As the Cinematographer and Art Director guilds both announced their nominees today, we got a breathtaking reminder of the visual feast we were served by filmmakers last year. But let’s not forget that the artistry extends worldwide. With that in mind, here’s a Top 20 Countdown by our friend Ali Benzekri that’s filled with refreshing international flavors. We’ll be featuring a few of the year-end compilations assembled by movie-lovers who have the editing skills to build a soul-stirring collage.
You can follow Ali on twitter @Alibenzkr. I asked if he would write a brief intro to his terrific montage, and here’s what he had to say:
2022 is a year that took its time to unravel cinematically. Due to the pandemic, the year started with timid offerings, lacking any visual or creative flair to warrant their existence. Gradually, 2022 got stronger and stronger, making a solid case for one of my favorite sayings: “There is no such a thing as a bad year for films”
This particular year, films from 11 countries made my list of favorites. All of them unique in their own style. “TÁR” marks Todd Field’s comeback and it was worth every year of waiting. A grand exploration of a fascinating genius enduring a slow yet hefty fall of grace.
“Great Freedom” is a bold film about love within prison’s frontiers. Other films are powerful as they are conceived like love childs of distinct directorial styles. “Full Time” is a french thriller dancing between both universes of Dardennes and Safdies.
Horror flourished at the movies this year. With “X” and “Pearl”, Ti West’s universe proves to be a real force thanks to his incredible skills in creating original landscapes for the incredible Mia Goth. “Barbarian” was another horror film that is as twisted and surprising as any classic.
Emma Thompson and Steven Spielberg are two veterans capable of wonders. With “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” and “The Fabelmans”, both screen legends showed, with great humility and skills, novel and intimate portraits on sex and parenthood.
“Aftersun” is the introduction of a major filmmaker. A film that lingers in your head for weeks and months. With extreme confidence, Charlotte Wells turns a mundane father-daughter trip into an absolute triumph about the memories of those who left.