John Waters

Andreas Horvath, Helmut Berger, Actor, 2015, digital video, color, sound, 90 minutes. Helmut Berger.

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 film.

3 THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson) The most insanely inventive, hilariously funny faux-silent movie of all time, with sound design that should win the Oscar.

4 TOM AT THE FARM (Xavier Dolan) A Genet-like love story between a smart-ass hipster and his dead boyfriend’s domineering and dangerously closeted brother who once ripped the mouth off of a man who cruised his sibling. I thought it was sexy.

5 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller) Big-budget tentpole movies can be art, too, and this ultimate nonstop demolition derby is downright insane from the moment it takes off.

Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, 2015, digital video, color, sound, 101 minutes. From left: Charlotte Goetze (Kristen Wiig), Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley), and Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård).

6 CAROL (Todd Haynes) Maybe the only way to be transgressive these days is to be shockingly tasteful. This Lana Turner–meets–Audrey Hepburn lipstick-lesbian melodrama is so old-fashioned I felt like I was one year old after watching it. That’s almost reborn.

7 THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (Marielle Heller) A powerful, realistic, and amazingly well-acted comedy about sex between adults and teens that isn’t creepy but authentic, ballsy, and totally unpredictable.

8 TANGERINE (Sean Baker) Last Exit to Los Angeles. A beautifully shot underground transgender adventure story that’s worth seeing for the scary extras alone.

9 FLY COLT FLY: LEGEND OF THE BAREFOOT BANDIT (Adam Gray and Andrew Gray) A true-crime documentary that moves like the thief in the night the teenage “Barefoot Bandit” really was. Using animation, news footage, and realistic reenactments (you even get to see him wiggle his toes), Fly Colt Fly will make you understand why this plane-stealing kid became a national folk hero.

10 LOVE (Gaspar Noé) The first Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival to show hard-core heterosexual rimming—in 3-D, no less. Thank God for Gaspar Noé.

John Waters is currently touring seventeen cities with his spoken-word act A John Waters Christmas.