PRINT December 2018


John Waters

Bruno Dumont, Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, 2017, 2K video, color, sound, 106 minutes. Young Jeannette (Lise Leplat Prudhomme).

JEANNETTE: THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC (Bruno Dumont) An insanely radical heavy-metal grade-school religious pageant that is sung in French from beginning to end. The actors themselves seem like they might burst out laughing, but this is no joke. It’s the best movie of the year. You’ll hate it.

Bart Layton, American Animals, 2018, 2K and 4K video, color, sound, 116 minutes.

AMERICAN ANIMALS (Bart Layton) A true-crime story with a brilliant ensemble cast and the real-life culprits and victims edited in, commenting throughout on the action. Adolescent group madness is a beautiful thing to watch.

NICO, 1988 (Susanna Nicchiarelli) A small, sad, fearless biopic that asks the question: “Is junkie dignity possible?” The answer is no. Trine Dyrholm as our heroin-loving heroine plunges headfirst into the despair of showbiz with fierce determination.

Brian Taylor, Mom and Dad, 2017, 3.2K video, color, sound, 83 minutes. Joshua (Zackary Arthur) and Carly (Anne Winters).

MOM AND DAD (Brian Taylor) A surprisingly scary, well-shot, pitch-black comedy about the day all parents in the United States decide to kill their own children. A laff riot!

BLINDSPOTTING (Carlos López Estrada) You’ll squirm. You’ll identify. You’ll choke on your own gentrified excuses. The smartest and funniest film about race and class in a long, long time.

Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson, The Green Fog, 2017, HD video, color and black-and-white, sound, 61 minutes.

THE GREEN FOG (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson, and Galen Johnson) An avant-garde ode to San Francisco, the most cinematic of cities, told entirely through clips of films shot there but with all the dialogue cut out so the parts of the movies that originally didn’t matter now do. Abstractly clever, strangely compelling, and just about perfect.

CUSTODY (Xavier Legrand) Divorce, jealousy, misogyny, and physical abuse, topped off with psychological damage to children: This feel-bad movie of the year is so beautifully acted that it made me feel happy, happy, happy!

Matthew Porterfield, Sollers Point, 2017, HD video, color, sound, 102 minutes. Keith (McCaul Lombardi).

SOLLERS POINT (Matthew Porterfield) Can a heterosexual director worship his male lead on film just as much as Paul Morrissey obviously did Joe Dallesandro in Trash? Sure looks that way. McCaul Lombardi is a blazing star in this small-scale but beautiful drama about a young parolee’s struggle to reenter lower-middle-class life in Baltimore.

John Ridley, Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982–1992, 2017, 2K video, color, sound, 144 minutes.

LET IT FALL: LOS ANGELES 1982–1992 (John Ridley) A superb documentary about the Rodney King riots that first makes you hate cops, then white people, then racist African Americans, then racist Korean people, and then yourself for forgetting all the details of this tragedy. I cried.

10 PERMANENT GREEN LIGHT (Dennis Cooper, Zac Farley) A slow, quiet, sexual cinematic poem on mopey teenage beauties who love making bombs and wish they could explode themselves.

Filmmaker John Waters’ seventeen-city spoken-word tour, A John Waters Christmas, began on November 28 in Chicago.