John Edmond

Organiser of Container: Brisbane Film Society

Ten features and ten shorts that premiered in 2023. In a rough order.

  • Eureka (Lisandro Alonso, 2023)
  • May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
  • La Bête (The Beast, Bertrand Bonello, 2023)
  • Nu Aștepta Prea Mult de la Sfârșitul Lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  • The Feeling That the Time for Doing Something Has Passed (Joanna Arnow, 2023)
  • Cerrar los ojos (Close Your Eyes, Víctor Erice, 2023)
  • Aku wa sonzai shinai (Evil Does Not Exist, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, 2023)
  • The Sweet East (Sean Price Williams, 2023)
  • Notre corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)


  • Laberint Sequences (Blake Williams, 2023)
  • Spark from a Falling Star (Ross Meckfessel, 2023)
  • NYC RGB (Viktoria Schmid, 2023)
  • Slow Shift (Shambhavi Kaul, 2023)
  • Shrooms (Jorge Jácome, 2023)
  • Light, Noise, Smoke, and Light, Noise, Smoke (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2023)
  • In a Nearby Field (Laida Lertxundi, Ren Ebel, 2023)
  • Bloom (Samuel M. Delgado, Helena Girón, 2023)
  • We Don’t Talk Like We Used To (Joshua Gen Solondz, 2023)
  • Let’s Talk (Simon Liu, 2023)

William Edwards

Critic, Film Director, Editor Lente Creativo; Buenos Aires, Argentina
  1. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  2. Der Fuchs (The Fox, Adrian Goiginger, 2022)
  3. The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)
  4. Rapito (Kidnapped, Marcel Bellocchio, 2023)
  5. Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
  6. Kaibutsu (Monster, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2023)
  7. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One (Christopher McQuarrie, 2023)
  8. Shayda (Noora Niasari, 2023)
  9. Le Procès Goldman (The Goldman Case, Cédric Kahn, 2023)
  10. Stella. A Life. (Kilian Riedhof, 2023)

The Zone of Interest

Geronimo Elortegui

Critic, Film Director, Editor Lente Creativo; Buenos Aires, Argentina

Here is my list of the best of this year, all in alphabetical order.

The Top Ten

  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  • Allensworth (James Benning, 2022)
  • Ankabut-e moqaddas (Holy spider, Ali Abbasi, 2022)
  • Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Thien An Pham, 2023)
  • Close (Lukas Dhont, 2022)
  • Coup de chance (Woody Allen, 2023)
  • Film Annonce du Film qui n’existera Jamais: “Drôles de Guerres” (Trailer of the Film That Will Never Exist: “Phony Wars”, Jean-Luc Godard, 2023)
  • Godard, seul le cinéma (Godard Cinema, Cyril Leuthy, 2022)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
  • Mariupolis 2 (Mantas Kvedaravicius, Hanna Bilobrova, 2022)

In close second…

  • Anita, gomshodeh dar akhbar (Anita, Lost in the News, Behzad Nalbandi, 2023)
  • Bogotá Story (Esteban Pedraza, 2023)
  • Et si le soleil plongeait dans l’océan de nues (If the Sun Drowned Into an Ocean of Clouds, Wissam Charaf, 2023)
  • Homeward (Olexi Chubun, 2023)
  • Interdit aux chiens et aux italiens (No Dogs or Italians Allowed, Alain Ughetto, 2022)
  • Inu-oh (Yuasa Masaaki, 2021)
  • Das Lehrerzimmer (The Teachers’ Lounge, Ilker Çatak, 2023)
  • Das rotohr (Red Ears, Paul Drey, 2022)
  • Jackals & Fireflies (Charlie Kaufman, 2023)
  • Kapag wala nang mga alon (When the Waves Are Gone, Lav Diaz, 2022)
  • Khers nist (No Bears, Jafar Panahi, 2022)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • Les chambres rouges (Red rooms, Pascal Plante, 2023)
  • Manjianghong (Full River Red, Zhang Yimou, 2023)
  • Mon crime (The Crime is Mine, François Ozon, 2023)
  • mul-an-e-seo (in water, Hong Sang-soo, 2023)
  • Navalny (Daniel Roher, 2022)
  • La gravité (The Gravity, Cédric Ido, 2022)
  • The Palace (Roman Polanski, 2023)
  • Peter Von Kant (François Ozon, 2022)
  • Renfield (Chris McKay, 2023)
  • Saules aveugles, femme endormie (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, Pierre Földes, 2022)
  • Simone: Le voyage du siècle (Simone: Woman of the Century, Olivier Dahan, 2022)
  • Sintiéndolo mucho (Feeling it, Fernando León de Aranoa, 2022)
  • Sparta (Ulrich Seidl, 2022)
  • Tori et Lokita (Tori and Lokita, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2022)
  • On dirait la planète Mars (Viking, Stéphane Lafleur, 2022)

And some other interesting things on TV or streaming

  • 20 Days in Mariupol (Mstyslav Chernov, 2023)
  • Dekiru Neko wa Kyō mo Yūutsu (The Masterful Cat Is Depressed Again Today, Suzuki Shingo, Kodera Katsuyuki, Yokomine Katsumasa, 2023)
  • Sarah Silverman: Someone You Love (Jonathan Krisel, 2023)
  • South Park: Joining the Panderverse (Trey Parker, 2023)
  • The Smile – Wall of Eyes (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2023)

Cristóbal Escobar

Lecturer in screen studies (University of Melbourne) & Film programmer (FIDOCS) – Chile

Films released for the first time in 2023. 

  1. El realismo socialista (Socialist Realism, Raúl Ruiz, Valeria Sarmiento, 1973 – 2023)
  2. Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  3. The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023) 
  4. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023) 
  5. As Filhas do Fogo (The Daughters of Fire, Pedro Costa, 2023) 
  6. El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023) 
  7. Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023) 
  8. Los colonos (The Settlers, Felipe Gálvez Haberle, 2023) 
  9. May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
  10. Notre corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)

I must confess I’m terrible at making lists. There’s always something important missing. This list is no exemption; there are many great works that have been left out: Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Thien An Pham, 2023), Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone, Ali Ahmadzadeh, 2023), El Primer Año (The First Year, Patricio Guzmán, 2023). Or films that I’ve not yet seen: Cerrar los ojos (Close Your Eyes, Víctor Erice, 2023), Los delincuentes (The Delinquents, Rodrigo Moreno, 2023), L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023), Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023). The above films are just the ones that come to mind this morning, and that I’d like to watch again tonight (on the big screen).

Javier H. Estrada

Head of Programming for SEMINCI Valladolid International Film Festival (Spain) and FILMADRID International Film Festival (Spain)

During the recent months we have seen the emergence of a significant number of films that address silenced realities from original and risky perspectives. Cinema that defies the establishment, sometimes made clandestinely, such as Ali Ahmadzadeh’s confirmation as a key auteur, Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone, 2023); or the return of master Adachi Masao, Revolution+1 (2022), once again reflecting on the taboos of Japanese society. Inquiries into erased pasts, either starting from an intimate context, such as Asmae El Moudir’s resplendent debut, Kadib Abyad (The Mother of All Lies, 2023); or in a small collective, like André Gil Mata and his goldsmith piece Pátio do Carrasco (2023). But the most powerful and painfully realistic work of the year was Le gang des Bois du Temple (The Temple Woods Gang, 2022), another peak in Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche’s career, pointing out the omnipresent tentacles of the system, while vindicating the honest and unwavering camaraderie of the partisan. 

Best films of 2023 

  1. Le Gang des Bois du Temple (The Temple Woods Gang, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2022)
  2. Mantagheye bohrani (Critical Zone, Ali Ahmadzadeh, 2023) 
  3. Kadib Abyad (The Mother of All Lies, Asmae El Moudir, 2023)
  4. Pátio do Carrasco (André Gil Mata, 2023)
  5. Revolution +1 (Adachi Masao, 2022)
  6. Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  7. Mon pire ennemi (My Worst Enemy, Mehran Tamadon, 2023) 
  8. Vildanden (The Wild Duck, Nadja Ericsson, 2023)
  9. Chienne de rouge (Bloodhound, Yamina Zoutat, 2023)
  10. Tótem (Totem, Lila Avilés, 2023)

Essentials from 2023

  • Aqueronte (Manuel Muñoz Rivas, 2023) 
  • Arthur & Diana (Sara Summa, 2023) 
  • Gasoline Rainbow (Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross, 2023)
  • I AM HERE! (Ludwig Wüst, 2023)
  • Jaii keh khoda nist (Where God Is Not, Mehran Tamadon, 2023) 
  • Banāt Olfa (Four Daughters, Kaouther Ben Hania, 2023)
  • Malqueridas (Tana Gilbert, 2023)
  • Retratos fantasmas (Pictures of Ghosts, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2023) 
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  • Samsara (Lois Patiño, 2023)
  • The Sweet East (Sean Price Williams, 2023)
  • The Secret Garden (Nour Ouayda, 2023)
  • Zinzindurrunkarratz (Oskar Alegria, 2023)

Revelations from the past 

  • Al-makhdu’un (The Dupes, Tewfik Saleh, 1972)
  • Breza (The Birch Tree, Ante Babaja, 1967) 
  • Drylongso (Cauleen Smith, 1998) 
  • Himiko (ShinodaMasahiro, 1974)
  • Kaitei kara kita onna (The Woman from the Sea, Kurahara Koreyoshi, 1959)
  • Kara Kafa (Black Head, Korhan Yurtsever, 1979) 
  • Laysa lahum wujud (They Do Not Exist, Mustafa Abu Ali, 1974)
  • Majd holnap (Maybe Tomorrow, Judit Elek, 1980) 
  • Miss Universo en el Perú (Miss Universe in Peru, Grupo Chaski, 1982) 
  • Saat el Fahrir Dakkat, Barra ya Isti Mar (The Hour of Liberation Has Arrived, Heiny Srour, 1974)

Adalberto Fonkén

Lima-based social communicator and film writer for the Séptima Ilusión blog.

Best Films 

  • La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  • Il Sol Dell’avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow, Nanni Moretti, 2023)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
  • Tótem (Totem, Lucía Avilés, 2023)
  • Los Delincuentes (The delinquents, Rodrigo Moreno, 2023)
  • Trenque Lauquen (Laura Citarella, 2022)
  • Suzume no tojimari (Suzume, Shinkai Makoto, 2022)

Other films that could be included

  • The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)
  • Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  • Qīng chūn (Youth (Spring), Wang Bing, 2023) 
  • Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Thien An Pham, 2023)
  • Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023)
  • M3gan (Gerard Johnstone, 2022)
  • Retratos Fantasmas (Pictures of Ghosts, Kleber Mendonça, 2023) 
  • Historias de Shipibos (Shipibos Stories, Omar Forero, 2023)
  • El Caso Monroy (The Monroy Affaire, Josué Méndez, 2022)
  • Unrueh (Unrest, Cyril Schäublin, 2022)

Good films

  • Círculo de tiza (Circle of chalk, Jean Alcócer, Diana Daf, 2020) 
  • Samichay, en Busca de la Felicidad (Samichay: In Search of Happiness, Mauricio Franco Tosso, 2020)
  • Loving Vincent (Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, 2017)
  • Lu bian ye can (Kaili blues, Bi Gan, 2015)
  • Młyn i Krzyż (The Mill and the Cross, Lech Majewski, 2011)

Re discoveries

  • Yadon Ilaheyya (Divine Intervention, Elia Suleiman, 2002)
  • Casa de Lava (Down to Earth, Pedro Costa, 1994)
  • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
  • Ana y los Lobos (Ana and the Wolves, Carlos Saura, 1973)
  • Hud (Martin Ritt, 1963)
  • Winchester ‘73 (Anthony Mann, 1950)

Gwendolyn Audrey Foster

Writer, experimental filmmaker, and Willa Cather Professor Emerita at University of Nebraska, Lincoln

My Top Ten films of 2023:

  • LOLA (Andrew Legge, 2022)
  • Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)
  • Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt, 2022)
  • Reality (Tina Satter, 2023)
  • Occupied City (Steve McQueen, 2023)
  • À plein temps (Full Time, Éric Gravel, 2021)
  • Allensworth (James Benning, 2023)
  • Nowhere Near (Miko Revereza, 2023)
  • Samsara (Lois Patiño, 2023)
  • Barbie (Greta Gerwig, 2023)
  • Notre Corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)

Thematically, 2023 is again about fighting for freedom and bodily autonomy. It’s a terrible time we live in – as we attempt to fight off and resist the creeping tide of fascism here and around the world. Decency, fairness and equal rights are derided as “wokeness,” while racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-intellectual, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic hatred are codified as right wing “values” and used as political bludgeons, in ways that make the hysteria and tyranny of the Cold War era look like a civilized tea party. America is a truly scary place right now, but the majority of Americans are not being represented by those seeking to embrace fascism. Most of us are waiting (not so patiently) to have the opportunity to vote in the presidential election of 2024: so much rides on the outcome. In the meantime, artists, filmmakers and writers are actively responding to the political horrors of the day, making many superb films that often fly under the radar.

Simon Foster

Festival Director, Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival; Managing Editor, Screen-Space; Host, Screen Watching Podcast.

Films released for the first time in 2023

  • Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  • Taylor Swift The Eras Tour (Sam Wrench, 2023)
  • Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  • Gojira Mainasu Wan (Godzilla Minus One, Yamazaki Takashi, 2023)
  • Perfect Days (Wim Wenders, 2023)
  • Barbie (Greta Gerwig, 2023)
  • Beyond Utopia (Madeleine Gavin, 2023)
  • Reality (Tina Satter, 2023)
  • Nimona (Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, 2023)
  • Bottoms (Emma Seligman, 2023)

Older films encountered for the first time in 2023

  • Real Genius (Martha Coolidge, 1985)
  • Le dernier métro (The Last Metro, François Truffaut, 1980)
  • Cannery Row (David S. Ward, 1982)
  • Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang, 1952)
  • Men of Crisis: The Harvey Wallinger Story (Woody Allen, 1971)
  • I corpi presentano tracce di violenza carnale (Torso, Sergio Martino, 1973)
  • Genbaku no ko (Children of Hiroshima, Shindô Kaneto, 1952)
  • Race With The Devil (Jack Starrett, 1975)
  • Drylongso (Cauleen Smith, 1998)
  • Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor, 1923)

Event of 2023

WORLDCON 81st World Science Fiction Convention, Chengdu, China
Cinema was welcomed into the convention’s literature-based program to a greater degree than ever before. Along with delegates from London Sci-Fi, Miami Science Fiction Film Festival, Fantasporto, Utopia Fest (Israel) and China’s own Blue Planet Film Festival, I represented The Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival as a founding member of the Universal Sci-Fi Film Festival Alliance. This initiative will help provide global exposure for independent filmmakers working in the genre space.

Giampiero Frasca

Italian film critic and writer

From tenth to first + one bonus. 

Bonus. Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023) 

The film you expect in the way you expect. Yet it is always surprising. 

  1. Io capitano (Me Captain, Matteo Garrone, 2023)
    An Italian film that manages to adopt the point of view of the marginalised to immerse itself in necessity, pain and hope. Rarity.
  1. A Thousand and One (A.V. Rockwell, 2023)
    An urban drama that is not what it appears. It’s much worse.
  1. Saltburn (Emerald Fennell, 2023)
    The second work that risks becoming excessive, but is so full of charm in its staging that it is a pleasure to see it.
  1. The Holdovers (Alexander Payne, 2023)
    Like going back in time to make a New Hollywood film. Same scent. Same bitterness.
  1. Cuando acecha la maldad (When Evil Lurks, Demián Rugna, 2023)
    Making a horror film today is damn complicated, because there are no more new ideas. This Argentinian film has a couple of them and they are fantastic.
  1. Kuru Otlar Üstüne (About Dry Grasses, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023)
    The usual painful characters searching for their place in a world (Turkey, but that’s just one case) that always presents unattainable alternatives.
  1. May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
    A subtle and very complicated film about guilt, the weight of the past, irrational choices and the entertainment society that tries to eat everyone in one bite. A relationship between protagonists such as hasn’t been seen since Ingmar Bergman’s Persona (1966).
  1. Trenque Lauquen (Laura Citarella, 2023)
    A mazy tale, a game of mirrors, perspectives that intersect and bifurcate. The childish pleasure of narration that is renewed from scene to scene and the sad awareness that the camera can never bear witness to the truth.
  1. Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
    Scorsese still digs bare-handed into the rot of the American psyche and brings out his first, too late, western of his career. To do first.
  1. Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
    Nolan is beyond. Beyond History, beyond stories, beyond structures. When what he has in mind is combined with a product that is intelligible to humans, the result is the best film of the year

Cynthia Fuchs

Programmer, Film Critic, Academic Program Director, United States

Films released for the first time in 2023:

  •  All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson, 2023)
  • A Thousand and One (A.V. Rockwell, 2023)
  • Beyond Utopia (Madeleine Gavin, 2023)
  • Bobi Wine: The People’s President (Moses Bwayo, Christopher Sharp, 2022)
  • Skąd dokąd (In the Rearview, Maciek Hamela 2023)
  • Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV (Amanda Kim, 2023)
  • Occupied City (Steve McQueen, 2023)
  • Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  • Silver Dollar Road (Raoul Peck, 2023)
  • Tótem (Totem, Lila Avilés, 2023)

 Best series: I’m a Virgo (Boots Riley, 2023)

Flora Georgiou

Melbourne based theatre and film reviewer
  • Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt, 2022)
  • Walad min al-Janna (Cairo Conspiracy, Tarik Saleh, 2022)
  • Sound of Freedom (Alejandro Gómez Monteverde, 2023)
  • Reality (Tina Satter, 2023)
  • Bai ta zhi guang (The Shadowless Tower, Zhang Lü, 2023)
  • Air (Ben Affleck, 2023)
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once (Daniel Kwan, Daniel Schienert, 2022)
  • Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
  • The Sweet East (Sean Price Williams, 2023)
  • La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher, 2023)

Sean Gilman

A film critic in Tacoma

Ten of the best new movies I saw in 2023:

  1. Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Rocky and Rani’s Love Story, Karan Johar, 2023)
  2. Mén qián bǎodì (100 Yards, Xu Haofeng, Xu Junfeng, 2023)
  3. Baby Assassins: 2 Babies (Sakamoto Yugo, 2023)
  4. Jigarthanda DoubleX (Karthik Subbaraj, 2023)
  5. Wu ming (Hidden Blade, Cheng Er, 2023)
  6. Jawan (Soldier, Atlee, 2023)
  7. Ribâ, nagarenaide yo (River, Yamaguchi Junta, 2023)
  8. Bu xu ci xing (All Ears, Liu Jiayin, 2023)
  9. El Puño del Cóndor (Fist of the Condor, Ernesto Díaz Espinoza, 2023)
  10. The Final Game of Death (James Flower, 2023)

Ten of the best older movies I saw in 2023:

  1. Nerawareta gakuen (School in the Crosshairs, Ōbayashi Nobuhiko, 1981)
  2. Hong se niang zi jun (The Red Detachment of Women, Xie Jin, 1961/Fu Jie, Pan Wenzhan, 1970) 
  3. Xiao shi yi lang (Swordsman and Enchantress, Chor Yuen, 1978)
  4. Sang faa sau see (Bio-Zombie, Yip Wilson, 1998)
  5. Ban sheng yuan (Eighteen Springs, Hui Ann, 1997)
  6. Shu dan long wei (High Risk, Wong Jing, 1995)
  7. Dang cheuk nei wooi loi (The Returning, Cheung Jacob, 1994)
  8. Shi wan jin shan (The Ghost Hill, Ting Shan-hsi, 1971)
  9. Hung bong (The Imp, Yu Dennis, 1981)
  10. Classic Albums season 2, episode 5. Steely Dan: Aja (Alan Lewens, 2000)

Swordsman and Enchantress

Antony I. Ginnane

Melbourne born Antony I. Ginnane has produced or executive produced 72 feature films, MOW’s, miniseries and TV series over 50 years

Top 10 (Eligibility: 2023 films in theatrical, festival, premiere DVD or VOD or streaming first release in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand) listed alphabetically by title:

John Wick: Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski, 2023)
Always incredible kinetic action blends with melancholy as this thrilling saga draws to a close.

May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
Haynes’ cool icy humour gets an extra edge as Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore duel with quips, tabloid disclosures and dashes of ‘50s melodrama.

L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023)
Breillat’s remake of the Danish Dronningen (Queen of Hearts, May el-Toukhy, 2019) is a pull back from the hard-edged sexuality of her previous work. Here, sensibility is visual and the drama is restrained.

Master Gardener (Paul Schrader, 2022)
Another Schrader redemption saga – a mix of violence, romance and introspection. The garden – plantation setting provides a hide out of sorts for hate and pain.

Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
Scorsese continues to explore the racist, violent underpinnings of American development, focussing on Osage exploitation and manipulation. Stellar performance by Lily Gladstone.

The Killer (David Fincher, 2023)
Fincher updates and remodels Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï (The Samurai, 1967) with Michael Fassbinder as a paid assassin caught up in a maelstrom of survival mechanisms when a job goes wrong.

The Zone of Interest (Johathan Glazer, 2023)
Full of alienation and nightmarish indifference, Glazer’s Auschwitz tale of a model Nazi and his family is chilling.

Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
Triet’s twisty courtroom drama teasing the potential involvement of a woman in her husband’s death (or murder?). Like Preminger, Triet takes no moral stance and presents no clear answers.

Limbo (Ivan Sen, 2023)
A modern noir thriller spectacularly set around the otherworldly caves and mines of Coober Pedy as a decades old murder cold case is meticulously solved by a heroin addicted cop. The black and white cinematography is exquisite.

Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023)
Lanthimos is back with another sci-fi fantasy – a Frankensteinesque study of a woman learning about life and her body, the world, pain and happiness. Off the wall humour coupled with stunning costumes; music and Emma Stone. 

Other titles that have excited or inspired me during the year include:

  1. Avatar: The Way of Water (James Cameron, 2022)
  2. Navalny (Daniel Rohner, 2023)
  3. EO (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)
  4. Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
  5. Sisu (Jalmari Helander, 2022)
  6. The Equalizer 3 (Antoine Fuqua, 2023)
  7. Carmen (Benjamin Millepied, 2022)
  8. Transfusion (Matt Nable, 2023)
  9. Napoleon (Ridley Scott, 2023)
  10. Gojira Mainasu Wan (Godzilla Minus One, Yamazaki Takashi, 2023)
  11. Ferrari (Michael Mann, 2023)
  12. Coup de Chance (Woody Allen, 2023)
  13. Saltburn (Emerald Fennell, 2023)

Leo Goldsmith

Writer, programming advisor to the New York Film Festival, and Assistant Professor of Screen Studies at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, The New School
  • Man in Black (Wang Bing, 2023)
  • Last Things (Deborah Stratman, 2023)
  • El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams 2023)
  • Mast-del (Maryam Tafakory, 2023)
  • The Night Visitors (Michael Gitlin, 2023)
  • Abattoir U.S.A.! (Aria Dean, 2023) 
  • Eureka (Lisandro Alonso, 2023) 
  • Janet Planet (Annie Baker, 2023)
  • The Fist (Ayo Akingbade, 2022)
  • Ferrari (Michael Mann, 2023)

Andrew Goode

Head of Theatrical Distribution – Hi Gloss Entertainment

Top 10 Films of 2023

Aggro Dr1ft (Harmony Korine, 2023)
It would be an understatement to say that I love Harmony Korine and actually being in Venice to watch the premiere of his new “experimental action film” will forever be a cherished memory for me. A Miami-set apocalyptic revenge thriller starring one of the biggest rappers on Earth (Travis Scott) shot entirely on an infrared lens. The film runs purely on vibes and will be a favourite amongst film brats worldwide once readily available.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
I watched the much-deserved winner of the 2022’s Golden Lion in a relatively empty cinema in Melbourne earlier this year and was completely blown away. Laura Poitras was able to interweave the story of Goldin’s radical art career with her more recent fight against the Sackler family, capturing both the anger and the beauty in Goldin’s lifelong struggle. 

John Wick: Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski, 2023)
Not a big fan of action, but the scene in Osaka is pure cinema.

EO (Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)
I technically watched the film in 2022, but I also watched it again in 2023 and feel it deserves to be recognised once again. Although there is an element of bias shrouding this selection as the company I work for (Hi Gloss Entertainment) acquired and released the film, I can’t think of a more original and artistic film that graced screens in Australia this year.

Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt, 2022)
I’ve always been a huge fan of Reichardt and I found that her relatively low key 2022 film Showing Up to be the most accessible offering of her career to date and my personal favourite. Reichardt perfectly captures the micro side of the art world, which is filled with anxiety, jealousy and frustration and was able to find humour and heart amongst the mess instead of simply poking fun at it like most art-related dramas.  

Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
This was my first foray into the Finnish master of deadpan’s work and it left me wanting more. I sense some first timers may be put off by Kaurismäki’s quirks, but those who are willing will be in for a treat. 

Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023)
I saw this in a rowdy public cinema in Venice, and like the thousand other people there, was completely blown away. This film is a revelation, a reminder that Hollywood can produce art once in a while.

Hitman (Richard Linklater, 2023)
I suspect that a “Lido Cinemas recency bias” might be at play for some of my selections this year, but Linklater’s new film Hitman would’ve featured on this list no matter where and when it premiered. The funniest, sexiest comedy of 2023 and a pure tragedy that Netflix bought it. There is a theory in Melbourne that the “vibiest” place to watch a new release is the Monday evening session after opening weekend at Cinema Nova and I can’t imagine how much of a party that screening would’ve been for this film.

80 For Brady (Kyle Marvin, 2023)
Astonishingly directed Kyle Marvin, an acclaimed indie director who also starred in the superb The Climb (Michael Angelo Covino, 2019) which premiered at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard section, comes almost definitely the most lowbrow film of 2023 80 for Brady. The pitch: four old Tom Brady obsessed women want to see their hero play in what looked like his last Superbowl. The result: a crude yet also oddly endearing comedy romp filled with literally every old age trope you can find. Was it good? No. Did I enjoy it? Very much so.

Zielona granica (Green Border, Agnieszka Holland, 2023)
The biggest shock of Venice 2023 was the triumphant return of the much-maligned Agnieszka Holland. Green Border is some of the most critical, powerful, and angry filmmaking that I have seen in some time. It reminded me of two other staggering films that also graced the Lido before it, Jasmila Žbanić’s Quo Vadis, Aida? (Where are you going, Aida? 2020) and Václav Marhoul’s Nabarvené ptáče (The Painted Bird, 2019)

Top 10 Discoveries / First Viewings

  • Miami Vice (Michael Mann, 2006)
  • Caché (Hidden, Michael Heneke, 2005)
  • Spencer (Pablo Larraín, 2021)
  • Hana-bi (Fireworks, Kitano Takeshi, 1997)
  • The Beach Bum (Harmony Korine, 2019)
  • Gokseong (The Wailing, Na Hong-Jin, 2016)
  • Qian xi man bo (Millennium Mambo, Hou Shaio-Hsien, 2001)
  • What’s Up, Doc? (Peter Bogdanovic, 1972)
  • Ohikkoshi (Moving, Sōmai Shomai, 1993)
  • Old Dogs (Walk Becker, 2009)

Jared Gores

Documentary Producer and Film Podcaster Based in SF Bay Area

Favourite Films Released in the U.S. in 2023:

  1. Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
  2. Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  3. Asteroid City (Wes Anderson, 2023)
  4. Vanskabte land (Godland, Hlynur Pálmason, 2022)
  5. The Killer (David Fincher, 2023)
  6. Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
  7. La passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Taste of Things, Trần Anh Hùng, 2023)
  8. Falcon Lake (Charlotte Le Bon, 2022)
  9. Pacifiction: Tourment sur les îles (Pacification, Albert Serra, 2022)
  10. Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023)
  11. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2023)
  12. The Holdovers (Alexander Payne, 2023)
  13. À plein temps (Full Time, Éric Gravel, 2021)
  14. John Wick: Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski, 2023)
  15. Syk pike (Sick of Myself, Kristoffer Borgli, 2022)
  16. The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)
  17. How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Daniel Goldhaber, 2022)
  18. Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Miyazaki Hayao, 2023)
  19. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  20. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, 2023)

Favourite Older Films I Discovered in 2023:

  1. Daybreak Express (D. A. Pennebaker, 1953)
  2. Streetwise (Martin Bell, 1984)
  3. Jewel Robbery (William Dieterle, 1932)
  4. Vengeance Is Mine (Haunted, Michael Roemer, 1984)
  5. Sūzhōu Hé (Suzhou River, Lou Ye, 2000)
  6. The Go-Between (Joseph Losey, 1971)
  7. Claudine (John Berry, 1974)
  8. Totally F***ed Up (Totally Fucked Up, Gregg Araki, 1993)
  9. La permission (The Story of a Three-Day Pass, Melvin Van Peebles, 1967)
  10. Cabra Marcado para Morrer (Twenty Years Later, Eduardo Coutinho, 1984)
  11. Born to Win (Ivan Passer, 1971)
  12. Mississippi Masala (Mira Nair, 1991)
  13. Love Jones (Theodore Witcher, 1997)
  14. Ruby in Paradise (Victor Nunez, 1993)
  15. Hester Street (Joan Micklin Silver, 1975)
  16. Libeled Lady (Jack Conway, 1936)
  17. Yózhik v tumáne (Hedgehog in the Fog, Yuri Norstein, 1975)
  18. Testament (Lynne Littman, 1983)
  19. Sik ching nam lui (Viva Erotica, Yee Derek, Law Chi-Leung, 1996)
  20. Die Puppe (The Doll, Ernst Lubitsch, 1919)

Suzhou River

Michael Granados

Film Writer based in Los Angeles, Film Fest Report


  • Aku wa sonzai shinai (Evil Does Not Exist, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, 2023)
  • Aqueronte (Manuel Muñoz Rivas, 2023)
  • As Filhas do Fogo (The Daughters of Fire, Pedro Costa, 2023)
  • Cerrar los ojos (Close Your Eyes, Víctor Erice, 2023)
  • El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023)
  • Eureka (Lisandro Alonso, 2023)
  • Fár (Intrusion, Gunnur Martinsdóttir Schlüter, 2023)
  • If You Don’t Watch the Way You Move (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2023)
  • It follows It passes on (Erica Sheu, 2023)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • Laberint Sequences (Blake Williams, 2023)
  • La Bête (The Beast, Bertrand Bonello, 2023)
  • Light, Noise, Smoke, and Light, Noise, Smoke (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2023)
  • Mast-Del (Maryam Tafakory, 2023)
  • Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023) 
  • Nowhere Near (Miko Revereza, 2023)
  • Nu Aștepta Prea Mult de la Sfârșitul Lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  • Samsara (Lois Patiño, 2023)
  • To Brasil (Ute Aurand, 2023)
  • Valerija (Sara Jurinčić, 2023)

Close Your Eyes


  • Blue (Derek Jarman, 1993) 35mm
  • Come Out (Narcisa Hirsch, 1971) 35mm
  • Falling Lessons (Amy Halpern, 1995) 16mm
  • Go Go Tales (Abel Ferrara, 2007) 35mm
  • Honor de cavallería (Honour of the Knights, Albert Serra, 2006) 35mm
  • Mes petites amoureuses (My Little Loves, Jean Eustache, 1974) DCP
  • NО̄ (Sharon Lockhart, 2003) 16mm
  • Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper (David Rimmer, 1970) 16mm
  • Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956) 35mm
  • Zorns Lemma (Hollis Frampton, 1970) 16mm

Sam Gray

Cinephile, writer, producer, and game developer. London, UK

New Films

Showing Up (Kelly Reichardt, 2022)
Eternal damnation to the cowards who failed to bring Kelly Reichardt’s latest to UK theatres – though perhaps it’s unsurprising, considering its subject matter of the painful labour that goes into creating modest art with little commercial appeal. Wonderfully acted and observed, it’s a quietly monumental work from a quietly monumental filmmaker.

L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023)

May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
Haynes’s approach was as academic as Breillat’s was uncomfortably intimate – but taken together, these two films about age-inappropriate relationships form the most successfully complex and provocative duet of 2023.

Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)

Aku wa Sonzai Shinai (Evil Does Not Exist, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, 2023)
Two dreams that curdle into beautiful nightmares, made all the more effective by their initial grounding in naturalism and humour. Song of the year: Wallners’ “in my mind”.

Notre corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)
Simon’s documentary distinguishes itself from the Frederick Wiseman approach with emphasis on the personal above the institutional – the filmmaker audibly asking questions at first, then placing herself front and centre with the (shocking) scene of her cancer diagnosis. A fascinating exploration of a feminine space.

Our Body

The Swan (Wes Anderson, 2023)
If Anderson’s work has leaned towards twee since his 2009 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, then it’s appropriate that his adaptation of Dahl’s darkest short story works as a magnificent course correction, using his Brechtian formalism in service of a devastating reenactment of childhood abuses. The best final shot of the year.

Hit Man (Richard Linklater, 2023)
There’s no better proof of the (comedic, romantic) deficiencies in our collective film diets than Linklater’s successful crowd pleaser, in which Glen Powell and Adria Arjona demonstrate such novel concepts as “star power” and “chemistry”.

The Adults (Dustin Guy Defa, 2023)
If not quite as impressive a juggling act as Person to Person (Dustin Guy Defa, 2017), a nonetheless successful sibling dramedy, unafraid to alienate when appropriate. Hannah Gross and Michael Cera are both very good.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2023)
Another increasingly rare breed of film, the light, detailed Bildungsroman. Rachel McAdams deserves all the awards.


  • La Belle Noiseuse (The Beautiful Troublemaker, Jacques Rivette, 1991)
  • The entire filmography of Buster Keaton
  • Caught (Max Ophüls, 1949)
  • Charley Varrick (Don Siegel, 1973)
  • Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947)
  • The Damned (Joseph Losey, 1963)
  • French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1955)
  • Les glaneurs et la glaneuse (The Gleaners and I, Agnès Varda, 2000)
  • Idioterne (The Idiots, Lars von Trier, 1998)
  • Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)
  • The Spy in Black (Michael Powell, 1939)
  • The workprint cut of Swing Shift (Jonathan Demme, 1984)
  • Tōkyō boshoku (Tokyo Twilight, Ozu Yasujirō, 1957)
  • Le trou (Jacques Becker, 1960)
  • Revelatory rewatches of Black Narcissus (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1947) Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958), and The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

Black Narcissus

Francesco Grieco

Staff writer for LocarnoDaily magazine, member of the selection committee for Presente Italiano Festival

Films released for the first time in 2023 (festivals, cinemas, streaming services, or other theatrical and non-theatrical contexts):

  • La bête (The Beast, Bertrand Bonello, 2023)
  • Les chambres rouges (Red Rooms, Pascal Plante, 2023)
  • El Juicio (The Trial, Ulises de la Orden, 2023)
  • Killing Romance (Lee Won-suk, 2023)
  • Kim’s Video (David Redmon, Ashley Sabin, 2023)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • Kuru Otlar Üstüne (About Dry Grasses, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023)
  • Nähtamatu võitlus (The Invisible Fight, Rainer Sarnet, 2023)
  • Quslara xütbe (Sermon to the Birds, Hilal Baydarov, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)

Older films encountered for the first time in 2023 (seen in festivals, cinematheques, re-releases, home entertainment, streaming channels, etc.):

  • Le Rideau cramoisi (The Crimson Curtain, Alexandre Astruc, 1953)
  • Los hermanos Del Hierro (My Son, the Hero, Ismael Rodríguez, 1961)
  • Smog (Franco Rossi, 1962)
  • Nothing But a Man (Michael Roemer, 1964)
  • Le clair de terre (Earth Light, Guy Gilles, 1970)
  • Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (D.A. Pennebaker, 1979)
  • Les maîtres du temps (Time Masters, René Laloux, 1982)
  • Pirata! Cult Movie (Paolo Ricagno, 1984)
  • Tras el cristal (In a Glass Cage, Agustí Villaronga, 1986)
  • Therapy Dogs (Ethan Eng, 2022)

Any online or hybrid festivals or other events you ‘attended’ and that you felt presented a high-quality program and experience (and why?):

In 2023 I didn’t attend Venice Film Festival, but thanks to the Biennale Cinema Channel platform I could watch a very interesting movie, Lumbrensueño (Firedream, José Pablo Escamilla, 2023).

Victor Guimarães

Film critic (Con los Ojos Abiertos) and programmer (FICValdivia, FENDA) – Brasil

14 imaginary double bills in 2023

The Urgency of Death (Lucía Seles, 2023) + El Auge del Humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023)
A poem written on a truck tire. A painting carved with the viscera of a broken computer. To tear up the grammar of cinema while generously teaching us how to speak an alien language.

Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023) + Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
An opera made of whispers. A rom-com made of silence.

Seguro que Bach Cerraba la Puerta Cuando Quería Trabajar (Narcisa Hirsch, 1979/2023) + Cerrar los Ojos (Close Your Eyes, Víctor Erice, 2023)
To inhabit the insides of a mirror. To see with eyes wide shut.

Mãri Hi – A Árvore do Sonho (Mãri Hi: The Dream Tree, Morzaniel Ɨramari, 2023) + Mami Wata (C.J. “Fiery” Obasi, 2023)
A documentary made with the matter of dreams. A frenzied futuristic fiction made with ancestral clay.

L’Été Dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023) + Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
Some old masters still believe in making films for grown-up viewers. Some films still ask us to sustain our gaze against all odds.

Mul-an-e-seo (In Water, Hong Sang-Soo, 2023) + O Dia que te Conheci (The Day I met You, André Novais Oliveira, 2023)
Some filmmakers can convert their styles into a home and, while feeling completely at ease there, decide to break down open doors. Intimacy and distance can rhyme. Love can be built through opacity.

Ejemplo #35 (Example #35, Lucía Malandro, Daniel Saucedo, 2023) + Huellas (Traces, Valeria Sarmiento, 2023)
The remnants of a collective experience can inhabit a film in mysterious ways. History can powerfully haunt us if treated in a way that respects the force of things left unsaid.

Incident (Bill Morrison, 2023) + Por Trás da Linha de Escudos (Marcelo Pedroso, 2017/2023)
Taking a walk on enemy territory can reveal so much about our allies.

El Polvo ya no Nubla Nuestros Ojos (Colectivo Silencio, 2023) + Todxs queremos un lugar al que llamar nuestro (We all want a place to call our own, Daniela Delgado Viteri, 2022)
To take the worn-out, appeased textures of contemporary experimental film and make it burn again in Latin America. To reinvent political cinema, again, from our perspective.     

Here (Bas Devos, 2023) + Las Cosas Indefinidas (Undefined Things, María Aparicio, 2023)
The materiality of tenderness.

Barbie (Greta Gerwig, 2023) + Knock at the Cabin (M. Night Shyamalan, 2023)
No ready-made discourse can stand as long as there is a new image to be extracted from its dissolution. No ready-made belief can survive where cinema has taken the task of creating its own form of believing.

Last Things (Deborah Stratman, 2023) + Celluloid Underground (Ehsan Khoshbakht, 2023)
Our catastrophic world can still reveal infinite layers of poetry. Our dying star named cinephilia can still be a feverish delirium.

W Ukrainie (In Ukraine, Piotr Pawlus, Tomasz Wolski, 2023) + Começo a Ver a Luz (I’m beginning to see the light, Melissa Dullius, 2023)
The images of war don’t tremble anymore. And that’s precisely why they can haunt us in unexpected ways. The images of love don’t shine anymore. And that’s precisely why they can still make us cry.

Ramal (Time to ride, Higor Gomes, 2023) + Ramona (Victoria Linares Villegas, 2023)
To tear up the documentary form to embrace the indeterminacy of life. There are few things more cinematic than youthful energy.  

 7 Latin American masterpieces seen for the first time in 2023

La Mujer de Nadie (Nobody’s Wife, Adelia Sequeyro, 1937)
A non-monogamist set of people trying to love each other in 1930s Mexico and banging their heads against a wall called society. Care, attention, and desire flowing in all directions until they can’t.

Un Día Feriado (Lydia García Millán, 1951)
An experimental journey through the margins of a big city long before that gesture became a major source of masterpieces among us.

La Fórmula Secreta (The Secret Formula, Rubén Gámez, 1965)
Ideological ethnography meets allegorical sur-realism.

Lupe (José Rodríguez Soltero, 1967)
An experimental melodrama where the wild strength of a dissident life meets the incendiary power of dissident images and sounds.

El Otro Francisco (The Other Francisco, Sergio Giral, 1975)
Wherever you want character development, Giral gives you distancing effects. Wherever you want sentimental music, Leo Brower gives you pieces of silence and noise. Wherever you want love, the film gives you means of production. A horror movie, but one that’s made of the economic reports of a plantation.

The Terror and the Time (The Victor Jara Collective, 1978)
Counter-information and lyric poetry are not opposed, but rather contaminate each other. A cinematic tissue where rapid-fire montages of popular revolutions all around the Third World and slow-motion sur-real depictions of Guyanese faces and landscapes can harmoniously coexist. Not a historical lesson nor a political statement, but a material, living experience that swallows our whole body and makes us dream together. Not dreaming of changing the world. Dreaming to change the world.

The Sun Quartet (Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, 2017)
The explosive powers of an elegy. Prismatic politics, ancestral futures excavated from the ground, incendiary mourning. 

The Sun Quartet

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