ENJOY THE MOVIES
The 2022 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up last week after a series of virtual premieres. Now it's time to present our annual Best of the Fest list. I was able to catch a total of 60 films this year (my full list on Letterboxd), watching online from home (to stay safe and save some money). This is my 16th year in a row covering Sundance, and this fest still has a special place in my heart. I am always excited about the films and filmmakers they bring. I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of docs and features. All of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeking them out whenever they show up at your local cinema. I am glad Sundance has continued to do their best with a film festival even in this crazy times during an ongoing pandemic, because we all need good cinema like this. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind all the way through the 10 days of the festival.
It's January again, which means it's time for another Sundance Film Festival. The original plan for 2022 was to host a hybrid event - with the usual in-person screenings in Park City, Utah as well as online screenings. But they had to cancel the in-person event again thanks to the pandemic, returning to an entirely virtual / online event like last year. (Along with a few satellite screenings in select cities around the country.) This is our 16th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Out of the 83 films showing at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, I've picked 10 films that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There's a few gems in the line-up already. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before the fest kicks off, but here's my picks anyway.
"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience." Another year, another Top 10. After watching over 460 films throughout 2021 (yes I was keeping track on Letterboxd!) it's time to share my final selection of My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021. I try to watch as much as I can and give myself time to catch up with any extra films at the end of the year, but I also want to make sure I don't forget about some of my favorites from earlier in the year. 2021 was an invigorating and exciting year - with so many ups and downs. But as always, I'm lucky to have a chance to discover terrific films. this year in cinema took us on journeys to far away places, distant planets, as well as to mountaintops and valleys and deserts around this planet. I'm a sucker for visuals and style; the better a movie looks, the more I enjoy it. But I also need to feel the emotions, and when a good one really gets to me, that's the kind of film that sticks with me all year.
With the year almost over, it's time to look back and highlight some favorites from the world of movies. Our writer Ethan Anderton used to publish his list of the Best Official Movie Posters, but I'm taking over and will return to highlighting some of my favorite designs. Below is my personal selection of 10 Favorite Movie Posters from 2021. These aren't necessarily the "best" rather they're my own favorites that stuck with me. I'm clearly attracted to color and striking designs, something that looks unique and is evocative. I also think it's important for a poster to capture the vibe of the film, and not just look cool though it's different from how the film feels. That's an important part of poster design. Just slapping any generic photo on a poster is dull and lazy, but creating art, making something vivid - that's what I love the most. Check them out below.
It's that time of the year again - time to discuss everyone's favorite films of the year, all the best of the best that cinema brought us in 2021. The UK-based film magazine Little White Lies has published their The 30 Best Films of 2021 list, made up of selections from all of the various critics that write for them. Included with this end of the year reveal is a video countdown, edited together by Luís Azevedo (we've featured many of his video essays). This countdown contains footage from all 30 of the great films featured on their list, including many of our faves - Titane, Summer of Soul, Annette, The Lost Daughter, Dune, C'mon C'mon. Even if the films on here aren't your jam, it's still quite lovely to see a visual recap of the last Year in Film. It's always a terrific way to process and admire all we've been graced with as cinephiles over these 12 months. Enjoy the "annual countdown of the year’s finest silver screen offerings. How many have you seen?"
Each year, I am incredibly lucky and privileged to return to the spectacular city of Venice in Italy to attend the Venice Film Festival and catch the latest films premiering there. Venice is over and looking back at the line-up, it's time to present my quick picks of my favorite films from Venice 2021. This was my fifth year in a row back to Venice, I even stopped by last year during the pandemic, and I spent every single day at screenings all day. They always show two new films in the morning, along with lots of other screenings in the evening to catch. In total, I watched 28 films at Venice this year, and while it wasn't the best selection, I'm always glad to have the chance to watch them anyway. The fest kicked off with Pedro Almodóvar's latest, Parallel Mothers (watch the trailer), which I didn't care much for. Then continued on for another 10 days, and I was there right up until the end. You probably already know what I flipped for, but let's recap anyway.
What are the best films out of this year's Cannes Film Festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What films should be a priority for you to see? After 12 days at the 74th Cannes Film Festival, after 30 screenings, it's time to present my 2021 list of my Top 10 Favorite Films. This was my 11th year back to this festival, and I love being there in the middle of the buzz, seeing films all day every day non-stop. These ten listed below are the ones that connected with me emotionally or intellectually, and I hope you'll consider watching a few when they arrive in your neighborhood. They are worth the wait. Even after cancelling the fest last year due to the pandemic, there were many impressive films in Cannes this year. I'm glad I could be there and catch up with cinema again. This is my final recap of Cannes 2021 - don't miss any of these below.
"You are being considered for the amazing opportunity of life." Another year, another Top 10. Better late than never, as they say! Though this usually happens with me, getting this list out takes a lot of time… It was a tough year to keep writing during 2020, despite watching films all the time. I saw over 400 films during the year, trying to watch as much as I could despite the lockdowns and the shut downs, and everything else going on. But here it is anyway - my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2020. Most of all, I just want to share my love for these glorious works of cinema. It's not that surprising that many of my favorite films are films about how magical and mesmerizing life is to live, which is important during this pandemic time anyway. We have to keep on living, despite all the challenges, we have to seek the light, despite all the darkness, we have to find beauty, despite all the ugliness. And these films provided that much needed bliss.
The 2021 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up last week after a series of virtual premieres and localized "satellite" screenings around the country. Now it's time to present our Best of the Fest list. I was able to catch a total of 44 films this year, watching online from home (to stay safe and sound). But I couldn't catch everything and missed a few films getting tons of good buzz (as is always the case). Nevertheless, I saw a great deal of outstanding, high quality features this year. I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of docs and features. All of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeking them out. I'm glad Sundance continues to program some of the best films all year, as well as more innovative, unique, challenging, experimental, and totally wild & crazy features from all around the world. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind all the way through the festival.
Over the previous 12 months, I've seen more than 110 new releases, and I'm happy to report that it's been another fantastic year at the movies, despite not being able to actually go to the movies. Throughout 2020, we got to see new work from visionary filmmakers like Spike Lee, David Fincher, Chloe Zhao, Regina King, Lee Isaac Chung, Emerald Fennell, and Oz Perkins, whose dark fairytale Gretel & Hansel is one of the most atmospheric and aesthetically pleasing horror movies of the year. We also witnessed great performances from Viola Davis, Delroy Lindo, Frances McDormand, Chadwick Boseman, Carey Mulligan, Riz Ahmed, Gary Oldman, Elisabeth Moss, and Steven Yeun. And we were left in awe by cinematic art like Mank, News of the World, The Midnight Sky, Emma – works of impeccable craftsmanship by the cinematographers, production designers, SFX artists, and costume designers alike.
"You can be poetic and you don't have to answer anything. You can make whatever you want. You have creative freedom [making a] short film." (-Taika Waititi) We love short films! Ever since this coronavirus pandemic shut down cinemas worldwide, we've been doing our best to keep sharing worthwhile film content every day. There aren't many new trailers yet, and Hollywood is waiting to figure out their next step, so I've been finding the best short films to feature as well. Every single weekday since March, FirstShowing has featured one new short film on the site. All of them are worth watching. But not everyone has time to watch all of them. So I've put together this post highlighting my 10 favorite recent short films to watch and enjoy anytime. Today, tomorrow. Bookmark this page and stop by whenever to watch all these shorts below.
Need some recommendations? Not sure what to watch tonight? Start with these! You never know where they might lead you… With everyone around the whole world staying at home during this coronavirus pandemic lockdown / quarantine, many have been spending the time watching / reading / listening to as many movies / books / albums as they can. Guillermo del Toro went on Twitter this week to encourage his filmmaker friends to speak up and speak up about what they've been watching, and reading, and listening to – as long as they're "things we love". He ended up getting a whole bunch of fascinating and intriguing responses from filmmakers including: Darren Aronofsky, Sarah Polley, Edgar Wright, Ari Aster, Brad Bird, Ava DuVernary, and a few others. We've compiled most of the responses below to peruse and add to your queue. Have a look.