By Mark Peranson

Uncut Gems

The Cinema Scope Top Ten of 2019

1. I Was at Home, But… (Angela Schanelec)

2. Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa)

3. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello)

4. Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie)

5. Liberté (Albert Serra)

6. Heimat Is a Space in Time (Thomas Heise) 

7. Parasite (Bong Joon Ho)

8. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)

9. Synonyms (Nadav Lapid)

10. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)

Special Mentions: Ne croyez surtout pas que je hurle (Frank Beauvais); Present.Perfect. (Zhu Shengze); State Funeral (Sergei Loznitsa); The Traitor (Marco Bellocchio); Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello)

The Cinema Scope Top Ten of the 2010s

1. Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch)

2. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

3. Zama (Lucrecia Martel)

4. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel)

5. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade)

6. L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close) (Bertrand Bonello)

7. Adieu au langage (Jean-Luc Godard)

8. Horse Money (Pedro Costa)

9. Tabu (Miguel Gomes)

10. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)

Special Mentions: The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien); Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami); Holy Motors (Leos Carax); L’inconnu du lac (Alain Guiraudie); Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu)

And so goes the decade, and perhaps all of humanity as we know it—it was fun while it lasted. As a supplement to the Top Ten lists published here, which semi-scientifically summarize the privately expressed preferences of our regular contributors, I decided to do something a little different to glance back at the past ten years. By the time of publication you can find numerous examples of excellent writing on all of the films in our decade-end list, both in previous issues of Cinema Scope and also in other publications, in print and online, on the occasion of revisiting the past ten bountiful years in cinema. 

So I came up with the benignly nationalistic idea of focusing on what transpired in Canadian cinema over the past decade, but with a twist. After a general survey by Adam Nayman focusing especially on the new talent that emerged from within our borders, you will find short essays by 11 of these filmmakers—plus Canada’s principal cinephile director Atom Egoyan, because I’m always interested in what Atom has to say about cinema. With no editorial guidance, each person was asked to choose an active international filmmaker to write on whose work inspired or influenced them over the past decade. I’m happy to say that the resulting tributes are an idiosyncratic bunch, and include some names you won’t find on many other lists. I only wish we had room for more of these essays, but duty calls in the form of known auteurs like Tsai Ming-liang and Heinz Emigholz, names to watch such as Camilo Restrepo and Luis López Carrasco, and everything else we’ve given you over the past ten years and will continue to provide, coronavirus pending. 

Tagged with →  


Friend me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterRSS Feed

From the Magazine

  • Cinema Scope 83 Table of Contents

    Interviews *DAU. Diary & Dialogue. Part One: A Living World, by Jordan Cronk The Land Demands Your Effort: C.W Winter (and Anders Edström) on The More →

  • The Land Demands Your Effort: C.W Winter (and Anders Edström) on The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)

    Though the process of watching the onset of life’s end yields gut-wrenching moments, some recorded, some reconstructed, it makes little sense to extract one scene from the whole picture, as the film’s ultimate strength lies in its refusal to privilege, well, anything: an image of a tree means as much as a visit to an onsen, three people walking in the dark, a farmer hoeing her land, or a black screen with no image at all, only an intricately composed soundscape (as the quote introducing the film reads, “Until the moment you are dead you can still hear”). Make no mistake: though mortality is front and centre, this is a salute to the possibilities provided by cinema, a celebration of life. More →

  • DAU. Diary & Dialogue. Part One: A Living World

    At the press conference for the premiere of DAU. Natasha at this year’s Berlinale, director Ilya Khrzhanovsky pre-empted questions regarding the controversial methods involved in the realization of his 14-year passion project—collectively known as DAU—by contrasting the experiences of his actors with the everyday lives of their Soviet-era characters. “All the feelings [depicted in the film] are real,” he said, “but the circumstances are not real in which these feelings happen. More →

  • The Math of Love Triangles: Athina Rachel Tsangari’s Trigonometry

    The most arresting image in the new BBC Studios series Trigonometry (airing in the US this summer on HBO Max and in Canada on CBC Gem) comes in the fifth episode, when restaurateur Gemma (Thalissa Teixeira), in the middle of a difficult Nordic honeymoon getaway with her new husband Kieran (Gary Carr), goes on an evening field trip to see the Northern Lights. As Kieran sulks back at the hotel, she gazes up at a display that imbues the uncanny sensation—for the character, as well as the audience—of a planetarium-show special effect despite its you-are-there authenticity. More →

  • In Search of the Female Gaze

    The trope of a woman removing her glasses to suddenly reveal her great beauty is as familiar as it is eye-roll-inducing. She never looks that different, but her status as an erotic object changes immediately and immensely. A classic example is Dorothy Malone as a bookstore clerk in The Big Sleep (1946), but more recently there is Rachel Leigh Cook descending the stairs to the saccharine sounds of “Kiss Me” in She’s All That (1999). Give up your active gaze, this convention seems to say, and you will be alluring. More →