PRINT December 2010

Film: Best of 2010

John Waters

Patric Chiha, Domaine (Domain), 2009, still from a color film in 35 mm, 110 minutes. Nadia (Béatrice Dalle).

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 my sweetheart.

3 Buried (Rodrigo Cortés) The most excruciatingly painful date movie imaginable comes complete with a very smart feel-bad ending. See it with someone you hate.

4 Ricky (François Ozon) A great special-effects movie, though there’s only one effect: a flying baby. If David Lynch and David Cronenberg had sex and one of them magically got pregnant, this film could be their offspring.

5 Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg) Talk about granting access! Are you crazy, Joan?! If Jews went to confession, this film would be a sacrament.

Jeff Tremaine, Jackass 3D, 2010, trailer for a 3-D color film in 35 mm, 94 minutes.

6 Jackass 3D (Jeff Tremaine) A scatological, gay, s/m, borderline snuff movie amazingly embraced by a wide, American blue-collar family audience. Isn’t Steve-O chugging down a glass of sweat collected from the ass-crack of an obese man and then vomiting at you in 3-D the purest moment of raw cinema anarchy this year?

7 Life During Wartime (Todd Solondz) Paul Reubens (without a trace of Pee-Wee) is a suicidal ghost who’s still miserable, and Charlotte Rampling plays a bitter, self-loathing hotel hornball. Both performances will break your heart.

8 Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos) If your parents raised you into your teen years without ever once letting you out of the house and taught you that “outside” means climbing in the trunk of the family car and locking yourself in, are you in mental trouble? Hilarious, original, and very discomfiting, the way movies should be.

9 Carlos (Olivier Assayas) I loved all five-plus hours of this French hymn to celebrity revolutionary–turned-mercenary Carlos the Jackal. He’s so sexy that even militant, left-wing German feminist terrorists give him head and his own hostages ask for his autograph.

10 Mesrine (Parts 1 and 2) (Jean-François Richet) Four and a half more hours about another French criminal–folk hero–stud. Who’s badder? More butch? Cuter nude? Carlos or Jacques Mesrine? Why not a subtitled ten-hour “Freddy vs. Jason” combined sequel about both? In Sensurround, s’il vous plaît.

John Waters is a film director, author, actor, and photographer who lives in Baltimore and New York. His most recent book, Role Models, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux earlier this year.