10 on the 10th – February 2019

These last ten films I’ve watched continues to reflect my desire to catch up with the best films of 2018 as well as my discovery of hoopla, another library streaming surface and a surprising home to a number of top films from last year. My intention is to round out my 2018 screenings, submit my top 20 to the Film Comment Reader’s Poll, and post my list at the end of the month. The deadline for submission is February 28, 2019, so get your lists in as well and maybe win some stuff!

  1. Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018)
  2. Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (Stephen Nomura Schible, 2017)
  3. Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada, 2018)
  4. Night is Short, Walk On Girl (Masaaki Yuasa, 2017)
  5. Support the Girls (Andrew Bujalski, 2018)
  6. Burning (Lee Chang-dong, 2018)
  7. The Night of the Virgin (Roberto San Sebastián, 2018)
  8. The Marriage of Chiffon (Claude Autant-Lara (1942)
  9. A Bay of Blood (Mario Bava, 1971)
  10. Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973)

As far as surprises go, as much as I enjoyed Blindspotting (a West Coast, post-millennial reflection of Do The Right Thing), Masaaki Yuasa’s Night is Short, Walk on Girl was even more impressive, a trippily fanciful tale of romantic pursuit and youthful experience. This seems to be the year that Yuasa demanded recognition as a master of the animated form, having released Night as well as Lu Over the Wall (2017) and Devilman Crybaby (2017). Yuasa’s work is defined by thin lines, careful impressionism, and bravely untethered narratives. His style is not the typical aesthetic we are accustomed to in feature animation, sometimes resembling the appearance of rough storyboards (Yuasa has worked as a storyboard artist for many projects including Space Dandy and Adventure Time) and embracing a visual distortion beyond the typical stretch and squash, but his imagination and daring seems unparalleled. Add Yuasa to this year’s crop of Oscar snubs and keep a look out for his next film, If I Could Ride a Wave With You, a romantic story connected to Lu and centred around surfing.

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