The Year of the Art Film: What We Learned on the Silver Screen in 2014

January 12, 2015 9:52 PM

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I love making lists. It simplifies life and allows the indulgence of a John Cusack/High Fidelity fantasy to play in my head. However, to sum up the year with the top 10 or 15 or even 20 movies in a tidy, little list that will be, for all intents and purposes, identical to every other top-flicks-of-the-year list just seems dumb. Also, the movies on those lists will be showered with award nominations and/or have already been honored at film festivals, anyway. Instead, we can be talking about what those movies tell us about ourselves. Last year exploded into films that are all-at-once heartbreaking, fascinating, galvanizing and overall revelatory.

In fact, there has been such a wealth of interesting, exciting, well-crafted movies that 2014 has not only fully restored my faith in moviemaking, it has started to restore my faith in humanity. For every blatant, bloated, audience-insulting, recycled, idiotic grab-for-cash, bullshit popcorn flick t...

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