The Class of 2022: My Favorite Movies

A Letter to Three Wives

It occurs to me that, in the ten years that I’ve been sharing updates to my list of favorite movies on here, I’ve never really explained why I do it in June. The end of December would be the natural time to look back and take stock of things, but my habits in this regard actually extend back to high school, when summer break offered ample time to mess around with list-making — certainly one of my favorite hobbies back then. In fact, with hindsight, I understand that I was initially much more interested in lists than I was in taking the time to watch movies. The scales have properly balanced over the years, as I’ve swapped theoretical interest for real experience, but the impulse to slot everything into its proper place remains at least as strong in my mind as is the pleasure of watching something. And so, here comes another list.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen more new-to-me movies in a twelve-month span than I did between June 2021 and today. Accordingly, I’ve also set a record for new favorites, with 105 films listed below. This tops my previous record set two years ago by a single film. All of this is the product of self-applied pressure. No one has ever told me I need to catch up on things, nor that I ain’t seen/heard nothin’ yet. But my desire to learn and experience more things is undiminished even now. It may be time to come up for air, though. I’ve been thinking about getting back into writing on this mostly neglected blog, and I think I’ll soon be able to free up the time to do so more regularly.

Drive a Crooked Road

As always, a year offers plenty of time for various little projects. Since last June, I’ve made my way through the Thin Man, Candyman and Ip Man franchises, not to mention Planet of the Apes, Final Destination and the Showa era of Godzilla movies, the last of which I’m just about to wrap up. I’ve now seen every film by David Lynch, Rian Johnson, Jean Cocteau and Sam Raimi. January saw the beginning of the most ambitious project, my retrospective of action films choreographed by Yuen Woo-ping, from Hong Kong to Hollywood and back again. That very enjoyable experience spurred me on to try to make the action genre my most-viewed of the calendar year for the first time, and I’ve managed to keep that up so far. Through it all, I’ve been busily planning what I might do next. These blog posts, whatever interest they may hold for other people, are a helpful opportunity for me to take a break from all that and reflect on where I’ve already been.

Now introducing the Class of 2022 in alphabetical order, with a top ten below the full list. One hundred and one of these were first-time views for me, while I had seen Candyman (1992), The Evil Dead (1981), Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (a.k.a. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, 1966) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003) before but didn’t fully appreciate any of them until this time.

American Gigolo
AbounaMahamat-Saleh Haroun2002
AmerHélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani2009
American GigoloPaul Schrader1980
AnnetteLeos Carax2021
Baby Face NelsonDon Siegel1957
Bad Luck Banging or Loony PornRadu Jude2021
BenedettaPaul Verhoeven2021
Bergman IslandMia Hansen-Løve2021
The BeyondLucio Fulci1981
The Brothers BloomRian Johnson2008
The Bugs Bunny/Road-Runner MovieChuck Jones & Phil Monroe1979
CandymanBernard Rose1992
The Card CounterPaul Schrader2021
The CobwebVincente Minnelli1955
Crimson GoldJafar Panahi2003
Cry MachoClint Eastwood2021
The Curse of FrankensteinTerence Fisher1957
CyranoJoe Wright2021
Daffy Duck’s QuackbustersGreg Ford & Terry Lennon1988
Dark CityWilliam Dieterle1950
DarkmanSam Raimi1990
Dear Comrades!Andrei Konchalovsky2020
Desperately Seeking SusanSusan Seidelman1985
The DiscipleChaitanya Tamhane2020
Drive a Crooked RoadRichard Quine1954
Drive My CarHamaguchi Ryusuke2021
Dune: Part OneDenis Villeneuve2021
The Eagle with Two HeadsJean Cocteau1948
ElephantGus Van Sant2003
EnthiranShankar Shanmugam2010
The Evil DeadSam Raimi1981
EyimofeArie Esiri & Chuko Esiri2020
Fighting ElegySuzuki Seijun1966
Fist of LegendGordon Chan1994
FranceBruno Dumont2021
The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening SunWes Anderson2021
Gate of FleshSuzuki Seijun1964
GerryGus Van Sant2002
Godzilla vs. HedorahBanno Yoshimitsu1971
Godzilla vs. the Sea MonsterFukuda Jun1966
The GreyJoe Carnahan2011
Happy HourHamaguchi Ryusuke2015
He Who Gets SlappedVictor Sjöström1924
Her Socialist SmileJohn Gianvito2020
A HeroAsghar Farhadi2021
Hill of FreedomHong Sang-soo2014
I’ll Be Seeing YouWilliam Dieterle1944
In the EarthBen Wheatley2021
In the Line of Duty 4Yuen Woo-ping1989
In the Same BreathNanfu Wang2021
InazumaNaruse Mikio1952
Inland EmpireDavid Lynch2006
Jewel RobberyWilliam Dieterle1932
Judas and the Black MessiahShaka King2021
KarnanMari Selvaraj2021
Kill, Baby… Kill!Mario Bava1966
Kung Fu HustleStephen Chow2004
Lady SnowbloodFujita Toshiya1973
Last DaysGus Van Sant2005
A Letter to Three WivesJoseph L. Mankiewicz1949
Light SleeperPaul Schrader1992
A Lizard in a Woman’s SkinLucio Fulci1971
The Long HaulKen Hughes1957
Love Unto DeathAlain Resnais1984
The Matrix ReloadedLilly Wachowski & Lana Wachowski2003
The Miracle FightersYuen Woo-ping1982
Mon oncle d’AmériqueAlain Resnais1980
Monty Python’s The Meaning of LifeTerry Jones1983
My Own Private IdahoGus Van Sant1991
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of EvangelionAnno Hideaki & Tsurumaki Kazuya1997
Nightmare AlleyGuillermo del Toro2021
Olympia Part One: Festival of the NationsLeni Riefenstahl1938
Olympia Part Two: Festival of BeautyLeni Riefenstahl1938
Palm SpringsMax Barbakow2020
Paris qui dortRené Clair1924
PassingRebecca Hall2021
Petite MamanCéline Sciamma2021
RawJulia Ducournau2016
Rien que les heuresAlberto Cavalcanti1926
Righting WrongsCorey Yuen1986
Romancing in Thin AirJohnnie To2012
Royal WarriorsDavid Chung1986
Rumble FishFrancis Ford Coppola1983
A Simple PlanSam Raimi1998
A Sixth Part of the WorldDziga Vertov1926
Snake in the Eagle’s ShadowYuen Woo-ping1978
Somewhere in the NightJoseph L. Mankiewicz1946
SudChantal Akerman1999
Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson2021
Tai-Chi MasterYuen Woo-ping1993
They Made Me a FugitiveAlberto Cavalcanti1947
Thundercrack!Curt McDowell1975
TitaneJulia Ducournau2021
Twin DragonsTsui Hark & Ringo Lam1992
UndineChristian Petzold2020
Varda by AgnèsAgnès Varda2019
West Side StorySteven Spielberg2021
Wheel of Fortune and FantasyHamaguchi Ryusuke2021
Wife of a SpyKurosawa Kiyoshi2020
Wild at HeartDavid Lynch1990
Woman on the BeachHong Sang-soo2006
The Worst Person in the WorldJoachim Trier2021
YearningNaruse Mikio1964
Yes, Madam!Corey Yuen1985
ZolaJanicza Bravo2020
10. Happy Hour
9. Petite Maman
8. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
7. Tai-Chi Master
6. The Bugs Bunny/Road-Runner Movie
5. Last Days
4. Drive My Car
3. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
2. Romancing in Thin Air
1. West Side Story (2021)

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