Admittedly I used the pandemic as an opportunity to watch older films rather than new ones, erasing some major blindspots for myself (including The Red Shoes, Ordet, Céline and Julie Go Boating, and Dekalog) and revisiting several of my favorite pictures (The Big Heat, Alice in the Cities, and Stagecoach). Continue reading “The Best Films of 2020”
This year’s New York Film Festival greets us with newly released films by two of the most renown filmmakers of the 20th century, Orson Welles and Raúl Ruiz. Recently these two late directors have been surprisingly prolific, with Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind, having spent decades in post-production hell over disputes of its ownership, receiving a belated release by Netflix in 2018; meanwhile, Ruiz, who passed away in 2011, had his final film Night Across the Street posthumously distributed in 2012 while his widow Valeria Sarmiento supervised a reconstruction of his lost picture The Wandering Shadow (2017).Continue reading “NYFF: Hopper/Welles (2020) & The Tango of the Widower and its Distorting Mirror (2020)”
1. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Holy Motors is not only the best film of the 2010s but the film of the decade, directly defying the mutual symbiosis between cinema and its spectators. Leos Carax’s surreal satire can be perceived in many ways, as a critique of the fallaciousness and duplicity of the Internet and social media, as a demonstration of society being incapable of self-reflection, or perhaps (more irreverently) as an exercise of cultural excess. Whatever the case, Holy Motors is utterly refreshing, a bleakly and brutally funny antidote to the creative stagnancy of commercial filmmaking.