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’22 in Review

Many critics put out their year end Top 10 lists and leave it at that. At Images Cinema we’ve been playing the Top 10 and beyond all year, but there are a few films that we didn’t get to the first time around. These films have all been handpicked and curated for curious cinephiles, and all six are best experienced with an audience and on the big screen. With apologies to LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it — these films are all Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes!

Dan Hudson
Executive Director



Films
"Carlota Pereda’s searing feminist horror turns body shame to bloody games. This Spanish filmmaker daring debut about adolescent self-loathing is burnished by a powerhouse performance by Laura Galán."
— IndieWire

“The best horror movie of 2022. This Sundance midnighter earned raves from both critics and audiences on the festival circuit, and heralds Carlota Martinez-Pereda as perhaps the most exciting new horror director since Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) or Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Who Walks Alone at Night). Breathes new life into the final girl/slasher genre, and proof that the future of film is female.” — Dan Hudson

With the summer sun beating down on her rural Spanish town, Sara (Laura Galán) hides away in her parent’s butcher shop. A teenager whose weight makes her the target of incessant bullying, she flees a clique of capricious girls who torment her at the town pool, only to stumble upon them being brutally kidnapped by a stranger, who drives off with them in his van. When the police begin asking questions, Sara keeps quiet. Intrigued by the stranger—an interest that’s mutual—she’s torn between revealing the truth and protecting the man who saved her.

Starring: Laura Galán, Irene Ferreiro, Carmen Machi, Julián Valcárcel

Director: Carlota Pereda

Runtime: 90 minutes

Genre: Dan's Pick, Horror, Thriller, Woman Directed

Year: 2022

Country: Spain/France

Language: In Spanish with English subtitles

Films
"A lot of movies are funny, but very few are funny on a cellular level. Funny Pages is that rare breed; bewildering and strange before its characters even begin speaking and projecting its inherent twistedness with every aspect of its construction."
— Uproxx

Independent Spirit Award-nominated for Breakthrough Performance (Daniel Zolghadri)

Gotham Award-nominated for Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

“Wickedly funny and perhaps the best outsider cartoonist film in the past two decades.  A perfect coming-of-age, cringe comedy throwback. Feels like it’s straight out of the late 90s or early 00s — no surprise given its director starred in Noah Baumbach’s seminal The Squid and the Whale. Produced by the Safdie Brothers (Uncut Gems) and premiered at Cannes to a standing ovation, it’s American Splendor for Gen Z.” — Dan Hudson

When Robert, a high school student and aspiring cartoonist, rejects the comforts of suburban life, dropping out of school and leaving home, he finds an unwilling teacher and unwitting friend in Wallace — a former low-level comic artist.

Starring: Daniel Zolghadri, Matthew Mayer, Fred Hechinger, Josh Pais

Director: Owen Kline

Rating: Rated R

Runtime: 86 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Dan's Pick, Janet’s Pick

Year: 2022

Country: United States

Films

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair

"World’s Fair resists neat genre distinctions at almost every turn. By transitioning from horror to thriller to character study, the film effectively and disturbingly flips the script on something that could’ve been much more standardized."
— The Playlist

Gotham Award-nominated for the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award and Breakthrough Performer (Anna Cobb)

“There were a flurry of Zoom recordings and other movie gimmicks during COVID lockdowns, many of which already feel horribly dated. Director Jane Schoenbrun created something utterly singular with this webcam-captured film, one that continues to feel relevant with socially isolated youth getting sucked into weird internet rabbit holes seeking purpose and community. Chilling, and a must-see in the dark.” — Dan Hudson

Reality and fantasy begin to blur when an isolated teenager immerses herself in an online role-playing horror game.



Starring: Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers

Director: Jane Schoenbrun

Runtime: 86 minutes

Genre: Dan's Pick, Horror, Thriller, Woman Directed

Year: 2022

Country: United States

Films

Something in the Dirt

"A darkly funny sci-fi gem about galaxy-brained paranoia and conspiracies."
— The Playlist

Independent Spirit Awards-nominated for the John Cassevetes Award

“Benson and Moorhead return with their best film since their breakout Spring. Their work is at its best when rooted in Linklater-esque philosophical duologues, infused with Lovecraftian-weirdness. This time around they ditch Spring’s romance for bromance, turning the cameras on themselves for the lead roles, with a wild script that upends current-day conspiracy theory culture. Buckle up!” — Dan Hudson

When neighbors John (Aaron Moorhead) and Levi (Justin Benson) witness supernatural events in their Los Angeles apartment building, they realize documenting the paranormal could inject some fame and fortune into their wasted lives. An ever-deeper, darker rabbit hole, their friendship frays as they uncover the dangers of the phenomena, the city and each other.

Starring: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Runtime: 116 minutes

Genre: Comedy, Dan's Pick, Horror, Science Fiction

Year: 2022

Country: United States

Films
"Nothing short of revelatory. Beautiful scenery, nuanced performances, and canny filmmaking provide one of the most memorable coming-of-age stories of the 2020s so far."
— Film Threat

Winner of the Camera D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival

Gotham Award winner for Breakthrough Performance (Gracija Filipović)

Independent Spirit Award- nominated for Best First Feature, Breakthrough Performance (Gracija Filipović), and Best Cinematography

Gotham Award-nominated for Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award and Breakthrough Performance (Gracija Filipović)

“This sun-drenched coming-of-age tale feels like a timeless Greek tragedy yet plays out like a social realist character study. Winner of the Camera D’Or and exquisitely lensed by Hélène Louvart (A Portrait of a Lady on Fire), this indie sleeper hit was nominated for multiple Gotham Awards, including for the magnetic performance of breakout star Gracija Filipovic. Will linger with you long after the theater, like flashes after staring at the brilliant Mediterranean sun.” — Dan Hudson

On a remote island along Croatia’s Adriatic coast, 17-year-old Julija (Gracija Filipovic) spends her days diving for eel with her domineering father Ante and watching other teens party on a nearby yacht. Julija bristles at Ante’s heavy handed cruelty and resents her mother Nela’s passivity. She longs for independence but is unsure how to achieve it, until the arrival of the rich and mysterious Javier seems to offer a way out.

Javier is considering buying Ante’s land to build a resort, which would allow the family to escape their island isolation for the city. Once Ante’s employer and Nela’s lover, Javier flirts shamelessly with Nela and Julija, setting off a subtle battle of hypermasculine one-upmanship that pushes Ante to humiliate and control Julija even more. Flattered by Javier’s praise and stories of traveling the world, Julija sees him as the solution to all her problems. But does his affection portend freedom, or something more sinister?

Starring: Gracija Filipović, Leon Lučev, Danica Curcic, Cliff Curtis

Director: Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

Runtime: 92 minutes

Genre: Dan's Pick, Drama, Festival Favorite

Year: 2022

Country: Croatia

Language: In Croatian with English subtitles

Events
Special Showing

Shown as part of Williamstown Holiday Walk festivities; admission is free!
Sponsored by Alton & Westall Real Estate and Burnham Gold Real Estate.

Films
"This is one of those rare Christmas comedies that has a heart, a brain and a wicked sense of humor, and it charms the socks right off the mantelpiece."
— Roger Ebert

Shown as part of Williamstown Holiday Walk festivities; admission is free!

One Christmas Eve a long time ago, a baby crawled into Santa’s bag of toys… Raised as an elf, Buddy grows into an adult three times larger than the biggest elf — and realizes that he will never truly fit in at the North Pole. This holiday season, Buddy goes looking for his true place in the world — in New York City. Buddy finds his workaholic father — who’s on Santa’s “naughty” list, a new mother, and a 10-year-old brother who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or elves. Here, now, Buddy discovers his destiny — to save Christmas for New York and the world!​

Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, Peter Dinklage, Amy Sedaris, Mary Steenburgen

Director: Jon Favreau

Rating: Rated PG

Runtime: 97 minutes

Genre: All Ages, Classic, Comedy

Year: 2003

Country: United States

EVENT SPONSORS

Events
Special Showing

Mariupolis 2

Come and see with us a document of the war in Ukraine – Mariupolis 2 (2022). The last documentary by Mantas Kvedaravičius, who returned to the besieged eastern city of Mariupol earlier this year and was killed there. The film was conceived as a follow-up to his documentary Mariupolis (2016) and was finished by his partner and co-director Hanna Bilbrova.

The screening is sponsored by: the Department of German and Russian, the Center for Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Global Studies Program, the History Department, the Lecture Committee

Films

Mariupolis 2

“In Mariupolis 2, we’re looking at vérité snapshots of war as it happens, and that’s a thing of value. You see small events here and feel them — life as it’s lived during wartime — that you won’t see on CNN.” 
— Variety

Come and see with us a document of the war in Ukraine – Mariupolis 2 (2022). The last documentary by Mantas Kvedaravičius, who returned to the besieged eastern city of Mariupol earlier this year and was killed there.  The film was conceived as a follow-up to his documentary Mariupolis (2016) and was finished by his partner and co-director Hanna Bilbrova.

The screening is sponsored by: the Department of German and Russian, the Center for Global Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Global Studies Program, the History Department, the Lecture Committee 

In 2022, Mantas Kvedaravičius went back to Ukraine, Mariupol, at the heart of the war, to be with the people he had met and filmed in 2015. Following his death, his producers and collaborators have put all their strength into continuing transmitting his work, his vision and his films. Also a PhD in anthropology, Mantas Kvedaravičius wished to testify as a filmmaker as far as possible from the agitation of the media and the politicians. With huge force and sensitivity, Mariupolis 2 depicts life as it continues amidst the bombing and reveals images that convey both tragedy and hope.

Director: Mantas Kvedaravičius

Runtime: 112 minutes

Genre: Documentary

Year: 2022

Country: Lithuania/France/Germany

Language: In Ukrainian and Russian with English subtitles

Events
Special Showing
  • Tue, 12/06
    Music in Movies: Roomful of Teeth, Carter Burwell, and Catherine Called Birdy
    7:30pm

Oscar-nominated composer Carter Burwell and Roomful of Teeth founder Brad Wells will discuss their collaboration on the Catherine Called Birdy soundtrack following a screening of the film.

Free for members;
suggested donation of $5 — $20

Lady Catherine (known as Birdy) is spirited, clever and adventurous – and ready to put off any suitor that comes her way. With her family desperate to marry her off, Birdy’s imagination, defiance, and modern independence put her on a collision course with her parents. Relationships are put to the test when the most vile suitor of all arrives to claim her hand.

Films

Music in Movies: Roomful of Teeth, Carter Burwell, and Catherine Called Birdy

"Catherine Called Birdy is so good, so raucous and wild and wise and witty. It’s wonderful."
— IndieWire

Oscar-nominated composer Carter Burwell and Roomful of Teeth founder Brad Wells will discuss their collaboration on the Catherine Called Birdy soundtrack following a screening of the film.

Free for members; suggested donation of $5 — $20

CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY

Independent Spirit Award-nominated for Best Screenplay

Gotham Award-nominated for Best Screenplay

The year? 1290. In the Medieval English village of Stonebridge, Lady Catherine (known as Birdy) is the youngest child of Lord Rollo and the Lady Aislinn. Her playground is Stonebridge Manor, a house that, like the family, has seen better days. Financially destitute and utterly greedy, Rollo sees his daughter as his path out of financial ruin by marrying her off to a wealthy man for money and land. But Birdy, like all the great teen heroines, is spirited, clever, and adventurous and ready to put off any suitor that comes calling in increasingly ingenious ways. Her imagination, defiance, and deep belief in her own right to independence put her on a collision course with her parents. When the vilest suitor of all arrives, they are presented with the ultimate test of love for their daughter.

Starring: Bella Ramsey, Billie Piper, Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn

Director: Lena Dunham

Rating: Rated PG-13

Runtime: 108 minutes

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Period, Woman Directed

Year: 2022

Country: United States/United Kingdom