Maciej Kasperowicz is a good friend and one of the more trusted movie voices in my life. Today he shares his recap of 2021 especially for us, the DBB throng.
It was a Saturday, a few weeks into March 2021, that marked two weeks since my second Pfizer dose.
I planned my whole day around going to the movies.
Film Forum was playing a double feature of Pedro Almodovar’s new short paired with one of his classics, so I went there for those, got some delicious fish and chips for lunch, and then walked up to the Quad to see Shiva Baby.
I went to the movies 55 times in 2021, and part of that was making up for lost COVID time, but I also think that, because of the uncertainty of 2020, a ton of good shit came out last year. There were movies that I adored, that I told my friends that they absolutely HAD to go see or rent, that I couldn’t squeeze into my top 40 for the year.
For you, though, and for DaBearsBlog, I’ve whittled the list down a 40. Make some popcorn and enjoy.
Psycho Goreman, HYDRA, The Night House, The Novice, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Test Pattern, Never Gonna Snow Again, Malignant, The Power, Plan B
Drive My Car, Matrix: Resurrections, The Green Knight, Annette, The Queen of Black Magic, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy, Judas and the Black Messiah, Identifying Features, In the Heights, Prisoners of the Ghostland
This movie’s oddly hard to actually see right now, but I’m optimistic that you’ll get the chance at some point, and when you do, you’ll get one of the best Tilda Swinton performances in years, and the coolest sound design of any movie that came out last year.
19. West Side Story
It can often be counterproductive to remake a movie and spell out its subtext in capital letters (I hated this year’s very ABOUT TRAUMA Halloween Kills), but Tony Kushner’s sharp focus on the racial, economic, and real estate dynamics in one very specific neighborhood of late 50s NYC only enriches the text. Visually, Spielberg is just showing off here, and it’s so fun to watch. I’d love it even more if I didn’t think it didn’t have a black hole of charisma in the middle of it in the form of Ansel Elgort.
[Editor’s Note: If Maciej and I ever start a Siskel and Ebert type program, we could do three episodes on Elgort’s performance in WSS.]
Seems out like it’s gonna be John Wick but about a kidnapped pig and, structurally, it kind of is? But it replaces Gun Fu with real talk about fine dining, tender cookery, and baguette sourcing. It’s the most unexpectedly sweet movie of the year.