*The Land of the Unknown: Roberto Minervini on What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? By Jordan Cronk. “Poetry floats up in my memory like sailboats in the fog”:Alexei German’s Khrustalyov, My Car! By Daniel Witkin. With Forever Presence: Jonathan Schwartz (1973-2018). By Max Goldberg. *Soft and Hard: Claire Denis on High Life. By Adam Nayman.
The Cinema Scope Top Ten of 2015
1. Cemetery of Splendour (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
2. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)
3. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
4. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson)
5. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo)
6. Visit, or Memories and Confessions (Manoel de Oliveira)
7. Lost and Beautiful (Pietro Marcello)
8. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
9. The Treasure (Corneliu Porumboiu)
10. Kaili Blues (Bi Gan)
Special mentions: 88:88 (Isiah Medina); Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson); Carol (Todd Haynes); Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari); L’ombre des femmes (Philippe Garrel)
Now comes the time where I attempt to make order out of the semi-chaos, and have literally spent the last 20 minutes staring at the above list—surely by now the most anticipated Top Ten of the year, solely by virtue of it landing sometime in March (or, if you’re outside of North America, thanks to Canada Post, sometime in late spring…of 2017). Maybe I’m not clever enough, find the prospect of comparing films anathematic in general, or am just too tired and unmotivated, but the only element I could see linking these films is that they were all covered at some point in the magazine or the website over the last year; even more, each cover was devoted to one of the filmmakers above. I’d even go so far as to say that this list provides a few pleasant surprises and, I don’t think, any significant omissions.
That should be enough by way of explanation, other than to say, once again, it’s an editorial list which takes into account editors and perennial writers’ consideration, which means that it’s a list of films that no one person—yours truly included—would endorse a hundred percent. But I’ll take what I got here, as I’m shocked to realize that I like all of these films, some more than others, but hell, not sure you can get a better summary of where we are at in 2015 than this. Also, if you’ve got some time to spare, you should all watch The Knick.
A brief note regarding more pressing matters: what’s initially striking about this issue is the first inning lead-off trifeca of articles featuring that au courant filmmaking name of “Lewis”—a happy coincidence, sure, but one that should not be ignored. Parents, do you want your child to grow up to be a filmmaker? Name him or her “Lewis” or change your last name if you haven’t already. (Couldn’t find someone willing to write on Lewis Milestone or Joseph H. Lewis, suffice to say. OK, I didn’t really try.) It’s a bit of an old-timey moniker, sure…but so are we. (And hey, happy 90th birthday, Jer. I know you’re reading.) Speaking of happy coincidences, I hope you’ve noticed that this is Issue 66 of Cinema Scope, and Lewis Klahr’s new film just happens to be named Sixty Six, so how could we pass up on that somewhat devilish opportunity for a bit of artistic synergy.