This Week in Rankings

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Since the last update I finished rewatching (almost) all of Hong Sangsoo’s films for an article about his career that I wrote for frame.land. I also wrote about most of the films as I watched them, the reviews that went up after the last update are: Woman on the Beach, Night and Day, Like You Know It All, Hahaha, The Day He Arrives, Our Sunhi, and The Day AfterThose and all my older Hong reviews (all now freshly revised), along with several new shorter reviews, are indexed at The Chinese Cinema.

Also at The Chinese Cinema I finished revising and reformatting all my reviews for Pantheon Directors along with half of the Far Side of Paradise category, along with Fellow Traveller Apichatpong Weerasethakul. I also have a new review of Johnny Mak’s Long Arm of the Law and Soi Cheang’s The Monkey King 3.

The Monkey King review is also at Seattle Screen Scene, where I also wrote about Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris, the documentary The Paris Opera and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s animated Mary and the Witch’s Flower.

For Mubi I reviewed the new restoration of King Hu’s Legend of the Mountain, and my February Contemporary Chinese Cinema column was on A Better Tomorrow 2018.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen Scene, The 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.

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks) – 1, 1938
The Clan of the White Lotus (Lo Lieh) – 32, 1980
The Long Arm of the Law (Johnny Mak) – 14, 1984
The Killer (John Woo) – 2, 1989
Hard-Boiled (John Woo) – 4, 1992

Full Contact (Ringo Lam) – 15, 1992
Crime Story (Kirk Wong) – 32, 1993
Needing You… (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 16, 2000
Wu Yen (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 27, 2001
Fat Choi Spirit (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 11, 2002
Princess D (Sylvia Chang) – 17, 2002

Woman on the Beach (Hong Sangsoo) -24, 2006
Night and Day (Hong Sangsoo) – 12, 2008
Like You Know It All (Hong Sangsoo) – 12, 2009
Lost in the Mountains (Hong Sangsoo) – 18, 2009
Oki’s Movie (Hong Sangsoo) – 1, 2010

Hahaha (Hong Sangsoo) – 12, 2010
Gallants (Derek Kwok & Clement Cheng) – 25, 2010
The Day He Arrives (Hong Sangsoo) – 5, 2011
In Another Country (Hong Sangsoo) – 13, 2012
Our Sunhi (Hong Sangsoo) – 12, 2013
The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai) – 13, 2013

Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (Hong Sangsoo) – 17, 2013
50:50 (Hong Sangsoo) – 38, 2013
Hill of Freedom (Hong Sangsoo) – 7, 2014
The Monkey King (Soi Cheang) – 100, 2014
Detective Chinatown (Chen Sicheng) – 27, 2015

Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sangsoo) – 31, 2015
Yourself and Yours (Hong Sangsoo) – 2, 2016
The Monkey King 2 (Soi Cheang) – 55, 2016
On the Beach at Night Alone (Hong Sangsoo) – 4, 2017
The Day After (Hong Sangsoo) – 27, 2017

Pumpkin Movie (Sophy Romvari) – 33, 2017
Manhunt (John Woo) – 43, 2017
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro) – 65, 2017
Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Hiromasa Yonebayashi) – 69, 2017
The Greatest Showman (Michael Gracey) – 85, 2017
The Paris Opera (Jean-Stéphane Bron) – 91, 2017

The 15:17 to Paris (Clint Eastwood) – 1, 2018
The Monkey King 3 (Soi Cheang) – 2, 2018
The Commuter (Jaume Collet-Serra) – 3, 2018
A Better Tomorrow (Ding Sheng) – 4, 2018
Monster Hunt 2 (Raman Hui) – 5, 2018
The Cloverfield Paradox (Julius Onah) – 6, 2018

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This Week in Rankings

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The end of the year came and went since the last rankings update, which meant a handful of round-up posts here at The End: Books (and Other Words), Film Discoveries, and Endy Award Nominations.

At Seattle Screen Scene I reviewed The PostThe Last JediThe Disaster ArtistPitch Perfect 3DownsizingHostiles, and Goldbuster. We also recorded a couple episodes of The Frances Farmer Show: one on The Last Jedi and one a 2017 Year-in-Review.

At Frame.land, I wrote about the films of Chang Cheh and contributed a brief review of Private Eye Blues. At Mubi, I launched a column on Contemporary Chinese Cinema. The first two are on 2017 in Chinese Film and the pair of Youth and The Thousand Faces of Dunjia.

I wrote some brief year-end stuff at other sites as well: Double Features for Mubi, Cinematic Moments (Claire’s Camera) and Underseen Movies (Our Time Will Come) for Frame.land, and about On the Beach at Night Alone for InReview Online’s Year in Review. This year we of the Seattle Film Critics Society gave out our first official awards, which named Get Out Best Picture and somehow didn’t nominate Baahubali: The Conclusion for anything at all.

Over at The Chinese Cinema, I’ve been rewatching all of Hong Sangsoo’s films in chronological order and reviewing them along the way. So far I have reviews up for The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well, The Power of Kangwon Province, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate, Woman is the Future of Man  and Tale of Cinema. I’ve revised all of my previous writing about Hong Sangsoo and indexed it, and done the same for my writing about King Hu. I also reviewed Evan Yang’s Sun, Moon and Star and Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai’s Running on Karma. My The Chinese Cinema List at letterboxd is up-to-date with 434 titles as well. And I also made a list of Shu Qi’s movies.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen Scene, The 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.

Sun, Moon and Star (Evan Yang) – 19, 1961
A Charlie Brown Christmas (Bill Melendez) – 4, 1965
Legend of the Mountain (King Hu) – 3, 1979
Raining in the Mountain (King Hu) – 11, 1979
Dance of the Drunken Mantis (Yuen Woo-ping) – 25, 1979

The Miracle Fighters (Yuen Woo-ping) – 3, 1982
Return of the Jedi (Richard Marquand) – 12, 1983
Drunken Tai Chi (Yuen Woo-ping) – 45, 1984
Flirting (John Duigan) – 12, 1991
In the Heat of the Sun (1994) – 4, 1994

The Day a Pig Fell into the Well (Hong Sansgoo) – 31, 1996
The Dream Factory (Fen Xiaogang) – 37, 1997
The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong Sangsoo) – 16, 1998
Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors (Hong Sansgoo) – 7, 2000
Bring It On (Peyton Reed) – 20, 2000

On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate (Hong Sangsoo) – 4, 2002
Running on Karma (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai) – 1, 2003
Woman is the Future of Man (Hong Sangsoo) – 37, 2004
Tale of Cinema (Hong Sangsoo) – 8, 2005
Assembly (Feng Xiaogang) – 28, 2007

If You are the One 2 (Feng Xiaogang) – 37, 2010
Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 3, 2014
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) – 29, 2015
Rogue One (Gareth Edwards) – 40, 2016
Kedi (Ceyda Torun) – 69, 2016
Citizen Jane (Matt Tyrnauer) – 112, 2016

Mother! (Darren Aronofsky) – 5, 2017
Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig) – 6, 2017
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson) – 13, 2017
The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson) – 17, 2017
Downsizing (Alexander Payne) – 21, 2017
The Burden of Other People’s Thoughts (Don Hertzfeldt) – 22, 2017

Lucky (John Carroll Lynch) – 26, 2017
Youth (Feng Xiaogang) – 35, 2017
Kaatru Veliyidai (Mani Ratnam) – 45, 2017
The Work (Jairus McLeary & Gethin Aldous) – 55, 2017
Pitch Perfect 3 (Trish Sie) – 63, 2017
Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike) – 70, 2017

Girls Trip (Malcolm D. Lee) – 71, 2017
Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (Griffin Dunne) – 80, 2017
Last Flag Flying (Richard Linklater) – 90, 2017
Goldbuster (Sandra Ng) – 94, 2017
Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin) – 96, 2017

Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins) – 97, 2017
The Thousand Faces of Dunjia (Yuen Woo-ping) – 98, 2017
The Disaster Artist (James Franco) – 103, 2017
I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie) – 106, 2017
The Fate of the Furious (F. Gary Gray) – 107, 2017
Hostiles (Scott Cooper) – 113, 2017

2017 Endy Awards

These are the 2017 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. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order. The winners are in bold. And the Endy goes to. . .

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The Best Older Movies I Saw in 2017

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 2017. Previous years include: 2016201520142013201220112010200920082007, and 2006. I watched just over 300 films this year, about 80 of which qualified for this list, and these are 60 of my favorites.

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In the Heat of the Sun (Jiang Wen, 1994)

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5 Centimeters per Second (Makoto Shinkai, 2007)

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Mambo Girl (Evan Yang, 1957)

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A Grin Without a Cat (Chris Marker,1977)

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At Long Last Love (Peter Bogdanovich, 1975)

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Vampir-Cuadecuc (Pere Portabella, 1971)

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The TAMI Show (Steve Binder, 1964)

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Le trou (Jacques Becker, 1960)

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The Wild, Wild Rose (Wong Tin-lam, 1960)

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Eight Taels of Gold (Mabel Cheung, 1989)

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Ace Attorney (Takashi Miike, 2012)

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Beast Cops (Gordon Chan & Dante Lam, 1998)

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Let It Be (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1970)

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The Odd Couple (Lau Kar-wing, 1979)

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Merrill’s Marauders (Samuel Fuller, 1962)

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The Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye, 1996)

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A Fishy Story (Anthony Chan, 1989)

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Touchez pas au grisbi (Jacques Becker, 1954)

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Miracles: Mr. Canton and Lady Rose (Jackie Chan, 1989)

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The Goddess (Wu Yonggang, 1934)

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The Garden of Words (Makoto Shinkai, 2013)

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Chicken and Duck Talk (Clifton Ko, 1988)

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Dead or Alive (Takashi Miike, 1999)

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Love and Duty (Bu Wancang, 1931)

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Diau Charn (Li Han-hsiang, 1958)

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Monterey Pop (DA Pennebaker, 1968)

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The Chase (Arthur Ripley, 1946)

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Shaolin Martial Arts (Chang Cheh, 1974)

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Something’s Gotta Give (Nancy Meyers, 2003)

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Carry On Pickpocket (Sammo Hung, 1982)

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The New One-Armed Swordsman (Chang Cheh, 1971)

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The Private Eye Blues (Eddie Fong, 1994)

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All About Women (Tsui Hark, 2008)

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Romance of the Western Chamber (Hou Yao, 1927)

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A Bittersweet Life (Kim Jeewoon, 2005)

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Jumping Ash (Josephine Siao & Po-chih Leong, 1976)

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If You Are the One (Feng Xiaogang, 2008)

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The Beguiled (Don Siegel, 1971)

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Hong Kong Nocturne (Inoue Umetsugu, 1967)

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Pandora’s Box (Adam Curtis, 1992)

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Missing (Tsui Hark, 2008)

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Time Out for Trouble (David S. Glidden, 1961)

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Teppanyaki (Michael Hui, 1984)

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The Young Master (Jackie Chan, 1980)

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Moon Warriors (Sammo Hung, 1992)

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Sunday in Peking (Chris Marker, 1956)

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The June Bride (Tang Huang, 1960)

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Assembly (Feng Xiaogang, 2007)

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Jimi Plays Monterey (DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus, 1986)

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Infernal Affairs II (Andrew Lau & Alan Mak, 2003)

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If You Are the One 2 (Feng Xiaogang, 2010)

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Mr. Nice Guy (Sammo Hung, 1997)

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Wicked City (Peter Mak, 1992)

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The Black Tavern (Teddy Yip, 1972)

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The Dream Factory (Feng Xiaogang, 1997)

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Sun, Moon and Star (Evan Yang, 1961)

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Once Upon a Time in China V (Tsui Hark, 1994)

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Song of China (Fei Mu, 1935)

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James Baldwin: the Price of the Ticket (Karen Thorsen, 1989)

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Dance of the Drunken Mantis (Yuen Woo-ping, 1979)

Books of 2017

Here is a ranked list of the books which I finished reading in 2017:

  1. An Elemental Thing – Eliot Weinberger
  2. Love in a Fallen City – Eileen Chang
  3. True Grit – Charles Portis
  4. South and West – Joan Didion
  5. Nineteen Ways of Looking at Wang Wei – Eliot Weinberger
  6. Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
  7. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin
  8. Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
  9. The Selected Poems of T’ao Chien
  10. The Conquest of America – Tzvetan Todorov
  11. The Death and Life of Great American Cities – Jane Jacobs
  12. The Ghosts of Birds – Eliot Weinberger
  13. October – China Miéville
  14. Grand Hotel Abyss – Stuart Jeffries
  15. Draft No. 4 – John McPhee
  16. SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome – Mary Beard
  17. The Writing Life – Annie Dillard
  18. The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History – Frank Dikötter
  19. Poems – Wang Wei
  20. The Earth is Weeping – Peter Cozzens
  21. The First Salute – Barbara Tuchman
  22. Against Everything – Mark Greif
  23. Once Upon a Time in China – Jeff Yang
  24. Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
  25. A Memoir – Chang Cheh
  26. Wong Kar-wai – Peter Brunette
  27. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper

I’m starting a new thing as well this year. For awhile I’ve been writing down lines from movies in the Notes app on my phone. Sometimes they end up in reviews, or as standalone letterboxd blurbs, and sometimes they don’t. I’m going to keep one for every year, and publish it at the end, without context. Here is this year’s, which began only in June.

A cat is never on the side of power.

15 years later, some wolves still survive.

Oh Doris, you think everything is treason.

Let’s keep praying

Stop being negative. It’s all in your head. Think of something more cheerful. Can’t you be normal?

Folks like us don’t have a clue.

Don’t go to weird places.
What’s that supposed to mean?

You need tissues for your issues.

Killing Japanese takes energy. Have some congee.

All you people are good for is poetry and stealing.

See you after the victory.

Things in this world can’t stand scrutiny.

Isn’t working to survive a drag?

Nothing is fun. You just work and die. That’s your life.

       Aphrodisiac flour made from the tears of a hundred year old pig forced into heat.

Film pickled in sea snake soup.

If a grinning toothless goat is what you want, you can find one anywhere.

White-brow monk is a turtle son of a bitch.

Nice guys, but . . . poorer.

One of the main things we began to discover was that our theoretical calculations did not have a strong correlation with reality.

Renoir!

Awful disappointing weather today.

If I was bored I’d go out and buy something, like cheese, or quails’ eggs.

No Christine, that’s a frog. Bears wear hats.

The idlers want to shudder at the thought of dangerous work.

Parasites are another excuse

This was a Dracula indeed

Find the true meaning of Christmas! Money! Money! Money!

It’s the spirit of the actors that counts. The interest they have in their director.

As last by as the sun and the earth exist, we can always survive.
You are amazing.
We all are.

There are gatherings and separations in life. Don’t feel sad for temporary partings, because the final victory is coming.

And here are the photos of text I took throughout the year.

This Week in Rankings

Since the last rankings update I’ve been at work over at The Chinese Cinema, editing a whole lot of old reviews and standardizing their formats and such. So far I have complete indices of all my writing on Pantheon directors Chang Cheh, Hou Hsiao-hsien, Jia Zhangke, Johnnie To, Tsui Hark and Edward Yang, along with Zhang Yimou (Less Than Meets the Eye). I also have a review there for Chang’s The New One-Armed Swordsman. Over at Seattle Screen Scene, I have reviews up for Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Daguerrotype, Takashi Miike’s Dead or Alive, Pere Portabella’s Vampir-Cuadecuc, Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, along with a conversation about Todd Haynes’s Wonderstruck.

If you like what I do here or at Seattle Screen Scene and The Chinese Cinema, 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 Chase (Arthur Ripley) – 13, 1946
The Magnificent Trio (Chang Cheh) – 28, 1966
The Trail of the Broken Blade (Chang Cheh) – 34, 1967
Count Dracula (Jesús Franco) – 26, 1970
Vampir-Cuadecuc (Pere Portabella) – 7, 1971

The New One-Armed Swordsman (Chang Cheh) – 14, 1971
Shaolin Martial Arts (Chang Cheh) – 27, 1974
The Private Eye Blues (Eddie Fong) – 34, 1994
Dead or Alive (Takashi Miike) – 10, 1999
Behemoth (Zhao Liang) – 50, 2015

A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies) – 10, 2016
Daguerrotype (Kiyoshi Kurosawa) – 84, 2016
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) – 116, 2016
The Florida Project (Sean Baker) – 6, 2017
77 Heartbreaks (Herman Yau) – 18, 2017

Wasteland No. 1: Ardent Verdant (Jodie Mack) – 27, 2017
The Sleep Curse (Herman Yau) – 28, 2017
Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes) – 34, 2017
Baby Driver (Edgar Wright) – 39, 2017
Wherever You Go, There We Are (Jesse McLean) – 52, 2017
Guardians of Martial Arts (Wen Zhang) – 66, 2017

The Big Sick (Michael Showalter) – 68, 2017
The Meyerowitz Stories (Noah Baumbach) – 69, 2017
My Little Pony: The Movie (Jayson Thiessen) – 77, 2017
Wu Kong (Derek Kwok) – 83, 2017
The Sinking City: Capsule Odyssey (Nero Ng & Stephen Ng) – 84, 2017
Kung Fu Yoga (Stanley Tong) – 89, 2017

This Week in Rankings

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Since the last rankings update, I launched a new website, which will be the home of all my Chinese Cinema-related writings, called The Chinese Cinema. I think it looks nicer and is easier to read than WordPress, but there’s a lot of work to be done with it. I also set up a ko-fi.com page as a fund-raiser. If you’d like to help support my writing about movies on the internet, I’d very much appreciate it.

The Vancouver International Film Festival has just come to an end and we at Seattle Screen Scene were there in force. There’s an index of all our coverage here. In addition to several festival reviews, since the last update I also wrote about Ex Libris: New York Public LibraryGood TimeThe Legend of the Naga PearlsIngrid Goes WestLeap!In this Corner of the WorldThe AdventurersOnce Upon a Timeand Shock Wave. And Melissa and I dusted off The Frances Farmer Show for an episode on the book and film adaptations of True Grit. Finally, I wrote an ode to the greatness of Sammo Hung over at Frame.land.

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

The Bellboy (Jerry Lewis) – 4, 1960
Time Out for Trouble (David S. Glidden) – 22, 1961
Essays (Peter Nestler) – 25, 1963
Mülheim/Ruhr (Peter Nestler) – 33, 1964
Rhine River (Peter Nestler) – 18, 1966

True Grit (Henry Hathaway) – 9, 1969
A New Leaf (Elaine May) – 3, 1971
The Great Muppet Caper (Jim Henson) – 18, 1981
To Be Number One (Poon Man-kit) – 60, 1991
The Living Dead (Adam Curtis) – 62, 1995

If You are the One (Feng Xiaogang) – 27, 2008
True Grit (Joel & Ethan Coen) – 19, 2010
Baahubali: The Beginning (SS Rajamouli) – 10, 2015
In this Corner of the World (Sunao Katabuchi) – 27, 2016
Still Night, Still Light (Sophie Goyette) – 87, 2016
Leap! (Eric Summer & Éric Warin) – 98, 2016

Baahubali: The Conclusion (SS Rajamouli) – 1, 2017
Ex Libris: New York Public Library (Frederick Wiseman) – 2, 2017
Claire’s Camera (Hong Sangsoo) – 4, 2017
120 Beats per Minute (Robin Campillo) – 5, 2017
Maison du bonheur (Sofia Bohdanowicz) – 7, 2017

Bad Genius (Nattawut Poonpiriya) – 9, 2017
Faces Places (Agnès Varda & JR) – 10, 2017
Call Me By Your Name (Luca Guadagnino) – 11, 2017
24 Frames (Abbas Kiarostami) – 15, 2017
Fail to Appear (Antoine Bourges) – 16, 2017

SPL: Paradox (Wilson Yip) – 17, 2017
Western (Valeska Grisebach) – 18, 2017
Prototype (Blake Williams) – 19, 2017
The Great Buddha+ (Huang Hsin-Yao) – 24, 2017
Ismael’s Ghosts (Arnaud Desplechin) – 25, 2017

I’ve Got the Blues (Angie Chen) – 28, 2017
The Hidden Sword (Xu Haofeng) – 35, 2017
Shock Wave (Herman Yau) – 37, 2017
AlphaGo (Greg Kohs) – 38, 2017
Scaffold (Kazik Radwanski) – 39, 2017

A Beautiful Star (Daihachi Yoshida) – 41, 2017
Good Time (Josh & Benny Safdie) – 45, 2017
Forest Movie (Matthew Taylor Blais) – 46, 2017
Golden Exits (Alex Ross Perry) – 47, 2017
Once Upon a Time (Zhao Xiaoding) – 51, 2017

Black Cop (Cory Bowles) – 52, 2017
The Adventurers (Stephen Fung) – 61, 2017
Idizwadidiz (Isiah Medina) – 64, 2017
Maineland (Miao Wang) – 65, 2017
Logan (James Mangold) – 66, 2017

Meditation Park (Mina Shum) – 68, 2017
Whitney: Can I Be Me (Nick Broomfield & Rudi Dolezal) – 71, 2017
The Legend of the Naga Pearls (Yang Lei) – 72, 2017
Shepherd’s Purse (Dong Hao) – 73, 2017
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos) – 75, 2017
Caniba (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel) – 78, 2017