Sunday, June 7, 2020


The 2010s were a very pivotal decade in my life, I ended my 20s and entered my 30s, moved to and then left New York, ended two long term relationships, and also began discover who I really was as human and a filmmaker. I made my first feature, and a couple of shorts that I’m proud of. I continue to evolve, but I certainly feel I know myself better at the end of the decade than I did when it began. I am grateful to everyone who helped me grow along the way, you know who you are.

These are the movies that were significant to me during this pivotal time, they inspired me, made me feel creatively engaged, reinvigorated. They’re not ranked per se, as we who obsess over our lists know that their order can change at any given day. But I will say that the ones closer to the top are probably more significant.

Paterson may be the most conventional movie at the top, but seeing it was the right movie at right time. It came out at the very end of 2016, which was a disastrous year for me, and Paterson was just what I needed. I saw it at the now defunct Landmark Sunshine, went back to see it again just to make sure what I had seen was truly great, and then came back a third time with a date (she loved it, but unfortunately it didn’t work out between us.); and after three viewings, I knew it was something special. It inspired me to write poetry, I went on trips to Paterson, NJ to visit the locations of the film, tried to do recreations of some of the images from the film and do side-by-side comparisons. The central relationship in Paterson is one I aspire to, yet I’m not quite sure if it’s even possible. The film’s assured calm, ambient mood make it the perfect film to have playing in the background, and then I end up watching it all the way through. The biggest take away for me, though, is how important it is to make work that is personally significant to you, even if you don’t end up sharing it with the world.

The next few films are closer to what I aspire to achieve cinematically: they are pushing the limits of the possibilities of the moving image, they’re ambitious, take risks, and make you feel like you won’t ever be the same after seeing them for the first time. And there’s some fun entertaining ones in there, too. I also avoided some of the more obvious choices that I knew would be ubiquitous on other people’s lists, I made this list in the hopes that there would be some discoveries for you, some stuff you may have missed, or had come across but never quite gave a chance to. Happy hunting!


Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Hill of Freedom (Hong Sang-soo, 2014)

Twenty Cigarettes James Benning (2011)

Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)

Tape (Li Ning, 2010)

Street (James Nares, 2011)

Happy Hour (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2015)

Jauja (Lisandro Alonso, 2014)

The Measures (Jacqueline Goss, Jenny Perlin, 2014)

Small Roads (James Benning, 2011)

Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)

We Have an Anchor (Jem Cohen, 2012)

All These Sleepless Nights (Michal Marczak, 2016)

The Clock (Christian Marclay, 2010)

Silence (Pat Collins, 2012)

Trypps #7 (Ben Russell, 2011)

The Observers (Jacqueline Goss, 2011)

Love in a Puff (Pang Ho-cheung, 2010)

A Matter of Interpretation (Lee Kwang-kuk, 2014) 

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart Diptych (Johnnie To, 2011, 2014)

Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2006/2011)

The Rider (Chloe Zhao, 2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2017)

A Spell to Ward Off The Darkness (Ben Russell & Ben Rivers, 2013)

Ponce De Leon (Ben Russell, Jim Drain 2012)

L. Cohen (James Benning, 2018)

Goodbye to Language 3D (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)

Voyage of Time (Terrence Malick, 2016)

Sound That (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2013)

Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)

It’s Such a Beautiful Day (Don Herzfeldt, 2012)

List (Hong Sang-soo, 2011)

Sun Song (Joel Wanek, 2013)

Coming Attractions (Peter Tscherkassky, 2010)

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (Edgar Wright, 2010) 

Destination Wedding (Victor Levin, 2018)

La Flor (Mariano Llinás, 2018)

Moneyball (Bennett Miller, 2011)

Detention (Joseph Kahn, 2011)

Entertainment (Rick Alverson, 2015)

Burning (Lee Chang-Dong, 2018)

Our Day Will Come (Romain Gavras, 2010)

The Passage (Kitao Sakurai, 2018)


Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)

Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)

Celeste and Jesse Forever (Lee Toland Krieger, 2012)

The Mole Song: Undercover Agent Reiji (Takashi Miike, 2013)

As The Gods Will (Takashi Miike, 2014)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)

The Raid Diptych (Gareth Evans, 2011, 2014)

Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016)

Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes, 2017)

Camera/Film Tests for Phantom Thread and The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2017, 2012)

Park Lanes (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2015)

The Midnight After (Fruit Chan, 2014)

SPL 2 (Cheang Pou-soi, 2015)

The Emperor Visits the Hell (Li Luo, 2012)

Kaili Blues (Bi Gan, 2015)

Enemy (Denis Villeneuve, 2013)

Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012)

Tour de Pharmacy (Jake Szymanski, 2017)

A Running Jump (Mike Leigh, 2012)

Clapping For The Wrong Reasons (Hiro Murai, 2012)

Nervous Translation (Shireen Seno, 2018)

Goon (Michael Dowse, 2011)

Dredd (Pete Travis, 2012)


The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg, 2019)

The Mountain (Rick Alverson, 2019)

Parasite (Bong Joon-Ho, 2019)

Redoubt (Matthew Barney, 2019)

I also wanted to briefly highlight what a great decade for music it was, this list nowhere as comprehensive as the movies, but the music I listed was very impactful for me. Although he didn’t release any new music in the past decade, Ornette Coleman’s passing affected me quite a bit, as his music was a big influence on my filmmaking, probably more than other film or filmmaker.

In terms of my favorite current living artists, Autechre and Lightning Bolt continue to make vital music that inspires me. Autechre, in particular, had an incredible run from Exai (2013) to NTS Sessions (2018), with each release becoming longer and expansive (Exai was 4 LPs and NTS Sessions was 12 LPs!), taking you to places most musicians can’t even touch. They are pushing the boundaries what can be considered music, similar to the filmmakers I admire, yet it seems like the boundaries are infinite, since they can’t be seen. The 2010s also witnessed the emergence of two of the more unique voices in rap, Milo (who now goes by R.A.P. Ferreira) and Mach-Hommy. Milo’s words, in particular, really resonated with me, he has become my favorite rapper.

Autechre—Exai and NTS Sessions and elseq and L-Event

Lightning Bolt—Sonic Citadel and Fantasy Empire

Milo—So Flies Don’t Come and Things That Happen at Day, Things That Happen At Night


Westside Gunn—Flygod

MIKE—War in My Pen

Mach-Hommy—Dollar Menu 2

Alessandro Cortini—Risveglio and Sonno

Godspeed You! Black Emperor—‘Allelujah! Ascend! Don’t Bend!

Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions—Until The Hunter

Max Richter—Sleep


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