)
Koibitotachi (Three Stories of Love, Ryosuke Hashiguchi, 2015)
Toponimia (Toponymy, Jonathan Perel, 2015)
Topophilia (Peter Bo Rappmund, 2015)
Stinking Heaven (Nathan Silver, 2015)
Hierba (Raul Perrone, 2015)
Samuray-S (Raul Perrone, 2015)
El Apostata (The Apostate, Federico Veiroj, 2015)
Le paradis (Paradise, Alain Cavalier, 2014)
Malgré la nuit (Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
Meurtrière (Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
Na ri xiawu (Afternoon, Tsai Ming-liang, 2015)
La calle de la amargura (Bleak Street, Arturo Ripstein, 2015)
Comoara (The Treasure, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2015)
Aferim! (Radu Jude, 2015)
Ah humanity! (Ernst Karel, Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2015)
Vita Brevis (Thierry Knauff, 2014)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of The Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
Bella e perduta (Lost and Beautiful, Pietro Marcello, 2015)
Un etaj mai jos (One Floor Below, Radu Muntean, 2015)
Intimations (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2015)
88:88 (Isiah Medina, 2015)
Francofonia (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2015)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
Boi Neon (Neon Bull, Gabriel Mascaro, 2015)
El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
Minotauro (Minotaur, Nicolás Pereda, 2015)
Noite Sem Distância (Night Without Distance, Lois Patiño, 2015)
Beixi moshuo (Behemoth, Zhao Liang, 2015)
Torneranno i prati (Greenery Will Bloom Again, Ermanno Olmi, 2014)
Peace to Us in Our Dreams (Sharunas Bartas, 2015)
Paul Sharits (François Miron, 2015)
João Bénard da Costa – Outros amarão as coisas que eu amei (João Bénard da Costa – Others Will Love the Things I Loved, Manuel Mozos, 2014)
Branco sai, preto fica (White Out, Black In, Adirley Queirós, 2014)
O Meu Outro País (Solveig Nordlund, 2014)
Die Hohlmenschen (Peter Nestler, 2015)
Engram of Returning (Daïchi Saïto, 2015)
El Movimiento (The Movement, Benjamin Naishtat, 2015)
El Club (The Club, Pablo Larraín, 2015)
Ta luo (Tharlo, Pema Tseden, 2015)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, 2015)
Passion (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2015)
Mga Anak ng Unos, Unang Aklat (Storm Children, Book One, Lav Diaz, 2014)
Look Love (Yun Ye, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
Scrapbook (Mike Hoolboom, 2015)
Brat Dejan (Brother Dejan, Bakur Bakuradze, 2015)
11 minut (11 Minutes, Jerzy Skolimowski, 2015)
The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
Miliy Hans, Dorogoy Petr (My Good Hans, Alexander Mindadze, 2015)
The Knick season 2 (Steven Soderbergh, 2015)

Repertory/Remastered/Restored/Revived
The Memory of Justice (Marcel Ophüls, 1976)
Actua 1 (Philippe Garrel, 1968)
3D Movie (Paul Sharits, 1975)
Mr. Frenhoffer and the Minotaur (Sidney Peterson, 1949)
I Magliari (The Magliari, Francesco Rosi, 1959)
Hamlet in the Rented World (A Fragment) (Jack Smith, 1970)
Insiang (Lino Brocka, 1976)
Oidhche Sheanchais (A Night of Storytelling, Robert Flaherty, 1935)
Les Ordres (Orderers, Michel Brault, 1974)
Kanashimi no Belladonna (Belladonna of Sadness, Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973)
Jingi Naki Tatakai (Battles Without Honor and Humanity, Kinji Fukasaku, 1973)
Will You Dance with Me? (Derek Jarman, 1984)
Khesht va Ayeneh (The Brick and the Mirror, Ebrahim Golestan, 1965)
La legge della tromba (The Law of the Trumpet, Augusto Tretti, 1962)
Szegénylegények (The Round-Up, Miklós Jancsó, 1965)
Limite (Mário Peixoto, 1931)
Théâtre de Monsieur & Madame Kabal (Theatre of Mr. and Mrs. Kabal, Walerian Borowczyk, 1967)
Zangiku monogatari (The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)
Von Griechenland (Peter Nestler, 1966)
Marinetti (Albie Thoms, 1969)
Funnyman (John Korty, 1967)
Film no. 18 / Mahagonny (Harry Smith, 1970-80)
The Hornsey Film (Patricia Holland, 1970)
Yi sheng (Doctor, Chung Mong-hong, 2006)
Enjo (Conflagration, Kon Ichikawa, 1958)
I Remember Harlem (William Miles, 1981)
Homunculus (Otto Rippert, 1916)
Mahlzeiten (Table for Love, Edgar Reitz, 1967)
Alyam Alyam (Oh the Days!, Ahmed El Maanouni. 1978)
Deutschland bleiche Mutter (Germany, Pale Mother, Helma Sanders-Brahms; 1980)
Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
Varieté (Variety, E.A. Dupont, 1925)
In the Stone House (Jerome Hiler, 1967-70/2012)
Soft Fiction (Chick Strand, 1979)
Xia nü (A Touch of Zen, King Hu, 1971)
Fehérlófia (Marcell Jankovics, 1981)
Umut (Hope, Yilmaz Güney, 1970)
Pyaasa (The Thirsty One, Guru Dutt, 1957)
La Noire de… (Black Girl, Ousmane Sembène, 1966)
Wo zhe yang guo le yi sheng (Kuei-mei, a Woman, Chang Yi, 1985)

Events/Retrospectives/Programs
Marie Louise Alemann @ LFF
Joanna Margaret Paul @ LFF
Anne Charlotte Robertson @ Viennale
Jean-Claude Rousseau @ Viennale
Bruce McClure @ IFFR
Luther Price @ Anthology Film Archives
Ernie Gehr: Carnival of Shadows @ MoMA
Nathaniel Dorsky & Jerome Hiler @ NYFF
Vertical Cinema @ MIFF
Wavelengths @ TIFF
Experimenta @ LFF
Projections @ NYFF
FNC Lab @ FNC

BFI London Film Festival Review

The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)

 

GERÓNIMO ELORTEGUI

FILM REVIEWER AND JOURNALIST, LENTE CREATIVO.

Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
La Sapienza (Eugène Green, 2014)
Im Keller (In the Basement, Ulrich Seidl, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Loreak (Flowers, Jon Garaño and José Mari Goenaga, 2014)
Arrête ou je continue (If You Don’t, I Will, Sophie Fillières, 2014)
Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
Gui lai (Coming Home, Zhang Yimou, 2014)
Elderly (I’ll See You in My Dreams, Piotr Dumala, 2015)
Omoide no Mânî (When Marnie Was There, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2014)
El incendio (The Fire, Juan Schnitman, 2015)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014)
Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson, 2015)
The Boxtrolls (Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi, 2014)
Zerrumpelt Herz (The Council of Birds, Timm Kröger, 2014)
Últimas Conversas (Latest Conversations, Eduardo Coutinho, 2015)
While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014)
Une nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend, François Ozon, 2014)
Lulu (Luis Ortega, 2015)
I Am Here (Anders Morgenthaler, 2014)
Gett, le procès de Viviane Amsalem (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz, 2014)
Mi amiga del parquet (My Friend From the Park, Ana Katz, 2015)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015)
Tui na (Blind Massage, Lou Ye, 2014)
The Salt of the Earth (Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, 2014)
Invierno (Winter, Alberto Fuguet, 2015)
Big Eyes (Tim Burton, 2014)
Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Vinterberg, 2015)
Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore, 2014)
Dans la cour (In the Courtyard, Pierre Salvadori, 2014)
The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan, 2015)
Ned Rifle (Hal Hartley, 2014)
Hippocrate (Hippocrates: Diary of a French Doctor, Thomas Lilti, 2014)
Nicola Constantino: La Artefacta (Nicola Constantino: The Artefacta, Natalie Cristiani, 2015)
Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen, 2015)
En chance til (A Second Chance, Susanne Bier, 2014)

World Poll 2015

While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014)

JEREMY ELPHICK

MANAGING EDITOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF ONLINE AUSTRALIAN FILM JOURNAL, 4:3.
  1. The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2015 [Australia Theatrical])
    The Look of Silence finds its strength in restraint: in the intricate and harrowing minimalism that frames its soundscapes, in the phrases that go unsaid and the stark facial expressions that render this need for dialogue redundant.
  1. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
    From the carefully-executed surrealism, the cutting political undertones, and the director’s own relationship with his hometown being played out in the intricacies littered throughout the narrative on screen.
  1. Beats of the Antonov (Hajooj Kuka, 2015)
    A beautiful, revealing and complex look at the Blue Nile and Nuba regions of Sudan, Hajooj Kuka’s Beats of the Antonov is both an intimate and political film that excels in its marriage of both elements.
  1. Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2015 [Australian Debut])
    Cavalo Dinheiro is a harrowing and reflective metaphysical meandering through Portugal’s political and emotional pasts; continuing Costa’s visually distinct approach to representing Lisbon’s slums on screen.
  1. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
    Portraying a markedly gendered issue and narrative, Ergüven’s perspective bleeds into the work in a telling way; as the film navigates issues of abuse and violence without ever needed to recreate them in gratuitous scenes.
  1. Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
  2. Snow Monkey (George Gittoes, 2015)
  3. Stories of Our Lives (The NEST Collective, 2015)
  4. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
  5. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  6. Jia (The Family, Liu Shumin, 2015)
  7. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2015)
  8. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  9. Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2015 [Australian Debut])
  10. Approaching The Elephant (Amanda Wilder, 2015)

 

MIGUEL FAUS

CINEPHILE AND CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR FOR JOT DOWN MAGAZINE.

I suspect that this list reflects the problems of living in Spain for a cinephile, the most important of which is that most films take a few months to get to our screens after their international release. This is the reason why I included several 2014 films, which premiered here on 2015. And it’s also the reason for the absence of many films that I expect to be great but haven’t been able to see yet. May 2016 bring them to our screens, along with many other astonishing films.

  1. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  2. Transeúntes (Passers-by, Luis Aller, 2015)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  4. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  5. A Most Violent Year (J. C. Chandor, 2014)
  6. Timbuktu (Abderrahme Sissako, 2015)
  7. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
  8. Bridge Of Spies (Steven Spielberg, 2015)
  9. Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)
  10. Inside Out (Pete Docter and Ronaldo del Carmen, 2015)
  11. No todo es vigilia (Not All Is Vigil, Hermes Paralluelo, 2014)
  12. El Club (The Club, Pablo Larraín, 2015)
  13. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  14. As Mil e Uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  15. Irrational Man (Woody Allen, 2015)
  16. El camí més llarg per tornar a casa (The Long Way Home, Sergi Pérez, 2015)
  17. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  18. La academia de las musas (Laccademia delle muse / Academy of the Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
  19. En duva satt pa en gren och funderade pa tillvaron(A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
  20. American Sniper(Clint Eastwood, 2014)

 

TED FENDT

PROJECTIONIST, TRANSLATOR AND FILMMAKER BASED IN NEW YORK.

All films seen in the cinema or gallery for the first time in 2015.

  1. Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015) 35mm, colour, 68 min; “Revivals”, New York Film Festival, 4 October 2015; “The Contenders 2015”, Museum of Modern Art, 23 December 2015
  1. Twice as Nice (Jessie Maple, 1989) 16mm, colour, 70 min; “Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 19681986”, Film Society of Lincoln Center, 16 February 2015
  1. Silk Tatters, “Nec Spe Nec Metu (Gina Telaroli, 2015) HD, color/black & white, 17 min; “First Look”, Museum of the Moving Image, 17 January 2015, presented with Brigadoon (Vincente Minnelli, 35mm, 1954)
  1. The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952) 35mm, Technicolor, 88 min; “John Ford”, Museum of the Moving Image, 19 July 2015
  1. Sotiros (Robert Beavers, 1976-78/1996) 16mm to 35mm, colour, 25 min; “Lyrical Observations”, Whitney Museum of American Art, 5 July 2015 and 29 August 2015
  1. Lary 7: Single Frame performance with 2D and 3D colour and black & white slides; Anthology Film Archives, 25 January 2015
  1. Point Line Plane (Antonia Kuo & Lily Jue Sheng, 2015) 16mm dual projection, black & white, 10 min; Microscope Gallery, 15 June 2015
  1. The Toll of the Sea (Chester M. Franklin, 1922) 35mm, Technicolor, 53 min, reserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive; “Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond”, Museum of Modern Art, 7 June 2015
  1. Objection (Marjorie Keller, 1974) 16mm, black & white, 18 min; “ReVisions”, Anthology Film Archives, 20 August 2015
  1. Detour/Ruoted (Edgar G. Ulmer & Fuori Orario, 1945/2015) 16mm, black & white, 134 min; “(Never) Seen: A Tribute to Fuori Orario”, Anthology Film Archives, 10 May 2015

 

NATE FISHER

BRATTLE FILM, BRIGHT WALL/DARK ROOM CONTRIBUTOR.

Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs, 2015)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2015)
Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2015)
The Mend (John Magary, 2015)
Stray Dog (Debra Granik, 2014)

 

FELICITY FORD

TUTOR & PHD CANDIDATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE. FOUNDER OF THE GRADUATE CINEMA READING GROUP, THE LIGHT TRAP.

In no particular order

Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller, 2014)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, 2015)
Best of Enemies (Morgan Neville, 2015)
The Cult of JT Leroy (Marjorie Sturm, 2014)
Mediterranea (Jonas Carpignano, 2015)
The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle, 2015)

 

GWENDOLYN AUDREY FOSTER

PROFESSOR OF FILM AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA.

Ten Best Films of 2015
Urok (The Lesson, Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov (2015)
Infinitely Polar Bear (Maya Forbes, 2015)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Uncle John (Steven Piet, 2015)
Queen of Earth (Alex Ross Perry, 2015)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)
Bande de filles (Girlhood, Céline Sciamma, 2015)
Que Horas Ela Volta? (The Second Mother, Anna Muylaert, 2015)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
Relatos salvajes (Wild Tales, Damián Szifrón, 2014)
The Gift (Joel Edgerton, 2015)

This past year has seen a rapid shift towards the distribution of many more mainstream films at arthouses. If you are not lucky enough to attend film festivals, it is becoming increasingly hard to track down great films through streaming or on DVD, especially foreign films and indies, some of which never even get released on DVD or in a streaming platform.

I am strictly old school; I will not and cannot watch films in streaming form. For me, watching a film on a laptop is the equivalent of looking at an image of a great artwork printed on a mouse pad or a coffee cup. I was able to view only a few films on my list in a theatre. We have a great home theatre, but I’d still much prefer to see these films projected really well on a big screen with a smart audience. Yes, an audience of human beings. How old school I am!

The best news is that despite all the talk of gloom and doom, and despite radical shifts in marketing and distribution platforms, there are still so very many delightful US indies – and so many stunning original foreign films – increasingly being made around the globe. One has to be a bit of a crazed hunter-gatherer, combing through pay per view or tracking down multi-region discs around the globe in order to try to keep up with all the fine films out there, but it is worth it!

There is more good news to celebrate in that the number of rising auteurs working around the world is breathtaking. Nothing can stop this new generation of gifted personal filmmakers, many of whom are making staggeringly beautiful films on limited or nonexistent budgets. Bravo to them all! Film is alive and well! Happy hunting to all you enthusiastic cinephiles!

 

JEAN-MICHEL FRODON

FILM CRITIC AT SLATE.FR. PROFESSOR AT SCIENCES PO (PARIS) AND ST ANDREWS (SCOTLAND).

Aferim! (Radu Jude, 2015)
Histoire de Judas (Story of Judas, Rabah Ameur Zaïmèche, 2015)
Ja-yu-eui eon-deok (Hill of Freedom, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
Kishibe no tabi (Journey to the Shore, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2015)
L’Ombre des femmes (The Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
Mia madre (Nanni Moretti, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
Ni le ciel ni la terre (The Wakhan Front, Clément Cogitore, 2015)
Rabin, ha’yom ha’akharon (Rabin, the Last Day, Amos Gitai, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Saul fia (The Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
Songs My Brothers Taught Me (Chloé Zhao, 2015)
Taj Mahal (Nicolas Saada, 2015)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
The Grief of Others (Patrick Wang, 2015)
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
Ventos de Agosto (Winds of August, Gabriel Mascaro, 2014)
+ Out 1: Noli me tangere (Jacques Rivette, 1971) – first commercial release

World Poll 2015

L’ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)

BLANCA GARCÍA

CO-EDITOR AT LUMIÈRE MAGAZINE

As a point of departure, the nuclear cinematic experience of my 2015: the screening of Gammelion, by Gregory J. Markopoulos. From there, as I was recalling other weighty events, I soon felt a strong emotion just letting myself go along within the numerous connections found. This list, or so I’ve tried, was put together following many different but intimate echoes in between films; some correspond just in reflections of a single shot, others to the general feeling experienced, many to a communal and identified way of being (for example, woman), of living, cinematically. And a few belong to precious people, specially to friends from Lumière.

Gammelion (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1968) + Du sang, de la volupté et de la mort (1947-8), The Illiac Passion (1964-67), Bliss (1967), Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill (1967), Political Portraits (1969), The Olympian (1969), Gilbert and George (1975)
Sotiros (Robert Beavers, 1976-78/1996) + Still Light (1970), Listening to the Space in My Room (2013)
A Place of Work (Margaret Tait, 1976) + Garden Pieces (1998), Orquil Burn (1955), The Leaden Echo And The Golden Echo (1955), Blue Black Permanent (1992)
A Set of Miniatures (Jonathan Schwartz, 2014) + Apologies Towards the Inevitable (2015), Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums (2013), Happy Birthday (2010), In a Year with 13 Deaths (2008)
Little Girl (Bruce Baillie, 1966)
La Chanson des peupliers (Jean Epstein, 1931) + La glace à trois faces (1927)
Hic rosa, partition botanique (Anne-Marie Faux, 2007)
Stolen Apples for Karen Blixen (Derek Jarman, 1973)
Sepio (Frans van de Staak, 1996) + Rookspoken (1992)
Sag es mir Dienstag (Astrid Ofner, 2007)
L’Arbre mort (Joseph Morder, 1987) + Les Nuages américains (1984)
Les Antiquités de Rome (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1989)
D’ici là (Jean-Charles Fitoussi, 1995-97)
Lettre d’un cinéaste à sa fille (Eric Pauwels, 2000)
Vivir para vivir (Laida Lertxundi, 2015)
How to Sleep (Winds) (Rebecca Meyers, 2000)
Communing (Helga Fanderl, 2015) + Constellations (2013), Intensities (2014)
Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California (Sílvia das Fadas, 2013) + The Book of Natural Magic (2011)
Terzen (Ute Aurand, 1998) + Zu Hause (1998), Maria und die Welt (1995), A Walk / Im Park / ZUOZ (2008) SAKURA, SAKURA (2015)
Aleph (Robert E. Fulton, 1982)
X-TRACTS (Leslie Thornton, 1975)
The Answering Furrow (Marjorie Keller, 1985) + Ancient Parts/Foreign Parts (1979), Daughters of Chaos (1980), The Fallen World (1983), Private Parts (1988), Herein (1991)
Annie (Phill Niblock, 1968)
Griselda und Natalia (Friedl vom Gröller, 2014) + Eva (2014), Maschile – Roma (2015), In Rom (2015)
— ——- (Thom Andersen, 1966–67) + The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015)
Upside Down Feature (Peter Gidal, 1967-72)
Kommunisten (Jean-Marie Straub, 2014) + L’Aquarium et la Nation (2015)
Mediterranée (Jean-Daniel Pollet, 1963)
Lamentations: A Monument to the Dead World. Part 1: The Dream of the Last Historian. Part 2: The Sublime Calculation (Bruce Elder, 1985)
The Lighted Field [The Adventures of the Exquisite Corpse Pt. V] (Andrew Noren, 1987)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015) + Vapour (2015)
Passacaglia y Fuga (Jorge Honik, 1974) + La mirada errante (1969-1981)
Circle (Jack Chambers, 1969)
On Dangerous Ground (Nicholas Ray, 1951)
Echoes of Silence (Peter Emmanuel Goldman, 1967)
Lumière d’été (Jean Grémillon, 1943) + Remorques (1941, Gardiens de phare (1929), L’Amour d’une femme (1954), Le Ciel est à vous (1944), Le 6 juin à l’aube (1946)
Corps à coeur (Paul Vecchiali, 1979) + Trous de mémoire (1985)
Anna (Alberto Grifi & Massimo Sarchielli, 1975)
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957)
John From (João Nicolau, 2015)
Suite California & Stops Passes Part 1: Tijuana to Hollywood Via Death Valley (1976) Part 2: San Francisco to Sierra Nevadas & Back Again (Robert Nelson, 1978)
Plumb-line (Carolee Schneemann, 1968)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Thorndon (Joanna Margaret Paul, 1975) + Napkins (1975), Aberhart’s House (1976)
Un enano en el jardín (Claudio Caldini, 1981), A través de las ruinas (1982), Ofrenda (1978), Aspiraciones (1976), Baltazar (1975)
Rose (Siloh Cinquemani, 2013) + Narcissi (2013)
Dripping Water (Michael Snow, 1969) + To Lavoisier, Who Died in the Reign of Terror (1991), Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen (1974)
Heads and Tales (Francis Conrad, 1967)
Reel 30b01 – Positano (Pierre Clémenti, 1969)
La noche bengalí (Narcisa Hirsch & Werner Nekes, 1980)
La nuit claire (Marcel Hanoun, 1979)
Human Desire (Fritz Lang, 1954)
Le jardin qui bascule (Guy Gilles, 1975)
Bérénice (Éric Rohmer, 1954) + Les nuits de la pleine lune (Full Moon in Paris,1984)
Simone Barbès ou la vertu (Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1980)
There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk, 1956) + Zu neuen Ufern (1937)
Tender is the Night (Henry King, 1962)
Loin de Manhattan (Jean-Claude Biette, 1982)
Five Year Diary. Reel 22: A Short Affair and Going Crazy (1982), Reel 80: Emily Died (1994) (Anne Charlotte Robertson, 1981-97)
The Left-Handed Women (Die linkshändige Frau, Peter Handke, 1978)
L’Ombre des femmes (In the Shadow of Women, Philippe Garrel, 2015)
Os Verdes Anos (Paulo Rocha, 1963)
Faubourg Saint-Martin (Jean-Claude Guiguet, 1986) + Le mirage (1992)
O constructor d’anjos (Noronha da Costa, 1978)
L’Adolescent (Pierre Léon, 2001) + Deux Rémi, deux (2015)
The Cobweb (Vincente Minnelli, 1955)
(Now) (Maintenant entre parentheses) (Babette Mangolte, 1976) + There? Where? (1978), What Maisie Knew (1975)
De vita händerna (Rut Hillarp & Mihail Livada, 1950)
Prima Materia (Charlotte Pryce, 2015) + A Study in Natural Magic (2013), Looking Glass Insects (2012), Curious Light (2010-11)
Remains to Be Seen (Jane Aaron, 1983) + Interior Designs (1980), Traveling Light (1985)
Blind Light (Sarah Pucill, 2007)
Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015) + O pão (1959), Vale Abraão (1993)
Tortured Dust (Stan Brakhage, 1984) + «Hand painted films »: Untitled (For Marilyn) (1992), Autumnal (1993), Earthen Aerie (1995), Spring Cycle (1995), Shockingly Hot (1996), Cloud Chamber (1999), The Lion and the Zebra Make God’s Raw Jewels (1999), Stately Mansions Did Decree (1999), Seasons (2002)
Goldflocken (Werner Schroeter, 1976)
O Som da Terra a Tremer (Rita Azevedo Gomes, 1990) + Frágil Como o Mundo (2002)
L’Homme atlantique (Marguerite Duras, 1981)
Unguided Tour aka Letter from Venice (Susan Sontag, 1983)
In the Stone House (Jerome Hiler, 2012)
Spin (Hannes Schupbach, 2001) + Verso (2008), Contour (2011)
Intimations (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2015) + Song (2013), Spring (2013), Summer (2013), December (2014), February (2014), Avraham (2014), Prelude (2015)

 

STEPHEN GAUNSON

LECTURER, RMIT UNIVERSITY.

Shaun the Sheep Movie (Mark Burton, Richard Starzak, 2015)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Vinterberg, 2015)
Last Cab to Darwin (Jeremy Sims, 2015)
Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Best of Enemies (Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville, 2015)
The Silences (Margot Nash, 2015)
B Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin 1979-1989 (Jörg A. Hoppe, Heiko Lange, Klaus Maeck, 2015)
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)
Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée, 2014)
Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)
Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)

World Poll 2015

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)

FLORA GEORGIOU

INDIE FILMMAKER AND FREELANCE WRITER.
  1. Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
  2. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
  3. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  4. Caged (John Cromwell, 1950)
  5. Simshar (Rebecca Cremona, 2014)

 

JOHN GIANVITO

FILMMAKER LIVING IN BOSTON.

Drone (Tonje Hessen Schei, 2014)
Okinawa: The Afterburn (John Junkerman, 2015)
El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
Songs My Brothers Taught Me (Chloé Zhao, 2015)
Histoires d’Images, Images d’Histoire (Moira Chappedelaine-Vautier & René Vautier, 2014)
Toponimia (Jonathan Perel, 2015)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus, 2015)

 

ANTONY I. GINNANE

PRODUCER, DISTRIBUTOR AND COMMENTATOR, MELBOURNE / LOS ANGELES. PRESIDENT OF FG FILM PRODUCTIONS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD / IFM WORLD RELEASING INC.

My top 10 (eligibility: 2015 theatrical, festival or premiere DVD or VOD first release in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand) listed alphabetically by title:

A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor, 2014)
Chandor is fast becoming a fascinating blend of classicist with a cynical postmodern eye. A perfect cast headed by Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain is up there with The Godfather in its mix of violence, corruption and compromise.

Ich seh, ich seh (Goodnight Mommy, Veronika Franz, 2014)
A shocker of an ending throws this horror-thriller into very special territory. Moody, unsettling and consistently suspenseful.

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2015)
A mix of Cronenberg and Carpenter, a creepy coming of age horror story featuring a young woman trying to pass on a sexually transmitted curse before she runs out of time.

Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller 2015)
One of the world’s greatest working directors, Miller revisits the character from his 1979 breakthrough film, and presents a female driven rework of the hero myth with an extraordinary stripped back visually told piece. Best action movie of the year.

The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)
Ridley Scott continues his sci-fi explorations with a survival story that is part Robinson Crusoe and part Castaway. Drolly amusing and powerfully sentimental.

Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
The most beautiful film of the year. The mix of martial arts and languorous court life is deftly handled and the performances are very moving in a formalist way.

‘71 (Yann Demange, 2014)
Powerful largely first-person tale told over one long night in Northern Island in 1971, when a British soldier separated from his unit must survive the IRA. Demange never lets the pace slow.

She’s Funny that Way (Peter Bogdanovich, 2014)
Bogdanovich takes his love and affection for ‘30s and ‘40s Hollywood and presents a comedy “screwball” style in the present day New York. Nicely cast with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Anniston, its determinedly old-fashioned – yet charming and sentimental.

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve, 2015)
Villeneuve brings power and tightly wound suspense to this Mexican narco-action thriller that balances individual heroism with big picture government paranoia.

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako 2014)
A world of peace and tranquillity is abruptly disturbed by Jihadi invaders. Beautiful, serene and yet chilling.

Other titles that have excited or inspired me during the year include:

  1. The Gambler (Rupert Wyatt, 2014)
  2. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
  3. Paddington (Paul King, 2014)
  4. Big Eyes (Tim Burton, 2014)
  5. Taken 3 (Oliver Megaton, 2015)
  6. Black Sea (Kevin Macdonald, 2014)
  7. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2014)
  8. Leviafan (Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
  9. Focus (Glenn Ficarra & John Requa, 2015)
  10. Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015)
  11. The Deadlands (Toa Fraser, 2014)
  12. Amy (Asif Kapadia, 2015)
  13. Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua, 2015)
  14. Irrational Man (Woody Allen, 2015)
  15. Fehér Isten (White God, Kornel Mundruczo, 2015)
  16. Mita Tova (The Farewell Party, Tal Granit & Sharon Mayman, 2015)
  17. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prism of Belief (Alex Gibney, 2015)
  18. 18. Iris (Albert Maysles, 2015)
  19. Dope (Rick Famuyiwa, 2015)
  20. The Gift (Joel Edgerton, 2015)
  21. Straight Outta Compton (F. Gary Gray, 2015)
  22. Everest (Baltasar Kormákur, 2015)
  23. Mississippi Grind (Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden, 2015)
  24. Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)
  25. Secret in their Eyes (Billy Ray, 2015)
  26. Beasts of No Nation (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2015)
  27. The Program (Stephen Frears, 2015)
  28. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  29. In the Heart of the Sea (Ron Howard, 2015)
  30. 99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani, 2015)
World Poll 2015

A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor, 2014)

LEO GOLDSMITH

CO-EDITOR OF THE FILM SECTION OF THE BROOKLYN RAIL.
  1. As Mil e uma Noites (Arabian Nights, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  2. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
  3. Fi rassi rond-point (A Roundabout in My Head, Hassan Ferhani, 2015)
  4. Deep Sleep (Basma Alsharif, 2014)
  5. Of the North (Dominic Gagnon, 2015)
  6. Kissing Point (Peggy Ahwesh, 2015)
  7. The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
  8. Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)
  9. The Thoughts That Once We Had / Juke: Passages from the Films of Spencer Williams (Thom Andersen, 2015)
  10. Will You Dance With Me? (Derek Jarman, 1984)

 

NATALIE GRAVENOR

FILM CURATOR AND FESTIVAL PROGRAMMER. MANAGES ACQUISITIONS AND CONTENT DEVELOPMENT FOR THE BERLIN-BASED ARTHOUSE VOD PLATFORM REALEYZ.TV.
  1. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
    2015 is turning out to be a banner year for lesbian love stories. The year began with The Duke of Burgundy, Peter Strickland’s homage to and deconstruction of European soft-focus erotica. If men like to watch here, that’s fine, but despite Strickland’s evoking all tropes of two women getting it on for the benefit of the male gaze, The Duke of Burgundy is not a just a lez tease or movie buff joke (although the wicked humour is indeed one of the film’s many strong points) but also a deeply emotionally satisfying study of a relationship and how any kind of roleplay, BDSM or otherwise, figures into it. Duke is just as intoxicating and addictive as Carol, that other lesbian love story bookending 2015.
  2. Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2015)
    Never mind the guided tours retracing the steps of Victoria and her four friends in central Berlin – it’s not Sebastian Schipper’s fault that his mold-breaking (as opposed to path-breaking – nobody will likely do this for an encore or even a variation thereof, except maybe as parody) street song turned urban crime drama has become yet another advertisement for the hipster capital of the world. Or maybe it is – Berlin has rarely been as poetic, romantic and menacing as in Victoria. The 140-minute film was shot in one take (the last of three runs became what ended up on screen), which is as thrilling and unpredictable for the audience as it probably was for the actors and cinematographer. (A joke circulated that when Victoria swept the German Film Awards, the redundant-feeling editors’ branch voted en bloc against it.) Extra points for choosing a route that in such compressed space encapsulates many aspects of the city and captures the tension between them: from the tourist sites of Friedrichstrasse in the Mitte district to club culture (OK, the subterranean disco was created especially for the shoot, but the legendary Cookies was actually nearby) and low income housing with migrant populations.
  3. Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle, 2015)
    Aside from a borderline corny ending – Jobs finally acknowledges his illegitimate daughter as he, with the iMac, conceives a product that truly changes life as we know it and isn’t just a beautifully designed but ill-conceived white, or rather beige elephant – Steve Jobs is another acting tour de force. Like Victoria, Steve Jobs challenges its actors to deploy the long-take, real-time performance of theatre and the risks it entails. Cast totally against type as Apple marketing exec Joanna Hoffman, Kate Winslet steals the film from Michael Fassbender’s creepy, almost self-eradicating metamorphosis into Jobs. Hoffman’s and Jobs’ argument five minutes before product launch about whether or not Apple Macintosh needs to say “hello” upon booting speaks volumes about the power of marketing and man’s relationship to machines that may someday surpass his mental ability.
  4. B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin (Jörg A. Hoppe, Klaus Maeck, Heiko Lange, Miriam Dehne, 2015)
    West Berlin subculture in the decade immediately preceding the fall of the Wall is not exactly terra incognita. Yet the documentary B-Movie manages to give the oft-told tale a new spin. Directed by a team made up of both contemporaries – veteran music manager and film producer Klaus Maeck (most recently known for co-producing Fatih Akin’s films), music video director Miriam Dehne, TV journalist Jörg A. Hoppe – and emerging filmmaker Heiko Lange, who didn’t experience the phenomenon first hand, B-Movie features Manchester-born, Berlin-based producer-musician-scenester Mark Reeder as the film’s first person narrator. The likeable, witty and insightful Reeder is both outsider and ultimate insider, eventually becoming the go-to guy in Berlin for all matters post-punk and later in the decade, early techno. This intergenerational inclusion of witnesses and more distanced and a clear foregrounding of point of view (as opposed to some claim of wider “validity”), along with the highly imaginative weaving together of archive material, set B-Movie apart. There are priceless sound bites like the Einstürzende Neubauten frontman’s manifesto against commerciality and rare performance clips as well as stock footage, fiction and non-fiction films that don’t function so much as references or artefacts on their own terms but rather to illustrate the mood of ‘80s West Berlin or constitute parts of micro-narratives (along with very sparsely deployed moments of reenactment) within the film. This approach to using archive material isn’t without its detractors – they think it cannibalises the material and obscures its production context; the footage becomes a stooge to the filmmaker’s overriding agenda. Is B-Movie’s use of archive footage the audiovisual equivalent of the sampling technique of that other ‘80s cultural touchstone, hiphop?
  5. Meistras ir Tatjana (Master and Tatyana, Giedre Zickyte, 2015)
    An East bloc companion piece to B-Movie by way of Finding Vivian Maier, the Lithuanian documentary Meistras ir Tatjana by Giedre Zickyte portrays Soviet photographer Vitas Luckus who became the charismatic and volatile centre of a Bohemian community in ‘70s and ‘80s Vilnius. His stunning black and white photography was highly stylised (high contrast, deliberate use of unusual angle and framing, distorted close ups) as it was brutally realistic, capturing the everyday life of the marginalised in late Soviet times. That wasn’t what the authorities wanted to see, so Luckus’ work was no longer exhibited (frustrating, no doubt, but not diminishing his stature in the Soviet underground art scene and even outside the USSR), and he became the object of KGB surveillance. Luckus was the master; Tatyana Aldge is his wife and most frequent camera subject. The documentary begins with her present day incarnation and follows as she looks back on what led up to her fleeing to the US in 1991, a few years after Vitas’ mysterious suicide, with only her and Vitas’ adopted daughter, 50 dollars and Luckus’ entire archive. Tatyana’s loving, yet unsparing reminiscences and interviews with Vitas’ artistic contemporaries complement and counterpoint the generous presentation of Luckus’ photography. By film’s end, at least what Tatyana has come to find out her husband’s death is revealed, and she finds particularly satisfying closure. Meistras ir Tatjana sets a new gold standard for the cinematic presentation of another art form and unfolding the story of its creators in a moving but non-sensationalist way.
World Poll 2015

The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)

CARMEN GRAY

FREELAND FILM CRITIC. SELECTION COMMITTEE FOR BERLIN CRITICS’ WEEK.

Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden Days, Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
Subtly complex and emotionally resonant with a vivid nostalgia and lightness of touch: still nobody does faltering young love like the French.

Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
More vibrant life was infused into the low-budget US indie with this wonderfully human, funny and street-raw snapshot of the LA underbelly.

Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov, 2015)
This lyrical, multi-layered meditation on the way we’ve imagined Europe couldn’t be more timely.

Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)
A revelation that ramps up suspense but finds its core in an emotionally hammering depiction of hope’s survival in the most arid of circumstances.

Sangue del mio sangue (Blood of My Blood, Marco Bellocchio, 2015)
Inventive flair and idiosyncratic humour characterise this wholly surprising mix, which featured the year’s most powerfully strange, defiant end sequence.

Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, 2015)
Creaking gloom and obscure, near-mystical apocalypse at sea – amid all the ship-set films of late this stands out as beautiful, hypnotic and unnerving filmmaking.

Coma (Sara Fattahi, 2015)
A wholly surprising film that shows the suffocating impact of war and how it wears civilians down from an unsentimental and aesthetically compelling perspective.

Roukli (Veiko Ounpuu, 2015)
Real filmmaking of personal conviction and daring produced this alluringly strange, intuitive collaborative experiment and an alternative Estonian “anarcho-syndicalist” production model.

Under the Sun (V paprscích slunce, Vitaly Mansky, 2015)
A fascinating exercise in propaganda, performativity and resistance that uses ideology’s machine to lay bare how it works.

The Ascent (Voskhozhdenie, Larisa Shepitko, 1977)
The classic screening of the year was at Karlovy Vary, with this bold Soviet-era masterpiece of partisan-rebel idealism beset by a winter bleak with snow and Judases.

 

JAIME GRIJALBA

CHILEAN CRITIC, HAS WRITTEN FOR FANDOR, FILMMAKER MAG, MUBI, TWITCHFILM, EL AGENTE CINE AND LA FUGA. WANTS TO SHOOT HIS FEATURE DEBUT IN 2016.

For this list I go for 2015 pure releases. If it was originally released in any other year it does not count. My list includes films, shorts and a truncated popular trilogy.

  1. As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto (Arabian Nights: Volume 1, The Restless One, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  2. As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 2, O Desolado (Arabian Nights: Volume 2, The Desolate One, Miguel Gomes, 2015)
  3. El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
  4. Nie yin niang (The Assassin, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  5. Rabu&Pisu (Love & Peace, Sion Sono, 2015)
  6. World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt, 2015)
  7. Riaru onigokko (Tag, Sion Sono, 2015)
  8. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
  9. Chappie (Neill Blomkamp, 2015)
  10. The Martian (Ridley Scott, 2015)

 

VICTOR GUIMARÃES

FILM CRITIC (CINÉTICA) & PROGRAMMER (FORUMDOC.BH/CINECLUBE COMUM), BRAZIL.

Best films of the year
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero) (Abbas Fahdel, 2015) (hors concours)
The Visit (M. Night Shyamalan, 2015)
Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
Balikbayan #1 Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III (Kidlat Tahimik, 2015)
Sem Título #1: Dance of Leitfossil + Sem Título #2: La Mer Larme (Carlos Adriano, 2015)
Wayward Fronds (Fern Silva, 2014)
Home (Rafat Alzakout, 2015)
João Bénard da Costa – Outros amarão as coisas que eu amei (João Bénard da Costa – Others Will Love the Things I Loved, Manuel Mozos, 2014)
Teobaldo Morto, Romeu Exilado (Rodrigo de Oliveira, 2014)

Best retrospectives I had the chance to attend
Cinema Estrutural (Caixa Cultural/Rio de Janeiro) curated by Patrícia Mourão and Theo Duarte
O mundo de Kira Muratova (Indie Festival/Belo Horizonte) curated by Aaron Cutler
O universo infernal da Paraísos Artificiais (FestCurtasBH/Belo Horizonte) curated by Francis Vogner dos Reis

World Poll 2015

Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015)

EVGENY GUSYATINSKIY

PROGRAMMER AT THE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ROTTERDAM.
  1. Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis, 2015)
  2. No Place For Fools (Oleg Mavromatti, 2015)
  3. Sobytie (The Event, Sergei Loznitsa, 2015)
  4. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
  5. Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  6. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015)
  7. Counting (Jem Cohen, 2015)
  8. Lampedusa (Peter Schreiner, 2015)
  9. Sayonara (Koji Fukada, 2015)
  10. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson, 2015)
  11. La calle de la amargura (Bleak Street, Arturo Ripstein, 2015)
  12. Hiso Hiso Boshi (The Whispering Star, Sion Sono, 2015)
  13. Nie yin niang (The Assassin,Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
  14. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemeteryof Splendour, ApichatpongWeerasethakul, 2015)
  15. Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
  16. Angely Revoluciji (Angels of Revolution, Alexei Fedorchenko, 2014)
  17. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  18. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  19. Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, 2015)
  20. The Smell of Us (Larry Clark, 2014)
  21. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

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