2013 was, for me, a great year for film – not only was there a surplus of great new work, but my last twelve months of viewing have thrown up some truly magnificent classics (this year, my list of The Best Films from Previous Years was culled from a shortlist of over 50 excellent pictures). Perhaps it's because I found time to watch twice as many films in 2013 as I did in 2012, or perhaps I simply made better choices. Either way, I saw a plethora of great films in 2013, both old and new.
If I had to comment on a noticeable trend amongst the new films, it would be 'film as experience': films such as Leviathan, The Strange Colour of your Body's Tears and Gravity all seemed to place their emphasis on the visceral experience of cinema-going. In a sense, the same can also be said of Peter Kubelka's Monument Film, which may well have topped both/either of my two Top Ten lists, had I known quite how to classify it. It was certainly one of my big-screen highlights of 2013.
This year, My Top Films of 2013 list has been published on Filmuforia, complete with mini-reviews of each of the films. The list was written before I had a chance to see Wong Kar-Wai's scrumptious The Grandmasters, which I would have placed somewhere in the top five, had I seen it in time.
As for my list of The Best Films from Previous Years that I Saw for the First Time in 2013 – well, here it is. Given the stiff competition, this year these films really all do come highly recommended. As always, directors' names will take you to their IMDb pages.
The Best Films from Previous Years that I Saw for the First Time in 2013
01) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931, dir. Rouben Mamoulian)
02) 1860 (1934, dir. Alessandro Blasetti)
03) La cicatrice intérieure (1972, dir. Philippe Garrel)
04) J'accuse (1919, dir. Abel Gance)
05) Underground (1928, dir. Anthony Asquith)
06) City Girl (1930, dir. F.W. Murnau)
07) Coeur Fidèle (1923, dir. Jean Epstein)
08) Make Way for Tomorrow (1937, dir. Leo McCarey)
10) Sir Arne's Treasure (1919, dir. Mauritz Stiller)
Bubbling under: Die Puppe (1919, Ernst Lubitsch), Isle of the Dead (1945, Mark Robson), Diary of a Lost Girl (1929, G.W. Pabst), The Phantom of the Opera (1929, Rupert Julian) Liliom (1930, Frank Borzage), Dracula (1958, Terence Fisher).