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. 

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