Lauren Carroll Harris

Writer, artist and broadcaster on RN’s The Screen Show, contributor to The Saturday Paper, The Baffler and Cineaste

Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
A most perverse and controlled love story. I’ve always felt that Paul Thomas Anderson has some deep-down understanding of what binds groups of people and relationships; here, with Daniel Day Lewis, Vicky Krieps and Jonny Greenwood, he reaches a new pinnacle of psychological insight about coupledom.

The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles (1975-2018)
Orson Welles’ exquisite formal innovations continue even in his afterlife: here, slipping into montage and gliding deep into autobiography and faux-documentary as he returns to his canonical themes of artistic identity, self-mythology and creative legacy.

Bisbee 17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
Non-fiction cinema at its most dynamic, which takes a violent anti-union protest in desert USA as its unresolved subject. We confront the past by looking at it head-on, which could be this film’s very mandate.

 (Johann Lurf, 2017)
Johann Lurf sheds himself of the gravity of conventional narrative form and planet Earth itself, with a beautifully calming supercut of cinematic skyscapes that has the atmosphere of other, unknowable worlds.

First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
To speak of this film’s surface themes – doubt in institutional religion, existential terror in the face of ecological collapse – seems reductive. Once again, Paul Schrader goes beyond the politics and circumstances of the day, eventually departing from realism for some other realm of the spirit.

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)
One of the few exemptions to the decline of the Hollywood action blockbuster, Black Panther and its radical politics rise up through the Marvel sludge with a hard-driving soundtrack curated from the African diaspora by Kendrick Lamar.

BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Lee’s experimental, commercial art film toggles between genres in unexpected ways, eventually and stunningly jolting into documentary – with all the shock of the present political lurch to the far-right – with news footage sourced from the USA’s Charlottesville crisis.

Good Luck (Ben Russell, 2017)
Slow cinema and immersive documentary careen toward one another in Good Luck, a double collective portrait of two mining communities, continents apart. The opening scene is a perfectly formed video artwork in and of itself.

America (Erick Stohl and Chase Whiteside, 2018)
A paradox: how can a documentary forged of the banality of the everyday, the family, the poverty of the developing world, the relentlessness of age – be suffused with such cinematic poetry? A most humble, beautiful, humane documentary by outsiders to a poor, marginalised family confronting their grand-matriarch’s illness in Mexico.

Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)
A rare debut that says, yes, this filmmaker will go onto make a body of deeply felt work. Lodkina’s desert film – of alienated men and daughters – operates on a metaphorical, audiovisual level not seen in many Australian films at the minute.

Zama (Lucretia Martel, 2018)
Zama lingers – the tropical heat, the seeping madness, the Kafka-esque bureaucratic run-arounds, and not the least, Martel’s contained formalism that gradually gives way to the complete and senseless despair of an irrelevant colonial official at the forging of a now-failing project: modernity.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018)
What appears as a normcore biopic gives way to a melancholy, wholly realised portrait of loneliness and the romance of friendship, as two queer outcasts bond together, and almost break apart, in careless 1980s New York City.

Andy Hazel

Editorial assistant at The Saturday Paper and producer and host of the podcasts Cultural Capital and Twin Peaks the Return

If 2018 was about anything it was about chaos. Every sense we have for cinema was overloaded with stimuli, politics, social causes, environmental catastrophes, personal traumas made public and public traumas dealt with privately. As a viewer, consumer or critic, we can choose to find solace in a slow-moving film from an auteur director in which everything on the screen and the soundtrack offers a disarming balm to our minds, a blockbuster that will allow us to briefly feel in the moment along with millions of other people, or we can seek to engage with the chaos, with a filmmaker who uses emotion to find order. I took all three of these options in 2018, but it’s the latter that left the biggest impact on me, which is why my film of the year, as of early December, is Nadine Labaki’s divisive Capharnaum.

The story of 12-year-old Zain trying to assert his sense of humanity and justice to first, protect young sister from being sold into marriage, then to care for the infant Yonas after his mother is deported, is a sprawling chaotic manipulative film. It’s far from faultless and accusations of Labaki being a clumsy exploiter of emotions, of her needlessly confuse the story by beginning the film with Zain’s efforts to use the courtroom to stop his parents from having any more children, the scarcely credible climax, and the folly casting herself as Zain’s lawyer all have merit.

Capharnaum is shot in the messy sprawl of Beirut and features a cast of thousands, but like another emotionally harrowing, sprawling film about finding a sense of justice in a very unequal world, Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, Labaki is happy to let chaos unfold and for her camera to follow. She lets Zain’s perilous journey for survival drive the film through the crowds and rubble and lawlessness of the city. A film made about justice in poverty should be messy and fraught with thorny questions about authorship, and most films that tackle this subject could probably use another edit, but in the case of Capharnaum, the child’s-eye view of the chaos and the exhaustion at the journey to survive feels pure. A neorealist triumph in a year where that felt like the last thing that could connect or unify an audience increasingly lost in a customised news and social bubble. Labaki’s vision is sure even if the energy bursting from the frame gets unruly. It’s a case of the right story being told by the right filmmaker at the right time.

1. Capharnaüm (Capernaum, Nadine Labaki, 2018)
2. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
3. Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
4. Zimna wojna (Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, 2018)
5. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)
6. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
7. You Were Never Really Here (Lynn Ramsey, 2018)
8. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
9. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2018)
10. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)

Capharnaüm (Capernaum, Nadine Labaki, 2018)

Glenn Heath Jr.

Film critic for San Diego CityBeat, contributor to Little White Lies, MUBI’s The Notebook and Cineaste

Living and working in San Diego, CA makes it difficult for me to create a list of purely international premieres (if I were to do so Jia Zhang-ke’s Ash if the Purest White and Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night would have topped the list). Many independent and foreign films tend to get released months and sometimes years after their festival debuts. Therefore I’ve limited this list to films that premiered theatrically in the United States in 2018, with the exception of one phenomenal movie that was banished to the world of streaming only after premiering at Sundance. I couldn’t help but include it.

1. Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
2. Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2017)
3. El Mar la Mar (J.P. Sniadecki, Joshua Bonnetta, 2017)
4. The Tale (Jennifer Fox, 2018)
5. A Bread Factory (Patrick Wang, 2018)
6. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
7. 24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami, 2017)
8. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
9. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
10. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
11. Arábia (Araby, João Dumans, Affonso Uchoa, 2017)
12. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2018)
13. Inimi cicatrizate (Scarred Hearts, Radu Jude, 2016)
14. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? (Travis Wilkerson, 2017)
15. The Grief of Others (Patrick Wang, 2015)
16. Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry, 2017)
17. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
18. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
19. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
20. La caméra de Claire (Claire’s Camera, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
21. BlackKklansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
22. Madame Hyde (Mrs. Hyde, Serge Bozon, 2017)
23. Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
24. Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)
25. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu, 2018)
26. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
27. The Rider (Chloe Zhao, 2017)
28. Den of Thieves (Christian Gudegast, 2018)
29. Geu-hu (The Day After, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
30. Upgrade (Leigh Whannell, 2018)

Michael Heath

Screenwriter, documentary film, and independent film-maker, & avid Cinephile, who lives north of Wellington, New Zealand

A year of exciting, emotional, innovative and challenging work – taking cinema into new forms of expression – which is what Film Festivals are all about. This year my absolute favourites were mainly from the NZ International Film Festival, and the Singapore International Film Festival.

1. Ozen (The River, Emir Baigazin, 2018)
2. Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Hu Bo, 2018)
3. Ang Panahon Ng Halimaw (Season Of The Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
4. Lazzaro Felice (Happy As Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
5. Kraben Rahu (Manta Ray, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, 2018)
6. Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Days Journey Into Night, Ban Gi, 2018)
7. Nuestro Tiempo (Our Time, Carlos Reygadas, 2018)
8. Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham, 2018)
9. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
10. Lean On Pete (Andrew Haigh, 2018)

…and very honourable, unforgettable mentions….
1. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
2. Zan, (Killing, Shinya Tsukumoto, 2018)
3. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
4. Capharnaüm (Capernaum, Nadine Labaki, 2018)
5. Leto (Summer, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018)
6. Mimosas (Oliver Laxe, 2015) & The Sky Trembles And The Earth Is Afraid And The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
7. Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2018)
8. Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel By The River, Hong Sang-Soo, 2018)
9. Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-Eda, 2018)
10. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

Claire Henry

Lecturer in Digital Media Production, Massey University

Meditations on filmmaking and recovered archives:
[CENSORED] (Sari Braithwaite, 2018)
Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen (Heperi Mita, 2018)
Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)

Other entrancing documentaries (with great soundtracks):
I Used to be Normal: Boyband Fangirl Story (Jessica Leski, 2018)
Gurrumul (Paul Damien Williams, 2017)
Brimstone & Glory (Viktor Jakovleski, 2017)

Striking Australasian films:
Stray (Dustin Feneley, 2018)
Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017)

1980s retro gems:
They Live (John Carpenter, 1988) – Terror-Fi Film Festival, Wellington
Liquid Sky (Slava Tsukerman, 1982) – NZIFF
Brazil (Terry Gilliam, 1985) – Wellington Film Society opening night 2018

Wellington Film Society sleepers:
Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Lotte Reiniger, 1926)
(John Frankenheimer, 1966)
Baden Baden (Rachel Lang, 2016)

Anarchic joyrides:
Assassination Nation (Sam Levinson, 2018)
El Ángel (Luis Ortega, 2018)
The Breaker Upperers (Madeleine Sami & Jackie van Beek, 2018)
Skate Kitchen (Crystal Moselle, 2018)
Charlotte a du fun (Slut in a Good Way, Sophie Lorain, 2018)

New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) favourites:
Jia nian hua (Angels Wear White, Vivian Qu, 2017)
Gräns (Border, Ali Abbasi, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018)

Jhon Hernandez

Filmmaker and contributor to Seattle Screen Scene
  1. Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
  2. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)
  3. Yoru wa Mijikashi Arukeyo Otome (The Night is Short, Walk On Girl, Masaaki Yuasa, 2017) & Yoake tsugeru Rû no uta (Lu Over the Wall, Masaaki Yuasa, 2017)
  4. A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
  5. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)
  6. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
  7. Shoot the Moon Right Between the Eyes (Graham L. Carter, 2018)
  8. Mirai (Mamoru Hosoda, 2018)
  9. Overboard (Rob Greenberg, 2018)
  10. Been Busy (Jhon Hernandez, 2018)

Marissa Hernandez

Los Angeles based film blogger for Marissa the Cinephile

Living in the heart of cinephile heaven, I feel like it’s critical to experience the movies on the big screen. Here are my top cinematic experiences of 2018.

  1. La Coquille et le Clergyman (The Seashell and the Clergyman, Germaine Dulac, 1928) UCLA Billy Wilder Theater
    Provocative imagery, subversive, a fragmented visual style. Dulac was a disrupter far beyond her years.
  1. Saving Brinton (Tommy Haines & Andrew Sherburne, 2017) Santa Monica Lamelle
    An absorbing documentary of Michael Zah’s quest to save a rare film collection and the struggle in keeping history alive. An absolute must see if you’re a nerd for film preservation, historian, and lover of lost films. I came very close to meeting this man in person.
  1. Viva (Anna Biller, 2007) Loyola Mount Marymount University
    Little did I know during the screening, I was sitting next to two actors from The Love Witch, which Anna Biller had to point out during her Q&A after the showing. I was a deer in headlights. Viva delivers a refined look into the sexual revolution from a homemaker’s perspective and through her experience delivers a personal revelation. Biller is a cinematic goddess.
  1. Człowiek z marmuru (Man Of Marble, Andrzej Wajda, 1977) Armer Theater, Cal State Northridge
    The opening sequence had so much gumption, and the music really gives it an extra kick. Andrzej Wajda’s storytelling of a bricklayer in Poland while simultaneously a documentarian’s perseverance to tell his story has a very delightful meta feel to it. Historical 70’s in Poland, I love it.
  1. Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018) AMC Century City
    My favorite horror film of 2018. The most harrowing aesthetic is its subversive tone and sound design going beyond the confines of what the original story had done. Depth, ingenuity, and bloody violent.
  1. Blackkklansman (Spike Lee, 2018) Pasadena Lamelle
    Realizing the day I watched this film was the one-year anniversary of Heather Heyer’s tragic death in the Charlottesville attack to which the film is dedicated to. It’s a polarizing, yet formidable look into the destructive American facade unraveling its relentless history attributing certain pieces of cinema from the past baring witness to its own atrocities.
  1. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018) North Hollywood Laemmle
    Felt like ZABRISKIE POINT meets Shakespeare opening a time capsule of the tumultuous 70s era while dissecting the complex business of filmmaking. I feel like it’s Welles’ magnum opus and those who resurrected and took this film to the finish line, thank you!
  1. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018) North Hollywood Laemmle
    Difficult at times, demanding your patience but also the black and white is a contrast to a vivid childhood memory film. Personal and heartbreaking and beloved who share sentiments to such a past. Something about it reminds me of a stark painting that makes you confront something you may not necessarily want to.
  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Arclight, Hollywood
    I’ve been waiting my whole cinephile life to witness this with my mind, body, and soul. And in 70mm print. Historic gold.
  1. Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018) North Hollywood Laemmle
    Decadent slice of horror bordering with the clash of hilarity and nervous bewilderment. Sinister hell fire, perhaps a cult classic for decades to come.
  1. The Guest (Pearl Bowser,1977) Portland, Oregon
    I was fortunate enough to attend the AMIA conference in Portland this year which is where film archivists share and celebrate their finds. Being a baby in this arena it opened my eyes to a bigger world of possibility. Pearl Bowser, an African American cinema pioneer had a peculiar style but I enjoyed learning about her work.

Blackkklansman (Spike Lee, 2018)

Alain Hertay

Teaches cinema studies at the Haute Ecole de la Province de Liège, Belgium. Contributor to La Furia Umana, Culturopoing and Flashback Magazine

Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2017)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-Dong, 2018)
Bêtes blondes (Blonde Animals, Maxime Matray & Alexia Walther , 2018)
La Prière (The Prayer, Cédric Kahn, 2018)
A Lua Platz (Prendre Place, Jérémy Gravayat, 2018)
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt, 2018)
Wonder Wheel (Woody Allen, 2017)
Le Grand Bain (Sink or Swim, Gilles Lellouche, 2018)
La Douleur (Memoir of War, Emmanuel Finkiel, 2018)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2018)

David Heslin

Editor of Screen Education and editor of Senses of Cinema

Best new films
1. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
2. Un couteau dans le coeur (Knife + Heart, Yann Gonzalez, 2018)
3. Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
4. Grace, Who Waits Alone (Georgia Temple, 2016)
5. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
6. Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)
7. Se rokh (3 Faces, Jafar Panahi, 2018)
8. Una mujer fantástica (A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lello, 2017)
9. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
10. Leto (Summer, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018)

Is there anything left to say about Roma? There are a number of films in any given year that are made with as much technical precision, but where films like Nelyubov (Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017) or Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018) felt schematic and lifeless, Roma was an often thrilling and nearly always jaw-dropping work. This, I hope, is no capricious value judgement: if I can pinpoint the difference, it’s that Loveless and Cold War, along with many other A-grade festival films, never seem liberated from their metaphors and synoptic skeletons, whereas Cuarón’s film mesmerised me throughout, in its emotional resonance as much as its formal ambition. Roma, ironically, belongs to a genre that is perhaps more susceptible than any other to overbearing narrative – the “true story” – but, in his obsessive recreation of places and individuals, Cuarón manages to construct something like life: intricate and disjointed, open-ended and quotidian, even in its most dramatic moments.

A much smaller-scale film but as much of a revelation was young Australian auteur Georgia Temple’s Grace, Who Waits Alone, which Bill Mousoulis screened as part of his touring Australian New Wave showcase. Previously shown at the 2017 Queensland Film Festival, Temple’s debut feature is a beautifully minimalist and highly accomplished work that evokes Chantal Akerman’s early, personal films such as Je, tu, il, elle (1974) and News from Home (1977) in its intimacy – Temple acts as well as handling most technical responsibilities, shooting in locations as mundane as a house, a supermarket and a car park while confining dialogue to poetic voiceover – and, notably, its brilliant sound design. I’ve long wondered if there was a place for a cinema as radical as Akerman’s in Australia, and Grace, Who Waits Alone offers a resounding yes. Such cinema may never have large-scale commercial success, but I urge readers to check out this (as well as the other works in Mousoulis’ series) if they get the opportunity.

A somewhat “bigger” – but no less artistically ambitious – film in terms of its scale and reach was Alena Lodkina’s Strange Colours, a sophisticated and wholly refreshing examination of rural Australian masculinity and emotional isolation that also had space to breathe. Lodkina, too, has written of the special place Akerman (and, particularly, Je, tu, il, elle) had in her development as a filmmaker; if these two works are anything to go by, then we can begin to hope that our much-maligned national cinema is finally shedding some of its self-consciousness and heading in a refreshingly radical direction.

And it’s not just minimalism that gets my heart racing: Yann Gonzalez’s gay-porn serial-killer movie Knife + Heart was thrillingly flamboyant and idiosyncratic, as good as if not better than anything Pedro Almodóvar made in the ‘80s; Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline was the best-edited film I have seen in a long time; and Jean-Luc Godard’s The Image Book was, if nothing else, the most fun video essay of 2018.

Best repertory screenings
While Melbourne Cinémathèque had another terrific year – highlighting the work of, among others, Věra Chytilová, Jeanne Moreau and Dušan Makavejev – my personal highlight was ACMI’s Alice Is Everywhere film program, held over May and June in conjunction with their Wonderland exhibition. This season, curated by Audrey Lam, Keegan O’Connor and Strange Colours director Lodkina, made a strong case for the importance of Lewis Carroll’s seminal surrealist text on cinema, taking in films as brilliant and imaginative as Něco z Alenky (Alice, Jan Švankmajer, 1988), Valerie a týden divů (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, Jaromil Jireš, 1970) and the film that I perhaps cherish more than any other, Céline et Julie vont en bateau (Celine and Julie Go Boating, Jacques Rivette, 1974). To see the last of these on the big screen for the first time was a (literally?) magical experience, and one I’ll never forget.

Best DVD releases
L’ange (The Angel, Patrick Bokanowski, 1982) (Re:voir)
L’enfant secret (The Secret Son, Philippe Garrel, 1979) (Re:voir)
Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema (Criterion Collection)
The Nun (Corin Hardy, 2018) (Studio Canal)

It seems churlish to complain about a set as expansive and essential as Criterion’s Bergman survey, but I did find myself missing the handful of features that were left out (I could reluctantly accept the exclusion of the disowned and frankly not particularly good This Can’t Happen Here, but the absence of works as essential as Prison and Face to Face was unfortunate), and it would have been nice for at least a few of the director’s hard-to-find TV productions to be included as extras, even if in substandard audiovisual quality. Of course, it’s no easy feat to gain the rights for a filmmaker’s full oeuvre, and that’s why the Bergman set remains a must-have and a beautiful thing for what it is. In the meantime, the Potemkine Éric Rohmer box set must, it seems, remain the unattainable standard for such endeavours.

Finally, speaking of French labels, Re:voir had another wonderful year of releases, bookended by two cinematic treasures: Patrick Bokanowski’s L’ange (1982) and Philippe Garrel’s L’enfant secret (1979), one of a number of previously unreleased Garrel titles that the company has recently brought out. In a liminal period for film distribution in which many great films still lie dormant in archives, there is a cherished place for dedicated small-time distributors like Re:voir that make such effectively buried work available to the public.



The Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)
Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
Zimna Wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
Studio 54 (Matt Tyrnauer, 2018)
A Cambodian Spring (Christopher Kelly, 2016)
A Ciambra (Jonas Carpignano, 2017)
Kona fer í stríð (Woman at War, Benedikt Erlingsson, 2017)
Doubles vies (Non-Fiction, Oliver Assayas, 2018)
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)

Runners-Up, Honourable Mentions and Not So Guilty Pleasures

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018), Sicario 2: Day of the Soldado (Stefano Sollima, 2018), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018), Bergman – ett år, ett liv (Bergman: A Year in the Life, Jane Magnusson, 2018), Gholam (Mitra Tabrizian, 2018), A Gentle Creature (Sergei Losznita, 2017), Aus dem Nichts (In The Fade, Faith Akin, 2017), First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018), Destroyer (Karyn Kusama, 2018), The Square (Ruben Ostland, 2017), The Heiresses (Marcelo Martinessi, 2018), Black Klansman (Spike Lee, 2018), Un Couteau Dans le Coeur (Heart + Knife, Yann Gonzalez, 2018), and; Jiāng hú ér nǚ (Ash is The Purest White, Jia Zhang-ke, 2018)

The Far Side of Paradise

Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018), Napszállta, (Sunset, Laszlo Nemes, 2018) and Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino, 2018)


Berorlingen (The Touch, Ingmar Bergman, 1971), Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora’s Box, FW Murnau, 1929), Laughter in the Dark (Tony Richardson, 1969), 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968), The Passenger (Michelaneglo Antonioni, 1975), Yellow Submarine (George Dunning, 1968), L’Orphee (Orpheus, Jean Cocteau, 1950), The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper, 1971) and 7th Heaven (Frank Borzage, 1927)


The Children’s Act (Richard Eyre, 2018), In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018), Out of Blue (Carol Morley, 2018), The Mercy (James Marsh, 2018), Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (Ben Wheatley, 2018), and; Mansfield 66/67 (P. David Ebersole & Todd Hughes 2017)

TV as Cinema

The Deuce: Season 2 (HBO, David Simon, 2018)
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season 2 (Hulu, Bruce Miller, 2018)
Trust (Fx, Danny Boyle, 2018)
Better Call Saul (Showtime, Vince Gilligan, 2018)
Killing Eve (BBC America, Phoebe-Waller Bridge, 2018)

If I might be allowed a sweeping generalisation or two – 2018 was a good year for old school auteurism and a crap one for British independent filmmaking. With respect to the latter, Danny Boyle, Bond film bridesmaid, did get his mojo back as the man behind the picaresque docu-drama, Trust, which was a lot more fun than a good half of Ridley Scott’s recent output (the maligned film maudit, The Counsellor, excepted). On a sadder note, the passing of two giants of my film going youth, Nicolas Roeg and Bernardo Bertolucci, within days may have put the more Stalinist aspects of the MeToo movement in bold relief, but the ambition and grandeur of Bad Timing, The Conformist and yes, Last Tango, et al. will transcend the carping in time. The rest of this list can speak for itself, but I predict a Netflix 2.0 might one day restore A Rainy Day in New York (Woody Allen Project 2017) with a companion making of doc by Louis CK.

Killing Eve (Phoebe-Waller Bridge, 2018)

Lili Hinstin

Artistic Director Locarno Film Festival

Possibly in no particular order
Le Livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
Mi aporte (My Contribution, Sara Gómez, 1969)
Amin (Philippe Faucon, 2018)
The Kamagasaki Cauldron War (Leo Sato, 2018)
M (Yolande Zauberman, 2018)
Classified People (Yolande Zauberman, 1989)
Fest (Nikita Diakur, 2018)
Temporada (Season, André Novais Oliveira, 2018)
“Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari” (“I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, Radu Jude, 2018)
Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham, 2018)
Grass (Hong Sang-soo, Korea, 2018) (haven’t seen Gangbyun Hotel yet)
Reza (Alireza Motamedi, 2018)
Classical Period (Ted Fendt, 2018)

Jytte Holmqvist

Passionate about movies from all over the world and an avid film festival goer
  1. A casa tutti bene (There Is No Place Like Home, Gabriele Muccino, 2018)
    This family drama develops like a Greek tragedy and reminds of Polanski’s Carnage (2006). In Muccino’s film initial harmony is replaced by crisis, chaos and catharsis when characters are forced to re-evaluate past and present. Set on Ischia, the external environment becomes a character in its own right when couples clash and the rugged island reflects the darkened mood of the characters. As collective and individual harmony crumbles, out come multifaceted and troubled personalities and internal stability is tested.
  2. Balentes (The Brave Ones, Lisa Camillo, 2018)
    Balentes speaks of a ravaged Sardinia   ̶ once a prosperous 1960s idyll under the influence of Prince Aga Khan but since used as military testing ground. Exposed to harmful toxic waste, some Sardinians stand strong in the face of adversity, opening up to the media. Whistle-blower Camillo interviews people instrumental to her story, using real footage. Through her timely film we learn of socio-political injustices which need urgent addressing.
  3. Loro (Paolo Sorrentino, 2018)
    In Loro, Sorrentino represents an Italian icon: Sergio Berlusconi   ̶  a politician who reached both fame and notoriety. Toni Servillo’s character encapsulates the essence of the long-reigning prime minister; a man who was a law unto himself, both revered and detested. Sorrentino presents us with carefully orchestrated mass scenes where youths sway their hips to pumping music during gigantic parties arranged by Berlusconi    ̶  his politics played down in favour of materialistic hype and glamour. The film delights and shocks at once and the viewer is dazed by the experience; subjected to loud images, loud music and a loud main character with a plastic face – Servillo a spitting image of the real Berlusconi.
  4. Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
    Lazzaro felice spans across time and space and takes us on a journey first through the Italian countryside, then into a surreal landscape seemingly separate from reality. Rohrwacher uses Christian symbolism when main character Lazzaro takes on an almost Christlike appearance in an apocalyptic scene at the end. Also exploring animal symbolism, this film is an ambitious undertaking which leaves the viewer with new images and impressions; pondering the journey they’ve been taken on and its many unconventional twists and turns.
  5. Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
    Set in a dark and gloomy landscape in the outskirts of Rome, Dogman   ̶  with noir-like elements   ̶  follows the fate of downtrodden main character Marcello. Manipulated and exploited by male brutes, Marcello temporarily manages to gain a sense of self pride before he’s again abused, and rejected by the surrounding community. Never dull despite its drab colour schemes, Dogman entertains in all its misery and contains scenes and characters so seemingly impossible that we cannot help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.
  6. Pájaros del verano (Birds of Passage, Cristina Gallego & Ciro Guerra, 2018)
    Highly acclaimed Pájaros del verano brings to mind Loving Pablo (2017) about drug lord Pablo Escobar. And like Lazzaro felice also Pájaros del verano crosses time and place. The viewer is taken on a visual and narrative ride where we’re initially presented members of a Wayuu family. The film then takes on epic proportions as it comments on Colombian drug trafficking. Main character Rapayet goes from low-level dealings to high-level drug trade as his business takes off and threatens family stability, leading to clashes between warring families. Stylishly shot, the film is divided into chapters, the viewer enters surreal landscapes and the film fascinates from beginning to end.
  7. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
    Argento’s is a cult movie like few others, a horror that delivers beyond our expectations. Using as external backdrop to the plot an imposing institution in the middle of nowhere, the cineaste tells a story where female students interact with staff then odd things happen and nothing is what it seems. Playing with our mind and senses, Suspiria creates suspense, shocks and manipulates all at once and it would have delivered a well-aimed punch to the collective solar plexus of audiences at the time.
  8. Jirga (Benjamin Gilmour, 2018)
    Australian drama Jirga is a solemn and poetic reflection on war. A man’s first-hand engagement in battle sees him taking the life of an Afghani man during a raid on this family. Subsequent feelings of remorse linger in this story about a former soldier who causes tragedy and grief. In Jirga, Mike Wheeler returns to Afghanistan three years later to ask for forgiveness. Does redemption exist for a self-declared enemy venturing into Taliban territories to establish a connection with the Other? This film set in an achingly beautiful, barren landscape offers a resolution and in the end the story seems contradictorily realistic.
  9. First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
    Chazelle’s film focuses not on the grandeur of the first moon landing. Instead, Armstrong and crew are presented in extreme close-up, and we’re claustrophobically invited into the space shuttle as Armstrong prepares for take-off. Exposed to simulation effects, we join him on his bumpy journey. Physically and mentally drawn into the human drama unfolding on screen, we get to know Armstrong professionally and personally in this intimate portrayal of him and first wife Janet Shearon who holds the domestic fortress while her husband masterfully navigates the realms high up above.
  10. Bohemian Rhapsody (Bryan Singer, 2018)
    This mind-blowing blockbuster is a feisty and dynamic tour de force where we get to know rock legend Freddie Mercury visually, musically, and on an intimate level. Raman Malek, of Egyptian and Parsi heritage and a spitting image of the singer, shines in the main role and we follow the increasingly troubled star from his pre-celebrity beginnings as he ventures into the local night life, moving from spectator to lead participant when Queen is born. Bohemian Rhapsody emphasises the free-flowing nature of Mercury and his multiple flamboyant personas on stage. Achingly sincere, Mercury is mesmerizing and Singer delivers a majestic tribute to the star in a film worth watching over and over again.

Jirga (Benjamin Gilmour, 2018)

Peter Hourigan

Melbourne cinephile and former media teacher at secondary level

My year started with lots of good films, nothing “top ten” outstanding, but I was sustained by:
Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater 2017) A sense of pathos infused this war story – several generations after the war.
Istanbul Kirmizisi (Red Istanbul, Ferhan Ozpetek 2017) Where multinational means a situation when two cultures (Turkish and Italian) really do meet.
Jusqu’à la garde (Custody, Xavier Legrand 2017) The pain felt by a jilted father comes through even though it’s a harrowing story of domestic violence.
Les Gardiennes (The Guardians, Xavier Beauvois, 2017) This film is so infused with the spirit of Pialat’s La maison des bois (1972),  it’s no surprise the project was recommended to Beauvois by Pialat’s widow.

Then two films made a stronger impact, the Russian drama about a neglected child and the impact of his unexplained disappearance, and the American film about relationships, architecture and all:
Nelyobov (Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2017)  The pain of a neglected child caught between two bickering parents is deeply moving.
Columbus (Kogonada, 2017) Its cinematic style reflected the architecture of its location Columbus, Indiana, and its director deep immersion in great cinema.

The first edition of Cinema Reborn in Sydney was a rich few days, but two films in new editions had the strongest impact.
Nighanaya ( The Treasure, Lester James Perier, 1972) A luminescent film. The surprise is why has this been absent for so long.
The Mummy (The Night of Counting the Years, Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969) A rich interweaving of several worlds – ancient and modern, and different attitudes to treasures. Radiantly stately and beautiful.

Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna was again a rich feast, perhaps with no particular film standing out for me, but three films can represent the range and rewards of this celebration of the history of Cinema:
Rosita (Ernst Lubitsch, 1923) It’s not Lubitsch’s greatest, but it’s hard to understand why Mary Pickford seems to have taken such steps to repress it.
Fad’jal (Safi Faye, 1979) A real discovery from Senegal. At first appearances a simple documentary of village life, but it’s so much more as it becomes a contemplation of the vast gap between what is history to a French Colonist and a village elder.
Carosello napoletano (Neapolitan Carousel, Ettore Giani, 1954) An original look at the history of Naples through some of its popular songs over the ages, with the fantasy and imagination of a Powell and Pressburger.

En route to Bologna, I saw another of my year’s greats, an experience enhanced by seeing it in its own country, where its story of life under communism seemed shockingly still relevant.
Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018).

Melbourne International Film Festival followed on the heels of Cinema Ritrovato. Another cinematic banquet. My standouts were:
Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Ho Bon-chi, 2018) Almost four hours of B & W becomes a part of the experience of living in a town made bleak by the industrialization which has now passed on.
Zama (Lucrezia Martel, 2017) A complex, and rich film about a medium level official in 17th Century Argentina who is destined never to find a place where he feels he belongs.
The Dead Nation (Radu Jude, 2017) A documentary built around glass plates found in the holdings of a country photographer in Romania is telling in the way it reveals the difference between official histories and how ordinary people see themselves.
Sandome no satsujin (The Third Murder, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2017) So different to what we’ve come to expect from this Japanese director that we can overlook the complexity of its look at crime and justice.

Two films that had limited commercial screenings but impressed with the way they tackled specific issues in their countries – the Norwegian massacre by a far-right extremist, and the continued impact of Japan’s use of comfort women in Korea during World War II.
Utøya 22. Juli (U-July 22, Erik Poppe, 2018) An appalling act of terrorism is confronted exclusively from the point of view of a person caught up in it, making an original and compelling experience.
Herstory (Kyu-dong Min, 2018) Korea confronts the wartime experience of comfort woman in a film that challenges Japan to also do the same.

Two films that I only fully appreciated second time around were:
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick 2011/2018) The extended version available this year really did extend the film for me. With almost an extra hour of running time it feels only half as long and twice as complex.

And what better way to end the year than with a real high, seemingly a tiny film – it’s only about a maid the director’s family had years ago – but how it becomes a film about Mexico, life and everything else.  And it’s ravishing in its wide-screen black-and-white.
Roma – (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018).

Cerise Howard

East-West Golden Arch Awards juror, Melbourne Cinémathèque co-curator and “Plato’s Cave” co-host

A lucky 13 faves to have been released in Melbourne in 2018, on one platform or another.
They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson, 2018, seen in 2D)
After faking Gallipoli footage in his and Costa Botes’ wonderful 1995 hoax documentary Forgotten Silver, determining where Jackson begins, and the pioneering, if altogether fictitious, advances in filmmaking by Colin MacKenzie end, grows ever harder! An astonishing, uncanny accomplishment in found-footage reanimation which communicates with devastating immediacy the horrors and banality of life for thems as signed up en masse for trench warfare in WWI.

Terror Nullius
(Soda_Jerk, 2018)
In a great year for supercuts, and notwithstanding that They Shall Not Grow Old premiered in Melbourne after a solemn minute’s silence on Armistice Day, nothing could match Terror Nullius’ premiere at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image for a sense of occasion. The grand unveiling at ACMI, in its installation form, deliciously occurred only a matter of days after its funders, The Ian Potter Foundation, officially distanced themselves from it, declaring it to be, of all things, “Un-Australian”. Mind you, it did plunder a surprisingly large number of New Zealand films for content! Nonetheless, it amounts to a glorious mashed-up hour of sociopolitical reckoning with Australian screen culture and its, and the nation’s political classes’, excesses, and its public disownment by its funders added joyous frissons galore at its opening, gifting Soda_Jerk, and ACMI with publicity they couldn’t have dreamt of obtaining with their own words and deeds alone.

Una mujer fantástica
(A Fantastic Woman, Sebastián Lelio, 2017)
A wonderful film, at once authentic and steeped in bittersweet magic realist whimsy, which has been granted epochal status for ultimately landing its captivating trans lead performer Daniela Vega an Oscars-hosting gig. A game-changer! And I’m all for game-changers, where trans representation is concerned.

The Other Side of the Wind
(Orson Welles, 2018)
Oh, Netflix – were that I could have seen this – especially the film-within-the-film – in a cinema (or perhaps at a drive-in best of all)! But kudos to Netflix too, for ensuring that it, finally, even exists, in some sort of finished form.

Zimna wojna
(Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski, 2018)
Visages Villages (Faces Places, Agnès Varda, 2017)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz, 2017)
Testről és lélekről (On Body and Soul, Ildikó Enyedi, 2017)
Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey & Rodney Rothman, 2018)
The Square (Ruben Östlund, 2017)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017)

Wonders new and old, encountered at festivals hither and yon

Hither (Melbourne)
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Galen Johnson & Evan Johnson, 2017)
Un couteau dans le cœur (Knife + Heart, Yann Gonzalez, 2018)
Holiday (Isabella Eklöf, 2018)
Let the Corpses Tan (Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, 2017)
Queerama (Daisy Asquith, 2017)
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes, Daniel Schmidt, 2018)
Pulse (Stevie Cruz-Martin, 2017)
Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)
Nico, 1988 (Susanna Nicchiarelli, 2017)
Luz (Tilman Singer, 2018)

„Îmi este indiferent dacă în istorie vom intra ca barbari” (“I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians”, Radu Jude, 2018)
Domestik (Domestique, Adam Sedlák, 2018)
Bílý ráj (White Paradise, Karel Lamač, 1924)
King Skate (Šimon Šafránek, 2018)
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan, 2017)
Khrustal (Crystal Swan, Darya Zhuk, 2018)

El Doctor (Suzan Pitt, 2006)
Joy Street (Suzan Pitt, 1995)
Šimtamečių godos (The Dreams of the Centenarians, Robertas Verba, 1969)
Accidence (Guy Maddin, Galen Johnson & Evan Johnson, 2018)
Inanimate (Lucia Bulgheroni, 2018)
The Hymns of Muscovy (Dimitri Venkov, 2017)
Fauve (Jérémy Comte, 2018)
Bonobo (Zoel Aeschbacher, 2017)
All These Creatures (Charles Williams, 2018)
We Vanish (Astrid Dominguez Ortega, 2018)

East-West: Golden Arch awards jury duty longlist revelations (atop the aforementioned Foxtrot and On Body and Soul)
November (Rainer Sarnet, 2017)
A stunningly beautiful, high-contrast, gothic Estonian b&w folktale like no other I’ve ever encountered.
Pororoca (Constantin Popescu, 2017)
Bogdan Dumitrache’s slow-burn descent into desolation and madness is one for the ages.
Sveta (Zhanna Issabayeva, 2017)
Deaf actor Laura Koroleva upends all expectations that her deaf character will fall prey to the usual topos of Eastern European miserabilism as the magnificently manipulative Sveta of the title.

Repertory screening wonders
Kusama’s Self-Obliteration (Jud Yalkut, 1967)
And presented by, and programmed by my colleagues at, The Melbourne Cinémathèque
Olivia (Jacqueline Audry, 1951)
Muchachas de Uniforme (Alfredo B. Crevenna, 1951)
Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (Thom Andersen, 1975)
Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (A Brighter Summer Day, Edward Yang, 1991)

Parties I was late getting to, but finally got to in the comfort of mine own home
Slávnosť v botanickej záhrade (Celebration in the Botanical Garden, Elo Havetta, 1969)
Liquid Sky (Slava Tsukerman, 1982)
Kurotokage (Black Lizard, Kinji Fukasaku, 1968)
Stadt der verlorenen Seelen (City of Lost Souls, Rosa von Praunheim, 1983)

Treasured 2018 film cultural honours and privileges
Serving a sixth, and final, year as the Artistic Director of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia, and peaking with a presentation in the Melbourne Town Hall of Extase (Ecstasy, Gustav Machatý, 1933) with an original live score alternately on the Grand Organ, and on a grand piano, from the brilliant Pavel Kohout.
Being invited in January to join the International Jury Board of the East-West: Golden Arch awards, and shipped to Moscow in April to attend its inaugural edition, which commenced with a moving minute’s silence for Miloš Forman, who’d passed away only the day prior.
Thoroughly enjoying a guided – but not too-guided – tour around Mosfilm Studios, with splendidly droll commentary in great abundance, and in wonderful company. A decades-long dance with cinephilia can see one transported to the darnedest places – and sometimes, it transpires, even literally.

Strange Colours (Alena Lodkina, 2017)


Artistic Director of the San Diego Asian Film Festival, Author of Worldly Desires: Cosmopolitanism and Cinema in Hong Kong and Taiwan, Assistant Professor of Film and Television at San Diego State University

1. Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Bi Gan, 2018)
2. Si ling hun (Dead Souls, Wang Bing, 2018)
3. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
4. Zi you xing (A Family Tour, Ying Liang, 2018)
5. Netemo Sametemo (Asako I & II, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2018)
6. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu, 2018)
7. Climax (Gasper Noé, 2018)
8. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
9. Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
10. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-Dong, 2018)
11. Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
12. Kraben Rahu (Manta Ray, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, 2018)
13. Zimna wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
14. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville, 2018)
15. Kamera o tomeru na! (One Cut of the Dead, Shinichiro Ueda, 2017)
16. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
17. Ang Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
18. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, 2018)
19. 1985 (Yen Tan, 2018)
20. A Bread Factory, Parts One and Two (Patrick Wang, 2018)

Honorable mentions: August at Akiko’s (Christopher Makoto Yogi, 2018), The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018), Gangbyeon hotel (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018), Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu, 2018), Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)

Yue Huang

Director of programming of CineCina Film Festival in New York (April 2019)

Beoning (Burning, Chang-dong Lee, 2018)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Carne y Arena (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2017)
Classical Period (Ted Fendt, 2018)
Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)
Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Bo Hu, 2018)
Di qiu zui hou de ye wan (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Gan Bi, 2018)
Doubles vies (Non-Fiction, Olivier Assayas, 2018)
Feng zhong you duo yu zuo de yun (The Shadow Play, Ye Lou, 2018)
Gangbyeon hotel (Hotel by the River, Sang-soo Hong, 2018)
The Green Fog (Guy Maddin, Galen Johnson, Evan Johnson, 2017)
High Life (Claire Denis, 2018)
Îmi este indiferent daca în istorie vom intra ca barbari (I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians, Radu Jude, 2018)
Kamera o tomeru na! (One Cut of the Dead, Shinichiro Ueda, 2017)
La flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)
Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
Manbiki kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2018)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017)
Qiu (Inmates, Li Ma, 2017)
Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Shui di xing zou de ren (I’ve Got the Blues, Angie Chen, 2017)
Si ge chun tian (Four Springs, Qingyi Lu, 2018)
Si ling hun (Dead Souls, Wang Bing, 2018)
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead (Morgan Neville, 2018) and The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz, Ruth Beckermann, 2018)
Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
Yocho (Foreboding, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2017)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)

Christoph Huber


Twenty-two Timely Thunderbolts:
Kiku to Guillotine Onna Zumô to Anarchism (The Chrysanthemum and the Guillotine, Zeze Takahisa, 2018)
Zwei Herren im Anzug (Two Men in Suits, Josef Bierbichler, 2018)
Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
Bodied (Joseph Kahn, 2017)
Hanagatami (Ôbayashi Nobuhiko, 2017)
Seung joi nei jor yau (Always Be with You, Herman Yau, 2017)
Lukas (The Bouncer, Julien Leclercq, 2018)
Garten (Peter Schreiner, 2019)
Zhuibu (Manhunt, John Woo, 2017)
Königin von Niendorf (Queen of Niendorf, Joya Thome, 2017)
High Life (Claire Denis, 2018)
Rocco‘s Perfect Slaves 10: Slinging Anal, Outrageous Fortune (Rocco Siffredi, 2016)
Hanne (Dominik Graf, 2018)
The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018)
Salt and Fire (Werner Herzog, 2016)
Jiang hu er nv (Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhangke, 2018)
The Leakers (Herman Yau Lai-To, 2018)
Interstellar Civil War (Albert Pyun, 2018)
Asino (Donkey. Collection of Eight Novellas, Anatoli Vassiliev, 2018)
BuyBust (Erik Matti, 2018)
Der Hauptmann (The Captain, Robert Schwentke, 2017)
Zan, (Killing, Tsukamoto Shinya, 2018)

The Treasure Trove Twenty-seven Singular Strikes:
Caravan (Erik Charrell, 1934)
Das Wunder (Eckhart Schmidt, 1985)
Una partita di scacchi (Luigi Maggi, 1912)
The End (Burt Reynolds, 1978)
Kristallen en kleur (From the Realms of the Crystals, J.C. Los, 1931)
Yin yeung lo 4: Yu gwai tung hang (Troublesome Night 4, Herman Yau, 1998)
That Brennan Girl (Alfred Santell, 1946)
The Abotess and the Flying Bone (Hans Scheirl, Dietmar Schipek, 1989)
Lovemaker (Ugo Liberatore, 1969)
Colt 45 (Fabrice Du Welz, 2014)
Saang gong kei bing (Long Arm of the Law, Johnny Mak, 1984)
Expedicion Giró (Gustavo Giró, 1965)
The Lincoln Cycle (John M. Stahl, Benjamin Chapin, 1917)
Osvoboždenie (Liberation, Jurij Ozerov, 1969-71)
L’uomo dei cinque palloni (Break-Up, Marco Ferreri, 1968)
Naturfilm (Harada Goh, 2007)
Victimas del peccato (Victims of Sin, Emilio Fernández, 1951)
Breakthrough (Lewis Seiler, 1950)
Le cadeau (The Present, Dick Roberts & Jacques Vausseur, 1961)
Luca il contrabbandiere (Contraband, Lucio Fulci, 1980)
Judaspengar (The Price of Betrayal, Victor Sjöström, 1915)
Lady in a Cage (Walter Grauman, 1964)
Napoli che canta (When Naples Sings, Roberto Leone Roberti, 1926)
Film and Reality (Alberto Cavalcanti, Ernest Lindgren, 1942)
So Dark the Night (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946)
Michiel de Ruyter (Admiral, Roel Reiné, 2015)
Laughing Anne (Herbert Wilcox, 1953)

Three Dozen Doozy Doubles:
Women of All Nations (Raoul Walsh, 1931) + Al Pereira vs. the Alligator Ladies (Jess Franco, 2012)
L’assaut (The Assault, Julien Leclercq, 2010) + Braqueurs (The Crew, Julien Leclercq, 2015)
Remington Cal. 12 (Walter Heynowski & Gerhard Scheumann, 1972) + Throat… 12 Years After (Gerard Damiano, 1984)
Majdanek – cmentarzysko Europy (Aleksander Ford, 1945) + The Twilight Zone: Deaths-Head Revisited (Don Medford, 1961)
la guerre d’Algérie! (The Algerian War!, Jean-Marie Straub, 2014) + Die Geschäftsfreunde (The Deadly Companions, Martin Müller, 1968)
Death Wish IV: The Crackdown (J. Lee Thompson, 1987) + Xiang Gang qi an: Xi xue gui li wang (The Underground Banker, Bosco Lam, 1994)
Seed (John M. Stahl, 1931) + When Tomorrow Comes (John M. Stahl, 1939)
Choosing the Wallpaper (unknown, 1909) + Donna con garofani rossi e rosa (unknown, 1912)
Summer Storm (Douglas Sirk, 1944) + Weiße Schatten (White Shadows, Helmut Käutner, 1951)
One More Spring (Henry King, 1935) + Der zweite Frühling (Second Spring, Ulli Lommel, 1975)
Legacy of Satan (Gerard Damiano, 1974) + Memories Within Miss Aggie (Gerard Damiano, 1974)
Moc (The Power, Vlatko Gilic, 1973) + Paura in città (1181 dni pozneje ali Vonj po podganah) (Fear in the City [1181 Days Later or the Smell of Rats], Davorin Marc, 1984)
A Town Called Hell (Robert Parrish & Irving Lerner, 1971) + Xue lian (Trilogy of Lust, Julie Lee & Tun Fei Mou, 1995)
L’Italia s’e desta [fragment] (Elvira Notari, 1927) + Napoli sirena della canzoni [fragment] (Elvira Notari, 1929)
The Foxes of Harrow (John M. Stahl, 1947) + The Walls of Jericho (John M. Stahl, 1948)
The Making of ‘Nosferatu’ (Werner Herzog/Twentieth Century Fox, 1979) + Les Français vus par: Les Français/Les Gaulois (The French as Seen by…, Werner Herzog, 1988)
Chase a Crooked Shadow (Michael Anderson, 1958) + Orca (Michael Anderson, 1977)
Killer-Dog (Jacques Tourneur, 1936) + What Do You Think? (Jacques Tourneur, 1937)
Isolation (Billy O‘Brien, 2005) + Scintilla (The Hybrid, Billy O‘Brien, 2014)
[Maneuvre de lit operataire] (Eugène-Louis Doyen, 1898) + [Les Opérations sur la Cavité Crânienne] (Eugène-Louis Doyen, 1898–1911)
Wie ein Vogel auf dem Draht (Like a Bird on a Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1975) + Bourbon Street Blues (Douglas Sirk, Hans Schönherr & Tilman Taube, 1979)
The Woman Under Oath (John M. Stahl, 1919) + The Child Thou Gavest Me (John M. Stahl, 1921)
Yan man ying hung (People’s Hero, Derek Yee Tung-Shing, 1987) + Se qing nan nu (Viva Erotica, Derek Yee Tung-Shing & Law Chi Leung, 1996)
They All Come Out (Jacques Tourneur, 1939) + Escape from Broadmoor (John Gilling, 1948)
The Devil in Miss Jones 3: A New Beginning (Gregory Dark, 1986) + The Devil in Miss Jones 4: The Final Outrage (Gregory Dark, 1986)
Galeria cinematografica infantil (Domingo Mauricio Filippini, ca. 1927) + Transformation (Gerda Lampalzer, 2009)
The Half-Breed (Allan Dwan, 1916) + [Fairbanks Can 4:] Bound in Morocco [fragment] (Allan Dwan, 1918)
The Telltale Heart (Charles F. Klein, 1928) + The Tell-Tale Heart (Ernest Morris, 1960)
Carosellio: Totò il cassiere (Luciano Emmer, 196?) + Candy Girl (unknown, 197?)
Five Came Back (John Farrow, 1939) + Back from Eternity (John Farrow, 1956)
Blotto (James Parrott, 1930) + Drei Schwedinnen in Oberbayern (3 Sexy Girls in Tirol, Siggi Götz, 1977)
Thunderhoof (Phil Karlson, 1948) + La banda J. & S. – Cronaca criminale del Far West (Sonny and Jed, Sergio Corbucci, 1972)
Akt-Skulpturen. Studienfilm für bildende Künstler (Oscar Messter, 1903) + [Behind Porn] (unknown, 192?)
Smouldering Fires (Clarence Brown, 1925) + La femme-objet (Programmed for Pleasure, Frédéric Lansac (Claude Mulot), 1981)
[Selbstgemachter Standbild-Trailer Wiener Kino] (unknown, 1984) + Autumn Blood (Markus Blunder, 2013)
Hoppy Daze (Robert McKimson, 1961) + Freudy Cat (Robert McKimson, 1964)
Toh, è morta la nonna! (Oh, Grandmother’s Dead, Mario Monicelli, 1969) + Last Summer (Frank Perry, 1969)

Milla (Valérie Massadian, 2017)

Darren Hughes

freelance critic and co-founder/co-programmer of The Public Cinema in Knoxville, Tennessee

I hope it’s not bad form to say that the film highlight of 2018 for me was the small program I helped to organize at Big Ears Festival. I say “organize” because most of the curation was performed by others. David Dinnell brought nearly five hours of 16mm films culled from the collection of Canyon Cinema. Paul Harrill presented “A Sense of Place: A Retrospective of American Regional Cinema, 1960-1989.” Blake Williams curated a diverse and challenging program of 3D work, “Stereo Visions.” And I collaborated with Lewis Klahr on an installation and two screenings. The majority of my favorite film discoveries this year screened during our four-day festival.

The other festival highlight of the year was “A History of Shadows,” a wide-ranging program curated by Gerwin Tamsma and Gustavo Beck in Rotterdam. Also, I was thrilled to finally catch up with Angela Schanelec’s work thanks to Mubi’s streaming retrospective over the summer. I limited myself to one film per director on each list. Otherwise, Schanelec would have earned three or four mentions.

As for new films, Zama and Western towered over every other feature I saw. Looking over my lists, I’ve just now noticed that all of my favorite shorts were also directed or co-directed by women, with special mentions to China Not China, Please step out of the frame., I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead, and The Remembered Film.

Favorite US Releases of 2018 (Ranked)

  1. Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
  2. Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
  3. Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018)
  4. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
  5. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)
  6. Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
  7. Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
  8. First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
  9. Milla (Valérie Massadian, 2017)
  10. PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, 2018)

Favorite Short Films of 2018 (Alphabetical)

  • Arena (Björn Kämmerer, 2018)
  • Blue (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, 2018)
  • China Not China (Dianna Barrie and Richard Tuohy, 2018)
  • Fainting Spells (Sky Hopinka, 2018)
  • I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead (Beatrice Gibson, 2018)
  • more than everything (Rainer Kohlberger, 2018)
  • Please step out of the frame. (Karissa Hahn, 2018)
  • The Remembered Film (Isabelle Tollenaere, 2018)
  • Walled Unwalled (Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2018)
  • Wunschbrunnen (Wishing Well, Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2018)

Favorite Features I Saw for the First Time in 2018 (Alphabetical)

  • El Desencanto (The Disenchantment, Jaime Chávarri, 1976)
  • Geschichtsunterricht (History Lessons, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 1972)
  • Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine, 2010)
  • Kirmes (The Fair, Wolfgang Staudte, 1960)
  • Mein langsames Leben (Passing Summer, Angela Schanelec, 2001)
  • Moonrise (Frank Borzage, 1948)
  • Only Yesterday (John M. Stahl, 1933)
  • Polyester (John Waters, 1981)
  • Seeking the Monkey King (Ken Jacobs, 2011)
  • Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

Favorite Short Films I Saw for the First Time in 2018 (Alphabetical)

  • L’arrivée d’un train à La Ciotat 3D (Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat 3D, Auguste and Louis Lumière, 1935)
  • Billabong (Will Hindle, 1969)
  • Boston Fire (Peter Hutton, 1979)
  • City Film (Lewis Klahr, 1992)
  • Dans le noir du temps (In the Darkness of Time, Jean-Luc Godard, 2001)
  • Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler, 1975)
  • Love It/Leave It (Tom Palazzolo, 1973)
  • On Sundays (Bruce Baillie, 1961)
  • Point de Gaze (Jodie Mack, 2012)
  • Starlight (Robert Fulton, 1970)

Parviz Jahed

Film Critic and the editor-in-chief of Cine-Eye Film Journal

My Favourite films of 2018 in alphabetical order:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Coen Brothers, 2018)
Border (Ali Abbasi, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Zimna Wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
The House That Jack Built (Lars Von Trier, 2018)
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron, 2018)
Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2018)


Freelance film critic and Cinema Producer at Watershed, Bristol

UK Theatrical Releases

  1. The Rider(Chloe Zhao, 2017)
  2. Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library(Frederick Wiseman, 2017)
  3. Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton, 2017)
  4. Marlina The Murderer in Four Acts(Mouly Surya, 2017)
  5. Western (Valeska Griesbach, 2017)
  6. Sorry to Bother You(Boots Riley, 2018)
  7. Zama(Lucrecia Martel, 2017)
  8. Make Me Up(Rachel Maclean, 2018)
  9. Zimna Wojna (Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski, 2018)
  10. (tied) Ahlat Ağacı (The Wild Pear Tree, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2018), and; Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)

Honourable mentions: My Friend Dahmer (Marc Meyers, 2017), The Endless (Justin Benson, 2017), You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017), The Third Murder (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2017)

Repertory Screenings

  1. Just Another Girl on the I.R.T.(Leslie Harris, 1992) 35mm, Cinema Rediscovered, Bristol
  2. He Fengming, (Fengming, A Chinese Memoir, Wang Bing, 2007) Courtisane Festival, Ghent
  3. Tie Xi Qu, (West of the Tracks, Wang Bing 2003) Courtisane Festival, Ghent
  4. La Pointe Courte(Agnès Varda, 1955) UK re-release, L’Immagine Ritrovata restoration
  5. Riddles of the Sphinx(Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1977), UK re-release courtesty of Club des femmes and Independent Cinema Office
  6. La Hora de los Hornos Neocolonialismo y Violencia (The Hour of the Furnaces. First Part: Neo-colonialism and Violence, Fernando E. Solanas, Octavio Getino, 1968) Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna
  7. Beau Travail (Claire Denis, ) 35mm, BFI Southbank
  8. Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terence Davies, 1988) 4K restoration, UK re-release
  9. Standard Guage (Morgan Fisher, 1984) 16mm, Courtisane Festival, Ghent
  10. 9-5, (Colin Higgins, 1980) UK re-release with introduction by Jane Fonda at BFI Southbank

Festival Faves

  1. In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018) LFF
  2. Storm in my Heart (Mark Cousins, 2018), Critics’ Choice IFFR
  3. Inside the Machine (Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie, 2018) 16mm, IFFR
  4. Blue (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2018) Kurzfilmtage Winterthur
  5. A Room with a Coconut View (Tulapop Saenjaroen, 2018), Kurzfilmtage Winterthur
  6. Profile (Timur Bekmambetov, 2018), Berlinale
  7. The Hymns of Muscovy (Dimitri Venkov, 2018) Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
  8. The Captured Light of an Instant (Lichun Tseng, 2018) Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen
  9. Distant Constellation (Shevaun Mizrahi, 2017) DokuFest, Kosovo
  10. The Pain of Others (Penny Lane, 2018) IFFR
  11. Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018) Berlinale
  12. My Friend the Polish Girl (Ewa Banaszkiewicz, Mateusz Dymek, 2018) IFFR

Distant Constellation (Shevaun Mizrahi, 2017)

Ioannis Kanonakis

Film critic based in Athens, Greece, and a contributor and member of the International Cinephile Society

This is my personal list of the finest cinematic achievements of the year.
World Premieres – 2018
Best of 2018:
La Flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)
Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018)
People By The Lake (Gens du Lac, Jean-Marie Straub, 2018)

The Essentials:
(in alphabetical order)
Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Blue (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2018)
La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House, Joaquín Cociña & Cristóbal Léon, 2018)
Coincoin et les z’inhumains (Coincoin and the Extra-Humans, Bruno Dumont, 2018)
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt, 2018)
In My Room (Ulrich Köhler, 2018)
Jiang hu er nu (Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhang-ke, 2018)
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
Ni de lian (Your Face, Tsai Ming-liang, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Sophia Antipolis (Virgil Vernier, 2018)
Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Un couteau dans le coeur (Knife+Heart, Yann Gonzalez, 2018)

Honorable Mentions:
(in alphabetical order)
Belmonte (Federico Veiroj, 2018)
Classical Period (Ted Fendt, 2018)
Da xiang xi di er zuo (An Elephant Sitting Still, Hu Bo, 2018)
Jiao qu de niao (Suburban Birds, Qiu Sheng, 2018)
Leto (Summer, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2018)
Petra (Jaime Rosales, 2018)
Plaire, aimer et courir vite (Sorry Angel, Christophe Honoré, 2018)
Que le diable nous emporte (Tempting Devils, Jean-Claude Brisseau, 2018)
Vision (Naomi Kawase, 2018)
Yara (Abbas Fahdel, 2018)

Best Films Seen for the First Time in 2018:
(in alphabetical order)
L’Anglaise et le duc (The Lady and the Duke, Éric Rohmer, 2001)
Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947)
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (Robert Bresson, 1945)
From the Notebook Of… (Robert Beavers, 2000)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1947)
Happî awâ (Happy Hour, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
Les Îles (Islands, Yann Gonzalez, 2017)
Joyû Sumako no koi (The Love of the Actress Sumako, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1947)
Katzelmacher (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1969)
Kommunisten (Communists, Jean-Marie Straub, 2014)
Madame Hyde (Mrs. Hyde, Serge Bozon, 2017)
Das merkwürdige Kätzchen (The Strange Little Cat, Ramon Zürcher, 2013)
Meshi (Repast, Mikio Naruse, 1951)
Meurtrière (Murderess, Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
Milla (Valérie Massadian, 2017)
Monsieur Verdoux (Charles Chaplin, 1947)
Nachmittag (Afternoon, Angela Schanelec, 2007)
Portrait d’une jeune fille de la fin des années 60 à Bruxelles (Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the ’60s in Brussels, Chantal Akerman, 1994)
O Princípio de Incerteza (The Uncertainty Principle, Manoel de Oliveira, 2002)
Schwarze Sünde (Black Sin, Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub, 1989)
Secret défense (Secret Defense, Jacques Rivette, 1998)
Sombre (Philippe Grandrieux, 1998)
Something Between Us (Jodie Mack, 2015)
Time and Tide (Peter B. Hutton, 2000)
Under Capricorn (Alfred Hitchcock, 1949)
Unrest (Philippe Grandrieux, 2017)
U.S. Go Home (Claire Denis, 1994)
Yuki fujin ezu (Portrait of Madame Yuki, Kenji Mizoguchi, 1950)

Daniel Kasman

Director of Content, Mubi. New York

aKasha (Hajooj Kuka, 2018)
Ang panahon ng halimaw (Season of the Devil, Lav Diaz, 2018)
Arena (Björn Kämmerer, 2018)
Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)
Blue (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2018)
Chuva É Cantoria Na Aldeia Dos Mortos (The Dead and the Others, Renée Nader Messora & João Salaviza 2018)
Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle) (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2018)
Da xiang xi di er zou (An Elephant Sitting Still, Hu Bo, 2018)
Djamilia (Jamilia, Aminatou Echard, 2018)
Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa, 2018)
Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack, 2018)
Grass (Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
Hanagatami (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 2017)
Imkerschule (School of Beekeepers, Helga Fanderl, 2018)
In My Room (Ulrich Köhler, 2018)
Inside the Machine (Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie, 2017)
Jing hu er nu (Ash Is Purest White, Jia Zhangke, 2018)
Le livre d’image (The Image Book, Jean-Luc Godard, 2018)
more than everything (Rainer Kohlberger, 2018)
Netemo sametemo (Asako I & II, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2018)
Norman Norman (Sophy Romvary, 2018)
Peranbu (Resurrection, Ram, 2018)
Petra (Jaime Rosales, 2018)
Please step out of the frame. (Karissa Hahn, 2018)
Polly One (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2018)
Polte (Flame, Sami van Ingen, 2018)
Pumpkin Movie (Sophy Romvari, 2017)
Shakedown (Leilah Weinraub, 2018)
The Task (Leigh Ledare, 2017)
Tatort: Der rote Schatten [Director’s Cut] (The Red Shadow, Dominik Graf, 2017)
Teret (The Load, Ognjen Glavonic)
Transit (Christian Petzold, 2018)
Veslemøy’s Song (Sofia Bohdanowicz, 2018)
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini, 2018)
Yara (Abbas Fadel)
Yocho (Foreboding, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2017)

U.S. Cinemas
The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood, 2018)
Arábia (Araby, João Dumans, Affonso Uchoa, 2017)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)
Dead Souls (Wang Bing, 2018)
L’empire de la perfection (John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, Julien Faraut, 2018)
Estiu 1993 (Summer 1993, Carla Simón, 2017)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Fotbal Infinite (Infinite Football, Corneliu Porumboiu, 2018)
Les gardiennes (The Guardians, Xavier Beauvois, 2017)
The Green Fog (Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson & Guy Maddin, 2017)
Der Hauptmann (The Captain, Robert Schwentke, 2018)
Geu-hu (The Day After, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni, 2017)
Jeannette, l’enfance de Jeanne d’Arc (Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, Bruno Dumont, 2017)
Laissez bronzer les cadavres (Let the Corpses, Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, 2017)
El Mar La Mar (J.P. Sniadecki & Joshua Bonnetta, 2017)
Monrovia, Indiana (Frederick Wiseman, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, 2017)
Ray Meets Helen (Alan Rudolph, 2018)
The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2017)
Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
Unsane (Steven Soderbergh, 2018)
Vada Chennai (Vetrimaaran, 2018)
Waldheims Walzer (The Waldheim Waltz & Ruth Beckermann, 2018)
Western (Valeska Grisebach, 2017)
Xiang ai xiang qin (Love Education, Sylvia Chang, 2017)
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2018)

Ah Long dik goo si (All About Ah-Long, Johnnie To, 1989)
L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat 3D (Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat 3D, Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière, 1935)
Billabong (Will Hindle, 1968)
Brunnen (Fountain, Helga Fanderl, 2000)
Ciao Bella or Fuck Me Dead (Betzy Bromberg, 1978)
Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alf Brustellin, Hans Peter Cloos, Alexander Kluge, Maximiliane Mainka, Edgar Reitz, Katje Rupé, Peter Schubert & Bernhard Sinkel, 1978)
Fango (Mud, José Celestino Campusano, 2012)
Der Havarist (The Shipwreck, Wolf-Eckart Bühler, 1984)
Hand Held Day (Gary Beydler, 1975)
Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine, 2010)
Kattradhu Thamizh (Tamil M.A., Ram, 2007)
The Kid from Spain (Leo McCarey, 1932)
Kirmes (The Fair, Wolfgang Staudte, 1960)
Leuchtturm des Chaos (Pharos of Chaos, Wolf-Eckart Bühler, 1983)
Looking for the Moon (Moira Sweeney, 1986)
The Long Riders (Walter Hill, 1980)
Mädchen (Girls, Helga Fanderl, 2003)
Moskva (Moscow, Alexander Zeldovich, 2000)
Naan kadavul (I Am God, Bala, 2009)
Not and Or (Simon Payne, 2014)
Only Yesterday (John M. Stahl, 1933)
Outdoor Pajamas (Leo McCarey, 1924)
Testament (John Akomfrah, 1988)
Wanda (Barbara Loden, 1970)
Welcome to L.A. (Alan Rudolph, 1976)

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)


Independent screenwriter, teaches TV Production and English at George M. Steinbrenner High School in Lutz, Florida

Top Ten Films of 2018
1. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
2. The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2018)
3. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
4. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville, 2018)
5. Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham, 2018)
6. Bad Times at the El Royale (Drew Goddard, 2018)
7. Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio, 2017)
8. Searching (Aneesh Chaganty, 2018)
9. Mid90s (Jonah Hill, 2018)
10. The Favourite (Yargos Lanthimos, 2018)

Honorable Mentions
Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller, 2018)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)
Gräns (Border, Ali Abbasi, 2018)
Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018)
Hereditary (Ari Aster, 2018)
Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018)
Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson, 2018)
Jusqu’à la garde (Custody, Xavier Legrand, 2017)
Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
Love, Gilda (Lisa Dapolito, 2018)
Mission Impossible: Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018)
A Quiet Place (John Krazinski, 2018)
SicarioDay of the Soldado (Stefano Sollima, 2018)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018)
Tully (Jason Reitman, 2018)
Uchiage hanabi, shita kara miru ka? Yoko kara miru ka? (Fireworks, Akiyuki Shinbo, 2018)
Widows (Steve McQueen, 2018)
The Wife (Björn Runge, 2017)

Nelson Kim

Filmmaker and teacher based in New York City. His feature film Someone Else was released in 2016

My top 12 feature films of 2018, in alphabetical order by U.S. title:
Beoning (Burning, Chang-dong Lee, 2018)
Chained for Life (Aaron Schimberg, 2018)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker, 2018)
The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Private Life (Tamara Jenkins, 2018)
The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2017)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, 2018)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay, 2017)

Rainer Knepperges

Filmmaker, Cologne

My 40 favourite discoveries in 2018.
A Day at Henley (1911)
Behind the Door (Irvin Willat, 1919)
Saturday Night (Cecil B. DeMille, 1922)
Seed (John M. Stahl, 1931)
The Kiss Before the Mirror (James Whale, 1932)
Caravan (Erik Charell, 1934)
When Tomorrow Comes (John M. Stahl, 1939)
Die keusche Geliebte (Viktor Tourjansky, 1940)
Cottage To Let (Anthony Asquith, 1941)
Santa (Norman Foster, Alfredo Gómez de la Vega, 1943)
Sherlock Holmes and The Scarlet Claw (Roy W. Neill, 1944)
Xiao cheng zhi chun (Spring in a Small Town, Fei Mu 1948)
The Snake Pit (Anatole Litvak, 1948)
Hellfire (R.G. Springsteen, 1949)
Das doppelte Lottchen (Two Times Lotte, Josef von Baky, 1950)
Come Fill the Cup (Gordon Douglas, 1951)
My Son John (Leo McCarey, 1952)
Le Ragazze di Piazza di Spagna (Three Girls from Rome, Luciano Emmer, 1952)
Ave Maria (Alfred Braun, 1953)
Je suis un sentimental (Headlines of Destruction, John Berry, 1955)
The Last Wagon (Delmer Daves, 1956)
The Spider’s Web (Godfrey Grayson, 1960)
Night Tide (Curtis Harrington, 1961)
Naked City: Which Is Joseph Creeley (Arthur Hiller, 1961)
Immer wenn es Nacht wird (The Love Feast, Hans Dieter Bove, 1961)
Naked City: Lament for a Dead Indian (Robert Gist, 1962)
Tutto è musica (Everything Is Music, Domenico Modugno 1963)
Alleman (The Human Dutch, Bert Haanstra, 1963)
Durchbruch Lok 234 (The Breakthrough, Frank Wisbar, 1963)
Ukradená vzducholoď (The Stolen Airship, Karel Zeman, 1966)
The New Centurions (Richard Fleischer, 1972)
Hau drauf, Kleiner (May Spils, 1974)
Der Zweite Frühling (Second Spring, Ulli Lommel, 1975)
Filmemigration aus Nazideutschland (Günter Peter Straschek, 1975)
Un borghese piccolo piccolo (An Average Little Man, Mario Monicelli, 1977)
Poto and Cabengo (Jean Pierre Gorin, 1980)
Stir Crazy (Sidney Poitier, 1980)
Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990)
Captain Cosmotic (Thilo Gosejohann, 1998)
Home Movie (Chris Smith, 2001)

My 2018 Top 16
Bad Girl Avenue (Klaus Lemke, 2018)
Better Things (Pamela Adlon, 2016)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Bryan Singer, 2018)
Crisis in Six Scenes (Woody Allen, 2016)
Daddy’s Home 2 (Sean Anders, 2017)
Ex Libris (Frederick Wiseman, 2017)
Grolsch (Bruno Sukrow, 2018)
Hedefim Sensin (Kıvanç Baruönü, 2018)
I Love You Daddy (Louis C. K., 2017)
Jim & Andy The Great Beyond (Chris Smith, 2017)
Lucky (John Carroll Lynch, 2017)
The Post (Steven Spielberg, 2017)
The Rider (Chloé Zhao, 2018)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
Train to Zakopané (Henry Jaglom, 2018)
Yung (Henning Gronkowski, 2018)

Jay Kuehner

Freelance film critic, curator (Veracity: New Documentary Cinema) and instructor based in Seattle, Washington (U.S)

Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2018)
Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (Roberto Minervini, 2018)
La Flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)
Black Mother (Khalik Allah, 2018)
Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa, 2018)
Kraben rahu (Manta Ray, Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, 2018)
Una Corriente salvaje (A Wild Stream, Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda, 2018)
Ray And Liz (Richard Billingham, 2018)
Distant Constellation (Shevaun Mizrahi, 2017)
Turtle Rock (Xiao Xiao, 2017)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening (RaMell Ross, 2018)
Ming Wang Xing Shi Ke (The Pluto Moment, Ming Zhang, 2018)
El laberinto (The Labyrinth, Laura Huertas Millán, 2018)
Rojo (Benjamín Naishtat, 2018)
Como Fernando Pessoa Salvou Portugal (How Fernando Pessoa Saved Portugal, Eugène Green, 2018)
Bisbee ‘17 (Robert Greene, 2018)
O processo (The Trial, Maria Augusta Ramos, 2018)
Gangbyun Hotel (Hotel by the River, Hong Sang-soo, 2018)
Introduzione all’oscuro (Gastón Solnicki, 2018)
PROTOTYPE (Blake Williams, 2017)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018)

Bisbee ‘17 (Robert Greene, 2018)

Adam Kuntavanish

Film buff from the midwest USA

2018 World Premiere Favorites
0. The Other Side of the Wind (Orson Welles, 2018)
Undoubtedly the cinematic event of the year was the unveiling of a reconstructed version of Orson Welles’s great unfinished 1970s project, first at the Venice International Film Festival then ultimately to the massive online audience of Netflix. Whether or not Welles would have been bemused at where his reels and reels of analog film ended up in the Digital Age, the concept and “finished” product remain resolutely modern, resting on a dense knowledge of cinematic and media tropes and the form now known as “mockumentary.”
1. Beoning (Burning, Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
Beguiling and mysterious in both tone and subject, the newest film from the great Lee Chang-dong, one of the best dramatists in cinema today, starts with casual coincidences and a tentative relationship between an introverted wannabe writer (Yoo Ah-in) and a mercurial woman from his childhood (Jun Jong-seo). Once an insouciant interloper (the casually menacing Steven Yeun) enters the picture, however, the film becomes something darker, moodier, slowly unleashing the undercurrent of potential emotional and physical violence that was always there.
2. Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley, 2018)
Truly unpredictable, the feature debut of political activist rapper Boots Riley is by turns hilarious, sexy, and awe-inspiringly confrontational. Starting as a satire of corporate-speak and code-switching, it gradually evolves into something much stranger and more suspicious of the entire edifice of modern capitalism, embracing science-fiction and magical realist elements on its way to a fantastical climax.
3. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
Few movies even to attempt to confront thorny issues of race, class, or sexism, let alone the intersection of all three or in an engaging way, but the cast and crew of this year’s great social comedy is up to the challenge. Under the generic guise of a practically all-female workplace comedy, Support the Girls better mines the pitfalls of capitalism than movies twice as long and twice as serious.
4. Minding the Gap (Bing Liu, 2018) & Shirkers (Sandi Tan, 2018)
Two remarkable, personal documentaries were released this year, each searching through footage of the past to reconcile and make sense of the present. In Minding the Gap, Bing Liu intercuts adolescent home movies of himself and his skater pals with present day interviews with them, trying to pinpoint exactly how people become who they become; Shirkers mixes images from a legendary Singaporean independent movie with a retrospective investigation of its making and history, all tied together by the resilient obsession of writer/director/star Sandi Tan.
5. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, 2018)
Only as fiercely political a filmmaker as Spike Lee could have made this movie in the year 2018, and current events and the cultural climate conspired to make it relevant. Bluntly drawing a line between the KKK of the 1970s, pathetic but courting respectability, to the alt-right and their political enablers of today, the movie entertainingly but incisively implores us to avoid the mistakes of the very recent past.
6. Lazzaro felice (Happy as Lazzaro, Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
Mixing a magical realist narrative with a social realist aesthetic, Lazzaro tells the tale of a kind of “holy fool” (the remarkably blank and good-natured Adriano Tardiolo) living and working amidst a family of sharecroppers in rural Italy. As the story goes on its surprising way, he anchors everything in astonishingly open, reactive empathy.
7. The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (Judd Apatow, 2018)
Apatow finally brings his penchant for elephantine running times to a worthwhile subject, his hero and friend Garry Shandling, an inspirational force in both stand-up comedy and television. Jumping off from candid footage and snippets of diary, the film paints a portrait of a keenly talented, flawed, and temperamentally spiritual artist.
8. Leave No Trace (Debra Granik, 2018)
As haunting and soft-spoken as its lead father-daughter pair, Leave No Trace nevertheless builds a thriller-like intensity by possessing an acute sense of place and focusing on the gradually diverging desires of its characters confronting the demands of the outside world.
9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, 2018) & Damsel (David Zellner and Nathan Zellner, 2018)
Any new Coens film is a cause for celebration, and Buster Scruggs delivers six vignettes of their patented blend of comic despair and hyper-literate wordplay against the backdrop of the Old West. The Zellner brothers’ surprising Western would have fit right into the Scruggs anthology, maybe as a dark inverse of the “Gal Who Got Rattled” segment.
10. Ying (Shadow, Zhang Yimou, 2018)
The commercial and artistic aspirations of Zhang Yimou have ebbed and flowed throughout his long career, but this year’s Shadow is a highlight, a return to his interests in gender relations, exacting color schemes, and martial action.

A Few 2018 US Premiere Favorites
The following made their non-festival premieres within the US in 2018 (and I didn’t include them in last year’s poll):
Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis, 2017)
La caméra de Claire (Claire’s Camera, Hong Sang-soo, 2017)
The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, 2017)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2017)
Sanpo suru shinryakusha (Before We Vanish, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2017)
Zama (Lucrecia Martel, 2017)

Finally, R.I.P. FilmStruck!

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