Tuesday, February 23, 2021

2020 "Theatrical" Premieres

On top of the usual arbitrariness of the ten-best list of local theatrical runs, we now have no theaters. Eligibility for this list is by New York streaming, though something probably fell through the cracks. Anything that hasn't been distributed in New York before, and that feels new according to my subjective concept of modernity, is eligible. (As always, my list of favorite films by international release date is better tended.) In approximate order of preference:

1. Young Ahmed (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Belgium)
2. Yourself and Yours (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)
3. Heimat Is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise, Germany)
4. Hill of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)
5. Jeanne (Bruno Dumont, France)
6. I Was at Home, But... (Angela Schanelec, Germany)
7. José (Li Cheng, Guatemala/USA)
8. Dear Comrades (Andrei Konchalovsky, Russia)
9. The Misogynists (Onur Tukel, USA)
10. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman, USA)

So y'all didn't get excited about Young Ahmed, I see from the year-end lists. I think you're missing out. Never Rarely could go higher or lower on next viewing: it's one of those films that I didn't get a fix on until after it was over.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Frivolous Lists: Israel

 Just for fun, my favorite Israeli films as of today.

1. Late Marriage (Dover Kosashvili, 2001)
2. Ben Zaken (Efrat Corem, 2014)
3. Beautiful Valley (Hadar Friedlich, 2011)
4. Kedma (Amos Gitai, 2003)
5. Or (Mon Tresor) (Keren Yedaya, 2004)
6. A Thousand Little Kisses (Mira Recanati, 1981)
7. The Wedding Plan (Rama Burshtein, 2016)
8. Slaves of the Lord (Hadar Friedlich, 2002)
9. Red Cow (Tsivia Barkai Yacov, 2018)
10. The Day After I'm Gone (Nimrod Eldar, 2019)