John Waters

  • John Waters

    1 BABY DRIVER (Edgar Wright) The best movie of the year is a popcorn thriller, an art film, and a gearhead classic that grossed over $100 million. It deserved to! Watching the star turn of Ansel Elgort was like seeing John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever for the first time.

    2 I, OLGA HEPNAROVÁ (Petr Kazda and Tomáš Weinreb) A hypnotic black-and-white docudrama based on the case of a pretty, twenty-two-year-old chain-smoking lesbian from Prague who in 1973 hopped in a truck and mowed down twenty pedestrians on a sidewalk. Deadpan indeed.

    3 THE STRANGE ONES (Christopher Radcliff and Lauren

  • John Waters

    1 KRISHA (Trey Edward Shults) This hilariously harrowing portrait of a family reunion ruined by an alcoholic relative and too many dogs is told with verve and lunacy and features a top-notch performance by Krisha Fairchild, the director’s own aunt. Other people’s hell can sometimes be so much fun.

    2 TICKLED (David Farrier and Dylan Reeve) Hahahahaha! First you’ll chuckle watching this exceptional piece of investigative reporting, but then, once the shocking plot twists begin, you’ll choke on that laughter.

    3 EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! (Richard Linklater) The best accidentally gay movie ever made

  • John Waters

    1 HELMUT BERGER, ACTOR (Andreas Horvath) Maybe the best motion picture of the year is also the worst? One-time dreamboat movie star and lover of Visconti, Helmut Berger, now seventy-one and sometimes looking like Marguerite Duras, rants and raves in his ramshackle apartment while the maid dishes the dirt about his sad life. The rules of documentary access are permanently fractured here when our featured attraction takes off all his clothes on camera, masturbates, and actually ejaculates. The Damned, indeed.

    2 CINDERELLA (Kenneth Branagh) Yes, you heard me, Cinderella. I fucking love this Disney

  • John Waters

    1 MAPS TO THE STARS (David Cronenberg) Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache.

    2 CHARLIE VICTOR ROMEO (Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson) A nail-biting, fear-of-flying 3-D experimental movie where you are locked in six separate cockpits with the flight crew as they reenact black-box dialogue from actual aviation mishaps and crashes. The scariest airplane movie ever.

    3 THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ (Guillaume Nicloux) My favorite writer is now a movie star, and he’s great playing himself in a literary

  • John Waters

    1 SPRING BREAKERS (Harmony Korine) The best sexploitation film of the year has Disney tween starlets hilariously undulating, snorting cocaine, and going to jail in bikinis. What more could a serious filmgoer possibly want?

    2 CAMILLE CLAUDEL 1915 (Bruno Dumont) Not since Freaks has there been such a harrowing pairing of a star (the sensational Juliette Binoche) with a cast of genuinely handicapped actors. Once again, the great Dumont proves he is the ultimate master of cinematic misery.

    3 ABUSE OF WEAKNESS (Catherine Breillat) Isabelle Huppert, my favorite actress in the world, plays a crazy director

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    I always look forward to Lionel Shriver’s novels—especially in summer, because she writes the exact opposite of an easy “beach read.” The last one I devoured, So Much for That (2010), was such a feel-bad book about cancer (with an entirely believable insanely happy ending) that it made me feel like either killing myself or planning a joyous vacation. I can’t wait to get my hands on her new one, Big Brother (HarperCollins). It concerns morbid obesity and fame. Don’t they go together like love and marriage, a horse and carriage? Here’s the real reason I love Lionel Shriver:

  • John Waters

    1 The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies) The agony and passion of obsessive love and a broken heart are so well wrought here that you’ll wish you were suicidal over someone who didn’t love you back.

    2 Paradise: Faith (Ulrich Seidl) Fassbinder died, so God gave us Ulrich Seidl. I laughed uproariously throughout this horrifying portrait of a religious fanatic, and if there’s something the matter with you, you will, too.

    3 Paradise: Love (Ulrich Seidl) Middle-aged women sex tourists can be just as piggish as their male counterparts. But when the sexually exploited begin to exploit back, who’s the victim?

  • John Waters

    1 The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) A dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world. God bless you, Pedro Almodóvar!

    2 Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes) This elegantly shot, pitch-perfect made-for-TV melodrama makes everyone who watches secretly yearn to be a woman with issues. The best period film in decades—period.

    3 Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu) I’m not kidding. A well-made doc that proves the Bieb was a child prodigy. Wait until you see Justin stick his head into the audience and shake his hair in 3-D. I screamed.

    4 Hadewijch (Bruno

  • John Waters

    1 Domain (Patric Chiha) My favorite movie of the year. A forty-year-old alcoholic aunt (played by Béatrice Dalle—“Betty Blue” herself!) and her gayish teenage nephew form a perversely close relationship by taking walks together. Lots of walks! So many walks you’ll be left breathless by the sheer elegance of this astonishing little workout.

    2 Enter the Void (Gaspar Noé) The best film ever about taking hallucinogenic drugs. Seizure-inducing title credits, cinematography that looks as if it were shot by a Gerhard Richter–influenced kamikaze pilot—even vagina cams. Gaspar, thank you. You’re

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1 Import Export (Ulrich Seidl) The most sorrowful movie of the year is also the best. The miserable lives of Ukrainian immigrants in Vienna make this agonizing but brilliantly directed opus the cinematic equivalent of slitting your wrists. A new genre? Depression porn? Hey, I got off.

    2 Antichrist (Lars von Trier) If Ingmar Bergman had committed suicide, gone to hell, and come back to earth to direct an exploitation/art film for drive-ins, this is the movie he would have made.

    3 In the Loop (Armando Iannucci) A smart, mean, foulmouthed British satire about the struggle for global power

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1 Sorry, it’s a tie: (A) Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen) Does anybody not think this is the best American movie of the year (even though it was made in Spain)? Come on, it’s got a great script, the actors look like real movie stars, and Woody Allen films Scarlett Johansson with the same obsession Paul Morrissey had for Joe Dallesandro. Gives heterosexuality a good name! (B) Love Songs (Christophe Honoré) I may be the only person who would pick this as the best foreign-language movie of the year, but what do I care if you don’t like this hipper-than-thou bisexual French musical?

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1 Grindhouse (Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino) The coolest high-concept art film of the year. A faux exploitation double feature from hell with coming attractions in between for films you’d kill to see if they were real. I could feel the ghost rats from Baltimore theaters past brushing up against my legs as I watched.

    2 Before I Forget (Jacques Nolot) This negative movie about an HIV-positive man is brave, funny, gaily incorrect, and smart as a whip. The best feel-bad gay movie ever made.

    3 Away from Her (Sarah Polley) Julie Christie deserves an Oscar for this wonderfully terrifying

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1 United 93 (Paul Greengrass) The best movie in the last five years. No cheap shots in this one! I have friends who would watch a snuff film, yet they refuse to see this great action picture—I don’t get why.

    2 Jackass Number Two (Jeff Tremaine) Playing on more than three thousand screens, Jackass 2 was the number-one-grossing movie in America on its opening weekend—and the male stars eat shit and drink horse semen for real. They’re nude a lot, too. If this isn’t cultural terrorism, I don’t know what is.

    3 The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald) Forest Whitaker tops the

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1 LAST DAYS (GUS VAN SANT) How does Gus get away with making films this great? So arty, so sexy, so maddeningly cool that I’m jealous. Michael Pitt is better at being Kurt Cobain than Kurt was.

    2 PALINDROMES (TODD SOLONDZ) Todd makes the perfect abortion movie: kind, scary, fair, and with amazing musical numbers! Come on over to Broadway, Mr. Solondz—we could use you.

    3 A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (DAVID CRONENBERG) Maria Bello is the best actress of the year, and for once you believe a scene in which the leading lady vomits from being shocked.

    4 GRIZZLY MAN (WERNER HERZOG) Timothy

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1. Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette) The best movie of the year. A scarily original underground documentary about a boy (the director) who saves his own life with a video camera. A truly sensational debut.

    2. Baadasssss! (Mario Van Peebles) Not since Ed Wood has there been a film that captures the “making of a movie” with such a first-hand knowledge and love of showmanship.

    3. The Mother (Roger Michell) A recently widowed grandmother turns horny and has a secret affair with her daughter’s much younger, loutish boyfriend. Gerontophilia never seemed so exciting.

    4. Bad Education (Pedro Almodóvar)

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1. Irreversible (Gaspar Noé) The art shocker of the year is also the year’s best. Put on the horrifying sound-track CD (there is one), take a roofie, and remember this amazing journey into rape and, yes . . . intimacy.

    2. Dog Days (Ulrich Seidl) Runner-up. The most humiliating film ever made (for both actors and audience). Astonishingly hateful and original. Vienna never looked so depressing.

    3. The Son (Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne) Lead actor Olivier Gourmet won the best-actor award at Cannes for this performance, despite the fact that he’s filmed almost entirely from the

  • Colin de Land

    IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT, and I was standing, freezing, outside American Fine Arts, Co., when a shiny new purple pickup truck arrived with its ferocious cargo: The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black. Naked save for a coat of brightly colored body paint, seven band members leaped from the vehicle and paraded into the packed gallery for their performance. Inside the space, visitors were greeted by a photo in which bandleader Kembra Pfahler was seen prancing on a bed with another naked body—that of Colin de Land, the proprietor of American Fine Arts, painted completely blue and topped with a

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1. Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes) My favorite film of the year. A Douglas Sirk–inspired melodrama that actually works without being campy. How does a director this young know so much?

    2. La Chatte à deux têtes (Jacques Nolot) This hilarious, entertaining, and authentic film takes place entirely inside a Parisian porn theater. Somebody! Please! Give this movie American distribution!

    3. The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke) Not since Salò have we had a shocker like this. Isabelle Huppert is God.

    4. Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón) Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal get my vote for screen

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1. Bully (Larry Clark) My favorite movie of the year: a dirty true-crime sexploitation picture that dares to be art. Larry Clark invents the “crotch-cam” shot and inspires the most outraged New York Times review of the season.

    2. Faithless (Liv Ullmann) Liv Ullmann channels Ingmar Bergman. See it on acid.

    3. L.I.E. (Michael Cuesta) A feel-good child molester with a hard-on of gold befriends a confused Long Island teen and his Gacy-bait sidekick.

    4. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch) Lipstick lesbians never had this much celluloid fun.

    5. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Kevin Smith) GLAAD was

  • John Waters

    JOHN WATERS

    1. Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier) The most hilariously moving, “feel-insane” movie of the year.

    2. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen) The jaw-dropping all-singing, all-dancing Ku Klux Klan—Busby Berkeley number is a real beaut.

    3. L’Humanité (Bruno Dumont) The endless saga of a simpleton cop so desperate to feel emotion that he spies on the sex life of his lusty neighbors and smells and kisses his crime suspects during interrogations.

    4. American Psycho (Mary Harron) A chain-saw movie for the elite; the funniest American comedy of the year.

    5. The Idiots (Lars von Trier) A