03 janvier 2020


My annual chronicle of my own year in cinema.

This isn't so much of a ranked list as a list in three tiers:
A single film that joins the top tier of masterpieces that reveal deep truths about the physical and metaphysical world; a large number of well-crafted films that tell large truths in important ways; and a set of disappointments that deserved better from their makers.

My only two specific notes about this year are about Ordet, which overpowered me, and about Kommunisten, which inspired me.

I don't think I would have been ready to see Ordet until 2019, at least not through the eyes that it deserves. I'm very thankful that I waited to see it until I was a person who carries faith.

I wrote about Kommunisten, briefly, for Mubi's Images of the Decade.

Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)*
Kommunisten (Jean-Marie Straub, 2014)
Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
Workers, Peasants (Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 2001)
Microhabitat (Jeon Go-woon, 2017)
Dragon Inn (King Hu, 1967)
Pain and Glory (Pedro Almodóvar, 2019)
Bao (Domee Shi, 2018)
My 20th Century (Ildikó Enyedi, 1988)
Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, 1992)
Vagabond (Agnès Varda, 1985)
White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
The Wayward Cloud (Tsai Ming-liang, 2005)
The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019)
Oedipus Rex (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1967)
The Death of Empedocles (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1987)
The Devil and Daniel Johnston (Jeff Feuerzeig, 2005)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
Fortini/Cani (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1976)
So Long, My Son (Wang Xiaoshuai, 2019)
The Fighter (David O. Russell, 2010)
Machorka-Muff (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1963)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018)
L'enfant secret (Philippe Garrel, 1979)
BRIDGIT (Charlotte Prodger, 2016)
Flores (Jorge Jácome, 2017)
Brave (Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and Steve Purcell, 2012)
Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)
Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)
Slack Bay (Bruno Dumont, 2016)
The Edge of the Knife (Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown, 2018) [abandoned at 48 minutes]
Me the Terrible (Josephine Decker, 2012)
Aquaman (James Wan, 2018)
The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980)
Doctor Chance (F.J. Ossang, 1997) [abandoned at 34 min]

* Revisited, and still terrific

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