Isn’t it funny how when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the cinema for the tickets? That’s how that saying goes, right? Well, what I’m trying to say is that 2019 felt like a marathon, and my name isn’t Brittany. But as a relay team, the Story Screen Family is delivering yet another slew of movie recommendations for your reading pleasure. Even though I sometimes didn’t always get to appreciate it at the time, 2019 was a powerhouse of a year for film, and in many ways, I feel like we’re starting to see an ironclad evolution of what the media can artistically provide. Looking back at the art I watched this past year, it was both incredibly easy and insanely difficult to choose only ten films to list this year as the best of the best (so, alright, I may have cheated just a little).
But before getting down to brass tacks, I’ve gotta confess how heartbroken I am to have had to eliminate Riley Stearns’ The Art of-Self Defense from my selection. I saw this film back in October, and up until the very evening of making my final selections, I had to make way for a few more films that ultimately stuck with me more. But, boy, do I sure love this film. It actually shares a lot of similarities to my favorite film of 2018: Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You (both Rileys of a sort: strange, no?). The idea that you have to become this heightened version of yourself, all whilst losing some of the qualities that complete your individuality for the better, in order to better fit into the society of which you’re presented is such a powerful story to tell. And both of these stories absolutely nail it, and in such a funny way too. If you’re into weird movies with skewed rules, I’m telling ya, The Art of Self-Defense is for you. And if this recommendation is already speaking your language, then buddy, we’re about to become fast friends.