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Best of the Fest - 10 Favorites from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up last week after returning to a 10-day in-person event in Utah running alongside an online counterpart. Now it's time to present our annual Best of the Fest list. I was able to catch a total of 50 films this year (my full list on Letterboxd), half of them at screenings in Park City, the other half virtual screenings. This is my 17th year in a row covering Sundance, and this fest still has a special place in my heart. It was so nice to be back again. I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of a few documentaries and narrative features. All 10 of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeing them on the big screen whenever they show up at your local theater. I also wrote another editorial about how much Sundance 2023 focused on discoveries & first-time filmmakers, returning to their roots as a launching ground for so many wonderfully talented storytellers. 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 fest.
› Posted on February 3 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Review, Sundance 23 | 1 Comment
Another Video Countdown of the Top 30 Films of 2022 by Sam Smith
Have you seen all of the best films of 2022 yet? Which of the most talked about films do you still need to watch? With the 95th Academy Awards ceremony just over a month away (on March 12th), there's still a bit of time to catch up with more of last year's top movies. Graphic designer Sam Smith put together his own Top 30 Films of 2022 video, inspired by David Ehrlich's annual project. This one isn't as elaborate or as complex as Ehrlich's creation, it's more of a straight forward video countdown - going through the 30 films one-by-one. It's only 3 minutes and features a few quick clips from each of his 30 favorites - some hidden gems on it, too. I always enjoy watching these kind of film videos mostly because it's fun to discover what's going to come next on his list. Did he love EEAAO?? Of course he did! Wow look how high up in the Top 10s the donkey film EO is! He definitely loved that one (the music in this vid is also from that film). View below.
› Posted on February 2 in Lists, Looking Back, To Watch | Comments
Our 10 Most Anticipated Films at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
It's January again, which means it's time for yet another Sundance Film Festival. After two years of only a virtual film festival, Sundance returns in 2023 to an in-person event in the snowy town of Park City, Utah. And we're back again! Ready to start watching, diving into the impressive line-up of films this year. This is my 17th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Packing in as many as I can catch. Out of the 100+ films showing at the 2023 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. For 2023, the fest is leaning heavily on unknown directors, first-time filmmakers, and gems with breakout potential. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before, but here's my early picks anyway.
› Posted on January 17 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 23 | Comments
Looking Back: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022 - Laundry & Taxes
"Of all the places I could be, I just want to be here with you." Another year, another Top 10. After watching over 400 films throughout 2022 (always logging everything on my Letterboxd) it's time to share my final selection of My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2022. 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 my favorites can come from anytime in 2022. The one that stuck with me all the way through the year was Everything Everywhere All at Once - I really believe it's an all-timer, on the same level as The Matrix in terms of its technical innovation and dynamic storytelling. I went to see it four times in theaters and I knew that nothing would knock it off the top spot. A few of my other faves are from the many film festivals I attend all year. Whatever really grabs me, connects deeply with me, brings out the emotions, and impresses me visually is usually what I fall for above all else.
› Posted on January 16 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Review | 1 Comment
Check This Out: A Beautifully Illustrated List of the Best Films of 2022
"The moment you said you loved me, your love had to end. The moment your love ended, my love began." Another year has come to an end, which means it's time to look back at the best films released over the last 12 months. Artist James Chapman, based in Manchester, UK, has just published his Top 20 Films of 2022 list on Twitter - by drawing a cute little illustration for each & every favorite film. I've been an avid follower of Chapman for a few years already (this isn't the first time he's done this) and I am a big fan of his artistic style. He draws and colors images in a little notepad and includes the pens & markers in the shot every time. I just think it's adorable to see all these unique illustration for all of these films - many of them are my faves, too (Decision to Leave and Everything Everywhere All at Once are in my Top 10). He created 23 images in total, and I've included the Top 12 films below to peruse. Click back over to his Twitter to see his entire list.
› Posted on December 30 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back | Comments
Take Just a Few Minutes to Watch - Our Favorite Short Films from 2022
Please watch more short films! FirstShowing has proudly supported and promoted short films for more than 10 years. We love shorts! Many of the very talented filmmakers working today got their start in Hollywood by launching with a short (e.g. Wes Ball with Ruin / Dan Trachtenberg with Portal: No Escape). As a year end recap looking back at 2022, I've listed 14 of my favorite short films below to give them some extra attention. Each one of these shots is embedded directly in the post via YouTube and they're worth a watch. All of them! Whichever one catches your eye, just click play and enjoy. Shorts are amazing because you can do anything - animation, sci-fi, musical, comedy, whatever comes to mind. From an awesome mashup like Uncharted vs Tomb Raider vs Indiana Jones to a lovely tribute with Volcano Pilot to an inspiring doc like Joe Buffalo to an amusing made-at-home sci-fi comedy like Black Hole. The creativity is off the charts! And they're a reminder a good story or a good idea can be impactful even within just a few minutes.
› Posted on December 23 in Lists, Looking Back, Short Film, To Watch | Comments
'Something in the Design' - Our 10 Favorite Movie Posters from 2022
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 2022. These aren't necessarily the "best" rather they're my own favorites that stuck with me. I'm not as much a fan of minimalism (like many of my designer colleagues) as I am a fan of striking imagery - using visuals to convey a feeling, a vibe, a message. It's not only about aesthetic, as it is how you position and place the images to tell a story. This is easier said than done, because you can't just slap a character on the poster and call it today (this happens way too often). These 10 posters stuck with me as compelling, eye-catching, creative designs that really make me want to watch every one of the films. Check them out below.
› Posted on December 21 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Posters | 1 Comment
Our Top Picks: The 7 Best Netflix Feature Films from 2022 to Watch
It's that time of year again: where families get together for massive feasts, the sun goes down way too early, snow sprinkles the land with its softness, and we all cuddle under blankets watching the best movies and TV series. But what to watch? It happens to everyone, over and over – you spend more time browsing Netflix deciding what to watch then you do actually watching whatever it is you eventually settle on. So here's a list of our Top 7 Picks from Netflix to add to your queue now, so you won't have to waste more time deciding what to watch. These seven films are verified as some of the best films released by Netflix this year. Other 2022 favorites aren't out just yet – Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio (on Netflix starting December 9th) and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (on Netflix starting December 23rd). Until then, we highly recommend watching any (or all!!) of the films below and choosing wisely when you browse Netflix this holiday season.
Alex's 8 Favorite Films at the Invigorating 2022 Venice Film Festival
Each year, I am honored to have a chance to return to the beautiful city of Venice in Northern Italy to attend the Venice Film Festival and catch the latest films premiering there. This year's festival is now finished, so it's time to present my picks of my favorite films from Venice 2022. This was my sixth year in a row back to Venice, I even stopped by back in 2020 during the pandemic as I didn't want to miss it. In total, I watched around 26 films at Venice this year, and while it wasn't the most memorable line-up despite some all-timers, I'm always glad to have the chance to watch all these films anyway. The fest kicked off with Noah Baumbach's latest, White Noise (watch the trailer) adapted from Don DeLillo's novel, which bites off more than it can chew though it's still an entertaining film. The festival runs for a full 10 days and I'm watching as much as I can while I'm there, though I can't see everything and I'm trying to avoid the worst films anyway.
› Posted on September 22 in Feat, Lists, Venice 22 | 1 Comment
Cannes 2022 Recap: 10 Best Films of the Fest - Mountains & Murder
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 75th Cannes Film Festival, after 35 screenings, it's time to present my 2022 list of my Top 10 Favorite Films. This was my 12th year back to this festival, and I still enjoy being there right in the middle of all the craziness and all the crowds and all the hype about new cinema. It's a rush! Every time. And yet there's always more to see, always more to take our breath away. 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. It might not have been the best year at Cannes, most of the films were rather mediocre, but I am still glad I could discover a number of gems. This is my final recap of Cannes 2022 - don't miss any of the films below.
Sundance 2022: Alex's 10 Favorite Films - The Best of the 2022 Festival
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.
› Posted on February 3 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 22 | 1 Comment
Sundance 2022: 10 Most Anticipated Films at This Year's Online Fest
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.
› Posted on January 19 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 22 | Comments
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