11 Favorites from 2021

More than most years, in 2021 I found myself quoting Laurie Anderson an awful lot. Probably that was because of the six lectures she presented virtually over the course of the year, courtesy Harvard’s Mahindra Humanities Center; they’re all available via YouTube now and I can’t recommend them highly enough. If I never needed them before, her words of insight and Zen wisdom were sorely needed this year. For example, paraphrasing Sol LeWitt: “If you’re feeling stuck, do your worst work.” I’m afraid this little note must fall into that classification. Aside from my ongoing 3 things project I didn’t write about films very much this year. Mostly, I was content to let films just wash over me, saving up any kind of focused analysis for … what or when, I don’t know. Maybe I’m waiting till it feels easier to have conversations about film again; maybe I’m weary, for the moment, of trading monologs via social media. Though I watched some truly wonderful films this year, both “brand new” and “old,” I really miss going to movies with people and talking about them afterwards. I’m certainly at peace with solo movie-viewing—I just haven’t felt the need as much to set down my thoughts when the movie’s over. I’m counting on 2022 to be different. Until then, as Laurie might say, this is the Time and this is the Record of the Time:

ABOUT ENDLESSNESS (2019, Roy Andersson)
C’MON C’MON (2021, Mike Mills)
MINARI (2020, Lee Isaac Chung)
THE PINE BARRENS (2018, David Scott Kessler)
THE POWER OF THE DOG (2021, Jane Campion)
QUO VADIS, AIDA? (2020, Jasmila Žbanić)
SHAME (1968, Ingmar Bergman)
SON OF THE WHITE MARE (1981, Marcell Jankovics)
TIME (2020, Garrett Bradley)
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY (2021, Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

Honorable mentions:
COLLECTIVE (2019, Alexander Nanau)
GRASSHOPPERS (2021, Brad Bischoff)
THE WHELMING SEA (2020, Sean Hanley)

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