Movie Recommendations

Indie Movies 2013: my 15 Top Favorites

Wordpress Best Movies 2013.

The best movies I’ve seen in 2013?


The 2013 movies I am most eager to watch as soon as possible?

15: „Her“ [Spike Jonze, USA]

14: „The Butterfly’s Dream“ [Yilmaz Erdogan, Turkey]

13: „In Bloom“ [Chris Michael Birkmeier, USA]

12: „Snowpierce“ [Joon-ho Bong, South Korea]

11: „12 Years a Slave“ [Steve McQueen, USA]

10: „An Adventure in Space and Time“ [Terry McDonough, UK]

09: „Phantom“ [Jonathan Soler, France]

08: „The Lunchbox“ [Ritesh Batra, India]

07: „Short Term 12“ [Destin Cretton, USA]

06: „Class Enemy“ [Rok Bicek, Slovenia]

05: „Somewhere Slow“ [Jeremy O’Keefe, USA]

04: „The Past“ / „Le Passé“ [Asghar Farhadi, France]

03: „Blue is the warmest Color“ [Abdellatif Kechiche, France]

02: „Before Midnight“ [Richard Linklater, USA]

01: „Like Father, like Son“ [Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan]


Related Links:

Underdog Cinema! 15 War & Holocaust Documentaries… worth your time?


I’m a book critic. But I love good movies, too.

Here are some fresh, off-beat, relevant or overlooked Documentaries about genocide and war that might deserve more attention:

[to watch the trailers… click here!]


01: ALEX GIBNEY, „Taxi to the Dark Side“, US, 2007.

02: ROBERT GREENWALD, „Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers“, US, 2006.

03: MATT WHITECROSS, MICHAEL WINTERBOTTOM, „The Road to Guantanamo“, UK, 2006.

04: JEHANE NOUJAIM, „Control Room“, US, 2004.

05: CHARLES FERGUSON, „No End in Sight“, US, 2007.

06: EUGENE JARECKI, „Why we fight“, US, UK, Denmark, France, Canada, 2005.

07: PETER RAYMONT, „Shake Hands with the Devil“, Canada, 2004.

08: BILL GUTTENTAG, BEN STURMAN, „Nanking“, US, 2007.

09: EMILE DE ANTONIO, „In the Year of the Pig“, US, 1968.

10: RICHARD BERGE, „The Rape of Europa“, US, 2007.

11: ELLIOT BERLIN, JOE FAB, „Paper Clips“, US, 2004.

12: RAY MÜLLER, „The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl“, France, UK, Germany, Belgium, 1993.

13: MARCEL OPHÜLS, „Hotel Terminus“, France, 1988.

14: ROB EPSTEIN, „Paragraph 175“, US, 2000.

15: MIKE RAMSDELL, „The Anatomy of Hate“, US, 2009.


Here are eight contemporary classics that I still haven’t seen:

01: ERROL MORRIS, „The Fog of War“, US, 2003.

02: ALAIN RESNAIS, „Night and Fog“, France, 1955.

03: CLAUDE LANZMANN, „Shoah“, France, 1985.

04: PETER COHEN, „The Architecture of Doom“, Sweden, 1989.

05: CHRISTIAN FREI, „War Photographer“, Switzerland, 2001.

06: MICHAEL MOORE, „Fahrenheit 9/11“, US, 2004.

07: BARBARA KOPPLE, CECILIA PECK, „Shut up & Sing!“, US, 2006.

08: MARK ACHBAR, „Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media“, US, 1992.

related Posts:


Mother’s Day: Movies and DVDs [Recommendations!]


Over the last year, my mom grew increasingly unhappy about primetime TV…

…so I started buying her second-hand DVDs on Amazon. Since last summer, we came up with a small movie collection.

For years, her favorite movies dealt with personal / family issues, loss, new friendships and fierce, strong women. In the past, she has loved movies like…

Now, with Mother’s Day coming up, I give you a quick run through these DVDs: The ones that she enjoyed. The ones she didn’t like. And the ones she postponed.


‚too dark‘ / ‚too violent‘:

Clint Eastwood: Mystic River [Link: imdb, 8.0]

David Cronenberg: A History of Violence [Link: imdb, 7.6]


banal / disappointing:

Jason Reitman: Up in the Air [Link: imdb, 7.6]

Jason Reitman: Thank you for Smoking [Link: imdb, 7.7]


okay – but not great:

Joe Wright: Atonement [Link: imdb, 7.8]

Fatih Akin: The Edge of Heaven / Auf der anderen Seite [Link: imdb, 7.8]


competent, likeable… good!

Alexander Payne: Sideways [Link: imdb, 7.7]

John Curran: The Painted Veil / Der bunte Schleier [Link: imdb, 7.5]

Alan Cumming, Jennifer Jason Leigh: The Anniversary Party / Beziehungen und andere Katastrophen [Link: imdb, 6.3]

Joachim Trier: Auf Anfang (Reprise) [Link: imdb, 7.3]

Brad Silberling: Moonlight Mile [Link: imdb, 6.7]

Thomas McCarthy: Ein Sommer in New York – The Visitor [Link: imdb, 7.7]


high score! movies that my mom LOVED:

Woody Allen: Match Point [Link: imdb, 7.8]

Philippe Claudel: I’ve loved you so long / So viele Jahre liebe ich dich [Link: imdb, 7.6]

Atom Egoyan: The Sweet Hereafter / Das süße Jenseits [Link: imdb, 7.8]

Frank Capra: It’s a wonderful Life / Ist das Leben nicht schön? [Link: imdb, 8.7]

David Fincher: Benjamin Button [Link: imdb, 7.9]

Lisa Chodolenko: The Kids are all right [Link: imdb, 7.2]


DVDs she has had for a while, but never opened/watched:

Stephen Daldry: The Hours [Link: imdb, 7.5]

Sofia Coppola: Lost in Translation [Link: imdb, 7.8]

Ang Lee: The Ice Storm / Der Eissturm [Link: imdb, 7.5]

Ang Lee: Brokeback Mountain [Link: imdb, 7.7]

Hans Canosa: Conversations with other Women [Link: imdb, 6.9]


recent DVDs she hasn’t opened / seen yet:

Todd Field: Little Children [Link: imdb, 7.7]

Tom Hooper: The King’s Speech [Link: imdb, 8.2]

Lone Scherfig: Italienisch für Anfänger [Link: imdb, 7.2; the DVD arrived defective. I’ll order a secoond copy soon. I’m pretty sure that she’ll love the movie!]

Horatiu Malaele: Nunta Muta / Stille Hochzeit [Link: imdb, 7.6]

Jae-Young Kwak: My Sassy Girl [Link: imdb, 8.1]

Clint Eastwood: Changeling / Der fremde Sohn [Link: imdb, 7.9]

Vadim Perelman: House of Sand and Fog / Haus aus Sand und Nebel [Link: imdb, 7.7]

Jean-Pierre Jeunet: A very long Engagement / Mathilde – eine große Liebe [Link: imdb, 7.8]

Todd Haynes: Far from Heaven / Dem Himmel so fern [Link: imdb, 7.5]

Mike Binder: Reign over me / Die Liebe in mir [Link: imdb, 7.6]

Joe Johnston: October Sky [Link: imdb, 7.7]

Tassis Boulmetis: A Touch of Spice / Zimt und Koriander [Link: imdb, 7.4]

Brad McGann: In my Father’s Den / Als das Meer verschwand [Link: imdb, 7.6]

Woody Allen: Vicky Cristina Barcelona [Link: imdb, 7.2]

Pedro Almodóvar: All about my Mother [Link: imdb, 7.9]


related Links:

Underdog Cinema: 15 Sci-Fi Movies… AND THEIR TRAILERS


For this month’s edition of my recommendation column „Underdog Cinema“ (Link)

…here are trailers for (most of) the 23 featured fresh, off-beat, quirky or curious Science-Fiction Movies from the last 20 years… that might deserve more attention:


01: RICHARD SCHENKMAN, „The Man from Earth“, US, 2007.

02: JACO VAN DORMAEL, „Mr. Nobody“, Belgium / Canada, 2009.

03: DUNCAN JONES, „Moon“, UK, 2009.

04: BOB GALE, „Interstate 60“, US / Canada, 2002.

05: CHAN-WOOK PARK, „I’m a Cyborg, but that’s ok“, South Korea, 2006.

06: BRAD ANDERSON, „Happy Accidents“, US, 2000.

07: ESTEBAN SAPIR, „La Antena“, Argentinia, 2007.

08: JOSH TRANK, „Chronicle“, US, 2012.

09: MIKE CAHILL, „Another Earth“, US, 2011.

10: CORY McABEE, „The American Astronaut“, US, 2001.

11: NACHO VIGALONDO, „Timecrimes“, Spain, 2007.

12: GARETH CARRIVICK, „Frequently Asked Questions about Time Travel“, UK, 2009.

13: PIERRE-PAUL RENDERS, „Thomas in Love“, France, 2000.

14: JEONG-KWON KIM, „Ditto“, South Korea, 2000.

15: KATSUYUKI MOTOHIRO, „Summer Time Machine Blues“, Japan, 2005.


Here are five contemporary classics that I still haven’t seen:


01: JAMES McTEIGUE, „V for Vendetta“, US/UK, 2005.

02: NEILL BLOMKAMP, „Disctrict 9“, South Africa, 2009.

03: J.J. ABRAMS, „Star Trek“, US, 2009.

04: KURT WIMMER, „Equilibrium“, US, 2002.

05: DARREN ARONOFSKY, „Pi“, US, 1998.


…and finally, here are three personal favorites:

1: OLIVER STONE, „Wild Palms“, US, 1993 [no trailer – sorry!].

2: ANDREW NICCOL, „Gattaca“, US, 1997.

3: CAMERON CROWE, „Vanilla Sky“, US, 2001.