“This film proves that you don’t need anything to create a pure work of art,” Leo declares. “Everything that matters happens in this film,” writes Gabriel. “I consider this a compelling and unique example of what I consider the cinema of poetics,” Dylan opines. “Films that will never reach the mass market but spiritually mean something to people with an inner understanding of themselves, their harmonies and their grip over life.”
We also enjoyed this vodka-soaked deep-dive into Mekas’ film by Colin Edwards: “By the final hour, one of our group was rolling around on the floor drooling water all over his sleeping bag from convulsive laughter whilst the cat walked through the kebab sauce and covered my shoes in parma-ham…”
Elsewhere on the list: Matrix, from 1973, is an eighteen-minute experimental art film and its appearance can presumably be chalked up to user error—added instead of The Matrix—but maybe not?
Elem Klimov’s 1985 war drama Come and See must be one of the highest-rated yet least-recommended films on the list (and on Letterboxd itself). “An experience that I can’t recommend as it is unbelievably disturbing,” writes Dirk in his five-star review. “I’d think twice about recommending it to people,” Genki B agrees, adding, “The imagery is shocking but also kind of amazing. There’s a scene in which you see a Mercedes Benz symbol on the front of a truck and you feel like you could never buy a German-engineered car again.”
The little-known TV movie Front of the Class gets some love, possibly because—in true made-for-TV, based-on-a-true-story tradition—the story of a man with Tourettes Syndrome who just wants to be a schoolteacher has just enough emotion to surpass the cheese. Or, as Carla put it, “Let’s just say a lot of us cried in Front of the Class.”
Call Me by Your Name, high up on the other lists, ranks well here too, which shows how much love we have for that film (and on that note, check out the trio of films about love that director Luca Guadagnino shared with us).
Finally, two unreleased 2018 films made the list: Alex Garland’s Annihilation, which early reviewers are getting excitedly sweary about, and modern romance Love, Simon (coming in at number six—probably due to high anticipation from fans of the book).