This is a segment I’m starting to keep track of my favorite watches each month. I hope you find something good! If you’ve watched anything worth sharing, drop it in the comments!
Honorable mentions: Evangelion 1.11, Evangelion 2.0, Evangelion 3.33, Burning (only didn’t make the list ‘cos it was a rewatch), Melancholia (Von Trier), Matthias and Maxime, Jennifer’s Body, Red Rocket.
10. The Batman (2022)
I already had a spoiler-free review on this one, so I won’t say much other than it was fun for what it was, and easily constitutes the best live-action Batman to date.
9. The Straight Story (1999)
David Lynch? Disney? A road-movie as bio-pic? Surprisingly, these three things make for a sensitive, [not overly] emotional viewing experience. As we follow Alvin’s journey across America to go see his sick brother, we’re made to contemplate everything from class to family. Definitely one of the more surprising additions to Lynch’s oeuvre, but I think it’s a phenomenal watch.
8. Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution (2011)
Lav Diaz’s heartbreaking look at the complexities of independence is next on my list. The film is centered around a freedom fighter time traveling to the modern-day Philippines and seeing the prostitution, drug dealing and greed-fueled violence which plagues the country. Cinema is often called painting with light, but I think Diaz always reminds us that it’s impossible to do so without a little darkness. Plus, it’s one of the rare films by Diaz that’s under 5 hours long, so it’s a great entry point for anyone looking to get into his movies!
7. Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0: Thrice Upon a Time (2021)
I’ve already made this a Stream of the Week, but it was a no-brainer for this list. Anno’s last installation in the Neon Genesis franchise is epic in every sense of the word, yet wildly intimate and personal. You simply must watch this movie.
6. X (2022)
The newest horror flick from Ti West, distributed by A24, is a fantastic look at gender, class, sex, violence and the American Dream. When a group of pornographers looks to film in an elderly couple’s guest cabin without permission, they get more than they bargained for. This is one to see in theaters!
5. The Harder They Fall (2021)
A lot of these were my streams of the week, and this one’s no different. Jeymes Samuel’s unique contribution to the revival of Spaghetti Westerns is a wild story of revenge, love, friendship and corruption. A must watch!
4. Laurence Anyways (2012)
This month was my first time encountering the work of Xavier Dolan, and I look forward to finishing his filmography in April. Laurence Anyways is one of the most beautiful things you can hope to see when watching a movie, with a shocking use of color and innovative camerawork following an English professor’s transition into the woman she was born to be, despite all the transphobic bigotry she faces through the decades. Part period-piece, part tale of star-crossed lovers, this 2012 winner of the Queer Palm is guaranteed to make you feel something.
3. A Ghost Story (2017)
This was the last thing I watched in March, and I couldn’t have chosen a better way to end the month. Centered around a woman mourning her late husband, this film is a gorgeous exploration of grief, memory and healing from David Lowery—there’s also something to be said about capitalism, gentrification and the home, but I might leave that for a future analysis. For now, just know that from the story to the mind-blowing visuals, this movie is stunning proof that slow cinema is still one of the most tender and intimate filmmaking styles.
2. After Yang (2022)
I’ve already done an analysis of Kogonada’s latest offering, but I had to put it on this list. When a family’s android breaks, they’re forced to face reality and each other. Simply a visionary piece of cinema, I loved this unique take on the sci-fi genre! Watch it in theaters while you can.
1. Poetry (2010)
Lee Chang-dong’s Poetry was my final Stream of the Week in March for a reason. Easily one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. As we follow Mi-ja trying to reckon her newfound love of poetry with a shocking tragedy and regret from an unlived life, we’re given a film that is tender and subtle yet all-encompassing in scope. It’s free on Tubi, hurry and watch it!