- Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey-France-Germany)
The film deals with the life of 5 teenager Muslim sisters in conservative Turkish family who after having spent a moment in the beach with some boys were condemn to be prisoners of their own home. A film that shows the sensuality of the youth world in the Middle East is not something that one found everyday. Between the sisters it had been a development of a very special relationship base on complicity. The young girls are forced to became brides and each girl has different reaction. According to the credits the Turkish government has partly financed the film despite I don’t think that it fits the Turkish cultural nationalism of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his repressive government. Perhaps this film one of the most honest critics to the female treatment in Muslim countries. One of the most interesting aspects of film is that Turkey is supposed to be a more Western country and in theory more modern but his treatment of woman for a lot of families don’t change much with the supposedly more primitive Arab countries. A real subversive film of a poetic beauty.
2. Tu Dors Nicole (Stéphane Lafleur, Canada)
In a cinematic black and white with the particular Québécois accent this film was one of the surprises of the year. The plot is center between the relationship of two twenty something Nicole and Verónique that had nothing to do a summer. There is nothing deep about the story but is the charm that the girls bring to the film that made it almost surrealist. There is a teenage kid with an adult voice in love with Nicole that appear to put a quote of humor in film. The sound is well elaborated from the parent that go in roads with a whale sound to the Nicole’s brother rock band. The finale of the the film is weak part of this masterpiece.
3. The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle, USA)
A marvelous documentary of the lives of the Angulo brothers that lived locked away away in a Lower East Side apartment. The only connection for them to the outside world are films which they even reenact. The family is afraid of the outside but these teenagers don’t. The film portray the brothers first contacts with the outside world with they. A history about how the limits of cinema and real life are more blurry that one could usually think. Since their vision of the world had been shaped by cinema, they had despite their early youth the vision of older directors and a commitment to create beauty. If Michel Foucault said that the goal in the life is to make a piece of art of it, for these kids is made a movie about that.
4. Heaven’s Know What (Ben Safdie & Joshua Safdie, USA)
In a year where there had been a lot of films about the homeless, this small budget film which had by far the best. Most films about the homeless had require well known actors to get attention into these complex topic but these film was a blend between documentary and fiction since the main character Harley is portrayed by Arielle Holmes, a real life homeless. Arielle performance is simply magic for a film about a very hard topic. The history of the film is actually based on her real life, Harley and Ilya are couple of addict homeless in New York City. Certainly not the kind of cinema that is made to be a blockbuster but the honest portray of homelessness made it one of the best indie films of the last time.
5. Beyond Clueless (Charlie Lyne, UK)
A documentary about teenage movies. The film is a reflection about how cinema has portrayed with coming-of-age stories the youth. A truly sociological look to high school films. Center around American cinema the fact that in other cinematographies, coming-of-age films are rare, makes one wonder why is the fascination of America with its youth. Is America the eternal teenager that is tired of the Old Europe. Is he or she, the jock, the cheerleader or nerd, maybe America of is all of the above. Even in some other countries there had been some films about high school is very strange that they merge science fiction and horror, something quite common in America. The question will is if one day would America grow up.
6. Dope (Rick Famuyiwa, USA)
The history of Malcolm a geek teenager and two of his friends in a black neighborhood. After founding a bag full of drugs they decide it to sell it in the deep web and they change the money they earn to Bitcoin. There is love, there are pop culture references and there is dream of Malcolm of getting into Harvard. A geek black comedy that is maybe inaugurating a new sub-genre.
7. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, France)
A film about the underground electronic music scene in Paris with the one best soundtracks ever, the movie is a narrative tale of the life of these musicians from the love relationships to their addictions. Hansen-Løve is a young director that had been able to find her own voice, every film of her had a particular taste. These film is the first since her debut trilogy and is prove that she is one of the most promising filmmakers of this generation.
8. Appropriate Behaviour (Desiree Akhavan, USA)
Described as the film Woody Allen would made if he was a lesbian Persian girl. The film follows Shirin portrayed by the Akhavan herself as a hipster lesbian Persian-American girl living in New York City with dream of becoming a director. An autobiographical film that reflects on hipster culture but also on what it means being “ethnic” in the hipster scene. A truly charming film that put a Akhavan on the map both as a director and an actress.
9. Lost River (Ryan Gosling, USA)
The directorial debut of Ryan Gosling was a truly surprise. One best cinematography works of the last time is shown on these film that in technical aspects is perfect. Is not easy to make films about ghost towns and Gosling has made it. The script is far from perfect but having actress like Christina Hendricks and Saiorse Ronan, good performances are secured.
10. Félix et Meira (Maxime Giroux, Canada)
The film name the two principal characters a single middle age man and younger orthodox Jewish mother and wife. One amazing love story between two persons coming from two very different worlds. The Israeli actress that portrays Meira is Hadas Yaron, one of the most promising rising star of Israel.