John Waters Top Ten Favourite Films Of 2011

Festivus must be coming because, once again, ArtForum have published “a films of the year” list by John Waters.

There’s only one obvious surprise in the line-up, and Waters even acknowledges how unexpected a choice it is in his accompanying comments.

Here’s the full list, with some of Waters comments left in. For the rest of his notes, and for the top ten of Ed Halter, curator at New York’s Light Industry, you can visit the Art Forum site. For further lists from Amy Taubin, James Quandt, and Regina Schlagnitweit, you can pick up their December print issue.

  1. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar) A dark, twisted, beautiful, and, yes, funny shocker from the greatest director in the world. God bless you, Pedro Almodóvar!
  2. Mildred Pierce (Todd Haynes)
  3. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu) I’m not kidding. A well-made doc that proves the Bieb was a child prodigy. Wait until you see Justin stick his head into the audience and shake his hair in 3-D. I screamed.
  4. Hadewijch (Bruno Dumont)
  5. Kaboom (Gregg Araki)
  6. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (Marshall Curry and Sam Cullman) This sad documentary debates the regrets of radicalism as a pack of lunatic-kid tree huggers get caught up in frenzied activism and are suddenly accused by the government of terrorism.
  7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick) You’d think I’d hate this film, and I almost did—until I realized it’s the best New Age, heterosexual, Christian movie of the year.
  8. I’m Glad My Mother Is Alive (Claude and Nathan Miller)
  9. We Were Here (David Weissman) Half my friends died of AIDS, so this simple and painfully told doc on the disastrous epidemic’s effect on San Francisco is personal. If you don’t sob watching, maybe you should be dead too.
  10.  Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

A couple of those will turn up in my end of year list too… I have a lot more than ten slots, but these two place pretty highly. And there’s three I’ve yet to catch up with – 6, 8 and 9.

Right. So now the annual Waters list is in I feel a bit like Santa on Boxing Day. At least there’s the always provocative Tarantino list coming. That’s always good fun to have some completely pointless arguments about.