Friday, January 13, 2012


This was a pretty easy list to make, since after seeing every single one of these, I immediately knew they would end up here. Throughout the year, each of these films have occupied my thoughts for days/weeks/months at a time, always speaking straight to my heart. In their own way, they all even seem to investigate life itself- its origins and destinations, its nature and rhythms, and its very meaning.

Favorite Films of The Past Year

1. Copie Conforme - Abbas Kiarostami
2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives - Apichatpong Weerasethakul
3. Le Havre - Aki Kaurismäki
4. The Future - Miranda July
5. Beginners - Mike Mills
6. Melancholia - Lars Von Trier
7. The Tree Of Life - Terrence Malick
8. Film Socialisme - Jean-Luc Godard
9. The Skin I Live In - Pedro Almodóvar
10. Le Quattro Volte - Michelangelo Frammartino

Copie Conforme is a total knockout- Kiarostami and La Binoche just keep getting better and better in more ways than should even be possible. I could watch this forever.

Uncle Boonmee
exists, as does the rest of Weerasethakul's cinema, on an entirely different and other plane than anything else I can think of. Thoroughly mystifying and truly magical.

Aki Kaurismäki's Le Havre is certainly the most uplifting of the list- whimsically, old-fashionedly perfect.

The Future by Miranda July is a heartbreaking, reassuring, and insightfully honest understanding of daily life and the bigger picture. One of the most personally affecting films I have ever seen- our fears, hopes, dreams, disappointments.. they're all in there.

is brilliantly designed, truly felt, and original from the inside out. Mike Mills does so many things so well, and part of the beauty of this film is watching them all come together in one place.

If Melancholia is really how the world will end, I can't imagine better company than the career-best acting from both Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Aside from the perfectly nostalgic and true to growing up memories it evokes, I love The Tree Of Life for its scope of history, human life, the meaning of science and of God. Ambitious is an understatement. Malick still has a way with light that I will never understand.

Godard as Godard- always that much ahead of the rest of us, even decades later. If this really is his ending, I can't imagine a better way out.

Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In is peculiar, inspired, and always maintains a perfect level of overblown understatement.

Finally, Le Quattro Volte is a wordless film in a way that is completely unlike any I have ever seen. The mysteries this film unlocks more than make up for those it creates.

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