Top 50 of 2017 (#25 – #1): KEVIN RAKESTRAW

Here are my top picks of the year, numbers twenty-five through to the top. Numbers fifty to twenty-six can be found here. So, without further ado:


#25: SPIRAL JETTY directed by Ricky D’Ambrose

Meticulously crafted in that distinct D’Ambrose style, a story of a young archivist tasked with protecting a prominent psychologist’s reputation.

#24: STRANGE SAYS THE ANGEL directed by Shalimar Preuss

A seven-year-old tries to find her place in the world, becoming something no one could imagine.

#23: MÖBIUS directed by Sam Kuhn

A mysterious high school drama steeped in the dark arts and phthalo blue tinted.

#22: WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE WE ARE directed Jesse McLean

An experimental cross-country trek told through postcards and oddly dictated junk emails.

#21: LET YOUR HEART BE LIGHT directed by Sophy Romvari & Deragh Campbell

Minimalism perfected; small, seemingly unmemorable moments are rendered overwhelmingly significant.

#20: BARBS, WASTELANDS directed by Marta Mateus

The present interacting with the past.

#19: LA BOUCHE directed by Camilo Restrepo

The best musical of the year, a pseudo-Greek chorus of African percussion and song.

#18: DUNKIRK directed by Christopher Nolan

#17: LE PARC directed by Damien Manivel

A simple film that completely, unexpectedly pulls a 180 into magical realism.

#16: MA directed by Celia Rowlson-Hall

Interpretive dance in feature-length cinema form.

#15: A MORNING LIGHT directed by Ian Clark

A cinematic approximation of the metaphysical, where the natural is rendered unnatural and alien.

#14: EVENTS IN A CLOUD CHAMBER directed by Ashim Ahluwalia

Documentary as reclamation and reconstruction, piecing together the past and recreating a long, lost experimental film.

#13: BRAD CUTS LOOSE directed by Christopher Good

A high-energy, hyper-stylized comedy revolving around deep, dark fantasies.

#12: ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE directed Hong Sang-soo

#11: SLEEP HAS HER HOUSE directed by Scott Barley

A series of natural landscapes transformed otherworldly; where waterfalls look like evaporating skeletons descending.

#10: THE HUMAN SURGE directed by Eduardo Williams

Three slice-of-life vérité offerings across Argentina, Mozambique, and Philippines tied together with jaw-dropping transitions.


#9: THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER directed by Yorgos Lanthimos

#8: DOUBLE KING directed by Felix Colgrave

A delightful yet macabre animation revolving around the thirst for power; crowns on top of crowns.

#7: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO directed by Raoul Peck

#6: MAISON DU BONHEUR directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz

A wonderful documentary about an ordinary person; vignettes of the past and present, bits and pieces of one woman’s life both big and small.

#5: SYLVIO directed by Kentucker Audley & Albert Birney

Herbert Herpels is extraordinary, as is the Gorilla. It’s as simple as that.

#4: GET OUT directed by Jordan Peele

#3: PERSON TO PERSON directed by Dustin Guy Defa

I could honestly watch this movie forever.

#2: BY THE TIME IT GETS DARK directed by Anocha Suwichakornpong

Contemplative and fluid with time and existence, examining art’s inability to reconcile histories.

#1: A BRIDE FOR RIP VAN WINKLE directed by Shunji Iwai

A juxtaposition of modernity and traditions, a complex positing of ideas as a sprawling cinematic tome.

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