Here comes the time of the year filled with Christmas carols and endless family reunions. But this is also a time to step back, reflect on the year, and catch up on movies that we at DCIFF have been meaning to (re-) watch. To help you navigate this holiday season, here is a non-exhaustive list of movies to fill your cold winter days. The choice was driven by some holidays traditions from foreign countries, important events in the cinema world in 2019, and a few of my all-time favorites.
Varda by Agnès, by Agnès Varda (2019). The only female director of the French New Wave passed away last March, leaving behind an impressive legacy. It is impossible to pick just one movie from the exhaustive list of her works, but her last piece is essential – Varda by Agnès – in which she discusses her lifelong career, aspirations and techniques with the sense of wit and sensitivity that makes her so unique. It will make you want to re-watch her entire body of work, and you can luckily do so this month at the Lincoln Center retrospective in New York.
A good old James Bond, for two reasons. First, if you are from the UK, this is probably on your list of holiday traditions anyway. However, we recommend these movies because the next episode of the adventures of 007 – No Time to Die – will be released in movie theaters in April next year, featuring Daniel Craig as his last stint as James Bond. So, do yourself a favor and watch the entire James Bond series and get ready for the new chapter.
A Christmas Tale, by Arnaud Desplechin (2008). In a cold city of France, a family reunites for Christmas, despite their unhealed wounds and resentment toward each other. But the movie is somehow joyful in its sadness, driven by strong and colorful characters. It also brings together the many actors that have been part of Desplechin’s work for a long time, who seem to have become his family.
Eyes Wide Shut, by Stanley Kubrik (1999), because it starts at a Christmas party and could be a good way to spice up your holidays between two long family gatherings.
Uncut Gems, by Josh and Benny Safdie (2019). Last but not least, the Safdie brothers gifted us with a new movie, released right on time for Christmas. It features Adam Sandler as a jewel shop owner and gambler, who keeps getting himself into a mess. If you enjoyed the hyper and bumpy ride that was Good Time (2017), Uncut Gems promises to be equally intense.
Mathilde for DCIFF