The participation in a collaborative project for the year’s most memorable moments is undoubtedly quite challenging and sometimes interesting job too. Despite the fact that I really appreciate and feel honored by the invitation, I should admit that I’m usually not in favor of this kind of lists. The typical “enforcement” to compare different films and to classify them has always been beyond my preferences. Luckily the absence of these restrictions in Lumière’s project make me feel free just to scatter my ideas from 2013 and simply share them as a journal. Furthermore the fact that professionals from all over the world would also add their personal choices makes that project really intriguing.
My 2013 has been probably a dull cinematic year, of course there have been films that are worth mentioned but I couldn’t really find the distinguishing one that will have a special place for the future. For that reason I divided the films in different lists just to give more space to my choices.
Fortunately this was a year full of new discoveries. The selected ones could cover a wide range of genres and styles and most of them are debut feature-films and participated in various film festivals.
10 Discoveries (in no particular order):
Salvo by Fabio Grassadonia & Antonio Piazza – Italy
Piccola Patra (Small Homeland) by Alessandro Rossetto – Italy
Uroki Garmonii (Harmony Lessons) by Emir Baigazin – Kazakhstan
Les Rencontres d'Après Minuit (You and the Night) by Yann Gonzalez – France
Intimnye Mesta (Intimate Parts) by Aleksey Chupov & Natasha Merkulova – Russia
Miele by Valeria Golino – Italy
Medeas by Andrea Pallaoro – USA / Italy
Mary Is Happy, Mary Is Happy by Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit – Thailand
La Fille du 14 Juillet by Antonin Peretjatko – France
Yuri Esposito by Alessio Fava – Italy
Apart from the discoveries, there have been some already known filmmakers whose films’ captured my attention but for different reasons could not be chosen as the most essentials of the year.
Poziția Copilului (Child’s Pose)
10 Films to Watch (in no particular order):
Ruin by Amiel Courtin-Wilson & Michael Cody – Australia
Jîn by Reha Erdem – Turkey
Paradies: Hoffnung (Paradise: Hope) by Ulrich Seidl – Austria
La Fille de Nulle Part (The Girl from Nowhere) by Jean-Claude Brisseau – France
Metéora by Spiros Stathoulopoulos – Germany / Greece
Gloria by Sebastián Lelio – Chile
Mahi Va Gorbeh (Fish & Cat) by Shahram Mokri – Iran
La Cinquième Saison (The Fifth Season) by Peter Brosens & Jessica Woodworth – Belgium
Poziția Copilului (Child’s Pose) by Călin Peter Netzer – Romania
L'Inconnu du Lac (Stranger by the Lake) by Alain Guiraudie – France
Certainly the most variable and difficult list of all is the one with the most important films. There is no particular perceptive behind these choices as they are simply those that marked my 2013 for minor or major motives. These motives could certainly be either pure cinematic or even deeply personal.
La Vie d'Adèle
10 Important Films (in no particular order):
The Congress by Ari Folman – Israel
Nugu-ui ttal-do anin Haewon (Nobody's Daughter Haewon) by Hong Sang-soo – South Korea
Le Passé (The Past) by Asghar Farhadi – France / Iran
Camille Claudel 1915 by Bruno Dumont – France
Nebesnye Zheny Lugovykh Mari (Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari) by Aleksey Fedorchenko – Russia
Krugovi (Circles) by Srdan Golubovi
V Tumane (In the Fog) by Sergei Loznitsa – Belarus
La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty) by Paolo Sorrentino – Italy
La Vie d'Adèle by Abdellatif Kechiche – France
Les Salauds (Bastards) by Claire Denis – France
Finally there are two experimental films that could not be listed above and deserve a special mention
Redemption by Miguel Gomes – Portugal
Foudre (Lightning) by Manuela Morgaine – France
If I had to keep one DVD release that would definitely be a lost masterpiece of the digital era, the complete 13-hour version of Jacques Rivette’s magnum opus OUT 1 by the German company absolut-MEDIEN.
OUT 1, noli me tangere (1971)
I would like to close this year’s retrospect with the most significant release of 2013 that I’m still expecting to watch.
Hard to Be a God by Aleksei German – Russia
Vassilis Economou is a film critic from Greece. He is writing for his personal website 24 fois la vérité par seconde (www.24fpsverite.com) where he is trying to explore and introduce lesser known and hidden gems. His main expertise is in the field of art-house films and especially in the French, Italian and Eastern European cinema. He is mainly a self-taught researcher and an eager film festival goer.