There’s been a furious flurry of list-making going on at IndieWire over the past couple of days. “IndieWire has reached out to a number of our favorite filmmakers to share with us their lists and thoughts on the best of the year,” writes Chris O’Falt, introducing a wide-ranging collection of forty-two responses. Because they’re presented alphabetically, Pedro Almodóvar’s passionately annotated list is up first, and Karsten Meinich is quick to point out that, while the jury in Cannes that Almodóvar presided over presented the Palme d’Or to Ruben Östlund’s The Square, that film hasn’t made his list here. Three other films that screened in Competition, however, have: Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute) (image above), Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.
Overall, these nine pages are a rich holiday browse. A sampling:
- Sean Baker (The Florida Project) on BPM: “It’s going to be tough to push this out of my number one slot. Moving, visual and important.”
- Kelly Fremon Craig (The Edge of Seventeen) on Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name: “Halfway through, I actually paused my screener to yell ‘WOW!’ to no one in particular.”
- Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) has David Lowery’s A Ghost Story at #1 on his list.
- Xavier Dolan (It’s Only the End of the World) on Call Me by Your Name: “It hit so close to home that, for a while, it paralyzed me.”
- Heidi Ewing (One of Us) is thrilled that Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) has ventured “into the Hollywood man cave and emerges with an actual, fair and equitable paycheck for the sequel! I swoon! Git it, Patty, Git it!”
- Rick Famuyiwa (Dope) on Get Out and Mudbound: “I view Jordan Peele’s and Dee Rees’s films as companion works of art that found unique ways to speak about race, class, and privilege.”
- For Anna Rose Holmer (The Fits), “two experiences at the movies stand out,” the One Way or Another: Black Women’s Cinema, 1970-1991 series at BAM and the new restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker (1979).
- Daniel Kwan (Swiss Army Man) on A Ghost Story: “I don’t find myself recommending it to others as much as I probably should. Partially because this movie feels like its mine, and selfishly I don’t want anyone else to have it.”
- For Haifaa Al Mansour (Wadjda), James Mangold’s Logan is “a really great reimagination of what can be done within the super hero genre.”
- Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk tops the list from Alex Ross Perry (Golden Exits).
- “Nathan Fielder’s show Nathan for You on Comedy Central has always been a source of inspiration, but two episodes in this fourth season reached heights I never thought possible,” writes Benny Safdie.
- James Schamus (Indignation) comments on the “mix of fictional and documentary modalities” that’s “a notable feature of so much of what’s interesting in recent cinema.” And the first scene in Josh and Benny Safdie’s Good Time “is exemplary in this light—no other scene I’ve watched in 2017 dealt so boldly with all these confusing and conflictual aesthetic and political conflicts.”
- Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit tops the list from Paul Schrader (First Reformed).
- Justin Simien (Dear White People): “I told Mr. Peele this, so I have no qualms admitting it here; I was awash in envious rage over Get Out.”
- Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) lists eight items without comment, and among them are Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie’s Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves and the short films from Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studio.
- Adam Wingard (The Guest) on David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks: The Return: “Episode 8 was one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV or at the movies or otherwise.”
IndieWire’s also invited “friends and colleagues in the independent film community—programmers, distributors, publicists, and others” to submit lists, and among those responding are Toronto International Film Festival artistic director Cameron Bailey, Sony Pictures Classics co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, Seattle International Film Festival artistic director Beth Barrett, Nitehawk Cinema programmer Caryn Coleman, Film Society of Lincoln Center executive director Leslie Klainberg and deputy director Eugene Hernandez, Pixar senior story and creative artist Mike Jones, A24’s David Laub, MOMA chief curator of film Rajendra Roy, and programmer Basil Tsiokos.
“From Paul Thomas Anderson and Jonny Greenwood to David Lowery and Daniel Hart, several of the most remarkable director-composer duos in the business returned with their finest collaborations to date,” writes David Ehrlich, introducing his list of the ten “Best Movie Scores of 2017.”
And then the whole IndieWire team’s gotten together to come up with an annotated list—with trailers—of the twenty “Best Sequels of the 21st Century.”
Polls and Publications
Roger Koza has posted the results of his spectacular annual international poll, gathering ballots this time around from 135 programmers, critics, and filmmakers from thirty-six countries. Among the participants are Denis Côté (A Skin So Soft), Miguel Gomes (Arabian Nights), Alain Guiraudie (Staying Vertical), Bill Morrison (Dawson City: Frozen Time), Joshua Oppenheimer (The Act of Killing), Julian Radlmaier (Self-criticism of a Bourgeois Dog), João Pedro Rodrigues (The Ornithologist), Nele Wohlatz (The Future Perfect), and critics and programmers Ela Bittencourt, Nicole Brenez, Carlo Chatrian, Aaron Cutler, Jaime Grijalba, Robert Koehler, Adrian Martin, Cristina Nord, Michael Pattison, Jonathan Rosenbaum, and Neil Young.
The top five, in order:
- Lucrecia Martel’s Zama
- Aki Kaurismäki’s The Other Side of Hope
- Valeska Griesebach’s Western
- Hong Sangsoo’s On the Beach at Night Alone
- And tied for fifth place are Twin Peaks: The Return and Pedro Pinho’s The Nothing Factory
David Davidson has rounded up dozens of lists at the Toronto Film Review, including those from filmmakers Blake Williams (PROTOTYPE), Isiah Medina (88:88), and Kurt Walker (Hit 2 Pass), actress Deragh Campbell, and critics Adam Cook, Jordan Cronk, Vadim Rizov, and Niles Schwartz.
Cargo, the German-language journal of film, media, and culture has asked friends and contributors to look back on “what remains of the year.”
Contributors to the Stranger present an alphabetical, annotated top twenty—and it’s not the usual suspects.
The writers at In Review Online revisit fifteen films, and it’s Lawrence Garcia who writes about their #1: “Put simply, Nocturama is the most radical film of the year. Conceived in 2011, produced post-Charlie Hebdo, and released just months after the Bataclan attacks, Bertrand Bonello’s film is uniquely enfolded into the present moment; it’s a zeitgeist film in the truest (and most productive) sense.”
Members of the Online Film Critics Society from twenty-two countries have announced their award-winners:
Best Picture: Get Out
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Best Documentary: Faces Places
Best Foreign Language Film: BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Best Editing: Lee Smith, Dunkirk
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Best Ensemble: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Breakout Star of the Year: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Not only has the staff at the Film Society of Lincoln Center posted individual top tens, but Michael Koresky discusses the year in cinema with Rachel Allen, Jordan Raup, Dan Sullivan, and Madeline Whittle (45’55”).
“I enjoy keeping up with new releases but nothing matches the thrill of discovering a film made decades ago that still feels as exciting and relevant today, particularly when I have the opportunity to see it projected from a beautiful original print,” and Philip Concannon writes about fifty such experiences. #1: Seeing Med Hondo’s West Indies (1979) in Bologna this summer. As for 2017, he’s got lists of his favorite performances by lead actresses and actors and supporting actresses and actors.
Topping Hossein Eidizadeh’s eclectic list is Twin Peaks: The Return.
Get Out has impressed Austin Kleon.
Also . . .
“Tracy Letts is nobody’s newcomer,” writes Michael Phillips. “He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (August: Osage County) and a Tony Award-winning actor (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) with three decades of performance credits on Chicago stages, many at his artistic home, Steppenwolf Theatre Company.” But the Tribune is naming Letts Chicagoan of the Year in film for his work in Lady Bird, Azazel Jacobs’s The Lovers, and Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
You can watch Steve Erickson’s top fifteen music videos at DC’s, where he explains why he’s picked them.
And finally for now, a list of ten favorite books ever from the extraordinary designer Chip Kidd at One Grand Books.
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