The Austin Chronicle

Richard Whittaker's Top 10 in 2020 Cinema

"Who knew?"

By Richard Whittaker, December 18, 2020, Screens

Sunday, March 15. That was the last time I was in a cinema this year (for Cinema Twain, Val Kilmer's one-man show about Mark Twain). Two days earlier I'd attended a special cast-and-crew showing at AFS Cinema of Shithouse, one of this year's best debuts. They were all already in town for the canceled SXSW Film Festival, so why not cram one showing in before lockdown? I was thrilled coming out of the theatre, thinking I'd be able to tell everyone how great it was when we emerged from lockdown. Hah! Who knew? But just because the cinemas are closed, or at least on limited hours, that doesn't mean movies stopped. This year has been one I'll remember for innovation: virtual festivals, the virtual cinema boom, drive-ins. This year has felt like a time of discovery (even if it's mostly been from Chromecasting from the laptop on my kitchen table to my living room TV). I've "attended" more festivals than ever, seen more movies than in even a normal year, assigned wild titles to reviewers that in a normal year would be buried in the VOD slush pile. But I still miss cinemas. Wear a mask, get vaccinated, see you in a screening soon.

1) Aviva

2) Mank

3) Shithouse

4) Wolfwalkers

5) 76 Days

6) The Vast of Night

7) We Are Little Zombies

8) Minari

9) Emma.

10) Host

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