And the Top Ten Customer-Chosen films of 2022, in order from 1 to 10, are [drum roll]:
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- The Fabelmans
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Triangle of Sadness
- Decision to Leave
It’s a terrific list, arguably better than the one AMPAS announced this week, which excluded RRR, Nope, Aftersun and Decision to Leave. Films 2-4 and 9, hyperlinked for your convenience, are still in theaters!
Keep those Top Ten contest entries coming. You have until this Sunday, January 22 to give it some thought and enter here. So far, unsurprisingly, it looks like many Laemmle moviegoers are kvelling about Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick, and RRR. We’ll have final results next week. You can read Greg Laemmle’s list and leading American film critics’ lists if you need inspiration. Personally, my favorite is Jordan Peele’s spectacular Nope. No doubt my reaction was influenced by the fact that I saw it in a packed, sold-out theater on opening night, because movies are better in theaters!
A statement from Jafar Panahi, unjustly imprisoned since July 2022 by the fascist theocrats in Tehran:
“We are filmmakers. We are part of Iranian independent cinema. For us, to live is to create. We create works that are not commissioned. Therefore, those in power see us as criminals. Independent cinema reflects its own times. It draws inspiration from society. And cannot be indifferent to it.
“The history of Iranian cinema witnesses the constant and active presence of independent directors who have struggled to push back censorship and to ensure the survival of this art. While on this path, some were banned from making films, others were forced into exile or reduced to isolation. And yet, the hope of creating again is a reason for existence. No matter where, when, or under what circumstances, an independent filmmaker is either creating or thinking about creation. We are filmmakers, independent ones.”
Some of the copious praise for No Bears, the film he finished just before being arrested:
“If watching a Jafar Panahi film is something of a political act, then it is also a soul-nourishing one.” ~ Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
Have you caught up on the 2022 movies you wanted to see? Regardless, it’s time to submit your Top Ten lists. Tell us which films you liked best here and you’ll be entered into a raffle for free Laemmle gift cards! If you need inspiration, here’s Greg Laemmle on the state of arthouse moviegoing and his favorite features of the last year, with some thoughts about each:
“At some level, the best that can be said is that at least we were open for all twelve months of the year. And after 2020 and 2021, that was a positive. But given that the year both started and ended with Omicron surges, the movie exhibition sector is still not in a post-Covid environment.
Happy New Year! We’re welcoming 2023 with five powerful titles in our long-running Culture Vulture series: The Super 8 Years; Children of the Mist; Filmmakers for the Prosecution screening with Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today; and Geographies of Solitude.
The Super 8 Years, January 23 & 24: One of France’s most respected contemporary writers, 2022 Nobel Prize laureate Annie Ernaux’s intimate and autobiographical body of work captures the inner lives of women alongside societal and cultural changes in France from the 1960s onwards. A natural extension of her literary work in its form and content, The Super 8 Years shows the pastimes, lifestyle and aspirations of a social class in post-1960s France through the lens of the Ernaux family archive. Read Manohla Dargis’ rave review in the New York Times: “The film’s images have faded, but the memories they’ve stirred up are vivid and full of feeling…short, potent, quietly elegiac.”
Children of the Mist, January 30 & 31: In a village hidden in the mist-shrouded Northwest Vietnamese mountains resides an indigenous Hmong community, home to 12-year-old Di, part of the first generation of her people with access to formal education. A free spirit, Di happily recounts her experiences to Vietnamese filmmaker Diễm Hà Lệ, who planted herself within Di’s family over the course of three years to document this unique coming of age. “Diem’s intimate access and sensitive approach, together with editor Swann Dubus’ keen eye for texture and detail, make for a compelling and eye-opening drama.” ~ Nikki Baughan, Screen Daily
Filmmakers for the Prosecution screening with Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today, February 6 & 7: Filmmakers: Near the end of WWII, filmmaker John Ford, head of the Field Photographic Branch of the OSS, assigns the Schulberg brothers to carry out a special mission: track down German footage and photographs of Nazi atrocities in order to convict the leaders scheduled to stand trial. Nuremberg: One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, the film shows how prosecutors built their case against Nazi war criminals using their own films and records. “Haunting and vivid. What this documentary shows is how a vital and indispensable principle of humanity was restored.” [on Nuremberg] – A. O. Scott, New York Times
Geographies of Solitude, February 13 & 14: An immersion into the rich ecosystem of Sable Island, a remote sliver of land in the Northwest Atlantic, the film follows Zoe Lucas, a naturalist and environmentalist who has lived there for over 40 years collecting, cleaning and documenting marine litter that persistently washes up on the island’s shores. Shot on 16mm and created using eco-friendly filmmaking techniques, Geographies of Solitude is a playful and reverent collaboration with the natural world filled with arresting images and made with an activist spirit. “A work of art.” – Marc Glassman, POV Magazine “A beguiling and poetic film.” – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily
Tickets for all the films are now on sale. Couple changes: west side Culture Vulture screenings are now at the Monica Film Center instead of the Royal and the Monday screenings will start at 7 PM instead of 7:30 PM. Also screening at our Glendale and Santa Clarita theaters.
Only in Theaters, the new documentary about the Laemmle family and their film 85-year-old foreign and art film exhibition business, is a critical success, universally praised by critics and audiences alike. You can add your review here (scroll down to the “rate and review” section and click on “what did you think of the movie?”). Now playing at the Monica Film Center.