Best Discoveries 2020

The best of the newly discovered films in 2020. For a while, the focus was to see films that feel like huge gaps in my movie watching history--movies it seems everyone has seen but you (Oliver Twist, Oliver!, Fiddler, Cinema Paradiso). Along the way, got some great Noir recommendations (The LodgerThe Lineup) from teaching colleague Dave Cochran (author of American Noir: Underground Writers and Filmmakers of the Post-War Era), finally saw the excellent conclusion to Penelope Spheeris's Decline series, uncovered a number of hyper-stylized gems (Dames, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Hunger, Amer), and, of course, kept up a steady diet of delicious trash (Hell Comes to Frogtown, Night of a Thousand Cats). What can I say? There was a lot of extra viewing time this past year. 

Click on the titles for links to scenes, interviews, trailers, etc - in the case of Hal Ashby's The Landlord , which can be difficult to find, I linked to the entire film on youtube. Same for the Canadian daredevil doc The Devil at Your Heels, and the excellent Chinese film by Bi Gan, Kaili Blues.

The Lodger 1944

John Brahm

Dames 1934

Busby Berkeley/Ray Enright

Amer 2009

Hélène Cattet/Bruno Forzani

Lisztomania 1975

Ken Russell

The Hunger 1983

Tony Scott

Pasolini 2014

Abek Ferrara

The Decline of Western Civilization Part III 1998

Penelope Spheeris

Hamlet Goes Business 1987

Aki Kaurismäki

The Devil at Your Heels 1981

Robert Fortier

The Lineup 1958

Don Siegel

Night Tide 1961

Curtis Harrington

Out of the Blue 1980

Dennis Hopper

Rebels of the Neon God 1992

Tsai Ming-liang

Cinema Paradiso 1988

Giuseppe Tornatore

Oliver Twist 1948

David Lean

Oliver! 1968

Carol Reed

Night of a Thousand Cats 1972

René Cardona Jr.

The Thomas Crown Affair 1968

Norman Jewison

Fiddler on the Roof 1971

Norman Jewison

The Landlord 1970

Hal Ashby

Wise Blood 1979

John Huston (as Jhon Huston)

In Another Country 2012

Hong Sang-soo

Kaili Blues 2015

Bi Gan

Tangerine 2015

Sean Baker

Hell Comes to Frogtown 1988

Donald G. Jackson/R.J. Kizer