HorseMoney

By Mark Peranson

The Cinema Scope Top Ten of 2014

1. Horse Money (Pedro Costa)

2. Adieu au langage (Jean-Luc Godard)

adieu au langage

3. P’tit Quinquin (Bruno Dumont)

4. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso)

5. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)

6. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)

7. The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid)

8. Maidan (Sergei Loznitsa)

9. Journey to the West (Tsai Ming-liang)

JourneytotheWest

10. From What Is Before (Lav Diaz)

Special mentions (in alphabetical order): Amour Fou (Jessica Hausner), Boyhood (Richard Linklater), Episode of the Sea (Van Brummelen & De Haan and the inhabitants of Urk, Netherlands), Force majeure (Ruben Östlund), Deux jours, une nuit (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne).

So, for the two people who have asked (and thanks, you know who you are), there we go: what must be the final Top Ten list of 2014, and an exemplar of slow criticism at its slowest. We don’t hash it out in a boardroom or even a chat room, just a straight-up tabulation of editorial preference (which at points diverges from my own preference, which I guess makes me a benevolent dictator). And now there’s no need to talk about lists for another 12 months. The only follow-up notes are that there was a rather large divide between the first four in the Top Ten and everything that followed, and, on the other hand, no significant difference between number ten and the five special mentions. (Make of this what you will.)

The-Forbidden-Room-Guy-Maddin

And now, to the more important matter at hand: a short reflection on this issue’s verbiage. We don’t go out of our way to pay special attention to Canadian cinema, as this is an international film magazine. However, when there is a work out there that hails from our barren, frigid hinterland (by the time you read this, I pray that winter has ended) and merits extensive coverage, why not go for it. So we’ve devoted a fair share of Issue 62 to a lengthy interview with Guy Maddin and his co-director Evan Johnson on their ballsy new collaboration, The Forbidden Room, fresh off screenings at Sundance and the Berlinale, where it opened the Forum. I would have asked even more questions of the gracious filmmakers (who provided us with ample photographic illustration), but I suppose we need to cover other films to be fair to the rest of the international community, who also premiered a few things at Sundance, Berlin, and Rotterdam. A number of those are also dealt with in these pages: see, for example, interviews with and features on Kidlat Tahimik, Rodney Ascher, Rick Alverson, Kevin Everson, and, yes, another Canadian (albeit an adoptive one who hasn’t received the attention he deserves as of yet), Luo Li.

There truly is no such thing as a bad Guy Maddin interview; a number of excellent ones have already appeared online, and I only hope that the one in the following pages provides a bit more insight into what the hell this film is about, and maybe a few jokes you haven’t read before. And, looking into the crystal ball, I wouldn’t be surprised if 12 months from now we’ll find at least one Canadian film on the world’s latest-arriving Top Ten list of 2015—and who knows what further red-and-white glories this year will bring? Until we meet again, live long and prosper.

Follow

Friend me on FacebookFollow me on TwitterRSS Feed

From the Magazine

  • Issue 84 Table of Contents

    INTERVIEWS *The Act of Living: GianfrancThe Act of Living: Gianfranco Rosi on Notturnoo Rosi on Notturno By Mark Peranson*Reconstructing Violence: Nicolás Pereda on Fauna By More →

  • The Act of Living: Gianfranco Rosi on Notturno

    “The night scares me so much,” confesses a courageous Yazidi pre-teen girl to a therapist, remembering the period when she and her younger sister were captured by ISIS. Anyone who was seen crying would be killed, they were told; it turned out to be a vacant threat, but the sisters were still beaten, and now they are attempting to exorcise their memories by drawing pictures of them. Does it help? We never find out. More →

  • Reconstructing Violence: Nicolás Pereda on Fauna

    There’s a point in nearly every Nicolás Pereda film when the narrative is either reoriented or upended in some way. In the past this has occurred through bifurcations in story structure or via ruptures along a given film’s docufiction fault line. Pereda’s ninth feature, Fauna, extends this tradition, though its means of execution and conceptual ramifications represent something new for the 38-year-old Mexican-Canadian filmmaker. More →

  • I Lost It at the Movies: Charlie Kaufman’s Antkind and I’m Thinking of Ending Things

    “It’s all planned, but it isn’t thought out,” wrote Pauline Kael in her review of A Woman Under the Influence (1974), a nifty bit of critical jiu-jitsu turning John Cassavetes’ much-theorized—and, during Kael’s reign at The New Yorker, much-derided—technique of spontaneous improvisation within a dramatic framework against him. More →

  • Open Ticket: The Long, Strange Trip of Ulrike Ottinger

    One of the most surprising things about Ulrike Ottinger’s new documentary Paris Calligrammes is how accessible it is. Some cinephiles may be familiar with Ottinger based on an 11-year period of mostly fictional productions that were adjacent to the New German Cinema but, for various reasons, were never entirely subsumed within that rubric. Others are quite possibly more aware of her later work in documentary, in particular her commitment to a radical form of experimental ethnographic cinema. More →