A Year With Women: December 2015 in Films

What a year this was! I’m going to write a proper wrap up post for A Year With Women later today; this post is just to wrap up December. I crammed quite a few films into December as I saw the calendar days getting less and less, which led to quite some great discoveries, as well as viewing several films I’d been meaning to watch for years. As always, a list of everything I watched, plus some highlighted favorites can be found after the cut.


  1. Somewhere Only We Know
  2. Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List
  3. So Far from India
  4. India Cabaret
  5. The Laughing Club of India
  6. The Day the Mercedes Became a Hat
  7. 11’09’01 September 11: India
  8. Migration
  9. How Can It Be?
  10. The Summer of Sangaile
  11. A Very Murray Christmas
  12. Janis: Little Girl Blue
  13. Milk
  14. Dog
  15. Wasp
  16. Nénette et Boni
  17. Arthur Christmas
  18. The Wolfpack (2015)
  19. Sleeping with Other People
  20. Le meraviglie (The Wonders)
  21. The Girl in the Book
  22. Seven Women, Seven Sins
  23. Bleeding Heart
  24. Mustang
  25. A Case of You
  26. Exhibition
  27. A Christmas Melody
  28. Paris Is Burning
  29. Mixed Nuts (1994)
  30. Holy Smoke!
  31. Heart of a Dog
  32. Meadowland
  33. Le Bonheur
  34. Sans toit ni loi (Vagabond)
  35. Je Tu Il Elle
  36. Les rendez-vous d’Anna
  37. Persepolis
  38. The Ascent

1880s: 0
1890s: 0
1900s: 0
1910s: 0
1920s: 0
1930s: 0
1940s: 0
1950s: 0
1960s: 1
1970s: 3
1980s: 4
1990s: 6
2000s: 8
2010s: 16

A few of the 2015 releases I watched in December made it into my Favorite Fifteen Films of the Year post, so I’m not going to highlight them here. You should read that post if you want to know my thoughts on Mustang, Janis: Little Girl Blue and The Wolfpack. That said, I watched a lot of great films to end A Year With Women, and as always here were a few films that really resonated with me.

Nénette et Boni, 1996 (dir. Claire Denis)


I was lucky enough to see this gem from the 1990s on the big screen at the Cinefamily. A lot of films I watched this year were about teenage girls and I’m so grateful to discover so many films by women about teen girls, because they really get it. The titular duo is a brother and sister living in Marseille, going through some family angst. Besides its great lead performances, it has some delightfully wacky scenes with Vincent Gallo and Denis makes Marseille the city a character in and of itself.

Paris Is Burning, 1990 (dir. Jennie Livingston)


I saw part of this documentary many years ago when I was in fashion school, but somehow had never seen the whole thing. I’m so glad I finally remedied that! It’s such a beautiful film, full of hope and desire and anguish and perseverance. Set in the world of New York City’s ball culture in the 1980s, its main theme is about acceptance – both by society and of yourself, but it’s also about what we do to survive in a hostile world and the importance of self-care.

Le bonheur, 1965 (dir. Agnès Varda)


A candy-colored look at “happiness” in the form of romantic love and family units, Varda pull no punches in her commentary of French society and its inherent hypocrisy. I particularly love the ending sequence – which inspired many a conversation with my friends about what Varda was trying to say. Subversive cinema at its finest.

Je Tu Il Elle, 1974 (dir. Chantal Akerman)


I saw a bunch of different release dates for this film, so forgive me for choosing 1974 for this post! Akerman’s first feature films takes a lot of the themes of isolation that we see in her earlier shorts and expands on them. We follow a young woman as she starts in a self-imposed isolation in her stark apartment, writes and re-writes letters, picks up a truck driver, and has a tryst with what appears to be an ex-girlfriend. Although most notable for its explicit – yet never lurid, it definitely sets the tone for the singular style of Akerman’s later works.

Persepolis, 2007 (dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud)


I really have no idea what took me so lang to see this film, especially since Satrapi and Paronnaud’s follow-up film Chicken With Plums was one of my favorite films from 2011. Based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, the animated film follow Satrapi as she grows from a child in pre-revolution Iran, to her eventual decision to leave her country for good. Equal parts humorous and heartbreaking, this film is definitely a must-see.

So that was my December. Check back in a few hours as I post my end-of-the-year wrap-up for A Year With Women!

About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on January 1, 2016, in 2015 in Films and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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