John Waters Lists His Top 10 Films of 2011, Pedro Almodóvar on Top

December 4, 2011
Source: ArtForum

John Waters / The Skin I Live In

I'm trying to keep it kinky! We're already getting to that time of year when Top 10 lists arrive, and one of the first up is John Waters, the eccentric, quirky filmmaker (of Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Hairspray) who always has unique choices on his top list, and this year is no exception. The list comes from ArtForum (via twitter) and does indeed include Pedro Almodóvar's The Skin I Live In as his #1 favorite of the year, a "dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world." Great choice, but there's plenty more he's got including a few that'll will make you spit your milk, so read on for the full thing.

On the original ArtForum post, Waters provides a brief blurb about each film, which we've included a few of the better quotes from in his list below. Yes, he somehow put the 3D concert movie Justin Bieber: Never Say Never on there, which I couldn't include without his explanation to go along with it. I'm actually glad to see The Skin I Live In on here, as well as Tree of Life, but some of them I haven't even heard of, honestly. Here are John Waters' Top 10 Films of 2011:

1. The Skin I Live In (dir. Pedro Almodóvar) "A dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world. God bless you, Pedro Almodóvar!"
2. Mildred Pierce (dir. Todd Haynes) "This elegantly shot, pitch-perfect made-for-TV melodrama makes everyone who watches secretly yearn to be a woman with issues. The best period film in decades—period."
3. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (dir. Jon M. Chu) "I'm not kidding. A well-made doc that proves the Bieb was a child prodigy. Wait until you see Justin stick his head into the audience and shake his hair in 3-D. I screamed."
4. Hadewijch (dir. Bruno Dumont)
5. Kaboom (dir. Gregg Araki) "Doomsday never looked so hot."
6. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (dirs. Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman)
7. The Tree of Life (dir. Terrence Malick) "You'd think I'd hate this film, and I almost did—until I realized it's the best New Age, heterosexual, Christian movie of the year."
8. I'm Glad My Mother Is Alive (dirs. Claude and Nathan Miller)
9. We Were Here (dir. David Weissman)
10. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul) "A spooky, witty, never pretentious meditation on the otherworldly lust of ghosts and wild animals. Aren't you glad art films don't get test-screened?"

What do you make of Waters' Top 10 list? How many of these has anyone else even seen? Besides Tree of Life and Skin I Live In, I've also seen Kaboom (old Cannes review) and I walked out of Uncle Boonmee, but that's all off of his list this year. The Skin I Live In is one of my favorite films this year as well (my Cannes review) and I know our own Jeremy Kirk loved it, too. It's a very sexually edgy film (see the latest teaser trailer) and will get the support of those just as edgy, but it's a great film for anyone brave/confident enough to watch it. Considering it may not get a lot of awards love this year, even though it deserves plenty, I'm glad to see it topping a list somewhere. We posted Waters' list in 2009 and you can find his 2010 picks here. So?

Find more posts: Discuss, Lists, Movie News



You lost me at Justin Bieber

Daren on Dec 4, 2011


You obviously don't know who John Waters is

Alex on Feb 13, 2012


no Melancholia or Hugo? Crap list.

Avataus on Dec 4, 2011


I'm surprised he didn't add The Muppets. It's the best stick your hand up a puppet's butt movie of the year.

CEO on Dec 4, 2011


@Daren ditto

stfugtfo on Dec 4, 2011


I think if you throw Almodovar into another campier dimension you would get Waters. I'm more surprised that Bruno Dumont would land on Waters' top 10 than anything else. (Yes, even including Bieber documentary and The Tree of Life) I really adored Uncle Boonmee. Perhaps my Asian background lets me relate to it more.

aeolusxiv on Dec 4, 2011


I've only seen Tree of Life and Kaboom. I really want to see The Skin I Live In, because I think it will easily make my top 10. My top 3 so far: Melancholia, Drive and Midnight In Paris.

Davide Coppola on Dec 5, 2011


I loved Uncle Boonme and hated Kaboom. Really wanna see Hadewijch

childerolandusa on Dec 5, 2011


Anyone who criticizes this list is totally missing the point. It's John fucking Waters, and he likes what he likes. 

Lebowski on Dec 5, 2011


Your comment pretty much sums it up

Ha on Dec 5, 2011


The skin i live in is the movie theatre experience of the year for me. Melancholia, drive or whatever isn't even close.

Ryderup on Dec 5, 2011


no love for "martha marcy may marlene"? =( that movie along with Melancholia, Drive, Warrior and by personal choice Attack the Block are what made me love loving movies this year Ides of March was good to

Anonymous on Dec 5, 2011


Am I the only one that thought "Hanna" was completely underrated? If so...touché.

Danimal on Dec 5, 2011


i loved it

Anonymous on Dec 5, 2011


what about captain america?

Smendoza on Dec 5, 2011


Mildred Pierce FTW. And of course Alex walked out of Uncle Boonmee.

Jason on Dec 5, 2011


You walked out of Uncle Bomnee?! I'll agree to disagree, that was on the most intellectually challenging and artistic movies I had seen in years. As for Water's list- I agree with his films from Almodovar, Malick, and Haynes.

Andrew DiDonato on Dec 5, 2011


great list!

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