ENTRIES IN PART 7:



Maria San Filippo

Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies, Goucher College (USA); ItinerantCinephile.com

Favorite 5 Films of 2018 (in order of preference)
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
An impeccably crafted, emotionally restrained yet still heart-rending roundelay spanning 15 years and four countries in just 91 minutes of screen time. Captivating performances by Tomaz Kot and, in a breakout role, Joanna Kulig. Also the year’s best trailer.

Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
Stephen Metcalf of Slate’s Culture Gabfest said it best in calling it “a parable about a black woman…holding the universe together while a white guy walks away with the profits.” Regina Hall is a marvel. Bujalski’s best since Beeswax.

First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Somehow simultaneously despairing and hopeful, Schrader’s meditation on keeping the faith at the end of days captures environmental and emotional devastation with equal power though the respective canvases of wintry upstate New York and Ethan Hawke’s face. I’m still wrestling with Schrader’s choice to cut into the sober realism with transcendental sequences at mid-point and film’s end, but I commend the bravery.

Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
The genre’s archetypal standoffs – between community and outsiders, the individual and the group, tradition and progress – are recast for a world assailed by globalization and xenophobia, underscored by its woman director’s knowing but not judgmental appraisal of masculinity’s codes. Like Support the Girls, a quietly forceful reminder that (as a wise woman once said) we are stronger together.

MATANGI / MAYA | M.I.A. (Steve Loveridge, 2018)
This infectious, propulsive portrait of an artist-musician-activist whose penchant for performance resulted in the archival treasure trove of personal footage that compiles this documentary. As several reviewers noted, in vindicating M.I.A., this film talks back on behalf of one of many women lately derided and belittled for baring their conscience and speaking their mind.

Favorite 5 Scenes of 2018 (in alphabetical order)
Watching sunset/Hae-Mi’s dance in Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
The dance to “Rock Around the Clock” in Cold War
Juliette Binoche’s Isabelle hearing her fortune read as the credits roll in the last shot of Un beau soleil interior (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
Cleo’s childbirth in Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
On the roof in the final scene of Support the Girls; in critic Anne Cohen’s incisive observation, it’s “both a release and a call to arms — and don’t we all need that right now?”

CHRISTOPHER SANDA

Film Distribution and Marketing Professional and Amateur Film Critic

1. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
The power of this beautifully cinematic film comes from it’s elegant application of some very basic and bare film technique. Slow pan camera movements cover every space and make us feel at home, and the use of natural sound in lieu of a score creates honest emotion for each scene, ranging from intimate to agonizing. Purportedly a very personal film for director Alfonso Cuarón, Roma is a stunning portrait of family life we can all appreciate and aspire to relate to on some level.
2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
First Reformed is an audacious return to form for prolific filmmaker Paul Schrader. Its storyline of an old man in a new, changing world is comfortable territory for the director, but there’s nothing comfortable about this film for the audience. Ethan Hawke’s daring performance of a man becoming slowly unhinged serves as the anchor of a film that builds to an incendiary final act that’s a cinematic assault in the best possible way.
3. Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
Some elements aside, Annihilation is a film that demonstrates great narrative control. Director Alex Garland finds a delicate balance in the use of it’s beautiful but terrifying physical environment and cryptic character ideologies to embody the overarching themes of human creation and self-destruction. This is a striking, provocative, and daring film that often defies convention to exemplify the power of the sci-fi genre.
4. Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)
Told from the perspective of Elsie, an introverted teenage girl, Bo Burnham’s feature directorial debut is a sensitive and insightful examination of a generation that’s often misunderstood. Whether poking gentle fun at Elise or her awkward but well-intentioned father, this film tells both sides of the story to offer a thoughtful examination of what it’s like to grow up in our hyper-connected modern world.
5. Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
This year’s winner of the Palme d’Or, Shoplifters challenges the audience’s moral values by finding good in people we would be justified in condemning. Expertly designed, this film slowly paints a portrait of a financially challenged, but emotionally nurtured and secure family only to tear it all down in a final act revelation that we somehow feel we should have seen coming.
6. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Spike Lee’s best in years, BlacKkKlansman showcases the filmmaker’s innate ability to blend witty storytelling with urgent social commentary. In his take of how a black police officer manages to infiltrate the KKK in the 1970s, Lee embraces the irony and outrageousness of it all. The film’s potent anti-climax, followed by its documentary epilogue brilliantly demonstrates that the America then is very much still our America now.
7. Three Identical Strangers (Tim Wardle, 2018)
Tim Wardle’s documentary is a rollercoaster ride that starts with the much-publicized discovery of three identical triplets reunited after their lives coincidentally intersect in the 1980’s.  Their newly found celebrity and financial success give way to a shocking conspiracy around why they were separated, proving that life is truly often stranger than fiction.
8. Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada, 2018)
Blindspotting is an ambitious film that combines social satire and poetic rap verse to address issues of gentrification and cultural identity affecting Oakland, California. Estrada’s ferocious storytelling feels honest and relevant, and the film’s two charismatic leads (who also wrote the script), Daveed Diggs and Rafel Casal, are so ardent in their convictions that it’s hard not to be pulled into their world.
9. American Animals (Bart Layton, 2018)
American Animals delivers its true-crime storyline using a creative blend of documentary footage and narrative filmmaking. The successful execution is matched by the emotional impact created as characters initially driven by simple boredom and numbness finally recognize and struggle with the consequences of their actions.
10. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
While still occasionally falling prey to genre conventions, Ari Aster’s Hereditary feels fresh and unexpected. Severe personal tragedy is the driver for the narrative’s horror, hauntingly realized by committed performances from Toni Collette and Alex Wolff. The film’s macabre, ritualistic conclusion is so bizarre you can’t help but appreciate its vision.

Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)

JOSÉ SARMIENTO HINOJOSA

Desistfilm.com CO-DIRECTOR, FILM CRITIC

Arthouse (only 2018 films):
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi Gan, 2018)
Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Changdong)
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
Expiación (Raúl Perrone, 2018)
Un couteau dans le cœur (Knife + Heart, Yann Gonzalez, 2018)
The Image you Missed (Donal Foreman, 2018)
Permanent Green Light (Dennis Cooper, Zac Farley, 2018)
The Pain of Others (Penny Lane, 2018) + Watching the Pain of Others (Chloè Galibert-Laine, 2018)
Corsario (Raúl Perrone, 2018)
Film Catastrophe (Paul Grivas, 2018)
Process (The Trial, Sergei Loznitsa, 2018)
Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
Bixa Travesti (Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman, 2018)
Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz, Ruth Beckermann, 2018)
The Fall of Lenin (Svitlana Shymko, 2018)
Mescaline (Clarisse Hahn, 2018)

Experimental (2017 & 2018)
Tondal’s Vision (Stephen Broomer, 2018)
At the Horizon (Manuel Knapp, Takashi Makino, 2017)
DOMUS (Rhayne Vermette, 2017)
Altiplano (Malena Szlam, 2018)
Momentum 142310 (Manuel Knapp, 2018)
Phantom Ride Phantom (Siegfried A. Fruhauf, 2017)
Or/or, Hawick, May 18 (Jacques Perconte, 2018)
Blue (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2018)
Passage (Ajla Odobasic, 2018)
Plus Ultra (Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado, 2017)
The Glass Note (Mary Helena Clark, 2018)
Words, Planets (Laida Lertxundi, 2018)
Black Pond (Jessica Sarah Rinland, 2018)
Never Twice the Same Color (Guli Silberstein 2018)
Valeria Street (Janie Geiser, 2018)
Watching the Detectives (Chris Kennedy, 2017)
Screen (Christoph Girardet, Matthias Müller, 2018)
View from Above (Hiwa K, 2018)
QR Code/Film (#2) (Antoni Pinent, 2018)
La Película Infinita (Leandro Listorti, 2018)

Didn’t quite hit the spot
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)

Crushed expectations
Coincoin et les z’inhumains (Coincoin and the Extra-Humans, Bruno Dumont, 2018): Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, 2018)
Good Luck (Ben Russell, 2017)
Madame Hyde (Mrs. Hyde, Serge Bozon, 2017)
Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)

ADRIAN SCHOBER

MELBOURNE-BASED FILM WRITER AND CRITIC

My Top Ten (in alphabetical order)

  1. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
  2. Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Alexandra Dean, 2017)
  3. A Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018)
  4. Christopher Robin (Marc Forster, 2018)
  5. Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio, 2017)
  6. First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
  7. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
  8. The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)
  9. A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
  10. The Wife (Björn Runge, 2017)

Howard Schumann

FILM CRITIC FOR THE CRITICAL CRITICS

1. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2018)
Lean on Pete is the odyssey of a 16-year-old boy (Charlie Plummer) who becomes attached to a doomed horse and undertakes a desperate quest for support in a world that has suddenly left him alone to make sense of an America that has lost its moorings. It is Plummer’s beautiful and subtle performance that grants us access to our own innermost experience of what it means to feel isolated in a society that we can no longer call our home.
2. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)
Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is a remembrance of Cuaron’s childhood years in the Mexico City neighborhood called “Roma,” and the part played in his upbringing by Cleo (Yalitza Apiricio), a servant of Mixteco background. The film has both an epic and an intimate quality, epic in its ability to capture details of the changing nature of Mexican society in 1970 and intimate in its sharing of a man’s deepest memories.
3. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Lee Chang-dong’s Burning (Beoning) is set in the rural South Korean countryside near Paju City close to the North Korean border. Outwardly unexpressive but inwardly volatile, Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in), a young delivery man, aspires to be a writer but is looking for the world to provide the story. By providing an undercurrent of tension and increasing anxiety, Burning evokes the sense that something is very wrong, something in the air that cannot be defined, but one that only the viewer can discover.
4. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Christian Petzold’s Transit persuades us that we are witnessing a drama set in World War II. When the film moves, however, to depict a modern day environment in Marseilles, France, however, we are deposited in a bewildering no-man’s land of thwarted expectations. The film’s comparison between the fascist world of the 1930s and 40s and today’s anti-immigrant sentiment and the rise of neo-Nazism is unmistakable.
5. Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018)
Joel Edgerton`s Boy Erased  tells the moving story of Jared Eamons (Lucas Hedges), an 18-year-old gay college student and his struggle for self-acceptance in the face of rejection by those whose support he desperately needs. As the troubled teen forced to undergo gay conversion therapy, Hedges delivers a sensitive and nuanced performance while Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman provide exceptional support.
6. En El Septimo Dia (On the Seventh Day, Jim McKay, 2017)*
Jim McKay’s gentle but overwhelming film charts eight days in the life of José, an undocumented Mexican immigrant and food-delivery guy who sleeps in a Sunset Park, Brooklyn apartment alongside nine other undocumented Mexicans. José needs to convince his boss to let him play in a championship fútbol match on a Sunday that he’s ordered to work. But given José’s essential alienation and the lack of a social safety net, the film teeters on the edge of despair.
7. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018)
Written by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Marielle Heller’s comedy/drama Can You Ever Forgive Me? is based on the true story of author Lee Israel whose fraud is described in her 2008 memoir of the same name. Heller does not stand in judgment and does not overplay her excesses. Indeed, in Melissa McCarthy’s sensitive performance, she becomes a sympathetic figure, able to display moments of vulnerability that fracture her cantankerous front.
8. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville, 2018)
Fred Rogers’ lifelong devotion to building an alternative community that could serve as a model of inclusion for children and adults to emulate is movingly documented by Oscar winning director Morgan Neville in Won’t You Be My Neighbor? The film is an inspiring tribute to Rogers, whose ability to touch the lives of children and make them feel special will always be remembered with affection.
9. Estiu 1993 (Summer 1993, Carla Simon, 2017)*
Summer 1993 is a sensitive and nuanced hymn to childhood whose magic is interrupted by the sudden dark intrusions of the adult world. As the foundations of six-year-old Frida’s belief in the world as a safe place are shattered, she must come to terms with living with a new set of parents in a rural Catalan village far removed from her childhood home in Barcelona. Simón guides the film to its stunning conclusion relying only on the resilience of childhood innocence and the impeccable strength of love to achieve its results.
10. Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz, (2017)*
Foxtrot reveals itself less by narrative than by images: a narrow road in an empty stretch of desert, a lonely camel meandering through a checkpoint, a young recruit’s gyrating dance in the middle of the road, soldiers in a panic opening fire. It is not a political film, however, but a family drama that has universal meaning to anyone who has suffered the unexpected loss of a loved one. The title suggests that life unfolds like a series of dance steps: forward, side, and back in a preordained pattern, only to end up in the same place in which it began.
11. Green Book (Peter Farelly, (2018)
In Peter Farrelly’s warm and human comedy/drama Green Book, Jazz pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) undertakes a concert tour of the segregated deep south in 1962 together with Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Moretnsen), a night club bouncer who is known to his Italian mob pals in the Bronx as Tony “Lip.” While Tony was hired to do the driving, his main job was to provide physical protection for Shirley from any run-ins with the locals south of the Mason-Dixon Line.
12. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
Leave No Trace is the story of Will (Ben Foster), a troubled army veteran suffering from PTSD who lives with his teenage daughter Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) in a camp they built themselves in the woods near Portland, Oregon. The film is an uncompromising look at a non-conforming father and his young daughter living off the grid, doing their best to survive in a society they do not understand or want to be a part of.
13. Beautiful Boy (Felix von Groeningen, 2018)
Beautiful Boy is the heartbreaking story of Bay Area journalist David Scheff (Steve Carell), a devoted father who is relentless in his determination to save his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) from his addiction to the potent narcotic Crystal Meth, but his powerlessness to effect change stirs up feelings in him of inadequacy and guilt. The film is based on David and Nic’s real-life story as told in two memoirs which describe the bright and articulate eighteen-year-old high school senior’s descent into a world of self-abnegation.
14. Walk With Me (Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh, 2017)*
A joyous documentary about Zen Buddhist teacher, writer, and spiritual leader Thich Nhát Hanh who was called “an apostle of peace and nonviolence” by Martin Luther King Jr. Walk with Me was filmed at the Plum Village monastery in Southwest France established by Hanh in 1982 after being exiled from his native Vietnam for his campaign of nonviolence protesting the Vietnam War.
15. Les Gardiennes (The Guardians, Xavier Beauvois, 2017)*
The Guardians is a superbly realized and emotionally engaging film that dramatizes the strength and courage of the women left behind during World War I when all able-bodied men were fighting in the trenches. A quiet, contemplative film, it is beautifully photographed by Caroline Champetier who captures the bucolic loveliness of south central France.
16. Zama (Lucretia Martel, 2017)*
Based on the novel of the same name by Antonio di Benedetto and set on the coast of Paraguay in the late 1700s, Martel’s first feature in nine years explores the tragic legacy of European colonialism in South America through the gradual descent into madness of Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a bureaucratic functionary of imperial Spain existing on the periphery of power. Zama challenges us to look past its ambiguity and lack of a coherent narrative to discover its slowly unfolding treasures.
17. The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2017)*
“Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau) had a promising future as a champion rodeo bronco rider. Then, during his last competition, he is thrown from his horse and suffers a life-threatening head injury. He is told by his doctor that his career is over and he can never ride a rodeo again. Zhao’s beautiful film transports us to a world known by few, the romance of the American West as seen through the eyes of a young Native American respectful of the land, its creatures and everyone around him.”
18. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
First Reformed is the story of a lonely, tormented priest (Ethan Hawke) seeking redemption for the sins he believes threaten the world. Thinking it will make the world a better place, the gaunt, sickly priest wrestles with how to respond to the possibility that the Earth is facing environmental catastrophe. First Reformed challenges us to confront issues that many filmmakers would rather avoid – what does it mean to be human? Does our life have any meaning other than the one we ascribe to it?
19. Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
Shoplifters is focused on marginalized people existing on the fringes of Japanese society who barely eke out a living by engaging in activities that skirt the letter of the law. It is the story of flawed people who have patched together a working “family” of outcasts who believe that the impulse to survive and create a nurturing environment is more important than strict adherence to society’s norms. What we take with us is Kore-eda’s empathy displayed in the beauty of small moments.
20. Jonathan (Bill Oliver, 2018)
Ansel Elgort plays the double role of two brothers, John and Jonathan, each with distinct personalities but who share the same body. Jonathan is a quiet and intelligent film that is basically about trust and the compromises required in sharing your life with someone you care deeply about. It is about loving people as if your life depends on it. In Jonathan’s case, it does.

*Released in Canada in 2018

Best Unreleased
Sekala Nishkala (The Seen and Unseen, Kamila Andini, Indonesia, 2017)*
In The Seen and Unseen, Andini evokes a dreamlike tale of childhood that lives on the border between the objective world and that of the spirit. Eliciting strikingly real performances from the child actors, the film explores the influence of tradition, the innocence of childhood, and the emotional strength required to cope with trauma.

Honorable Mention
Three Identical Strangers (Tim Wardle, 2018), Grass (Hong Sang-soo, 2018), RBG (Julie Cohen, Betsy West, 2018), Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017), Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018), Trophy (Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz, 2018).

Disappointments:
Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018), Diane, Fahrenheit 11/9 (Michael Moore, 2018), BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)

Not Seen:
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018), The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018), Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)

Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)

Vladimir Seput

Curator and translator, London, UK

In no particular order:
Casanovagen (Casanova Gene, Luise Donschen, 2018)
Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
★ (Johann Lurf, 2017)
The Glass Note (Mary Helena Clark, 2018)
Chamissos Schatten (Chamisso’s Shadow, Ulrike Ottinger, 2016)
The Grand Bizzare (Jodie Mack, 2018)
Cocote (Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, 2017)
Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)
Phantasiesätze (Fantasy Sentences, Dane Komljen, 2017)
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
+
Masterclass and screenings of Rose Lowder’s films at LUX, London
Forensic Architecture exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Ericka Beckman exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection, London

CHRISTOPHER SIKICH

TEACHER OF BIOLOGY, PHOTOGRAPHER OF LIVE MUSIC AND NATURE, FILM SNOB; BASED IN PHILADELPHIA, PA, USA
  1. BlacKkKlansman(Spike Lee, 2018)
  2. Manbiki kazoku(Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
  3. Roma(Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
  4. First Reformed(Paul Schrader, 2017)
  5. Beoning(Burning, Chang-dong Lee, 2018)
  6. The Other Side of the Wind(Orson Welles, 2018)
  7. Three Identical Strangers(Tim Wardle, 2018)
  8. The Favourite(Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
  9. Sorry to Bother You(Boots Riley, 2018)
  10. You Were Really Never Here(Lynee Ramsay, 2017)

CHRISTOPHER SMALL

Writer-filmmaker-critic, UK

Films of the year
La Flor (The Flower, Mariano Llinás, 2018)
Sǐ línghún (Dead Souls, Wang Bing, 2018)
Sedução da Carne (Seduction of the Flesh, Julio Bressane, 2018)
Classical Period (Ted Fendt, 2018)
Watching the Detectives (Chris Kennedy, 2017)
A Portuguesa (The Portuguese Woman, Rita Azevedo Gomes, 2018)
Terra (Earth, Hiroatsu Suzuki and Rossana Torres, 2018)
Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)

…with help from
The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack, 2018)
Monrovia, Indiana (Frederick Wiseman, 2018)
Le discours d’acceptation glorieux de Nicolas Chauvin (The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin, Benjamin Crotty, 2018)
Yara (Abbas Fahdel, 2018)
A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)

+ runners-up
Tarde para morir joven (Too Late to Die Young, Dominga Sotomayor, 2018), Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater, 2017), Das schönste Land der Welt (The Most Beautiful Country in the World, Želimir Žilnik, 2018), Communion: Los Angeles (Adam Levine and Peter Bo Rappmund, 2018), Mission Impossible: Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018), Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018), Amanda (Mikhaël Hers, 2018), Brisseau, 251 rue Marcadet (Laurent Achard, 2018), Veslemøy’s Song (Sofia Bohdanowicz, 2018)

Special Mentions
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018), The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018), Gens du lac (People of the Lake, Jean-Marie Straub, 2018), Ray Meets Helen (Alan Rudolph, 2018), Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018), Minatomachi (Inland Sea, Kazuhiro Soda, 2018), Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber, 2018), Tirss, rihlat alsoo’oud ila almar’i (Erased, Ascent of the Invisible, Ghassan Halwani, 2018), Alles ist gut (All Good, Eva Trobisch, 2018), Jae-hoe (Old Love, Park Ki-Yong, 2017), Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018), Le Cartographe (Nathan Douglas, 2018), Zìyóu xíng (A Family Tour, Ying Liang, 2018), Death Wish (Eli Roth, 2018), Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes (Graham L. Carter, 2018), Las herederas (Marcelo Martinessi, 2018)

Worst
Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)

Some revelations from out of the past
[Tulipani] (1918?, 35mm), 11×14 (James Benning, 1977, 35mm), Abwege (The Devious Path, G.W. Pabst, 1928, 35mm), Ahdat sanawovach el-djamr (Chronicle of the Smouldering Years, Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, 1975), Anna (Alberto Grifi and Massimo Sarchielli, 1975), Al hayatt al yawmiyah fi quariah suriyah (Everyday Life in a Syrian Village, Omar Amiralay, 1974), Bang Bang (Andrea Tonacci, 1970), Caravan (Erik Charell, 1934, 35mm), Das Mädchen vom Moorhof (The Maid of the Moors, Douglas Sirk, 1935), Der Apfel ist ab (The Original Sin, Helmut Käutner, 1948), Der Katzensteg (Regina, or the Sins of the Father, Gerhard Lamprecht, 1927, 16mm), Der lachende Mann – Bekenntnisse eines Mörders (The Laughing Man, Walter Heynowski and Gerhard Scheumann, 1966), Die andere Seite (The Other Side, Heinz Paul, 1931, 35mm), Die Halbstarken (The Wolfpack, George Tressler, 1956), Enamorada (Emilio Fernández, 1946), The Entity (Sidney J. Furie, 1982), Flame in the Streets (Roy Ward Baker, 1961), Garmon (Accordion, Igor Savchenko, 1934, 35mm), Jalsaghar (The Music Room, Satyajit Ray, 1958), James Benning: Circling the Image (Reinard Wulf, 2003), La maman et la putain (The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustache, 1973), La ragazza in vetrina (Girl in the Window, Luciano Emmer, 1961), Lan tou He (Dirty Ho, Lau Kar-leung, 1979), The Last Run (Richard Fleischer, 1971), Let’s Go Native (Leo McCarey, 1930, 35mm), Letjat schurawli (Cranes are Flying, Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957), Ludwig II: Glanz und Ende eines Königs (Ludwig II, Helmut Käutner, 1955), Nayak (The Hero, Satyajit Ray, 1966), Novgorodtsy (A Good Lad, Boris Barnet, 1943), Nuestra Película (Our Movie, Luis Ospina, 1993), Opfergang (The Great Sacrifice, Veit Harlan, 1944), Opium (Robert Reinert, 1919), Parade (Jacques Tati, 1974), Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (Charles Waters, 1960), Prisioneros de la tierra (Prisoners of the Earth, Mario Soffici, 1939), The Reckless Moment (Max Ophuls, 1949), Rosa la rose, fille publique (Paul Vecchiali, 1986), Seed (John M. Stahl, 1934, 35mm), Shûu (Sudden Rain, Mikio Naruse, 1956), Sinong lumikha ng yoyo? Sinong lumikha ng moon buggy? (Who Invented the Moon Buggy? Who Invented the Yo-Yo?, Kidlat Tahimik, 1982), Sleepless in Seattle (Nora Ephron, 1993, 35mm), So Is This (Michael Snow, 1982), Sōshun (Early Spring, Yasujiro Ozu, 1956), Suzanne Simonin, la Religieuse de Denis Diderot (The Nun, Jacques Rivette, 1966), Tengoku to Jigoku (High and Low, Akira Kurosawa, 1963), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974), Tian bian yi duo yun (The Wayward Cloud, Tsai Ming-Liang, 2005), Une affaire des femmes (Story of Women, Claude Chabrol, 1988), Victimas del pecado (Victims of Sin, Emilio Fernández, 1951), Waga Koi wa Moenu (Flame of My Love, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1949), Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970), Winstanley (Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo, 1975), Women of All Nations (Raoul Walsh, 1931, 35mm)

Jordan M. Smith

Cinephile

My list consists of the best new films I watched in 2018, regardless of their release status post-festival run.
1. Minding The Gap (Bing Liu, 2018)
2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
3. Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
4. Lazzaro Felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
5. Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)
6. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
7. A Bread Factory: Parts 1 & 2 (Patrick Wang, 2018)
8. Sorry To Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
9. In My Room (Ulrich Köhler, 2018)
10. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
11. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
12. Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)
13. Friday’s Child (A.J. Edwards, 2018)
14. The Feeling of Being Watched (Assia Boundaoui, 2018)
15. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
16. Arábia (Araby, João Dumans, Affonso Uchoa, 2017)
17. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
18. The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan, 2018)
19. Yours In Sisterhood (Irene Lusztig, 2018)
20. Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)

Arábia (Araby, João Dumans, Affonso Uchoa, 2017)

Ben Soper

Toronto based screenwriter and director

10. Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
9. In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)
8. Game Night (John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, 2018)
7. Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)
6. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
5. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
4. Sorry To Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
3. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
2. Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
1. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)

Mark Spratt

Independent film distributor for Australia and New Zealand

These 10 above all (in order of appearance)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
Zama (Lucretia Martel, 2017)
Birds of passage (Pájaros de verano, Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra, 2018).
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018).
Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Bo Hu, 2018)
Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018),

But also these:
Terror Nullius (Soda_Jerk, 2018)
Holiday (Isabella Eklöf, 2018)
Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
Ladies in Black (Bruce Beresford, 2018)
Climax (Gaspar Noe, 2018)
Fuga (Fugue, Agnieszka Smoczyǹska, 2018)
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2017)
Netemo Sametemo (Asako I & II, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2018)
Leto (Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018)
BlackkKlansman (Spike Lee , 2018)
The Happy Prince (Rupert Everett, 2018)
Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2018)
Rojo (Benjamin Naishtat, 2018)
The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

Brad Stevens

Author of books on Abel Ferrara and Monte Hellman. His ‘Bradlands’ column appears regularly on Sight & Sound‘s website

Films of the Year (in roughly preferential order)
1. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 1970-2018)
2. Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (On the Beach at Night Alone, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
3. Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
4. Bota (The World, Iris Elezi and Thomas Logoreci, 2014)
5. Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2016)
6. Le lion est mort ce soir (The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Suwa Nobuhiro, 2017)
7. Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)
8. The Projectionist (Abel Ferrara, 2018)
9. Detroit (Kathryn Bigelow, 2017)
10. Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
11. Jiang hu er nv (Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhangke, 2018)
12. L’amant d’un jour (Lover for a Day, Philippe Garrel, 2017)
13. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
14. The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)
15. Hostiles (Scott Cooper, 2017)
16. Mother! (Darren Aronofsky, 2017)
17. Nelyubov (Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017)

Tyson Stewart

INSTRUCTOR AND WRITER, TEACHES AT NIPISSING UNIVERSITY, NORTH BAY, CANADA

My favourite movie moments from this year all had to do with flipping racial or species expectations or stereotypes. They had to do with the complex, intersubjective states in which we all dwell. They were political moments for me. I couldn’t decide what the “best film of the year” was this time around, so they are placed in alphabetical order. I have a feeling that three of these films will rise to the top with the passing of time, but I will refrain from saying which ones they are for now.

Top ten films released to a wide audience in my neck of the woods in 2018 are…
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Spike Lee paints the most unbelievable sequences with a lived-in realism while impregnating the most mundane scenes with a blistering political urgency that recalls his best films. This is thrilling, effortless, and ultimately crowd-pleasing filmmaking.
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)
A case where the fantastical super hero action sequences all feel completely justified and grounded in complex character development. It also has a great, sympathetic antagonist played by Michael B. Jordan.
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
This weirdly enthralling film is less a modern-day remake of Taxi Driver and more of a Frankenstein of Ingmar Bergman’s Winter Light, Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice, and Robert Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest with a mesmerizing Ethan Hawke performance at its centre. The environmentalist themes and concerns fit beautifully within the narrative, but this is a case, like in Bresson, where what we cannot see plays an even greater role.
Indian Horse (Stephen Campanelli, 2017)
This beautifully made adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s novel about an Indigenous boy who grows up in an abusive residential school in Ontario and channels his fighting spirit through hockey uplifts and educates in equal measure. The performances and circular plot structure make this one a must-see. It’s also incredibly moving.
Instant Family (Sean Anders, 2018)
A truly winning “family” comedy about a foster family in Los Angeles loosely based on the director’s own experiences raising his foster kids, Instant Family has equal doses of tenderness and biting humour.
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)
I do consider every new Wes Anderson film to be an event. This one doesn’t disappoint. A highly inventive, visually dense, and darkly and dryly humorous stop-motion film about stray dogs, Isle of Dogs feels both timeless and urgent.
Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
This sober drama about a father and daughter that live by themselves in West Coast forests of the US builds suspense slowly and naturally. Its devasting effects last long after the projector is turned off.
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
I love horror films, and this is the best one of 2018. A psychedelic fever dream revenge thriller with an exuberant performance from Cage, Mandy would make a great, somewhat deranged double feature with my favourite film of 2016 Holy Hell, another really scary film.
Our People Will Be Healed (Alanis Obomsawin, 2017)
Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film offers an expansive view of Indigenous K-12 school Norway House in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Teachers and students are shown in diverse educational contexts with an emphasis on Indigenous cultural practises and history. Precisely composed cinematography and intelligent editing emphasize the beauty and dignity of the film’s subjects.
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
This intelligent and disturbing surrealist comedy about an African American telemarketer and the multiple revolutions happening around him has enough ideas for three films. It features some of the year’s best comedy performances to boot.

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

IVÁN SUÁREZ

Writer and cinephile, Gijón

Favourite films released theatrically, in festivals or available in DVD or VOD or streaming in Spain in 2018 (listed alphabetically)
120 battements par minute (BPM (120 Beats Per Minute) Robin Campillo, 2017)
Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (David Wain, 2018)
Hard as Indie (Arturo M. Antolín, 2018)
I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, 2017)
Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018)
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)
Koe no katachi (A Silent Voice: The Movie, Naoko Yamada, 2016)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell, 2018)
Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)

Honourable mentions (listed alphabetically)
L’amant d’un jour (Lover for a Day, Philippe Garrel, 2017)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
Early Man (Nick Park, 2018)
The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018)
The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017)
Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)
A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
Searching (Aneesh Chaganty, 2018)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh, 2017)
Tully (Jason Reitman, 2018)

Eduardo Thomas

Visual Artist/Film Curator lives and works across SD/LA/MEX

Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2017)
The Favorite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
Gräns (Border, Ali Abbasi, 2018)
Konfessions of a Klabautermann (Hardeep Pandhal, 2017)
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
Empty Metal (Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer, 2018)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)
Demes ir ibrezimai (Stains and Scratches, Deimantas Narkevicius, 2017)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)

Josh Timmermann

Writes about movies, music, and other things at jltjlt.com. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia

1. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
2. Zama (Lucretia Martel, 2017)
3. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
4. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
5. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
6. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
7. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
8. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
9. So-gong-nyeo (Microhabitat, Go-woon Jeon, 2017)
10. Jiang hu er nv (Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhangke, 2018)
11. Zhi zi yu gui (Lush Reeds, Yang Yishu, 2018)
12. Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
13. The Death of Stalin (Amando Ianucci, 2017)
14. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
15. Sandome no satsujin (The Third Murder, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2017)
16. Hsing fu lu shang (On Happiness Road, Hsin-yin Sung, 2017)
17. Fausto (Andrea Bussmann, 2018)
18. Se rokh (Three Faces, Jafar Panahi, 2018)
19. Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife, Gwaai Edenshaw & Helen Haig-Brown, 2018)
20. Hold the Dark (Jeremy Saulnier, 2018)
21. Cam (Daniel Goldhaber, 2018)
22. You Were Never Really Here (Lynn Ramsay, 2017)
23. Oh Lucy! (Atsuko Hirayanagi, 2017)
24. Pul-ip-deul (Grass, Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
25. The Darling (Lee Seung-Yup, 2018)
26. A Land Imagined (Yeo Siew Hua, 2018)
27. The Museum of Forgotten Triumphs (Bojan Bodružić, 2018)
28. Van Pao-te (Father to Son, Hsiao Ya-chuan, 2018)
29. Paddington 2 (Paul King, 2017)
30. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)

Sharn Treloar

Teacher and Cinephile in Australia

2018 is the year best described as a bombardment of Marvel and DC popcorn blockbusters. These films for the masses seemed to proliferate every cinema release for this year. Thankfully though it was the online streaming services such as Netflix and the reliable DVD releases of movies that, while perhaps deemed not to be financially successful enough to warrant a cinema release, that were again the cinephiles saving grace. One cannot help but identify a common thematic thread of Isolation and repression in the films below-(even in the Incredibles 2), which is understandable given our epochs existential crisis of increasing social isolation bred by technology. Thankfully it is through art this has once again found voice, and this below selection provides the best representation of these themes.

  1. Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018) Ballardian meets Tarkovsky. With an almost entirely female cast this apocalyptic epic takes the viewer on a journey into primal worlds through its striking imagery echoing the visual poetry of Tarkovsky Stalker, and Ballardian like landscapes from his Drowned and Crystal worlds.
  2. Wind River (Taylor Sheridan 2017) Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Like Hold the Dark the desolate artic environment is once again the canvas for exploring the darkness in us all. From its visually arresting opening scene of a young girl running screaming barefooted through the frozen wilderness this film holds your attention.

  1. The Titan (Lennart Ruff 2018) Climate change is real and the human race is on borrowed time. Sam Worthington once again plays an American officer who has volunteered for the titan project. This secret government experiment is where the human participants undergo continual genetic alterations to be able to colonize Titan, in the hopes of safeguarding the future of humanity from an earth that is becoming no longer inhabitable. As the volunteers slowly begin changing physical then psychologically, the film poses the question of at what price is our loss of what makes us human worth to the continued survival of the species?
  2. Mute (Duncan Jones 2018) The Amish fight back in the future. Set in the same universe and Jones’s Moon, Alexander Skarsgard plays a mute Amish bartender living in a visually dazzling futuristic Berlin, who goes in search of his missing girlfriend. Meanwhile, Paul Rudd plays an AWOL army officer with serious anger issues, that is doing illegal medical work for the local gangster in order to secure passes for him and his daughter so that they can escape the city. Presenting striking imagery akin to Altered Carbon and Blade Runner, the films still manages to contain a spiritualistic element as well as compelling performances from all involved proving still that all humans’ stories are connected.
  3. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsey 2017) Taxi driver and his animas.

Joaquin Phoenix delivers a powerhouse performance as the haunted Joe, a man trapped in a past of violence living in an almost self-induced twilight between life and death. His only motivation for living is caring for his mother and rescuing kidnapped young girls form the sex trafficking rings. The iconic image on the films poster of Joe carrying the recently rescued Nina on his back that best represent the recurring symbol of the power of the unconscious throughout the film.  A motif represents not only the burden of the trauma inflicted on the innocence in both Joe and the girls he saves, but also a personification of the powerful anima in his psyche that weaves in and out of the narrative ultimately leading the gun for hire Joe away from suicide and to redemption.

  1. Apostle (Gareth Evans 2018) The Wicker Man meets black death.

A faithless priest embarks on a journey to find his kidnapped sister on an island harbouring a strange and potentially dangerous new cult. This film delves not only into the corruption of religion, but also the abuse of nature. It is through the film’s depiction of the manipulation of the old gods for the new ones, that the viewer is left with a collage of powerful and disturbing imagery to be burned into their retinas.

  1. Hold the Dark (Jeremy Saulnier 2018)- Heart of Darkness- the wolf in all of us.

The ritualistic motif of the wolf mask makes a welcome return in this tale of unleashing the savage shadowy archetype in all our collective unconscious. As we are drawn into this world that is on the edge of what western society has come to believe as civilization, we must question how close we really are to our own animalistic natures.

  1. Hereditary (Ari Aster 2018) Old head on new shoulders. From the opening tracking shot that begins through a window at a tree house, moving slowly into one of the rooms of a dolls house, morphing into the main setting for this unsettling horror film, we realize almost subconsciously that these characters are merely puppets in a larger game. To give any more information about this film would be to deprive the viewer of many of the twists and turns that make Hereditary such compelling viewing.
  2. Blade Runner 2049 (Denis Villeneuve 2017)- more human than human.

This time around the replicant is the blade runner, as we enter once again into the retrofitted world of the Blade runner.  Despite the age of CGI this film is a faith recreation of the world first created by Ridley Scott’s iconic film in the 1980’s.

  1. Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird 2018)- sequel the is worthy of the original.

The only blockbuster included in this list and a sequel worth the many years wait. The question of the repression of super hero powers is once again at the foreground of this comic tale of the superhero family trying to balance a normal life, with the urge for a higher calling.

Gorazd Trušnovec

Freelance film critic, editor, screenwriter. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Last year, I’ve submitted 15 best titles for the Senses of Cinema world poll; since I believe this is quite appropriate amount of exceptional titles (although I would have no troulbe to limit myself further), I am contributing the same number of titles this year. The only difference is that I have changed two cinematic titles for two TV series which I’ve watched in 2018 and have left lasting impression – perhaps I could even put them in front of (almost) everything else that I’ve seen in cinema regionally this year … Anyway, the list is in alphabetical order, and my only criterium was the same – wondering which of the recent films could stand the test of time.

Features
Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
Dovlatov (Aleksei German jr., 2018)
Druga strana svega (The Other Side of Everything , Mila Turajlić, 2017)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
The House That Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)
Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari (I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, Radu Jude, 2018)
I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, 2017)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh, 2017)
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, 2018)

TV Series
The Americans (Joe Weisberg, 2013-2018)
Twin Peaks: The Return (Mark Frost & David Lynch, 2017)

The Americans (Joe Weisberg, 2013-2018)

Donatella Valente

Film academic and writer on world art cinema, experimental moving image work, and feminist theory and gender in film

My favourite 2018 films are:

  1. Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2016)
  2. Ash is the Purest White (Jia Zhangke, 2018)
  3. Yours in Sisterhood (Irene Lustzig, 2018)
  4. Yi ge dou bu neng shao (Not One Less, Zhang Yimou, 1999)
  5. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2018)
  6. Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (On the Beach at Night Alone, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
  7. Beoning (Burning, Lee Changdong, 2018)
  8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh, 2017)
  9. The Image Book (Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
  10. Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017)

And, in no particular order:
Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison, 2016)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)
Nancy (Christine Choe, 2018)
Antonia (Ferdinando Cito Filomarino, 2015)
Out of Blue (Carol Morley, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017)

Kaj van Zoelen

Dutch freelance film critic. Editor in chief of and writer for Frameland, writer for Filmtotaal and contributor to the Eastern European Film Bulletin and Cine.nl. Fipresci member

For me, above all 2018 was the year I discovered Tamil cinema (beyond a few films by Mani Ratnam), starting with the excellent House On Fire programme at the International Festival of Rotterdam in January and ending with a slew of excellent films hitting the home video market at the end of the year (sadly no Tamil films get released in cinemas in my country), just in time to make up most of my top 5 of the year. A unique style of cinema, blending socio-political engagement and critique with popular genres and commercial entertainment in a way I’m not seeing anywhere else in the world right now. Challenging the status quo of society while also reaching that society. A vibrant cinema that gets way too much overlooked by most film people.

1. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)
2. Jonaki (Aditya Vikram Sengupta, 2018)
3. Kaala (Pa. Ranjith, 2018)
4. Pariyerum Perumal (Mari Selvaraj, 2018)
5. Vada Chennai (Vetrimaaran, 2018)
6. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! (Ol Parker, 2018)
7. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
8. L’amant d’un jour (Lover for a Day, Philippe Garrel, 2018)
9. Di Renjie zhi Sidatianwang (Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings, Tsui Hark, 2018)
10. Ying (Shadow, Zhang Yimou, 2018)
11. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018)
12. Beata Virgo Viscera (Scout Tafoya, 2018)
13. Yoru wa mijikashi aruke yo otome (Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Masaaki Yuasa, 2017)
14. Hit The Night (Jeong Ga-young, 2017)
15. Ho-rang-e-bo-da mu-seo-un gyu-ul-son-nim (A Tiger in Winter, Lee Kwang-kuk, 2017)
16. BlackKklansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
17. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
18. Hsing fu lu shang (On Happiness Road, Sung Hsin-Yin,2017)
19. Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (Stephen Loveridge, 2018)
20. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)

MIHA VEINGERL

FREELANCE FILM CRITIC, SLOVENIA/AUSTRIA

My favourites (in no particular order):
Feature films:

  • Años Luz (Light Years, Manuel Abramovich, 2017)
  • Zimna Wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
  • L’ Esprit des Lieux (In The Stillness of Sounds, Stéphane Manchematin & Serge Steyer, 2018)
  • Pájaros de Verano (Birds of Passage, Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra, 2018)
  • Introduzione All’Oscuro(Gastón Solnicki, 2018)
  • Touch Me Not(Adina Pintilie, 2018)
  • »Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari« (»I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians«, Radu Jude, 2018)
  • The Green Fog(Guy Maddin, Galen Johnson & Evan Johnson, 2017)
  • The Favourite(Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
  • Roma(Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)

Short films:

  • Demontage(Michael Palm, 2017)
  • Celica (The Box, Dušan Kastelic, 2017)
  • Devil’s Lungs(Alla Kovgan, 2018)
  • Operation Jane Walk(Leonhard Müllner & Robin Klengel, 2017)
  • Performing Me?(!)(Luz Olivares Capelle, 2018)
  • Boomerang(Kurdwin Ayub, 2018)
  • World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts(Don Hertzfeldt, 2017)
  • Poslednji dan Rudolfa Nietscheja (The Final Day of Rudolf Nietsche, Blaž Kutin, 2018)
  • Ligne Noire (Black Line, Francesca Scalisi & Mark Olexa, 2017)
  • Retour à Genoa City (Back to Genoa City, Benoît Grimalt, 2017)

Memorable screenings:

  • The Room(Tommy Wiseau, 2003), Gartenbaukino, Vienna
  • Die Stadt ohne Juden (The City Without Jews, Hans Karl Breslauer, 1924/2018), Office of the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Vienna

Noel Vera

Contributing critic for Businessworld, author Critic After Dark: A Review of Philippine Cinema

12. Psychokinesis (Yeom-Iyeok, Yeon Sang-ho, 2018)
11. Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018)
10. Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)
9. Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2017)
8. Halloween (David Gordon Green, 2018)
7. Mamang (Denise O’Hara, 2018)
6. Citizen Jake (Mike de Leon, 2018)
5. Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda, 2017)
4. The Breadwinner (Nora Twomey, 2017)
3. Balangiga: Howling Wilderness (Khavn, 2018)
2. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
1. Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)

Anupam Kant Verma

Actor, writer and film reviewer based out of Mumbai

Apart from the number one pick, the best film I saw all year, the entries are in no particular order. I have chosen to stick to fiction titles, since a large number of documentaries from the year are still on my watchlist.

Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Days Journey Into Night, Ban Gi, 2018)

Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynn Ramsey, 2018)
Beoning
 (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2018)
Zama (Lucrecia Marte, 2017)
Under the Silver Lake
 (David Robert Mitchell, 2018)
Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018):
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami, 2017)

Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell, 2018)

Peter Verstraten

Assistant Professor Film and Literary Studies, University Leiden (NL)

My list is based upon theatrical releases in the Netherlands in 2018, except for numbers 8, 17, 18, 26 and 34.

1. Beoning (Burning, Chang-dong Lee, 2018)
2. Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
3. Phantom Thread (Paul T. Anderson, 2017)
4. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)
5. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017
6. Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
7. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)
8. The House that Jack Built (Lars von Trier, 2018)
9. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)
10. Les gardiennes (The Guardians, Xavier Beauvois, 2017)
11. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
12. Se rokh (3 Faces, Jafar Panahi, 2018)
13. Que Dios Nos Perdone (May God Save Us, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, 2016)
14. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
15. Der Hauptmann (The Captain, Robert Schwentke, 2017)
16. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2017)
17. Bedoone Tarikh, Bedoone Emza (No Date, No Signature, Vahid Jalilvand, 2017)
18. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
19. Girl (Lukas Dhont, 2018)
20. Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz, 2017)
21. Jusqu’a la garde (Custody, Xavier Legrand, 2017)
22. Beast (Michael Pearce, 2017)
23. Lerd (A Man of Integrity, Mohammad Rasoulof, 2017)
24. Las hijas de Abril (April’s Daughter, Michel Franco, 2017)
25. In den Gängen (In the Aisles, Thomas Stuber, 2018)
26. The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson, 2018)
27. Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
28. Pity (Babis Makridis, 2017)
29. Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
30. Ang babaeng humayo (The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz, 2016)
31. 1945 (Ferenc Török, 2017)
32. Gräns (Border, Ali Abbasi, 2018)
33. Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
34. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, 2018)
35. Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017)
36. Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
37. Resurrection (Kristof Hoornaert, 2017)
38. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
39. God’s Own Country (Francis Lee, 2017)
40. The Kindergarten Teacher (Sara Colangelo, 2018)

Becca Voelcker

Film scholar, critic and programmer

In alphabetical order:
D’un château l’autre (Castle to Castle, Emmanuel Marre, 2018)
Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Hu Bo, 2018)
Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Bi Gan, 2018)
El Laberinto (The Labyrinth, Laura Huertas Millán, 2018)
Fainting Spells (Sky Hopinka, 2018)
Fluid Frontiers (Ephraim Asili, 2018)
Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
Huan Tu (A Land Imagined, Siew Hua Yeo, 2018)
I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead (Beatrice Gibson, 2018)
Key, washer, coin (Alan Segal, 2018)
Life After Love (Zachary Epcar, 2018)
Mountain Plain Mountain (Daniel Jacoby & Araki Yu, 2018)
Si linghun (Dead Souls, Wang Bing, 2018)
Teret (The Load, Ognjen Glavonić, 2018)
The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs (Ross Meckfessel, 2018)
Tourneur (Yalda Afsah, 2018)
Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2018)
Words, Planets (Laida Lertxundi, 2018)
Zi Hua Xiang: 47 Gong Li Si Fen Ke Si (Self Portrait in 47km: Sphinx, Mengqi Zhang, 2018)
Zi You Xing (A Family Tour, Ying Liang, 2018)

Sarah Ward

Film critic and writer

Australian Theatrical Releases
A Quiet Place (John Krasinski, 2018)
A Prayer Before Dawn (Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, 2017)
A Simple Favour (Paul Feig, 2018)
American Animals (Bart Layton, 2018)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Can You Ever Forgive Me (Marielle Heller, 2018)
Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz, 2017)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Gurrumul (Paul Damien Williams, 2017)
Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
Jusqu’à la garde (Custody, Xavier Legrand, 2017)
Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos, 2018)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018)
Terror Nullius (Soda_Jerk, 2018)
Upgrade (Leigh Whannell, 2018)
Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)

Australian Theatrical Releases Seen in 2017
The Endless (Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, 2017)
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig, 2017)
Nelyubov (Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, 2017)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017)
Visages, Villages (Faces Places, Agnès Varda and JR, 2017)
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)

International / Festival / Streaming
Acute Misfortune (Thomas M. Wright, 2018)
The Ancient Woods (Mindaugas Survila, 2017)
Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Dragged Across Concrete (S. Craig Zahler, 2018)
Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018)
Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)
Figlia mia (Daughter of Mine, Laura Bispuri, 2018)
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, 2018)
Hagazussa (Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse, Lukas Feigelfeld, 2017)
High Life (Claire Denis, 2018)
In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)
Jia nian hua (Angels Wear While, Vivian Qu, 2017)
La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House, Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León, 2018)
Ladyworld (Amanda Kramer, 2018)
Le monde est à toi (The World Is Yours, Romain Gavras, 2018)
Leto (The Summer, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018)
Loro (Paolo Sorrentino, 2018)
Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
Pájaros de verano (Birds of Passage, Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, 2018)
The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent, 2018)
The Rider (Chloe Zhao, 2017)
Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Un couteau dans le coeur (Knife+Heart, Yann Gonzalez, 2018)
Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell, 2018)
Utøya 22. jul (Utøya: July 22, Erik Poppe, 2018)
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)
Vuelven (Tigers Are Not Afraid, Issa López, 2017)

Virtual Reality
The Deserted (Tsai Ming-Lai, 2017)

Algitya Widhiarso

Movie fan from Indonesia

Here’s my top 10 of 2018 (not a rank)
1. First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
2. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
3. Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
4. The Doodle Diaries (Gary Andrews, 2018)
5. Keluarga Cemara (The Cemara Family, Yandy Laurens, 2018)
6. They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018).
7. Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
8. Kamera wo tomeru na (One Cut of the Dead, Shin’ichiro Ueda, 2018)
9. You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)
10. Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)

Jason Wierzba

Writer, musician, and programmer from the Canadian prairie

1. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Films this startlingly epochal are few and far between, and they have never hitherto arrived to us in quite so, er, pronounced a fashion.
2. Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
The sensorium: embodied and disembodied. Probably my all time favourite adaptation of a novel of which I’m fond from somebody who is not David Cronenberg.
3. Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Bi Gan, 2018)
Seriously advanced physics.
4. Jiang hu er nv (Ash is Purest White, Jia Zhangke, 2018)
Peak cinema of summation.
5. Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Hu Bo, 2018)
Sprawling terminal vision. Disconsolation of so high an order as to serve as consolation.
6. Bamui haebyun-eoseo honja (On the Beach at Night Alone, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
Nothing quite so delicious as watching Hong imaginatively flip the (absence of a) script.
7. Visages villages (Faces Places, JR, Agnès Varda, 2017)
Unalloyed pleasures presented in the staunchest good faith ought only ever be received in kind.
8. Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc (Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, Bruno Dumont, 2017)
To the extreme outermost limits of reverence.
9. Laissez bronzer les cadavres (Let the Corpses Tan, Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, 2017)
The most formally radical narrative film I saw this year is a Jean-Patrick Manchette adaptation. The bleeding edge.
10. Djon África (João Miller Guerra, Filipa Reis, 2018)
Seemingly obligatory sublime Portuguese hybrid.
11. Cocote (Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, 2017)
As though it were inventing a cinema against ridiculous odds.
12. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Radicalization of the possibilities of adaptation. If it is the first Petzold to make me consciously think of Philip K. Dick, this strikes me now as a product of my own previous oversight.
13. Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
Form, History, God.
14. Allons enfants (Cléo & Paul, Stéphane Demoustier, 2018)
A late, great contribution to a tradition responding to Marcel Carné’s directive for cinema to go down into the streets. There is no Paris but Paris. I wouldn’t think.
15. Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)
A Bosch in the language of dance.
16. Geu-hu (The Day After, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
Hong Sang-soo number two. A kind of beneficent tragicomic foam.
17. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2017)
Excoriating Lubitchean mayhem. You will excuse the tautology: nothing is quite so hysterical as is the hysterical.
18. Pity (Babis Makridis, 2018)
A pitilessly (heh) nasty comedy of ideas scripted by regular Yorgos Lanthimos scribe Efthymis Filippou, this time for a director of uncommon (Bressonian, Hitchcockian) formal rigour.
19. The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)
As individual and insightful a film as I have recently seen on the subject of masculinity. Progress without progress, men without compass.
20. Les garçons sauvages (The Wild Boys, Bertrand Mandico, 2017)
Let us end with an intoxicating brew of myriad assimilated influences. Art and culture and all our past lovers. In a blender.

Addendum: There is a gentleman out here named Kyle Whitehead who fronts a little operation he calls Monograph. Kyle occasionally projects films for folks in Calgary and Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. I had the incomparable pleasure of attending a Monograph screening of Bruce Baillie’s Quick Billy (1971) at Emmedia in Calgary. The film was projected on 16mm (stupefyingly gorgeous print) with brief meditative breathers between each of the four reels. The experience was rapturous, priceless. Man, art, experienced how it oughta be, can stop you cold dead in your tracks. Best to never forget this. There were four of us in attendance. Plus Kyle. Manning the projector. In, around, outside of the cinema: it was probably the highlight of my whole year.

Virginia Wright Wexman

Professor Emerita, University of Illinois at Chicago

Best New Releases

  1. Roma (Alfonzo Cuaron, 2018) Exquisitely photographed and unobtrusively attentive to all manner of gender, ethnic, and class issues.
  2. Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreda, 2018) A deeply humanistic and impeccably observed chronicle of a “family” of social outsiders in Tokyo.
  3. Beoning (Burning, Le Chang-dong, 2018) A subtle rendering of class envy and masculinity under stress.
  4. Toivon tuolla puolen (The Other Side of Hope, Aki Kaurismaki, 2017) Kaurismaki’s eccentric perspective and deadpan humor are on full display in this empathetic sketch of a Syrian immigrant adrift in Helsinki who finds fellowship and employment in a sushi restaurant.
  5. Marlina the Murderer in 4 Acts (Mouly Suria, 2017) Feminist rage cast in the form of a droll comedy.
  6. The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018) Violent, humorous and poignant.
  7. Stan and Ollie (Jon S. Baird, 2018) Does life imitate art, or is it the other way around? Screenwriter Jeff Pope’s touching portrait of friendship and collaboration, ably brought to life under the able stewardship of director Baird, invites us to ponder the question while savoring bravura recreations of the inimitable comedy team of Laurel (Steve Coogan) and Hardy (John C. Reilly).
  8. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2018). Outrageous and hilarious.
  9. Visages villages(Faces Places, JR and Agnes Varda, 2017) A unique variation on the road movie loosely cast in the form of a documentary.
  10. Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018) At once a scabrous satire and a cheerful picaresque romp.

Honorable Mentions: The Rider (Chloe Zao, 2018), Private Life (Tamara Jenkins, 2018), Grans (Border, Ali Agrassi, 2018), Le Passé devant nous (Past Imperfect, Nathalie Teirlinck, 2016), I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie, 2017), RBG (Julie Cohen and Betsy West, 2018), BlackKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018), The Florida Project (Sean Baker, 2017), Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018), Widows (2018, Steve McQueen), Gangbyun Hotel 9 (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018), Downsizing (Alexander Payne, 2017), All the Money in the World (Ridley Scott, 2017),The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017), Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin, 2017).

Best Revival Screenings (Listings include the sponsoring festival/organization):  

Steamboat Bill, Jr. This Keaton classic was enlivened by live organ accompaniment at the historic Orpheum Theater (Los Angeles Conservancy)
The Cameraman (Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton, 1928) Another Keaton treasure accompanied on the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse’s spectacular organ.
Bachelor’s Affairs (Alfred A. Werker, 1932) A pre-code romantic comedy from Twentieth Century Fox with a witty script from Barry Conners, Philip Klein, and Leon Gordon (Cinema Ritrovato Festival, Bologna)
Sôshun (Early Spring, Yazijiro Ozu, 1956) Ozu’s bleak picture of the life of an office worker in postwar Japan. (Bologna)
Le Silence est d’or (Silence Is Golden, René Clair, 1947) An effervescent piece of nostalgia about the early days of moviemaking featuring Maurice Chevalier at his most disarming. (Bologna)
Le Ragazze di piazza di spana (Three Girls from Rome, Luciano Emmer, 1952) This engaging lighthearted frolic in the eternal city invites a reconsideration of the derogatory label “pink neorealism.” (Bologna)
Wanjia Denghuo (Lights of Ten Thousand Homes, Shen Fu, 1948) An unblinking exposé of the devastating effects of rising unemployment and runaway inflation on a bourgeois family in postwar China. (Bologna)
Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1950) A dark fantasy, punctuated by Ann Savage’s repeated snarling instruction to Tom Neale to “shuddup.” (Bologna)
Shoulder Arms (Charlie Chaplin, 1918) Chaplin proves he can mine comic gold from any subject with this wry satire of life in the trenches of World War I. (Bologna)
The Navigator (Buster Keaton, Donald Crisp, 1924) Keaton is in top form as he battles with a gargantuan freighter and a bulky sea-diving costume. (Bologna)
Hog Wild (James Parrott, 1930) Laurel and Hardy discover a seemingly endlessly array of ways to fall off a roof. The reaction shots alone are priceless. (Cinecon)
Xiang hun nu (The Women from the Lake of Scented Souls, a.k.a. Woman Sesame Oil Maker, Fei Xie, 1993) This tale of a female business owner’s travails is highlighted by poetic interludes as the characters explore the titular lake. (USC)
Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein, 1928) This classic of cinematic Impressionism was given a new twist with live A Capella accompaniment by the Contemporary Choral Collective of Los Angeles. (Downtown Independent Theater Special Screening).
The Sin of Nora Moran (Philip Goldstone, 1934) This pre-code shocker about a wronged woman who sacrifices herself to save the man she loves feels newly relevant in the Me-Too era. The story’s innovative flashbacks-within-flashbacks technique may have been borrowed from the Sturges-scripted The Power and the Glory, released just a few months earlier, but the effect is stunning, nonetheless. (UCLA)
Rosita (Ernst Lubitsch, 1923) Lubitsch’s first American effort harks back to the historical spectacles he was known for in Germany but adds Hollywood star appeal with Mary Pickford’s energetic turn as a plucky Spanish peasant girl. The live accompaniment was by Gillian Anderson, who conducted the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra’s performance of her restoration of the film’s original score. (American Cinematheque)

Best Retrospectives: (all at Bologna): Marcello Pagliero, John Stahl, and 20th Century Fox
Best Female Bonding Movies: Marlina, the Murderer, in 4 Acts (Mouly Surya, 2017); Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018), Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
Most Overrated: Green Book (Peter Farrelly). Accomplished actors can’t compensate for a clunky script (by Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga and Brian Hayes Currie) and characters that are beyond stereotypes.

Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)

Barbara Wurm

Curator and Critic, Teaches Slavic Literature and Film at Humboldt University

On Resistance
Gens du lac (Jean-Marie Straub, 2018)
Meteorlar (Meteors) (Gürcan Keltek, 2017)

On Revelation
Leave no Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
Touch me not (Adina Pintilie, 2018)

On Force
Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
Process (The Trial, Sergei Loznica, 2018)

On Eternity
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018)
I diari di Angela: Noi due cineasti (Angela’s Diaries, Yervant Gianikian, 2018)

On Power
The Favourite (Giorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
Svideteli Putina (Putin’s Witnesses, Vitalij Manskij, 2018)

On Endurance
Ayka (Sergej Dvorcevoj, 2018)
Asino (Donkey, Anatolij Vasil’ev, 2018)

On Past Conditional
Charlie Says (Mary Harron, 2018)
SPK Komplex (SPK Complex, Gerd Kroske, 2018)

On Coup d’états

Anons (The Announcement, Mahmut Fazil Coşkun, 2018)
Muris (D is for Division, Dāvis Sīmanis jr., 2018)

On Hypocrisy
Kler (Clergy, Wojtek Smarzowski, 2018)
Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz, Ruth Beckermann, 2018)

On War
aKasha (The Round-Up, hajooj kuka, 2018)
Na vodi (On the Water, Goran Dević, 2018) // Javnych projaviv nemaje (No Obvious Signs, Alina Gorlova, 2018)

On Dedication
Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari (I Don’t Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, Radu Jude, 2018)
Nuostabieji Lūzeriai. Kita planeta (Wonderful Losers: A Different World. Arūnas Matelis 2017)

On Fetish
Phaidros (Mara Mattuschka, 2018)
In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)

On Might ‘n Faint
Vox Lux (Bradey Corbet, 2018)
Akvarela (Aquarela, Viktor Kosakovskij, 2018)

On Germany
Der Hauptmann (The Captain, Robert Schwentke, 2017)
Der Funktionär (The Communist, Andreas Goldstein, 2018)

On Us and Them
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
Die bauliche Maßnahme (The Border Fence, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2018)

**
Der Muskelmann Wilhelm Emter aus Lörrach (Arthur Friedel, 1925)
Napoli sirena della canzoni (Elvira Notari, ca. 1929)
Sprengbagger 1010 (Carl-Ludwig Acház-Duisberg, 1929)
Zvejnieka dēls (Vilis Lapenieks, 1940)
Stranger on the Third Floor (Boris Ingster, 1940)
The Mark of the Whistler (William Castle, 1944)
Pervyj paren‘ (Sergej Paradžanov, 1959)
Josef Kilian (Pavel Juraček, 1963)
Exprmntl 4 Knokke (Claudia von Alemann/Reinhold E. Thiel, 1967)
Jausmai (Almantas Grikevičius, Algirdas Dausa, 1968)

*
Pamjat‘ (Grigorij Čuchraj, 1970)
Piejūras klimats (Rolands Kalniņš, 1974)
Idole (Klaus Lemke, 1976)
Mourir à tue-tête (Anne Claire Poirier, 1978)
Zechmeister (Angela Summereder, 1981)
Das Treibhaus (Peter Goedel, 1987)
Vėliava iš plytų (Saulius Beržinis, 1988)
Der schwarze Kasten (Tamara Trampe, Johann Feindt, 1992)
Ara, megabaro! (Gio Mgeladze, 1993)
Naan kadavul (Bala, 2009)

Neil Young

Critic, journalist, programmer, consultant at The Hollywood Reporter, Sight and Sound, Viennale and Crossing Europe European Film Festival, Palic (Serbia)

1. Gede Vizyon (Jefferson Kielwagen, Steevens Simeon & Marcos Serafim, 2018)
2. What Happens to the Mountain, or, Laramie (Christin Turner, 2017)
3. Ruins Rider (Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt, 2017)
4. Lost & Found (Andrew Goldsmith & Bradley Slabe, 2018)
5. Kak Vitka Chesnok vyoz Lyokhu Shtyrya v dom invalidov (How Viktor “the Garlic” Took Alexey “the Stud” to the Nursing Home, Alexander Hant, 2017)
6. Maskirovka (Tobias Zielony, 2018)
7. Braguino (Clément Cogitore 2017)
8. Sec Rouge (Kate Tessa Lee & Tom Schön, 2018)
9. Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
10. Extinção (Extinction, Salomé Lamas, 2018)

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