10/10: Dan Sallitt

The director of the critically-acclaimed feature Fourteen – now playing in our Virtual Cinema along with his previous films, All the Ships at Sea and Honeymoon – shares his ten favorite films from the last ten years.

1. Old Dog (Pema Tseden, 2011) No clear line between deadpan comedy and existential despair.

2. The Day He Arrives (Hong Sangsoo, 2011) Maybe not the bleakest Hong, but one of the bleakest, and also one of those that benefit most from structure.

3. A Month in Thailand (Paul Negoescu, 2012) A Rohmerian conviction in love that is slowly problematized.

4. The Mend (John Magary, 2014) Remarkable distribution of sympathy and detail across a wide canvas.

5. Scaffold (Kazik Radwanski, 2017) Extreme visual abstraction and extreme behavioral naturalism.

6. The Whispering Star (Sion Sono, 2015) I still don’t know whether Sono’s great emotional and tonal command here is an aberration or a characteristic that is often well hidden in his work. The film screams “masterpiece” and maybe I should take my fingers out of my ears.

7. Sleeping Beauty (Julia Leigh, 2011) What I always wished Kubrick films could be. Philosophical, remote, quietly terrifying.

8. Love Battles (Jacques Doillon, 2013) Dares much, missteps occasionally, pays off beautifully.

9. Radio Mary (Gary Walkow, 2017) The masochistic nega-fantasy of its protagonist, whose intelligence and perspective can change nothing. Barely shown, for reasons that are obscure to me.

10. Of Woman and Horses (Patricia Mazuy, 2011) A comic disruption of the underdog sports story, with our sympathy undercut and dissipated at every turn.

Sorry that Catherine Breillat’s The Sleeping Beauty fell off the edge of the ten-year limitation by a few days. Also sorry that the Dardennes, Hansen-Love, Swanberg and other luminaries of the decade aren’t represented.

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Dan Sallitt’s Fourteen is now playing in our Virtual Cinema.

10/10 is an ongoing series in which we ask cinephiles to name their ten favorite films from the last ten years (currently, between 2011 and 2020).

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