Josh Timmermann
Tomas Trussow
Koen Van Daele
Noel Vera
Peter Verstraten
Nicholas Vroman
Jason Philip Wierzba
Neil Young

Maria San Filippo

Editor-in-Chief, New Review of Film and Television Studies

Maintaining the modus operandi of my submission to 2022’s Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time poll, my ranked list comprises exclusively women-directed works—plus a “token” few male-directed films in a three-way tie for final place—with two concluding commemorations of exceptionally memorable cinephile moments from the past year.

1) Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
2) All of the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
3) Fire of Love (Sara Dosa, 2022)
4) The Eternal Daughter (Joanna Hogg, 2022)
5) One Fine Morning (Un beau matin, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2022)
6) Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade, Claire Denis, 2022)
7) Welcome to the USA (Assel Aushakimova, 2019) – With gratitude to Leokino (Innsbruck, Austria) for screening and to kinovi[sie]on for inviting me to moderate a filmmaker Q&A.
8 & 9) L’événement (Happening, Audrey Diwan, 2021) and Petite Maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021) – Both callbacks to two 2021 favourites widely released in 2022.
10) The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022), Emily the Criminal (John Patton Ford, 2022), and Tár (Todd Field, 2022)

One Fine Morning

Favourite film festival discovery: the Trento Film Festival, which I had the honour of attending in its estimable 70th year and reviewed for Senses of Cinema.

Favourite filmmaker (re)discovery/filmgoing experience: Michael Roemer, who attended, alongside luminous Brooke Adams (star of his 1984 film Vengeance is Mine), a post-screening discussion during his November 2022 Harvard Film Archive retrospective; a transcendent evening I’ll always treasure. 

Rowena Santos Aquino

Los Angeles-based film lecturer/scholar/critic

Favourite films viewed this year released in 2022 (or thereabouts):

  • American Girl (Feng-I Fiona Roan, 2021)
  • The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Iryna Tsylik, 2020)
  • The Sparks Brothers (Edgar Wright, 2021)
  • Riotsville, U.S.A. (Sierra Pettengill, 2022)

Favourite films viewed this year, released previously:

  • Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, 1947)
  • I basilischi (The Lizards, Lina Wertmüller, 1963)
  • Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  • The Juniper Tree (Nietzchka Keene, 1990)
  • Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2009)
  • The Forgotten Space (Allan Sekula/Noël Burch, 2010)
  • Corpo celeste (Alice Rohrwacher, 2011)
  • Reality (Matteo Garrone, 2012)
  • Le meraviglie (The Wonders, Alice Rohrwacher, 2014)
  • Mænd og Høns (Men and Chicken, Anders Thomas Jensen, 2015)
  • Western (Bill/Ross Turner, 2015)
  • Dogman (Matteo Garrone, 2018)
  • Museo (Museum, Alonso Ruizpalacios, 2018)
  • Oiktos (Pity, Babis Makridis, 2018)
  • The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins, 2018)
  • Woorijb (The House of Us, Yoon Ga-eun, 2019)

José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Co-director of desistfilm. Programmer and Curator for MUTA Festival

Arthouse (only 2022 releases):

  • Skazka (Fairytale Aleksandr Sokurov, 2022) 
  • Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
  • Mato Seco en Chamas (Dry Ground Burning, Adirley Queirós, Joana Pimenta, 2022)
  • Sobre las Nubes (María Aparicio, 2022)
  • Notas Para una Película (Ignacio Agüero, 2022)
  • Splendid Isolation (Urszula Antoniak, 2022)
  • Anhell69 (Theo Montoya, 2022) 
  • Nuit Obscure – Feuillets Sauvages (Wild Leaves aka Obscure Night , Sylvain George, 2022) 
  • Tan Inmunda y Tan Feliz (Wincy Oyarce, 2022)
  • A Woman Escapes (Sofia Bohdanowicz, Blake Williams, Burak Cevik, 2022)
  • Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)

Experimental/Avant-Garde (2020 to 2022 releases):

  • Letter to a Turtledove (Dana Kavelina, 2020)
  • In and out a Window (Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie, 2021) 
  • Subtotals (Mohammadreza Farzad, 2022)
  • Currents/Perpendicolare Avanti (Federica Foglia, 2021)
  • Heliotrope (Janie Geiser, 2022)
  • Vecino Vecino (Camila Galaz, 2022)
  • It is Night in America (Ana Vaz, 2022)
  • Herbaria (Leandro Listorti, 2022)
  • Nazarbazi (Maryam Tafakory, 2022)
  • Devil’s Peak (Simon Liu, 2021) 

Valerie Soe

Writer and filmmaker, author of the blog beyondasiaphilia

My favorite films (and one drama) seen in 2022, in no particular order:

New releases

Broker (브로커, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2022)

Weirdly enough, I saw this on a plane in November before its official release in the US, though it had been out in Asia since June. As per usual, Kore-eda’s direction makes the humanity of his characters shine through, no matter how ethically questionable their actions may be. His gift is creating sympathetic, complex characters inhabiting the liminal spaces of life who are ultimately just human beings struggling to find a place to belong.

Revolution of Our Times (時代革命, Kiwi Chow, 2021)

This moving and utterly devastating chronicle of the 2019 Hong Kong uprisings is an indispensable record of the time. The film details the transition from the hope and vigor of the early days of the protests to the more desperate, harrowing days of the end of the demonstrations as Hong Kong police used increasingly violent and lawless measures to suppress the movement. The film is an essential record of the spirit of the Hong Kong people as they struggle against an authoritarian government.  

Blue Island (憂鬱之島, Chan Tze Woon, 2022)

Another film centering on the 2019 Hong Kong protests, this is lyrical elegy to Hong Kong’s history of resistance. Blue Island beautifully ties together past and present activism to weave a poetic ode to the strength and resilience of the territory’s residents as they have sought to establish a Hong Kong identity.

Blue Island

Fire Island (Andrew Ahn, 2022)

A fun and frolicsome, deeply queer romcom adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set in the titular gay vacay mecca, Andrew Ahn’s film is full of cute guys in speedos and underwear, snarky dialog, and sweetly affecting chosen family bonding, The movie is more than just a pretty face, though, with a cogent commentary on the racism of certain segments of the LGBTQ+ community. Totally enjoyable and entertaining, with a much appreciated thoughtful side.

Fire Island

Everything, Everywhere All At Once (Daniels, 2022)
Possibly the most aptly titled film of the year, this multiverse-spanning, mind-blowing, extremely funny extravaganza was, unlike many a bigger budget sci-fi film, at its heart deeply felt. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu bring warmth, humor, and humanity to their roles as the benighted family of time and space travelers. Bonus points for understanding the complicated interpersonal dynamics of a Chinese American clan faced with both last-minute tax problems and pressing issues of sexual identity. 

Our Blues (우리들의 블루스, written by Noh Hee-kyung, directed by Kim Gyu-tae, 2022)

Although this is a South Korean drama and not a film, Our Blues deserves special mention for its sensitive, unsensationalized depiction of a tight-knit fishing community on Jeju Island. It features stellar performances from some of South Korea’s biggest stars, with particularly strong turns from Lee Byung-Hun, Jeong Eun-Hye, and Kim Hye-Ja. The series, told omnibus-style, sustains an amazingly high level of craftsmanship in writing, acting, and directing over the course of its 20-episode run and is one of the best things I watched in 2022.

Older releases re-encountered or seen for the first time:

Rouge (胭脂扣, Stanley Kwan, 1987)

Taipei is an excellent film-watching city and while I was there in April there was an embarrassment of cinematic riches screening at the time, much of which seemed to center on Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing.  Stanley Kwan’s melancholy love story/ghost story Rouge was part of a retrospective to Leslie Cheung which also included A Better Tomorrow and Farewell, My Concubine, demonstrating Cheung’s wide range as an actor. During that same period Taiwan cinemas were also screening the complete series of Wong Kar-Wai 4k restorations, several of which also featured Cheung in a starring role. And disney+ in Taiwan was showing the director’s cut mini-series version of Anita (梅艷芳), the 2021 biopic about iconic Hong Kong singer and actress Anita Mui Yim-Fong which of course included a lot of Leslie Cheung content. This was all a reminder of Cheung’s dominance in Hong Kong music and cinema in the 1980s and 90s and made me sorely miss him.  I wonder what marvels he would be coming up with if he were still here today. 

Zendegi va digar hich (Life and Nothing More, زندگی و دیگر هیچ, Abbas Kiarostami, 1992)

I saw this at Eslite Art House in Taipei as part of a revival of Kiarostami’s Koker Trilogy and viewing it in a theater reminded me of why I remain a big-screen enthusiast. Seeing the film in a cinema beautifully revealed the film’s intricate vertical geometric roads and landscapes and the detailed rubble of destroyed houses in a way that’s not possible when watching films on a streaming platform.

Bullets Over Summer (爆裂刑警, Wilson Yip, 1999)

I watched this one in preparation to do a blu-ray commentary for a Kani Films/Vinegar Syndrome release later in 2023 and was reminded of why I love Hong Kong movies in general and Francis Ng in particular. As I mentioned in my commentary, Francis acts with his entire body—whether it’s the way he slurps a bowl of noodles or how he twitches his eyebrow or rolls his shoulder, every movement has meaning and significance and builds character, advances the narrative, and establishes a mood. Back in 1999, Francis was at the top of his game and Bullets Over Summer is an excellent introduction to his particular acting brilliance. 

Honorable mentions: Emergency Declaration (비상선언, Han Jae-Rim, 2022); Jayeshbhai Jordaar (Divyang Thakkar, 2022); Narco-Saints (Yoon Jong-Bin, 2022); Warriors of Future (明日戰記, Ng Yuen-fa, 2022); Decision To Leave (헤어질 결심, Park Chan-Wook, 2022)

Öykü Sofuoğlu

Paris-based Turkish film critic for Altyazı Monthly Cinema Magazine

20 favorite films released in 2022:

  • Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
  • Corsage (Marie Kreutzer, 2022)
  • Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
  • De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Verena Paravel, Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2022)
  • Fogo-Fátuo (Will-o’-the-Wisp, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2022)
  • Happer’s Comet (Tyler Taormina, 2022)
  • Horiko (Intermede, Maria Kourkouta, 2022)
  • Human Flowers of Flesh (Helena Wittman, 2022)
  • Love, Deutschmarks and Death (Cem Kaya, 2022)
  • Mato seco em chamas (Dry Ground Burning, Joana Pimenta, Adirley Queirós, 2022)
  • Medusa Deluxe (Thomas Hardiman, 2022)
  • Navigators (Noah Teichner, 2022)
  • Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
  • Retour à Séoul (Return to Seoul, Davy Chou, 2022)
  • Rewind & Play (Alain Gomis, 2022)
  • Saint Omer (Alice Diop, 2022)
  • Stars at Noon (Claire Denis, 2022)
  • Três Tigres Tristes (Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter, Gustavo Vinagre, 2022)
  • Une fleur à la bouche (A Flower in the Mouth, Eric Baudelaire, 2022)


20 (old) films encountered in 2022:

  • Alberi (Trees, Michelangelo Frammartino, 2013)
  • Après le feu (After the Fire, Jacques Perconte, 2010)
  • Arrows (Sandra Lahire, 1984)
  • Cotton Comes to Harlem (Ossie Davis, 1970)
  • Engram of Returning (Daïchi Saïto, 2016)
  • Erogotoshi-tachi yori: Jinruigaku nyûmon (The Pornographers, Shōhei Imamura, 1966)
  • Friendship’s Death (Peter Wollen, 1987)
  • I.K.U. (Shu Lea Cheang, 2000)
  • Kurotokage (Black Lizard, Kinji Fukasaku, 1968)
  • La chatte à deux têtes (Porn Theatre, Jacques Nolot, 2002)
  • La mort de Danton (Danton’s Death, Alice Diop, 2011)
  • Le Bel Indifférent (Jacques Demy, 1957)
  • Les Rendez-vous de Paris (Rendezvous in Paris, Éric Rohmer, 1995)
  • Muna Moto (The Child of Another, Jean-Pierre Dikongué-Pipa, 1975)
  • Nippon konchūki (The Insect Woman, Shōhei Imamura, 1963)
  • Orlacs Hände (The Hands of Orlac, Robert Wiene, 1924)
  • Orly (Angela Schanelec, 2010)
  • Simone Barbès ou La Vertu (Simone Barbès or Virtue, Marie-Claude Treilhou, 1980)
  • Teknolust (Lynn Hershman-Leeson, 2002)
  • Von wegen “Schicksal” (Is This Fate, Helga Reidemeister, 1979)

Online film festivals that I ‘attended’:

As expected, this year the number of films festivals that propose online selections decreased significantly. Fortunately, Media City Film Festival did a virtual celebration of their 25th anniversary with a program of more than 70 films and digital artworks. From Sergei Parajanov to Sky Hopinka, the festival offered a wide range of films, all of them free and available worldwide.

Mark Spratt

Mark Spratt is an independent film distributor in Australia and New Zealand

A ‘Top Ten”  (alphabetically):

  • Annie Colere (Angry Annie, Blandine Lenoir, 2022) – In a landmark year for abortion rights, Angry Annie celebrates the underground women’s groups assisting women needing abortions in France prior to legalisation. A far more intimate and affecting film than its coincidental american equivalent Call Jane (Phyllis Nagy, 2022)
  • No Bears (Jafar Panahi, 2022)
  • Corsage (Marie Kreutzer, 2022)
  • Eo (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)
  • Le Bleu Du Caftan (The Blue Caftan, Maryam Touzani, 2022)
  • Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
  • Rabu Raifu (Love Life, Koji Fukada, 2022)
  • The Stranger (Thomas M. Wright, 2022)
  • Un Beau Matin (One Fine Morning, Mia Hansen-Love, 2022)
  • Yin Ru Chan Yun (Return To Dust, Ruijun Li, 2022)

No Bears

Also Notable:

  • Argentina 1985 (Santiago Mitre, 2022)
  • Close (Lukas Dhont, 2022)
  • Crimes Of The Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
  • Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, 2022)
  • Everything, Everywhere, All At Once (Daniels, 2022)
  • Friends And Strangers (James Vaughan, 2021)
  • Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland, 2022)
  • Moonage Daydream (Brett Morgen, 2022)
  • Neptune Frost (Anisia Uzeyman and Saul Williams, 2021)
  • The Fire Within: A Requiem For Katia And Maurice Krafft (Werner Herzog, 2022)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinsky, 2022)
  • Vortex (Gaspar Noe, 2021)

Vedant Srinivas

Vedant Srinivas is a Writer and Critic based in India.

Films released for the first time in 2022:

  1. Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
  2. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)
  3. No Bears (Jafar Panahi, 2022)
  4. Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon (When The Waves Are Gone, Lav Diaz, 2022)
  5. Nanpakal Neruthu Mayakkam (Like An Afternoon Dream, Lijo Jose Pellissery, 2022)

Older films watched for the first time in 2022:

  1. Antigone (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1992)
  2. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang, 2003)
  3. Pushkar Puran (Pushkar Myths, Kamal Swaroop, 2017)
  4. The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, 1968)
  5. La Femme du Gange (Woman of the Ganges, Marguerite Duras, 1974)

Tyson Stewart

Professor At Nipissing University, North Bay Film Festival Programmer, Writer

Top Eleven of 2022

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)

One of the most poignant and artfully crafted films about parenting I’ve seen in years. On the surface, it’s a straightforward story of a father who takes his daughter on a vacation to a Turkish resort. But Wells’ unconventional, non-linear plot structure which alternates between memory, home movie realism, and dream or fantasy creates a powerful and evocative mix of intimate acts and familial behaviour.

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)

Banshees’ clear-eyed deconstruction of friendship set on a small Irish island in the 1920s is by is by turns funny, tender, and brutal. 

The Black Phone (Scott Derrickson, 2022)

Ethan Hawke delivers a stunning performance as the terrifying child serial killer The Grabber who wears many masks but always reveals his inhumanity. A haunting, pained, and soulful horror film complete with a boy who can hear dead people. Intelligent cinematography and outstanding sound design make this one a truly memorable time at the movies.

Bones of Crows (Marie Clements, 2022)

Bones of Crows covers a 100-year timespan focusing on the impacts of colonialization on a Cree family, and approaches the material with an unflinching gaze that recalls other sublime films about surviving trauma, such as Schindler’s List and Hiroshima mon amour. I saw this at Cinéfest Sudbury with Clements in attendance. It went on to win the Audience Choice award there.

Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)

Body horror is rarely this much fun… Or this insightful. Long live Cronenberg! And Howard Shore!

Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook, 2022)

This is a testament to the power of cinema’s ability to make us see our failure to communicate as high tragedy. What I like about this film is how the style and techniques are so obviously at the service of the intrigue, the suspense, and the doomed romance between the two leads. It’s Hitchcock for the 21st century. I caught this one at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Emily the Criminal (John Patton Ford, 2022)

Aubrey Plaza is pitch-perfect in one of the most believable and addictive neo-noirs I’ve seen in a long time. It shows how the debt economy and precarious labour are unethical at best and criminal at worst. And it’s got a brilliant screenplay by John Patton Ford.

The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022)

A richly textured semi-autobiographical story of a Jewish boy growing up in 1950s America and his passion for film. Spielberg’s exploration of the most formative moments of his youth seems incredibly contemporary for its emotional rawness and depiction of a complicated family life. Ultimately, it’s a gorgeous and profound picture about a genius’ mom and dad. I also saw this at TIFF.

Rosie (Gail Maurice, 2022)

Rosie is an emotional rollercoaster of a movie. This tender story of a young Indigenous girl dropped off by Child and Family Services to her aunt in Montréal in 1980s flipped the script on these sorts of movies by focusing on the joys and pleasures of making one’s own family. This film opened the North Bay Film Festival this year where it won the Audience Choice award.


RRR (S. S. Rajamouli, 2022)

The most emotionally compelling, action-packed cinematic experience I’ve had all year. The amount of work and attention to detail in every shot of this epic historical revenge fantasy were truly jaw-dropping. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get totally caught up in its celebration of rebellion against colonial rule. 

Slash/Back (Nyla Innuksuk, 2022)

A lively, enjoyable sci-fi alien invasion story set in the arctic hamlet of Pangnirtung—or Pang. The scene with the police officer rampaging through the house is one of those dread-inducing images that only an Indigenous filmmaker could have pulled off with such flair. This film also played at the North Bay Film Festival.

Iván Suárez

Writer and cinephile residing in Gijón, Spain

 Ten best releases of 2022 listed alphabetically (cinemas, festivals, streaming):

  • Il Buco (Michelangelo Frammartino, 2021) 
  • Cerdita (Piggy, Carlota Pereda, 2022)
  • Doraibu mai kâ (Drive My Car, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021) 
  • The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft (Werner Herzog, 2022) 
  • Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2021) 
  • Mad God (Phil Tippett, 2021) 
  • Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021) 
  • Pinocchio (Guillermo Del Toro & Mark Gustafson, 2022)
  • Soseolgaui Yeonghwa (The Novelist’s Film, Hong Sang-soo, 2022) 
  • Vortex (Gaspar Noé, 2021) 

Ten honourable mentions listed alphabetically:

  • Alcarrás (Carla Simón, 2022) 
  • Avec amour et acharnement (Both Sides of the Blade, Claire Denis, 2022)  
  • Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022) 
  • Nitram (Justin Kurzel, 2021) 
  • Occhiali Neri (Dark Glasses, Dario Argento, 2022) 
  • Red Rocket (Sean Baker, 2021) 
  • Stars at Noon (Claire Denis, 2022) 
  • Top Gun: Maverick (Joseph Kosinski, 2022) 
  • Tre piani (Three Floors, Nanni Moretti, 2021) 
  • Where Is Anne Frank? (Ari Folman, 2021)

Ten best older films encountered for the first time listed by year of release:

  • Lucky Star (Frank Borzage, 1929) 
  • Otona no miru ehon – Umarete wa mita keredo (I Was Born, But…, Yasujiro Ozu, 1932) 
  • Return of the Texan (Delmer Daves, 1952) 
  • Japanese War Bride (King Vidor, 1952) 
  • French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1955) 
  • Vivre sa vie: film en douze tableaux (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962) 
  • Soy Cuba (I Am Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964) 
  • Nidoto mezamenu komoriuta (The Death Lullaby, Hiroshi Harada, 1985) 
  • Working Girls (Lizzie Borden, 1986) 
  • Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)

There are some releases I haven’t seen yet like the new ones from Carlos Vermut, Mikhaël Hers, Albert Serra, Park Chan-wook or Todd Field, among others, but maybe they will be included the next year. Supposedly 2022 was the best year of Spanish Cinema’s history according to many people, some critics and the media in general, but leaving aside the box office successes and the prizes and nominations in film festivals all around the world, I thought it was just another year, with many disappointments and mediocrities. As I always say every year, maybe the problem is mine for failing to appreciate their merits. Of course, there are some fortunate exceptions. 2022 was also a year with important losses for cinema (Godard, Bogdanovich, among others) and some that hit me on a personal level (Beineix: and to think I quoted him the past year on the previous World Poll before his passing…). On a positive note, I went to a special screening in Gijón of El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1967) with an introduction by Miguel Marías (it’s on YouTube for anyone who knows Spanish) and also a conference at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Oviedo given by Adrian Martin and Cristina Álvarez López about audiovisual essays accompanied by a practical and enjoyable video installation. Let’s see what 2023 will bring us apart from the long awaited return of Victor Erice to feature films.

Josh Timmermann

Josh Timmermann is Lecturer in History, specializing in Late Antiquity and Early Medieval Europe, at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. He sometimes writes about movies, music, and other miscellanea at JLT/JLT. He lives in Vancouver, Canada.
  1. Benediction (Terence Davies, 2021)

The greatest film to date by one of the world’s half-dozen or so greatest living filmmakers; a truly monumental work. 

  1. The Northman (Robert Eggers, 2022)

The subjective thought-world of earlier medieval northern Europe has never been presented so vividly and so immersively on screen. 

  1. R.M.N. (Cristian Mungiu, 2022) 

A grim and haunting microcosmic snapshot of Europe right now.

  1. Tár (Todd Field, 2022)

Kubrick by way of P.T. Anderson, Citizen Kane by way of The Social Network, The Great Gatsby by way of The House of Mirth. #MeToo? Cancel culture? Identity politics versus the transcendent value of Great Art? Hey, man – he just plays the piano. 

  1. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)

I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more, I went home and spent the rest of the evening browsing Irish vacation deals. 

  1. The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022) & Armageddon Time (James Gray, 2022) [tie] 

Portraits of the artists as young men: the year’s most perfect double feature. 

  1. Beurokeo (Broker, Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2022)

No less sentimental, tender, and expertly crafted than the Spielberg, Kore-eda is trying to break our hearts. The odd non-parent might make it out in one piece; those of us with kids we love don’t stand a chance. 

  1. Le bleu du caftan (The Blue Caftan, Maryam Touzani, 2022) 

The most generous and humane film of the year. 

  1. Three Thousand Years of Longing (George Miller, 2022) 

If romantic escapism, broad laughs, special effects, and wholly unsubtle eye-candy production design are what still sell big-screen theatre tickets, then Miller’s marvellous A.S. Byatt filmization should’ve been the year’s top-grossing movie. Pure fun start-to-finish, it’s something like the Back to the Future of Orientalist fantasy epics. 

  1. Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022) 

Somehow it gets better  – and stranger – every time I think back to it. Now two months removed, I can’t shake it and I can’t wait to see it again – in a better and more just world, projected in IMAX!

Tomas Trussow

Canadian cineaste and founder of The Lonely Film Critic

Here are some of my very favourite films of 2022, coupled with some of my very favourite first-watches of the year to create unique double feature “before/after” pairings that you may be inspired to watch together yourself.

Brother to Brother (Rodney Evans, 2004) / All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)

There is something profoundly moving about intimately connecting with queer history and seeing how its legacy permeates into the present, especially how the lives of those long departed are spurring our current generations into action to enact positive changes in their own lives and the lives around them. These films simultaneously look back and look forward, showcasing our elders and forebears as guides to unlocking shared histories of oppression, resistance and the sheer splendours of queer existence.

Portrait of Jennie (William Dieterle, 1948) / The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022)

Though Dieterle directs a romantic ghost story and Spielberg offers us a work steeped in autobiography, these are both works that struggle with the dark undercurrents of the artistic process and the way artists grapple with depictions of self, of loved ones, and the thorniness of representation in general. These films posit that perhaps one of the keys to making “great” art is to strip out a little bit of one’s soul after experiencing moments of loss, trauma or change, and that the quest for truth in art will be a lifelong affair for many, be it on a canvas or on celluloid.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, 1931) / Tár (Todd Field, 2022)

Some monsters are monsters of their own making, and here are two drastically different depictions of such “monsters of hubris.” When one tries to play God with the world, there is no other way to go but down, and both Mamoulian and Field make cinematic feasts of their antiheroes, utilizing bold and stylized directorial choices and artful editing techniques to ensnare us in environments as disparate as seedy Victorian London and the sparse modernness of present-day Berlin.

The Ties That Bind (Su Friedrich, 1984) / The Cathedral (Ricky D’Ambrose, 2021)

In these films, the scrapbooks of memory are thrown wide open as two filmmakers across decades explore the stinging contradictions of family and lineage using methods of lyrical impressionism and meditation. If art can memorialize, it can certainly harshly interrogate, as we see in Friedrich’s scrawled commentaries over her mother’s voice and D’Ambrose’s unapologetic bluntness through more fictional (though no less disarming) filters. Will we ever truly know the people who raised us? These films make the case that all the answers we seek may never come.

The Music Lovers (Ken Russell, 1971) / Benediction (Terence Davies, 2021)

Two great masters of British cinema and two radical ways of making the now-tired biopic genre both exciting and bold. Though Russell is keen on stretching the truth compared to Davies, who prefers to honour it, what unites these works is the way the filmmakers seek to commemorate the artistic sensibilities of their subjects—the otherworldliness of Tchaikovsky’s music and the haunting, unsentimental tenor of Sassoon’s poetry—with moods and tones that strike at the heart of what made them such legendary and revered personalities. But these are not hagiographic works, either: The terrifying realities they faced in their lifetimes and their fallibility are not only foregrounded, but even amplified to unnerving degrees.

Landscape Suicide (James Benning, 1987) / Saint Omer (Alice Diop, 2022)

The testimonies of killers are hard to hear, but rather than turn away, these films get us uncomfortably close to their words and faces, squarely fixing the camera and asking us to concentrate on their sins of commission. What’s more, Benning and Diop are also keenly aware that physical environment is its own heart of darkness, and that the more static and bleakly unchanging it can be, the more violence it will incur. So as these killers speak, these filmmakers swiftly kill both the American Dream and the immigrant dream of renewal on new soil through their words, revealing the sham and façade of idealized terrains.

Tomorrow’s Promise (Edward Owens, 1967) / Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)

There is always a risk in weaving narratives that place a premium on the spectator’s inferences, but the rewards are great when it is done well. Owens’s film swirls in a flickering, dreamlike haze of superimposed bodies and rhythms that slowly shape themselves into meaning, while Wells subtly and elegantly experiments with the power of careful edits and elisions to shatter us when we least expect it. For some stories, words are simply not enough to bring understanding to certain experiences because what is withheld can strike the most overwhelming notes of all.

Laokoon & Söhne (Laocoon & Sons, Ulrike Ottinger & Tabea Blumenschein, 1975) / EO (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)

In their freewheeling, astonishingly imaginative first collaboration, Ottinger and Blumenschein pay homage to Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and showcase a reality unconstrained by fixed identities or genders. The short film’s transformational and picaresque scope compliments the aimless wanderings of Skolimowski’s donkey, whose identity remains in continual flux as it encounters potential new owners, all of whom ascribe to it their own designs and desires. While mostly an ode to animal welfare, EO nevertheless meditates just as crucially on unfixed states, showcasing their freedom and terrors in equal measure.

 Finally, here are a few more films, both new and old, that I also enjoyed this year:

  • Arrebato (Iván Zulueta, 1979)
  • The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)
  • Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
  • Descendant (Margaret Brown, 2022)
  • The Eternal Daughter (Joanna Hogg, 2022)
  • Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
  • For Me and My Gal (Busby Berkeley, 1942)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)
  • Heojil gyeolsim (Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook, 2022)
  • Hookers on Davie (Janis Cole & Holly Dale, 1984)
  • Jackass Forever (Jeff Tremaine, 2022)
  • Jadde Khaki (Hit the Road, Panah Panahi, 2021)
  • Luminous Procuress (Steven Arnold, 1971)
  • Soseolgaui Yeonghwa (The Novelist’s Film, Hong Sang-soo, 2022)
  • Walker (Alex Cox, 1987)
  • Zero Patience (John Greyson, 1993)

Koen Van Daele

Curator Working In Ljubljana, Slovenia. Head Of Program At Kinodvor

Top Five

As bestas (The Beasts, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, 2022)
Eo (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)
Leonora addio (Paolo Taviani, 2022)
Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
Saint Omer (Alice Diop, 2022)
Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt, 2022)
So-seol-ga-ui yeong-hwa (The Novelist’s Film, Hong Sangsoo, 2022)

Alcarràs (Carla Simón, 2022)
Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky, Michael Koch, 2022)
Eami (Paz Encina, 2022)
Esterno notte (Exterior, Night, Marco Bellocchio, 2022)
Geographies of Solitude (Jacqueline Mills, 2022)
Living (Oliver Hermanus, 2022)
Master Gardener (Paul Schrader, 2022)
Tralala (Arnaud & Jean-Marie Larrieu, 2021) 
Unrueh (Unrest, Cyril Schäublin, 2022)

Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
À vendredi, Robinson (See You Friday, Robinson, Mitra Farahani, 2022)
Corsage (Marie Kreutzer, 2022)
Un couple (Frederick Wiseman, 2022) 
R.M.N. (Cristian Mungiu, 2022)
Sigurno mjesto (Safe Place, Juraj Lerotić, 2022)
Stars at Noon (Claire Denis, 2022)
Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
Viens je t’emmène (Nobody’s Hero, Alain Guiraudie, 2022)
Zbornica (The Staffroom, Sonja Tarokić, 2021)
Zorn III (2018-2022) (Mathieu Amalric, 2022)

Corsini interpreta a Blomberg y Maciel (Mariano Llinás, 2022)
Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
L’envol (Scarlet, Pietro Marcello, 2022)
The Eternal Daughter (Joanna Hogg, 2022)
Kafka for Kids (Roee Rosen, 2022)
Mad God (Phil Tippett, 2021)
Mi país imaginario (My Imaginary Country, Patricio Guzmán, 2022)
Moonage Daydream (Brett Morgen, 2022)
Music for Black Pigeons (Jørgen Leth & Andreas Koefoed, 2022)
The Natural History of Destruction (Sergei Loznitsa, 2022) 
Nuclear Family (Erin & Travis Wilkerson, 2021)
Obzornik 670 – Rdeči gozdovi (Newsreel 670 – Red Forests, Nika Autor, 2022)
Viaggio nel crepuscolo (Journey into the Twilight, Augusto Contento, 2021)

Argentina, 1985 (Santiago Mitre, 2022)
Barbarian Invasion (Tan Chui Mui, 2021)
Dead for a Dollar (Walter Hill, 2022)
In viaggio (Gianfranco Rosi, 2022)
Kind Hearts (Olivia Rochette & Gerard-Jan Claes, 2022)
A Little Love Package (Gastón Solnicki, 2022)
Malintzin 17 (Eugenio & Mara Polgovsky, 2022) 
Moja Vesna (Sara Kern, 2022)
Mutzenbacher (Ruth Beckermann, 2022)
The Plains (David Easteal, 2022) 
Rewind & Play (Alain Gomis, 2022)
Teminal Norte (Lucrecia Martel, 2022)
Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund, 2022)
Vanskabte land (Godland, Hlymur Pálmason, 2022)
White Noise (Noah Baumbach, 2022)

Noel Vera

Author of Critic After Dark: A Review of Philippine Cinema; regular contributor to Businessworld; occasional contributor to Senses of Cinema, Cineaste, and Vogue Philippines

As Tuco once put it “when you have to shoot, shoot; don’t talk.” 

The Good

  1. Amsterdam (David O Russell, 2022)
  2. Halloween Ends (David Gordon Green, 2022)
  3. Pearl (Ti West, 2022)
  4. Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
  5. Inu-Oh (Maasaki Yuasa, 2021)
  6. Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (Daniels, 2022)
  7. The Fabelmans (Steven Spielberg, 2022)
  8. Mad God (Phil Tippett, 2021)
  9. Blonde (Andrew Dominik, 2022)
  10. Crimes of the Future (David Cronenberg, 2022)
  11. 12 Weeks (Anna Isabelle Matutina, 2022)
  12. Kapag Wala Nang Mga Alon (When the Waves are Gone, Lav Diaz, 2022)
  13. Pinocchio (Guillermo del Toro, 2022)
  14. Armageddon Time (James Gray, 2022)  
  15. Decision to Leave (Park Chan-wook, 2022)
  16. Isang Kasaysayan ng Karahasang Pilipino (A Tale of Filipino Violence, Lav Diaz, 2022)

The Middling

  1. Don’t Worry Darling (Olivia Wilde, 2022)
  2. Babylon (Damien Chazelle, 2022) 
  3. Thor: Love and Thunder (Taika Waititi, 2022)
  4. Kimi (Steven Soderbergh, 2022) 
  5. X (Ti West, 2022)
  6. Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood (Richard Linklater, 2022)
  7. The Bob’s Burgers Movie (Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman, 2022)
  8. Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Sam Raimi, 2022)
  9. Three Thousand Years of Longing (George Miller, 2022)
  10. Nope (Jordan Peele, 2022) 
  11. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)  

The Banshees of Inisherin

The Ugly

  1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (David Blue Garcia, 2022)  
  2. The Batman (Matt Reeves, 2022)  
  3. Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, 2022) 
  4. Avatar: Way of Water (James Cameron, 2022)

Peter Verstraten

Assistant Professor Film and Literary Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Best recent films I watched in 2022 in order of preference:

  1. As bestas (The Beasts, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, 2022)
  2. Licorice Pizza (Paul T. Anderson, 2021)
  3. Kazn (The Execution, Lado Kvataniya, 2021)
  4. Heojil kyolshim (Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook, 2022)
  5. Falcon Lake (Charlotte Le Bon, 2022)
  6. R.M.N. (Cristian Mungiu, 2022)
  7. Petrovy v grippe (Petrov’s Flu, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2021)
  8. Schweigend steht der Wald (The Silent Forest, Saralisa Volm, 2022)
  9. De uskyldige (The Innocents, Eskil Vogt, 2021)
  10. Moloch (Nico van den Brink, 2022)

Note: I have not been able to see Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO yet, but I am pretty sure that film would have made my top ten. Moreover, if I were to exclude the four films that were originally released in 2021 from the list above, the following titles from 2022 would complete my top 10: Drii Winter (A Piece of Sky, Michael Koch); La nuit du 12 (The Night of the 12th, Dominik Moll); An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl, Colm Bairéad); X (Ti West).

Ten of the best older films I saw for the first time in 2022:

  1. La signora senza camelie (The Lady Without Camelias, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1953)
  2. Maelström (Denis Villeneuve, 2000)
  3. Images (Robert Altman, 1972)
  4. El castillo de la pureza (The Castle of Purity, Arturo Ripstein, 1973)
  5. Cadaveri eccellenti (Illustrious Corpses, Francesco Rosi, 1976)
  6. Celia (Ann Turner, 1989)
  7. River’s Edge (Tim Hunter, 1986)
  8. Sapphire (Basil Dearden, 1959)
  9. Le caporal épinglé (The Elusive Corporal, Jean Renoir, 1962)
  10. The Criminal (Joseph Losey, 1960)

Nicholas Vroman

Film Writer at a page of madness

El sembrador de estrellas (The Sower of Stars, Lois Patiño, 2022)

Tokyo. The city as apparition. Leaving trains, boats and nighttime lights. The souls of the living questioning, contemplating and awaiting their deaths.

Madres paralelas (Parallel Mothers, Pedro Almodovar, 2021)

Two women connected by chance. Their lives, their relationships, their children growing apart and together with intertwining ties. The unreconcilable past of of men’s cruelty and tragedy bringing the threads of history – real, fictional, personal, political – together like a blood knot.

Mother Lode (Matteo Tortone, 2021)

Neo Realism becomes Neo Surrealism. La Rinconada, mining town high in the Andes, is where the story of Jose collides with the absurdities, horrors and horrific wonders of exploitative – of the Earth and of people – capitalism.

After Yang (Kogonada, 2021)

Being defined by memory. Memory defined by recording and documentation. Did memory exist before movies? Life and loving transcending beyond it all.

La ciudad oculta (The Hidden City, Víctor Moreno, 2018)

Madrid. A city symphony of what lies beneath it. Seeming endless tunnels. Workers silent and diligent doing unexplained tasks. Animals surviving in the darkness. A vivid expression of Robert Smithson’s idea of what a true underground cinema could be.

Alegrías Riojanas (Velasco Broca, 2022)

If you kill a priest at the beginning of a movie… A journey into the afterlife full of devils, medieval grotesqueries, retro-futuristic aliens and other monsters from the sleep of reason.

50 (o Dos ballenas se encuentran en la playa) (50 (or Two Whales Meet on the Beach), Jorge Cuchi, 2020)

Heaven is a shoreline littered with beached whales. A love story of manipulation, sex, murder and suicide. Death making an impossible love transcendent.

Nossa Senhora da Loja do Chinês (Our Lady of the Chinese Shop, Ery Claver, 2022)

A house weeps because of the grief within it. A man searches for a lost dog he will never find. A plastic Virgin Mary becomes a locus for stories of exploitation, faith, sorrow and anger that crisscross the streets, houses, shops and unfinished monuments of Luanda.

Our Lady of the Chinese Shop

Tales of the Purple House (Abbas Fahdel, 2022)

The years of pandemic lockdown in Lebanon. The new routines of life. The waves of worldwide political turmoil. The tragedy of the Beirut explosion. Hope against hopelessness. And cats!

Jason Philip Wierzba

Jason Philip Wierzba is a writer, musician, and programmer for Calgary Cinematheque
  • Les prières de Delphine (Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam, 2021)
  • Stars at Noon (Claire Denis, 2022)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen, 2021)
  • The Tsugua Diaries (Diários de Otsoga, Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, 2021)
  • Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund, 2022)
  • EO (Jerzy Skolimowsky, 2022)
  • Atlantis (Valentyn Vasyanovych, 2019)
  • Dos estaciones (Juan Pablo González, 2022)
  • Amansa tiafi (Public Urinal Africa, Kofi Ofosu-Yeboah, 2021)
  • Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 2022)

Programmer Highlight: our screening of Valentyn Vasyanovych’s Atlantis retains special status for us both on account’s of its afore-mention in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s ‘paper of record,’ and additionally ‘cause it took place in a theatre situated on a Calgary street that’d just been dressed for a dystopian HBO series!

Personal Addendum: Having put out a long-playing record called Yevgenia in 2022 dedicated to the American writer Robert Coover and the French actress Catherine Hessling, I would like to award an honorary Catherine Hessling / Yevgenia / Yoshitomo Nara Boxing-Glove-Girl Acting Award to Adèle Exarchopoulos and Aubrey Plaza for, respectively, Rien à foutre (Zero Fucks Given, Julie Lecoustre, Emmanuel Marre, 2021) and Emily the Criminal (John Patton Ford, 2022).

Emily the Criminal

Neil Young

Neil Young is a critic, curator and occasional filmmaker from Sunderland, UK, residing in Vienna.

Films released for the first time in 2022 (festivals, cinemas, streaming services):

  1. Jezdeca (Riders, Dominik Mencej, 2022)
  2. Upwards Tide (Daniela Zahlner, 2022)
  3. The Human Torch (Risto-Pekka Blom, 2022)
  4. The Plains (David Easteal, 2022)
  5. Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
  6. Elvis (Baz Luhrmann, 2022)
  7. Du Hund du (A Dog You Are, Benjamin Laabmayr, 2022)
  8. Body Legato (Sam Drake, 2022)

Older films encountered for the first time in 2022 (seen in festivals, cinematheques, re-releases, home entertainment, streaming channels, etc):

Three catch-ups from last year:

  1. Jægerbørn (Young Guns, Andreas Thaulow, 2021)
  2. The Suicide Squad (James Gunn, 2021)
  3. Hytti nro 6 (Compartment No.6, Juho Kuosmanen, 2021)

Other older films encountered for the first time:

  1. Chircales (The Brickmakers, Marta Rodríguez & Jorge Silva, 1972)
  2. Leave Her To Heaven (John M Stahl, 1945)
  3. Passion (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982)
  4. Niagara (Henry Hathaway, 1953)
  5. The Tarnished Angels (Douglas Sirk, 1957)
  6. Zwei Genies (Two Geniuses, Detlef Sierck, 1934)
  7. The Amazing Mr X (Bernard Vorhaus, 1948)
  8. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman 1983)

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