Zach Gayne's Top Films of 2014

Contributor; Toronto
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Goodness me! Another year gone and where does the time go? Why, it seems like only yesterday that I was excessively tormenting myself over listing the best films of 2013. Remember 2013? I do. Mostly, I remember how amazed I was by Inside Llewyn Davis - amazed by the pitch-perfect story of a man's soul judged for its marketplace value, amazed that the Coen brothers' best work wasn't even close to behind them. Now I'm just amazed to find us in the 2015 film year. What's next? 2016?! Pfft.

But, if Interstellar taught us nothing else, it's that time is a slippery wanton to be melded at our intergalactic whim... or something like that. And so, repressing the fact that a year is but a simple blip in the endless ages of time, we bid adieux to the flickers of 2014, and to the images we'll forever associate with the last 12 months, when we, on occasion, remark, 'Oh yeah! 2014. I remember that. Silly past. It wasn't even now yet.'

I, for one, think it's been an excellent year at the movies and I can say for certain, that I'll be revisiting several of the films on this list on many occasions. Some titles might just wind up surfacing as future cult relics, for which subsequent generations will say, "Remember the time when no one liked Inherent Vice?" One sure sign of my reverence for a film is how many times I revisit it in theaters. As a testament to the strength of the 2014 film, I can delightedly report that I saw each of my top five films at least twice on the big screen - my one and two slots I ventured out to see four honkin' times. So with the future in mind, my top 10 films of the year are based on projections of how likely a title is to fit in the overall canon of my all time favorites, thus achieving timelessness. In other words, the following films reminded me why I give a damn about cinema, and in some cases, life. Glory to the filmmaker!!

One film-listing trap that endlessly copulates with my brain pertains to the qualifications of a 2014 film year. In selecting your best-of contenders, do you go by a film’s premiere date or its theatrical release date? I’ve chosen to go with a pure race of unquestionably 2014 films, as defined by both their 2014 festival appearance and theatrical release date. Thus, the following top 5 lists reflect casualties I caught at autumn festivals like TIFF or NYFF/AFI that very well could have made the cut of best of 2014, if I didn’t suffer from uptight cinematic listing neuroses (UCLN).

Top 5 Films of 2013?

  1. Why Don’t You Play in Hell
  2. Only Lovers Left Alive
  3. Joe
  4. Asphalt Watches
  5. Blue Ruin / Proxy

Top 5 Films of 2015?

  1. The Look of Silence
  2. 10,000 KM
  3. Creep
  4. What We Do In The Shadows
  5. It Follows
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