Timbuktu, a constant on our Film/Video team's best of 2015 lists | Image courtesy of Cohen Media Group
It's that time of the year when everyone seems to be making a list and checking it twice–including the experts on our Film/Video team. They've pulled together their lists of a few of their favorite things, and didn't just limit themselves to the big screen. If anything the lists below amply demonstrate the wealth of outlets in which to find powerful, thoughtful, entertaining images–any screen of any size can be home to something worth contemplating.
One note: the only criteria was that the material had to have been released in Columbus in 2015, so that's why you'll see a few titles from 2014, as well as likely note the absence of some films that have yet to see wide release.
Dave Filipi, Director of Film/Video
1. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin)
2. A Poem is a Naked Person (Les Blank)
3. World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt)
3. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako)
4. Court (Chaitanya Tamhane)
5. Taxi (Jafar Panahi)
6. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)
7. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)
8. Experimenter (Michael Almereyda)
9. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
10. Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund)
New restorations and repertory events in Columbus in 2015:
Decline of Western Civilization trilogy (Penelope Spheeris)
Innocent Sorcerers (Andrzej Wadja)
Suzan Pitt: New Restorations (Asparagus, Joy Street, Crocus, Whitney Commercial, and El Doctor)
The Passionate Thief (Mario Monicelli)
Hiroshima, Mon Amour (Alain Resnais)
Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks)
The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray)
The Third Man (Carol Reed)
Tron in 70mm (not restored)
Saint Laurent, Chris Stults's number 1 pick | Image courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Chris Stults, Associate Curator, Film/Video
Few of the films that meant much to me this year were hyped in advance. Instead, these were the modest (even when ambitious) sidewinders that strove for ambiguous tones.
1. Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello)
2. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)
3. Documentary Now (Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Seth Meyers)
4. The Kindergarten Teacher (Nadav Lapid)
5. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
6. Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme)
7. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)
8. Transparent: Season 2 (Jill Soloway)
9. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin)
10. Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg)
So many equally worthy mentions: Actress, Broad City, Clouds of Sils Maria, Mad Max: Fury Road, Master of None, The Measures, Taxi, Timbuktu, What We Do In the Shadows, You're the Worst: Season 2 (particularly the last shot of episode 9)
Most underrated and misunderstood: By the Sea (Angelina Jolie-Pitt)
Worst film that was actually taken seriously somehow: Love (Gaspar Noe)
Actresses: Julia Louis Dreyfus (Veep), Nina Hoss (Phoenix), Sarit Larry (The Kindergarten Teacher)
Actors: Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies), Ben Mendelsohn (Mississippi Grind), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)
Supporting Actresses: Lola Kirke (Mistress America), Brie Larson (Trainwreck), Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)
Supporting Actors: Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice), Bill Hader (Documentary Now), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Doof Warrior (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Scenes: Drift Away (Ricki and the Flash), How to Take a Bath (The Forbidden Room), Last F**kable Day (Inside Amy Schumer)
Bojack Horseman, "Escape from L.A."
Adam Vincent, Program Assistant, Film/Video & Performing Arts
Film: Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu. A 2014 Oscar-contender that didn’t make it to Columbus until 2015, this deeply human, visually stunning, and notably prescient film has continued to eclipse everything else I’ve seen in 2015. Required viewing for the entire Western world.
Wex screening: Liza Johnson's In the Air. I’ve enjoyed Johnson’s features, but never had the pleasure of this short until she joined us for Picture Lock in October. Produced through our Film/Video residency program, In the Air is a beautiful investigation of youth in the decaying, post-industrial Midwest, and strikes a deep cord for someone hailing from rural Ohio.
TV Show/Episode: Bojack Horseman, Season 2, Episode 11: "Escape from L.A." Bojack Horseman is easily my favorite current “television” show. While the series is ostensibly a comedy, “Escape from L.A.” is a dark and daring episode that unfurls to a wrenching climax, and makes for the best entry yet.
Interactive media: Sam Barlow’s Her Story. This interactive movie/video game is a remarkably captivating and atmospheric piece of cinematic media, at odds with the medium and industry in which it nests. Her Story’s atypical presentation allows a story to unfold for the “player” in a very personal way and asserts the necessity for bold experimentation in the medium of “games” to fully realize their cultural and artistic promise.
Album: Arca's Mutant. Arca’s incredible and diverse production work (sometimes with legendary artists) continues to somehow be trumped by his own releases. Mutant feels at times like a beacon from a bleak, desolate future, even as it mines the contemporary moment for compositions that are equal parts aggressive and ethereal.