Top 19 of 2017

2017 was, to put it mildly and flippantly, an utter oddity of a year in so many ways. When I look at my list, the overall quality of the films themselves was perhaps no poorer than in the monumental selections of the past two years, but there was a certain bewilderment, a malaise that put me at a distance. With the exception of Twin Peaks: The Return, there was practically no film where my love was not complicated in some way, and it seems equally due to the films as it is to the year at large.

The following list is formed from the reds, oranges, greens, and blues (plus a few more) that I have seen at time of writing that were commercially released in New York City in 2017. It is a snapshot rather than a permanent fixture.

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1. On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong Sang-soo)

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2. The Work (Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous)

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3. Faces Places (Agnès Varda & JR)

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4. Princess Cyd (Stephen Cone)

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5. Good Time (Josh & Benny Safdie)

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6. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (S.S. Rajamouli)

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7. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)

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8. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Noah Baumbach)

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9. Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson)

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10. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul W.S. Anderson)

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11. The Son of Joseph (Eugène Green)

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12. 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) (Robin Campillo)

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13. Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda)

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14. Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino)

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15. The Post (Steven Spielberg)

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16. Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro)

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17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson)

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18. The Human Surge (Eduardo Williams)

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19. Downsizing (Alexander Payne)

My Top 10 Discoveries During 2017 (for first-time viewings of films made before 2000)

  1. A Touch of Zen (1971, King Hu)
  2. The Terrorizers (1986, Edward Yang)
  3. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
  4. Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)
  5. A New Leaf (1971, Elaine May)
  6. Ashes of Time (1994, Wong Kar-wai)
  7. Surviving Desire (1991, Hal Hartley)
  8. Do the Right Thing (1989, Spike Lee)
  9. The Unbelievable Truth (1989, Hal Hartley)
  10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, Tobe Hooper)

2017 Film Poll “#2: Senses of Cinema”

Hypothetical ballot for the 2017 Senses of Cinema World Poll. Mostly based on 2017 New York City commercial releases.

1. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch)

2. On the Beach at Night Alone (2017, Hong Sang-soo)

3. Three Films From Ten Seconds Into the Future:
The Human Surge (2016, Eduardo Williams)
By the Time It Gets Dark (2016, Anocha Suwichakornpong)
Kékszakállú (2016, Gaston Solnicki)

4. Humanist Documentaries
The Work (2017, Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous)
Faces Places (2017, Agnès Varda & JR)

5. Independent Breakthroughs:
Princess Cyd (2017, Stephen Cone)
Good Time (2017, Josh & Benny Safdie)

6. Auteurist Franchise Works
Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017, S.S. Rajamouli)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016, Paul W.S. Anderson)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, Rian Johnson)

7. “American” Histories:
The Post (2017, Steven Spielberg)
Phantom Thread (2017, Paul Thomas Anderson)
The Lost City of Z (2016, James Gray)

8. Family Dramedys
Lady Bird (2017, Greta Gerwig)
The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017, Noah Baumbach)
The Son of Joseph (2016, Eugène Green)

9. French Sensuality:
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017, Robin Campillo)
Personal Shopper (2016, Olivier Assayas)
Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello)

10. Old Masters:
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (2017, Frederick Wiseman)
Song to Song (2017, Terrence Malick)

2017 Seattle Film Critics Society Nominations Ballot

Best Picture

  1. On the Beach at Night Alone
  2. Faces Places
  3. Princess Cyd
  4. Good Time
  5. The Post
  6. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  7. 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  8. Lady Bird
  9. Phantom Thread
  10. The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Best Director

  1. Josh & Benny Safdie, Good Time
  2. Bertrand Bonello, Nocturama
  3. Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge
  4. Steven Spielberg, The Post
  5. Paul W.S. Anderson, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

Best Actor

  1. Robert Pattinson, Good Time
  2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  3. Claes Bang, The Square
  4. Adam Sandler, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  5. Ben Stiller, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Best Actress

  1. Kim Min-hee, On the Beach at Night Alone
  2. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  3. Rebecca Spence, Princess Cyd
  4. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread
  5. Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  2. Robert Pattinson, The Lost City of Z
  3. Tim Robbins, Marjorie Prime
  4. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  5. Dustin Hoffman, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Elizabeth Marvel, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  2. Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime
  3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  4. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
  5. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck

Best Ensemble Cast

  1. Lady Bird
  2. 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  3. The Post
  4. Marjorie Prime
  5. Mudbound

Best Youth Performance

  1. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck
  2. Oona Laurence, The Beguiled
  3. Brooklynn Prince, The Florida Project
  4. Valeria Cotto, The Florida Project
  5. Ahn Seo-hyun, Okja

Best Villain

  1. The texter, Personal Shopper
  2. Fei and Lin, The Ornithologist
  3. Rose, Get Out
  4. Dr. Isaacs, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  5. James Murray, The Lost City of Z

Best Screenplay

  1. Hong Sang-soo, On the Beach at Night Alone
  2. Stephen Cone, Princess Cyd
  3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  4. Noah Baumbach, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  5. Matías Piñeiro, Hermia & Helena

Best Animated Feature

  1. Your Name.
  2. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

Best Documentary Feature

  1. Faces Places
  2. Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
  3. Starless Dreams
  4. Escapes
  5. Rat Film

Best Foreign Language Film

  1. On the Beach at Night Alone
  2. Faces Places
  3. 120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
  4. The Son of Joseph
  5. Nocturama

Best Cinematography

  1. Sean Price Williams, Good Time
  2. Darius Khondji, The Lost City of Z
  3. Janusz Kaminski, The Post
  4. [no credit], Phantom Thread
  5. Ed Lachman, Wonderstruck

Best Costume Design

  1. Phantom Thread
  2. Nocturama
  3. Princess Cyd
  4. Good Time
  5. Lady Bird

Best Film Editing

  1. Nocturama
  2. Wonderstruck
  3. Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
  4. Lady Bird
  5. Thirst Street

Best Original Score

  1. Oneohtrix Point Never, Good Time
  2. Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
  3. Carter Burwell, Wonderstruck
  4. Jon Brion, Lady Bird
  5. Bertrand Bonello, Nocturama

Best Production Design
N/A

Best Visual Effects
N/A