It’s that time of year again. How to decide what’s “best” out of the six-hundred-plus movies I watched in 2020? It’s an impossible task, so here’s a fairly random selection of things which may not be best, but certainly appealed to me and stuck in my memory.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s early television series Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day (1972-73) is a real discovery, a warm, funny, richly layered melodrama depicting the lives of a working class family navigating personal relationships in the context of economic and political constraints in post-war capitalist Germany.
It’s remarkable that it’s still possible to discover a previously unknown yet major film from the silent era, but the BFI’s new release of Anthony Asquith’s first feature, Shooting Stars (1928) is a revelation; a fresh, self-aware film about filmmaking and the intersection of real and imaginary lives.
One of the things I like about Criterion’s Eclipse series is the lack of snobbery in their choices. Yes, there are serious selections like the early Ozu films and Naruse’s silent works, Louis Malle’s documentaries, Jean-Pierre Gorin’s trilogy of essay films and the early Bergmans … but the people behind the line have shown a […] Read More
You could make an interesting double bill out of Daniel Barber’s Harry Brown (2009) and Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block (2011). Both are set in crime-ridden British housing estates where residents are terrorized by youth gangs, both have a gritty tone which strives to create a sense of relevance and immediacy. But while they have […] Read More