2023 Roundup: Movies

And now the complete list, all 108 1/2 movies this year, some of them short.

As always, NYmovie poster for showing upC is a great movie town. God bless the programmers at my local, BAM, and here’s, I guess, to better labor conditions at Metrograph, which is more or less my other local.

Of the 2023 films, Showing Up is probably my favorite. First Cow was a favorite too.

My letterboxd diary.





The complete list, from highest to lowest Letterboxd ranking. Italics means a rewatch.

  1. Don’t Look Back (I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but it’s amazing)
  2. Häxen
  3. Snow (Juliet Berto, an ACAB classic: beautiful)
  4. The Green Ray
  5. Vive L’Amour (Tsai Ming-liang, the saddest goddamn movie)
  6. Donbass
  7. Kill All Redneck Pricks: KARP LIVES! 1990-1998 (very personal to me)
  8. Return to Seoul
  9. Born in Flames (absolutely packed BAM theater)
  10. Showing Up
  11. Family Nest (Lincoln center with Béla Tarr doing a q and a!)
  12. Il Buco (gorgeous, slow, big Italian pit)
  13. Return to Dust (Li Ruijun, or is *this* the saddest movie? How to make mud bricks)
  14. No Bears (always the risk of this being Panahi’s last film: takes on the guilt of the situation, a kind of personal political theodicy)
  15. Midsommar
  16. A Tale of Springtime (rohmer)
  17. A Tale of Winter (Rohmer)
  18. A Tale of Autumn (ROHMER)
  19. Stop Making Sense
  20. Phantom of the Paradise
  21. The Old Sorceress & the Valet (Julius-Amédée Laou, saw him speak twice at BAM)
  22. Mist Melodies in Paris (short, Julius-Amédée Laou)
  23. Ordinary Folly of a daughter of Ham (Julius-Amédée Laou)
  24. Killers of the Flower Moon
  25. Moonstruck
  26. Godland (films about people who go into the wilderness and are defeated are about men, unless they’re science fiction or horror)
  27. May December
  28. Poor Things (fun!)
  29. First Graders (Kiarostami)
  30. The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft (Herzog did his own!)
  31. Always for Pleasure (Les Blank)
  32. EO (donkey does not care about Isabelle Huppert)
  33. Party Girl
  34. My Year of Dicks (short film)
  35. Amateur (Hal Hartley at his best)
  36. Rewind & Play (Thelonious Monk documentary)
  37. In Another Country (Hong Sang-Soo, w/ Isabelle Huppert)
  38. L’immensità (Penélope Cruz is the mother, and as the young gays say, she is also Mother)
  39. Weekend (Andrew Haigh, English gay romance)
  40. The Phantom of the Opera (the silent classic, MoMA, with live piano)
  41. Blade Runner
  42. Open Mic Solitaire (Julius-Amédée Laou)
  43. When the Cat Comes (aka, The Cassandra Cat)
  44. Millennium Mambo
  45. Police Story 3: Super Cop (Yeoh > Chan)
  46. Last Round (Thomas Vinterberg’s thesis film, on Copenhagen)
  47. Under the Tree (Icelandic suburban black comedy)
  48. Riceboy Sleeps (tearjerker!)
  49. Black Bear (post White Lotus Aubrey Plaza fest)
  50. Past Lives (tearjerker!)
  51. The Lion in Winter
  52. Before, Now & Then (Kamila Andini, personal is political but not sure if the political is political? )
  53. The Five Venoms (group watch, great fun)
  54. Personal Best (surprisingly good!)
  55. Pig
  56. Exile (part of the Rithy Panh trilogy on Cambodia)
  57. Dream Scenario (most accurate film about academia ever)
  58. La luxure (Jacques Demy short, a test run for Umbrellas)
  59. Sick of Myself (dream scenario director’s previous film. many barfs!)
  60. Dreams (Kurosawa, breathtaking weird failure)
  61. Emily the Criminal (post White Lotus Aubrey Plaza fest)
  62. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (such an airplane movie)
  63. The Quiet Girl (the tear-jerky film of all time)
  64. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (good dumb)
  65. Other People’s Children (sometimes you want a good french bourgeois drama)
  66. Sisu (Finnish guy will STAB you)
  67. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (a Shriekback video)
  68. Made in Hong Kong (saw this 25 years too late)
  69. Barbie
  70. Shortcomings (unambitious and that’s fine!)
  71. Nora (on Nora Barnacle! James Joyce was a mean drunk!)
  72. American Fiction (not sure if it’s a satire in a midlevel bourgeois drama costume, or vice versa)
  73. Theater Camp (goodhearted; title is also how a caveman would summarize the movie)
  74. Blade Runner 2049
  75. A Haunting in Venice
  76. Cat Person (last 30 minutes are WTF)
  77. Face/Off (last 30 minutes are WTF, but in a good way)
  78. The Killer (bloodless)
  79. The Stunt Woman (Hell Yeoh)
  80. We Lived Alone: The Connie Converse Documentary (music is fab of course)
  81. The Big Lebowski
  82. Asteroid City
  83. The Last Voyage of the Demeter (missed the boat, too bad)
  84. Inside (smooth flight airplane movie)
  85. Labyrinth (fun group watch, somehow so earnest!)
  86. The Trouble with Harry (minor Hitchcock, classic and symptomatic image of the mid 20th c angry young male abex painter)
  87. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
  88. Quiz Lady
  89. Mrs. Dalloway
  90. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (if you love it, you do)
  91. White Noise (liked on big screen; did not on the TV)
  92. The Menu (looks good! tastes fine! stupid though)
  93. Armageddon Time (thoughtless)
  94. Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game
  95. Sunny Side Up (incredibly fun. a bad movie, but very fun)
  96. Wham! (charming!)
  97. King Kong vs. Godzilla (fun!)
  98. New Wave: Dare to be Different (not charming! wants to be!)
  99. Operation Finale (ultimate dad movie)
  100. Executioners: The Heroic Trio 2 (wasted cast!)
  101. Valley of the Dolls (funny in my 20s; now just a shitty waste of time)
  102. Tár (pretentious, hateful)
  103. Oppenheimer (stupid)
  104. Johnny Mnemonic (a failure, the movie form of thinking the word “bacon” is funny)
  105. Godzilla Raids Again (you’re not watching this because you want a “good” movie)
  106. The Suicide Squad (insultingly stupid)
  107. No Such Thing (what the fuck Hal Hartley, but at least he was trying!)
  108. Napoleon (this, though: so stupid, doesn’t understand why Napoleon is interesting)
  109. House of Yes (saw only 25 minutes; appallingly stupid. Parker Posey is superb in it. Too bad)