Jayanth Naga Sai Pasupulati

California Cinephile

New (ranked)

Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
Jigarthanda DoubleX (Karthik Subbaraj, 2023)
Maaveeran (Madonne Ashwin, 2023)
Nanpakkal Nerathu Mayakkam (Like An Afternoon Dream, Lijo Jose Pellissery, 2023)
John Wick: Chapter 4 (Chad Stahelski, 2023)
Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire (Prashanth Neel, 2023)
Ponniyin Selvan: II (Mani Ratnam, 2023)
Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani (Karan Johar, 2023)
Leo (Lokesh Kanagaraj, 2023)
Dada (Ganesh K. Babu, 2023)

Old first watches (unranked):

Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
Aradhana (Bharathiraja, 1987)
After Hours (Martin Scorsese, 1985)
News from Home (Chantal Akerman, 1977)
La Jetée (Chris Marker, 1962)
Gang Leader (Vijaya Bapineedu, 1991)
Maqbool (Vishal Bhardwaj, 2003)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (The Passion of Joan of Arc, Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928)
Ram ke Naam (In the Name of God, Anand Patwardhan, 1992)

Peter Nagels

Cinephile, dream researcher, librarian (retired), Ballarat

In no particular order:

Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023) – You have to see it in IMAX.
A Human Position (Anders Emblem, 2022) – Slow cinema at its finest.
Limbo (Ivan Sen, 2023)
Maestro (Bradley Cooper, 2023)
Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
Allensworth (James Benning, 2022) – Mesmerising.
Anselm – Das Rauschen der Zeit (Anselm, Wim Wenders, 2023) – One of the world’s great artists in 3D!
The Killer (David Fincher, 2023)
Marlowe (Neil Jordan, 2022)

The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix series, Mike Flanagan, 2023)


Virat Nehru

Programmer at Sydney Science Fiction Film Festival and freelance film critic

Older films encountered for the first time in 2023 (in alphabetical order):

  • Al-makhdu’un (The Dupes, Tewfik Saleh, 1972)
  • Hai shang hua (Flowers of Shanghai, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1998)
  • Mossane (Safi Faye, 1996)
  • Paar (The Crossing, Goutam Ghose, 1984)
  • Possession (Andrzej Żuławski, 1981)
  • Querelle (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982)
  • Szürkület (Twilight, György Fehér, 1990)
  • The Housemaid (Hanyo, Kim Ki-young, 1960)
  • Vidheyan (The Servile, Adoor Gopalakrishnan, 1994)
  • With Love to the Person Next to Me (Brian McKenzie, 1987)

Films released for the first time in 2023 that I encountered through festivals, cinemas or streaming services (in alphabetical order):

  • American Fiction (Cord Jefferson, 2023)
  • Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Phạm Thiên Ân, 2023)
  • Kadib Abyad (The Mother of All Lies, Asmae El Moudir, 2023)
  • Kaibutsu (Monster, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2023)
  • Kayo Kayo Colour? (Which Colour?, Shahrukhkhan Chavada, 2023)
  • Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki, 2023)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • Kuru Otlar Üstüne (About Dry Grasses, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023)
  • La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher, 2023)
  • Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam (Like an Afternoon Dream, Lijo Jose Pellissery, 2023)
  • Perfect Days (Wim Wenders, 2023)
  • The Mirror (Konkana Sen Sharma, 2023 – see note below)

Note: The Mirror is a short which forms a segment of the Hindi-language anthology film Lust Stories 2 (R. Balki, Konkona Sen Sharma, Amit Ravindernath Sharma, Sujoy Ghosh), but I’ve included it here in an individual, standalone capacity, unrelated to the larger anthology piece. For the purposes of this list, it should be viewed as such.

Boris Nelepo

Film critic and programmer

20. Vuelta a Riaño (Back to Riaño, Miriam Martín, 2023)
19. Eizousyokan ABURIDASHI Assortment (ABURIDASHI Assortment: Video Letters Written in Invisible Ink, Nonoho Suzuki, 2023)
18. National Anarchist: Lino Brocka (Khavn De La Cruz, 2023)
17. El clan Vega (The Vega Clan, José Celestino Campusano, 2023)
16. Irlande Cahier Bleu (Olivier Godin, 2023)
15. 2551.02 – The Orgy of the Damned (Norbert Pfaffenbichler, 2023)
14. Não Sou Nada – The Nothingness Club (Edgar Pêra, 2023)
13. Chutzpah. Qualcosa sul pudore (Chutzpah. Something on Modesty, Monica Stambrini, 2023)
12. Поедем с тобой в Макао (We’ll Go to Macau with You, Roman Mikhailov, 2023)
11. The Urgency of Death (Lucía Seles, 2023)
10. Girl Internet Show: A Kati Kelli Mixtape (Kati Kelli, curated by Jane Schoenbrun and Jordan Wippell, 2023)
9. Asteroid City (Wes Anderson, 2023)
8. Jeder schreibt für sich allein (Melting Ink, Dominik Graf, 2023)
7. Il sol dell’avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow, Nanni Moretti, 2023)
6. la tierra los altares (earth altars, Sofía Peypoch, 2023)
5. An Evening Song (for three voices) (Graham Swon, 2023)
4. Monica in the South Seas (Sami van Ingen, Mika Taanila, 2023)
3. mul-an-e-seo (in water, Hong Sangsoo, 2023)
2. Gli ultimi giorni dell’umanità (The Last Days of Humanity, Enrico Ghezzi, Alessandro Gagliardo, 2022)
1. Tage (Days, Peter Schreiner, 2023)

Andy Norton

Actor (Reece Scane Media; Riff: The Full Mash), Social Media Volunteer (ABCD Film Society)

Electra (Daria Kashcheeva, 2023)

With its stop-motion aesthetics featuring mannikins and dolls, the audience could mistake Electra as a pastiche of the works of Jan Švankmajer or The Brothers Quay. However, with its pixelation technique of bringing its live-action actors to life and themes of abuse, family, and discovering a personal identity, this nightmarish short delivers a poignant piece of cinema dealing with issues that other films have been addressing this year. However, Kaschcheeva manages to get their point across creatively within half an hour. It is a stunning short that not only delivers an emotional punch without compromise but is also an instant classic for fans of all things animated, using stop-motion techniques for those seeking a tactile approach in a world featuring an abundance of digitised offerings at their fingertips.

Ninety-Five Senses (Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess, 2023)

Using teams of animators to create specific sequences in a film is nothing new in the world, where fans can easily collaborate to create pieces of fan works paying homage to their favourite works. However, Jared and Jerusha Hess direct this powerful short exploring life through senses, creating what can be the most memorable cinematic twist in recent times, delivered beautifully with the voice-over talent of Tim Blake Nelson. Ninety-Five Senses truly deserves any accolade during this awards season with its ability to emphasise its main character and show both the good and bad sides of its life. It is a future classic that deserves multiple viewings to appreciate its themes and gorgeous spectrum of 2D animation techniques.

Poison (Wes Anderson, 2023)

Fans of Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl had lovely offerings over on Netflix based on Dahl’s short stories. Poison might not be the first to come to mind when naming those stories. However, a central performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, suspenseful editing, and theatrical execution makes this one of the more substantial shorts on that popular platform.

Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)

With one of the most memorable marketing campaigns in film history, it can be hard not to distinguish this from Greta Gerwig’s grown-up toy story film, Barbie, but anyone who has watched Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020) will have a sudden desire to check out this biopic featuring Cillian Murphy as the titular scientist behind the atomic bomb. However, this epic feels more like a science history film with its nod to other scientific figures throughout this part of the 20th century, including a memorable performance from Tom Conti as Albert Einstein, as well as a dominating political backstory featuring the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as a senator that plays a pivotal role during its well-structured ending. Oppenheimer is an easy decision for anyone producing their favourite films from this year with its strong cast, atmospheric music, and cleverly crafted script that comes as the standard affair with the entire back catalogue of Christopher Nolan.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (Wes Anderson, 2023)

Another Netflix adaptation of another Roald Dahl story featuring another stellar performance from Benedict Cumberbatch. Nevertheless, with its talking-book-theatre aesthetics on display here, Wes Anderson’s take on The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar delivers an iconic approach to these short stories, with an eclectic cast featuring the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Richard Ayoade and Sir Ben Kingsley bringing such colourful characters to life. Those seeking a streaming fix of Anderson’s distinctive authorship will want to stream this sublime offering.

Backlog (Jacqueline Elyse Rosenthal, 2023)

This powerful real-life courtroom drama raises thought-provoking questions about how the police reported certain crimes in the USA. Featuring a solid cast with a no-nonsense approach to tackling such serious issues, Backlog is an excellent short film that will continue debating these major concerns long after people have seen this film.

Nimona (Nick Bruno, Troy Quane, 2023)

Whilst Spidey fans had Across and DC fans had options to go for, too, Netflix managed to resurrect the troubled productions of this fantasy comic-book caper into one of this year’s best films. Whilst it could have easily been a great crowd-pleaser with unusual song choices and visually imaginative action sequences, it is its ending and LGBTQIA+ elements that will keep fans of Nimona begging for more with its memorable cast of characters and themes of misunderstanding and how it can affect society being something this decade needs now more than ever.

American Sikh (Vishavjit Singh, Ryan Westra, 2023)

This animated documentary tackles prejudice with its comic-book aesthetics into a lovely and memorable film about the titular character coping with their religious appearance in a post-9/11 world. It is a fascinating profile of Vishavjit Singh, but also a fantastic short dealing with acceptance when others want to victimise others in the wake of world events.

Palm Sunday (Wes Andre Goodrich, 2023)

Fans of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman (2018) may find this period drama tackling similar themes and issues. Wes Andre Goodrich’s Palm Sunday follows how Justin Winley’s character tries to settle into a new church, only to face racial tension from others from that congregation. The strong cast makes its script resonate with a strong understanding of how things were over 50 years ago and addresses those themes and issues that are still worth exploring with a modern audience.

Our Uniform (Yegane Moghaddam, 2023)

Yegane Moghaddam finds a highly unique and imaginative approach to telling their personal stories about growing up through the school system in Iran that not only makes it approachable for those outside of the regime to view it at face value but also in a highly creative manner animating certain pieces of clothing to make Our Uniform a visually imaginative treat to view.

Veton Nurkollari

Artistic Director, DokuFest Kosovo


  1. The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)
  2. Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  3. Nu aștepta prea mult de la sfârșitul lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  4. Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Phạm Thiên Ân, 2023)
  5. Enys Men (Mark Jenkin, 2022)
  6. La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher, 2023)
  7. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  8. El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023)
  9. La passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Taste of Things, Trần Anh Hùng, 2023)
  10. How to Have Sex (Molly Manning Walker, 2023)

 *The Zone of Interest is that single film that matters more than any other this year!


  1. Retratos Fantasmas (Pictures of Ghosts, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2023)
  2. De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2022)
  3. Man in Black (Wang Bing, 2023)
  4. Last Things (Deborah Stratman, 2023)
  5. Banāt Olfa (Four Daughters, Kaouther Ben Hania, 2023)
  6. Poznámky z Eremocénu (Notes from Eremocene, Viera Čákanyová, 2023)
  7. Kokomo City (D. Smith, 2023)
  8. Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography, Paul B. Preciado, 2023)
  9. 20 dniv u Mariupoli (20 Days in Mariupol, Mstyslav Chernov, 2023)
  10. The Pigeon Tunnel (Errol Morris, 2023)

Older films encountered for the first time in 2023

While I did make a promise to myself to try and attend the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival every year, I sadly missed it in 2023, thus seeing less older films than anticipated. Thankfully, Mubi was and still is a place to go for such films and I am at the moment losing myself in Kaurismäki’s and Jarmusch’s cinema, once again. As well as in many other superbly curated programs there.

Below is a brief list of older films that I managed to see this year. I included Goodbye, Dragon Inn even though I had seen it on the computer screen before, but as I watched it this year in a cinema it felt as if seeing it for the first time.

  •  Qing mei zhu ma (Taipei Story, Edward Yang, 1985)
  • Daguerréotypes (Agnès Varda, 1975)
  • La Vie de bohème (The Bohemian Life, Aki Kaurismäki, 1992)
  • Liàn liàn fengchén (Dust in the Wind, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1986)
  • Bu san (Goodbye, Dragon Inn, Tsai Ming-liang, 2003)
  • Rizi (Days, Tsai Ming-liang, 2020)
  • Songs for Drella (Edward Lachman, 1990)
  • Sambizanga (Sarah Maldoror, 1972)

Any online or hybrid festivals you ‘attended’ and that you felt presented a really good program and experience (and why?)

I mostly skipped online festivals in 2023 in favour of a few on-site ones. Berlin, Cannes and a few other smaller ones was all I could attend in 2023. Here’s to more in 2024!

Gabrielle O’Brien

Melbourne based critic and long form film commentator

My list is arranged in accordance with the film’s emotional, sensorial and intellectual impact. These films were screened for the first time in Australian cinemas in 2023; some were viewed at previews and some were viewed at film festivals. The film that claimed my heart this year is Haigh’s All of Us Strangers, a sublime masterwork that left me gasping and reminded me of everything that cinema can be and ‘do’ to us as spectators. Dazzling and devastating in equal measure, this is cinematic perfection.

All of Us Strangers (Andrew Haigh, 2023)
Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
Un beau matin (One Fine Morning, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2022)
Of an Age (Goran Stolevski, 2022)
Disco Boy (Giacomo Abbruzzese, 2023)
The New Boy (Warwick Thornton, 2023)
Infinity Pool (Brandon Cronenberg, 2023)

All of Us Strangers

Darragh O’Donoghue

Archivist at Tate and a contributing writer for Cineaste. Darragh completed a PhD on the Stephen Dwoskin Archive at the University of Reading.

Ten best new films of 2023:

1. Babylon (Damien Chazelle, 2022)
2. Les damnés ne pleurent pas (The Damned Don’t Cry, Fyzal Boulifa, 2022)
3. L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023)
4. Fumer fait tousser (Smoking Causes Coughing, Quentin Dupieux, 2022)
5. Jawan (Atlee, 2023)

Shah Rukh Khan is often lazily and ignorantly called the ‘Tom Cruise of Bollywood’ by Western writers. He is better compared to Charlie Chaplin – an icon for generations of Indian filmmakers and actors. SRK is a figure of such charisma, physical grace, and folk popularity that he can take on the zealots where others keep quiet. Jawan is his Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940).

It is also an indispensable companion to the BBC’s exposé India: The Modi Question (Sadhana Subramaniam, 2023), which so irritated the regime that it took to hassling the corporation.

6. Master Gardener (Paul Schrader, 2022)
7. Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography, Paul B. Preciado, 2023)
8. Self Portrait: 47 Km 2020 (Mengqi Zhang, 2023)
9. Tori et Lokita (Tori and Lokita, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2022)
10. Vanskabte land – Volaða land (Godland, Hlynur Pálmason, 2022)

Best old films (etc) new to me in 2023:

  • Diana, l’affascinatrice (Gustavo Serena, 1915)
  • Hell’s Angels (Howard Hughes, 1930)
  • Limite (Mário Peixoto, 1931)
  • Broken Lullaby (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
  • Little Man, What Now? (Frank Borzage, 1934)
  • Gueule d’amour (Lady Killer, Jean Grémillon, 1937)
  • Pimpernel Smith (Leslie Howard, 1941)
  • Dillagi (Abdul Rashid Kardar, 1949)
  • Manon (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1949)
  • 23 Paces to Baker Street (Henry Hathaway, 1956)
  • La Canta delle Marane (Cecilia Mangini, 1961)
  • Ådalen 31 (Bo Widerberg, 1969)
  • A Married Couple (Allan King, 1969)
  • Muhammad Ali, the Greatest (William Klein, 1969)
  • The Hospital (Arthur Hiller, 1971)
  • Some Call It Loving (James B. Harris, 1973)
  • Gokushiteki erosu: Renka 1974 (Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974, Kazuo Hara, 1974)
  • Don’s Party (Bruce Beresford, 1976)
  • De cierta manera (One Way or Another, Sara Gómez, 1977)
  • West Indies ou les Nègres marrons de la liberté (West Indies: The Fugitive Slaves of Liberty, Med Hondo, 1979)
  • Fehérlófia (Son of the White Mare, Marcell Jankovics, 1981)
  • Hayachine no fu (Ode to Mount Hayachine, Sumiko Haneda, 1982)
  • Dans la ville blanche (In the White City, Alain Tanner, 1983)
  • Dōngdōng de jiàqī (A Summer at Grandpa’s, Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1984)
  • 1871 (Ken McMullen, 1990)
  • Hoffa (Danny DeVito, 1992)
  • Zero Patience (John Greyson, 1993)
  • Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (Mike Judge, 1996)
  • Threshold to the Kingdom (Mark Wallinger, 2000)
  • Chekhovskie motivy (Chekhovian Motifs, Kira Muratova, 2002)
  • Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2002)
  • René (Helena Třeštíková, 2008)
  • Stemple Pass (James Benning, 2012)
  • The Eye & the Beholder: Visual Essay for La dolce vita (Kogonada, 2014)
  • Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa, 2016)
  • Daisis miziduloba (The Dazzling Light of Sunset, Salomé Jashi, 2016)
  • Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  • Kim’s Convenience (Peter Wellington et al., 2016-2021)
  • Search Party (Sarah-Violet Bliss, Charles Rogers, 2016-2022)
  • Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh, 2017)
  • Only Murders in the Building (Jamie Babbit et al., 2021-)
  • Resident Alien (David Dobkin et al., 2021-)
  • Agnès Varda – Pier Paolo Pasolini – New York – 1967 (Agnès Varda, 2022)
  • Lynch/Oz (Alexandre O. Philippe, 2022)
  • Men (Alex Garland, 2022)

Three very different and remarkable films at the BFI Southbank Ginger Rogers retrospective: Vivacious Lady (George Stevens, 1938), Lady in the Dark (Mitchell Leisen, 1944), and Storm Warning (Stuart Heisler, 1951).

Films by Marco Bellocchio: La Cina è vicina (China is Near, 1967) and Buongiorno, notte (Good Morning, Night, 2003).

Films by Alain Cavalier: Le plein de super (Fill ‘er Up with Super, 1976), Le filmeur (2005), and Pater (2011).

Come Back, Lucy (Paul Harrison, 1978): For the haunting title sequence rather than anything in the programme itself – an orphaned girl, a mirror, and an ‘impossible’ reflection.

Films by Akira Kurosawa: Hachigatsu no rapusodî (Rhapsody in August, 1991) and Madadayo (1993).

TV series by Adam Curtis: Pandora’s Box (1992) and Russia 1985-1999: TraumaZone (2022).

Films by Stavros Psyllakis: O anthropos pou enohlise to sympan (The Man who Disturbed the Universe, 2000), 120 Milonogianni, Chania (2011), and Olympia (2015).

Works by Gilles Marchand: Lemming (Dominik Moll, 2005), Des nouvelles de la planète Mars (News from Planet Mars, Moll, 2019), and Grégory (Who Killed Little Gregory?, Marchand, 2019).

Abus de faiblesse (Abuse of Weakness, Catherine Breillat, 2013): Far more percipient and convincing about the ‘downfall’ of a female artist than the sarcastic Tár (Todd Field, 2022).

Films by Rodrigo Sorogoyen: Madre (Mother, 2017), El reino (The Candidate, 2018), and Madre (Mother, 2019).

Best retrospective: Akira Kurosawa, BFI Southbank, London (January-February 2023). Lumet called him the “Beethoven of movie directors”. I prefer Mozart, but can think of few more invigorating experiences than Shichinin no Samurai (Seven Samurai, 1954) screened in 35-mm to a packed auditorium on a cold January weeknight.

Best home video: BFI Blu-ray of Michael Powell’s opera-film Herzog Blaubarts Burg (Bluebeard’s Castle, 1963).

Discovery of the year: The extraordinary and versatile Luigi Comencini whose works deserve to be ranked in the top tier of Italian cinema, in particular Heidi (1952), La valigia dei sogni (Suitcase of Dreams, 1953), Pane, amore e fantasia (Bread, Love and Dreams, 1953), La finestra sul Luna Park (The Window to Luna Park, 1957), Il commissario (The Police Commissioner, 1962), Incompreso (Misunderstood, 1966), Infanzia, vocazione e prime esperienze di Giacomo Casanova, veneziano (Giacomo Casanova: His Youthful Years, 1969), and Lo scopone scientifico (The Scientific Cardplayer, 1973).

The Emperor’s old clothes: It has taken me about 15 years to make this confession, but the awful Asteroid City (2023) was the proverbial hair that broke this camel’s back. (Deep breath) – Wes Anderson is a bad director. Bad at constructing scenes, bad at using the camera, bad at setting up gags, bad with actors. I revered Anderson’s first three films – hence the long deferral of this intervention – but time has proved that Owen Wilson and Noah Baumbach were the real talents there.

Wilfred Okiche

Film Critic, Nigeria

Best new films of 2023:

All of Us Strangers (Andrew Haigh, 2023)
All the Colours of the World are Between Black and White (Babatunde Apalowo, 2023)
Augure (Omen, Baloji, 2023)
A Thousand and One (A.V. Rockwell, 2023)
Banāt Olfa (Four Daughters, Kaouther Ben Hania, 2023)
The Bride (Myriam Uwiragiye Birara, 2023)
Chłopi (The Peasants, Hugh Welchman, Dorota Kobiela, 2023)
The Holdovers (Alexander Payne, 2023)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
Kokomo City (D. Smith, 2023)
Mami Wata (C.J. Obasi, 2023)
May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
Milisuthando (Milisuthando Bongela, 2023)
Mountains (Monica Sorelle, 2023)
Napoleon (Ridley Scott, 2023)
Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
Passages (Ira Sachs, 2023)
Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
Stylebender (Zoe McIntosh, 2023)
The Zone of Interest (Jonathan Glazer, 2023)

Best older films first encountered in 2023:

Bāb al-Ḥadīd (Cairo Station, Youssef Chahine, 1958)
Bānu-ye Ordibehesht (The May Lady, Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, 1998)
Blonde Venus (Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
Borrom Sarret (The Wagoner, Ousmane Sembène, 1963)
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
Dâyere (The Circle, Jafar Panahi, 2000)
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
Hyènes (Hyenas, Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1992)
La graine et le mulet (The Secret of the Grain, Abdellatif Kechiche, 2007)
La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
Mapantsula (Oliver Schmitz, 1988)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
Nemā-ye nazdīk (Close-Up, Abbas Kiarostami, 1990)
Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliště (Prefab Story, Věra Chytilová, 1979)
Samt El Qusur (The Silences of the Palace, Moufida Tlatli, 1995)
Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond, Agnès Varda, 1985)
Sānxiá Hǎorén (Still Life, Jia Zhangke, 2006)
Wutai Jiemei (Two Stage Sisters, Xie Jin, 1964)
Ugetsu Monogatari (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
Ukigusa (Floating Weeds, Yasujirō Ozu, 1959)

SvenErik Olsen

Artist & Writer, Minneapolis, USA
  1. La passion de Dodin Bouffant (The Taste of Things, Trần Anh Hùng, 2023)
  2. Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  3. Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  4. Heojil kyolshim (Decision to Leave, Park Chan-wook, 2022)
  5. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  6. An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl, Colm Bairéad, 2022)
  7. May December (Todd Haynes, 2023)
  8. Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023)
  9. Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
  10. Fair Play (Chloe Domont, 2023)

Andreea Pătru

Programmer & film critic (Spain/Romania)

1. Films released for the first time in 2023 (not a hierarchical order):


  • Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Phạm Thiên Ân, 2023)
  • La Bête (The Beast, Bertrand Bonello, 2023)
  • El eco (The Echo, Tatiana Huezo, 2023)
  • Nu aștepta prea mult de la sfârșitul lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  • Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  • Monisme (Riar Rizaldi, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)

Short films:

  • Howling (Aya Kawazoe, 2023)
  • Lemon Tree (Rachel Walden, 2023)
  • Um Caroço de Abacate (An Avocado Pit, Ary Zara, 2022)

2. Older films encountered for the first time in 2023:

  • Llévame en tus brazos (Take Me in Your Arms, Julio Bracho, 1954)
  • El río y la muerte (The River and Death, Luis Buñuel, 1954)
  • Espaldas mojadas (Alejandro Galindo, 1955)
  • Mossafer (The Traveler, Abbas Kiarostami, 1974)
  • Drylongso (Cauleen Smith, 1998)

Antoni Peris-Grao

Writer, editor at Miradas de Cine, member of Critic and Cinema writers Catalan Association (ACCEC)

Both in cinemas and festivals, 2023 has brought quite an interesting harvest and I’d like to point out some movies. 

Animated cinema has brought moving stories both reflecting loneliness in big cities (Robot Dreams, Pablo Berger, 2023) and refugees drama (Home is Somewhere Else, Carlos Hagerman, Jorge Villalobos, 2022), but also exciting fantastic movies such as Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki, 2023) and the resourceful Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson, 2022) that mixes brilliantly comic art and the moving image.   

An ode to cinema is the basis for Il sol dell’avvenire (A Brighter Tomorrow, Nanni Moretti, 2023) where its egocentric author examines the rigidity of the left-wing parties through cinema creation, while Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023) looks tenderly at impoverished and abused workers with the laconic humour of its author and many cinema references.

Childrens’ world, their worries, frailty and uncertain future appear in Tiger Stripes (Amanda Nell Eu, 2023), Scarlet (L’envol, Pietro Marcello, 2022) and An Cailín Ciúin (The Quiet Girl, Colm Bairéad, 2022). Whereas the first one uses fantasy and comedy to talk about the difficult walk through puberty for a Muslim girl, Marcello’s film transforms a drama into a romantic tale; and the Irish movie talks about a young girl from a deprived family who is sent to a distant relatives’ house. The three of them are surprisingly sensitive with their protagonists’ feelings, fears and personal evolution. 

Lonely societies. Perfect Days (Wim Wenders, 2023) might be considered a zen movie, as it follows the daily life of a lonely public toilet cleaner who considers his work and the music he listens to enough to have a plentiful life. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022) reflects pain and war desolation in a close friendship turned to bleak conflict. Yin ru chen yan (Return to Dust, Ruijun Li, 2022) follows a couple forced to confront harsh life in rural China, allowing us to see how sympathy evolves to love despite adversity. Its outstanding photography that captures both physicality and suffering matches the camera work in Vanskabte land – Volaða land (Godland, Hlynur Pálmason, 2022), where the protagonists endure a journey through the Iceland wilderness, like Lope de Aguirre in Herzog’s movie. Geographies of Solitude (Jacquelyn Mills, 2022) is nearly devoid of human life, set on a barren sand island inhabited by horses and a peculiar, lonely researcher. 

The thriller is represented differently in He bian de cuo wu (Only the River Flows, Wei Shujun, 2023), Les chambres rouges (Red Rooms, Pascal Plante, 2023) and Die Theorie von Allem (The Universal Theory, Timm Kröger, 2023). The Chinese movie follows a rural police inspector’s struggles to solve a murder case, finding reluctance from superiors to conduct further investigation as the Chinese ‘90s government prefers to hide some realities. Plante’s cold narrative excels in its mise-en-scène and production design, confronting us with a couple of groupies in a psych killer trial until a surprising ending twist. As for Kröger’s movie, its black-and-white spy story, set in the post-war Swiss Alps, reminds us of Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). But Kröger’s movie goes further, propelling us skillfully into sci-fi and other worlds. 

One unavoidable horror movie. Knock at the Cabin (M. Night Shyamalan, 2023) or how Shyamalan puts the viewer in an impossible situation keeping the tension along its length, not being necessary to use more than 100 minutes and a few special effects. And a very special one, an initially social drama with dark humour, Club Zero (Jessica Hausner, 2023) that shifts from a distorted reality seen by a strange cult for dieting without food to a fantastic, disturbing ending. 

Three diverse works consider human tragedies, all of them avoiding an excess of cries and tears with different directing styles. A criança (The Child, Marguerite de Hillerin, Félix Dutilloy-Liégeois, 2022) is a 16th-century family tragedy narrated strangely calmly and adorned with beautiful images. Unrueh (Unrest, Cyril Schäublin, 2022) calmly dissects the workers’ situation in a Swiss, precise, clean clock factory where anarchism breeds announcing a new era in Europe. Marx può aspettare (Marx Can Wait, Marco Bellocchio, 2021) keeps calm all along its length, although the director dives into a tragic family story from fascism to our days, sharing its intimacies, sorrows and hopes. 

Gender issues appear in different ways. On one hand, Joyland (Saim Sadiq, 2022) is a brave bet for defending women and gay freedom in Pakistan but its quality goes beyond the subject, with a direction that presents not only ideas but real people and links social and personal drama while keeping emotions under control. On the other hand, Trenque Lauquen (Laura Citarella, 2022) joyfully plays a puzzle based on men looking for a (disappeared?) woman for its first two hours, while the next two hours show her looking for an autonomous identity, mixing altogether comedy, a bit of thriller and a touch of fantastic. 

And finally, three works that are quite difficult to classify. Poor Things (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023), a new step in the director’s career, maintaining its rites and the usual strangeness in every character’s attitude, although expanding both feminine roles and sense of humour, helped by extraordinary production design, soundtrack and cast. On the tracks set by Weerasethakul and Bi Gan, Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell, Phạm Thiên Ân, 2023) not only recreates the story in continuous sequence shots, but these facilitate the feeling of strangeness both for the main character and for the viewers who may feel to be watching a dream. Devoid of actual script, Aku wa sonzai shinai (Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2023) seems to be far away from the carefully built previous movies and presents a sensorial tale taking place in a woods that allows the characters both to live on and depend on it, the result setting our senses in motion even beyond the film’s puzzling end.

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell

Andréa Picard

Senior Film Curator, Toronto International Film Festival & independent writer on film & art

New films (alphabetical order):

  • Aku wa sonzai shinai (Evil Does Not Exist, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2023)
  • Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  • Bye Bye Tibériade (Bye Bye Tiberias, Lina Soualem, 2023)
  • El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 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)
  • Here (Bas Devos, 2023)
  • Kuru Otlar Üstüne (About Dry Grasses, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023)
  • La Bête (The Beast, Bertrand Bonello, 2023)
  • Laberint Sequences (Blake Williams, 2023)
  • L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023)
  • Light, Noise, Smoke, and Light, Noise, Smoke (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2023)
  • Mambar Pierrette (Rosine Mbakam, 2023)
  • Man in Black (Wang Bing, 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)
  • NYC RGB (Victoria Schmid, 2023)
  • Occupied City (Steve McQueen, 2023)
  • Retratos Fantasmas (Pictures of Ghosts, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  • Un Prince (A Prince, Pierre Creton, 2023)
  • Qingchun (Youth (Spring), Wang Bing, 2023)
  • We Don’t Talk Like We Used To (Joshua Gen Solondz, 2023)

Repertory, restorations:

  • 4 untitled short films by Chantal Akerman
  • Al-makhdu’un (The Dupes, Tewfik Saleh, 1972)
  • L’Amour fou (Jacques Rivette, 1969)
  • Le Cochon (The Pig, Jean-Michel Barjol, Jean Eustache, 1970)
  • Mes petites amoureuses (My Little Loves, Jean Eustache, 1974)
  • Sois belle et tais-toi (Be Pretty and Shut Up, Delphine Seyrig, 1981)
  • Une sale histoire (A Dirty Story, Jean Eustache, 1977)
  • Vale Abraão (Abraham’s Valley, Manoel de Oliveira, 1993)

Warut Pornchaiprasartkul

A moviegoer


  • Abang Adik (Lay Jin Ong, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
  • Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  • Beau Is Afraid (Ari Aster, 2023)
  • Mina ni sachi are (Best Wishes to All, Yûta Shimotsu, 2023)
  • Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki, 2023)
  • Los delincuentes (The Delinquents, Rodrigo Moreno, 2023)
  • Mato Seco em Chamas (Dry Ground Burning, Joana Pimenta, Adirley Queirós, 2022)
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, 2023)
  • Every Body (Julie Cohen, 2023)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • GAGA (Laha Mebow, 2022)
  • Tro tàn ruc ro (Glorious Ashes, Bui Thac Chuyên, 2022)
  • Ren sheng lu bu shu (Godspeed, Yi Xiaoxing, 2023)
  • The Holdovers (Alexander Payne, 2023)
  • El auge del humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023)
  • Bak yat ji ha (In Broad Daylight, Lawrence Kwan Chun Kan, 2023)
  • L’été dernier (Last Summer, Catherine Breillat, 2023)
  • Wu Kou Zhi Jia (A Long Journey Home, Zhang Wenqian, 2022)
  • Love Life (Kôji Fukada, 2022)
  • Mambar Pierrette (Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam, 2023)
  • Mangosteen (Tulapop Saenjaroen, 2023)
  • Matter Out of Place (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2022)
  • Kaibutsu (Monster, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2023)
  • Gornyi luk (Mountain Onion, Eldar Shibanov, 2022)
  • Viens je t’emmène (Nobody’s Hero, Alain Guiraudie, 2022)
  • Sekai no Okiku (Okiku and the World, Junji Sakamoto, 2023)
  • Un beau matin (One Fine Morning, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2022)
  • Notre corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)
  • Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
  • Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  • Perfect Days (Wim Wenders, 2023)
  • Subete no yoru o omoidasu (Remembering Every Night, Yui Kiyohara, 2022)
  • Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani (Karan Johar, 2023)
  • Saga Saga (Aimi Natsuto, 2023)
  • Satyaprem Ki Katha (Sameer Vidwans, 2023)
  • Theater Camp (Molly Gordon, Nick Lieberman, 2023)
  • El Juicio (The Trial, Ulises de la Orden, 2023)
  • Walid (Areel Abu Bakar, 2023)
  • Tab (Walk Up, Hong Sang-soo, 2022)
  • Cuando acecha la maldad (When Evil Lurks, Demián Rugna, 2023)
  • He chu (Where, Tsai Ming-liang, 2022)
  • Er shou jie zuo (World’s Greatest Dad, Wang Zizhao, 2023)
  • Thoe kap chan kap chan (You & Me & Me, Wanweaw Hongvivatana, Weawwan Hongvivatana, 2023)
  • Qingchun (Youth (Spring), Wang Bing, 2023)


  • 36 Fillette (Catherine Breillat, 1988)
  • Adam a Eva (Adam and Eva, Václav Binovec, 1922)
  • Choo (The Adulteress, Somboonsuk Niyomsiri, 1972)
  • Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew, Usmar Ismail, 1954)
  • Les photos d’Alix (Alix’s Pictures, Jean Eustache, 1982)
  • La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas (The Battle of Chile, Patricio Guzmán, 1975-1976-1979)
  • Chasse à l’hippopotame (Battle on the Great River, Jean Rouch, 1950)
  • The Camera: Je or La Camera: I (Babette Mangolte, 1977)
    Canoa (Canoa: A Shameful Memory, Felipe Cazals, 1976)
  • Doroshkechi (The Carriage Driver, Nosratollah Karimi, 1971)
  • Ruan Ling Yu (Center Stage, Stanley Kwan, 1991)
  • Gishiki (The Ceremony, Nagisa Ôshima, 1971)
  • Muna Moto (The Child of Another, Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa, 1975)
  • Coup de Torchon (Bertrand Tavernier, 1981)
  • Dayereh mina (The Cycle, Dariush Mehrjui, 1977)
  • Diaries, Notes, and Sketches (Jonas Mekas, 1968)
  • Una vita difficile (A Difficult Life, Dino Risi, 1961)
  • Bakushû (Early Summer, Yasujirô Ozu, 1951)
  • Kahdeksan surmanluotia (Eight Deadly Shots, Mikko Niskanen, 1972)
  • Acht Stunden sind kein Tag (Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1972)
  • Un maledetto imbroglio (The Facts of Murder, Pietro Germi, 1959)
  • Yek atash (A Fire, Ebrahim Golestan, 1961)
  • Ghazieh-e Shekl-e Aval, Ghazieh-e Shekl-e Dou Wom (First Case, Second Case, Abbas Kiarostami, 1979)
  • Sanbul (Flame in Valley, Kim Soo-yong, 1967)
    Gente di rispetto (The Flower in His Mouth, Luigi Zampa, 1975)
  • The Girl Chewing Gum (John Smith, 1976)
  • Goldflocken (Werner Schroeter, 1976)
  • Goryeojng (Burying Old Alive, Kim Ki-young, 1963)
  • Guelwaar (Ousmane Sembene, 1992)
  • Il bell’Antonio (Handsome Antonio, Mauro Bolognini, 1960)
  • Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi, 1962)
  • In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
  • The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (Kenneth Anger, 1954)
  • Niewinni czarodzieje (Innocent Sorcerers, Andrzej Wajda, 1960)
  • Insiang (Lino Brocka, 1976)
  • Von wegen ‘Schicksal’ (Is This Fate?, Helga Reidemeister, 1979)
  • Le voyage à travers l’impossible (Journey Through the Impossible, Georges Méliès, 1904)
  • Gueule d’amour (Lady Killer, Jean Grémillon, 1937)
    Macario (Roberto Gavaldón, 1960)
  • L’uomo dei cinque palloni (The Man with the Balloons, Marco Ferreri, 1968)
  • Qian xi man bo (Millennium Mambo, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2001)
  • Minamata Mandala (Kazuo Hara, 2020)
  • Minamata: Kanja-san to sono sekai (Minamata: The Victims and Their World, Noriaki Tsuchimoto, 1971)
  • Ponedjeljak ili utorak (Monday or Tuesday, Vatroslav Mimica, 1966)
  • The Movie Orgy (Joe Dante, 1968)
  • An shab ke barun amad (The Night It Rained, Kamran Shirdel, 1967)
  • Shabe ghuzi (Night of the Hunchback, Farrokh Ghaffari, 1965)
  • Lie huo qing chun (Nomad, Patrick Tam, 1982)
  • Encore (Once More, Paul Vecchiali, 1988)
  • Niu pi (Oxhide, Liu Jiayin, 2005)
  • Pankow ‘95 (Gábor Altorjay, 1983)
  • Pirika na filmu (Pirika on Film, Želimir Žilnik, 2013)
  • Otoshiana (Pitfall, Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1962)
  • Mali vojnici (Playing Soldiers, Bahrudin ‘Bato’ Čengić, 1967)
  • Pola X (Leos Carax, 1999)
  • Kairo (Pulse, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2001)
  • Kalagh (The Raven, Bahram Beyzai, 1977)
  • Revolver (Sergio Sollima, 1973)
  • Reza Motori (Reza, the Motorcyclist, Masoud Kimiai, 1970)
  • Sanrizuka: Heta buraku (Sanrizuka: Heta Village, Shinsuke Ogawa, 1973)
  • Lhing vjags kyi ma ni rdo vbum (The Silent Holy Stones, Pema Tseden, 2005)
  • Le fils (The Son, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 2002)
  • Tabiate bijan (Still Life, Sohrab Shahid Saless, 1974)
  • Toki ga fubuku (The Stormy Times, Katsu Kanai, 1991)
  • Čudna devojka (Strange Girl, Jovan Živanović, 1962)
  • Roj (The Swarm, Miodrag Popović, 1966)
  • Hishu monogatari (A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness, Seijun Suzuki, 1977)
  • The Text of Light (Stan Brakhage, 1974)
  • Shun liu ni liu (Time and Tide, Tsui Hark, 2000)
  • Toilette (Friederike Pezold, 1979)
  • Tonî Takitani (Jun Ichikawa, 2004)
  • Taifû kurabu (Typhoon Club, Shinji Sômai, 1985)
  • Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, 1961)
  • Kagami no onna-tachi (Women in the Mirror, Yoshishige Yoshida, 2002)
  • Falsche Bewegung (Wrong Move, Wim Wenders, 1975)

Milan Pribisic

Milan is on the film faculty in the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago

Here are my 2023 favourites:

Saint Omer (Alice Diop, 2022)
Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)
Pacifiction (Albert Serra, 2022)
Alcarràs (Carla Simón, 2022)
Blue Jean (Georgia Oakley, 2022)
Falcon Lake (Charlotte LeBon, 2022)
Monica (Andrea Pallaoro, 2022)
Mato Seco em Chamas (Dry Ground Burning, Joana Pimenta, Adirley Quierós, 2022)
Szelid (Gentle, László Csuja, Anna Nemes, 2022)
Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains, Felix van Groeningen, Charlotte Vandermeersch, 2022)
Fogo-Fátuo (Will-o’-the-Wisp, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2022)
Fumer fait tousser (Smoking Causes Coughing, Quentin Dupieux, 2022)
Kaibutsu (Monster, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2023)

Daniel Ribas

Film writer, curator and professor

This year, two films – I’ve seen almost simultaneously – had one device in common: they were pushed forward by a moving and speedy car in the streets of cities (Bucharest and Tehran). The constant flow of these films was a perfect example of the state of images (and, for that matter, of the world) in 2023. Keep moving, faster. An endless flow that leads us to exhaustion and tiredness. Since October, almost three months have passed, and we are witnessing, as never before, a terrible genocide underway in the Gaza Strip. Can we overcome this horror? What should we do when everything fails us?

(with no order) 

  • El Auge del Humano 3 (The Human Surge 3, Eduardo Williams, 2023)
  • Here (Bas Devos, 2023)
  • Mal Viver (Bad Living, João Canijo, 2023)
  • Mantagheye Bohrani (Critical Zone, Ali Ahmadzadeh, 2023)
  • Musik (Music, Angela Schanelec, 2023)
  • Nu Aștepta Prea Mult de la Sfârșitul Lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  • Passages (Ira Sachs, 2023)
  • Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography, Paul B. Preciado, 2023)
  • Retratos Fantasma (Pictures of Ghosts, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2023)
  • Roter Himmel (Afire, Christian Petzold, 2023)

Dr Stuart Richards

Senior Lecturer in Screen Studies at the University of South Australia
  1. All of Us Strangers (Andrew Haigh, 2023)
  2. Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  3. Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023)
  4. Kaibutsu (Monster, Kore-eda Hirokazu, 2023)
  5. Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki, 2023)
  6. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022) 
  7. Blue Jean (Georgia Oakley, 2023)
  8. Barbie (Greta Gerwig, 2023)
  9. Vanskabte land – Volaða land (Godland, Hlynur Pálmason, 2022)
  10. Red, White & Royal Blue (Matthew López, 2023)

Anatomy of a Fall

Peter Rinaldi

New York filmmaker and host of Filmmaker Magazine’s BACK TO ONE podcast

In alphabetical order:

  • The Adults (Dustin Guy Defa, 2023)
  • Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
  • Dogleg (Al Warren, 2023)
  • Poundcake (Onur Tukel, 2023)
  • Zielona granica (Green Border, Agnieszka Holland, 2023)

The Jean Eustache retrospective at Film at Lincoln Center in New York was the revelation of the year for me, particularly Numéro zéro (1971)

Peter Rist

Professor of Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, currently co-writing the Historical Dictionary of Canadian Cinema

I saw fewer new films this year than usual, but I attended two Noir City festivals, the Nitrate Picture Show and the Giornate del Cinema Muto, so I have decided to include 10 films from the past that I saw for the first time in 2023, and 10 newish films. They are listed in the order I saw them, the format (DCP except where noted), and the venue (in Montreal, except where noted):

Saint Omer (Alice Diop, 2022)
Cinéma du Musée, 22 January (the film of the year)

Call Northside 777 (Henry Hathaway, 1948)
Grand Lake Theatre, Oakland; Noir City SF, 28 January

Mato Seco em Chamas (Dry Ground Burning, Joana Pimenta, Adirley Queirós, 2022)
Cinéma Public, 29 April

Tab (Walk Up, Hong Sang-soo, 2022)
Cinéma Public, 1 May

Sparrows Can’t Sing (Joan Littlewood, 1963)
UK Blu-ray disc, at home, 31 May

Le silence est d’or (Man About Town, René Clair, 1947)
35mm Nitrate, Rochester, NY, 2 June

Kain i Artem (Cain and Artem, Pavel Petrov-Bytov, 1930)
35mm Nitrate, Rochester, 4 June

L’envol (Scarlet, Pietro Marcello, 2022)
Cinéma du Musée, 24 June

Kawachi Karumen (Carmen from Kawachi, Seijun Suzuki, 1966)
35mm, Cinémathèque Québécoise (CQ), 25 June

Mami Wata (C.J. ‘Fiery’ Obasi, 2023)
Cinéma de Sève; Fantasia Film Festival, 21 July

Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
70mm, Cinéma Banque Scotia, 23 July (saw later on digital IMAX, but sorry I couldn’t see it on IMAX film)

Sat sau woo dip mung (My Heart Is That Eternal Rose, Patrick Tam, 1989)
Fantasia, 6 August

The Informer (Arthur Robinson, 1929)
silent version, on UK BluRay disc, at home, 22 August

The Spiritualist aka The Amazing Mr. X (Bernard Vorhaus, 1948)
35mm, The Music Box, Chicago: Noir City Chicago, 26 August (For the first time, complete, and on the big screen; the best way to appreciate John Alton’s amazing black & white cinematography)

Oh! What a Nurse! (Charles Reisner, 1926)
Pordenone, Italy, 8 October; piano by Donald Sosin – hilarious performance (mostly) in drag by Syd Chaplin

Anatomie d’une chute (Anatomy of a Fall, Justine Triet, 2023)
Cinéma du Parc, 26 October

Up the Junction (Ken Loach, “The Wednesday Play,” 1965)
UK DVD, at home, 2 November

All of Us Strangers (Andrew Haigh, 2023)
Cineplex Forum, 15 November

Qingchun (Youth (Spring), Wang Bing, 2023)
Cinéma du Musée; Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), 25 November

El Eco (The Echo, Tatiana Huezo, 2023)
CQ; RIDM, 25 November

Ole Kevin Rodberg

A Norwegian with an MA in Film Studies who works as a Social Worker in Oslo

10 favourite old and new films first seen in 2023 in the UK, listed in chronological order:

  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
  • Animal Farm (John Halas, Joy Batchelor, 1954)
  • La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)
  • Benny’s Video (Michael Haneke, 1992)
  • Gunnar Goes Comfortable (Gunnar Hall Jensen, 2003)
  • Adams Æbler (Adam’s Apples, Anders Thomas Jensen, 2005)
  • They Came Together (David Wain, 2014)
  • Aftersun (Charlotte Wells, 2022)
  • Syk Pike (Sick of Myself, Kristoffer Borgli, 2022)
  • Munch (Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken, 2023)

Julian Ross

Assistant Professor, Leiden University
  • Man in Black (Wang Bing, 2023)
  • Nu aștepta prea mult de la sfârșitul lumii (Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World, Radu Jude, 2023)
  • The Tuba Thieves (Alison O’Daniel, 2023)
  • Orlando, ma biographie politique (Orlando, My Political Biography, Paul B. Preciado, 2023)
  • Notre Corps (Our Body, Claire Simon, 2023)
  • Monisme (Riar Rizaldi, 2023)
  • An Asian Ghost Story (Bo Wang, 2023)
  • Mast-del (Maryam Tafakory, 2023)
  • Hétpróba (Seven Trials, Dóra Maurer, 1982)
  • Falling Lessons (Amy Halpern, 1992)

Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World

Benoit Rouilly

aka HarryTuttle, film critic at Unspoken Cinema, France
  • Bên trong vo kén vàng (Inside The Yellow Cocoon Shell, Phạm Thiên Ân, 2023)
  • Cerrar los ojos (Close your eyes, Victor Erice, 2023)
  • De Humani Corporis Fabrica (Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2022)
  • Kimitachi wa dô ikiru ka (The Boy and the Heron, Hayao Miyazaki, 2023)
  • Kuolleet lehdet (Fallen Leaves, Aki Kaurismäki, 2023)
  • Kuru Otlar Üstüne (About Dry Grasses, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2023)
  • Past Lives (Celine Song, 2023) 
  • Perfect Days (Wim Wenders, 2023)
  • Retour à Séoul (Return to Seoul, Davy Chou, 2023)
  • Sur l’Adamant (On the Adamant, Nicolas Philibert, 2023)

Carey Ryan

Lives and teaches in film

Best of 2023:

Infinity Pool (Brandon Cronenberg, 2023)
A living nightmare for an entitled idiot. Cronenberg exposes nightmares using terror and beauty.

The Old Oak (Ken Loach, 2023)
Perfect farewell from the most compassionate filmmaker.

Dream Scenario (Kristoffer Borgli, 2023)
Depressing. Insightful. Delirious. Original. Disturbing. Hilarious. Delightful.

Reality (Tina Satter, 2023)
Inventive real-time drama has tension to spare.

Killers of the Flower Moon (Martin Scorsese, 2023)
Scorsese’s riveting saga of abandoned Osage people.

Best films seen in 2023 because I’m in Australia we must get later releases:

IO (EO, Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022)
Heart wrenching cinematic ride with adorable donkey.

Pearl (Ti West, 2022)
Early cinema snippets rule this sophisticated horror.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Laura Poitras, 2022)
Strips ‘big pharma’ family of their respectability.

The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh, 2022)
A donkey is dux of this town!

You Won’t Be Alone (Goran Stolevski, 2022)
Stunning folklore women’s horror is a treat.

Worst of 2023:

Silent Night (John Woo, 2023)
Woo asleep at the wheel for stale package.

Mascarade (Masquerade, Nicolas Bedos, 2022)
Give this lot a medal for toxicity.

The Pope’s Exorcist (Julius Avery, 2023)
Russell Crowe. Ferrari moped. Something else happened.

The Boogeyman (Rob Savage, 2023)
Dud adaptation. The ultimate scary icon is badly misused.

Napoleon (Ridley Scott, 2023)
We still indulge old men these conceits?!?

Tár (Todd Field, 2022)
Did nothing but prove Cate can run.

Cocaine Bear (Elizabeth Banks, 2023)
Animals dance when they’re on drugs. Whoda?

Violent Night (Tommy Wirkola, 2022)
I don’t know who would like this.

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