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Friday, December 19, 2014

BAMcinématek's Best of 2014

Ellar Coltrane and Richard Linklater at the opening night of BAMcinemaFest 2014/New York premiere of Boyhood at the BAM Harvey Theater.

The best-of-the-year list is back at BAMcinématek, and we have a whole lot to celebrate about film in 2014. We’ve made our parameters looser than ever, so below you’ll find lists short and long, including favorite TV shows, music videos, and more alongside repertory and new film picks. Enjoy!

Andrew Chan, Marketing Manager

New Releases:
The Strange Little Cat, Boyhood, National Gallery

Hou Hsiao-hsien at Museum of the Moving Image

Good Men, Good Women, part of the Hou Hsiao-hsien retrospective. Photo: Center for Moving Image Arts at Bard College

David Reilly, Programmer

Kara Walker’s A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, presented by Creative Time at the now-demolished Domino Sugar Factory, towers above any other artwork I experienced in 2014. A monumental, overwhelming public work for a rapidly changing (devolving?) New York City, Walker’s act of witness feels ever more prescient with each passing day.

Kara Walker's A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby. Photos: Aymann Ismail/ANIMALNewYork

Gabriele Caroti, Director of BAMcinématek

New Releases:
1. Manny Kirchheimer’s Stations of the Elevated & Claw
2. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood 
3. Sabine Lubbe Bakker & Niels van Koevorden’s Ne me quitte pas
4. P.T. Anderson’s Inherent Vice (opening at BAM December 25)
5. Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair’s High Maintenance
6. Chris Rock’s Top Five

1. King Hu’s A Touch of Zen
2. Mario Monicelli’s L’armata Brancaleone
3. John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs
4. William Greaves’ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One 
5. Ben Best, Jody Hill, & Danny McBride’s Eastbound & Down

My Top Five:
1. Ghostface
2. Nas
3. Rakim
4. Tribe & De La (tied)

Katja Blichfeld & Ben Sinclair’s High Maintenance.

Hannah Thomas, Publicity & Marketing Assistant

New Releases:
Ava DuVernay’s Selma (opening at BAM December 25)
FKA Twigs’ music videos ("Video Girl," "Two Weeks," "Papi Pacify," etc.)
Key & Peele

Spike Lee’s School Daze
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
John Sayles’ The Brother from Another Planet

FKA Twigs' "Two Weeks." Photo: Nabil Elderkin (via

Jesse Trussell, Programming Coordinator

New Releases:
James Gray’s The Immigrant is the kind of big-canvas, universal, sensitive film that’s so exceedingly rare that it took me an hour to adjust to its sheer ambition. I also loved Stray Dogs (Tsai), Jealousy (Garrel), Goodbye to Language 3D (Godard, opens at BAM December ), Boyhood (Linklater), Lucy (Besson), Stranger by the Lake (Guiraudie), Inherent Vice (Anderson), Olive Kitteridge (Cholodenko), and Maidan (Loznitsa).

Any city that lets me see Baal (Schlondorff), Level Five and A Grin Without a Cat (Marker), Oh… Rosalinda! (Powell and Pressburger), Hardly Working (Lewis), Jungle Fever (Lee), Night at the Crossroads (Renoir), and Several Interviews on Personal Matters (Gogoberidze) and That Man from Rio (de Broca) in a theater for the first time is okay with me.

Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice. Photo: Warner Bros.

Lisa Thomas, Publicity Manager

New Release:
Ava DuVernay’s Selma 
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood

Mario Monicelli’s The Passionate Thief

TV Show:
Broad City

BAM moment:
BAMcinemaFest opening and closing night directors/legends Linklater and Spike Lee giving intros in the building at the same time, then running into each other in the lobby.

Honorable rep mentions:
Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Flowers of Shanghai new 35mm print (MoMI), Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation 10th anniversary screening at BAM (but my first time seeing it), Don Weis’ I Love Melvin (BAMcinématek).

Ava DuVernay's Selma. Photo: Paramount Pictures

Nellie Killian, Programmer

New Releases:
Christian Petzold’s Phoenix

Alan Rudolph’s Remember My Name 

Christian Petzold’s Phoenix. Photo: Christian Schulz/Schramm Film

Ryan Werner, Programmer at Large

New Releases:
Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language (screening at BAM January 16) blew my mind. I’ve seen it five times by now and it never fails to amaze me or show me something new. It’s got a lot of what we’ve come to expect of late Godard— tortured lovers, titled sections, bursts of music, human atrocities—but also a great warmth that comes from the scenes with the dog Roxy. I don’t fall for animal hijinks in films easily (sorry, Marley & Me), but I did here. Godard always has to be the best at everything he does.

A Hard Day’s Night is pure joy. A film that looked and sounded better than it ever has, possibly even better than at its release. Richard Lester’s film is so influential and groundbreaking that it boggles the mind.

Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language. Photo: Kino Lorber

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