It’s a widely-known fact that the only way to properly appreciate art is via either awards ceremonies or numerical rankings. And now that it’s the end of December and everyone’s sick of these lists, it’s the perfect time for me to publish my own.
For those new to my tradition, below you’ll find not just a Top Fifty Films of 2013, but also a separate Top Ten Documentaries. My reasons for separating them are both long and academic, and I won’t bother you with them now.
But my reason for doing a top fifty is this: if I’m not seeing fifty films that I love each year, given how many films I see, I’d stop with this film malarkey and do something useful. This list is about unearthing the gems, whether large-scale or obscure, and creating a list that isn’t strictly about ranking, but shining a light on some films that may not be getting the attention they deserve. Films that are clear #11s in a world of Top Tens. More than a few people have told me that they use my list as a guide of which films to catch up on, and so I continue the tradition. I never struggle to reach fifty; I keep a running tally of my absolute favourites over the year, and each December discover that my list of films I loved exceeds fifty. Every time.
Also: don’t try to figure out my approach to release dates. If anyone’s really interested I can provide an explanation below, but basically my list includes 2012 films released in Australia in 2013 through to 2013 films that won’t come out here until 2014. Some films that reached Australia this year, such as Django Unchained and Cloud Atlas were on last year’s list, whereas I have not yet had a chance to see the likes of All Is Lost, Blue Is The Warmest Colour, In a World… or Cheap Thrills. Frustratingly, and despite my best efforts, I also missed some key Australian films such as The Turning, The Rocket and Lygon Street: Si Parla Italiano.
I never see as much as I want to, but I did get to see an awful lot, so go make yourself something warm and settle in for my best films of 2013.