Entries in part 5:

Fidel Jésus Quirós
Robert Reimer
Bérénice Reynaud
Stuart Richards
Jeremy Rigsby
Peter Rist
Eloise Ross
Julian Ross
Miriam Ross
Dan Sallitt
Maria San Filippo
José Sarmiento
Regina Schlagnitweit
Daniel  Schmidt
Howard Schumann
Pedro Emilio Segura Bernal
Christopher Sikich
Mark Spratt
Brad Stevens
Isabel Stevens
Clint Stivers
Bee Thiam Tan
Antoine Thirion
Gorazd Trunšnovec
Koen Van Daele
Tom Vincent
David Walsh
Virginia Wright Wexman
Deane  Willams
Barbara Wurm
Neil Young
Alexandra Zawia




Last film year was marked by the arrival of digital projection to Cuba during the Havana Film Festival. This event is truly my only annual rendezvous with the cinema, so this list is only the best of the few films I saw in 2014.

As many did last year, I included in my list the Polish film Ida, a surprising turn at the way in which cinema looks at reality, to tell an intimate story that reveals how communist Poland silenced the country’s Jewish heritage. I also enjoyed the superb Italian film The Great Beauty, which blends verbal debate and breathtaking visuals. From the French, I enjoyed the corrosive Me, Myself and Mum, and the stern fable of female sexual discovery Young & Beautiful, both denouncing male brutalisation of love and demolishing all gender stereotypes. Not far from this, the Swedish film Something Must Break is a love story between an androgynous young man and a “straight” boy who tried to feminise him to fit into his hetero world. Germany’s Inbetween Worlds reveals the lyricism and pathos of the encounter of two very different cultures, East and West, through a complex tapestry of fraternal love, friendship and honour.

From French North America, 2010’s Incendies was like a brand new film for me, its illumination on love, hate and strength of spirit span beyond any given film year. From the US film factory I chose Labor Day, a quietly passionate drama that Kate Winslet’s riveting acting will turn into a classic. The cousin Scots offered Under the Skin, a tantalising film that begins as a dull piece of cinema and gradually becomes an hypnotic act of body dance, minimalist music and abstract backgrounds for the abyss of sexual attraction.

Latin America has stopped being an emerging cinema to become the solid ground for inspired, exceptional films such as the Golden Dream, where spared dialogues, actual facts and stunning images reconstruct the ordeal of three Central American teenagers that try to cross the US border. The Brazilian Futuro Beach made an immersion in the abyss of male sex, love and desire; it dives into the Brazilian Atlantic coast and re-emerges in the ultramodern Berlin to follow its hero alienation.

Cuban cinema was consecrated at last year’s Havana Film Festival. Conducta, within the environment of marginalisation, excels as a moral tale of the love, endurance and dedication of an aging female teacher and an alienated elementary school student. An instant audience success was Dress as a Maid, beginning as an old socialist realism film, turning to into a gender-oriented flick of transsexual identity, and ending as a love story amid a convulsive social landscape. I was also pleased by the first 3D animated Cuban feature, Meñique, a national version of a French fairytale, full of its own original ideas, bright imagination and kind ideals of which we are all in need of these days.

The best of the films I saw in 2014:

Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
Les Garçons et Guillaume, à Table!(Me, Myself and Mum, Guillaume Gallienne, 2013)
Jeune & jolie (Young & Beautiful, François Ozon, 2013)
Nånting Måste gå Sönder (Something Must Break, Ester Martin Bergsmark, 2014)
Zwischen Welten (Inbetween Worlds, Feo Aladag, 2014)
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman, 2013)
Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Dream, Diego Quemada-Díez, 2013)
Praia do Futuro (Futuro Beach, Karim Ainouz, 2014)
Conducta (Ernesto Daranas, 2014)
Vestido de Novia (Dressed as a Maid, Marilyn Solaya, 2014)
Meñique (Ernesto Padrón, 2014)

Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful, François Ozon, 2013)

Jeune & Jolie (Young & Beautiful, François Ozon, 2013)



Some of these films may have come out in 2013. But we viewed all in the theatre in 2014 in France. Of 42 films seen, here’s our list:

Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
The Homesman (Tommy Lee Jones, 2014)
Saving Mr. Banks (John Lee Hancock, 2013)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Wish I was Here (Zach Braff, 2014)
The Hundred Foot Journey (Lasse Hallström, 2014)
Before I Go to Sleep (Rowan Joffe, 2014)
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)
Third Person/Puzzle (Paul Haggis, 2014)
Begin Again (John Carney, 2013)
Worst films:
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Into the Storm (Steven Quale, 2014)
Noah (Darren Aronofsky, 2014)




By alphabetical order (of original film’s title):

Adieu au language (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)

To be coherent, one shouldn’t write anything about this film, obviously designed to send language back to primeval nothingness. At the beginning there was The Word, and, at the end of history, the dogs (throughout his career, Godard has been fond of mentioning Clifford D. Simak’s CityDemain les Chiens in French – in which dogs are taking over once humanity has extinguished itself). In exquisitely designed 3D, you have girls, books, couples. And a dog. Speechless as they all are. As what is going to remain of us. Plus a subtle, raw, physical emotion. And this is what the film gives us, gave me.

Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

Yes, I am putting it in this list; yes, it is a remarkable achievement; yes the writing is intelligent, the acting excellent; yes, it deeply struck a chord with US audiences. Yet, I cannot help thinking that Boyhood is looking toward the past, certainly not the future and not even the present. In spite of its “modern” aspects (extended families, separated and remarried parents, step-fathers and half-siblings, the father’s progressive politics, the mother’s struggles), it’s a time capsule of an America that is no more: white suburbs, established rites of passage, unquestioned gender and ethnic identities, a national territory unchallenged by the rest of the world, no real vanishing point. Boyhood may be the best of a certain American cinema, but it marks the end of an era.

Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)

Because of the melancholia. Because of the painterly aspects, the reference to photography. Because, as it is often the case with Costa, his cinematic field offers me a canvas onto which I can project other images. Superimposed to his sadness at the failure of the 1974 Revolução dos Cravos (Carnation Revolution), I could hear and see echoes of the still-undigested colonial war Portugal waged for so many years. (My friend Martim Avilez, who fought in that war and never forgot, recently died in an institution for badly damaged veterans… so it was on my mind, but Costa’s work has a hallucinatory effect…) Because it’s easy to fall in love with Ventura. Because maybe I did.

Chuangru Zhe (Red Amnesia, Wang Xiaoshuai, 2014)

Boldly centered around the physical/emotional landscape of a widowed mother in her 70s (an elegant performance by veteran actress Lv Zhong), Red Amnesia is a ghost story of sorts, in which the return of repressed Chinese history asserts itself with a melancholic vengeance. This may be Sixth Generation director Wang Xiaoshuai’s best film ever, digging through the layers of the visible – the mundane reality of China walking toward increased consumerism and material comfort – to reveal a long-hidden sorrow, the unsolved guilt of ordinary people who had to make do just to survive.

The Dog (Alison Berg and Frank Keraudren, 2013)

A media victim after his 125 minutes of fame (the length of Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, 1975), never cashing on it after being given the illusion of being the master of his own destiny, working class maverick John Wojtowicz was still alive when documentarians Berg and Keraudren contacted him (he died of cancer during the shooting). Behind “the dog” who kept the police at bay and the crowd chanting for him while he was trying to rob a bank in Brooklyn, there is a charismatic, complex man, certainly lost, yet a paradoxically defining figure of queer identity, with two wives (one woman, one man), children, a powerful mother and energy galore.

Ghesseh-ha (Tales, Rakhshan Banietemad, 2014)

The best Iranian film in years, invisible in its own country save for a series of screenings at the latest Fajr Film Festival, a sum of Banietemad’s work (both fictional and documentary): characters from some of her earlier films meet and have complex, intimate interactions over the landscape of contemporary Tehran. Workers organise to obtain back wages, women fight for their right to happiness in the streets, on the workplace and in their homes, lost souls wander away from the cinematic field. Societal issues are often perceived through the prism of the fraught relationships between men and women, culminating in a powerful scene of romantic mismatch/longing in a van driven through the night.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

Or what does cinematic freedom really feel like. Entertaining a rich conversation with the history of literature, the history of the world (Europe between WWI and WWII) with its assorted canon of bigotry, persecution and class divide (providing some of the film’s most powerful scenes), architecture, fine arts and good acting (the cast is a joy to behold), Anderson has crafted a finely tuned masterpiece. Acknowledging influences, such as that of Stefan Zweig in this case, is another way of asserting originality, and, as usual, Anderson is his own screenwriter, which makes for a tight, intelligent, always surprising plot. Pure pleasure – not even a guilty one.

Huangjin Shidai (The Golden Era, Ann Hui, 2014)

One of the two great films of the year (with Listen Up Philip) to successfully approach the creative meanderings of what it means to be a writer. Written in collaboration with ace screenwriter Li Quang, the film moves back and forth between different time frames and subjective/objective points of view to create an impressionistic, intimate portrait of both an artist and an era. Born the same year as the short-lived Chinese Republic, in 1911, and dying in Hong Kong at the age of 31, Xiao Hong, through her writings, sublimated the material conditions of her existence – civil war, social unrest, Japanese invasion, abject poverty, and the acute contradictions of the female condition during the Republican era. Hui’s sensitive, kaleidoscopic mise en scène does her justice while keeping her mystery intact.

Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)

It may not be cool to put the Palme d’Or winner in your list, but two scenes won me over. A drunken working-class man destroying the money given to him by a well-meaning woman (yes, the mise en scène had prepared the stage and you could see it coming, but even then, the emotional impact is staggering); an older husband explaining to his younger wife why he can’t leave her even though their marriage is dead. Both scenes involve Melisa Sözen; in the first, she is the one who learns; in the second, the one to learn from. A metaphor for Ceylan’s screenwriting collaboration with his wife, Ebru Ceylan?

Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014)

One of the most intelligent films made about a writer who is also a chauvinist pig, an unsympathetic character – as well as, surprisingly, someone we care about. Having him disappear from the diegesis for about one third of the film was a stroke of genius; we realised that we missed the asshole. Yet it also goes deeper: as in Ann Hui’s equally compelling The Golden Era, the film respects the mystery of the creative process, the obscure correspondences between life and art, whether or not it is important to like a writer to appreciate his/her work – but, ultimately, why it matters for public freedom that writers should be allowed to misbehave in peace.

The Many Faces of Comrade Gelovani (Mikheil Antadze, 2014)

Take a super-smart undergraduate CalArts student from Georgia, have him enrol in a class about YouTube filmmaking with James Benning, add, in the background, the undissipated shadow of Stalinism and Russian imperialism, and this is what happens. Delving into the history of Soviet propaganda film, Antadze came upon the figure of Mikheil Gelovani, an actor who, to his misfortune, knew how to imitate Stalin’s Georgian accent to perfection. From 1938 to 1953, this is all he did – playing him in films by the likes of Kuleshov, Romm and Kalatozov – risking his sanity and the mood swings of the deified leader in the process. (Disclaimer: I teach at CalArts, Antadze took classes with me and I made possible the international premiere of the film in Vienna.)

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)

I will take a stance about Mommy in my report on the AFI. For the time being, I’ll say that it’s as much for the scenes between the two women (played by two extraordinary actresses, Anne Dorval as the mother and Suzanne Clément as the neighbour) and for the scenes between mother and son (Antoine-Olivier Pilon). In all cases, it’s a film about the endurance of misplaced love (as in the best of Dolan’s previous work) – a film about saying goodbye.

Nånting måste gå sönder (Something Must Break, Ester Martin Bergsmark, 2014)

There is always something magical in the collaboration between the two Swedes, filmmaker Bergsmark and writer/performer Eli Levén, as evidenced in their previous film together, Pojktanten (She Male Snails, 2012). In this more traditional narration of a sexually ambiguous young man in love with a straight boy, Bergsmark displays an increased mastery of the medium, without losing the nonchalance, whimsicality and sheer refusal of conventions, boundaries and fixed identities that have made the work so endearing.

Nv daoyan(Female Directors, Yang Mingming, 2012)

I am deeply grateful to my Beijing friends for introducing me to this gem, that has so far shown very little in China and elsewhere, but marks one of the most exciting directing debuts of late. Unemployed art school graduates Mingming and Yue take turns filming each other with a small camera, exploring a range of issues rarely shown in any national cinema with such deadpan accuracy – from the complex waters of female friendship to “pussy” as a commodity, from the desire to use filmmaking as a weapon to the decision to make a baby – an up-in-your face, playful, sassy deconstruction of what it means to be a young woman now.

Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2014)

Uneven as it may be, Ferrara’s work rarely leaves you untouched, but Pasolini is fated to occupy a special place in cinephilic hearts – despite being made mostly in English… First this was the role the vastly talented Willem Dafoe was born to play, and his physical identification with his model is astonishing. Second how breathtaking it is to find, in the role of Ninetto Davoli’s father, Ninetto Davoli himself, his hair white, but still casting the same generous and astonished gaze onto the world around him, whether it is designed by the Creator or by a non-conformist filmmaker. Third, Ferrara should be commended for attempting the impossible: shooting a few scenes of Pasolini’s last planned extravaganza, with Davoli traveling to the city of Sodom.

Party Girl (Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burder and Samuel Theis, 2014)

The surprise winner of the Caméra d’Or, Party Girl is the brainchild of three graduates from La Fémis, who decided to follow the (love) life of an ageing bar hostess, Angélique Litzenburger, still working in a cabaret near the French-German boarder. A documentary? Yes, but Angélique, who has known many men in her life and still persists in living through desire alone, has had a few children, and Samuel Theis is her son. As the possibility of being reunited with a daughter once taken away from her and of marrying a former client arose almost simultaneously, the film morphs into fiction, to disturbing and exhilarating results.

P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014).

A remarkable tour de force, simultaneously droll and poignant, burlesque and romantic, tracking the eternal (and nagging) question of good and evil through a pair of comedic bumbling cops and a couple of little kids in love, this immersion into the racist fantasies lurking in an un-bucolic landscape of meadows and manure could do for French television (and Dumont) what Twin Peaks did for the US (and Lynch): coining a new language, tapping into liberating creative forces.

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)

As Muslim fundamentalism is on everybody’s mind, Sissako perfects an impossible feat: a visual and aural poem about the brief occupation of the Timbuktu Region of Mali by the militant Islamist group Ansar Dine. Never falling into sentimentalism or indignation, Sissako films every individual with palpable warmth and understanding, echoing Renoir and Satyajit Ray. And the film is through and through suffused with the almost-spiritual quality of the African light, and a mosaic of linguistic and musical traditions. Tragedy and death are shown as the result of small gestures – even in the wake of major historical upheavals.

The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2014)

Granted, I have only seen the film once, and this meticulous product of years of reading and lecturing about Deleuze’s Cinéma was not finished yet (even though it was a public screening in CalArts’ grand auditorium). It was, however, enough to see Thom Andersen jump from close-ups of manual labour shown by Dovzhenko, to a montage of Marlene Dietrich’s face in a succession of films by von Sternberg – from the uncut scene of Mike Hammer asking Christina to read him Christina Rossetti’s poem twice to breathtakingly beautiful shots of the sky and the sea excerpted from Godard… to know that I had to mention it here. I’ll see a new version in March, let’s wait for the 2015 list!

Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)

Black women played a seminal role in the Civil Rights Movement, but, more often than not (with the notable exception of Julie Dash’s The Rosa Parks Story, 2002), its history has mostly been told by male directors. Now, after finely analysing the plight of African American women in her first two films, Ava DuVernay intelligently tackles the three historical marches from Selma to Montgomery organized by Martin Luther King in 1965. Casting the British-born Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (already excellent in her earlier Middle of Nowhere, 2012), she depicts a complex, passionate, vulnerable and sometimes insecure Civil Rights leader, deeply conflicted about the harm his decisions may cause his followers or his family – nevertheless media-savvy in his desire to put pressure on President Johnson. A story of men and women rather than a story of heroes – yet a story that shaped our political landscape.

Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)

Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)



This is a biased list. Being an early career researcher who focuses on queer cinema, I have a keen interest in films with LGBTI themes. It should be no surprise then that my highlights for 2014 consist of a majority of queer films. While the below list is in no particular order, I must say that my top film for the year was Dolan’s Mommy. The film is his strongest film to date and revels in his stylistic flourishes.

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)
Turist (Force Majeure,Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (David Zellner, 2014)
Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks, Daniel Ribeiro, 2014)
Appropriate Behavior (Desiree Akhavan, 2014)
Pride (Matthew Warchus, 2014)
Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013)
Lilting (Hong Khaou, 2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
The Skeleton Twins (Craig Johnson, 2014)
52 Tuesdays (Sophie Hyde, 2013)




1. Not Far at All (Peter Gidal, England, 16mm, 2014)
2. Gradual Speed (Els Van Riel, Belgium, 16mm, 2013)
3. Sound That and FE26 (Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, digital, 2013)
4. Main Hall (Philipp Fleischmann, Austria, 35mm, 2013)
5. Gente Perra (Anja Dornieden & Juan David Gonzalez Monroy, Germany/Colombia, 2014)
6. Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop, Senegal/France, digital, 2013)
7. Im Wiener Prater and NEC SPE NEC METU (Friedl vom Gröller, Austria, 16mm, 2013)
8. Orizzonti orizzonti! (Anna Marziano, Italy, digital, 2014)
9. Berlin Tiger and Rose (Shiloh Cinquemani, USA, 2012/13)
10. Not and Or (Simon Payne, England, digital, 2013)




2014 was an OK year for film, and here in Montreal it was good to catch up on some late entries from the previous year – Jia’s A Touch of Sin, Panh’s The Missing Picture – while the International Documentary Film Festival, RIDM in November, gets better all the time, and was notable for its retrospectives to James Benning and Kazuo Hara (complete), with both men in attendance. It was a very bad year for Hollywood films, and not much better for so-called U.S. “independents”, with Whiplash being arguably the most overrated film of the year, totally misrepresenting both jazz music and jazz education, while typifying in its Hollywood-ending what is wrong with Sundance existing as a professional calling-card festival. (I’ve never been there and have no interest in changing my travel plans.) Britain fared better, with my favourite sci-fi horror film in a long time, Glazer’s Under the Skin, and my favourite entertainment film of the year, the conventional, but charming Pride, while the flawed Mr. Turner impressively reflects the great painter’s sun worship through Dick Pope’s widescreen cinematography.Highlights of my year included being on the FIPRESCI jury at the Hong Kong IFF, where I admired Yang Hen’s third feature, Na pian hu shui (Lake August), and a couple of first features among others, as well as attending the amazing HK film market for the first time, where I saw one of my three 2014 “films for the ages”, Tsai’s Journey to the West; and seeing a nitrate print of Hitchcock’s Rebecca at the George Eastman House in Rochester (where they are doing a three-day all-nitrate festival in May, 2015!). It was also good to see the IMAX film projector used again, for Interstellar, although it was disconcerting to see the aspect ratio change from 70mm to anamorphic 35mm, often within the same scene. Poland was well served in Montreal this year with Ida and the Scorsese-sponsored retrospective: Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s Night Train (1959) was a revelation. FanTasia has now become more than just a genre festival, and this year, they showed two impressive U.S. first features directed by women, Sarah Adina Smith’s The Midnight Swim, and Josephine Decker’s Butter on the Latch (2013). October’s Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (FNC) continues to experience many technical glitches, but a lot of fine work does get shown, including retrospectives this year on Pedro Costa, and very early stereoscopic, i.e., 3D films from Canada’s National Film Board (1951-52), along with a digital restoration of King Hu’s Dragon Gate Inn (1968, finally sporting coherent English subtitles, thanks to Teresa Huang).

Three films for the ages:

Xi you (Journey to the West, Tsai Ming-liang, 2014)
Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language 3-D, Jean-Luc Godard 2014)

A short list of 10 others, in the order in which I saw them, and where:
Tian zhu ding (A Touch of Sin, Jia Zhangke, 2013) in release
Yoru no henrin (The Shape of Night, Noboru Nakamura, 1964) HKIFF
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) in release
28 (Prasanna Jayakody, 2014) at the World Film Festival (WFF)
Soko nomi nite hikari kagayaku (The Light Shines Only There, Mipo Oh 2014) WFF
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa 2014) FNC
Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014) FNC
brouillard – passage#15 (Alexandre Larose, 2013) FNC (best short/Canadian film)
small roads (James Benning, 2011) RIDM
Gokushiteki erosu: Renka 1974 (Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974, Katsuo Hara 1974) RIDM

Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)

Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)



Best new Australian releases and festival viewings

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye To Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
All Is Lost (J. C. Chandor, 2013)
Charlie’s Country (Rolf de Heer, 2013)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, 2013)
Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2013)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Tracks (John Curran, 2013)
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

Best repertory viewings

The Face Behind the Mask (Robert Florey, 1941), at the British Film Institute.
The Strange Woman (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946), 35mm print seen with Ulmer’s equally outstanding Detour (1945) at Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Nightmare Alley (Edmund Goulding, 1947), at Melbourne Cinémathèque.
No Way Out (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950), 35mm print at New York Film Festival.
Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1962), as part of Melbourne Cinémathèque’s season, Pier Paolo Pasolini: Poet of the Profane.
La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962), screened simultaneously in four different formats.
Kým sa skonči táto noc (Before Tonight Is Over, Peter Solan, 1965), digital restoration at Melbourne’s Czech and Slovak Film Festival.
Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966), as part of Melbourne Cinémathèque’s season Cries and Whispers: Liv Ullmann’s Intimate Cinema.
Lions Love (Agnès Varda, 1969) at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Best archival viewing

Walk on the Wild Side (Edward Dmytryk, 1962), 16mm print at the Museum of Modern Art

Worst new releases 

Jersey Boys (Clint Eastwood, 2014)
Labor Day (Jason Reitman, 2013)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013)

Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)

Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)



The Dent (Basim Magdy, 2014)
Xi you (Journey to the West, Tsai Ming-liang, 2014)
Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)
Mueda, Memória e Massacre (Mueda, Memory and Massacre, Ruy Guerra, 1972)
On the way to India Consciousness, I Reached China (Henry Francia, 1968)
Instants (Hannes Schüpbach, 2012)
Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, 2014)
Hotel (Benjamin Nuel, 2013)
Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
Des hommes et de la guerre (Of Men and War, Laurent Bécue-Renard, 2014)




2014 offered a fairly good demonstration of the way 3D cinema has become entrenched in recent years. Most of the major action blockbusters – particularly those that are part of wider franchises such as Marvel and DC – had 3D versions released. Similarly, most of the major computer-generated animations were exhibited in 3D, including the record-breaking Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, 2013). Although a variety of independent 3D films from around the world were made, few made it beyond their country of origin and/or a handful of film festivals. As a potential blip, or maybe as a sign of things to come, this was the first of recent years not to have an obvious Academy Awards contender (previous years produced Hugo [2011], Life of Pi [2012], Gravity [2013]).

These are my top three 3D films released in 2014 and the other close contenders:

1. Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean Luc Godard, 2014)
Godard’s first feature length 3D film broke all the rules about what one should and should not do when shooting in 3D. It was often an agonising viewing experience but one that excelled in making us question everything we know about the process of three dimensional vision and how we view the world. 

2. The Young and Prodigious T. S. Spivet (2013, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
Unafraid of using a presentational mode of visual expression, the film explored its depth budget with delight. It created a stunning hyper-reality that allows all the intricate details of its carefully crafted visual world to seem within touching distance of our grasp.

3. Step Up All In (Trish Sie, 2014)
Although Step Up All In has a terribly formulaic plot and frequent doses of wooden acting, it demonstrates exactly why dance on film is best showcased in 3D cinema. The film uses the full extent of deep space in order to show the spectacular kinetic abilities of its cast so that we can experience spectacular moments that would be lost in the 2D version.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Bryan Singer, 2014)

5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb, 2014)

6. Amazonia (Thierry Ragobert, 2013)

7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, 2014)

8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves, 2014)

9. The Lego Movie (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, 2014)

10. 300: Rise of an Empire (Noam Murro, 2014)




1. The Mend (John Magary, 2014)
2. Something, Anything (Paul Harrill, 2014)
3. Ja-yu-eui eon-deok (Hill of Freedom, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
4. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller, 2014)
5. The Monuments Men (George Clooney, 2014)
6. Casa Grande (Fellipe Barbosa, 2014)
7. Happy Christmas (Joe Swanberg, 2014)
8. The Rover (David Michôd, 2014)
9. Bing du (Ice Poison, Midi Z, 2014)
10. Dos disparos (Two Shots Fired, Martin Rejtman, 2014)
11. Aimer, boire et chanter (Life of Riley, Alain Resnais, 2014)
12. Ellie Lumme (Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 2014)
13. White Strips (Tim Whitney, 2014)

All the above films received their world premieres in 2014. This list will certainly change quite a lot as 2014 films make their way to New York over the course of the next few years.

A few good films of recent years that crossed my path in 2014: Mes séances de lutte (Love Battles, Jacques Doillon, 2013); Pelo Malo (Bad Hair, Mariana Rondón, 2013); Exhibition (Joanna Hogg, 2013); Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (Sam Fleischner, 2013); Tirez la langue, mademoiselle (Miss and the Doctors, Axelle Ropert, 2013); Epizoda u zivotu beraca zeljeza (An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, Danis Tanovic, 2013); Stop the Pounding Heart (Roberto Minervini, 2013); Palo Alto (Gia Coppola, 2013); El loro y el cisne (The Parrot and the Swan, Alejo Moguillansky, 2013); Elle s’en va (On My Way, Emmanuelle Bercot, 2013); Sebunsu kôdo (Seventh Code, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2013); La isla (The Island, Dominga Sotomayor and Katarzyna Klimkiewicz, 2013); Low Tide (Roberto Minervini, 2012); Finsterworld (Frauke Finsterwalder, 2013); “Singapore Panda” episode (Sun Koh) from Nan fang lai xin (Letters from the South, 2013); O Homem das Multidoes (The Man of the Crowd, Marcelo Gomes and Cao Guimarães, 2013).




1. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Officially opening mid-2015, though my most entrancing cinematic experience of last year. A poignant meditation on art as well as a delightful female buddy comedy with sublime performances by its three female leads.

2. Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
With the Internet flooded by fan adoration and scholarly analyses already shooting down the pipeline, I’ll confine myself to calling this a unique, and uniquely terrifying, cinematic vision in every way.

3. Joanna Hogg trilogy: Unrelated (2007), Archipelago (2010), Exhibition (2013)
Finally available to US viewers via Netflix streaming, Hogg’s work to date is quietly devastating and revelatory. A Mike Leigh of the haute bourgeoisie.

4. Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
A near-disaster and its aftermath begets a crisis of faith for two vacationing couples, whose increasingly desperate attempts to address what happened are (despite a florid final act) nothing short of mesmerising.

5. Love Is Strange (Ira Sachs, 2014)
John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a decades-old but just-married gay couple confronting the cruel new world of too-high Manhattan rents and reluctant family support. Simultaneously heartening and heartbreaking.

6. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
Less enthused than most (the Before trilogy remaining, for me, Linklater’s crowning achievement), I felt deflated by both kids becoming less interesting with each passing year. Yet Arquette’s and Hawke’s performances were touching, and the combination of epic span and micro-drama impressive.

7. Obvious Child (Gillian Robespierre, 2014)
Highly gratifying for being Jenny Slate’s much-deserved breakout, for giving bathroom humour feminist inflection, and for providing the abortion comedy antidote to Juno.

8. Io e te (Me and You, Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012)
A late gem from the 73 year-old master who still manages to shock, though here by not delivering the expected incest between half-siblings sharing a hideout. The Italian-language version of Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that accompanies their climactic encounter is a transcendent moment of film music.

9. Land Ho! (Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens, 2014)
10. The Trip to Italy (Michael Witterbottom, 2014)
Both feature a rascal-straight man duo living large in an exotic milieu, with droll discussions and imitations respectively alongside trenchant observations on male friendship and aging.

Obvious Child (Gillian Robespierre, 2014)

Obvious Child (Gillian Robespierre, 2014)



Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Alexei German, 2013)
P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
Història de la meva mort (Story of my Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
Exhibition (Joanna Hogg, 2013)
Jewels (Sandro Aguilar, 2013)

Free Range/Ballaad Maailma Heakskiitmisest (Free Range/Ballad on Approving of the World, Veiko Öunpuu, 2013)
Jigoku de Naze Warui (Why Don’t You Play In Hell?, Sion Sono, 2013)
Xi You (Journey to the West, Tsai Ming-Liang, 2014)
Broken Tongue (Mónica Savirón, 2013)
I Forgot! (Eduardo Williams, 2014)
Les Rencontres d’après minuit (You and The Night, Yann Gonzalez, 2013)
A Million Miles Away (Jennifer Reeder, 2014)

Tip Top (Serge Bozon, 2013)
The Immigrant (James Gray, 2013)
Amour Fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014)
Favula (Raúl Perrone, 2014)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)
El Futuro (The Future, Luis López Carrasco, 2013)
The Volcano Exiles (Paula Gaitán, 2013)
Los Angeles Red Squad (Travis Wilkerson, 2013)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez, 2013)
The Ugly One (Eric Baudelaire, 2013)

Quite good:
Aimer, boire et chanter (Life of Riley, Alain Resnais, 2014)
Uncertain Terms (Nathan Silver, 2014)
Un conte de Michel de Montaigne (Jean-Marie Straub, 2013)
Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child (Jim Finn, 2013)
Costa da Morte (Coast of Death, Lois Patiño, 2013)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2014)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
Le Dernier des injustes (The Last of the Unjust, Claude Lanzmann, 2013)
La Vénus à la fourrure (Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski, 2013)

Worth mentioning:
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (David Zellner, 2014)
Soon (Jeanne Liotta, 2014)
Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013)
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)
Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
La distancia (The Distance, Sergio Caballero, 2014)
America (Valérie Massadian, 2013)
52 Tuesdays (Sophie Hyde, 2013)

Didn’t get to watch but would surely be in this list:
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)




Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Dumb and Dumber To (Peter & Bobby Farrelly, 2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, 2014)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)
Natural History (James Benning, 2014)
P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Theeb (Naji Abu Nowar, 2014)




Some favourites, in no order:

Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
Fort Buchanan (Benjamin Crotty, 2014)
A Minute Ago (Rachel Rose, 2014)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Day is Done (Mike Kelley, 2005 – cinema installation)
Broad City Season 1 (Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson, 2014)
Here’s to the Future! (Gina Telaroli, 2014)
Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
Louie Season 4 (Louis C.K., 2014)
Jiao You (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014)
Mille soleils (A Thousand Suns, Mati Diop, 2014)
Quickeners (Jeremy Shaw, 2014)
The Kroll Show Season 2 (Nick Kroll, 2014)
Manakamana (Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, 2014)
Ennui ennui (Gabriel Abrantes, 2013)
Tom à la ferme (Tom at the Farm, Xavier Dolan, 2013)
Venice 70: Future Reloaded (Paul Schrader, 2013)
La princesa de Francia (The Princess of France, Matías Piñeiro, 2014)
For the Plasma (Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan, 2014)
Ha-Shoter (Policeman, Nadav Lapid, 2011)
Special Features (James Kienitz Wilkens, 2014)
South Park Season 18 (Trey Parker & Matt Stone, 2014)
Happy Birthday (Ed Atkins, 2014)
Things (Ben Rivers, 2014)

Still looking forward to seeing many new works including: Feng ai (‘Til Madness do Us Part, Wang Bing), Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa), Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson), Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie), La última película (Raya Martin & Mark Peranson), Mommy (Xavier Dolan), Haganenet (The Kindergarden Teacher, Nadav Lapid), Citizenfour (Laura Poitras), Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund), Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello), Les trois désastres (part of 3X3D, Jean-Luc Godard), Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz) and Pardé (Closed Curtain, Jafar Panahi).

Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014)

Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014)



1. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)
2. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
3. Locke (Steven Knight, 2014)
4. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
5. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (Brian Knappenberger, 2014)
6. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)*
7. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
8. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller), 2014)
9. I Origins (Mike Cahill, 2014)
10. Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
11. Life Itself (Steve James, 2014)
12. Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean and Luc Dardenne, 2014)
13. Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier, 2013)*
14. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)*
15. The Immigrant (James Gray, 2013)*
16. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
17. Calvary (John Michael McDonagh, 2014)
18. Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, 2013)*
19. Haganenet (The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid, 2014)
20. Io e te (Me and You, Bernardo Bertolucci, 2012)*

*Released in Canada in 2014

Honorable mentions:

Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Ostlund, 2014)
Dos disparos (Two Shots Fired, Martin Rejtman, 2014)
Charlie’s Country (Rolf de Heer, 2013)
In Search of Chopin (Phil Grabsky, 2014)
The Fault in Our Stars (Josh Boone, 2014)
Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, 2013)
St. Vincent (Theodore Melfi, 2014)

Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)
Chef (Jon Favreau, 2014)
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013)
The Theory of Everything (James Marsh, 2014)

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)



1. Adieu au langage (Goodbye To Language 3D, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
2. Bai ri yan huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice, (Diao Yinan, 2014)
3. Boyhood (Richard Linkater, 2014)
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
5. Clouds Of Sils Maria (Oliver Assayas, 2014)
6. La princesa de Francia (The Princess Of France, Matías Piñeiro, 2014)
7. Historia del miedo (History Of Fear, Benjamin Naishat, 2014)
8. Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
9. Maidan (Sergei Losnitsa, 2014)
10. Maps To The Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)

Shown in Mexico in 2014 with world release date from 2013:

1. Când se lasa seara peste Bucuresti sau Metabolism (When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism, Corneliu Porumboiu 2013)
2. Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-soo, 2013) / Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody’s Daughter Haewon, Hong Sang-soo, 2014)
3. The Wolf Of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
4. Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
5. L’inconnu du lac (Stranger By The Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
6. A Spell To Ward Off The Darkness (Ben Rivers & Ben Russell, 2013)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
8. Trudno byt bogom (Hard To Be A God, Aleksei German, 2013)
9. Tom à la ferme (Tom At The Farm, Xavier Dolan, 2013)
10. Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, The End Of History, Lav Díaz, 2013) / Manakamana (Stephanie Spray, Pacho Velez, 2013)




Time cinematic and immemorial was projected in novel ways in 2014. The transformation of the various characters’ lives in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood in selected real time was breathtaking to witness. The possibilities of expanding humanity’s understanding of time as shown in Interstellar was truly mind-bending. To see lives mortal (Life Itself), immortal (Only Lovers Left Alive) and nearly forgotten (Finding Vivian Maier) with their flaws and foibles in widescreen was exhilarating. The following fit my bill at this moment for the greatest of the great 2014.

1. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
2. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)
3. Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
4. Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
5. Soshite Chichi ni Naru (Like Father, Like Son, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2013)
6. Life Itself (Steve James, 2014)
7. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)
8. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
9. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
10. Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, 2013)

Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)

Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)



2014 was not a year that provided an abundance of joy and amazement in cinema screenings. Of those I saw however, these stand out as impressive in form and expression:

Mahi va gorbeh (Fish & Cat, Shahram Mokri, 2013)
The Babadook (Jennifer Kent, 2014)
Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, 2014)
Fury (David Ayer, 2014)
Locke (Steven Knight, 2013)
Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)
Ida (Pavel Pawilkowski, 2013)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2014)

As with the past few years, long form television continued to supply a steady stream of rewarding viewing, including:
The Knick (Steven Soderbergh, 2014)
True Detective (2014)
Olive Kitteridge (Lisa Cholodenko, 2014)

Finally seen in retrospective screenings elsewhere, these were stunning discoveries:

A Reliogiosa Portuguesa (The Portuguese Nun, Eugène Green, 2009)
Satantango (Béla Tarr, 1994)
Ride the Pink Horse (Robert Montgomery, 1947)




Films of the Year (in preferential order)

1. Welcome to New York (Abel Ferrara, 2014)
2. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
3. Grace of Monaco (Olivier Dahan, 2014)
4. Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen, 2013)
5. Diaz: Don’t Clean Up This Blood (Daniele Vicari, 2012)
6. Uri Sunhi (Our Sunhi, Hong Sang-soo, 2013)
7. Les salauds (Bastards, Claire Denis, 2013)
8. La Jalousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
9. Passion(Brian De Palma, 2012)
10. Le passé (The Past, Asghar Farhadi, 2013)

Retrospective discoveries (in alphabetical order)

1. The Big Trail (Raoul Walsh, 1930)
2. Chibusa yo eien nare (The Eternal Breasts, Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
3. Koibumi (Love Letters, Kinuyo Tanaka, 1953)
4. Nitrato argento (Silver Nitrate, Marco Ferreri, 1996)
5. Nuit de chien (This Night, Werner Schroeter, 2008)
6. Pilgrimage (John Ford, 1933)
7- Tsuki wa noborinu (The Moon Has Risen, Kinuyo Tanaka, 1955)
8. Visions of Clair (Zachary Strong, 1977)
9. Waga seishun ni kuinashi (No Regrets for Our Youth, Akira Kurosawa, 1946)
10. Xiao cheng zhi chun (Spring in a Small Town, Fei Mu, 1948)




Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Amour Fou (Jessica Hausner, 2014)
Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, 2014)
La Princesa de Francia (The Princess of France, Matías Piñeiro, 2014)
La sapenzia (Eugène Green, 2014)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Plemya (The Tribe, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, 2014)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2014)
Kaze tachinu (The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki, 2014)

And a few other highlights:

Seeing Isao Takahata’s films on the big screen as part of the BFI’s Studio Ghibli retrospective, and a DVD/Blu-ray release of Paul Grimault’s The King and The Mockingbird, which was a formative influence on both Takahata and Miyazaki.

Dennis Kelly & Marc Munden’s Channel 4 series Utopia.

The Chris Marker collection on DVD & Blu-ray from Soda and exploring his installation work, books and photography at the Whitechapel’s Marker exhibition.

An exhibition of Noguchi Hisamitsu’s film posters at the Museum of Kyoto.




Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)
Under The Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Frank (Lenny Abrahamson, 2014)
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014)




Cheol-ae-kum (A Dream of Iron, Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, 2014)
Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Court (Chaitanya Tamhane, 2014)
E agora? Lembra-me (What Now? Remind Me, Joaquim Pinto, 2013)
Zemlya (Earth, Aleksandr Dovzhenko, 1930) with live accompaniment by Bani Haykal at The Open, Singapore International Festival of Arts 2014
Last Trip Home (Han Fengyu, 2014)
Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Non-pik-syeon da-i-eo-li (Non-fiction Diary, Jung Yoon-Suk, 2013)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, the End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
Nymphomaniac: Volume I (Lars Von Trier, 2013)
Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2014)




“The artists of our time are like men hypnotized, repeating over and over a dreary formula of futility. And I say: Break this evil spell, young comrade; go out and meet the new dawning life, take your part in the battle, and put it into new art; do this service for a new public, which you yourself will make […] that your creative gift shall not be content to make art works, but shall at the same time make a world; shall make new souls, moved by a new ideal of fellowship, a new impulse of love, and faith – and not merely hope, but determination.”
– Upton Sinclair, Mammonart, quoted by Jonas Staal in “To Make a World, Part I: Ultranationalism and the Art of the Stateless State”, e-flux, 2014.

1. Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
2. Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
3. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
4. Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)
5. Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death, Albert Serra, 2013)
6. Lettres à Max (Letters to Max, Éric Baudelaire, 2014)
7. Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
8. Three Landscapes (Peter Hutton, 2013)
9. La Princesa de Francia (The Princess of France, Matías Piñeiro, 2014)
10. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
11. Mercuriales (Virgil Vernier, 2013)
12. Listen Up Philip (Alex Ross Perry, 2014)
13. The Iron Ministry (J.P. Sniadecki, 2014)
14. Too Many Cooks (Casper Kelly, 2014)

Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)

Mula Sa Kung Ano Ang Noon (From What is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)



Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Plemya (The Tribe, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2014)
Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2014)
Nymphomaniac – Volume I: Extended Director’s Cut (Lars von Trier, 2014)
Rocks in My Pockets (Signe Baumane, 2014)
+ one guilty pleasure:
The Guest (Adam Wingard, 2014)




Best Films of 2014 theatrically released in Slovenia in 2014:

Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014)
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)
Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)
Kış Uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

Best Films (of ’13 and ’14) screened in Slovenia in 2014, but unreleased in Slovenia:

Asha Jaoar Majhe (Labour of Love, Aditya Vikram Sengupta, 2014)
At Berkeley (Frederick Wiseman, 2013)
Bird People (Pascale Ferran, 2014)
Charlie’s Country (Rolf de Heer, 2014)
En duva satt på en gren och funderade på tillvaron (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, Roy Andersson, 2014)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Im Keller (In the Basement, Ulrich Seidl, 2014)
Kosac (The Reaper, Zvonimir Jurić, 2014)
La Jalousie (Jealousy, Philippe Garrel, 2013)
Pasolini (Abel Ferrara, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Trudno byt bogom (Hard to be a God, Aleksei German, 2013)
Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
Queen and Country (John Boorman, 2014)
Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt, 2013)

Best Films of 2014 that have not been screened in Slovenia:

Adieu au langage (Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Belluscone. Una storia siciliana (Belluscone. A Sicilian Story, Franco Maresco, 2014)
Belye nochi pochtalona Alekseya Tryapitsyna (The Postman’s White Nights, Andrei Konchalovsky, 2014)
Die geliebten Schwestern (Beloved Sisters, Dominik Graf, 2014)
Ghesse-ha (Tales, Rakhshan Banietemad, 2014)
La Chambre bleue (The Blue Room, Mathieu Amalric, 2014)
La Rançon de la gloire (The Price of Fame, Xavier Beauvois, 2014)
National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, 2014)
Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello, 2014)
She’s Funny That Way (Peter Bogdanovich, 2014)
Theeb (Naji Abu Nowar, 2014)
Xi you (Journey to the West, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)

The most memorable and most extraordinary screenings of 2014:

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014). Slovene theatrical premiere at the Grand Hotel Union, Ljubljana, 20 March, as part of The Year of the Cinema Season.

Sherlock Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924) (Preceded by Cops, Edward F. Cline & Buster Keaton, 1922). Screened for a primary school audience as part of the Film Education in Cinemas conference, Kinodvor, Ljubljana, 8 May.

The Girl Can’t Help It (Frank Tashlin, 1956). Screened at Pin-Up Night at the former widescreen cinema, Kino Siska, Ljubljana, 8 May.

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994). A rare (the only?) 35mm projection at the last Cannes Film Festival. Screened in the presence of Tarantino, Uma Thurman and John Travolta at Cinéma de la plage, Cannes, 23 May.

Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975). A near immaculate 35mm print screened as part of the 2nd 35mm film festival (preceded by 24 Frames per Century, Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2013; and Necktie, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2013) at Kinoteka, Ljubljana, 19 June.

The Circus (Charles Chaplin, 1928). Open air screening at Congress Square, Ljubljana, 25 June, as part of The Year of the Cinema Season & The Tramp 100.

World War I Double-bill: Maudite soit la guerre (Alfred Machin, 1914) accompanied on piano by Gabriel Thibaudeau. Followed by En Dirigeable sur les Champs de Bataille: Deuxième partie. De Nieuwpoort à Mont Kemmel (Lucien Lesaint & Jacques Trolley de Prévaux, 1918) accompanied by live computer soundtrack by Edison Studio and interrupted by thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Anti-war melodrama made just before the World War, followed by stupefying aerial shots of the remains of my home region (West-Flanders), taken the year following the Great War. Cinema Ritrovato, Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, 29 June.

Sosialismi (Socialism, Peter von Bagh, 2014). Screening introduced by Peter von Bagh at Cinema Ritrovato, Cinema Lumière – Sala Scorsese, Bologna, 1 July.

The Clock: or, 90 Minutes of Free Time program curated by Alexander Horwath as part of the 50th anniversary programme of the Austrian Filmmuseum. Cinema Ritrovato, Cinema Lumière – Sala Scorsese, Bologna, 4 July.
The Big Parade (King Vidor, 1925). Accompanied live on piano by Neil Brand and screened as part of The Year of the Cinema Season and the events marking the centenary of World War I. National Opera Ljubljana (during World War I: Kino Central), Ljubljana, 7 September.

Herr Arnes Pengar (Sir Arne’s Treasure, Mauritz Stiller, 1919). Accompanied by an exceptional performance by Philip C. Carli on piano. Giornate del cinema muto, Teatro Verdi, Pordenone, 7 October.

Benshi Ichiro Kataoka accompanies Kenka Yasubei (Hot-Tempered Yasubei, Iwao Minato, 1928) and Chaplin’s Kid Auto Races at Venice (Henry Lehrman, 1914); His New Profession (Charles Chaplin, 1914); The New Janitor (Charles Chaplin, 1914); Dough and Dynamite (Charles Chaplin, 1914). On piano: Günter A. Buchwald. Giornate del cinema muto, Teatro Verdi, Pordenone, 7 October.

Die Nibelungen & Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (Fritz Lang, 1924). One of the Lang movies that always left me cold. The exceptional musical accompaniment (Maud Nelissen, Frank Bockius, Romano Todesco, Elizabeth-Jane Baldry) made it a profoundly moving, unforgettable experience. Giornate del cinema muto, Teatro Verdi, Pordenone, 8 October.

Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967). The opening of the Ljubljana International Film Festival and of the Year of Cinema Big Screen retrospective. Linhartova dvorana, Ljubljana, 12 November.

Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994). Followed by a Q&A with Béla Tarr and screened as part of the Big Screen retrospective at the Ljubljana International Film Festival. Slovenska kinoteka, 20 November.

Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)

Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, 2014)



In the first three quarters of 2014 I saw many of the year’s best films at UK film festivals, all of which punched well above their weight by offering smart selections and presentations. In October I moved with my family to Australia, and so I’ll experience this year’s cinema in yet in new ways. I look forward keenly to this vital part of public life in our new home.

Here is my list in alphabetical order: 

Culloden (Peter Watkins, 1964) at the Edinburgh International Film Festival
Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater (Gabe Klinger, 2013)
FUCK ME (orange) (James Benning 2014)
L’inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake, Alain Guiraudie, 2013)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2013)
Jiao you (Stray Dogs, Tsai Ming-liang, 2013)
Kaze tachinu (The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki 2013)
Khaneh siah ast (The House is Black, Forough Farrokhzad, 1963) at the Edinburgh International Film Festival
The Lego Movie (Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, 2014)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) UK re-release
Ohikkoshi (Moving, Shinji Sômai, 1993) UK re-release
Secrets of Nature (various/METAMONO, 1903-1927/2014)
Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho, 2013)
Wonder (Mirai Mizue, 2014)




It seems that there is some change for the better, since it has been difficult in some recent years to come up with even ten titles. There is a growing seriousness about life in filmmaking, at the same time as a great many empty and self-absorbed works continue to be made and praised. To list the overrated films would be a major undertaking, and it would also tend to demonise the individual filmmakers (and critics), when the problem is a broader, socio-cultural one.

Best Films Released in the US in 2014:
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
Omar (Hany Abu-Assad, 2013)
A World Not Ours (Mahdi Fleifel, 2012)
Citizenfour (Laura Poitras, 2014)
Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski, 2013)
Night Will Fall (Andre Singer, 2014)
The Kill Team (Dan Krauss, 2013)
Ilo Ilo (Anthony Chen, 2013)
La Vénus à la fourrure (Venus in Fur, Roman Polanski, 2013)
Finding Vivian Maier (John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, 2013)
L’écume des jours (Mood Indigo, Michel Gondry, 2013)
Devil’s Knot (Atom Egoyan, 2013)
Rich Hill (Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz Tragos, 2014)
Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014)
Miss Julie (Liv Ullmann, 2014)
Belle (Amma Asante, 2013)
Pelo Malo (Bad Hair, Mariana Rondón, 2013)
Bella addormentata (Dormant Beauty, Marco Bellocchio, 2012)

Best Films Not Yet Released in the US:

99 Homes (Ramin Bahrani, 2014)
Iraqi Odyssey (Samir, 2014)
Good Kill (Andrew Niccol, 2014)
Tigers (Danis Tanovic, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Im Labyrinth des Schweigens (Labyrinth of Lies, Giulio Ricciarelli, 2014)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Le Beau Monde (High Society, Julie Lopes-Curval, 2014)
Kosac (The Reaper, Zvonimir Juric, 2014)
La Cour de Babel (School of Babel, Julie Bertuccelli, 2014)
Moratoriamu Tamako (Tamako in Moratorium, Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2013)

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)

Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)



Having moved to LA in 2013, I am now focusing on local fests, including the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival (TCM); City of Lights, City of Angels French Film Festival (COL COA); Hola Mexico! Film Festival; Los Angeles Film Festival; CineCon; and AFI Fest. My few out-of-town excursions included the Palm Springs Film Festival; Cinema Ritrovato Festival in Bologna, Italy; and the Wood’s Hole Film Festival. Here are some of the highlights from these festivals:

Best new international cinema:
Deux jours, une nuit (Two Days, One Night, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2014) (AFI)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014) (AFI)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Felix van Groeningen, 2012) (Palm Springs)
Heli (Amat Escalante, 2013) (Hola Mexico)
The Two Faces of January (Hossein Amini, 2014) (Los Angeles)
Club Sándwich (Club Sandwich, Fernando Eimbcke, 2013) (Los Angeles)

Best retrospective:
William Wellman (Bologna)

Best revivals:

How Green Was My Valley (John Ford, 1941) (TCM)
Matrimonio all’italian (Marriage, Italian Style, Vittorio de Sica, 1964) (Bologna)
L’homme qui aimait les femmes (The Man Who Loved Women, Francois Truffaut, 1977) (COL COA)
Human Cargo (Allan Dwan,1936) (CineCon)




Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio, 2013)
Norte, hangganan ng kasaysayan (Norte, End of History, Lav Diaz, 2013)
The Immigrant (James Gray, 2013)
Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014)
Feng ai (‘Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, 2013)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Adam McKay, 2013)
Casa Grande (Fellipe Barbosa, 2014)





Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg, 2014)
Angely revoljucii (Angels of Revolution, Aleksej Fedorčenko, 2014)
Huba (Wilhelm Sasnal & Anka Sasnal, 2014)
Dosvidanie, mama! (Goodbye, Mum!,Svetlana Proskurina, 2013)
Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
Die geliebten Schwestern (The Beloved Sisters, Dominik Graf, 2014)
The Better Angels (A.J. Edwards, 2014)
The Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
3 Histoires d’Indiens (Three Indian Tales, Robert Morin, 2014)

Universal Truths – Old Timer

Trudno byt bogom (Hard to Be a God, Aleksei German, 2013) [thanks to “Around the World in 14 Films”!]

Contemporary Truths – New Comer

Ukkili kamshat (The Owners, Adilkhan Yerzhanov, 2014)


Le Beau Danger (René Frölke, 2013)
Judgement in Hungary (Eszter Hajdú, 2013)
Poslednij limuzin (The Last Limousine, Dar’ja Chlestkina, 2013)
Non-fiction Diary (Jung Yoon-suk, 2013)
Songs from the North (Yoo Soon-Mi, 2014)
Maidan (Sergej Loznitsa, 2014)
All Things Ablaze (Oleksandr Tečyn’skyj & Oleksij Solodunov & Dmytro Stoïkov, 2014)
Meine Mutter, der Krieg und ich (My Mother, a War and Me, Tamara Trampe & Johann Feindt, 2014)
Die Zeit vergeht wie ein brüllender Löwe (Time Goes By Like a Roaring Lion, Philipp Hartmann, 2013)
Im Keller (In the Basement,Ulrich Seidl, 2013)
Bucureşti, unde eşti? (Where Are You, Bucharest?, Vlad Petri, 2014)

Sono yo no tsuma (That Night’s Wife, Ozu Yasujiro, 1930)
Der weiße Teufel (The White Devil, Aleksandr Volkov, 1930)
Pustoe mesto (Empty Space, Aleksandr Medvedkin, 1932)
Ninjo kamifusen (Humanity and Paper Balloon, Sadao Yamanaka, 1937)
Gonin no sekkohei (Five Scouts, Tasaka Tomotaka, 1938)
Oshidori utagassen (Singing Lovebirds, Masahiro Makino, 1939)
Sovest’ mira (The Conscience of the World, Abram Room, 1951)
Čolpon. Utrennjaja zvezda (Čolpon. Morning Star, Roman Tichomirov, 1959)
Paul Dessau (Richard Cohn-Vossen, 1966)
Spanien! (Spain!,Peter Nestler, 1973)
Unversöhnliche Erinnerungen (Klaus Volkenborn, Johann Feindt, Karl Siebig, 1979)


Not, that we got to see their films only in 2014, but this is indeed a year of big losses. They were either much too young to die or not yet old enough. In order of their appearance:

Alain Resnais (1922): Les Herbes folles (Wild Grass, 2009)
Robert Drew (1924): Faces of November (1964)
Günter Reisch (1927): Das Lied der Matrosen (The Sailors‘ Song, co-director: Kurt Maetzig, 1958)
Věra Chytilová (1929): O něčem jiném (Something Different, 1963)
Gennadij Poloka (1930): Odin iz nas (One of Us, 1970)
Wu Tianming (1939): Mei you hang biao de he liu (River Without Buoys, 1984)
Peter van Bagh (1943): Olavi Virta (1972)
Harun Farocki (1944): Die Bewerbung (The Interview, 1997)
Peter Liechti (1951): Hans im Glück – Drei Versuche, das Rauchen loszuwerden, (2003)
Michael Glawogger (1959): Die Frau mit einem Schuh (The Woman with One Shoe, 2014)
Florian Flicker (1965): No Name City (2006)

Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)

Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)



Blasts of the present (first-time views)

Au bord du monde (On the Edge of the World, Claus Drexel, 2013)
Buffalo Death Mask (Mike Hoolboom, 2013)*
The Claustrum (Jay Rosenblatt, 2014)*
Colterrain (Tina Frank, 2014)*
The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014)
Ginza Strip (Richard Tuohy, 2014)*
It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014)
Psychic Driving (William E Jones, 2014)*
P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
La reina (The Queen, Manuel Abramovich, 2013)*
Seven Boats (Hlynur Pálmason, 2014)*
Seventh Submarine (Allan Brown, 2014)*
Sonne Halt (Sun Stop, Dietmar Brehm, 2014)*
V~ (Manuel Knapp, 2014)*

Blasts from the past (first-time views)

Gerdy, zločesta vještica (Gerdy, The Wicked Witch, Ljubomir Šimunić, 1976)*
Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner (The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, Werner Herzog, 1974)*
Fabrika (Factory, Sergei Loznitsa, 2004)*
Jeux des reflets et de la vitesse (Games of Reflection and of Speed, Henri Chomette, 1926)*
Knopka (The Button, Robert Sahakyants, 1989)*
Low (R.E.M.) (James Herbert, 1990)*
La Maman et la Putain (The Mother and the Whore, Jean Eustache, 1973)
Mitbürger! (Fellow Citizens!, Walter Heynowski & Gerhard Scheumann, 1974)
Paura in citta (1181 dni pozneje ali vonj po podganah) (Davorin Marc, 1984)*
Schmeerguntz (Gunvor Nelson & Dorothy Wiley, 1966)*
Skuki radi (From Sheer Boredom, Artur Voytetsky, 1968)
Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
Taranci (Ernest Abdyjaparov, 1995)*

* short




1. Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa, 2014)
2. P’tit Quinquin (Li’l Quinquin, Bruno Dumont, 2014)
3. Cavalo Dinheiro (Horse Money, Pedro Costa, 2014)
4. Trudno byt bogom (Hard To Be A God, Aleksei German, 2013)
5. Kış uykusu (Winter Sleep, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2014)
6. Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)
7. Xi you (Journey To The West, Tsai Ming-liang, 2014)
8. Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
9. Branco Sai, Preto Fica (White Out, Black In, Adirley Queirós, 2014)
10. Mula sa kung ano ang noon (From What Is Before, Lav Diaz, 2014)
11. Dos Disparos (Two Shots Fired, Martín Rejtman, 2014)
12. Navajazo (Ricardo Silva, 2014)
13. Haganenet (The Kindergarten Teacher, Nadav Lapid, 2014)
14. National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, 2014)
15. Bai ri yan huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice, Yinan Diao, 2014)

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