Memoria directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Memoria directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car, and Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir Part II took the top spots among films released in 2021 on Film Comment’s annual end-of-year survey. Of the films that screened at festivals worldwide but have not announced stateside distribution, Claire Simon’s I Want To Talk About Duras, Ted Fendt’s Outside Noise, and Kyoshi Sugita’s Haruhara-san’s Recorder received the top rankings.

“In a year in which movie lovers relied heavily on home viewing, it’s appropriate that the film that came out on top is Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Memoria, whose masterful use of sound and image demands the cinema experience,” said Film Comment’s Co-Deputy Editor Clinton Krute.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate the year’s greatest films with the help of the brilliant writers of Film Comment,” said Film Comment’s Co-Deputy Editor Devika Girish. “We’re particularly proud to continue our list of the best undistributed films—we hope that enterprising distributors out there will take note and give these gems the releases they deserve.”

Film Comment’s Top 20 Films Released in 2021

1. Memoria Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Colombia/Thailand/UK/France/Germany/Mexico/Qatar|
2. Drive My Car Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan
3. The Souvenir Part II Joanna Hogg, UK
4. Annette Leos Carax, France
5. Days Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France
6. The Power of the Dog Jane Campion, Australia/New Zealand
7. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan
8. What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? Alexandre Koberidze, Georgia/Germany
9. Benedetta Paul Verhoeven, France/Netherlands
10. Undine Christian Petzold, Germany/France
11. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn Radu Jude, Romania/Luxembourg/Czech Republic/Croatia
12. The Velvet Underground Todd Haynes, USA
13. Bergman Island Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany/Belgium/Sweden
14. El Planeta Amalia Ulman, Spain
15. Licorice Pizza Paul Thomas Anderson, USA
16. The Woman Who Ran Hong Sang-soo, South Korea
17. The Card Counter Paul Schrader, USA/UK/China
18. The Inheritance Ephraim Asili, USA
19. Parallel Mothers Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
20. Titane Julia Ducournau, France

Film Comment’s Top 20 Unreleased Films of 2021

1. I Want to Talk About Duras Claire Simon, France
2. Outside Noise Ted Fendt, Germany/South Korea/Austria
3. Haruhara-san’s Recorder Kyoshi Sugita, Japan
4. We Alice Diop, France
5. Babi Yar. Context Sergei Loznitsa, Netherlands/Ukraine
6. A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces Shengze Zhu, USA
7. Taming the Garden Salomé Jashi, Georgia/Switzerland
8. Neptune Frost Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, USA/Rwanda
9. Wood and Water Jonas Bak, Germany/France/Hong Kong
10. The Cathedral Ricky D’Ambrose, USA
11. The Sacred Spirit Chema García Ibarra, Spain/France/Turkey
12. Shared Resources Jordan Lord, USA
13. Returning to Reims Jean Gabriel-Pėriot, France
14. 107 Mothers Peter Kerekes, Slovakia/Czech Republic/Ukraine
15. Liborio Nino Martínez Sosa, Dominican Republic
16. Come Here Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand
17. The First 54 Years: An Abbreviated Manual for Military Occupation Avi Mograbi, France/Finland/Israel/Germany
18. Out of this World Chen Guan, China
19. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet Ana Katz, Argentina
20. Mr. Bachmann and His Class Maria Speth, Germany

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