Colleagues of Quebec’s Film critics Association (AQCC) celebrated, as their 2018 ‘Best Film of the year’, Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.
Our members, participating to jury at FNC 2018, also saluted Khalik Allah’s authentic and audacious Black Mother as well as South Korea’s So-gong-nyeo (International title: Microhabitat, literal translation: A Little Princess) at Montreal Fantasia Film Festival in July.
The choice of First reformed was made more in a jury-like consensus fashion than by a simple vote during the association’s final meeting of the year in late December. Beyond saluting the general qualities of the film as a single work, the decision is also a tribute to the career of a director who knows everything a Hollywood director knows, without being Hollywood, for which First Reformed, with the director’s recurring themes of faith and doubt carry on as the ultimate outcome with its minimalist, closely framed, bleak and ironic existentialism.
With its fragmented narrative, Black Mother is a poetic essay displayed in a near photographic exhibition form. A brotherly-Love letter to Jamaica and women. The mother, the sister, the friend, the lover. Even when going into the darkest corners there is no such thing as ugliness, only dignity. You just have to let go, to let yourself cradled with faith by what ultimately becomes a sweet lullaby as well as an ode to giving life. A beautiful visual poem. And a well deserved recognition.
AQCC/ Camera Lucida prize 2018, Jeon Go-Woon’s highly sympathetic film, Microhabitat , the bitter sweet story of a 30 years old non-conformist woman, seduced fellow film critics and also the Fantasia public. Themes of simplicity and liberty, but also loneliness are delightfully explored in a very well scripted film. Korean actress Seom, as central character Miso, offers a daring, moving performance. One of those superior humorous and poignant gem. Also a well deserved recogntion.
See Also: Top 15 2018