I frequently get asked my favorite film(s); I then wonder what the point of “favorites” are in the face of the vacuousness of the Internet and seals of freshness franken-barfed up by Rotten Tomatoes and the ilk. Shortly after, I remember that I have a long overdue post about a new ‘reviewing method’. It is an arcane method, that along its way addresses things like fresh.com aggregators, but it’s also a more human system and thus better than all the others in the known universe. This much I can attest to.
Until I publish ‘that’, what proceeds is my list of films for the year 2020 that I feel everyone should watch or rewatch in said year. The selection is from an introduction to film studies class I taught, and it was guided by Kanopy, which the school has a subscription too, meaning students could watch the films at no additional cost. It also means that if your local library has access to Kanopy, you can watch these films as well. The one exception is Akira, which can be streamed on Hulu, even for free if one just signs up for the 7 day trial.
While there are different reasons for positioning some of the films where they fall, the ordering is primarily by formal topic.
I keep thinking I’ll start a new site at some point and post stuff like this on it rather than Protozoic. I haven’t made that site yet, so here you go. If you are trapped at home for the holidays, now you have my list of films to watch that I genuinely recommend beyond a point of favorites — because let’s face it, favorites are daft.
- Silent Comedy – Fatty and Mabel Adrift (1916), Mabel Normand and Fatty Arbuckle, One A.M. (1916), Charlie Chaplin, One Week (1920), Buster Keaton; (intro)
- Rashomon (1950), Akira Kurosawa; (narrative)
- Pather Panchali (1955), Satyajit Ray; (mise-en-scène)
- Daughters of the Dust (1991), Julie Dash; (cinematography)
- Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Taika Waititi;(editing)
- Suspiria (1977), Dario Argento; (Halloween)
- Playtime (1967), Jacques Tati; (sound)
- The Hitch-Hiker (1953), Ida Lupino; (all formal categories)
- Akira (1988), Katsuhiro Ôtomo; (all formal categories)
- The Lure (2015), Agnieszka Smoczynska; (all formal categories)