I always look forward to reading best-films-of-the-year lists, but I will likely never make one myself. Why?
I usually see close to a hundred films a year, and that’s only a small fraction of those that will have been released. Not every film can be shown at the Dreamland because: 1) the movie business often requires high fees and strict screening requirements that don’t favor non-urban, non-multiplex theaters; and 2) some films are unlikely to draw large enough audiences for the Dreamland to cover the costs of even reasonably priced features. Also, I don’t spend enough time off-island to see more films there.
For that matter, not every Hollywood release attracts my attention, and I think that a persuasive best-of list means that one should have seen almost every major title, which I certainly have not. (Define “major” as you like.) In addition, I tend to disagree with the notion of one film being “better” than another. Note that at the Oscars, most presenters now say “And the Oscar goes to…” and not “And the winner is…” I’d rather say what films I most enjoyed, and I’ll be doing that in an upcoming column.
Also coming later in January, I’ll write another column about my favorite poll: Sight and Sound magazine’s decennial list of the Greatest Films of All Time. The 2022 results were announced this month, and it does have some surprises.
I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.