We’re as glad to close the door on 2020 as the next mag, but not without taking stock. This of all years, with its momentous and likely far-reaching impacts on cinema as on all walks of life, needs to be appraised.
Please welcome, then, our Winter 2020 double issue, leading on the presentation of our 50 best films of the year poll – and our 100 contributors really have found a great movie for almost every week of the year, despite all the shutters and postponements – but digging in much further, with assessments of the year in Black, LGBTQ+, British and Irish, American, South and East Asian cinema, arthouse, documentary, animation and archive films across nearly 50 pages. (It’s our largest issue ever.) And then we turn to the best television, Blu-rays and DVDs, podcasts and video essays… and on a more sombre note again, our annual obituaries roll-call of the filmmakers we lost in 2020, from Chadwick Boseman to Lucia Bos�.
We also continue our #MyDreamPalace tribute to the cinemas we’ve been missing: filmmakers from Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater to Lynne Ramsay and Tsai Ming-liang pay tribute to the picture palaces that formed them, while Nick Pinkerton surveys the cinema experiences themselves immortalised in the movies. We interview cult directors Don Hertzfeldt and Brandon Cronenberg, sound out Brian Eno’s thoughts on film music, profile the poetic film activist Ayo Akingbade, revisit Jean-Luc Godard’s 1968 tour of American campuses… and close out on the ending of The Elephant Man.
The 50 best films of 2020
Like everything else over the past year, the film world has been knocked for six by the pandemic, which spelled catastrophe for cinemas and left the industry facing a threat to its very existence. But amid the grim realities, there remained reasons to be positive, and much to celebrate in the films themselves – the best of which were as innovative, risk-taking and vital as any in recent times. Introduced by Kieron Corless.