I honestly cannot believe this is the end of a decade. The 2010s have been a very transformative decade for me in almost every way possible. The one thing that has stayed with me is my love of cinema. I always have ups and downs with contemporary cinema, but this year I found several films that really spoke to me. So, as always, you can find my favorite fifteen films of the year after the cut. You can also see my whole list here.
In 2017 I saw 72 new releases, which I believe was a record number for me. This year I saw 117! I attribute this to several of this year’s new releases being Netflix films (so convenient, if not ideal) and MoviePass. Yes, MoviePass. I saw a few things I may have skipped in previous years because of MoviePass. For awhile I could watch one film a day via MoviePass and then see a second one that I paid for. This led to a lot more double features at the Midtown Art Cinema than in pervious years. Also last year I saw 32 new releases that were directed by women. This year I saw 59 new release films directed by women (170 in total, but I’ll write more about that in tomorrow’s end of the year post), which is half of the new release films I saw this year. I plan to at least keep up that ratio next year, if not do better. You can see all the new release (and festival) films I watched in 2018 and how I ranked them here. After the cut you’ll find my Favorite Fifteen Films, and as always I remind you that this is subjective and in no way should be considered a “best” list.
In 2017 I watched 72 new releases, mostly in movie theaters (I am a junkie) and while there were a few films I really hated, mostly I saw a lot of films I really enjoyed. I discovered a love for documentary cinema (I saw fourteen documentaries this year!). I watched 32 new release films directed by women (with my total new-to-me directed by women clocking in at 79 this year; more on that when I do my year-end review tomorrow). For the second year in a row my favorite film of the year was not directed by a woman, but as per tradition it was also a queer romance. I am pretty easy to please. As a final reminder, I am not a fan of the term best. Film is an art that allows the viewer to bring themselves in conversation with it, and therefore what each person sees in a film will be different from what anyone else sees. This is a list of favorites and why these films resonated so with me. There are some spoilers, so beware.
After last year’s A Year With Women I was apprehensive dipping my toes back into to the world of cinema directed by men. Luckily, one thing 2015 taught me was that I could skip movies that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy instead of seeing everything just to be part of the conversation (although I did see a few things this year that I thought I would hate for that very reason and then I hated them anyways; not happening in 2017, I swear!). Overall, there were lots of films released in 2016 that I truly loved. There are a few late released 2016 films that haven’t come to Atlanta yet that probably would have made this list, but I doubt any of them would dethrone my #1 favorite of the year. For the first time since 2012, my favorite film of the year was actually directed by a man. I am as shocked as you are! As always, you’ll find my favorite films of the year after the cut, as well as some brief thoughts.
As you probably remember, I spent 2015 only watching films directed by women (save for Noirvember, where I watched films that were written by women), and although I still have one new-to-me film I’m going to watch this afternoon, it’s time to post my favorite 2015 releases. Last year I watched 67 “new” releases; this year I watched 66 (and I missed/skipped a few films). People talk a lot about the small number of female directors working today, but the key thing is that they are working and we can support them. I live in Los Angeles, so I was able to see a lot of films that I know don’t make it to other markets, but I also watched a lot of these new releases on VOD – and that’s something you can do anywhere in the USA. I urge everyone to take up Women In Film – Los Angeles’ #52FilmsByWomen challenge in 2016 and put their money where their mouth is! That said, you can see all 66 new films I watched here and tomorrow I will be posting both an end-of-the-month wrap up for December and an end of the year post, so look out for those! And now, without further ado, here are my Favorite Fifteen Films of 2015!
Last year there were films I enjoyed, but mostly I was just really underwhelmed. This year, however, it was really hard to narrow it down to fifteen films. I think part of this was living in Los Angeles and being able to see those little films that only play for a week in some small theater. I’m so grateful to be able to do that! If you are interested in all of the 2014 releases I saw this year, you can check out the full list here.
I don’t know if I saw the wrong movies this year or if cinema just really let me down this year or maybe I’m just getting burned out, but I didn’t fall in love with movies as much this year as previous years. Last year was the same. I think the last year I saw a lot of movies that I truly loved was 2011 (and 2009. Boy, I loved 2009). That said, you can see all the 2013 releases I watched here and after the cut you can see the fifteen that rose to the top of my favor this year.
I really loved most of what I saw in 2011 (and actually my favorite film from 2011 I saw in 2012, but I will post more about that tomorrow). As for 2012, a lot of what I saw I felt kind of neutral about and a handful of films I downright hated (which is a rarity for me, really). I’m not sure what it was, but 2012 just didn’t live up to my expectations. That said, I did compile a list of fifteen films that I really loved. I wasn’t able to see Zero Dark Thirty or Amour before the end of the year, which I would have liked to have seen before compiling this list. Alas, they don’t open in San Francisco until after the new year. If you want to see all the 2012 releases I watched, you can do so here.
While, for me, 2011 was not as a great a year in cinema as 2009 (many of the films I loved from that year I didn’t get to see until Jan of 2010, but still), I found myself loving more films this year than I did last year. In fact, you may notice that although I claim this is a list of fifteen films, it in fact contains sixteen films. There is one tie and I will explain my choice when I get to it. Last year before the year ended I managed to watch 53 new releases; this year I saw 57 (which is kind of pitifully low when you consider how many new-to-me films I saw this year; but that’s neither here nor there and you have to wait until tomorrow to read about that cinematic odyssey). I want to point out that my top five films have not changed since October, but the ten (eleven) that follow have been shifted and adjusted many, many times since then. Probably when I rewatch those films late on this list might still evolve some. I also want to mention that there were at least two films that I wanted to see before the end of the year that I was not able to see (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn); as always, there is no way to know whether those films would have even made the list had I seen them, but I wanted to point out that I’ve yet to see them so that comments of “where is ***?!” didn’t ensue. Okay, enough chatter, on to the list.