We’re now halfway through 2020 and many of us are looking for inspiration. This difficult year is one that will reverberate for many more years to come. We can not truly understand the lasting impact our society and world is teetering towards. I don’t have any answers or witty lines of optimism. Instead I’ve spent my quarantined time engulfing everything creative in the entertainment world. I hope in sharing my favorites in this tumultuous year it may help you find a gem of hope. For Part 2 we will dive into the world of Film.
Here are my favorites for the fall of 2019 and first half of 2020.
Gadi Elkon’s Midyear Film Favorites:
Film with Theatrical or On Demand –
Honorable Mention. EXTRACTION – A real treat for action lovers. Hemsworth just fits perfectly in this role. Impressive directorial debut by Sam Hargrave who has been a long time stunt and fight coordinator for Disney’s Marvel franchises and The Hunger Games.
10. THE GENTLEMEN – Guy Ritchie’s spot on return to the gangster world. Stellar cast is outshined by Colin Farrell’s amazing performance as “Coach”.
9. SEBERG – Kristen Stewart is electric as Jean Seberg, the French New Wave Icon. The film sets a touching tone that connects you so much to Seberg.
8. THE WITCH HUNTERS – Director Rasko Miljkovic crafts an endearing film that deserves to be seen. Great visual feel to the film and the two child actors are tremendous.
7. THE DOG DOC – Filmmaker Cindy Meehl once again introduces us to a kind-hearted soul who you’ll love and respect by the film’s conclusion.
6. THE HALF OF IT – Leah Lewis and Alexxis Lemire shine brightly as two halves of this quirky love triangle.
5. IRRESISTIBLE – Jon Stewart’s second film is a well disguised satire that is well cast and well shot. Also a big middle finger to the political money machine that has taken over our democracy.
4. THE VAST OF NIGHT – Director Andrew Patterson’s spooky throwback is a hell of debut feature. Got to love a film that gives you goosebumps throughout.
3. DA 5 BLOODS – Spike Lee’s roll of greatness continues with this politically charged tale of soldiers finding their lost gold and lost souls. Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, and Clarke Peters are incredible and Isiah Whitlock Jr. is the ssssshhhhhhhiiiiiiiittttttttttt.
2. REWIND – Filmmaker Sasha Joseph Neulinger opens up his darkest truths and allows us all to be changed for the better. Powerful Documentary.
1. NEVER, RARELY, SOMETIMES, ALWAYS – Not only the best film of the year but the most important. Eliza Hittman thank you.
Film on streaming service, subscription based service or episodic series.
HM. TROOP ZERO – Goonies meets Little Miss Sunshine in this lovely Bert and Bertie production. McKenna Grace is one of our real child stars and with Viola Davis and Allison Janney on board you can’t go wrong.
10. SPELLING THE DREAM – The kids stories are lovable but the doc is a real must see because of its ability to highlight the racism that shrouds these children’s talents.
9. 30 FOR 30: BE WATER – The iconic figure is given a moving tribute. Take notice Quentin – this is how you showcase a freaking legend!
8. BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Fargo like quality that doesn’t lose it’s steam at any point. Quirky fun murder story.
7. ATLANTA’S MISSING AND MURDERED: THE LOST CHILDREN – Did once again our legal and police systems fuck up not one but double digit cases? A doc that lives you outraged is a sign of a quality film.
6. UNORTHODOX – Shira Haas gives one of the year’s finest performances. Shameful look at how our major religions (in this case Judaism) easily can destroy their own under the guise of following tradition or the book. Bravo to the women and men who made this film possible.
5. THE SCHEME – Fuck the NCAA indeed! Pat Kondelis is a filmmaker that must be on your radar!
4. EL CAMINO: A BREAKING BAD MOVIE – “You either run from things, or you face them, Mr. White.” Jesse Pinkman.
Vince Gilligan gives us more than a treat he delivers one of the finest elements of the Breaking Bad legacy.
3. WATCHMEN – Regina King once again shines and even walks on water.
2. THE LAST DANCE – Revealing and remarkable look into the realities of a dynasty led by the G.O.A.T. Steve Kerr’s telling of his father’s story is heartbreaking amongst all the amazing elements of the 10 episode series.
1. I’LL BE GONE IN THE DARK – Incredible podcast and now this documentary enlightens us on one of America’s true evil figures. This will change you.
Here are 5 Films to keep an eye on for fall 2020 or 2021.