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John Waters Reveals His Top 10 Films of 2019 - Gaspar Noé on Top

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December 2, 2019
Source: ArtForum

John Waters Top 10 - Climax

"A real crowd-pleaser that deserves every bit of its critical and financial success for pulling the rug out from under America's true-crime obsession…" 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 2019, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, lead by Gaspar Noé's trippy rave-meets-horror film Climax, which opened in US theaters on March 1st (despite originally premiering at Cannes in 2018). I truly love seeing what Waters picks every year, because he's one of the few who has no shame about admitting his personal tastes. It's not the "best", it's the films that he loved and did something for him, and he explains so simply yet eloquently why he loves them. And boy oh boy does he have strange (and amazing) films on his 2019 list.

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 2019. 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 2019:

1. Climax (dir. Gaspar Noé) "The best movie of the year gives new meaning to the term 'bad trip.' Frenzied dance numbers combined with LSD, mental breakdowns, and childhood trauma turn this nutcase drama into The Red Shoes meets Hallucination Generation. Freak out, baby, freak out!"
2. Joan of Arc (dir. Bruno Dumont)
3. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
4. Border (dir. Ali Abbasi) "If Eraserhead had cousins, this transgressive troll couple would have welcomed them into their jaw-droppingly bizarre world of over-developed noses, maggot-eating diets, and pedophile-hunting duties. You won’t believe this one!"
5. Amazing Grace (pr. Alan Elliott)
6. Hail Satan? (dir. Penny Lane) "Not since the Yippies have we seen such a hilarious pack of militant activists as the Satanic Temple. Their real-life pro-separation-of-church-and-state cult leader, Lucien Greaves, makes Anton LaVey look like Pat Boone. Don’t send money to Toys for Tots this Xmas; give it to these heretics."
7. Pain and Glory (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)
8. The Golden Glove (dir. Fatih Akin) "Even its own American distributor called this film reprehensible, and I agree, yet it’s so appalling, so grotesque, so well made and bravely acted that dare I suggest you give this serial-killer movie a watch? Shame on you, Fatih Akin, for making it. Shame on me for putting it on this Top Ten list. Shame on you if you like it."
9. The Souvenir (dir. Joanna Hogg)
10. Joker (dir. Todd Phillips) "Irresponsible? Maybe. Dangerous? We'll see. The first big-budget Hollywood movie to gleefully inspire anarchy. Bravo, Todd Phillips! Only you could get away with it."

What do you make of Waters' Top 10 list for this year? Have you seen all of these he lists this year? Aside from Joan of Arc, I've seen every single other film he picks. Which is pretty unusual for Waters, usually he has some obscure picks but that's why I love his Top 10 list every year. There's always some wild, fascinating films on here that you wouldn't expect to see but they're all damn good films anyway, so you can't really complain. I love Border!! It's awesome. I love Hail Satan! A fantastic doc. I hated The Golden Glove, but he acknowledges this in explaining why he chose it. I even love Amazing Grace (here's my review), the Aretha Franklin doc that is a truly religious experience to watch (in a cinema). As always, it's good to pick at least one of these you haven't seen yet, then watch if it impresses/intrigues you as much as it did him. Thoughts?

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