Books of 2020

This is a ranked list of the books I finished reading in 2020:

1. Middlemarch, George Eliot
2. Stoner, John Williams
3. The Postman Always Rings Twice, James M. Cain
4. The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac
5. Train Dreams, Denis Johnson
6. The Girls of Slender Means, Muriel Spark
7. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
8. Angels & Saints, Eliot Weinberger
9. Oranges, John McPhee
10. What Hath God Wrought, Daniel Walker Howe
11. A Distant Mirror, Barbara Tuchman
12. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Horace McCoy
13. The Tombs of Atuan, Ursula K. Le Guin
14. A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf
15. Bartleby, the Scrivener, Herman Melville
16. Jesus’s Son, Denis Johnson
17. My Life in Middlemarch, Rebessa Mead
18. Hong Kong Cinema: The Extra Dimensions, Stephen Teo
19. The Siamese Twin Mystery, Ellery Queen
20. Big Sur, Jack Kerouac
21. The Earth Dies Streaming, AS Hamrah
22. Highbrow/Lowbrow, Lawrence W. Levine
23. The Farthest Shore, Ursula K. Le Guin
24. Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann
25. Coming Into the Country, John McPhee
26. Thieves Like Us, Edward Anderson
27. Saga Book One, Brian K. Vaughn
28. Saga Book Two, Brian K. Vaughn
29. Saga Book Three, Brian K. Vaughn
30. The Pine Barrens, John McPhee
31. Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Ross MacDonald
32. Call for the Dead, John LeCarre
33. Wonder Woman: Dead Earth, Daniel Warren Johnson
34. Kingdom Come, Mark Waid
35. Bollywood: The Films! The Songs! The Stars!, Various Authors
36. The Mighty Thor, Vol 1, Walter Simonson
37. Tao Te Ching: A Book About the Way and the Power of the Way, Ursula K. Le Guin
38. This Isn’t Happening, Stephen Hyden
39. All Star Superman Vol 1, Grant Morrison
40. All Star Superman Vol 2, Grant Morrison
41. Answers in the Form of Questions, Claire McNear
42. Batman Year One, Frank Miller
43. The Sprawl, Jason Diamond
44. The March of Folly, Barbara Tuchman
45. We’ve Got People, Ryan Grimm
46. Death in the Air, Agatha Christie
47. Batman: Arkham Asylum, Grant Morrison
48. A Murder of Quality, John LeCarre
49. No Time to Spare, Ursula K. Le Guin
50. Superman: Red Son, Mark Millar
51. Murder in Three Acts, Agatha Christie
52. Heir to the Empire, Timothy Zahn
53. Steering the Craft, Usula K. Le Guin
54. We3, Grant Morrison
55. Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Alan Moore
56. Slugfest, Reed Tucker
57. Montaigne: Philosopher of Life, Sarah Bakewell
58. Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury
59. Secrets of the Buzzer, Fritz Holznagel
60. More Sex, Better Zen, Faster Bullets, Stefan Hammond

And here are the books I’m still working on, in order of how long I’ve been reading them:

  1. Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon
  2. The Fourth World Omnibus, Jack Kirby
  3. The Path to Power, Robert Caro
  4. The Republic for Which it Stands, Richard White
  5. City of Quartz, Mike Davis
  6. Emerson: The Mind on Fire, Robert D. Richardson
  7. The History of Jazz, Ted Gioia
  8. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
  9. Don Quixote, Cervantes
  10. Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson
  11. American Renaissance, FO Matthiessen
  12. The Ramayana: A New Retelling, Linda Egenes & Kumuda Reddy
  13. James Joyce, Richard Ellman
  14. Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography, Jimmy McDonough
  15. Before the Storm, Rick Perlstein
  16. Debt: the First 5000 Years, David Graeber
  17. Crisis on Infinite Earths (plus Crossovers), Marv Wolfman, etc
  18. The Stand, Stephen King
  19. Bach: The Learned Musician, Christoph Wolff
  20. The Dragon Waiting, John M. Ford
  21. Ghosts of My Life, Mark Fisher
  22. Libra, Don DeLillo
  23. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2020

An annual tradition here at The End, this is a look at my favorite film discoveries of the year, any movie more than a few years old that I saw for the first time in 2019. Previous years include: 2019, 2018, 20172016201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched just over 275 films this year, almost a hundred of which qualified for this list. These are 75 of my favorites.

1. Mughal-e-Azam (K. Asif, 1960)
2. The Rocking Horsemen (Obayashi Nobuhiko, 1992)
3. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood, 1995)
4. Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973)
5. Real Life (Albert Brooks, 1979)
6. The Harder they Come (Perry Henzell, 1972)
7. Om Shanti Om (Farah Khan, 2007)
8. Black Christmas (Bob Clark, 1974)
9. Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957)
10. Original Cast Album: Company (DA Pennebaker, 1970)

11. Dil Se.. (Mani Ratnam, 1998)
12. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Itō Shun’ya, 1972)
13. Welcome to LA (Alan Rudolph, 1976)
14. Eega (SS Rajamouli, 2012)
15. Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001)
16. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola, 1986)
17. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman, 1978)
18. Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May, 1976)
19. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (V. Shantaram, 1955)
20. Klute (Alan J. Pakula, 1971)

21. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Kundan Shah, 1994)
22. Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
23. Aag (Raj Kapoor, 1948)
24. Diwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Aditya Chopra, 1995)
25. Cageman (Jacob Cheung, 1992)
26. In Our Time (Edward Yang, Yi Chang, Ko I-Chen and Tao Te-Chen, 1982)
27. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Itō Shun’ya, 1972)
28. Mrs Parker & the Vicious Circle (Alan Rudoplh, 1994)
29. The Dead Zone (David Cronenberg, 1983)
30. The Crazies (George A. Romero, 1973)

31. Deewar (Yash Chopra, 1975)
32. Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor (Dave Fleischer, 1936)
33. Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali, 2015)
34. Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
35. Amrapali (Lekh Tandon, 1966)
36. Fan (Maneesh Sharma, 2015)
37. On the Run (Alfred Cheung, 1988)
38. Night Moves (Arthur Penn, 1975)
39. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Itō Shun’ya, 1973)
40. Deathdream (Bob Clark, 1974)

41. Main Hoon Na (Farah Khan, 2004)
42. Gangs (Lawrence Ah Mon, 1988)
43. Ram Jaane (Rajiv Mehra, 1995)
44. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 (Derek Burbidge, 2005)
45. New Blood (Soi Cheang, 2002)
46. Devdas (PC Barua, 1936)
47. Ringu (Nakata Hideo, 1998)
48. Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
49. Iron Angels (Teresa Woo, 1987)
50. Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher, 1995)

51. Enthiran (S. Shankar, 2010)
52. Wings for Wheels (Thom Zimny, 2005)
53. Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari, 2016)
54. Stray Cat Rock: Beat 71 (Fujita Toshiya, 1971)
55. Clash (Le Thanh Son, 2009)
56. Ordinary Heroes (Ann Hui, 1999)
57. Salem’s Lot (Tobe Hooper, 1979)
58. Who Killed Captain Alex? (Nabwana IGG, 2010)
59. The Delinquent (Kuei Chih-hung & Chang Cheh, 1973)
60. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Karan Johar, 1998)

61. Dream Home (Pang Ho-cheung, 2010)
62. Growing Up (Chen Kun-hou, 1983)
63. The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)
64. Our Time Our Story (Hsiao Chu-Chen, 2002)
65. A Chinese Ghost Story II (Ching Siu-tung, 1990)
66. Happy New Year (Farah Khan, 2014)
67. A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983)
68. Twilight (Robert Benton, 1998)
69. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John Hancock, 1971)
70. Jackie Chan: My Stunts (Jackie Chan, 1999)

71. The Rebel (Charlie Nguyen, 2007)
72. The Iceman Cometh (Clarence Fok, 1989)
73. Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980)
74. Love at Large (Alan Rudolph, 1990)
75. Sex and Zen (Michael Mak, 1991)

2020 Endy Awards

These are the 2020 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best movies, performances, etc of that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Rankings & Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Films are presented in alphabetical order, and the winners are in bold. As always the awards and nominees are subject to change as I watch more movies. And the Endy goes to. . .

Continue reading

This Week in Rankings

Since the last update I wrote about the New Taiwanese Cinema and Hong Sangsoo’s The Woman Who Ran at The Notebook, and My Prince Edward and The Calming at InReview Online. Also, over at The Chinese Cinema, I wrote about a number of films that played at this year’s excellent San Diego Asian Film Festival.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

Lady General Hua Mulan (Griffin Yueh Feng) – 33, 1964
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez) – 2, 1966
Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (John D. Hancock) – 18, 1971
The Exorcist (William Friedkin) – 18, 1973

Black Christmas (Bob Clark) – 10, 1974
Deathdream (Bob Clark) – 18, 1974
Mikey and Nicky (Elaine May) – 8, 1976
Carrie (Brian De Palma) – 14, 1976
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman) – 14, 1978

Real Life (Albert Brooks) – 11, 1979
Salem’s Lot (Tobe Hooper) – 25, 1979
Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham) – 37, 1980
Chan is Missing (Wayne Wang) – 3, 1982
The Dead Zone (David Cronenberg) – 15, 1983

Lost in America (Albert Brooks) – 13, 1985
Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola) – 16, 1986
The Name of the Rose (Jean-Jacques Annaud) – 34, 1986
Comic Book Confidential (Ron Mann ) – 58, 1988
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Steven Spielberg) – 32, 1989

The Hunt for Red October (John McTiernan) – 13, 1990
Pump Up the Volume (Allan Moyle) – 18, 1990
The Addams Family (Barry Sonnenfeld) – 33, 1991
Babe (Chris Noonan) – 41, 1995

The Rock (Michael Bay) – 29, 1996
Ringu (Nakata Hideo) – 22, 1998
Battle Royale (Fukasaku Kinji) – 23, 2000
Scooby-Doo (Raja Gosnell) – 38, 2002
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (Raja Gosnell) – 57, 2004

Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan) – 43, 2005
Borat (Larry Charles) – 31, 2006
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan) – 60, 2008
Unstoppable (Tony Scott) – 9, 2010
The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan) – 53, 2012

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder) – 94, 2016
Suicide Squad (David Ayer) – 133, 2016
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins) – 145, 2017
Aquaman (James Wan) – 79, 2018

My Prince Edward (Norris Wong) – 34, 2019
Murder Mystery (Kyle Newacheck) – 58, 2019
Archiving Time (Lu Yuan-chi) – 73, 2019

The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sangsoo) – 2, 2020
Days (Tsai Ming-liang) – 4, 2020
Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue (Jia Zhangke) – 6, 2020

Birds of Prey (Cathy Yan) – 8, 2020
Hubie Halloween (Steven Brill) – 9, 2020
The Calming (Song Fang) – 10, 2020
Emma. (Autumn de Wilde) – 11, 2020

The Paper Tigers (Bao Tran) – 12, 2020
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Wollner) – 13, 2020
Class Action Park (Seth Porges) – 17, 2020
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin) – 18, 2020

A Top 100 Films of All-Time

It is time once again for a Top 100 Films of All-Time list. As I’ve done for the last few years, the first ten spots on the list comprise a hypothetical Sight & Sound-style ballot. We had an on-going project related to this on The George Sanders Show, that is now based at Seattle Screen Scene. This top ten is presented here in chronological order. The remaining 90 films were randomly selected from a consideration set of 402 films, which excluded films that made my Top Tens in 201220132014201520162017, 2018 and 2019.

  1. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940)
  2. Mughal-e-azam (K. Asif, 1960)
  3. Yearning (Naruse Mikio, 1964)
  4. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Bill Melendez, 1966)
  5. Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968)
  6. The Terrorizers (Edward Yang, 1986)
  7. Om Shanti Om (Farrah Khan, 2007)
  8. Dusty Stacks of Mom (Jodie Mack, 2013)
  9. The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, 2014)
  10. Liz and the Blue Bird (Yamada Naoko, 2018)



  11. Steamboat Bill, Jr (Charles Resiner, 1928)
  12. Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)
  13. Miller’s Crossing (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1990)
  14. The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)
  15. Safety Last! (Sam Taylor & Fred C. Newmeyer, 1923)
  16. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
  17. Dirty Ho (Lau Kar-leung, 1979)
  18. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
  19. The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)
  20. The Day He Arrives (Hong Sangsoo, 2011)



  21. Awaara (Raj Kapoor, 1951)
  22. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943)
  23. Romancing in Thin Air (Johnnie To, 2012)
  24. 7 Women (John Ford, 1966)
  25. Sparrow (Johnnie To, 2008)
  26. Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)
  27. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939)
  28. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
  29. The Dawn Patrol (Howard Hawks, 1930)
  30. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)



  31. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
  32. Little Women (Greta Gerwig, 2019)
  33. Wagon Master (John Ford, 1950
  34. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962)
  35. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent 1974)
  36. The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 1976)
  37. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1983)
  38. School on Fire (Ringo Lam, 1988)
  39. Japanese Girls at the Harbor (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1933)
  40. A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1946)



  41. Histoire(s) du cinèma (Jean-Luc Godard, 1998)
  42. Welcome to LA (Alan Rudolph, 1976)
  43. Choose Me (Alan Rudolph, 1984)
  44. Reds (Warren Beatty, 1981)
  45. My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
  46. Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980)
  47. Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
  48. Fantasia (Ben Sharpsteen, et al, 1940)
  49. The Pan-American Exposition By Night (Edwin S. Porter, 1901)
  50. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)



  51. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
  52. Sans soleil (Chris Marker, 1983)
  53. Sátántangó (Béla Tarr, 1994)
  54. All that Jazz (Bob Fosse, 1979)
  55. New Rose Hotel (Abel Ferrara, 1998)
  56. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
  57. Hanagatami (Obayashi Nobuhiko, 2017)
  58. Les amants du pont-neuf (Leos Carax, 1991)
  59. The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972)
  60. Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison, 2016)



  61. Made in Hong Kong (Fruit Chan, 1997)
  62. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2005)
  63. Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
  64. La danse: The Paris Opera Ballet (Frederick Wiseman, 2009)
  65. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  66. Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985)
  67. How Green was My Valley (John Ford, 1941)
  68. Mahjong (Edward Yang, 1996)
  69. Pauline at the Beach (Eric Rohmer, 1983)
  70. Kid Auto Races at Venice (Henry Lehrman, 1914)



  71. Legend of the Mountain (King Hu, 1979)
  72. Maison du bonheur (Sofia Bohdanowicz, 2017)
  73. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
  74. My Left Eye Sees Ghosts (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai, 2002)
  75. Holiday (George Cukor, 1938)
  76. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akerman, 1974)
  77. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
  78. Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, 1971)
  79. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
  80. It Felt Like a Kiss (Adam Curtis, 2009)



  81. 2046 (Wong Kar-wai, 2004)
  82. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
  83. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1939)
  84. Xiao Wu (Jia Zhangke, 1998)
  85. The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois, 2020)
  86. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Gore Verbinski, 2006)
  87. The Immigrant (Charles Chaplin, 1917)
  88. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola, 1992)
  89. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  90. All that Heaven Allows (Douglas Sirk, 1955)



  91. Throw Down (Johnnie To, 2004)
  92. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, 2013)
  93. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993)
  94. Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang, 1924)
  95. Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)
  96. The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood, 1995)
  97. Mr. Arkadin (Orson Welles, 1955)
  98. Design for Living (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933)
  99. Irma Vep (Olivier Assayas, 1996)
  100. Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942)

This Week in Rankings

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Over the last couple of months I haven’t done much of anything. Mostly I’ve just been trying to enjoy watching movies without having to write about them. I did my annual best of the year so far lists, and I also reviewed Special Actors for InReview as part of their Japan Cuts coverage, but otherwise, I haven’t had anything published yet. Expect to see something in the next few days though.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

The Maltese Falcon (John Huston) – 5, 1941
Klute (Alan J. Pakula) – 8, 1971
Night Moves (Arthur Penn) – 11, 1975
Superman (Richard Donner) – 12, 1978
Game of Death (Robert Clouse) – 18, 1978
Superman II (Richard Lester) – 36, 1980

In Our Time (Tao Te-chen, Edward Yang, Ko I-chen, & Chang Yi) – 18, 1982
Growing Up (Chen Kunhou) – 24, 1983
The Sandwich Man (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Zeng Zhuangxiang, & Wan Jen) – 29, 1983
Wheels on Meals (Sammo Hung) – 2, 1984
The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien) – 2, 1985
Taipei Story (Edward Yang) – 5, 1985

The Terrorizers (Edward Yang) – 2, 1986
Dust in the Wind (Hou Hsiao-hsien) – 17, 1986
Where’s Officer Tuba? (Philip Chan & Ricky Lau) – 62, 1986
A Chinese Ghost Story (Ching Siu-tung) – 14, 1987
Iron Angels (Teresa Woo) – 49, 1987
The Haunted Cop Shop (Jeffrey Lau) – 64, 1987

On the Run (Alfred Cheung) – 20, 1988
I Love Maria (David Chung) – 68, 1988
The Iceman Cometh (Clarence Fok) – 43, 1989
The Blonde Fury (Mang Hoi) – 54, 1989
Presumed Innocent (Alan J. Pakula) – 19, 1990

A Chinese Ghost Story II (Ching Siu-tung) – 49, 1990
Sex and Zen (Michael Mak) – 62, 1991
A Chinese Ghost Story III (Ching Siu-tung) – 73, 1991
The Player (Robert Altman) – 19, 1992
My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn) – 38, 1992

The Bridges of Madison County (Clint Eastwood) – 9, 1995
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (John McTiernan) – 29, 1995
Snake Eyes (Brian De Palma) – 17, 1998
Twilight (Robert Benton) – 43, 1998
Jackie Chan: My Stunts (Jackie Chan) – 57, 1999

Our Time, Our Story (Hsiao Chu-chen) – 21, 2002
New Blood (Soi Cheang) – 26, 2002
Hammersmith Odeon, London ’75 (Derek Burbidge) – 15, 2005
Wings for Wheels (Thom Zimny) – 20, 2005
Dream Home (Pang Ho-cheung) – 19, 2010
The Promise (Thom Zimny) – 59, 2010

World of Ursula K. Le Guin (Arwen Curry) – 119, 2018
Special Actors (Ueda Shinichirou) – 93, 2019
Greyhound (Aaron Schneider) – 5, 2020
Hamilton (Thomas Kail) – 9, 2020
Palm Springs (Max Barbakow) – 10, 2020


The Best Movies of 2020 (So Far)

 

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We are now halfway through the year and as has become an annual tradition here at The End, it’s time to look back at the best movies of the year so far. As I discussed in the 2013 halfway post, the consensus movie-dating system is nonsensical and posits New York as the center of the universe. Far more logical (and much easier to use) is a system reliant on imdb’s dating system, which locates a film in whatever year it first played for an audience. That’s what we use here for all Rankings & Awards as it’s the most fair to all eras and areas. (A dating system reliant on playing in a certain locality I think can be valuable for a publication that is geographically specific, like a local newspaper or website. But here at The End, we have a global reach.)

A by-product of the system is that a number of films that first go into wide-release in any given year actually had their premiere in the year before. A number of the films on many critics’ halfway-point lists will include these films, films that find their proper home here on my 2019 list. And so here we have two lists: the Best Movies of 2020, following the strict imdb dating system, and the Best 2019 Movies of 2020, which includes those films from last year (and a couple from years before that) that you might find on a more chronologically-illogical list. On this list I’m including anything that didn’t get a theatrical release but was made available on VOD and is therefore eligible for this year’s Seattle Film Critics Awards. For obvious reasons, the New York theatrical release standard is even more nonsensical this year. I also have a third list, Best Unreleased Movies of 2019, of last year’s films that have yet to see a New York release and therefore don’t (yet) exist by the standards of most critics. And there’s a fourth list, a halfway version of my annual Best Older Movies list, counting the top movies I saw for the first time this year that are more than a few years old.

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The Best Movies of 2020 (So Far)

1. The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sangsoo)
2. The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois)
3. Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)
4. We Have Boots (Evans Chan)
5. Birds of Prey (Cathy Yan)
6. New York New York (Spike Lee)
7. Be Water (Bao Nguyen)
8. The Cube Phantom (Alan Lau)
9. Enter the Fat Dragon (Wong Jing & Tanigaki Kenji)
10. Long Gone Summer (AJ Schnack)

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The Best 2019 Movies of 2020 (So Far)

1. Yourself and Yours (Hong Sangsoo)
2. Fourteen (Dan Sallitt)
3. Made in Hong Kong (Fruit Chan)
4. Bacurau (Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)
5. Ride Your Wave (Masaaki Yuasa)
6. The Grand Bizarre (Jodie Mack)
7. Jallikattu (Lijo Jose Pellissery)
8. Hill of Freedom (Hong Sangsoo)
9. I Wish I Knew (Jia Zhangke)
10. Woman on the Beach (Hong Sangsoo)
11. MS Slavic 7 (Sofia Bohdanowicz & Deragh Campbell)
12. The Wild Goose Lake (Diao Yinan)
13. Weathering With You (Makoto Shinkai)
14. The Whistlers (Corneliu Porumboiu)
15. Young Ahmed (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
16. Disappearance at Clifton Hill (Albert Shin)
17. House of Hummingbird (Kim Bora)

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The Best Unreleased Films of 2019 (So Far)

1. Labyrinth of Cinema (Obayashi Nobuhiko)
2. Chasing Dream (Johnnie To)
3. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello)
4. Jeux de plage (Aimi Natsuto)
5. A Voluntary Year (Henner Winckler & Ulrich Köhler)
6. Heart (Jeong Gayoung)
7. Demolition Girl (Matsugami Genta)
8. The Bob Emergency (Jon Bois)
9. To Live To Sing (Johnny Ma)
10. Wet Season (Anthony Chen)

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2020 Discoveries (So Far)

1. Mughal-e-Azam (K. Asif, 1960)
2. The Rocking Horsemen (Obayashi Nobuhiko, 1992)
3. Om Shanti Om (Farah Khan, 2007)
4. Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973)
5. Mother India (Mehboob Khan, 1957)
6. Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001)
7. The Harder They Come (Perry Henzell, 1972)
8. Original Cast Album: Company (DA Pennebaker, 1970)
9. Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (V. Shantaram, 1955)
10. Dil Se.. (Mani Ratnam, 1998)
11. Welcome to LA (Alan Rudolph, 1976)
12. Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Kundan Shah, 1994)
13. Eega (SS Rajamouli, 2012)
14. Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Itō Shunya, 1972)
15. Deewar (Yash Chopra, 1975)
16. Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali, 2015)
17. Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Itō Shunya, 1972)
18. The Crazies (George Romero, 1973)
19. Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
20. Cageman (Jacob Cheung, 1992)
21. Aag (Raj Kapoor, 1948)
22. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Aditya Chopra, 1995)
23. Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
24. Devdas (PC Barua, 1936)
25. Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss (Hasebe Yasuharu, 1970)
26. Main Hoon Na (Farah Khan, 2004)
27. Ordinary Heroes (Ann Hui, 1999)
28. Ram Jaane (Rajiv Mehra, 1995)
29. Amrapali (Lekh Tandon, 1966)
30. Fan ((Maneesh Sharma, 2016)
31. Gangs (Lawrence Ah Mon, 1988)
32. emale Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Itō Shunya, 1973)
33. Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher, 1995)
34. Enthiran (S. Shankar, 2010)
35. The Delinquent (Chang Cheh & Kuei Chih-hung, 1973)

This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update I’ve been a bit more productive, reviewing Johnnie To’s Chasing Dream at Mubi, Tsai Ming-liang’s Journey to the West at InReview Online, and Obayashi Nobuhiko’s Labyrinth of Cinema and Nabwana IGG’s Crazy World at Frame.land. But we’re still locked up in quarantine and I’ve spent most of my movie-watching time catching up on things I’ve not had time for over the last few years, like a bunch of Indian movies, Pirates and Batman movies, and a whole lot of Kaji Maiko and Alan Rudolph.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

College Hounds (Zion Myers & Jules White) – 18, 1929
Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa) – 1, 1954
East of Eden (Elia Kazan) – 30, 1955
Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger) – 2, 1959
Amrapali (Lekh Tandon) – 15, 1966

Original Cast Album: Company (DA Pennebaker) – 7, 1970
Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal (Hasebe Yasuharu) – 10, 1970
Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter (Hasebe Yasuharu) – 12, 1970
Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss (Hasebe Yasuharu) – 13, 1970
Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo (Fujita Toshiya) – 16, 1970

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart) – 18, 1971
Stray Cat Rock: Beat ’71 (Fujita Toshiya) – 20, 1971
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Itō Shunya) – 11, 1972
Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion (Itō Shunya) – 13, 1972
The Greenhouse Jungle (Boris Sagal) – 24, 1972

Female Prisoner Scorpion: Beast Stable (Itō Shunya) – 17, 1973
Female Prisoner Scorpion: #701’s Grudge Song (Hasebe Yasuharu) – 22, 1973
Welcome to LA (Alan Rudolph) – 6, 1976
Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan) – 28, 1981
Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis) – 13, 1985

The Moderns (Alan Rudolph) – 8, 1988
Batman (Tim Burton) – 19, 1989
Dick Tracy (Warren Beatty) – 20, 1990
Love at Large (Alan Rudolph) – 44, 1990
Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (Jim Abrahams) – 50, 1990

The Rocking Horsemen (Obayashi Nobuhiko) – 6, 1992
Batman Returns (Tim Burton) – 15, 1992
Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa (Kundan Shah) – 20, 1994
Mrs. Parker & the Vicious Circle (Alan Rudolph) – 24, 1994
Ram Jaane (Rajiv Mehra) – 34, 1995

Batman Forever (Joel Schumacher) – 37, 1995
Neil Young & Crazy Horse: The Complex Sessions (Jonathan Demme) – 48, 1995
Batman & Robin (Joel Schumacher) – 67, 1997
Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Karan Johar) – 20, 1998
Love on a Diet (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 21, 2001

Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gham (Karan Johar) – 33, 2001
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Chris Columbus) – 37, 2001
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Gore Verbinski) – 13, 2003
Love for All Seasons (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 36, 2003
Throw Down (Johnnie To) – 2, 2004

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Gore Verbinski) – 6, 2006
Zodiac (David Fincher) – 7, 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Gore Verbinski) – 13, 2007
The Rebel (Charlie Nguyen) – 32, 2007
Clash (Le Thanh Son) – 36, 2009

Enthiran (S. Shankar) – 37, 2010
Who Killed Captain Alex? (Nabwana IGG) – 42, 2010
Tees Maar Khan (Farah Khan) – 69, 2010
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Rob Marshall) – 70, 2011
Chennai Express (Rohit Shetty) – 48, 2013

Journey to the West (Tsai Ming-liang) – 5, 2014
Crazy World (Nabwana IGG) – 79, 2014
Tamasha (Imtiaz Ali) – 17, 2015
Piku (Shoojit Sircar) – 55, 2015
Fan (Maneesh Sharma) – 28, 2016

Bad Black (Nabwana IGG) – 30, 2016
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) – 53, 2016
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) – 80, 2016
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg) – 160, 2017

Labyrinth of Cinema (Obayashi Nobuhiko) – 3, 2019
Chasing Dream (Johnnie To) – 8, 2019
Jallikattu (Lijo Jose Pellissery) – 11, 2019
Heart (Jeong Gayoung) – 26, 2019
The Bob Emergency (Jon Bois) – 40, 2019
Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Richard Linklater) – 51, 2019

The Woman Who Ran (Hong Sangsoo) – 1, 2020
The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois) – 2, 2020
Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee) – 3, 2020
New York New York (Spike Lee) – 6, 2020
Be Water (Bao Nguyen) – 7, 2020
Long Gone Summer (AJ Schnack) – 10, 2020

Rankings: 2020-2029

2020:
2020 Endy Awards

1. The History of the Seattle Mariners
2. Lovers Rock
3. Undine
4. Wife of a Spy
5. Days
6. Mangrove
7. The Woman Who Ran
8. Her Socialist Smile
9. Still Processing
10. Hold Me Back
11. Da 5 Bloods
12. Inside the Red Brick Wall
13. Tesla
14. We Have Boots
15. Monster Hunter
16. City Hall
17. Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
18. Keep Rolling
19. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
20. Greyhound
21. The Cure
22. Shock Wave 2
23. The Calming
24. Hubie Halloween
25. Tenet
26. Point and Line to Plane
27. My Missing Valentine
28. Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue
29. Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
30. The Invisible Man
31. One Second
32. The Disciple
33. Hand Rolled Cigarette
34. World of Tomorrow 3
35. Hopper/Welles
36. 12 Day Tale of the Monster that Died in 8
37. Birds of Prey
38. Emma.
39. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
40. Another Round
41. Minari
42. Love Aaj Kal
43. Crazy Samurai Musashi
44. American Utopia
45. Nomadland
46. Hamilton
47. Leap
48. The Paper Tigers
49. Palm Springs
50. Inventing the Future
51. MLK/FBI
52. Mank
53. France Against the Robots
54. Promising Young Woman
55. October Rumbles
56. Class Action Park
57. The Cube Phantom
58. Be Water
59. New York New York
60. Visit
61. Long Gone Summer
62. Trial of the Chicago 7
63. Wonder Woman 1984
64. Enter the Fat Dragon

2021:

1. Drive My Car
2. Shadow Kingdom
3. In Front of Your Face
4. Licorice Pizza
5. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
6. The French Dispatch
7. The Velvet Underground
8. Bergman Island
9. Introduction
10. Evangelion: 3.0+1.01 Thrice Upon a Time
11. The History of the Atlanta Falcons
12. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched
13. The Power of the Dog
14. Can’t Get You Out of My Head
15. A Writer’s Odyssey
16. The Green Knight
17. Limbo
18. Dune
19. Justice League
20. The Falls
21. The Good Woman of Sichuan
22. Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time
23. Judas and the Black Messiah
24. Old
25. Venom: Let There Be Carnage
26. The Witches of the Orient
27. Cliff Walkers
28. Cry Macho
29. Malignant
30. Pompo: The Cinephile
31. The Card Counter
32. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
33. The Fable: The Killer Who Doesn’t Kill
34. Muppets Haunted Mansion
35. The Suicide Squad
36. The Many Saints of Newark
37. Eternals
38. Kid 90
39. Black Widow
40. Cloudy Mountain
41. Who Are You, Charlie Brown?
42. Framing Britney Spears
43. As We Like It
44. Raging Fire
45. Woodstock 99: Peace Love and Rage

This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update I haven’t done much of anything. It was on March 14th, school was shut down the day before and I’ve been trapped here with my kids ever since then, and will be for the foreseeable future. So while I have watched some movies, the only review I’ve published in the last several weeks was on Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day. Otherwise I’ve just been making my kids watch classic Hollywood movies while I watch a bunch of classic Bollywood movies I really should have seen by now (so far I’ve almost doubled the number of Indian movies I’ve seen in my life, I’ve got a running list of them at letterboxd of course.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen SceneThe Chinese Cinema, or anywhere else, please consider donating at my kofi page. Every little bit helps.

These are the movies I’ve watched or rewatched over the last few weeks, and where they place on my year-by-year rankings.

Safety Last! (Sam Taylor & Fred C. Newmeyer) – 2, 1923
Metropolis (Fritz Lang) – 2, 1927
Devdas (PC Barua) – 4, 1936
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz) – 1, 1942
Kismet (Gyan Mukherjee) – 18, 1943

Aag (Raj Kapoor) – 6, 1948
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Ford) – 4, 1949
A Star is Born (George Cukor) – 11, 1954
Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (V. Shantaram) – 7, 1955
Mother India (Mehboob Khan) – 6, 1957

North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock) – 2, 1959
Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder) – 13, 1959
Mughal-e-azam (K. Asif) – 2, 1960
A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester) – 14, 1964

Duvidha (Mani Kaul) – 7, 1973
Deewar (Yash Chopra) – 8, 1975
Day of the Dead (George Romero) – 13, 1985
The Princess Bride (Rob Reiner) – 3, 1987

Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg) – 23, 1993
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (Aditya Chopra) – 27, 1995
Dil Se.. (Mani Ratnam) – 13, 1998
The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson) – 3, 2001
Lagaan (Ashutosh Gowariker) – 5, 2001

The Two Towers (Peter Jackson) – 8, 2002
The Return of the King (Peter Jackson) – 11, 2003
Madness in the Desert (Satyajit Bhatkal) – 32, 2003
Main Hoon Na (Farah Khan) – 19, 2004

Miami Vice (Michael Mann) – 1, 2006
Om Shanti Om (Farah Khan) – 3, 2007
Happy New Year (Farah Khan) – 48, 2014
Sound! Euphonium: The Movie – Our Promise: A Brand New Day (Ishihara Tatsuya) – 45, 2019
The Sky is Clear and Blue Today (Ricky D’Ambrose) – 79, 2019