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My favorite films of the year

December 29, 2019

By Alfonso Díaz González


2019 was a curious year for me, I found myself discovering even more about myself, and discovering parts of myself that I never really payed attention, fears, anxieties, sickness, disabilities, I definitely started seeing the world in a very different manner, and also understanding and feeling diferent things.

As you might already know, I have kind of an obsession with cinema, I feel kinda sad because I've never got the chance to see the most important films that released around the year because I decided to give a chance to a certain kind of cinema that I had never experienced before, as a result of that I don't have as much to talk this year, but I do have a few selections of things that I enjoyed vastly.

The next list is based upon the releases in Mexico during 2019


5. Poetas del Cielo (2018)

Directed by: Emilio Maillé.
Runtime: 1h 42min
Contry: 🇲🇽, 🇧🇷, 🇫🇷


Sky Poets is a documentary that follows the experience of different firework artists in different parts of the world. It pays central attention to the artist of Mexico and Japan, and compares the meaning each person gives to this art. The documentarist go to France, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Hong Kong, Cuba and Mexico. In some way, you start realizing this cult almost represents the same everywhere you go, and that it's artist feel exactly the same about this work.

A film to just enjoy, the passion that the artists put in that fire is terribly amazing, and the best part is that you get to enjoy these explotions on the big screen.

I reviewed this film on Cinema para Promedios. Read here.


4. Midsommar (2019)

Directed by: Ari Aster.
Runtime: 2h 27min
Country: 🇺🇸, 🇸🇪, 🇭🇺


This is a common pick between most people this year, it really got to be a huge film, and while it has been common among people's lists, I also found it fascinating, a truly horryfing, and scary tale about a fear I didn't even know I had.

The film follows Dani, a woman who just recently had his family dying on an unexplained event, she, who already was a nervous and depressed woman, ends up going to a pleasure trip to Sweeden, in company of her boyfriend Christian and his friends, in first appeareance, this place is idilic and pleasing, but it only hides a misterious and terrible act that no one knows about.

Ari Aster builds this film in such a way that the events end up being unnerving, weird, and plain confusing, taking you to a state of mind where you understand nothing is what it seems, darkness is not a trend in this film, and the overuse that the horror genre mades are defied with the use of the day as the mere evilness of this world.

Just like the characters, we are always foreigners, we can never understand what it means everything at the end, but Aster leaves a bunch of clues around the film that could explain whats going on in this celebration. If you ask me, I prefer to not know, and I can assure you that Midsommar really broke me.


3. Noches de Julio (2019)

Directed by: Axel Muñoz
Runtime: 1h 18min
Contry: 🇲🇽


This really is one of those that's not for everyone, a really overlooked one but definitely fascinating, the absence of dialogue, the void of nothingness, the ambiguity of misscomunication makes this one those kind of films to overthink.

Julio is a guy who works at a laundry and dry-cleaning store, each night, after his shifts, he enjoys to sneak in the houses of people, and just wanders around them looking for something to conserve, to know the owners, one night, he mets Mara. Both of them have zero social abilities, and never really talk to them.

Julio decides to follow her, sneak in her house, but something unexpected happens, he falls in love with her, and Julio isn't the only one who enjoys sneaking, Mara has been following him too. I would describe this as a tale of images, a delicate love story that doesn't really need a word in the first place, tender, sweet, simple.


2. Varda par Agnès (2019)

Directed by: Agnès Varda ✝
Runtime: 1h 55min
Country: 🇫🇷


I've been infatuated with the work of Varda ever since I watched Visages, Villages in 2017, for me, she's the best realisatour that has ever been alive, and she's the one of the filmakers from the french new wave along with her partner Jacques Demy ✝ and Alain Resnais ✝ that are not creeps. Varda has always ofered a different kind of cinema, a very personal look into each others minds, each person is a universe, and inside each of her films, she explores the vastness that is oneself's mind. Varda made me want to be in the medium, I haven't achieved it, but she always wanted everyone to go and make poetry on video, on film. Her death during March stroke me very hard, I cried a lot, she somehow felt timeless, one of those stars that could never fade away, but definitely, her work will be timeless, I traveled to Morelia during October to see it during the Morelia Film Fest.

Varda has been recognized for going into the minds of people, trying to open them, in this ocation, the same way she does on "Les plages d'Agnès" (2008), Varda decides to take a look back to her own career, one that feels less emotional than her beaches, but that still feels full of emotion and complexity, the film also serves as a film class, where she teach us all the methods and the things she liked to do when making a project (A film, a photography or an art piece). Watching it feels so hopeful, and shares that feeling to everyone that nothing's impossible.

Varda is a light that will never fade away.


1. Zimna wojna (2018)

Directed by: Pawel Pawlikowski
Runtime: 1h 29min
Country: 🇵🇱, 🇬🇧, 🇫🇷


We're back to the 1950's, a hard time for the world, a time where a war had just finished and another one began, but is not only countries that start a war, it's also people. In this semi-biographical story, Pawlikowski tells a story about how we're all connected, a story that reminds us that the governments doesn't just lead nations, they also lead people, lead them to wherever they don't want to be.

These musicians, while they may not accept it, will follow each other to the end of the world,in a different time in a different world they could be together, they could be happy. But this world doesn't want happiness, it wants power, and just like governments, these lovers also start wishing to own each other, there's a love war going on, they're fool and don't realize tey're taking each other to their destruction, until a complete transformation of their world makes them see there was never hope.

Cold War is a classy look at a time long gone, at a place that never belong to anyone, why does people compete? Does love equals to power? Cold War was my favourite because of the eternal question, why can't we be happy? Does it have to do with ourselves? Or is this the way our society functions? Even if we would like to believe the tale that "one can only blame themself for his own failure" it's undeniable that there are things that are beyond our control, things that would kill us, and take all our happiness; love is no different, we would like to just love without any borders, but is not possible, there will always be borders, there will always be borders.


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