the skinny began its culture countdowns with the film section's top 10 movies of the year:
1. the raid (dir. gareth evans)
2. tabu (dir. miguel gomes)
3. moonrise kingdom (dir. wes anderson)
4. looper (dir. rian johnson)
5. about elly (dir. asghar farhadi)
6. the turin horse (dir. béla tarr, agnes hranitzky)
7. this is not a film (dir. jafar panahi, motjaba mirtahmasb)
8. the kid with a bike (dir. jean-pierre and luc dardenne)
9. the master (dir. paul thomas anderson)
10. holy motors (dir. leos carax)
the full article, with wee write-ups of each, can be read here. from that list, i lodged votes for tabu, moonrise kingdom, the turin horse, this is not a film, the kid with a bike and holy motors, so it's nice to see so many of my favourites reflected in the final run-down. the fill article includes each contributor's individual choices in full, though i'm going to hold off posting mine since i'll undoubtedly tweak it a dozen more times before the year is out...
for now, here are the two reappraisals i penned, singing the praises of tabu and the kid with a bike respectively.
Months after its release, Tabu nestles in the cerebrum not as a dazzling, enigmatic whole (which it undoubtedly is), but as a series of indelible images: a glassy-eyed crocodile submerged in still waters; a solitary woman transfixed by flickering celluloid; a colonial explorer shadowed by a spectre. With these images come echoes of its soundtrack, particularly the erudite voiceover that extends throughout the second half, silencing dialogue and fostering a disconcerting nonpareil tone. Memory, with its mysteries and vagaries, proves Tabu’s natural habitat, the power of these fragments corroborated by a narrative steeped in romance and nostalgia. Formally audacious and thematically opulent, Tabu is a treasure trove to be pored over.
The Kid with a Bike
Warming hearts and rending them in equal measures, The Kid with a Bike’s impactful drama is built on small moments and big gestures. The latter comes from the virtuous Samantha (Cécile de France) and her selfless decision to foster ten-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret), weathering the young boy’s storm of emotions – anger, sadness, confusion – in the hope of easing his pain. The former, meanwhile, signifies the storytelling prowess of the film’s creators Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, who craft their latest neorealist masterpiece from little details: a collision between two strangers; a frustrated outburst; a thrown stone. The results are acutely poignant, with an all-too-rare optimism and a finely felt sense of compassion.