Sunday, December 31, 2023

Best of 2023- Part 1

This is the first group of films that are the absolute best films I saw in 2023- the tip top of these films will be posted tomorrow.

DOWNWIND-frightening look at how the US government hedged atomic contamination and then covered it up even long before a single bomb was ever exploded

MAMACRUZ older woman discovers the joys of porn

SQUARING THE CIRCLE- the story of the guys behind the classic record album covers

RIGHT TO READ - the battle to make sure that kids can read

UNICORN WARS - teddy bears fight unicorns to the death in a film that is not for kids

PRYING EYES - unnerving horror film about ghosts and man who films people

GODLESS - a film that makes exorcisms scary again

PETROL - filmmaker meets a performance artist in a film with no answers and tons of questions. I'm still haunted by it.

MOON GARDEN - fantasy tale of a girl in a coma

ANGEL APPLICANT - a man finds life in connecting to his famous artist

ARTIFICE GIRL - the creation of an AI young girl capable of catching predators raises all sorts of questions 

UNDER SKY OF DAMASCUS - a group of women come together to put on a play in Syria

ONLY THE GOOD SURVIVE - unexpected thriller that turns and turns and turns

SUMMER STORY-  a young girl tries to find her biological father.....two year old Japanese film is one you need to find

TOTEM- not the Oscar nominee- this is the story of a young girl and her totem animal a giant porcupine

NIGHT OF THE 12th - the police try to find the killer of a girl and it all goes sideways

MORE THAN HAIR - sweet short doc about the importance of hair

SOFT SKINNED -Australian vet of the Afghanistan war struggles to survive. This needs to be a feature

DESPERATE SOULS DARK CITY AND THE LEGEND OF MIDNIGHT COWBOY is one of the best films on film you will see because it is not only the film but the society that created it

AMERICAN SIKH documentary about a man bridging culture by dressing as a Sikh Captain America

SEVEN WINTERS IN TEHRAN - crushing film about a woman sentenced to death for killing her rapist in Iran.

FREAKS VS THE REICH - greatest Xmen film ever made. This is what super hero films should be

CURE FOR HATE a member of a hate group goes to Auschwitz and is rocked. Its a deeply moving 

SAKRA - one of the best Donnie Yen films is not on my best of the best list because the last 15 minutes it wobbles too much, but outside of that this maybe one of the greatest action films ever made.

STRANGENESS- the story, kind of, of the creation of the classic Six Characters Looking For An Exit. Its lovely

THE DELTA- magnificent thriller set in the swamps of Italy

ABLED - portrait of para athlete Blake Leeper who is just an amazing athlete.

JOHN WICK 4 - despite the ridiculous turns and shitty villain this is a thrill ride

TO MY FATHER Troy Kostur celebrates his father

PROOF OF CONCEPT a short film about making a short film

THE STARLING - bittersweet story of a parents missing their dead daughter

PRAYING FOR ARMAGEDDON - frightening film looking at the far rights desire to end the world according to their prophecy

NIMONA- a glorious animated film about a shape changing young woman and a (gay) knight set up to be villains who must work together to save the city state they love. Destined to change lives for generations, it scared the crap out of Disney who thankfully sold it (they would have neutered it)

CLOSE YOUR EYES a celebration of life and the movies that hits you with a bat as a director tries to find the actor who walked off from his film years earlier.

HUMANIST VAMPIRE... wonderful  horror comedy romance about a vampire who won't kill

AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE fantastic action romance set in an alternate reality where there is magic. One of the best comic/manga adaptions ever.

PERSIAN VERSION - unexpected and joyous celebration of life. I had no idea what this was and now I can't stop recommending it.

TALLYWACKER - Jeremy Dubs makes a film based on his life and makes a funny and touching and real  film about people you want to hang out with. (I have been trying to decide if this belongs here or tomorrows part of the list since I saw it. Ultimately it doesn't matter, its just one of the best films I saw this year)

THE COLOR PURPLE- While the narrative is a bit uneven the music and performances bring wave after wave of emotion. Bring tissues.

A TASTE OF THINGS- a glorious food porn romance. 

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