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 whodunit that revisits his supposedly factual but still vague and unexplained book-tour kidnapping. Did it really happen, or was Houellebecq just drunk? Who knows? Who cares? I do, a lot.
4 THE SMELL OF US (Larry Clark) When the director, playing a wino savant named Rockstar, actually sucks the toes of his French teen male star on-screen (with subtitles yet!), you’ll know you’re beyond Odorama. The smell here may be ripe, but Larry Clark is back in top form. Oh, yeah . . . it’s a great musical.
5 GLORIA (Sebastián Lelio) A feel-bad date movie for old people who love their lives but hate romantic comedies.
6 WHO TOOK JOHNNY (David Beilinson, Michael Galinsky, and Suki Hawley) An amazing, lunatic head-scratcher of a documentary about missing children with plot twists that will leave you creeped out, surprised, and excited. As good as Capturing the Friedmans.
7 LI’L QUINQUIN (Bruno Dumont) Yes, there is such a thing as hillbillies in France. A comic barnyard mystery that asks the nagging question: Who is killing people in the countryside, cutting up their bodies, and stuffing the pieces up cows’ asses?
8 NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME I and VOLUME II (Lars von Trier) I, a Woman meets Salò. I thank the director for every hideous second of this comic masterpiece.
9 VIOLETTE (Martin Provost) An upbeat biopic about one of my longtime literary idols, Violette Leduc (aka the “female Genet”), a doubly miserable bisexual who only fell in love with gay men or heterosexual women yet found salvation through writing. The fact that she doesn’t commit suicide seems like a happy ending.
10 THE FILMS OF JOANNA HOGG (Unrelated ; Archipelago ; and Exhibition ) As the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s miniretrospective last summer made clear, this British director’s perfectly framed scenes of simmering family resentments and embarrassed silences will thrill you in a severely modest way, and that should be enough. More than enough.
John Waters’s photography, video, and sculpture show “Beverly Hills John” opens next month at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York.