MMC! continues to catch up with the best films of 2019 in anticipation of the Film Comment Readers’ Poll. This year, the magazine is giving away a copy of its September-October issue signed by Parasite director Bong Joon-ho. Entries are due by March 31, so be sure to submit your ballot!
- Avengement (Jesse V. Johnson, 2019)
- The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata, 2013)
- Les Misérables (Ladj Ly, 2019)
- La Belle Époque (Nicolas Bedos, 2019)
- The Two Popes (Fernando Meirelles, 2019)
- The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)
- Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)
- Superexpress (Yasuzô Masumura, 1964)
- Marriage Story (Noah Baumbach, 2019)
- Tora-san’s Grand Scheme (Shun’ichi Kobayashi, 1970)
Two under-the-radar titles deserve shout-outs. First, La Belle Époque, about a disillusioned cartoonist in his 60s who revisits his youth and his one great love through a service that reconstructs historical eras for its clients. Bedos’ film evokes The Truman Show and Synecdoche, New York, plus a bit of The Parent Trap thrown in, and offers a charmingly wistful take on art, nostalgia, and romance. Second is Superexpress, an entry to Daiei’s “Black” series which featured bleakly cynical stories of industrial conspiracies and shady business-dealings. Superexpress offers a story about a corrupt land deal and presents Masumura’s characteristically crowded, claustrophobic, and oppressive frames. Does anyone know where I can find a comprehensive list for the “Black” series?