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"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.
Cinema lives on! "This is a very special tribe of people. Workers? Yes. But also believers: in the magic & the power of storytelling." -Helen Mirren. The 70th Berlin Film Festival (aka Berlinale) has wrapped up in Berlin, offering a bevy of fine films for cinephiles to enjoy and analyze. To recap the festival this year, I've put together a quick list of my six favorite films at Berlinale 2020 - a mix of documentaries and features. Last year, I only wrote about my favorite docs because everything else wasn't good, but this year I was happy to come across some marvelous narrative films that left a strong impression on me. And I have to mention these, along with my favorite docs, because I hope these films will break out of the festival circuit and reach audiences worldwide. They deserve that chance, and they deserve to be seen, give them a look when you can.
"Let Neptune strike ye dead Winslow! HAAARK!" Another year, another Top 10. And although we're already well into 2020, it's never too late to share this list. Better late than never, as they say! It's time to present my personal list of my Top 10 Favorite Films of 2019. I really wish I had more time to revisit all of these, and so many other films, but there's never enough time. Most of these I really wanted to see again before writing about them, but, I went with my gut feeling. With every film below, as soon as I finished watching it, I knew it would be on my Top 10. There is that feeling deep down that I have seen something extraordinary and I just know it won't be topped. And my final three, same as last year, I kept switching around because they're masterpieces. With that said, I am more than happy to reveal my faves, the films that left me floored.
The 2020 Sundance Film Festival has finally come to an end and to put a wrap on the fest and finalize our nearly two weeks of coverage, it's time to present our Best of the Fest list. I was able to see a total of 40 films across 10 days, but I couldn't catch everything and missed a few films getting lots of good buzz from critics (e.g. Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Kajillionaire, I Carry You with Me). I saw a good chunk of documentaries this year, so instead of separating docs and features, 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, fascinating, and thrilling features from all around the world. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind throughout the festival. Dive in.
Over the last 12 months, I've seen more than 125 new releases — that's over ten days in total spent watching movies — and I'm happy to report that it's been another exceptional year at the multiplex. This year, we got to see vital new work from visionary filmmakers like Bong Joon-ho, Martin Scorsese, Greta Gerwig, Quentin Tarantino, Jordan Peele, Lulu Wang, and Shin'ichirô Ueda, whose zombie comedy One Cut of the Dead is one of the most unique and refreshingly original horror movies of the year. We witnessed great performances from Awkwafina, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Eddie Murphy, Florence Pugh, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, and Adam Sandler. And we were all left in awe by stunning cinematic art like 1917, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and The Lighthouse – works of impeccable craftsmanship by the cinematographers, production designers, and costume designers alike.
With Legendary Pictures' Godzilla: King of the Monsters set to stomp its way into theaters on May 31st, I took it upon myself to put together a fun introductory guide for anyone looking to learn more about the long-running kaiju movie franchise. While I have enjoyed seeing superhero epics and other genre property hit the mainstream, I grew up a big fan of Godzilla, and have spent this past year going from enthusiast to pro on the famed monster and all that comes with it (follow me @AaronsPS4). Plenty of others may have a handle on some of the Godzilla basics: his main adversaries, and even some favorite entries from the 32-film Toho-produced series. Others may, unfortunately, only know Godzilla from his disastrous 1998 American feature (directed by Roland Emmerich), or purely the camp value associated with the series. So, I'm here to provide a crash course on the atomic beast, some of the more notable Godzilla films, and other related fun.
"Good cinema is good cinema." -Agnes Varda. Looking back at the 69th Berlin Film Festival this year, there honestly weren't that many great films. A few really stood out (like Golden Bear winner Synonyms), but in general the line-up was pretty dismal. Even the competition selection was mostly awful. I saw a total of 24 films over 10 days at Berlinale 2019, and looking back over them, my favorites were all documentaries. So to recap Berlinale this year, I put together a list of my 5 favorite docs which also happen to be 5 excellent films that are very much worth watching. It's always hard to convince people (anyone, really) to watch a documentary. So the least I can do is highlight my favorites and try to explain why they're good. If you have time, watch all five, but if not, at least watch one of them - I guarantee you'll be enriched by these fine films.
The 2019 Sundance Film Festival has finally come to an end and to put a wrap on the fest and finalize our nearly two weeks of coverage, it's time to present our Best of the Fest list. I was able to see a total of 44 films across 10 days, but I couldn't catch everything and missed a few films getting lots of good buzz from critics (e.g. The Souvenir, Them That Follow, Queen of Hearts, Monos). I saw around 12 documentaries this year, so instead of separating docs and features this year, I decided to present one big list of my 8 favorite films - a mix of docs and features. All of these films below are worth seeing, and I highly recommend seeking them out. I am so happy that Sundance continues to program some of the best films all year, as well as more innovative, unique, challenging, fascinating, and enchanting features from all over the world. Below are my favorites, the films that stuck with me and have remained on my mind throughout the festival. Let's dive in.