It’s that time of year again when beloved filmmakers begin to reveal their favorite films of this past year. While Sight & Sound’s once-a-decade poll launched last week naming Jeanne Dielman 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxellesas the greatest film of all time, other 2022 lists of best films are starting to arrive.
This is one of our favorite traditions that can cause a stir in the film community, with lists from mainstream to cinematic masters offering various films from across the globe that either landed on our radars or passed us by completely. One of those wonderful lists this year comes from the eccentric director John Waters, whose eclectic taste always includes a mix of unexpected and underseen films.
Waters' top 10 films from 2022 didn’t let us down. Published by Artforum, the filmmaker’s list is topped by two François Ozon films as well as the visually dazzling EO. This list is full of drama, music, tonally strange films, and melodramatic films that will make us feel every emotion possible.
Let’s break down Waters’ “best of” list!
John Waters’ Best Films of 2022
1. Peter Von Kant directed by François Ozon
Waters found Fassbinder's classic lesbian melodrama remade as a gay Frenchman's love letter to the original to be perfect.
2. EO directed by Jerzy Skolimowski
EO is another tribute film to Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar. The film follows a donkey wandering around Europe, meeting people, and experiencing turns of luck. It's a feel-good movie that asks us to examine what it means to be human in 2022.
3. Everything Went Fine directed by François Ozon
When an elderly father asks for assisted suicide from his daughter, Emmanuelle, after having a stroke, the film pulls and pushes at our heartstrings as we navigate the end of a relationship between father and daughter. As Waters writes, "Assisted suicide for the elderly has never been so madcap. So I Love Lucy. So feel-so-bad-you'll-feel-good."
4. Sick of Myself directed by Kristoffer Borgli
A pair of narcissistic Norwegian lovers desperate for the public's attention creates an interesting satire of modern society.
5. Bruno Reidal, Confessions of a Murderer directed by Vicent Le Port
Murder and pleasure go hand-in-hand, and Waters can't help but find joy in this Gallic film.
6. Detainee 001 directed by Greg Barker
This documentary landed on Waters' list due to the question it examines. Can the hysteria of the case at the center of the documentary be justified? It's a film that reflects society's hysteria with otherness.
7. Dinner in America directed by Adam Rehmeier
"A wonderfully nasty, politically incorrect punk-rock romantic comedy with great performances that somehow got canceled when it was screened at Sundance 2020," Waters wrote.
Luckily, Waters was able to add this film to his "best of" list since it was released this year. Few people outside of Waters and director Sean Baker know about this film. Let us know in the comments below if you have seen it and your thoughts on the project.
8. Will-o’-the-Wisp directed by João Pedro Rodrigues
Is it a Waters list if there isn't a musical somewhere on it? This Portuguese musical about class and pyromania is risky and raunchy, making it an instant classic for the eccentric filmmaker known for making the grossest film ever.
9. Smoking Causes Coughing directed by Quentin Dupieux
"Can a movie be both stupid and effete yet unironic?" Waters asks about Dupieux's film, Smoking Causes Coughing. The French film is full of brilliant performances and short but weighted dialogue that balances cinema with the laziness of Hollywood blockbusters.
10. Bones and All directed by Luca Guadagnino
The hetero-romance at the center of Bones and All, a coming-of-age road trip cannibal movie, piqued Waters' interest this year. Not for its subject material, but for its portrayal of "a soft-trade hetero cannibal," played by Timothée Chalamet, "who kills an evil closeted gay trick so he and his flesh-eating girlfriend can feed."
What's your favorite movie from Waters' Best Movies of 2022 list? Let us know in the comments!