Monday, 30 December 2013

Best of World Cinema in 2013

I watched 20 world cinema films this year, 11 of which were films that were released in the UK in 2013. Here are the 9 that were not released in 2013 and if I reviewed them, then you can check out my review by clicking the title.

Django, Prepare a Coffin 

'It does have much to recommend it with an iconic star with swagger to spare, a great score, some occasionally stylish visuals and stunts and fight sequences to savour. Just don’t expect the visual and verbal pizzazz of Tarantino’s latest.'

Lisa and the Devil

'Lisa and the Devil is wilfully weird and guaranteed to leave you wondering what the hell you just witnessed.'

Black Sunday

'Bava’s best film is undoubtedly a classic of the Gothic horror genre. Understandably banned on release for its striking and harrowing opening scene, it may never quite match this sequence but it is still influential and incredibly well made.'

Holy Motors

Never got round to reviewing this but I'm in the camp that absolutely loved it! Filled with utter madness, I even had to visit the cemetery in Paris that featured in this bonkers scene.

The Raid

Didn't review this either. Hoping Hollywood learns from the action scenes in this in the way that they were shot and edited. 

Rust and Bone

Disappointed by this. Great performances but I found the story fairly forgettable.


 'Baise-Moi is where art house meets pornography. Though there is a clear intention to create something that is an affront to traditional values (rather than a simple masturbation aid), Baise-Moi is less punk rock feminist exploration of modern women and more a rape-revenge, guns, girls and sleaze-a-thon.'

Black Sabbath

'The three films contained within Black Sabbath are the best of Bava; funny and terrifying in equal measure, a must for fans and real treat for newcomers to the director’s work. Ozzy Osbourne would be proud.'


Bonkers thriller with some seriously shocking scenes of violence. Loved it!

And now for the world cinema films that were released in 2013 which I present for you in a countdown to my favourite!

11. More than Honey 

'Despite the attention to details, presentation of facts and such an intriguing question at the heart of the premise, More Than Honey is less than thrilling. The future of beekeeping is briefly considered but by the end, you may find that you have heard more than enough.' 

10. Escape

'Though it looks stunning and is directed with plenty of flair, the script could have done with some development in order to ramp up the action elements and make this really worth fleeing out to see.'
9. Sleep Tight

From one of the directors of REC, but far more chilled and chilly. A really nasty and depressing little film.

8. Everybody Has a Plan 

'From the producers of The Secrets In Their Eyes, Everybody Has A Plan lacks the brilliant twist, complex plotting and wonderful visual flourishes of that film but still has many moments to recommend it.' 
7. The Gatekeepers 

'The Gatekeepers is a riveting exploration of men with unnatural and terrifying amounts of power. Their actions in the past are often inexcusable, but by the end, their thoughts and their argument will have you hanging on their every word. The Gatekeepers is an extremely important piece of film; its message and conclusion should be heard by those in positions of power all over the world.'

6. The Deep 

'The Deep elevates the ordinary man into an extraordinary subject. It might not excite as much as a Hollywood version but it captures the drama of the sinking and subsequent survival with commendable restraint.'

5. Come as You Are 

'As a coming of age story with a difference, Come as You Are excels, creating fully believable characters that neither beg for pity or scream of stereotyping. Come As You Are may not fully explore gender politics, but it notably adds to the increasing array of representations of people with disabilities and is certainly a trip worth taking.'

4. No 

'The documentary style and use of the U-matic camera adds inexorably to the authenticity and the use of real footage seamlessly blended with new footage is masterful.'

3. A Hijacking 

'A Hijacking might not have the explosive action its title might suggest in a Hollywood film but it has high tension, high drama and high stakes. Though it skips the actual moment of hijacking, it never flinches from the psychological repercussions on the main players. For the 120 plus days depicted, it is completely captivating.'

2. Our Children 

'Our Children offers a frighteningly bleak look at marital strife, crushing depression and a shocking and disturbing end that distances you from both Murielle and all her children. Thanks primarily to Dequenne's performance, it is heart breaking and completely unforgettable.'

1. Rebellion

'Rebellion is Kassovitz right back on form. With its tense hostage rescue scenario, it deserves to be this year’s Argo. Stylish, intelligent and gripping, Rebellion is a smart thriller that will blow you away.'

What were your favourite world cinema films of 2013 or beyond?

Why don't you stay awhile? More 2013 lists from I Love That Film:

TV in 2013: Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Walking Dead, Homeland and more

Best books I read in 2013

Top Documentaries of 2013

2013 List of Shame or 25 films I should have seen this year

2013 Top 10 Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction

2013 Top 10 So Far (written in July)

Best British Films of 2013

Top 25 Films to see in 2014