Daily | Lists, Awards, and Favorite Filmmakers

Mickey Sumner and Greta Gerwig in 'Frances Ha'

Mickey Sumner and Greta Gerwig in ‘Frances Ha’

The lists of the day, hands down, are those being sent into the Experimental Film Society, where Rouzbeh Rashidi has asked critics, programmers, and filmmakers for a simple list of twelve names: favorite filmmakers. Period. Among those who’ve sent in lists so far are Jonathan Rosenbaum, Adrian Martin, Nicole Brenez, Fergus Daly, Brad Stevens, Bill Mousoulis, Claudia Siefen, Brecht Andersch, Maximilian Le Cain, and Girish Shambu.

Meantime, following Monday’s round at Criticwire, there’s more anticipation of 2014 going on at Time Out London and Little White Lies (parts 1 and 2).

BEST OF 2013

Neil Young (the British critic, not the American Canadian rocker) has posted his lists of best films (#1: Frances Ha) and female and male performances (Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue Is the Warmest Color and and Emory Cohen in The Place Beyond the Pines) and added comments on the year in general.

“America is in trouble (no kidding),” writes the New Yorker‘s David Denby, “and many of the best movies this year, intentionally or not, embodied the national unease, the sense that everyone is on his own, that communal bonds have disappeared in a war of all against all, or the indifference of all to all. (A recent study suggests that hard-heartedness as a social sentiment goes up—not down—in periods of greater income inequality; we don’t want anyone else to get something we don’t have.) Blue Jasmine, Gravity, All Is Lost, 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, The Bling Ring, and Inside Llewyn Davis are all powerful movies that touch on the national loneliness and despair. That they are also such strong movies is, at the same time, a defiance of misery.”

Peter Bradshaw caps off the Guardian‘s top ten of 2013 countdown: “The Act of Killing is a Marat/Sade for our times.” And Henry Barnes interviews Joshua Oppenheimer.

Surveying the year for the Telegraph, Robbie Collin argues that “to find such a consistently impressive array across all tiers and genres, you would have to go back to 1999, for which the release schedule reads like one mad, final surge of fin-de-siecle fruitfulness: Fight Club, Magnolia, The Matrix, Princess Mononoke, Beau Travail, Ratcatcher, Toy Story 2, The Iron Giant, The Blair Witch Project, Being John Malkovich, After Life, and more.” Topping his 2013 list: The Great Beauty. “Paolo Sorrentino gives Berlusconi-era Rome the Fellini treatment: satirizing it, criticizing it, fetishizing it, immortalizing it.”

R. Kurt Osenlund asks Joe Swanberg about his favorite movies of the year and receives a list that “should be taken with a grain of salt and with the knowledge that it’s within the range of the limited number of movies I’ve seen this year. But these are the ones I really loved.” #1: Frank V. Ross’s Tiger Tail in Blue. “Totally blew me away.”

12 Years a Slave tops Phil Donohue‘s list. “Ultimately though, the best thing I saw all year was Breaking Bad. I took in all 6 seasons in a 3-week meth-like state and have become quietly obsessed.”

Oliver Farry: “Two things I found striking this year—many of the best films I saw were of the sort that are usually done so ineptly on screen, be it the historical drama of Heimat, the quirky comedy of Frances Ha or the ‘fan’ documentary of Fifi Howls from Happiness. I also noticed how long many of the films listed here are.” His #1: Jia Zhangke‘s A Touch of Sin.

#1 for Katey Rich at Vanity Fair: 12 Years a Slave.


David Simon, whose credits include The Wire, Treme, and Homicide: Life on the Street, has been tapped as the recipient of the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for career achievement from the Writers Guild of America East.” Dave McNary reports for Variety.

“The Alliance of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ)—a membership organization of women film journalists and critics from across the U.S., Canada and the U.K.—have announced the winners of their annual EDA Awards. Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave won six awards, including Best Film, while Nicole Holofcener won awards for female director and woman screenwriter.” And Peter Knegt has the full list at Indiewire.

“The Utah Film Critics Association has come along and done for Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity what no other critics group has: handed it its own, tie-free win for Best Picture of 2013.” And Kristopher Tapley has their full list at In Contention.

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