In the House

2013.deepcuts

There are big movies and there are little movies. I mean that entirely in the sense of budget and release, promotion and theatrical scope. In the United States we talk most about our wide studio releases, then homegrown smaller independent films and the big-name foreign imports. But that leaves quality filmmaking to fall through the cracks. Movies that, for one reason or another, no one seems to be talking about. There are overlooked gems, and then there are the deep cuts. The homegrown niche dramas, the Irish horror flicks, the Latin American comedies, the Scandinavian experiments in nonfiction? This year saw some extraordinary unheralded work from abroad, alongside some excellent films that came from unexpected domestic places. Here are thirteen of them.

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Best Foreign Films of 2013

Cinema is a worldwide artform, and as such many of the year’s best and most exciting films often come from overseas. Quality is no guarantee of visibility though as subtitled films rarely get a wide reception in American theaters, and worse, many don’t even make it to our shores until a year or more after opening in their own country. That’s the kind of factor that makes ranking foreign language films a difficult and inconsistent process. I try and go by actual year of release when possible, but for obvious reasons I’m not adverse to including entries that made their U.S. debut this year, too. But these are details… let’s get to the movies! Genre films rarely make “best of” lists like this , but I make no apologies for their inclusion here. Best is best, and if my best happens to include a character named The Queen of Saliva so be it..

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review in the house

To say that François Ozon has worked in many genres would be a misstatement, but only because his films tend to ignore the boundaries of genre in the first place. 8 Women is a musical, melodrama and murder mystery. Swimming Pool is a thriller inflected by romance novels. Sitcom is a fusion of sitcom tropes and rambunctious sexuality. And now, Ozon has made a film that functions almost as a retrospective blend of his own prior work. In the House builds from the insightful narrative trickery of Swimming Pool, blends in the promiscuous anarchy and wry humor of Sitcom, and drops the whole thing into the otherwise boring “inspirational schoolteacher” movie. The result is Ozon’s best work in a decade.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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