So by now you've probably read the title of this website & my film and said "What? There's no way this can truly be 'The World's Best Film." And my answer to that statement is, well you'll have to watch the film! Hehe. But as any astute individual will realise, the title invites a certain level of playfulness and flippancy. Many of the lovely individuals in my documentary are also playful, flippant and don't take the world TOO seriously! After all when you're claiming to be the world's best bummer of cigarettes, like Steven Edwards, well then you can't be too serious about the world around you, or you'll go bananas.
Throughout the last year I've been asked quite a lot of times, things like: Film Executive*: "How dare YOU title your film such a rambunctious thing?!" Samantha*: "Well then what IS T H E WORLD'S B E S T FILM J O S HUA?!"
and my personal favourite: Elite sales agent*: "Oh THAT'S the title? You sure are humble." So if the film itself is not rebuttal enough (at the time of writing the film has not in fact been screened anywhere in the world!) below you'll find my top 5 picks for other world's best films.
In my eyes there can be no numbering system, all these films are their own personal best! And being the absolute best...Does. Not. Matter. And of course everyone will have their own picks for the best films, but these films are just some of my biggest inspirations as a film making...person. Having said all that, the films below are some serious films (inner monologue: I should do a post about the world's best guilty pleasure movies.) * names and titles above of glowing recommendations have been changed for obvious reasons.*
1. 'The Act of Killing' (2012) - Documentary - Joshua Oppenheimer
When I first saw Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary about the re-enactments of the Indonesian killings between 1965-1966 at a film festival in 2013 I thought that this was the most significant film of the last 100 years. I had never seen a film more harrowing, awe inspiring and captivating as this one. There is a reason that producers Signe Byrge Sørensen and Werner Herzog signed onto this film and helped get it out there to the world around us! I had the pleasure of meeting Signe at Cannes in 2019 and I got to thank her for being involved in making such an important piece of documentary history and cinema.
For me this film demonstrates the best use of documentary re-enactments I've ever seen and I was completely blown away due to the ecstatic truth that resulted from Oppenheimer's reframing and manipulating past events through the eyes of the killers. If you haven't seen the film I won't spoil it !
2. Na půdě aneb Kdo má dneska narozeniny? (Toys in the Attic) (2009) - Animation - Jiri Barta
This film is pretty much the Czech 'Toy Story 3' but made entirely with real puppets and weird assortments of antique junk and flotsam and jetsam. This film has more heart, soul and quirk factor than any Wes Anderson, Taika Waititi or Svankmajer film. You can't dream something as surreal as Jiri Barta and the puppet school team achieved in this film. A momentous achievement in stop motion animation that took years to pre-produce and action. This is probably my favourite puppet movie of all time and I've been obsessed with puppet movies since I was a kid. I should note that Jan Svankmajer is still my childhood hero, and if there was a way I could thank him, Jiri Barta, Jiri Trnka and all the Czech puppeteers of the 60s-80s I would do so. I could write an entire entry just on the world's best Czech cinema (inner monologue: that's a good idea)
For hilarity sake here are both the Czech and English trailers:
Why it's on my list: I first watched this film when I was about 16 and I became obsessed with the surrealist imagery and poetically charged scenes. The music and the vivid low key lighting, the haunting performances by the characters and Polanski's stellar direction. This film motivated me to make my first art film 'Alone You Will March' (2007) which was set inside a hallway, inspired by Polanski. The other films Polanski made around this time 'Knife in the Water' (1962) and 'Cul-De-Sac' (1966) are also well worth a visual feast.
I first saw this film while studying visual arts in high school and it's imagery has stayed with me for a long time. Tarkovsky has always been one of those elusive filmmakers that seemed to capture so much with little dialogue. With possibly the best assortment of visual tools at his disposal Tarkovsky's film is still a spellbinding account of grief and psychological stress. Before you watch 'Interstellar' or 'Moon' or even '2001' (Yes I know it came before this, hehe) watch this.
Making a film about people that are deaf and blind from birth sounds challenging on paper. I first saw this film in first year uni and it stayed with me ever since. Seeing someone learn to communicate by a series of hand touches made me begin to comprehend the intensity of these people's lives. The final moments of this film, whether staged or real, it does not matter, as they evoke and illuminate more than could be said with words that the deaf would ultimately not hear, and the blind would not see.
I hope you enjoyed this little blog entry, and that it demystified some things for you, and PERHAPS you discovered some films you hadn't heard of before! I hope to do another set of posts about more of my own personal favourite list of 'The World's Best Films'...and also post more amazing comments I get from pitching my film to people.
What are some of your favourite films? Let me know in the comments below or share this blog with a friend who loves or hates one of these films! For everything 'The World's Best Film related' head to: theworldsbestfilm.com Instagram Facebook Twitter