digital collage by AleXander Hirka

Favorite Films of 2020

Cinema In The Year of Coronavirus

The New York Times does it. Rolling Stone. The BBC.
Everybody sums up the passing year with the predictable “Best of” list.

And thus it came to be that the Anomalous Duo composed their list of favorite films viewed in 2020.

The Anomalous Duo (myself and the fabulous writer and fellow cinephile Tammy Remington) have watched 181 films this year. The pandemic helped a little—but we do watch an average of three movies every week every year.

When we are not actively being creative we recharge our hearts and minds by reading, listening to music, and watching films.

We are not fans of Hollywood or the roller-coaster-eye-candy that explodes on Multiplex screens. A majority of the films we seek out and enjoy are made in other countries. We do not pursue happy endings—life goes on, fade to black.

Mass media lists are tied in with the marketing of the movies—and the meaningless awards game—and thus are tied to this year’s product.
We are not so constricted and so our favorites this year range from 1937 to 2020. Three directors came in with multiple selections.

It is with the hope of inspiring others to explore the cinematic gems that delighted and awed us that we provide this list—in no particular order—of our top 20, trailer links and all.

Hellzapoppin’ (H.C.Potter) 1941

The Party (Sally Potter) 2017

Mon Oncle (Jacques Tati) 1958

A Day At The Races (Sam Wood) (1937)

Someone To Love (Henry Jaglom) 1987

Train To Zakopane (Henry Jaglom) 2019

Honeydripper (John Sayles) (2007)

Lianna (John Sayles) 1983

Review:

Trailer only available on Facebook, so if you have an account you can watch it there:

City Of Hope (John Sayles ) 1991

Schnick Schnack Schnuck (Maike Brochhaus) 2015
no English subtitles in trailer — and NSFW

Painted Bird (Václav Marhoul) 2019

Melinda & Melinda (Woody Allen) 2004

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) 2019

Conspirators of Pleasure (Jan Svankmajer) 1997
entire film — no dialog thus no subtitles. those not keen on surrealism should avoid.

Enter The Void (Gaspar Noe) 2009

Underground (Emir Kusturica) 1995

Time of the Gypsies (Emir Kusturica) 1988

Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater) 1995

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater) 2004

Before Midnight (Richard Linklater) 2013

Honorary Mention to two films we watch annually, thematically aligned with Xmas and New Year’s Eve.

Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick)1999

Whatever Works (Woody Allen) 2009

Speaking of Best Of lists . . .

A few weeks ago I wrote a piece about the music that sustained me in 2020.

Happy New Year!

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe. https://alexanderhirka.nyc

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