There has never been a greater time to be a cinephile. That’s certainly my belief in this peculiar era we’re living in. When compiling a list for the best films of the 2010s, the titles submitted by my colleagues only served to underscore the prevalence of global cinema within the cultural consciousness. We began this list before Bong Joon-ho made history by sweeping the Oscars, yet the Parasite phenomenon can be seen as a fitting end to a decade which saw a plethora of filmmakers contend with nationalist rhetoric, environmental crises, and a growing disillusionment with capitalism. Many of these films found exposure through unconventional means of distribution, with one particular title controversially upending what can even be properly called a film in the age of binge-watching. Regardless of how these works have been seen, all of them reinforce the vitality of an evolving medium whose malleability is a necessity in an increasingly fractured global society. The theaters may no longer be the dominant institutions they once were, but the cinema can still help us dream, especially now when we need to most.
Click below to read more of the titles listed as the Best of the 2010s.
Kevin Smith. What can you say about him that has not already been said? If you are a Generation X-er, your answer would probably be “not much.” His appeal may be limited to a certain niche that were in their early to mid 20s when he first entered the Indie film scene with his surprise smash hit, Clerks, but it’s a niche which has been nothing if not vociferously passionate. His fans have followed his various forays in genre filmmaking, some more successful than others, yet it is arguably the cinematic universe he created known as the View Askewniverse for which he is most renowned.
The date is April 16, 1917. We open on a picturesque scene of a meadow on a calm, spring day. Two English soldiers sleeping under a tree in blissful contentment are suddenly awoken by their commanding officer to report in the main barracks. As they make their way through the trenches, all color washes out, the sky is overcast with dark clouds, and their breath lingers in the frigid air. This oppressive, foreboding ambience sets the mood for Sam Mendes’ 1917.
2019 didn’t mark the beginning or end of anything in cinema. Rather, it provided a return to well-tread grounds for discussion, primarily what cinema really means in the context of multimedia streaming platforms and corporate monopolization of the global market.