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Alex's 8 Favorite Films at the Invigorating 2022 Venice Film Festival

Venice Film Festival - Top 10

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.

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 Posted on September 22 in Feat, Lists, Venice 22 | 1 Comment

Cannes 2022 Recap: 10 Best Films of the Fest - Mountains & Murder

Cannes 2022 - Best Films of the Fest

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.

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 Posted on June 3 in Cannes 22, Feat, Lists, Review | 1 Comment

Sundance 2022: Alex's 10 Favorite Films - The Best of the 2022 Festival

Sundance 2022 Best of the Fest

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.

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 Posted on February 3 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 22 | 1 Comment

Sundance 2022: 10 Most Anticipated Films at This Year's Online Fest

Sundance 2022 Most Anticipated

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.

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 Posted on January 19 in Feat, Indies, Lists, Sundance 22 | Comments

Looking Back: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021 - 'Dune' & 'Limbo'

Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021

"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.

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 Posted on January 17 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Review | 2 Comments

Looking Back: Our 10 Favorite Movie Posters from 2021 - Dig This Art

Our 10 Favorite Movie Posters

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.

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 Posted on December 29 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Posters | 1 Comment

Watch This: LWL's Video Countdown of The 30 Best Films of 2021

The 30 Best Films of 2021

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?"

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 Posted on December 22 in Feat, Lists, To Watch | Comments

Best of the Fest - 6 Favorite Films from the 2021 Venice Film Festival

2021 Venice Film Festival

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.

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 Posted on September 22 in Feat, Lists, Review, Venice 21 | Comments

Cannes 2021 Finale: My 10 Favorite Films from the Summer Festival

Cannes 2021 Favorite Films

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.

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 Posted on July 21 in Cannes 21, Feat, Lists, Review | Comments

Looking Back: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2020 - 'Nine Days' at #1

Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2020

"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.

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 Posted on February 26 in Feat, Lists, Looking Back, Review | 1 Comment

Sundance 2021: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films - Best of the 2021 Festival

Sundance 2011 - Favorites

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.

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 Posted on February 11 in Feat, Lists, Review, Sundance 21 | 2 Comments

Looking Back: Adam Frazier Picks His Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2020

Adam's Top 10 of 2020

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.

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 Posted on January 4 in Lists, Looking Back, Review | 7 Comments

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