Director and Cult Icon John Waters Reveals His Favorite Films of 2015
The end of the year brings lots of top 10 lists from film critics, journalists, your cousin with the weird mustache who thinks seeing one John Cassavetes film makes him an authority…It’s a special time. But some of the most interesting year-end top 10 lists are curated by filmmakers, and the most delightful one of all comes from John Waters, who has revealed his annual list of movie favorites, bestowing good tidings and cheer on us all.
Waters is a lot of things: the director of some of the best pieces of trashterpiece cinema, a cult icon, an author, an advocate, a master in the art of sharing anecdotes, and a huge fan of cinema. It’s that love that inspired Waters to pick up a camera and gather up his eccentric friends to make cult classics like Pink Flamingos and Desperate Living.
Each year, Waters shares his top 10 films with the world, and as you might assume, his choices are always off-center and never predictable. This year’s list debuted at Art Forum, and includes critically-acclaimed choices like Carol and Mad Max: Fury Road, as well as unexpected picks and a couple of films you’ve never heard of — but you have now, so you should seek them out (I know I am):
10. Love, directed by Gaspar Noe
9. Fly Colt Fly: Legend of the Barefoot Bandit, directed by Adam and Andrew Gray. Waters says: “Using animation, news footage, and realistic reenactments (you even get to see him wiggle his toes), Fly Colt Fly will make you understand why this plane-stealing kid became a national folk hero.”
8. Tangerine, directed by Sean Baker
7. The Diary of a Teenage Girl, directed by Marielle Heller. Waters calls it a “powerful, realistic, and amazingly well-acted comedy about sex between adults and teens that isn’t creepy but authentic, ballsy, and totally unpredictable”
6. Carol, directed by Todd Haynes. Waters says, “This Lana Turner–meets–Audrey Hepburn lipstick-lesbian melodrama is so old-fashioned I felt like I was one year old after watching it. That’s almost reborn.”
5. Mad Max: Fury Road, directed by George Miller
4. Tom at the Farm, directed by Xavier Dolan
3. The Forbidden Room, directed by Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson
2. Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh. Waters: “I f—ng love this Disney film.”
1. Helmut Berger, Actor, directed by Andreas Horvath. Waters explains: “Maybe the best motion picture of the year is also the worst? One-time dreamboat movie star and lover of Visconti, Helmut Berger, now seventy-one and sometimes looking like Marguerite Duras, rants and raves in his ramshackle apartment while the maid dishes the dirt about his sad life. The rules of documentary access are permanently fractured here when our featured attraction takes off all his clothes on camera, masturbates, and actually ejaculates.”
Those are certainly some interesting choices, the majority of which (aside from Fury Road and Carol) aren’t likely to appear on many top 10 lists. So who wants to come over and Helmut Berger, Actor and Chill?