Monday, December 16, 2013

Film Comment announces 2013 Best of Year lists

Film Comment’s annual end-of-the-year survey of film critics, journalists, film section editors, and past and present contributors was released today with Joel & Ethan Coen’s INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE and Richard Linklater’s BEFORE MIDNIGHT taking the top spots among films released in 2013. Among films that made appearances at film festivals or special screenings worldwide, but haven’t been picked up for stateside distribution as of yet, Philippe Garrel’s JEALOUSY, Tsai Ming-liang’s STRAY DOGS and Joaquim Pinto’s WHAT NOW? REMIND ME received the top rankings.

Offering the most comprehensive assessment of the year in film, Film Comment received responses from more than 120 participants including (in alphabetical order): David Ansen (LAFF Artistic Director), Richard Brody (The New Yorker), Scott Foundas (Variety), Susan Gerhard (Editor, Fandor), Haden Guest (Director, Harvard Film Archive), Eugene Hernandez (Director of Digital Strategy, Film Society of Lincoln Center), J. Hoberman (The New York Times), Ann Hornaday (Washington Post), Kent Jones (Programming Director of NYFF), Daniel Kasman (MUBI), Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Dennis Lim (FSLC Director of Cinematheque Programming), Scott Macaulay (Filmmaker Magazine), Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter), Andréa Picard (Programmer, Toronto Film Festival’s “Wavelengths” Curator), Amy Taubin (Film Comment Contributing Editor and NYFF Selection Committee), and Kenneth Turan (LA Times).

Film Comment’s Top 10 Films Released in 2013 
1. Joel & Ethan Coen’s INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
2. Steve McQueen’s 12 YEARS A SLAVE
3. Richard Linklater’s BEFORE MIDNIGHT
4. Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE ACT OF KILLING
5. Jia Zhang-ke’s A TOUCH OF SIN
6. Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel’s LEVIATHAN
7. Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY
8. Andrew Bujalski’s COMPUTER CHESS
9. Noah Baumbach’s FRANCES HA
10. Shane Carruth’s UPSTREAM COLOR.

The rankings of other films making strong showings during the awards season are Spike Jonze’s HER (#17), Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA (#18), and David O. Russell’s AMERICAN HUSTLE (#19).

Film Comment’s survey also ranks films that have screened and made notable appearances at film festivals throughout the year, but remain without U.S. distribution as of press time:

1. Philippe Garrel’s JEALOUSY
2. Tsai Ming-liang’s STRAY DOGS
3. Joaquim Pinto’s WHAT NOW? REMIND ME
5. Catherine Breillat’s ABUSE OF WEAKNESS
6. Hong Sang-soo’s OUR SUNHI
8. Ben Rivers & Ben Russell’s A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS
9. Albert Serra’s STORY OF MY DEATH
10. Fernando Eimbcke’s CLUB SANDWICH.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (#37) will serve as the cover story subject of Film Comment Magazine’s Jan/Feb issue, with the top three choices, INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (Nov/Dec), 12 YEARS A SLAVE (Sept/Oct), BEFORE MIDNIGHT (May/June) and SOMETHING IN THE AIR  (#28) (March/April)  also landing on Film Comment covers this past year.

Film Comment editor Gavin Smith said, “Film Comment’s annual Best Films lists does its best to offer a comprehensive look at the year in film by combining the viewpoints of most of the magazine’s staff and contributors as well as many of America’s most influential film critics, writers and minds. Every year we try to make the poll more inclusive.”

The lists of films and poll participants can be found on and in the January/February issue of Film Comment, which hits newsstands January 7.


1. Inside Llewyn Davis, Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen                            
2. 12 Years a Slave, Director: Steve McQueen                                          
3. Before Midnight, Director: Richard Linklater                                         
4. The Act of Killing, Director: Joshua Oppenheimer                              
5. A Touch of Sin, Director: Jia Zhang-ke                                                    
 6. Leviathan, Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel
7. Gravity, Director: Alfonso Cuarón                                                            
8. Computer Chess, Director: Andrew Bujalski                                        
9. Frances Ha, Director: Noah Baumbach                                                 
10. Upstream Color, Director: Shane Carruth

Rankings #11 - #20
11. Museum Hours, Director: Jem Cohen                                                 
12. Blue Is the Warmest Color, Director: Abdellatif Kechiche               
13. Bastards, Director: Claire Denis                                                           
14. Spring Breakers, Director: Harmony Korine                                      
15. Like Someone in Love, Director: Abbas Kiarostami                         
16. Stories We Tell, Director: Sarah Polley                                               
17. Her, Director: Spike Jonze                                                                      
18. Nebraska, Director: Alexander Payne                                                  
19. American Hustle, Director: David O. Russell                                     
20. The Grandmaster, Director: Wong Kar Wai                                        

Rankings #21 - #30
21. At Berkeley, Director: Frederick Wiseman                                                     
22. Beyond the Hills, Director: Cristian Mungiu
23. No, Director: Pablo Larraín                                                                                 
24. The Great Beauty, Director: Paolo Sorrentino
25. Blue Jasmine, Director: Woody Allen
26. All Is Lost, Director: J.C. Chandor
27. Post Tenebras Lux, Director: Carlos Reygadas
28. Something in the Air, Director: Olivier Assayas
29. Viola, Director: Matías Piñeiro
30. Fruitvale Station, Director: Ryan Coogler

Rankings #31 - #40
31. To the Wonder, Director: Terrence Malick
32. Night Across the Street, Director: Raúl Ruiz
33. Room 237, Director: Rodney Ascher
34. Faust, Director: Aleksandr Sokurov
35. Let the Fire Burn, Director: Jason Osder
36. Le Pont du Nord, Director: Jacques Rivette
37. The Wolf of Wall Street, Director: Martin Scorsese
38. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Director: Alain Resnais
39. The Last Time I Saw Macao, Director: João Pedro Rodrigues
40. The Past, Director: Asghar Farhadi

Rankings #41 - #50
41. The Square, Director: Jehane Noujaim
42. The Wind Rises, Director: Hayao Miyazaki
43. Drug War, Director: Johnnie To
44. Cousin Jules, Director: Dominique Benicheti
45. Much Ado About Nothing, Director: Joss Whedon
46. Passion, Director: Brian De Palma
47. Short Term 12, Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
48. Dallas Buyers Club, Director: Jean-Marc Vallee
49. Berberian Sound Studio, Director: Peter Strickland
50. Captain Phillips, Director: Paul Greengrass

1. Jealousy, Director: Philippe Garrel                                                   
2. Stray Dogs, Director: Tsai Ming-liang                                              
3. What Now? Remind Me, Director: Joaquim Pinto                         
4. Nobody's Daughter Haewon, Director: Hong Sang-soo              
5. Abuse of Weakness, Director: Catherine Breillat
6. Our Sunhi, Director: Hong Sang-soo                                               
7. The Strange Little Cat, Director: Ramon Zürcher
8. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, Directors: Ben Rivers & Ben Russell     
9. Story of My Death, Director: Albert Serra                                         
10. Club Sandwich, Director: Fernando Eimbcke

Rankings #11 - #20
11. Closed Curtain, Director: Jafar Panahi                                          
12. Til Madness Do Us Part, Director: Wang Bing
13. Three Interpretation Exercises, Director: Cristi Puiu                
14. Stemple Pass, Director: James Benning                                     
15. People's Park, Directors: Libbie D. Cohn & J. P. Sniadecki     
16. The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears, Directors: Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani       
17. La Ultima Película, Directors: Raya Martin & Mark Peranson   
18. Butter on the Latch, Director: Josephine Decker                        
19. Blind Detective, Director: Johnnie To                                            
20. Coast of Death, Director: Lois Patiño

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility and understanding of the moving image. Film Society produces the renowned New York Film Festival, a curated selection of the year's most significant new film work, and presents or collaborates on other annual New York City festivals including Dance on Camera, Film Comment Selects, Human Rights Watch Film Festival, LatinBeat, New Directors/New Films, NewFest, New York African Film Festival, New York Asian Film Festival, New York Jewish Film Festival, Open Roads: New Italian Cinema and Rendez-vous With French Cinema. In addition to publishing the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, Film Society recognizes an artist's unique achievement in film with the prestigious "Chaplin Award." The Film Society's state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year round programs and the New York City film community.

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