For film fans, a constant debate in 2018 was exactly how to consume the art that we are so passionate about.
As recently as this week I came across a tweet describing "Birdbox", a fusion of science fiction and horror with the star Sandra Bullock, as a Netflix movie. For many who are a pejorative label, just as decades ago, saying that a movie was for television, somehow was indicative of a decline in quality.
While purists claim cinema is made to be seen on the big screen, there is also a large group of filmmakers looking at digital platforms such as Netflix as a way to ensure their movies can be seen by as many viewers as possible. . The merger of these arguments is directly linked to the fear that ultimately the experience of going to the cinema is a business that cannot be maintained.
For those who cling to everything is beautiful and bigger in cinema, 2018 has closed with good news. This year, the cash account sales increased significantly by a total of NOK 11.5 billion. These figures confirm that going to the movies cannot yet be classified as an experience at risk of extinction.
But when I sit down to write the list of productions that represent the best of cinema this year, I confirm that the art of good cinema is not determined by a distribution strategy, much less by the conventions of a particular genre. Therefore, the best of cinema in 2018 is a movie produced by Netflix, several independent films, documentary films, a horror movie and even some superhero movies. They all illustrate how this medium continues to develop and redefine what the kinematic experience is. Here's my list.
1. Roma – The power of the audiovisual proposal is convincing regardless of the size of the screen where it is projected. This meditation by Alfonso Cuarón on memory, the divisions of social classes and unconditional love confirms that cinematographic art can challenge all sorts of conventions, structures and codes to create a pure emotional experience.
2. If Beale Street could speak (premiere in January in Puerto Rico) – Poetry and termination. These are the main tools that director Barry Jenkins uses to customize James Baldwin's novel of the same name and elevate the emotional power of a love story that has been upset by injustice and racism. The way the director uses close ups to frame the frame and frustration of his protagonists creates tangible and powerful intimacy.
3. AQuiet Place – A good horror movie is totally dependent on sound design and this movie uses silence to another level. Nevertheless, the reason John Krasinsky's film represents the best of the cinema this year is the impeccable way he links the power of his visuals to the emotional experience of his characters. The dramatic depth of the family experience of this movie breaks the conventions of this genre and gives the viewer a unique, complete and memorable experience.
4. Black Panther – The triumphs of Ryan Coogler in this movie have nothing to do with what the production does for superhero films. The balance between creating a complete universe and making your hero's journey emotional is simply perfect in this Marvel production. And if that's not enough, the best female characters of the year, played by Danai Guirira, Lupita Nyong & Letitia Wright and Angela Basset, have more than justified their place in this list.
5. Favorites – The irreverence and poisonous humor that director Yorgos Lathimos uses in this film will be what captures the attention and admiration of many. However, the collision between the antiques of a periodic film and the vulgarity of our modern emotions is nothing special of the novel. What is extraordinary is how the director creates space for three female characters who have the ability to completely take over their imperfections, ambitions, passions and folly without justifying themselves for a single second.
6. RBG / Whitney – Both documentaries are portraits of formidable women and confirm that the documentary is not synonymous with cinematographic dullness. These productions revitalize the traditional tools of this type of film to create an intimate experience that reduces the distance between the spectator and the women celebrating.
7. Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse – The experience of this amazing, animated offer is not to give us another version of Spiderman, if not more. This interpretation hook not only envelops how parallel stories develop in comics, but also provides an intelligent and emotional exploration of why the classic structure of a hero's origin is infallible and irresistible. And if that's not enough, the fusion of traditional animation with digital animation is a true work of art.
8. Enker – A drama with action elements or a tension film with an explosive dramatic core. The power of this Steve McQueen movie lies in how the stereotype it falls into the traditional conventions of the genres it tries to mix. This is a movie that depends on theft, but the weight is not on the details of the plan, but on the emotional chains of the women who perform them.
9. Seeking – Just as the "Citizen Kane" defined the modern audiovisual language, this film captures all the daily manifestations of modern technology and creates a familiar and innovative film screen. The result is the best thrill movie this year.
10. Ready player – Having Steven Spielberg responsible for this hurricane of references to popular culture makes this adventure even more enjoyable. But the film marks the first time that the filmmaker has managed to unite his career artistic feelings into the films of the director of Jurassic Park and the films of the director of Schindler's List. That this is a fusion of fantasy and science fiction, does not prevent Spielberg from exploring how the love of escape is something that can broaden our relationships with other people in real life.