Thank goodness, that’s over. For the last year I have traversed through harsh terrain (The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, Truth or Dare?), sailed the rough seas (Peter Rabbit, A Wrinkle In Time) and navigated through bloody boobytraps galore (HOLMES & WATSON!) to bring to you today the prize treasure I have been seeking – the ‘X’ on the map – the fabled and golden LOST ART.
Yes, like my great mentor Mr. Harrison For- I mean, Dr. Indiana Jones, I have travelled through the horrors of a grand adventure throughout 2018 to present to you all the features I believe have such grand artistic and historical importance that they, without a doubt, belong in a museum! And its been difficult to retrieve these pieces of Lost Art, for the Kingdom of the Criminally Dull was, surprisingly, extremely dull in 2018 and the Theatre of DOOM was so toxic, I only escaped with a fraction of a fraction of a second… but the Crusades were at least a plenty and a delightful.
I will say, before I present to you all today my various cinematic discoveries, that I had, in fact, come close to bringing forth more treasures from the deep. The films, Black Panther, Suspiria, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Sorry To Bother You came close to being included in the collection, but I felt the museum just wouldn’t take them in comparison to the other gold I have brought in for further inspection. You see, these films that I have correlated over time – these Lost Arts – are films that are important to the future of cinema; they are remarkable artwork that belongs in a gallery for everyone to observe… for you, Dr. Jones, here I have brought forward the Lost Art of 2018!
When my quest to uncover the Lost Art of filmmaking begun at the beginning of the calendar year, my first discovery of 2018 came in the form of Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. From the deep south of America, I learnt of the fearful results of grief within an unhinged society. Flashback to 1960s Baltimore and in Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water I was able to explore the true nature of love and passion in an obscure relationship between a deaf woman and a humanoid fish creature. In relation, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread then took me on a separate journey; one of beautiful, dark, twisted nightmarish love that altered my perception of onscreen romance. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird allowed for audiences to recall nostalgic affairs whilst equally repressing memories of relationship drama. The first golden foreign feature of the year, Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, enchanted with mystical and dream-like filmmaking centered on strength of identity and moral code.
The plot only thickened following a large gap in quality when an entertaining and artistically entuned horror flick spurred on from the mind of one John Krasinski in the form of A Quiet Place surfaced. Isle of Dogs broadened the scope of auteur Wes Anderson and his vision in one of the most artistic stop-motion endeavours committed to modern day film. Joe and Anthony Russo defied expectations after crafting a grand and ambitious epic with Marvel’s magnum opus, Avengers: Infinity War. Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying came as some surprise, allowing its slow moving nature to be one of pure fascination and enjoyment through the power of words. Then came Tully, Jason Reitman’s further analysis of motherhood in such introspective ways.
A new breed of horror ‘action’ filmmaking came to life in Leigh Whannell’s Upgrade whilst the more classic style of horror was refined and repackaged in Ari Aster’s Hereditary. Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here ventured into advanced concepts of loneliness, grief and fear with incredible performances sitting at its heart. The biggest adrenaline rush came from the action masterpiece that was Chris McQuarrie’s fast paced, non-stop Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Spike Lee made quite the comeback with the entertaining though thrilling BlacKkKlansman which reflected on a horrifying reality so dramatically and comedically. Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai expressed what true anime filmmaking can and should be – intimate and sentimental to the viewer.
With every year comes a new and insane Nic Cage performance and Panos Cosmatos’ Mandy stood in as that film in 2018, but instead with an Arthouse vibe and tone incomparable to anything before it. Damien Chazelle’s First Man narrowed in on themes of isolation and solitary through an infamous but untold true story. Drew Goddard’s Bad Times at the El Royale picked at odes and homages of cinema through history, resulting in a familiar though unique whodunit experience. Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace offered the best character study of 2018 with performances to completely back up the writing.
Joel Edgerton’s Boy Erased proved quite the revelation taking an intricate story and only layering it with more intrigue. Paul Dano’s Wildlife quite outstandingly flawed me with no real faults able to effect its name. And lastly, the combined efforts of many filmmakers brought the essence of comic books to life in the animated spectacular, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
So, there you have it – the prize treasures of 2018. A grouping of films worth the re-watch and further investigations into what made them ‘them’. It was rather sad, to be honest, that 2018 did not have more to offer in the field of great art, instead just delivering poorer effort after poorer effort. Sure there was a lot to enjoy in 2018 and quite a lot to also respect but only few made it to the other side – only few can be labelled as the Lost Art of filmmaking.
I just want to say, thank you for the solid year and your continued support of this blog! I am excited about the adventures instore in 2019 and am willing to once again brave the utterly and incompetently terrible cinema to come out the other side to present to you all, once again, my findings of cinematic treasure; the reasons film can still be labelled art – Lost Art. So, let’s have a good year and see what makes it into the museum this time next year!
- Tokyo Otaku Mode 2018, ‘Hosoda Mamoru’s Mirai of the Future Releases New Trailer!’, Tokyo Otaku Mode News, Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM), viewed 30 August 2018, <https://otakumode.com/news/5a98fd95d136df4119b6a12c/Hosoda-Mamoru-s-Mirai-of-the-Future-Releases-New-Trailer!>