And here are the other 5 movies in my list – with other films good enough to be mentioned.
There is always some distance between parents and their children, and Charlotte Wells’ remarkable debut feature film “Aftersun” sensitively illustrates the growing distance between the father and daughter at the center of its intimate character drama. Nothing much seems to happen on the surface, and they surely look like having a good time together, but we also come to sense how their close relationship is going to be changed in one way or another – especially as the main viewpoint of the movie gradually emerges along the story.
Jordan Peele’s third feature film “Nope” is a terrific genre piece to admire and enjoy. Although there are some parts which do not seem to work as well as intended, I was entertained a lot by how the movie skillfully engages us from the beginning to the end, and even those seemingly weak parts of the film somehow fit into its big picture as I reflect more on them after watching it. Although it does not reach to the devious narrative precision of “Get Out” or the endlessly thought-provoking aspects of “Us”, it is still quite enjoyable in terms of mood, storytelling, and performance, and I am already willing to watch it again for savoring its highlights more.
Laura Wandel’s “Playground”, which was selected the Belgian entry for the Best International Film Oscar in last year, is often quite difficult to watch. As firmly sticking to its little young heroine’s limited perspective, the movie closely and vividly observes her conflicts involved with cruel acts of abuse and ostracization at her school, and you may wince more than once while still paying attention to her painful plight to the end. Although its running time is only 72 minutes, the movie is still impactful enough for us, and I think it will make you reflect more on how you managed to survive a jungle called school.
9. The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic
Great Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman once said that human face is the most fascinating subject possible for the camera. That is what came to my mind while I was watching Teemu Niki’s exceptional film “The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See Titanic”, which won the audience award when it was shown at the Venice International Film Festival in last year. So adamantly focusing on its disabled hero’s face from the beginning to the end, the movie will make you constantly aware of his plain but unforgettable face, and you will find yourself more attentive to whatever can be glimpsed from his face – and whatever he cannot possibly see due to his deteriorating medical condition.
Chinonye Chukwu’s “Till” is a very harrowing experience to say the least. As attempting to present one of the most atrocious cases of American racism during the late 20th century, this modest but undeniably powerful film does not look away from the horror and sadness of the case at all. Strongly supported by its wonderful lead actress Danielle Deadwyler, it skillfully handles its important social/historical subject with enough respect and thoughtfulness, and it is surely another excellent work from Chukwu, who previously drew my attention for her overlooked gem “Clemency”. Considering how the American society is still riddled with racism problems, the movie feels all the more relevant, and it will certainly make you reflect more on why there should be more changes even at this point.
Notable mention (In alphabetical order)
“Athena”, “Bantú Mama”, “The Batman”, “Bones and All”, “Catch the Fair One”, “Causeway”, “Enola Holmes 2”, “Fire Island”, “Full Time”, “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”, “Kimi”, “The Menu”, “Nitram”, “The Northman”, “On the Count of Three”, “Paris the 13th District”, “Prey”, “Watcher”, “The Wonder”, and “You Won’t Be Alone”
Yes, I belatedly watched them, and they are all good (In alphabetical order): “Flee”, “A Hero”, “Licorice Pizza”, “The Lost Daughter”, “Mass”, “Memoria”, “The Novice”, “Parallel Mothers”, “This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection”, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, “West Side Story”, “Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy”, “The Worst Person in the World”