Best Films 2013

It’s that time of the year to make lists, review what you’ve done, what you will do, etc etc. Here my 2013* top-10 films… [no spoilers]…

Martina Gedeck in “Die Wand”

1 Die Wand (
Austrian/German, 2012. It’s hard to say why this film came to be number 1 for me this year. This had to do with the way the audience responded. After it had finished, we all sat in silence for quite some minutes before anyone dared to get up and leave the cinema. It’s a film that stays with you, for many weeks.
2 Io sono Li (
Italy, 2011. Touching little gem. It’s one of those films that make you very happy about life, while being realistic and not a happy-happy film. In fact, I was so happy that after exiting the cinema and walking around town in a daze, my wallet was stolen and I didn’t notice until the next day…
3 Inside Llewyn Davis (
USA, 2013. Perhaps because I saw this film at exactly the right moment in life, this film made me cry for a long time. What does it mean to relate to this so much? Is it the music that finally got to me? No, there is much more going on, choices made. Excellent cinematography.
4 Matterhorn (
Netherlands, 2013. How to show the crazy habits of an extremely conservative Dutch town in which human relations are still the same as hundred years ago, without passing a verdict? By showing it, and introducing a stranger into town who is truly innocent, which makes the townspeople’s response extremely rediculous. And most funny.
5 Kid (
Belgium, 2012. Probably not too many people have seen this film, yet it deserves a mention. A chilling story of how children are resilient and find ways to be children, despite the inability of the grownups surrounding them to take care of them.
6 La Grande Belezza (
Italy, 2013. A reflection on the absurd by the king of the absurd normalcy we call the good life. Set in the extravagance of Rome’s nightclubs, a so-called-writer mourns his and his companions inability to exist.
7 Lore (
Australia, 2012. Set in Germany 1945, we follow a girl who was brought up to think like a victor in a world that turns against her.
8 Ginger & Rosa (
UK, 2012. By my favorite director, set in 1960s London, a wonderful story that needs to be told over and over – to defy the present authority, you need to find out who to trust, who you are, who you love and what it is worth to fight for. (See also previous post.)
9 Hannah Arendt (
Japan(??), 2012. Following Hannah Arendt and her work for The New Yorker into her work which we now know as the book ‘The banality of Evil’. I had expected more of this film, maybe because that book is so extremely good. But it does give a context, and with very nice images brings this topic to a bigger audience. Too bad the relation to Heidegger was forcefully brought up, without going into depth and thereby merely reinforcing the general thoughts concerning that relationship.
10 La cinquième saison (
Belgium, 2012. Most excellent, perhaps this should be the number 1. Not only due to the way it’s brought to the screen. But the story itself, the way people respond to the fact that after winter, no spring follows, is very original and perfectly shows humanity’s dependence on nature, and how ‘we’ behave in times of anguish and hunger. A must see film for everyone interested in life.
(Nymphomaniac probably also deserves a place… yet only came out this week…)
* Based on films that reached the Dutch cinema in 2013.

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