Films of 2020 (and 2019)

Blogpost, Coyote, Film reviews, Kin, Reviews, Television, The New Hope 2, Uncategorized

I did not do a Films of the Year of 2019. At the time, I thought that it would involve some distasteful self-promotion, by which I mean that at times I think that to blog at all is mere self-promotion, as well as possibly a masturbatory practice in that no one cares to know my thoughts on films (and so why do it in public?).

All the same, with that fear put aside for the time being, I am doing a kind of ’round-up’ of films that I saw for the first time in 2020, which will include those that I thought were most strong, and some other thoughts/observations, which will range from being about my viewing habits to things that I noticed/thought/liked/disliked. This might make this post a bit random, and at times a work of ‘mere opinion’. I hope that this is okay.

On a further note, I also include a lot of the short films that I saw this past year, but not all of them. And the list includes for the first time a number of the television/streaming shows that I saw.

And so it is that I saw 468 films for the first time in 2020. I thought that this was a lot, but looking back on 2019, I notice that in that year I saw 454 films for the first time, and in 2018, I saw 407. So while there has been a slight increase, the number of films remains roughly consistent. And if we wanted to put the increase down to anything, it would be a result of the increased amount of time spent at home/not interacting with others as a result of COVID-19.

The massive sea change that has taken place, though, is the reduction in the number of films that I have seen at the cinema, and the large increase in the number of films that I have seen online. For, in 2020, I saw a ‘mere’ 47 films at the cinema (compared to 237 in 2019), while also seeing 11 on DVD/file (21 in 2019), 13 on television and/or PayTV (0 in 2019), and 11 on aeroplanes (17 in 2019). All of these are dwarfed by the 386 films that I saw online (compared to 179 in 2019).

I do not include in my list of films the movies that I watched as part of the fabulous Small File Media Festival, run by, among others, Laura U Marks of Simon Fraser University. Many of these were micro-films of barely a minute in duration.

But while there is surely much more to say about those films than the mere mention that I give to them here, evoking the Small File Media Festival also allows me to mention how Marks has been charting/estimating the carbon footprint of watching films in high definition and/or 4K at home – and the numbers are not pretty.

I am not sure how home consumption of films compares to theatrical consumption, but overall the former will be more detrimental to the planet per person, since far fewer people attend home screenings than do (at least in principle) theatrical screenings. That is, home viewing is far more energy intense, and thus likely involves a bigger carbon footprint.

As we continue to watch movies at home as a result of the pandemic, and as viewing habits perhaps shift permanently away from theatres (a trend that was already taking place, but which now has intensified as a result of COVID-19), then bearing this issue in mind must be of great importance… and you can read some of Professor Marks’ work on calculating and mitigating your streaming carbon footprint here.

Where normally I just keep a list of films and their directors, this year I have also kept a note of their year and primary country of production (many are co-productions, but I basically have gone by the first named country if indeed a given film is a co-production).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of films that I saw were from the 2010s (259 films), with films from the 2020s coming also perhaps an obvious second (113 films). [It stands to reason that I saw more films from 2019 in 2020 than I saw films from 2020, because there is/will always be a lag between production and distribution/exhibition.)

I otherwise saw 19 films from the 2000s, 16 films from the 1990s, 15 films from the 1980s, 20 films from the 1970s, 8 films from the 1960s, 8 films from the 1950s, 0 films from the 1940s, 3 films from the 1930s, 2 films from the 1920s, and 2 films from the 1910s.

This clear bias for contemporary films seems a shame to me, not least because, ultimately, I feel I watched a lot of crap this year, especially some thoroughly mediocre films that seemed to merit my attention because streaming, when I likely would not have watched such films had I the usual choice of work in theatres.

To assert the latter – that I typically have a strong selection of films in theatres – bespeaks how lucky I am that London is/has become a major film hub – and the pandemic has only made me miss institutions like the ICA, the BFI, and others, as playing a key role in my life. Furthermore, places like the Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image (BIMI) are clearly of great value culturally both to me and to the city in general, and I should highlight Timité Bassori’s La femme au couteau (Côte d’Ivoire, 1969) as one of the true pleasures that I had at the theatre in 2020 – and which I saw at BIMI.

If London is a major film hub, it also in 2020 became no longer my home, as I moved from the UK to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, in order to live with my partner, who at the start of the pandemic discovered that she was pregnant, about which more later.

Being in Vancouver during the Canadian equivalent of lockdown (not as prolonged or intense as in London) has meant that I have not discovered the city or its cinemas as much as I would like, and perhaps it is unfair to say straight off that Vancouver does not seem to have the diversity of offerings that London does (with Paris having an even greater diversity than London), because I may yet discover (and/or be part of!) a range of offerings hitherto unknown to me.

That said, I have attended in 2020 (and on earlier visits) screenings at both the University of British Columbia and Marks’ Simon Fraser University, and which have featured films that I might not otherwise see in regular theatres, this year including Jeff Barnaby’s Blood Quantum (Canada, 2020), a noteworthy post-apocalyptic zombie film in which First Nations inhabitants are immune to, and enjoy killing off those zombified by, the plague of the living dead.

I shall come back to First Nations films in a bit, but I might also mention how I have ventured to the VIFF Centre and the Cinemathèque also in Vancouver, seeing in particular the Dardenne Brothers’ Le jeune Ahmed (Belgium/France, 2019) at the latter, and I hope that in the fullness of time these can become firm favourites, with other independent theatres like the Rio similarly having given me the opportunity to see things like Les Misérables (Ladj Ly, France, 2019) and Fantastic Fungi (Louie Schwartzberg, USA, 2019).

What is more, since Vancouver enjoys a large Asian population, it seems clear that one can also see a range of Asian films at the cinema, as was the case for me this year with Feng Xiaogang’s Only Cloud Knows (China, 2019) and Yellow Rose (Diane Paragas, Philippines/USA, 2019).

In addition to the VIFF’s physical VanCity theatre, the VIFF (Vancouver International Film Festival) was also online this year, and, buying a festival pass, I surely got to see a good number of newer films that otherwise I might not have seen.

Perhaps needless to say, the shift to online film festivals this year means that in addition to VIFF and the Small File Media Festival, I have also enjoyed offerings from various other places, perhaps most notably the We Are One Festival on YouTube, a joint venture between 21 different fleshworld festivals, and which, in 2020 at least, offered up a range of non-premiere (or rarely premiere) work, but which nonetheless made for some good experiences, for example Fradique’s Ar condicionado (Angola, 2020).

I lamented above that I feel like I have watched more ‘crap’ in 2020 because alternative work is not showcased. And yet, since the internet is supposed to have everything that you could look for, it seems odd that I might say this. For surely there is nowhere that is as diverse as the internet for finding films.

And yet, what seems/seemed clear to me with a renewed intensity in 2020 is the importance of gatekeepers and curators. I have followed up on and chased down all manner of films in 2020, viewing stuff via the usual suspects (Netflix, Amazon Prime, MUBI), as well as taking out at least temporary subscription to places like OVID (and then leaving after seeing most of the content that appealed to me, and which I had not seen before; in particular this included being able to see Wang Bing’s monumental documentary, Dead Souls, China, 2018; Hôtel Terminus: Klaus Barbie, sa vie et son temps, Marcel Ophuls, USA, 1988; some shorter work by John Akomfrah; and finally the third part of Patricio Guzmán’s Battle of Chile, Chile/Cuba/Venezuela, 1979). I have also benefited from an institutional subscription to Kanopy, while of course also watching films on Vimeo, including Vimeo on Demand, and YouTube, including films released via YouTube/Google. This is not to mention various other online archives, nor iTunes, to which I equally turn on occasion if the title is right.

But across all of these, I have been browsing and/or tracking down titles. That is, I read about a film via a news story or what have you, and then I need to go and find out where to see it. Or, conversely, I hear that a.n. cinema, gallery, university or other is hosting an online screening of x or y film, and so I go to that venue for a single visit.

What to me seems clearly missing, however, is a single venue where one can go for the latest arthouse releases. MUBI comes closest to this, but a lot of the material that it shows is ‘archival’ (i.e. not new). Don’t get me wrong; I love MUBI, but it is not the same as the ICA, where three or four times a week I could physically watch a new film, generally ‘arthouse,’ and basically I’d trust that it would be halfway decent or worth watching because the ICA had decided to program it.

The VIFF may come to be closest to that in Vancouver, especially as it tries to rollout its festival year round. But even then, I think that its programming is less adventurous than that of the ICA going by what was selected for this year’s festival (much as I appreciated what I did see at the VIFF this year).

Now, I am not trying to sound ‘arsey’ or pompous by saying that the ICA hosts ‘arthouse’ films. But I mention its programming/curation specifically because I am not lacking for mainstream films online. Netflix and Prime both have their own productions, as well as hosting films from other studios, while HBO Max, iTunes, Optic, Disney+ and other venues allow me to see the full range of mainstream movies, even as studios have been withholding a lot of titles as they work out whether or not theatres are a safe option.

I will always be able to see those bigger movies. But being able to see a full world of cinema… that is what seems lacking, and a site that brings together and hosts the latest in world cinema – a bit like what MUBI is doing now, but with an emphasis on the contemporary – is what I think I miss most sorely about the ‘new normal’ of majority-online film viewing. Hunting for films can be fun; but time also becomes an issue – and especially if one has to take out a new subscription to a site, meaning that in addition to the one film that one wants to watch, one feels obliged to watch other material on that site… perhaps simply because it is there.

The issue of access to world cinema becomes clear to me when I consider where the films come from that I saw in 2020. The ‘medal table’ is as follows (with, for the sake of simplicity, co-productions being defined by the first named country only):-

USA172
UK39
Canada21
China21
Japan20
France19
Brazil13
Taiwan11
East Kurdistan10
Germany9
North Kurdistan9
Australia8
India8
Italy7
Hong Kong5
Philippines5
Argentina4
Denmark4
South Africa4
Sweden4
Austria3
Belgium3
Egypt3
Hungary3
Mexico3
Norway3
South Korea3
Chile2
Czechoslovakia2
Iran2
Ireland2
Lebanon2
New Zealand2
Spain2
Uruguay2
Angola1
Bhutan1
Cape Verde1
Colombia1
Costa Rica1
Côte d’Ivoire1
Cuba1
DRC1
Finland1
Georgia1
Ghana1
Guinea-Bissau1
Iceland1
Jamaica1
Kenya1
Kosovo1
Lesotho1
Lithuania1
Malaysia1
Netherlands1
Nicaragua1
Palestine1
Poland1
Portugal1
Puerto Rico1
Qatar1
Romania1
Russia1
Rwanda1
Saudi Arabia1
South Kurdistan1
Turkey1
Uganda1
Venezuela1
Vietnam1
West Kurdistan1

Broken down into regions, I have seen films as follows (with there being some overlap and repetition below across Africa, MENA and Asia):-

North America – 193
Europe – 111
Asia – 76
Latin America & Caribbean – 31
Kurdistan – 21
Africa – 14
MENA – 11
Oceania – 10

(I wish to note that Kurdistan has a separate entry here because I was a juror for the London Kurdish Film Festival 2020, and so saw various films from the Kurdish region(s).)

While I think that the numbers of films that I have seen from Asia and perhaps also Latin America are respectable, it seems clear that online film viewing, especially with what the major streaming services offer (and even more especially with how difficult it is to search through them for non-western fare), is an overwhelmingly Eurocentric affair.

I am ashamed that I have only seen two Iranian films this year (including one short), and I am also appalled that I have only managed 1 Russian film. I feel like I normally see much more from, say, Portugal, Romania, Spain, South Korea, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico in a given year, even as this year has been (relatively) good for my viewing of Taiwanese, Brazilian, Japanese and Canadian films.

And so while I love it that Netflix randomly had the back catalog of Youssef Chahine turn up among its titles this year (accounting for 2 of the 3 Egyptian movies I saw in 2020), and while I know that I can find archives of Korean (and probably Russian, Argentine, and Mexican films) online, it is the fact that these are not brought together that leads to the imbalances. If you will, I guess I want/need someone to take care of my movie diet for me – hence my emphasis on the importance of curation/programming – rather than me having to source everything myself.

Indeed, a case in point would be the Iranian movies. This year I bought a subscription to IMVBox, and so in principle I can see as many Iranian films as I want – from classics to more recent ones. However, I have not seen a single film yet via this service. In part, this is because I continue to get sidetracked into watching ‘crap’ on Netflix, and so mea culpa.

But it also is due to the fact that having to get to yet another website, and then having to browse it to find something that I want to watch (from among IMVBox’s own swathes of ‘crap’ – with all due respect to Iranian filmmakers) just becomes too much work to do.

I understand that this is a First World problem (how can one get more ‘First World’ than complaining about one’s lack of access to work from the ‘developing world’?). But in order to address the hegemony of the West, and in order to resist the general ‘crap’ that Netflix and Amazon Prime put out there, there needs to be a site that brings together the best in world cinema.

FestivalScope is perhaps the site that is the beacon of hope for this, and I have watched a decent number of films on that site. But a) it is not a site that is readily accessible, in that one has to demonstrate a connection to the professional film world, and b) its selection is wonderful, but it also regularly very ‘dour’, it contains a large number of films, and there is no internal curation to help you pick them apart with any particular ease. Perhaps the perfect site would be a hybrid of the curational stye of MUBI – mixing ‘high’ and ‘low’ – and the emphasis on the contemporary of FestivalScope (and in some respects similar sites like DAFilms).

At this point, I might also mention how Dr Leshu Torchin at the University of St Andrews in some way stepped up to this would-be plate by (meta-)curating a series of playlists, in many instances of movies to be found online, and which did indeed spark a great deal of enjoyment for me.

While my viewing has been dominated by western films in 2020, I might say that from within these spaces, I have nonetheless watched a lot of what we might call ‘decolonising’ cinema. In part this was spurred by the efforts of places like the Criterion Channel in making available classic African-American films in the wake of the revitalised Black Lives Matter movement after the murder of George Floyd, and also as a result of the concerted effort by VIFF to programme First Nations movies. I should perhaps also here mention how I saw a few First Nations films at the Cinema at the End of the World symposium organised by Dr Mila Zuo at UBC in February, where I saw the afore-mentioned Blood Quantum.

Some of the First Nations films are, dare I say it, hit and miss; I did not personally care for VIFF’s opener, Monkey Beach (Loretta Todd, Canada, 2020), nor The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw (Shelley Niro, Canada, 2019), which screened at the Cinema at the End of the World.

The latter in particular is about a woman who has just turned 25, and so its title is mathematically ‘off’, in that the film is about Mitzi’s 26th year, and not her 25th. However, such pedantry on my part does lead me to wonder that my insistence on mathematics misses the ‘untimeliness’ of the First Nations movie, in the sense of considering the western world from an outsider’s perspective, as well as my imposition on to the film of my own ‘mathematical’ and western sense of measurement and calculation.

It has been contested that the world ended for Native Americans many centuries ago, in that the arrival of white settlers marked an apocalypse of genocide, illness and displacement. Now that the white west is worried about the ‘end of the world’ as our ecology collapses, what really is revealed is its ongoing delusion that its own experience is universal. As we reach a world of ‘aftermath,’ then, perhaps it is the ‘aftermathematics’ of Mitzi Bearclaw that is what we need, but I am too stymied by my ‘mathematical’ thinking to let this be so.

And so it is with the ‘cheesey’ aesthetics of Monkey Beach and Mitzi Bearclaw. I find the films mawkish, and much prefer the more austere offerings of, say, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open (Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn, Canada/Norway, 2019), or the historical dramatisation of real-world events depicted in Beans (Tracey Deer, Canada, 2020). But again, this is perhaps my own prejudice at work, and maybe we need the ‘sweet’ style of these films in order to accomplish a better world.

As it was a great pleasure to watch a number of films by indigenous filmmakers, including from Canada, the USA and Brazil (for example, Apiyemiyeki?, Ana Vaz, Brazil/France/Portugal/Netherlands, 2020 – a film mentioned by various others in their Films of the Year lists), so was it also a great pleasure to watch various landmarks and forgotten pieces of Black American cinema – with numerous being excellent, including (in chronological order): The Girl from Chicago (Oscar Micheaux, USA, 1932), Lying Lips (Oscar Micheaux, USA, 1939), The Story of the Three Day Pass (Melvin Van Peebles, France, 1968), Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (William Greaves, USA, 1968), Watermelon Man (Melvin Van Peebles, USA, 1970), The Spook Who Sat by the Door (Ivan Dixon, USA, 1973), Abar: Black Superman (Frank Packard, USA, 1977), Bush Mama (Haile Gerima, USA, 1979), Cane River (Horace B. Jenkins, USA, 1982), Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, USA, 1982), Bless Their Little Hearts (Billy Woodberry, USA, 1983), The Killing Floor (Bill Duke, USA, 1984), She’s Gotta Have It (Spike Lee, USA, 1986), Sidewalk Stories (Charles Lane, USA, 1989), New Jack City (Mario Van Peebles, USA, 1991), Menace II Society (The Hughes Brothers, USA, 1993), Surviving The Game (Ernest R Dickerson, USA, 1994) and Down in the Delta (Maya Angelou, USA, 1998).

These joined a few recent landmark achievements in Black American cinema that I got to see, including Strong Island (Yance Ford, USA/Denmark, 2017), Queen & Slim (Melina Matsoukas, USA/Canada, 2019), The Forty-Year-Old Version (Radha Blank, USA, 2020), Time (Garrett Bradley, USA, 2020) and The Sleeping Negro (Skinner Myers, USA, 2021).

Indeed, I would place The Sleeping Negro and Time as two of my top top films of the year, with Skinner Myers’ film in particular being a revelation. Having seen the film somewhat by chance, I can only recommend that viewers seek it out; and I might add that one place to see it that I know of is at the forthcoming Slamdance Film Festival.

On this topic, I might note that the UK also had a strong year for Black film and television production, with I May Destroy You (Micaela Coel, UK/USA, 2020) being perhaps the stand-out television show, and Steve McQueen’s Mangrove (UK, 2020) and Lovers Rock (UK, 2020) also being superb. Alongside these I might recommend Remi Weekes’ His House (UK, 2020), as well as Onyeka Igwe’s short experimental piece, The Names Have Changed Including My Own and Truths Have Been Altered (UK, 2020).

Furthermore, I would like also to make a special mention for Juliet Ellis’ Ruby (UK, 2020), which is an extraordinary film made for £20,000 about a young girl and her seemingly sleeping mother, and which was made in Sheffield and Cleethorpes, having been rejected by funding bodies for having ‘no commercial value.’ For me, it is the best British film of the year, and also in my top top movies. The sort of cinema that really needs to be preserved and encouraged.

In addition to Black British and Black American films, I also managed to catch a few Asian American movies and shows, with Wayne Wang’s Chan Is Missing (USA, 1982) being for me a wonderful masterpiece.

And another underdog production worth lauding is Congolese rapper Baloji’s Zombies (DRC/Belgium, 2019), which in its short running time shows as much innovation and ideas as, say, Black is King (Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Emmanuel Adjei, Ibra Ake, Blitz Bazawule, Kwasi Fordjour, USA, 2020).

Perhaps predictably, the UK also produced one of the worst films that I have seen about race in 2020, namely Darragh Carey and Bertrand Desrochers’ A Brixton Tale (UK, 2020), which reproduces some of the worst myths about Blackness, and which sees a completely unrealistic Brixton fetishised through a white girl’s lens as exotic and gritty.

And while I don’t typically like to bad-mouth any film production, since I know from experience how hard it is to make a film and also how hard it is to control a film’s production, I mention this because I have noted that A Brixton Tale has also been selected this year for Slamdance.

The point I wish to make, then, is that for all of the good work that the Slamdance programmers have done in selecting The Sleeping Negro, which is perhaps the best film that I saw in 2020, that they select alongside it a film as inept in its treatment of racial politics as A Brixton Tale only goes to show that festival programmers sometimes do not have the wherewithal to know what they are looking at, with their ability to pick films about pressing issues such as race being as good as chance, rather than based on any astute analytical skills. And I would consider Slamdance to be a major festival. Given how many entries festivals get these days, and given how few films ultimately Slamdance is screening, it seems particularly a poor choice to screen such a film, thereby undoing the good work of selecting The Sleeping Negro, and indeed undermining their own claims to be making meaningful or progressive contributions to cinematic discussions of race.

I have situated the prominence of Black film in the UK and the USA alongside the resurgence of Black Lives Matter in the wake of the death of George Floyd. This is not to overlook films from other parts of the world that deal with race (for me, two of note that I saw in 2020 are Khalik Allah’s Black Mother, Jamaica/USA, 2018, and Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela, Portugal, 2019). But I might also mention that following the angry-making execution of death row inmate Brandon Bernard, Destin Daniel Cretton’s Just Mercy (USA, 2019) also seems a film to have taken on a renewed timeliness.

And 2020 cannot but be remembered for the passing of, among others, Chadwick Boseman. Seeing him play a ghost in in Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee, USA, 2020) was indeed chilling, even as that was one of several films and shows to give the Vietnamese pretty short shrift in 2020 (Watchmen, Damon Lindelof, USA, 2020, being another case in point, much as I otherwise enjoyed it). While his soliloquy against god in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (George C. Wolfe, USA, 2020) is of such power seeing it after his passing, that really it does become a performance with what Roland Barthes might call punctum. I’d not be surprised if that turn in particular lands Boseman a posthumous Academy Award.

It also felt sad to say good bye to Irrfan Khan, an actor whom I have loved since I first saw him in A Mighty Heart (Michael Winterbottom, USA/UK, 2007), where he acted everyone off the screen. I managed to see two films with him in 2020, the thoroughly mediocre Puzzle (Marc Turteltaub, USA, 2018) and the better Qarib Qarib Singlle (Tanuja Chandra, India, 2017). He plays eccentric lovers in both, and is completely amiable in both, but it seems a shame that in the former his much more interesting story is overshadowed by the hackneyed struggles of domestic life embodied by Kelly McDonald.

With Winterbottom in mind, it was pleasing as always to see Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon together again in his Trip to Greece (UK, 2020), which constitutes the original comedians- and/or karaoke singers-in-cars show, and which remains superior to all that have followed (and I suspect that Coogan would make for a significantly more entertaining companion than most of the people that Jerry Seinfeld decides to reveal as pretty boring in his coffee-driven Netflix show).

Sacha Baron Cohen had a busy 2020, appearing in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Jason Woliner, UK/USA, 2020) as well as The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin, USA/UK/India, 2020), in which he was in particular very good. These screenings accompanied my first-time viewing of earlier turns from him in The Dictator (Larry Charles, USA, 2012) and The Brothers Grimsby (Louis Leterrier, UK/USA, 2016). As a note, though, while The Chicago 7 had various pleasures, the superior courtroom drama of 2020 was for me Steve McQueen’s Mangrove.

Among the various actors who seem to have had a good year, I might mention Gina Rodríguez, who stood out in the otherwise mediocre Someone Great (Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, USA, 2019), and who in Kajillionaire (Miranda July, USA, 2020) was forced to play second fiddle to Evan Rachel Wood’s well-acted but otherwise wilfully quirky and white Old Dolio Dyne. Indeed, women of colour playing second fiddle to, or absent from the world of, white women seemed to be a common theme in films from 2020 – with movies like Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy, Australia, 2019) and System Crasher (Nora Fingscheidt, Germany, 2019) validating the (blonde) white girl as perhaps the stake of the future, posited by the latter film as a ‘system crasher,’ when in fact they are the beating heart of the (contemporary world, i.e. modern capitalist) system.

Some of the films about white women were better than others, with The Assistant (Kitty Green, USA, 2019) perhaps standing out, with this viewer not being as taken as others by Bombshell (Jay Roach, Canada/USA, 2019), Swallow (Carlo Mirabella-Davis, USA/France, 2019), Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman, USA/UK/Germany, 2019) or The Invisible Man (Leigh Whannell, Canada/Australia/USA, 2020) – even as these films did have their merits.

Kristen Stewart perhaps gets a special mention as a performer whom I like a lot, but who appeared in a string of pretty forgettable films this past year, and in which her whiteness is at times core, including Underwater (William Eubank, USA, 2020), Seberg (Benedict Andrews, UK/USA, 2019) and Happiest Season (Clea DuVall, USA/Canada, 2020). While the latter is relatively pleasant in its depiction of coming out, its chief point of interest is the under-used Daniel Levy (from Schitt’s Creek), and whom I hope to see in many more films.

Indeed, in the year of ‘Karen,’ it seems as though the white-women-focused narrative seemed slightly off-kilter, and I might mention that White Chicks (Keenen Ivory Wayans, USA, 2004) seemed an appropriate film to watch for the first time.

It was also pleasing to see women taking the helm for otherwise average blockbusters like Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (Cathy Yan, USA, 2020), The Old Guard (Gina Prince-Blythewood, USA, 2020) and the disappointing Mulan (Niki Caro, USA/Canada/Hong Kong, 2020), with my estimation in 2019 already being that it is a sign of strength – at least in some respects – when women are as able to make, and do make, as basic films as men do.

That is, women directors – like directors of colour and indigenous filmmakers (as also suggested in the discussion of Mitzi Bearclaw above) – should always have jobs making not just the best films, but films from across the spectrum of quality or, put differently, making films for different audiences, with different budgets and so on.

I mean, I wish that every film could be a masterpiece and that there were no disappointments, or that there were not even merely forgettable films; but if there are going to be all of these types of film, then who gets to make them should be distributed equitably.

That said, of the 468 films that I saw for the first time in 2020, only 116 were directed by women, with a further 22 being made by male-female directing teams/collaborators. With a handful of films made by trans/non-binary directors, this nonetheless left the vast of majority of films being directed by men, or groups of men.

Of course, this could reflect my choices of films to watch rather than the state of the various industries from which I saw enough films to get a sense of the gender (im)balance in terms of directors. But really, I think that this reflects the ongoing gender bias in terms of few women getting to direct movies.

All the same, a number of films by women did stand out, as per various listed above (Yellow Rose, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, Beans, Queen & Slim, The Forty-Year-Old Version, Time, I May Destroy You, Ruby and The Assistant).

And to this list I might in no particular order add the notable A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, China/USA, 2019), A Febre (Maya Da-Rin, Brazil/France/Germany, 2019), Portrait de la jeune fille en feu (Céline Sciamma, France, 2019), Mignonnes (Maïmaouna Ducouré, France, 2019), Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson, USA, 2020), First Cow (Kelly Reichardt, USA, 2019), Present.Perfect (Shengze Zhu, China/Hong Kong/USA, 2019), Little Joe (Jessica Hausner, Austria/UK/Germany/France, 2019), and Honey Boy (Alma Ha’rel, USA, 2019).

Should it seem that I am picking unduly on the narrative focused on the (bland) white female character, I should add that there are plenty of films that do the same with white male characters, although again there were some good exceptions to this, including Uncut Gems (Benny and Josh Safdie, USA, 2019), True History of the Kelly Gang (Justin Kurzel, Austala/UK/France, 2019), Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark/Sweden/Netherlands, 2020), Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello, Italy/France/Germany, 2019) and Siberia (Abel Ferrara, Italy/Germany/Greece/Mexico, 2019).

That said, watching older American ‘mumblecore’ films by the likes of Joe Swanberg and Nathan Silver this year, I did come to think that they seem dated now, not least in their whiteness, which in the language of Kehinde Andrews constitutes a psychosis (a term that Andrews uses in relation to Amma Asante’s Belle, UK, 2013, a film I also saw for the first time in 2013). And yet, mumblecore has produced a couple of playful takes on precisely psychotic whiteness, as evidenced in the two Creep films that I saw this year by Patrick Brice (USA, 2014 and 2017), and which star mumblecore mainstay Mark Duplass as precisely that white psychopath.

What is more, Mark’s brother, Jay Duplass, also was one of the stars, with Tatiana Maslany, of Pink Wall (Tom Cullen, UK, 2019), which was one of the standouts of the year and certainly the best relationship/end-of-relationship film that I have seen for a while. Wim Mertens’ ‘Iris,’ which plays over the closing credits, was also a revelation for me. Fabulous acting, smart script writing, getting to grips with the depth and difficulties of human relationships and emotions.

Returning to (or staying with?) psychotic whiteness, this also seems in its most horrendous form to be at work in a range of films that I saw about manhunts, including the afore-mentioned Surviving the Game, as well as Craig Zobel’s utterly unlikely – and not particularly likeable – The Hunt (USA/Japan, 2020), wherein, as a direct contradiction of the logic of the Proud Boys, it is Democrats that hunt down Republicans for sport. Superior to both, however, is Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles, Brazil/France, 2019), which is definitely one of the best of 2020, and which tells the tale of poor Brazilians in the sertão hunting back the white hunters who come to kill them for their amusement.

I might mention that psychotic whiteness is also at the core of (the same) Mila Zuo’s short film, KIN (USA, 2020), which was one of the most affectively rich films about a group of disaffected whites in rural Oregon that I have seen. I must confess to total bias, since I co-wrote the film, but I also think it worth puffing how this short is a dense, complex and powerful look at white America today – with a searing edit by Dougal Henken that takes the film a long way from the script that I co-wrote with Zuo (and for the better!), as well as powerful performances from Frank Mosley, Sophie Traub and Cameron Shuman.

And this mention allows me to segue into how Mosley is himself on the up and up. Having worked last year in Thunder Road (Jim Cummings, USA, 2018) and Chained for Life (Aaron Schimberg, USA, 2018), in 2020 we got to see him in The Ghost Who Walks (Cody Stokes, USA, 2019) and Freeland (Mario Furloni and Kate McLean, USA, 2020), while also catching his directorial effort, Her Wilderness (USA, 2014) reworked as an online interactive movie. Here’s hope for more in 2021!

From Creep, we might also segue into Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s excellent Creepy (Japan, 2016), one of several films from the director that I saw this year. This is a film that at one point features a jellyfish prominently displayed on a television screen, one of numerous examples this year of tentacles and cephalopodic creatures, which were the focus of David H Fleming and my recent book, The Squid Cinema from Hell: Kinoteuthis Infernalis and the Emergence of Chthulumedia (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). Such creatures also turned up in the afore-mentioned Watchmen, His House and Underwater, as well as in Ad Vitam (Thomas Cailley, France, 2018), Chanson douce (Lucie Borleteau, France, 2019), My Octopus Teacher (Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed, South Africa, 2020) and Lovecraft Country (Misha Green, USA, 2020). And with HP Lovecraft in mind, we might also mention Richard Stanley’s The Colour Out Of Space (USA/Malaysia/Portugal, 2019)… Indeed, it would seem that tentacular and cthulhoid creatures continue to abound in contemporary film and television, such that David and I should prepare a second book on the topic (which in fact we are doing).

From Kurosawa, I also saw Before We Vanish (Japan, 2017), one of numerous films that seemed to announce and/or to rehearse life under COVID-19, some of which were more powerful (Vivarium, Lorcan Finnegan, Ireland/Belgium/Denmark/Canada, 2019) than others (I was not particularly taken by She Dies Tomorrow, Amy Seimetz, USA, 2020).

In terms of horror, I might also say that I enjoyed retrospectively seeing Insidious (James Wan, USA/Canada, 2010), which was esteemed to be cognitively the scariest movie of all time, as well as The Wailing (Na Hong-jin, South Korea/USA, 2016) and It Comes At Night (Trey Edward Shults, USA, 2017), which I found much better than the same director’s subsequent Waves (Trey Edward Shults, USA/Canada, 2019).

With regard to COVID-19, there were a few productions made to reflect life during the pandemic, with the one that I shall mention being Cinema-19 (Courtney Stephens, Kalpana Subramanian, Usama Alshaibi, Scott Cummings, Lori Felker, Matt McCormick, Eman Akram Nader and Alex Megaro, Christin Turner, Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Kelly Gallagher, Sarah Ema Friedland, William Brown and Mila Zuo, Amir George, and Adam Sekuler, USA/Canada, 2020).

As the list of directors surely makes clear, I am blowing my own trumpet again, but I toot it to say how I proud I was and continue to be to participate in a project with such exceptional filmmakers, with Mila Zuo and I collaborating on Coyote, a short film about which I also shall be writing an essay for The Projector in 2021.

If Cinema-19 is a compendium of films of life under lockdown, then Ai Weiwei’s CoroNation (China, 2020) functioned for me as the best documentary yet about the pandemic, as it depicts the emptied streets of Wuhan and the almost science-fictional procedures put in place to control the spread of the disease.

Perhaps predictably, COVID-19 produced a rash of films about confinement, with window films becoming increasingly common, be those the windows of the digital machines that we consult at home, or the windows that we look out of into relatively empty streets.

While this aesthetic has been announced by Alfred Hitchcock in Rear Window (USA, 1954), thereby making an implicit connection between the window film and disability/disease, it is an aesthetic that also bespeaks surveillance. And it is surveillance that we see taken up explicitly as a theme in Ulu Braun’s remarkable Saturne (Germany, 2020), shot in Berlin as if uniquely from the viewpoint of CCTV cameras as a man seeks to spread the ashes of his dead mother, among other things.

Not only might we note the ongoing legacy of Rear Window in films like Number 37 (Nophiso Dumisa, South Africa, 2018), but we might also begin to weave together how the window aesthetic, tied as it is to surveillance and illness/disability, is also tied to the pandemic, as per some of the Cinema-19 films and as per Mati Diop’s In My Room (France/Italy, 2020).

The quasi-academic/theoretical point I wish to make, then, is that COVID-19 is perhaps linked, at least aesthetically if not politically, to the rise of a surveillance society, and that this surveillance society constitutes a sort of illness (with those who are disabled perhaps being best placed to perceive as much).

As made clear by Mati Diop’s other work, including her renowned short Atlantiques (France, 2009), which I also saw for the first time in 2020, surveillance is also linked to migration. Indeed, the confinement/carceral aesthetic of COVID-19, as well as the window aesthetic to which it is related, is demonstrated in His House, with Christian Petzold’s Transit (Germany/France, 2018), a hangover film that I also only saw late in 2020, equally relating the contemporary moment to a moment defined by the plight of those undergoing forced migration. (A propos of Petzold, I found Transit far superior to his more recent and aquatic Undine, Germany/France, 2020.)

Finally, if we see the window aesthetic already at work in films like 9 Days: From My Window in Aleppo (Floor van der Meulen, Thomas Vroege, Issa Touma, Netherlands/Syria, 2016), a film that I saw when it came out four years ago, then in some senses the ‘COVID-19’ aesthetic was also already announced by the refugee crisis prompted by the war in Syria. And this carceral aesthetic also is linked to the radicalised carceral logic at work in the contemporary USA and so brilliantly analysed by Garrett Bradley in Time.

While I am proposing somewhat provocatively, then, that there is an aesthetics, thematic and indeed a conceptual through-line from Blackness to surveillance society to refugees to aesthetics of confinement and/or fenestration, then I say this also to introduce the final ‘best film of 2020.’

While documentaries like CoroNation, The Two Lives of Li Ermao (Jia Yuchuan, China/UK, 2019) and Goodbye CP (Kazuo Hara, Japan, 1972) were among the best that I saw for the first time in 2020, it is Abbas Fahdel’s Bitter Bread (Lebanon/Iraq/France, 2019) that is my final ‘best film of 2020’ – which is perhaps unlike anything else in its weave of staged and documented scenes made with inhabitants of Syrian refugee camps in the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon. The film is urgent and powerful, and in some ways it brings together many of the key concerns for our planet right now.

In a final bit of puffery, I shall also mention that I finished a film called The New Hope 2 (UK, 2020) this year, a sequel to my earlier adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and which was shot in London’s Hyde Park back in 2014. Set in London and Los Angeles, I think that the sequel is, like the first part, a deliberately punk, DIY and no-budget film that also hopefully says something for/to our ‘DIY’ and ‘guerrilla’ filmmaking times, and which I offer up for free (as usual). May it provide some comic relief in these tough days.

However, even as I ‘big up’ KIN, my book and The New Hope 2, the best production for me was the one announced in Coyote, the contribution made by Mila Zuo and me to Cinema-19, and which comes in the form of Radian Winter Zuo Brown, a daughter born to me and my partner in 2020. No film can match even an instant in her company.

In sum, then, my best of 2020 – meaning films from 2019 and 2020 – are as follows, ranked in a Halliwell-style *** and **** system, since I don’t believe in shoe-horning together 10 films (or 100 films) for a Top 10 (or Top 100) if there aren’t enough that are of sufficient perceived quality.

Numerous of the above-named are films do not feature below. This is not because I don’t like them; indeed, to my mind – and still thinking Halliwell – many of those films would would get ** or * and lots of italics for standout contributions. And there are plenty of films I’ve not yet seen and yet which I imagine I would like (and in fact have already seen in 2021 a couple of films that might well have a got a mention here if I’d seen them only a few days earlier: Shirley, Ammonite, St Maud, Fourteen, Saint Frances, Clemency, Rocks, the rest of Small Ax, Minari, etc)…

All the same, the *** and **** films are as follows:-

*** Films

The Forty-Year-Old Version, I May Destroy You, Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Black Mother, Martin Eden, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, Vitalina Varela, The Assistant, Uncut Gems, Another Round, A Febre, Present.Perfect, Bacurau, CoroNation.

**** Films

Ruby, Time, The Sleeping Negro, Pink Wall, Bitter Bread.

Should it be of interest, my top films of 2019 are/were as follows, according to the same system:-

*** Films

13th (Ava DuVernay), Destroyer (Karyn Kusama), Dragonfly Eyes (Xu Bing), Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham), Long Day’s Journey Into Night 3D (Bi Gan), High Life (Claire Denis), Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa), Nuestro tiempo (Carlos Reygadas), The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot), Museo (Alonso Ruizpalacios), The Infiltrators (Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera), Le Franc (Djibril Diop Mambéty), Le Daim (Quentin Dupieux), Muna Moto (Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa), What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? (Roberto Minervini), Monos (Alejandro Landes), Afrique, je te plumerai (Jean-Marie Téno), Campo (Tiago Hespanha), High Flying Bird (Steven Soderbergh), 24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami), Vulnicura VR (Björk/Andrew Thomas Huang), Beats (Brian Welsh), Cómprame un revólver (Julio Hernández Cordón), Leto (Kirill Serebrennikov), Talking About Trees (Suhaib Gasmelbari), The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent).

**** Films

Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi), Hale County This Morning This Evening (RaMell Ross), The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)

And now, for what it’s worth, here are all of the films I saw in 2020, followed by a complete list of the films I saw in 2019.

TitleDirector(s)CountryYear
1917Sam MendesUSA et al2019
A Beautiful Day in the NeighbourhoodMarielle HellerChina/USA2019
A Brixton TaleDarragh Carey and Bertrand DesrochersUK2020
A Dance for DeathZanyar AziziEast Kurdistan2019
A FebreMaya Da-RinBrazil/France/Germany2019
A Hidden LifeTerrence MalickUSA/UK/Germany2019
A Rainy Day in New YorkWoody AllenUSA2019
A rosa azul de NovalisRodrigo Carneiro and Gustavo VinagreBrazil2018
A Russian YouthAlexander ZolotukhinRussia2019
A Secret LoveChris BolanUSA2020
A Shape of Things to ComeLisa Malloy and JP SniadeckiUSA2020
A SunChung Mong-hongTaiwan2019
A Trip to the MoonMohammadreza ShayannezhadIran2020
A Wrinkle in TimeAva DuVernayUSA2018
Abar: Black SupermanFrank PackardUSA1977
ActorsBetsey BrownUSA2020
Ad VitamThomas CailleyFrance2018
AerialMargaret TaitUK1974
AkamHossein MIrzamshammadiEast Kurdistan2019
Alexandria… Why?Youssef ChahineEgypt/Algeria1979
Alfred & JakobineJonathan Howells and Tom RobertsUK/USA2014
Amigo UndeadRyan NagataUSA2015
An American PickleBrandon TrostUSA2020
AnbessaMo ScarpelliItaly/Ethiopia/USA2019
Another RoundThomas VinterbergDenmark/Sweden/Netherlands2020
Apiyemiyekî?Ana VazBrazil/France/Portugal/Netherlands2020
Ar condicionadoFradiqueAngola2020
Are You Listening Mother?Tuna KaptanGermany/Turkey2019
As boas maneirasMarco Dutra and Juliana RojasBrazil/France/Germany2017
Asako I & IIRyusuke HamaguchiJapan/France2018
Así habló el cambistaFederico VeirojUruguay/Argentina/Germany2019
Asian AmericansRenee Tajima-PeñaUSA2020
AtlantiquesMati DiopFrance2009
Aylesbury EstateCarlotta BertiItaly2020
Baby StepsBarney ChengTaiwan/USA2015
BabyteethShannon MurphyAustralia2019
BacurauKleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano DornellesBrazil/France2019
Bamboo DogsKhavn de la CruzPhilippines2018
BeansTracey DeerCanada2020
Beautiful New Bay Area ProjectKiyoshi KurosawaJapan2013
Before We VanishKiyoshi KurosawaJapan2017
BelleAmma AsanteUK2013
Between Heaven and EarthNajwa NajjarPalestine/Iceland/Luxembourg2019
BindingChen Ting-ningTaiwan2019
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley QuinnCathy YanUSA2020
Bitter BreadAbbas FahdelLebanon/Iraq/France2019
BlackAdil El Arbi and Bilall FallahBelgium2015
Black is KingBeyoncé Knowles-Carter, Emmanuel Adjei, Ibra Ake, Blitz Bazawule, Kwasi FordjourUSA2020
Black MotherKhalik AllahJamaica/USA2018
Bless Their Little HeartsBilly WoodberryUSA1983
Blood QuantumJeff BarnabyCanada2019
BlushEm JohnsonUSA2020
BombshellJay RoachCanada/USA2019
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of KazakhstanJason WolinerUK/USA2020
BridgendJeppe RøndeDenmark2015
Bring Down the WallsPhil CollinsGermany/USA2020
BuoyancyRodd RathjenAustralia2019
Bush MamaHaile GerimaUSA1979
ButterflyAshkan AhmadiEast Kurdistan2019
Cane RiverHorace B. JenkinsUSA1982
Capital in the 21st CenturyJustin PembertonFrance/New Zealand2019
CargoBen Howling and Yolanda RamkeAustralia2017
CavernaHannah Swayze and Daniel ContaldoUSA2020
Chakde! IndiaShimit AminIndia2007
Chan is MissingWayne WangUSA1982
Chanson douceLucie BorleteauFrance2019
Child of ResistanceHaile GerimaUSA1973
Children of the DeadKelly Copper and Pavol LiskaAustria2019
Cinema-19Courtney Stephens, Kalpana Subramanian, Usama Alshaibi, et alUSA/Canada2020
CinémarxismeBéla TarrHungary1979
Circus of BooksRachel MasonUSA2019
Coffee & KareemMichael DowseUSA2020
Come To DaddyAnt TimpsonIreland/Canada/New Zealand/USA2019
CoroNationAi WeiweiChina2020
Crazy WorldNabwana IGGUganda2014
CreepPatrick BriceUSA2014
Creep 2Patrick BriceUSA2017
CreepyKiyoshi KurosawaJapan2016
Cuba: Living Between HurricanesMichael ChananUK/Cuba2020
Da 5 BloodsSpike LeeUSA2020
Daddy’s Home 2Sean AndersUSA2017
Dark WatersTodd HaynesUSA2019
Daughters of DolmaAdam MiklósHungary/UK/Nepal2013
De cierta maneraSara GómezCuba1977
De nuevo otra vezRomina PaulaArgentina2019
Dead SoulsWang BingChina2018
DestinyYoussef ChahineEgypt/France1997
DevsAlex GarlandUK/USA2020
Diamonds of the NightJan NěmecCzechoslovakia1964
DianeKent JonesUSA2018
Diaries, Notes and Sketches (also known as Walden)Jonas MekasUSA1969
Dick Johnson is DeadKirsten JohnsonUSA2020
Dillinger é mortoMarco FerreriItaly1969
Dirty ComputerAndrew Donoho and Chuck LightningUSA2018
DisclosureSam FederUSA2020
Diz a ela que me viu chorarMaíra BühlerBrazil2019
DomainsNatsuka KusanoJapan2019
Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet KillerMark LewisUK/USA2019
Down in the DeltaMaya AngelouUSA1998
DritaDaniel KruglikovKosovo/USA2019
DrunksPeter CohnUSA1995
Dust in the WindHou Hsiao-hsienTaiwan1986
EchoRúnar RúnarssonIceland/France/Switzerland/Denmark/Finland2019
Eel from the YangtseJun LvChina2020
El arte de volverPedro CollantesSpain2020
El despertar de las hormigasAntonella SudasassiCosta Rica/Spain2019
El hoyoGalder Gaztelu-UrrutiaSpain2019
EmaPablo LarraínChile2019
End of SummerJóhann JóhannssonDenmark/Iceland/Antarctica2014
Era uma vez BrasíliaAdirley QuierósBrazil2017
Été 85François OzonFrance/Belgium2020
EuphoriaLisa LangsethSweden/UK/Germany2017
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire SagaDavid DobkinUSA/Iceland/Canada2020
Exit ElenaNathan SilverUSA2012
Exit MedeaAnthony ParaskevaUK2019
Expecting AmyAlexander HammerUSA2020
ExtinctionBen YoungUSA2018
Extra terrestresCarla CavinaPuerto Rico/Venezuela2016
Familia sumergidaMaría AlchéArgentina/Norway/Germany/Brazil2018
Family Romance LLCWerner HerzogUSA2019
Fantastic FungiLouie SchwartzbergUSA2019
Fast & Furious: Hobbs & ShawDavid LeitchUSA/Japan2019
FaunaNicolás PeredaMexico/Canada2020
Female DirectorsYang MingmingChina2012
Ferat VampireJuraj HerzCzechoslovakia1982
First CowKelly ReichardtUSA2019
First LoveTakashi MiikeJapan/UK2019
Five Fingers for MarseillesMichael MatthewsSouth Africa2017
FlatlandJenna BassSouth Africa/Luxembourg/Germany2019
Floating LifeClara LawAustralia1996
Flower Drum SongHenry KosterUSA1961
For CameraMustafa ShahrokhiEast Kurdistan2019
Four Sheets to the WindSterlin HarjoUSA2007
Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, FrankensteinDaniel Gray LonginoUSA2019
FreelandMario Furloni and Kate McLeanUSA2020
GeminiAaron KatzUSA2017
Ghost StrataBen RiversUK2019
Giants Being LonelyGrear PattersonUSA2019
GiraffeAnna Sofie HartmannGermany/Denmark2019
GirlfriendsClaudia WeillUSA1978
Girls Always HappyYang MingmingChina2018
Go WestBuster KeatonUSA1925
GoldstoneIvan SenAustralia2016
Goodbye CPKazuo HaraJapan1972
GreedMichael WinterbottomUK2019
Growing UpKun-ho ChenTaiwan1983
Guerillere TalksVivienne DickUSA1978
Gully BoyZoya AkhtarIndia2019
Hail Satan?Penny LaneUSA2019
Happiest SeasonClea DuVallUSA/Canada2020
Heavy BurdenYilmaz ÖzdilNorth Kurdistan2019
Her WildernessFrank MosleyUSA2014
HeritageBaran M. ReihaniEast Kurdistan2019
Hidden ManJiang WenChina2018
His HouseRemi WeekesUK2020
Honey BoyAlma Ha’relUSA2019
Horse GirlJeff BaenaUSA2020
Hôtel Terminus: Klaus Barbie, sa vie et son tempsMarcel OphulsUSA1988
HouseNobuhiko ObayashiJapan1977
How Do You KnowJames L BrooksUSA2010
Hubie HalloweenSteven BrillUSA2020
Hungry SoulYuzo KawashimaJapan1956
Hungry Soul, Part 2Yuzo KawashimaJapan1956
Hurrah, We Are Still Alive!Agnieszka PolskaPoland2020
hush!Çaxe Nursel DoğanNorth Kurdistan2018
I am Raining Down into the CityKasim ÖrdekNorth Kurdistan2020
I May Destroy YouMichaela CoelUK/USA2020
I Will Make You MineLynn ChenUSA2020
I’m Thinking of Ending ThingsCharlie KaufmanUSA2020
In My RoomMati DiopFrance/Italy2020
In the ForestPatricia RozemaCanada2015
In the SoupAlexandre RockwellUSA1992
Inconvenient IndianMichelle LatimerCanada2020
IndianaraAude Chevalier-Beaumel and Marcelo BarbosaBrazil2019
Infinity Minus InfinityThe Otolith GroupUK2019
InsidiousJames WanUSA/Canada2010
IOJonathan HelpertUSA2019
It Chapter 2Andy MuschiettiCanada/USA2019
It Comes At NightTrey Edward ShultsUSA2017
Je m’appelle humainKim O’BomsawinCanada2020
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy RichLisa BryantUSA2020
JeremiahKenya GillespieUSA2019
Jojo RabbitTaika WaititiNew Zealand/Czechia/USA2019
Journey to the ShoreKiyoshi KurosawaJapan/France2015
Judith of BethuliaDW GriffithUSA1914
Jumanji: The Next LevelJake KasdanUSA2019
Jusqu’au déclinPatrice LalibertéCanada2020
Just MercyDestin Daniel CrettonUSA2019
KajillionaireMiranda JulyUSA2020
Kal Ho Naa HoNikkhil AdvaniIndia2003
KetekePeter SedufiaGhana2017
Khavn on KidlatKhavn de la CruzPhilippines2011
KinMila ZuoUSA2020
KingyoEdmund YeoJapan2009
KmêdeusNuno MirandaCape Verde2020
Kulob34Khavn de la CruzPhilippines2009
Kumiko, The Treasure HunterDavid ZellnerUSA2014
L’homme fidèleLouis GarrelFrance2018
La batalla de Chile: La lucha de un pueblo sin armas – Tercera parte: El poder popularPatricio GuzmánChile/Cuba/Venezuela1979
La femme au couteauTimité BassoriCôte d’Ivoire1969
La GomeraCristi PorumboiuRomania/France/Germany2019
La Maison du BonheurSofia BohdanowiczCanada2017
La SoledadJorge Thielen-ArmandVenezuela/Canada/Italy2016
La YumaFlorence JaugeyNicaragua/Mexico/Spain/France2009
LapsisNoah HuttonUSA2020
Las hijas del fuegoAlbertina CarriArgentina2018
Last HolidayWayne WangUSA2006
Last LaughTao ZhangFrance/Hong Kong/China2017
Last SeptemberGülsün OdabaşTurkey2019
Last VisitAbdulmohsen AldhabaanSaudi Arabia2019
Le jeune AhmedJean-Pierre and Luc DardenneBelgium/France2019
Lembro mais dos corvosGustavo VinagreBrazil2018
Les confins du mondeGuillaume NiclouxFrance2018
Les MisérablesLadj LyFrance2019
Life Gone with the WindSiavash SaedpanehEast Kurdistan2019
LiminalPhiippe Grandrieux, Manuela De Laborde, Lav Diaz and Óscar EnríquezMexico/France2020
Little Fires EverywhereLiz TigelaarUSA2020
Little JoeJessica HausnerAustria/UK/Germany/France2019
Look the Other Way and RunDavid Luke ReesUK2020
Los SalvajesAlejandro FadelArgentina/Netherlands2012
Los TiburonesLucía GaribaldiUruguay/Argentina/Spain2019
Losing GroundKathleen CollinsUSA1982
Love in a Fallen CityAnn HuiHong Kong1984
Lovecraft CountryMisha GreenUSA2020
Lovers RockSteve McQueenUK2020
Lucy in the SkyNoah HawleyUSA2019
Luka ChuppiLaxman UtekarIndia2019
Lying LipsOscar MicheauxUSA1939
Ma Rainey’s Black BottomGeorge C WolfeUSA2020
MaggieYi Ok-seopSouth Korea2018
MaleficentRobert StrombergUSA2014
MangroveSteve McQueenUK2020
MankDavid FincherUSA2020
Martin EdenPietro MarcelloItaly/France/Germany2019
MayhemJoe LynchUSA2017
Mean CreekJacob Aaron EstesUSA2004
Meetcute on DanceworldMicah KhanUSA2020
Memories To Choke On, Drinks To Wash Them DownKate Reilly and Leung Ming-kaiHong Kong2019
Menace II SocietyThe Hughes BrothersUSA1993
Midnight FamiliyLuke LorentzenMexico2019
Midnight TravellerHassan FaziliQatar/UK/Canada/USA2019
MignonnesMaïmouna DoucouréFrance2020
Mogul MowgliBassam TariqUK/USA2020
Monkey BeachLoretta ToddCanada2020
Mother, I am Suffocating. This is My Last Film About YouLemohang Jeremiah MoseseLesotho/Qatar2019
MudloveTero PeltoniemiFinland2019
MulanNiki CaroUSA/Canada/Hong Kong2020
MunyurangaboLee Isaac ChungRwanda/USA2007
My Brilliant CareerGillian ArmstrongAustralia1979
My Brother AmalChristopher WollebekkNorway2018
My CatImad MahmadanySouth Kurdistan2018
My Octopus TeacherPippa Ehrlich and James ReedSouth Africa2020
My Prince EdwardNorris Yee-Lam WongHong Kong2019
NeomanilaMikhail RedPhilippines2017
Never Rarely Sometimes AlwaysEliza HittmanUSA/UK2020
New Jack CityMario Van PeeblesUSA1991
Nina WuMidi ZTaiwan/Malaysia/Myanmar2019
No No SleepTsai Ming-liangTaiwan/Hong Kong2015
Norman… Is That You?George SchlatterUSA1976
Nova LituaniaKarolis KaupinisLithuania2019
Now, at Last!Ben RiversBrazil2018
Number 37Nophiso DumisaSouth Africa2018
NY, NYFrancis ThompsonUSA1957
O ÓrfãoCarolina MarkowiczBrazil2018
Oklahoma!Fred ZinnemannUSA1955
On Body and SoulOscar MicheauxHungary2017
On the RocksSofia CoppolaUSA2020
One Says NoDayong ZhaoChina2016
Only Cloud KnowsFeng XiaogangChina2019
OraciónMarisol Trujillo, Miriam Talavera and Pepín RodríguezCanada/Cuba1984
Our Daily BreadKing VidorUSA1934
Our TownYuzo KawashimaJapan1956
Outcry and WhisperWen Hai, Jingyan Zeng and Trish McAdamHong Kong/China2020
Oxhide IILiu JiayinChina2009
Palm SpringsMax BarbakowUSA/Hong Kong2020
ParasiteJoon-ho BongSouth Korea2019
Pasqualino SettebellezzeLina WertmüllerItaly1975
PassagesLúcia Nagib and Samuel PaivaUK2019
Pink WallTom CullenUK2019
PirotecniaCarlos Federico Atehortúa ArtuagaColombia2019
Portrait de la jeune fille en feuCéline SciammaFrance2019
PosseMario Van PeeblesUK/USA/Netherlands1993
PossessorBrandon CronenbergCanada/USA2020
Present.Perfect.Shengze ZhuChina/Hong Kong/USA2019
PrivilegeYvonne RainerUSA1990
PuzzleMarc TurtletaubUSA2018
Qarib Qarib SinglleTanuja ChandraIndia2017
QuebramarCris LyraBrazil2019
Queen & SlimMelina MatsoukasUSA/Canada2019
Rabbit in the MoonEmiko OmoriUSA1999
RebeccaBen WheatleyUK/USA2020
RebelleKim NguyenCanada2012
ReturnSelman DenizNorth Kurdistan/Armenia2020
Rhymes for Young GhoulsJeff BarnabyCanada2013
RojavaEmmanuel Temps, Hugo Voisin, Marien Bideplan, Guillermo MontoyaNorth Kurdistan2018
RollDaichi MuraseJapan2020
Rough NightLucia AnielloUSA2017
RubyJuliet EllisUK2020
Salaam NamasteSiddharth AnandIndia2005
SaturneUlu BraunGermany2020
SebergBenedict AndrewsUK/USA2019
Sennan Asbestos DisasterKazuo HaraJapan2016
Sense8 Season 1The Wachowskis and J Michael StraczynskiUSA2015
Sense8 Season 2The Wachowskis and J Michael StraczynskiUSA2018
Sete anos em maioAffonso UchôaBrazil2019
Seven Songs for Malcolm XJohn AkomfrahUK1993
Shanghai QueerXiangqi ChenChina2019
She Dies TomorrowAmy SeimetzUSA2020
She’s Gotta Have ItSpike LeeUSA1986
Sheikh JacksonAmr SalamaEgypt2017
Shouted from the RooftopsBeri ShalmoshiNetherlands2018
ShowanBijan ZarinEast Kurdistan2019
Siao YuSylvia ChangTaiwan1995
SiberiaAbel FerraraItaly/Germany/Greece/Mexico2019
Sidewalk StoriesCharles LaneUSA1989
SlaughterAku Zandkarimi and Siman HosseinpourEast Kurdistan2019
Slingshot ManWang QiongChina2020
Small ApartmentsJonas ÅkerlundUSA2012
So PrettyJessie Jeffrey Dunn RovinelliUSA/France2019
Someone GreatJennifer Kaytin RobinsonUSA2019
Sometimes Always NeverCarl HunterUK2018
SomniloquiesVerena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-TaylorFrance2017
Special ActorsShin’ichirô UedaJapan2019
Stranger Things Season 2The Duffer BrothersUSA2017
Stranger Things Season 3The Duffer BrothersUSA2019
Strasbourg 1518Jonathan GlazerUK2020
Strong IslandYance FordUSA/Denmark2017
StuberMichael DowseUSA2019
Sun in the Last Days of the ShogunateYuzo KawashimaJapan1957
Supa ModoLikarion WainainaKenya/Germany2018
Surviving The GameErnest R DickersonUSA1994
Suzaki Paradise: Red Light DistrictYuzo KawashimaJapan1956
SwallowCarlo Mirabella-DavisUSA/France2019
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take OneWilliam GreavesUSA1968
System CrasherNora FingscheidtGermany2019
TabijaIgor DrljačaCanada/Bosnia and Herzegovina2021
Tales from the LoopNathaniel Halpern and Matt ReevesUSA2020
TartuffeF.W. MurnauGermany1925
TenetChristopher NolanUK/USA2020
Terminal sudRabah Ameur-ZaïmecheFrance/Algeria2019
TestamentKamiran BetasiSouth Kurdistan2019
That SummerGöran Hugo OlssonSweden/Denmark/USA2017
The ArchivistsIgor DrljačaCanada2020
The AssistantKitty GreenUSA2019
The Bad BatchAna Lily AmirpourUSA2016
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975Göran Hugo OlssonSweden/USA2011
The Blue Eyes of YontaFlora GomesGuinea-Bissau/Portugal/etc1992
The Body Remembers When the World Broke OpenElle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen HepburnCanada/Norway2019
The Border FenceNikolaus GeyrhalterAustria2018
The Boys in the BandJoe MantelloUSA2020
The Brothers GrimsbyLouis LeterrierUK/USA2016
The BucketJia ZhangkeChina2019
The CalmingSong FangChina2020
The Chess PlayersSatyajit RayIndia1977
The Colour Out of SpaceRichard StanleyUSA/Malaysia/Portugal2019
The CrackWake LiChina2000
The Curse of Willow SongKaren LamCanada2020
The Devil All The TimeAntonio CamposUSA2020
The DictatorLarry CharlesUSA2012
The Elephant and the SeaWoo Ming JinMalaysia/Netherlands2007
The End of the WorldAugust BlomDenmark1916
The End of UsHenry Loevner and Steven KanterUSA2020
The Forty-Year-Old VersionRadha BlankUSA2020
The FutureMiranda JulyFrance/Germany/USA/UK2011
The GentlemenGuy RitchieUK/USA2019
The Ghost Who WalksCody StokesUSA2019
The Girl from ChicagoOscar MicheauxUSA1932
The Good DaughterWu Yu-yingTaiwan2019
The Great DebatersDenzel WashingtonUSA2007
The Great PretenderNathan SilverUSA2018
The GuestAdam WingardUSA/UK2014
The Half of ItAlice WuUSA2020
The HarvestMisho AntadzeGeorgia2019
The Heart of RaqqaRita DuarteUK2019
The HedonistsJia ZhangkeChina2016
The HuntCraig ZobelUSA/Japan2020
The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi BearclawShelley NiroCanada2019
The Invisible ManLeigh WhannellCanada/Australia/USA2020
The InvitationKaryn KusamaUSA2015
The Joy Luck ClubWayne WangUSA/China1993
The Killing FloorBill DukeUSA1984
The King of Staten IslandJudd ApatowUSA/Japan2020
The Last Angel of HistoryJohn AkomfrahUK/Germany1996
The Last Thing He WantedDee ReesUSA2020
The LighthouseRobert EggersCanada/USA/Brazil2019
The LodgeVeronika Franz and Severin FialaUK/USA/Canada2019
The LovebirdsMichael ShowalterUSA2020
The Mandarin TreeCengiz AkaygünGermany2018
The MeddlerLorene ScafariaUSA2015
The Midnight SkyGeorge ClooneyUSA2020
The Names Have Changed Includine My Own and Truths Have Been AlteredOnyeka IgweUK2020
The NestSean DurkinUK/Canada2020
The New Hope 2William BrownUK/USA2020
The Old GuardGina Prince-BythewoodUSA2020
The Other Side of the WindOrson WellesFrance/Iran/USA2018
The PatternAzad JannatiEast Kurdistan2019
The Personal History of David CopperfieldArmando IanucciUK/USA2019
The PlagiaristsPeter ParlowUSA2019
The Pleasure of Being RobbedJosh SafdieUSA2008
The Queen of VersaillesLauren GreenfieldUSA/Netherlands/UK/Denmark2012
The Queen’s GambitScott FrankUSA2020
The Red PhallusTashi GyeltshenBhutan/Germany/Nepal2018
The Rice Dumpling VendorsXin QiTaiwan1969
The Sandbox Has No LimitsAlex ZandiUSA2020
The ShepherdBrwa VahapurNorway/France/Denmark/Sweden2019
The Sleeping NegroSkinner MyersUSA2021
The Social DilemmaJeff OrlowskiUSA2020
The Spook Who Sat by the DoorIvan DixonUSA1973
The SprinkleVolkan UludağNorth Kurdistan2019
The Staggering GirlLuca GuadagninoItaly2019
the State we are inSavas Boyraz with Mahkum AbiSweden2019
The Stepford WivesBryan ForbesUSA1975
The Story of a Three Day PassMelvin Van PeeblesFrance1968
The Summer of the SwansMaryam SamadiEast Kurdistan2019
The TerrorizersEdward YangTaiwan1986
The Tree HouseMinh Quý TruongVietnam/Singapore/France/Germany/China2019
The Trial of the Chicago 7Aaron SorkinUSA/UK/India2020
The Trip to GreeceMichael WinterbottomUK2020
The Two Lives of Li ErmaoJia YuchuanChina/UK2019
The WailingNa Hong-jinSouth Korea/USA2016
The Widowed WitchCai ChengjieChina2017
The Worn Beak of the CrowÖmer Ferhat ÖzmenNorth Kurdistan2018
The Wrong MissyTyler SpindelUSA2020
The ZoneJoe SwanbergUSA2011
ThelmaJoachim TrierNorway/France/Denmark/Sweden2017
There was a CountryHebun PolasiWest Kurdistan2018
Thugs of HindostanVijay Krishna AcharyaIndia2018
Thunderbolt in Mine EyeSarah Sherman and Zachary Ray ShermanUSA2020
Thursday AppointmentSayed Mohammad Reza KheradmandanIran2019
TigertailAlan YangUSA2020
TimeGarrett BradleyUSA2020
TransitChristian PetzoldGermany/France2018
TrousersTahsin ÖzmenNorth Kurdistan2019
True History of the Kelly GangJustin KurzelAustralia/UK/France2019
True NorthEiji Han ShimizuJapan/Indonesia2020
Two Ends of a BridgeMuhammed Seyyid YildizNorth Kurdistan2019
Two Men in ManhattanJean-Pierre MelvilleFrance1959
Two Plains + A FancyWhitney Horn and Lev KalmanUSA2018
UnaBenedict AndrewsUK/Canada/USA2016
Uncut GemsBenny and Josh SafdieUSA2019
UnderwaterWilliam EubankUSA2020
UndineChristian PetzoldGermany/France2020
UtuGeoff MurphyNew Zealand1983
VioletBas DevosBelgium/Netherlands2014
Vitalina VarelaPedro CostaPortugal2019
VivariumLorcan FinneganIreland/Belgium/Denmark/Canada2019
WalkerTsai Ming-liangHong Kong2012
Wasp NetworkOlivier AssayasFrance/Brazil/Spain/Belgium2019
WatchmenDamon LindelofUSA2019
Watermelon ManMelvin Van PeeblesUSA1970
WavesTrey Edward SchultsUSA/Canada2019
We Go Way BackLynn SheltonUSA2006
Weathering With YouMakoto ShinkaiJapan/China2019
Welcome to LeithMichael Beach Nichols and Christopher K WalkerUSA2015
What Did Jack Do?David LynchUSA2017
Where’d You Go, BernadetteRichard LinklaterUSA2019
White ChicksKeenen Ivory WayansUSA2004
White RabbitDaryl WeinUSA2018
Wisdom ToothLiang MingChina2019
Wolf CreekGreg McLeanAustralia2005
Women Is LosersLissette FelicianoUSA2021
Wrath of SilenceXin YukunChina2017
Year of the WomanSandra HochmanUSA1973
Yellow RoseDiane ParagasPhilippines/USA2019
Your HighnessDavid Gordon GreenUSA2011
Zeinab on the ScooterDima El-horrLebanon2019
ZombiesBalojiDRC/Belgium2019

And here you go for 2019 (with just titles and directors):-

13th (Ava DuVernay)*
1991=HERE AND NOW (Vladimir Kobrin)
24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami)*
36 Hours (Adam Sekuler)*
A Family Tour (Ying Liang)
A Moon for My Father (Mania Akbari and Douglas White)
A Private War (Matthew Heinemann)
A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper)
A Story from Africa (Billy Woodberry)*
A Woman is a Woman (Maisy Goosy Suen)*
Abrázame como antes (Jurgen Ureña)
Ad Astra (James Gray)
Adoption (Márta Mészáros)*
Afrique, je te plumerai (Jean-Marie Téno)*
Agarrando pueblo (Luis Ospina and Carlos Mayolo)*
Ali, the Goat, and Ibrahim (Sherif Elbendary)*
Aliens of the Deep (James Cameron and Steven Quale)*
Alita: Battle Angel (Robert Rodriguez)
All Good Things (Andrew Jarecki)*
All The Light in the World (Joe Swanberg)*
Always Be My Maybe (Nahnatchka Khan)*
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack)
American Factory (Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert)*
Anima (Paul Thomas Anderson)*
Anniversary of the Revolution (Dziga Vertov/Broomberg & Chanarin)
Antes del olvido (Iria Gómez Concheiro)*
Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller)
Aquarela (Viktor Kossakovsky)
Arábia (Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans)*
Aristotle’s Plot (Jean-Pierre Bekolo)*
Art History (Joe Swanberg)*
As duas Irenes (Fabio Meira)*
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel)
Atlantique (Mati Diop)
Atmospheres (Sophia Jaworski)
Au Poste! (Quentin Dupieux)*
Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa)
Avengers: Endgame (Anthony and Joe Russo)
Babylon (Franco Rosso)*
Bad Black (Nabwana IGG)
Badiou (Rohan Kalyan and Gorav Kalyan)
Bait (Mark Jenkin)
Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov)*
Beats (Brian Welsh)
Becoming Animal (Peter Mettler and Emma Davie)
Belmonte (Federico Veiroj)+
Benjamin (Simon Amstell)
Between Two Ferns: The Movie (Scott Aukerman)*
Beyond the Black Rainbow (Panos Cosmatos)
Bicentennial Man (Chris Columbus)^
Biopotentials (Vladimir Kobrin)
Blinded by the Light (Gurinder Chadha)
Blue Amber (Jie Zhou)+
Blue Story (Rapman)
Booksmart (Olivia Wilde)
Border (Ali Abbasi)
Born Bone Born (Toshiyuki Teruya)
Boy (Taika Waititi)*
Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton)
Bright Future (Kiyoshi Kurosawa)*
Brightburn (David Yarovesky)
Brittany Runs a Marathon (Paul Downs Colaizzo)
Brothers of the Night (Patric Chiha)*
Bumblebee (Travis Knight)
Burning (Lee Chang-dong)
Burning Cane (Phillip Youmans)*
Butter on the Latch (Josephine Decker)*
By The Time It Gets Dark (Anocha Suwichakornpong)*
Campo (Tiago Hespanha)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller)
Capernaum (Nadine Labaki)
Captain Marvel (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck)
Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey)*
Carrie (Kimberly Peirce)*
Chained for Life (Aaron Schimberg)
Charlie’s Angels (Elizabeth Banks)
China’s Van Goghs (Yu Haibo and Kiki Tianqi Yu)
Churchill and the Movie Mogul (John Fleet)
Chuva é Cantoria na Aldeia dos Mortos (João Salaviza & Renée Nader Messora)
Cielo (Alison McAlpine)
Circumstance (Maryam Keshavarz)^
Claire’s Camera (Hong Sang-soo)*
Clando (Jean-Marie Téno)*
Class Relations (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
Colour Me True (Hideki Takeuchi)
Como Fernando Pessoa salvou Portugal (Eugène Green)*
Cómprame un revólver (Julio Hernández Cordón)*
Crawl (Alexandre Aja)
Creed II (Steven Caple Jr)+
Crystal Gazing (Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen)
Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (Spike Lee)*
Dark Passage (Delmer Daves)^
Dead Horse Nebula (Tarık Aktaş)*
Deep Impact (Mimi Leder)*
Destroyer (Karyn Kusama)
Diagnosis (Ewa Podgórska)
Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt)
Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar)*
Dirty God (Sacha Polak)
Docteur Chance (FJ Ossang)*
Dolemite Is My Name (Craig Brewer)*
Dolor y Gloria (Pedro Almodóvar)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Gus Van Sant)*
Donbass (Sergei Loznitsa)
Doubles vies (Olivier Assayas)+
Dragged Across Concrete (S Craig Zahler)
Dragonfly Eyes (Xu Bing)^
Drift (Helena Wittman)*
Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham)
El color que cayó del cielo (Sérgio Wolf)*
El incendio (Juan Schnitman)*
En rachâchant (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
Entre dos aguas (Isaki Lacuesta)
Escape in the Fog (Budd Boetticher)^
Europa 2005, 27 Octobre (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (David Yates)
Fifi Howls From Happiness (Mitra Farahani)*
Fighting With my Family (Stephen Merchant)
Finis Terrae (Jean Epstein)
Flame in the Streets (Roy Ward Baker)
Fly By Night (Zahir Omar)+
For Sama (Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts)
Four Springs (Lu Qingyi)
Foxtrot (Samuel Maoz)
Free Solo (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin)
Freedom Fields (Naziha Arebi)
From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances (Wangshui)*
Frost (Sharunas Bartas)*
Fugue (Agnieszka Smoczyńska)*
Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto)*
Gemini Man (Ang Lee)
Girl (Lukas Dhont)
Glass (M Night Shyamalan)
Gloria Bell (Sebastián Lelio)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Michael Dougherty)
Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry)*
Goryeojang (Kim Ki-young)
Grâce à Dieu (François Ozon)
Green Book (Peter Farrelly)
Greta (Neil Jordan)
Hale County This Morning This Evening (RaMell Ross)
Half of a Yellow Sun (Biyi Bandele)*
Hanagatami (Nobuhiko Obayashi)*
Hanoi martes 13 (Santiago Alvarez)*
Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher)
Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)*
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (Ben Wheatley)*
Harriet (Kasi Lemmons)
Heaven on Earth (Alfred Schirokauer)
Here For Life (Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Adrian Jackson)
High Fantasy (Jenna Bass)^
High Flying Bird (Steven Soderbergh)*
High Life (Claire Denis)
History Lessons (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)
Homecoming (Beyoncé Carter-Knowles and Ed Burke)*
Honeyland (Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov)
Hustlers (Lorene Scafaria)
I Am Easy to Find (Mike Mills)*
Ieoh Island (Kim Ki-young)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
IJspaard (Elan Gamaker)^
In Between (Maysaloun Hamoud)*
In Fabric (Peter Strickland)
In the Claws of a Century Wanting (Jewel Maranan)
In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison)
Inland Sea (Kazuhiro Soda)*
Integrity (Alan Mak)
Internationale (Alexander Shein)
Investigating My Father (Wu Wenguang)
Island of the Hungry Ghosts (Gabrielle Brady)*
James White (Josh Mond)*
Joachim Gatti (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Julien Faraut)
John Wick 3: Parabellum (Chad Stahelski)
Joker (Todd Phillips)
Judy (Rupert Goold)
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (Karan Johar)*
Kadvi Hawa (Nila Madhab Panda)+
Karwaan (Akarsh Hurani)+
Knives Out (Rian Johnson)
Knock Down The House (Rachel Lears)*
L’enfant secret (Philippe Garrel)*
L’exilé (Marcelo Novais Teles)*
La Belle Noise (William Brown)
La camarista (Lila Avilés)
La Cordillera de Sueños (Patricio Guzmán)
La libertad (Laura Huertas Millán)*
La película infinita (Leandro Listorti)*
La religieuse (Jacques Rivette)
La société du spectacle (Guy Debord)^
La villa (Robert Guédiguian)
Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker)*
Land of the Lost (Brad Silberling)^
Last Exit to Kai-Tek (Matthew Torne)
Late Night (Nisha Ganatra)
Le choc du futur (Marc Collin)
Le Daim (Quentin Dupieux)
Le film est déjà commencé? (Maurice Lemaître)^
Le Franc (Djibril Diop Mambéty)
Le Mans ’66 (James Mangold)
Le monde du silence (Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle)*
Le monde est à toi (Romain Gavras)
Les amants criminels (François Ozon)*
Les éternels (Pierre-Yves Vanderweerd)*
Les Saignantes (Jean-Pierre Bekolo)*
Leto (Kirill Serebrennikov)*
Liquid Crystal Effects (Timo Menke)
Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night 3D (Bi Gan)
Long Shot (Jonathan Levine)
Lore (Sky Hopinka)*
Loro (Paolo Sorrentino)
Los guantes mágicos (Martín Rejtman)*
Lost Land (Pierre-Yves Vanderweerd)*
Love Education (Sylvia Chang)*
Lovely Rita (Jessica Hausner)^
Luce (Julius Onah)
Ludwig (Luchino Visconti)*
Maborosi (Kore-eda Hirokazu)
Machorka-Muff (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)*
Madeline’s Madeline (Josephine Decker)
Man and the Ocean (Alexander Shein)
Manmarziyaan (Anurag Kashyap)+
Manta Ray (Phuttiphong Aroonpheng)*
Mar (Dominga Sotomayor Castillo)*
March on, Land of Mine (Alexander Shein)
Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach)
Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke)
Matango (Ishirō Honda)*
Matar a Jesús (Laura Mora Ortega)+
Matthias & Maxime (Xavier Dolan)
Me The Terrible (Josephine Decker)*
Mean Girls (Mark Waters)*
Meeting Gorbachev (Werner Herzog and André Singer)
Meili (Zhou Zhou)
Mektoub My Love: Canto Uno (Abdellatif Kechiche)
Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen (Hepi Mita)*
Mercuriales (Virgil Vernier)*
Meteor Storm (Tibor Takács)^
Mi piel, luminosa (Gabino Rodríguez and Nicolás Pereda)*
Midsommar (Ari Aster)
Mimesis: African Soldier (John Akomfrah)>
Minding the Gap (Bing Liu)
Mira (Denis Shabaev)
Monos (Alejandro Landes)
Monsters vs Aliens (Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon)^
Mughal-e-Azam (K. Asif)
Muna Moto (Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa)
Museo (Alonso Ruizpalacios)
My Twentieth Century (Ildikó Enyedi)*
Nam June Paik>
Native (Daniel Fitzsimmons)*
Ne Zha (Jiaozi)
Ni le ciel, ni la terre (Clément Cogitore)*
Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (Hong Sang-soo)*
Normal (Adele Tulli)
Nothing Sacred (William A Wellman)*
NOW! (Santiago Alvarez)*
Nuestro tiempo (Carlos Reygadas)*
Nước 2030 (Nguyễn Võ Nghiêm Minh)*
Obsession (Brian De Palma)
Ode to My Father (JK Youn)^
Of Horses and Men (Benedikt Erlingsson)*
Of Time and the Sea (Peter Sant)
Official Secrets (Gavin Hood)
On the Basis of Sex (Mimi Leder)
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
Öndög (Wang Quanan)*
One Child Nation (Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang)
One Cut of the Dead (Shinichirou Ueda)
Our House (Yui Kiyohara)*
Our Idiot Brother (Jesse Peretz)*
Our March (Alexander Shein)
Out Of Blue (Carol Morley)
Overseas (Yoon Sung-A)*
Pájaros de verano (Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra)
Paper Heart (Nicholas Jasenovec)^
Pariah (Dee Rees)*
Peace (Kazuhiro Soda)*
Pendular (Júlia Murat)*
Permission (Soheil Beiraghi)
Pig (Mani Haghighi)*
Pity (Babis Makridis)*
Private Life (Tamara Jenkins)*
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Angela Robinson)*
Prophesy of Present Value (Maya Nadine Billig)
Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu)*
Rampage (Brad Peyton)+
Rapado (Martín Rejtman)*
Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham)
RBG (Betsy West and Julie Cohen)
Reality Bites (Ben Stiller)*
Right Now Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo)*
Rojo (Benjamín Naishtat)
Samouni Road (Stefano Savona)
Sauvage (Camille Vidal-Naquet)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (André Øvredal)
Seachd – The Inaccessible Pinnacle (Simon Miller)*
Self-Organization in Biological Systems (Vladimir Kobrin)
Self-portrait and three women (Zhang Mengji)*
Self-Portrait at 47km (Zhang Mengji)*
Self-Portrait: Window in 47km (Zhang Mengji)
Selfie (Agostino Ferrente)
Señoritas (Lina Rodríguez)*
Shakti (Martín Rejtman)*
Shazam! 3D (David Sandberg)
Sicilia! (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
So Long, My Son (Wang Xiaoshuai) 
Sol negro (Laura Huertas Millán)*
Song of the Homeland (Alexander Shein)
Sorry We Missed You (Ken Loach)
Soufra (Thomas Morgan)+
Space is the Place (John Coney)*
Space Tourists (Christian Frei)*
Spider-Man: Far From Home (Jon Watts)
Spoor (Agnieszka Holland)*
Spread (David Mackenzie)*
Spring of the Korean Peninsula (Lee Byung-il)
Stan & Ollie (Jon S Baird)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Leonard Nimoy)^
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (JJ Abrams)
Stockholm My Love (Mark Cousins)*
Stones Have Laws (Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan)
Stranger Things: Season 1 (The Duffer Brothers)*
Summer of Changsha (Zu Feng)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino)^
Talking About Trees (Suhaib Gasmelbari)
Tarde para morir joven (Dominga Sotomayor Castillo)
Tehran: City of Love (Ali Jaberansari)
Teknolust (Lynn Hershman Leeson)^
Temblores (Jayro Bustamante)
Tempo comum (Susana Nobre)
Ten Years (Kwok Zune, Wong Fei-pang, Jevons Au, Chow Kwun-Wai and Ng Ka-leung)*
Terminator: Dark Fate (Tim Miller)
Terra Franca (Leonor Teles)
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (Kim Han-min)*
The Arch (Tang Shu-shuen)*
The Beach Bum (Harmony Karine)
The Beguiled (Don Siegel)*
The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man (Tommy Avellone)+
The Boy Who Liked Deer (Barbara Loden)*
The Burning (Isabella Martin)
The Captain (Andrew Lau)
The Circle (James Ponsoldt)*
The Clock (Christian Marclay)> [10.02-20.45,except about 18.00-18.15]
The Cotton Club (Francis Coppola)*
The Creeping Garden (Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp)*
The Crossing (Bai Xue)
The Day After (Hong Sang-soo)*
The Day Shall Come (Chris Morris)
The Devil Outside (Andrew Hulme)
The Drum Tower (Fan Popo)
The End of the Track (Mou Tun-fei)
The Farewell (Lulu Wang)
The First Foot (Goderdzi Chokheli)
The Frontier Experience (Barbara Loden)*
The Great Hack (Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer)*
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr)+
The Infiltrators (Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera)
The Irishman (Martin Scorsese)
The Kindergarten Teacher (Sara Colangelo)
The Kinetics of Biological Processes (Vladimir Kobrin)
The King (David Michôd)*
The Kitchen (Andrea Berloff)
The Knife Sharpener (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot)
The Last Dream of Anatoli Vasilievich (Vladimir Kobrin)
The Last Tree (Shola Amoo)
The Laundromat (Steven Soderbergh)*
The Lion King (Jon Favreau)
The Loveless (Kathryn Bigelow and Monty Montgomery)*
The Man Who Cuts Tattoos (Michael Omonua)*
The Myth of the American Sleepover (David Robert Mitchell)*
The Navigator (Donald Crisp and Buster Keaton)*
The Needle (Rashid Nugmanov)*
The Night Before the Strike (Lee Eun, Lee Jae-gu, Chang Younhyun and Chang Dong-hong)
The Nightingale (Jennifer Kent)
The O.A.: Season 1 (Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling)*
The O.A.: Season 2 (Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling)*
The Party (Sally Potter)*
The Peanut Butter Falcon (Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz)
The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (Sophie Fiennes)^
The Price of Everything (Nathaniel Kahn)
The Purge (James DeMonaco)*
The Purge: Anarchy (James DeMonaco)*
The Purge: Election Year (James DeMonaco)*
The Quiet Earth (Geoffrey Murphy)*
The Raft (Marcus Lindeen)*
The Report (Scott Z Burns)*
The Rib (Zhang Wei)
The Road to Mother (Akan Satayev)
The Science of Mechanics (Vladimir Kobrin)
The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard)
The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)*
The Spy Who Dumped Me (Susanna Fogel)*
The Subject Matter and Tasks of Biophysics (Vladimir Kobrin)
The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob Epstein)^
The Trial (Sergei Loznitsa)
The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles)*
The Wandering Earth (Frant Gwo)+
The Warden (Nima Javidi)*
The Warriors (Walter Hill)
The Wayfarer (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
The Wedding Guest (Michael Winterbottom)
The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes)
The Wiz (Sidney Lumet)*
They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson)*
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (Josephine Decker)*
Though I Am Gone (Hu Jie)*
Three Identical Strangers (Tim Wardle)
Thunder Road (Jim Cummings)
Tlamess (Ala Eddine Slim)*
Todos lo saben (Asghar Farhadi)
Tomorrow Is Another Day (Chan Tai-Li)+
Too Early, Too Late (Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet)
Too Late for History to End (Kalle Sanner and Karl Palmås)
Toy Story 4 (Josh Cooley)
Triumph (Kaveh Abbasian)
Umbrella Diaries: The First Umbrella (James Leong)^
Un amour impossible (Catherine Corsini)
Un couteau dans le cœur (Yann Gonzalez)*
Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell)*
Une saison en France (Mahamet Saleh-Haroun)
Us (Jordan Peele)
Valhalla Rising (Nicolas Winding Refn)*
Vanishing Waves (Kristina Buožytė)*
Varda par Agnès (Agnès Varda)
Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy)*
Vice (Adam McKay)
Victory Day (Sergei Loznitsa)*
VMayakovsky (Alexander Shein Jr)
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet)
Vuelven (Issa López)
Vulnicura VR (Björk/Andrew Thomas Huang)
Walking Past the Future (Li Ruijun)+
Wanda (Barbara Loden)*
We The Animals (Jeremiah Zagar)
Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (Wes Craven)*
What You Gonna Do When The World’s On Fire? (Roberto Minervini)
Where Chimneys Are Seen (Heinusoke Gosho)
White Boy Rick (Yann Demange)+
Wild Rose (Tom Harper)
William Shakespeare’s Shitstorm (Lloyd Kaufman)
Wolf Warrior (Wu Jing)*
Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson)
Workers, Peasants (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (Simon Kinberg)
XY Chelsea (Tim Travers Hawkins)
Yara (Abbas Fahdel)*
Yesterday (Danny Boyle)
Yurigokoro (Naoto Kumazawa)
Zoe (Drake Doremus)*
Zombi Child (Bertrand Bonello)*
Zombieland: Double Tap (Ruben Fleischer)

En Attendant Godard has UK premiere on Latest.tv

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Press and Blog Mentions, Reviews, Screenings

Beg Steal Borrow’s first film, En Attendant Godard, will this weekend screen on thelatest.tv as part of their FilmFest at 8 season.

The screening takes place on the evening of Sunday 19 October at 9pm. You can watch it on Freeview channel 8 or Virgin 159 in the Brighton area, or via livestreaming at thelatest.tv.

The logo for latest.tv, who will be screening En Attendant Godard on 19 October.

The logo for thelatest.tv, who will be screening En Attendant Godard on 19 October.

We are delighted that the film will screen – and for the first time in the UK since its very first screening at The Loft bar in Clapham in late 2009.

So do check out the film if you can – especially if you live in the Brighton area!

In addition, En Attendant Godard also recently enjoyed a review by great American experimental filmmaker and film theorist, Wheeler Winston Dixon, which can be read here.

First review of Common Ground posted online

Beg Steal Borrow News, Common Ground, Reviews

The first review of Common Ground has been posted online – with hopefully many more to follow.

Trent Griffiths, who blogs under the name Dusty Roar, has been particularly warm about Common Ground, making us blush with embarrassment.

You can read the review here.

As per the review, we hope that the film makes some festival screenings soon!

Afterimages mentioned in Films of the Year 2010

Afterimages, Beg Steal Borrow News, Press and Blog Mentions, Reviews

Esteemed film critic and academic Catherine Wheatley has mentioned Afterimages among her Films of the Year 2010, alongside work by Gaspar Noé, Lucrecia Martel and Catherine Breillat.

If you want to look at Wheatley’s list, click here.

Wheatley says that she would take films like Afterimages “over the likes of the overblown and overrated I Am Love any day of the week.” We are honoured.

Afterimages selected for CPH PIX 2011

Afterimages, Beg Steal Borrow News, Festivals, Reviews, Screenings

Afterimages has played at the 2011 edition of CPH PIX in Copenhagen.

This page for the film at the festival can be seen here.

The Festival Guidebook reviews the film as follows:

Everyone talks about the digital revolution, but only few people do anything about it and make films for fun. English filmmaker William Brown visited CPH PIX last year with his charming Godard hommage ‘En attendant Godard’. This year, he returns with his brand-new film ‘Afterimages’, and again we can expect a simple and likeable film, shot on video with absolutely no money – but with the same energy and desire to make films that drove his French role models in the 1960s. Dennis, an émigré from Guatemala, who makes a living as a baker in the middle of nowhere in Scotland finds a mobile phone on the street. The telephone contains nothing but a video of a girl being raped by three hooligans in a forest. After seeing the clip without knowing what was happens after, he can’t forget it again. ‘Afterimages’ of the video have burnt themselves into his mind and so the good-hearted Dennis sets out to find the girl and the three hooligans. If you have a penchant for the particular British kind of solidarity for the man on the street (and for French digressions), then ‘Afterimages’ is good company.

En Attendant Godard reviewed

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Reviews

Bill White of the Seattle Post Globe has reviewed En Attendant Godard.

White expresses some issues that the film is not really about Samuel Beckett – but overall finds himself getting into the low budget ethos of the film and endorsing it.

Although offline now, the link to the review was/is here.

En Attendant Godard named as one of Top 5 Films of 2009

Beg Steal Borrow News, En Attendant Godard, Reviews, Uncategorized

Jonathan Rosenbaum, the critic whom Jean-Luc Godard described as the most important writer on film since André Bazin, has included En Attendant Godard among his Top Five Films of 2009 in Sight & Sound magazine.

Rosenbaum describes the film thus:

This nervy, brand new feature is an excellent work of Godard criticism (with glancing look-ins at Resnais, Haneke and Cassavetes) that goes beyond detailed pastiche to forge a creative application of 1960s and early ’70s Godard across a tour through portions of western Europe. An inquiry, in short, into how Godard’s example might inform and apply to contemporary film-making.

To read the full poll, click here.