Thursday, January 18, 2018

2017 Manhattan One-Week-Run Premieres

I've probably seen as many first-run 2017 releases as I'm going to. So here are my favorite films that played at least one week in Manhattan for the first time in 2017, in approximate order of preference:

1. Staying Vertical (Alain Guiraudie, France)
2. The Unknown Girl (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium)
3. Mister Universo (Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, Italy/Austria)
4. How Heavy This Hammer (Kazik Radwanski, Canada)
5. Downsizing (Alexander Payne, USA)
6. I Hate Myself :) (Joanna Arnow, USA)
7. Hermia & Helena (Matias Pineiro, Argentina/USA)
8. The Wedding Plan (Rama Burshtein, Israel)
9. Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda, USA)
10. Ma Loute (Slack Bay) (Bruno Dumont, France)
11. La Patota (Paulina) (Santiago Mitre, Argentina)
12. A Ghost Story (David Lowery, USA)

A few good films that received their first NYC theatrical run this year felt too old to put on a 2017 list: Yang's Taipei Story, Hou's Daughter of the Nile.

Lately I wonder why I even make this list. I keep a perfectly good list of favorite films by international release date. What gets released in the US in a given year is in the lap of the gods. Theoretically one makes such a list because those are the films one's readers are likely to have seen. But that's no longer the case, if it ever was: many of the films on my list were exhibited in such a DIY fashion that they were barely more accessible than a one-day booking. (Those DIY bookings are awesome, by the way, don't get me wrong.) I'll probably keep these lists coming, just out of habit - but if you don't see one next year, you'll know why.


K T said...

Hi Dan, greetings from LA. Trust you are well! I was thinking that my wife and I have been watching some really bland entertainment on Netflix, wasting our waking hours but we love cinema. I thought back to the 1990s living in Paris, France when I watched amazing films, very few of which got any traction here and thought that must've continued but I have no idea for the last twenty years what's been shown back there. There's an advantage to French movie selections in that they tend not to emphasize too much the anglosphere. I tried to find a list at Cinefile in West LA; nothing. Tried online, and remembering my good old friend Dan Sallitt, found your list of favorite movies. I found my treasure map! Now I need to find those movies. Why are there so many specialty bookstores that sell rare books online but none (that I can find) that sell movies say from your list?
Cheers, Yasser Taima

Dan Sallitt said...

Yasser! An unexpected place to encounter an old friend! I hope all's well. Maybe you should look into online streaming sites? I don't stream many films myself, but MUBI looks as if it might fit the bill.