Check Out a Video Countdown of the Year’s Best Films

So far this week we’ve taken a look at John Waters’ top films of 2013, alongside Jean-Luc Godards own year end roundups from 1956-1965—but today we get another list in the form of a wonderfully edited video countdown looking at the top 25 films of 2013. For the past few years, Film.com’s David Ehrlich has been crafting his own visual guide to your favorite films of the year and this time around, he includes a healthy mix of mass appeal and the lesser known films we’ve fallen in love with over the year.

Ahead of our own look at the best of 2013, his countdown features some of our personal favorites—from Before Midnight and Upstream Color to The Act of Killing and The Great Beauty. Speaking to his list, Ehrlich noted:

There’s a brief intro to set the stage and paint a slightly broader picture of the year that was (with a few red herrings tossed in for good measure), but this video is ultimately a countdown of my favorite 25 films of 2013. I’ve played loose and fast with the eligibility requirements in the past, but this time around I thought it would be easier and more instructive to honor only those films that were publicly released in the United States during the calendar year of 2013 (my refusal to abide by this criteria in previous videos explains why Olivier Assayas’ Something In The Air and Abbas Kiarostami’s Like Someone In Love aren’t included this time around).

Check out the video below and stay tuned for our year end best coming next week.

From Jean Renoir to Park Chan-wook: Here Are the Best Films to See in New York This Weekend

Now that the Oscars have come and gone, it’s time we start thinking ahead to all the amazing films set to debut in 2013. And what better way to spend your weekend than getting acquainted with a few greats that premiere this weekend as well as some old gems thrown in the mix. From Park Chan-wook’s new gothic thriller Stoker to Jean Renoir’s classic The River, here’s the best of what’s playing around New York this weekend.

IFC Center

Leviathan
Pavilion
Aliens
The Nun

Cinema Village East

Lore
The End of Love
A Fierce Green Fire

Landmark Sunshine

Stoker
Genius on Hold
A Place at This Table
Shaft

Videology

Monty Python’s Life of Brian
The Muppets Take Manhattan

Museum of the Moving Image

Oldboy
Short Films of Park Chan-wook
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
Lady Vengeance

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Film Society Lincoln Center

A Lady in Paris
Like Someone in Love
Therse Desqueyroux
The River

Nitehawk

Henry Portrait of a Killer
Tombstone
Adventures in Babysitting

BAM

In the House
Persecution
Populaire
The Rules of the Game

Spectacle Theater

Il Demonio
Deatht Laid an Egg
Killer Nerde
Coup de Tete

ReRun

Future Weather

It May Be Oscar Time But There Are Plenty of Other Films Playing Around NYC This Weekend

It’s safe to say we’re all pretty much over the Oscars, right? I mean sure, we can watch all of the beautiful people waltz down the red carpet for the dénouement of luxurious award season and enjoy seeing some our favorite and most talented stars feign modesty, but we all know who is going to win—and I’m not sure I feel like subjecting myself to the risk of watching Anne Hathaway say "blerg" again. So, because you’ve probably seen most of the year’s Academy picks—especially now that Lincoln, The Master, Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, etc have gotten an extend theatrical run—why not take this weekend to explore something new? From Hal Ashby’s dark-humored existentialist love story to Roman Coppola’s latest aesthetically-pleasing whimsical look at the troubles of love and all the cinema goodness in between, I’ve compiled a list of the best films to see around New York this weekend. Enjoy.

 

Nitehawk Cinema

Santa Sangre
Oscar Animated Shorts
Oscar Live Action Shorts
Lady Terminator

Film Society Lincoln Center

Like Someone in Love
11 Flowers
In the Fog
Dormant Beauty

Museum of the Moving Image

In Another Country
Compensation
Bless Their Little Hearts
Molly’s Theory of Relativity

 

Angelika Film Center

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III
No
Barbara
Lore

 

IFC Center

Harold and Maude
Holy Motors
Jaws
Young Mr. Lincoln

 

Anthology Film Archives

Two for the Road
The Triumph of Will
Dark Waters
Rituals in the Avant-Garde PGM: 7 Butoh on Film

 

Videology

Flashdance
Compliance

Looking at Love and the Complexities of Human Nature With Director Abbas Kiarostami

This past September during the New York Film Festival, I got the chance to sit down with beloved filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. His latest enigmatic and complex  study of the human heart, Like Someone in Love—the story of a Tokyo student moonlighting as a prostitute who develops a connection with an elderly window—had its New York premiere the night prior to our interview. Alongside a Kiarostami retrospective at Lincoln Center, Like Someone in Love begins its theatrical run this Friday.

Your film was tough.
Tough? Iʼd like to know what you mean by that.

It challenges you.
Yes, but I’m not even talking about this film. I mean generally speaking for a young person like you—what does a ‘toughʼ film mean?

I think something that challenges you emotionally. So many films nowadays are catered towards short attention spans and a film like this, and a film I would find challenging, is something you have to pace yourself through.
Is it down to the fact thereʼs not that much going on and thereʼs not that much action every second?

No, itʼs not there isnʼt enough, itʼs just that you have to stay very engaged or youʼll feel like youʼre missing something.
Well, youʼre not supposed to go into a film to come into it. The film is there to grab you. If it doesn’t, itʼs the filmʼs fault not yours. Iʼm sorry if the film didn’t grab you. Maybe itʼs just because as an audience goes and picks films, maybe films also pick their spectators—they choose all of a sudden to make one person and take them in and the others are in their own thoughts.

I enjoyed that everything is an illusion, especially love. It’s painfully ephemeral. Nothing is solid, forever.
Yes, that’s true—but how do you know this? How does someone as young as you know this?

I guess I’ve just always thought as much, especially with something like love, something as sensitive as love. No one ever really knows anything, do they?
I wonder, what’s happened to you in your life this far that’s made you feel this way? Most people your age think love is the only definitive answer.

Maybe I’m disillusioned. Or just in love.
Well, then I admire you, you graduated early.

Perhaps. Shall we move on?
Okay.

So what had sparked your interest in making a story that took place in Japan, a place you hadn’t explored before cinematically.
Iʼm not sure how it was triggered. What I do remember, is that when I was a young director—so I wasn’t even nationally acknowledged—it was kind of a joke I would tell my friends, one day Iʼll go and make a film in Japan. Maybe just for the curiosity of just having a close look at new face—faces that have different eyes, different skin,  people that sound different to what weʼre familiar with. And now that I’ve become a photographer and Iʼm interested in this kind of details, I think maybe thatʼs where this longing came from, just being able to pace on these faces and look at that up closely.

Why did you decide on the title Like Someone in Love? I feel like it lends itself to the story so well thematically—everything could be an illusion or a disguise—like love—and itʼs more accurate to say that youʼre like someone or these characters are like someone in love than simply in love because love is never just one definite feeling and these people are never simply showing one side of that.
Iʼm so glad you have this answer yourself because otherwise I would have had to tell that to you and I donʼt consider love like anything definite. Not only in time, because itʼs temporary, but even during this temporary moment you donʼt know exactly what state youʼre in and very often you deny it afterwards saying, “No, I wasn’t in love.”

And the title, I remember as a teenage when I liked jazz music, I had already bee stricken by this title and I liked the idea of the approximation of love more than love itself. I had found it interesting and then I had forgotten it, and in the process of the film I remembered there was something like that and I looked for it again. The theme, the music, was also very useful and appropriate for this film.

I was wondering if you think that a lot of films give away too much information to the point where it numbs the audience so they don’t have to answer questions or engage. Thatʼs what I was trying to say before when I said it was challenging. If a film gives away too much then you donʼt have to feel anything from it, but questioning things and learning something from art is kind of a reason for living, right?
Well, I think giving away too much information is being disrespectful to the viewerʼs intelligence and own personality. I think I’ve always believed that spectators are just as creative as filmmakers. Filmmakers happen to have been in touch with a camera and production and so they’ve made something, but it doesn’t mean that people who are there to see the film have nothing to think or nothing to say or donʼt have their own creativity. So I just pay tribute to this creativity, not giving too much information. I have my loyalty to real life and in real life we never say anything to the other and we let the other also bring their own information and their own experience of life in the relationship that have with us, so why should it be different in film because you are sitting in a theater in front of a screen? Do you have to leave your curiosity and your own thinking aside and be fed by the film? Whenever I have the opportunity to see the people who are sitting in a theater after seeing one of my films, I look at their faces and I look at the features of the faces and I suddenly feel responsible and say well, these people look intelligent and thoughtful, they have plenty of things to say and so thereʼs no reason why I should be the one who tells them, they have things to tell me. So I create but then I need their creation back.

Your films deal with things hidden or not said, as well as people changing their relationships and personalities. It’s a reflection of how people have so many varied people inside them, but usually in film we only see this one person. Your films, they allow us to see one person brought to life in all their personalities. 
Yes, this again is only loyalty to the real complex nature of human beings. I think even painters in classic paintings, they tried to show the soul of the portrait, of the human beings that they were drawing or painting because they realized that human beings were not uni-dimensional. So there was no reason why they couldn’t try and give something to this complexity of this plain character, this fool character. So in cinema, we have moving images, we have three dimensional images and why should we show people just as blind characters. Of course they are complex, and this complexity and even this secretiveness is part of human nature. Your soul dictates you not to reveal yourself immediately and not to appear naked and to have your own complexity, your own intelligence. So this intelligence should be considered. It has been in art and paintings so it definitely should be in filmmaking too.

Being a filmmaker in a foreign country where you donʼt speak the language and are dealing with the sensibility of a new world, do you think that informs the type of film that youʼre making and changes you as an artist?
There is no doubt that there must be an impact at least. It makes me write all the details of a script and of dialogue which I usually wouldnʼt do if I were in my home country and the distance that I have with actors who are not speaking my language and who are not from the same culture as mine. So it does have an impact on my work. But then I think the result, which is the film thatʼs made, should be taken in its autonomy and in its own existence without wondering what it would have been if it had been under different circumstances. It should be taken as it is and it should be looked at as with itʼs own specificities here and now, not wondering what else it could have been.

Watch the First U.S. Trailer for Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Like Someone in Love’

As the companion piece to Abbas Kiarostami’s European drama Ceftified Copy, the internationally-acclaimed writer and director’s latest work, Like Someone in Love, takes us to the other side of the world. Setting the film in Japan, Kiarostami’s new drama is more enigmatic than his last—truths blooming to the surface and dissolving before our eyes.

After playing at Cannes, TIFF, and the New York Film Festival, Like Someone in Love will have its theatrical run beginning next week. And just in time, a U.S. theatrical trailer has finally been released. This time around, we get a glimpse at the characters, as seen through Kiarostami’s signature use of pacing and framing to capture the confoudning nature of connection. In the trailer, we see that the film follows a young female student who works as a prostitute on the side and her elderly client. When I sat down with Kiarostami back in September (interview coming next week), we talked a lot about love and relationships and why he makes such cryptic films.

Like Someone in Love played to mixed reviews from critics but watch the trailer and definitely make sure to check back next week to see what the filmmaker had to say about his daring work.