11 · 27 · 12

Cahiers du Cinéma: 10 best films of 2012

The magazine Cahiers du Cinéma was founded in 1951 by film critic and theorist André Bazin. Since its beginning, it has functioned as a space for filmmakers who were also critics (or critics who were also filmmakers) like Robert Bresson, Jean Cocteau, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and François Truffaut, among others.

Image from {{Holy Motors}} by Leos Carax.

The group at Cahiers du Cinéma was responsible for exalting the “auteur cinema.” In general, this term refers to the works of directors who show a consistent visual style and thematic concerns. Therefore, directors like Alfred Hitchock or Howard Hawks were established as “auteurs” of their films.

Although Cahiers du Cinéma has suffered several changes since its founding, it is important to remember its origins as the main promoter of the “auteur theory” of criticism (term coined by U.S. Andrew Sarris) while considering its “Top 10” of this year and the careers of each of the directors on the list.

  1. Holy Motors by Leos Carax
  2. Cosmopolis by David Cronenberg
  3. Twixt by Francis Ford Coppola
  4. 4:44 Last Day on Earth by Abel Ferrara
  5. In Another Country by Hong Sang-Soo
  6. Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols
  7. Go Go Tales by Abel Ferrara
  8. Tabu by Miguel Gomes
  9. Faust by Alexander Sokurov
  10. Keep the Lights On by Ira Sachs

In your opinion, what are the best films of 2012? How does your list compare with that of Cahiers du Cinéma?

To reflect more on film criticism and practice, we share the conversation that Olivier Assayas (film director and collaborator with Cahiers du Cinéma) had with the public at the 10th FICM.