John Waters Shares His Top 10 Films of 2018 - Bruno Dumont Reigns
"It's the best movie of the year. You'll hate it." Nothing like defending your pick for the best film of the year by saying "you'll hate it", but that's why we always have to feature this Top 10 every year. One of our favorite lists that kicks off this time of the year is from filmmaker John Waters - his Top 10 favorite films from this year. For 2018, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, lead by Bruno Dumont's historical musical Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc. I haven't heard a single person say they've seen this film much less mentioning it at all, but it's his #1. He also picks a few other underrated films from this year: Carlos López Estrada's Blindspotting, Guy Maddin's cinema mash-up The Green Fog, and yet another French film - Xavier Legrand's Custody, which first premiered last year but just got a release in the spring.
Waters includes a short one/two-sentence explanation with each pick, so head to ArtForum to read all of his thoughts on his Top 10 of 2018. I've included a few of his comments in quotes below for some of the films where he said some interesting things. Without further ado, here are John Waters' Top 10 Films of 2018:
1. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (dir. Bruno Dumont) "An insanely radical heavy-metal grade-school religious pageant that is sung in French from beginning to end. The actors themselves seem like they might burst out laughing, but this is no joke. It's the best movie of the year. You'll hate it."
2. American Animals (dir. Bart Layton)
3. Nico, 1988 (dir. Susanna Nicchiarelli)
4. Mom and Dad (dir. Brian Taylor) "A surprisingly scary, well-shot, pitch-black comedy about the day all parents in the United States decide to kill their own children. A laff riot!"
5. Blindspotting (dir. Carlos López Estrada) "You'll squirm. You'll identify. You'll choke on your own gentrified excuses. The smartest and funniest film about race and class in a long, long time."
6. The Green Fog (dirs. Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson)
7. Custody (dir. Xavier Legrand) "Divorce, jealousy, misogyny, and physical abuse, topped off with psychological damage to children: This feel-bad movie of the year is so beautifully acted that it made me feel happy, happy, happy!"
8. Sollers Point (dir. Matthew Porterfield)
9. Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 (dir. John Ridley)
10. Permanent Green Light (dirs. Dennis Cooper, Zac Farley)
What do you make of Waters' Top 10 list for this year? How many of these has anyone else even seen? As always, his list is full of some of the most oddball picks but nonetheless damn good films. And I appreciate that he's honest in discussing his feelings/explanations about what it is that makes them his favorites. I'm also a big fan of Blindspotting and I'm glad it's getting some recognition, as I have been getting worried that it will be lost in the mix in the awards season. The Green Fog is also a totally crazy, one-of-a-kind cinematic experience - best to see it at a film festival, but if you love cinema, you must check it out. Waters' thoughts: "Abstractly clever, strangely compelling, and just about perfect." As always, it's good to pick at least one of these you haven't seen yet to watch it and see if it impresses/intrigues you as much as it did him. Thoughts?