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John Waters Picks ‘Maps to the Stars’ as the Best Film of 2014

John Waters Picks 'Maps to the Stars' as the Best Film of 2014

It’s that time of the year where critics and filmmakers both start compiling their list of favorite films of the year, and while some are going to pick the usual suspects of “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Under the Skin,” one can depend on John Waters for a typically idiosyncratic list. The great trash cinema director didn’t disappoint, publishing his top ten on Artforum and topping it with David Cronenberg’s divisive “Maps to the Stars.” (Technically a 2015 release in the U.S., but you tell him that.) Here’s the full top ten:

1. “Maps to the Stars” (David Cronenberg)
2. “Charlie Victor Romeo” (Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, and Karlyn Michelson)
3. “The Kidnapping of Michael Houellebecq” (Guillaume Nicloux)

4. “The Smell of Us” (Larry Clark)
5. “Gloria” (Sebastien Lelio)
6. “Who Took Johnny” (David Beilinson, Michael Galinsky, and Suki Hawley)
7. “Li’l Quinquin” (Bruno Dumont)

8. “Nymphomaniac: Volume I and Volume II” (Lars von Trier)
9. “Violette” (Martin Provost)
10. “Unrelated”/”Archipelago”/”Exhibition” (Joanna Hogg)

Calling “Maps to the Stars” “hilariously funny and indeed pernicious,” Waters also wrote “I love this film more than I love my own mustache,” which would rank as one of the funniest things he’s written outside of his movies. It’s not too surprising that the famous provocateur would go for Lars von Trier and Larry Clark’s latest films as well, nor the Dumont film that asks “Who is killing people in the countryside, cutting up their bodies, and stuffing the pieces up cows’ asses?”

But Waters also brings attention to a couple of films that might be overlooked otherwise, like the child-kidnapping documentary “Who Took Johnny” (which he claims is as good as “Capturing the Friedmans”) and the films of Joanna Hogg, which were screened at a Film Society of Lincoln Center retrospective last year. Many of these films haven’t seen U.S. release yet (that Oscar-qualifying run for “Maps to the Stars” doesn’t look like it’s happening), so Waters’ list is worth keeping in mind whenever they finally do make their way Stateside.

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