Year-end lists are an annual highlight, and with our theaters reopening, 2021 was an exciting year to reflect on. Each year, our staff publishes a selection of their top films and memorable cinematic experiences. Explore below:

Rebecca Slaman, Front of House

1. Tick Tick Boom
2. West Side Story
3. In the Heights
4. The Tragedy of Macbeth
5. Licorice Pizza
6. The Lost Daughter
7. Bergman Island
8. The Velvet Underground
9. The French Dispatch
10. Summer of Soul

Favorite older film I saw for the first time this year: Chungking Express!

Chris Torres, Front of House

Ahed’s Knee – Nadav Lapid
Drive My Car – Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Dune – Denis Villeneuve
The Beatles: Get Back – Peter Jackson
In Front of Your Face – Hong Sangsoo
Bo Burnam: Inside
Licorice Pizza – Paul Thomas Anderson
Memoria – Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Velvet Underground – Todd Haynes
West Side Story – Steven Spielberg

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Clockwatchers by Jill Sprecher
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? This sort of half counts but I finally saw the director’s cut of Donnie Darko that gave me some serious things to consider.
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? Without a doubt, “Danny Glover and Louverture Films” what an exciting and thoughtful collection of films from his career.
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? It’s got to go either to “See it Big! The Return” at the Museum of the Moving Image for enthralling me with 70mm prints of some of my most beloved films (The Right Stuff, The Piano, Belly) in a theater for the first time in over a year, or Cinema Village’s Abel Ferrara Retrospective/Festival for it’s absolute debauchery (especially a double feature of Driller Killer and Water’s Desperate Living).
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?
I was glued to the press conference for The Tragedy of Macbeth.

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2021? I once again defer my answer on this question to whatever Werner Herzog will surprise me with at some point in the coming year, god willing.

Jordan Raup, Senior Marketing Manager

10. The Matrix Resurrections (Lana Wachowski)
9. Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve)
8. Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito)
7. All Light, Everywhere (Theo Anthony)
6. Petite Maman (Céline Sciamma)
5. Undine (Christian Petzold)
4. The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier)
3. Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
2. Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
1. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Tie: Demonlover and New Rose Hotel
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Marie Antoinette
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? Revivals at NYFF59
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Terrence Malick’s The Way of the Wind

Dennis Lim, Director of Programming for Film at Lincoln Center and the New York Film Festival

2021 premieres

1. Drive My Car
2. Memoria
3. Annette
4. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
5. In Front of Your Face
6. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
7. The Souvenir Pt II
8. Benedetta
9. What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
10. The Worst Person in the World

runners-up: Haruhara San’s Recorder; The Power of the Dog; Bergman Island; Introduction; France; Outside Noise; All About My Sisters; Just a Movement; A River Runs, Turns, Replaces, Erases; I Want to Talk About Duras

Manny Lage-Valera, Walter Reade Theater Manager

1. Canticles / Lamentations / Temple Sleep / Emanations / Ember Days / Terce (2019 – 2021, Nathaniel Dorsky) — As stated by Mark McElhatten and Nathaniel Dorsky meant to be viewed as one work
2. Double Wow & Abstract Eternalism (Ken Jacobs) — Two masterpieces premiered by Jacobs in the summer during the same glorious week
3. Old (M. Night Shyamalan) — One of the purest Hollywood films produced in recent years
4. Outside Noise (Ted Fendt) — “Make smaller films” – Ted Fendt
5. Ficciones (Manuela de Laborde)
6. Pebbles (P. S. Vinothraj)
7. Future From Inside (Dani & Sheilah ReStack)
8. Introduction & In Front of Your Face (Hong Sangsoo)
9. Six Seventy-Two Variations, Variation 1 (Tomonari Nishikawa)
10. Bliss (Mike Cahill) / The Voyeurs (Michael Mohan)

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? There’s a couple hundred but La Région Centrale (Michael Snow, 1971) and Across the Wide Missouri (William A. Wellman, 1951) probably sit at the top
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? House of 1000 Corpses (Rob Zombie, 2003)
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? ND / NF (El Planeta! Liborio! Pebbles! All the Light We Can See! &so many others — Couldn’t be prouder of being a part of the first NYC in-person film festival after the shutdown especially when it was one of the strongest lineups in the festival’s history) and NYFF 58 Redux (The Works and Days! Isabella! Simone Barbes or Virtue! The Inheritance on 35mm!)
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? Two of the best series that have happened in the seven years I’ve lived in NYC happened this year: Mark McElhatten— “To The Lighthouse” (MoMA) and Retrospective: Michael Snow (Anthology Film Archives)
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Jeff Fowler)

Jason Zuriff, Front of House

1. Drive My Car
2. Annette
3. The Worst Person in the World
4. The Power of the Dog
5. C’mon C’mon
6. Memoria
7. Licorice Pizza
8. Judas and the Black Messiah
9. The Card Counter
10. Old

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Seven Beauties
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Donnie Darko
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? World of Wong Kar Wai
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? Humphrey Bogart at Film Forum
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year? 

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Jackass Forever

Kyle Milner, Front of House

1. The Power of the Dog
2. Zola
3. Dune
4. Licorice Pizza
5. Benedetta
6. Drive My Car
7. Undine
8. Petite Maman
9. Red Rocket
10. The Last Duel

– Best older movie I saw for the first time in 2021 would be What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
– Best older movie I saw again would be Superman: The Movie (1979)
– I think the Wong Kar Wai series was a great piece of programming to open with last summer!
– IFC’s Paul Verhoeven run leading up to Benedetta was excellent, especially getting to see Showgirls on 35mm at midnight!
– Got to see the Parallel Mothers Q&A with Almodóvar at the NYFF press screening and he wore his sunglasses the whole time. Definitely a highlight!

– Very exciting to see Robert Eggers’ new flick The Northman in April!

James Malzone, Front of House

1. All Light, Everywhere
2. Memoria
3. Drive My Car
4. Annette
5. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
6. The Card Counter
7. Days
8. Titane
9. About Endlessness
10. El Planeta

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? A.I. Artificial Intelligence
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? NYFF58 redux incl. Flowers of Shanghai, Days, The Hourglass Sanatorium; Danny Glover/Louverture Films incl. Uncle Boonmee, Zama
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? Screen Slate @ Roxy Cinema, Museum of the Moving Image’s “See It Big!: The Return”, Folk Horror @ Anthology Film Archives, Apichatpong Weerasethakul retro @ IFC Center, Roy Andersson retro @ Film Forum
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Fire (Claire Denis)

Dan Sullivan, Assistant Programmer

1. Benedetta
2. The Beatles: Get Back
3. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
4. The Power of the Dog
5. Annette
6. In Front of Your Face
7. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
8. What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
9. The Velvet Underground
10. Can’t Get You Out of My Head

Harrison Asen, Ticketing Services Manager

Another Round
Souvenir Part II
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair
The Card Counter
Titane
Memoria
Drive My Car
Little Boy Maniac
Introduction
Benedetta

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Goodbye, Dragon Inn
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Le Circle Rouge


Maddie Whittle, Programming Assistant

1. Anne at 13,000 Ft
2. The Power of the Dog
3. The Worst Person in the World
4. Memoria
5. Bergman Island
6. The Inheritance
7. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
8. The Souvenir Part II
9. Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream
10. About Endlessness

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Scenes from a Marriage (1973, TV miniseries edit)
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Speed Racer (2008) on 35mm
What was your favorite non-FLC programming this year? ScreenSlate’s Halloween-weekend double bill 35mm screenings of ANGUISH (1987) + POPCORN (1991) at the Roxy Cinema

Clinton Krute, Film Comment Co-Deputy Editor

1. Memoria
2. Annette
3. Titane
4. Days
5. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
6. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
7. Drive My Car
8. The Velvet Underground
9. The Disciple
10. Slow Machine

New Old Picks: Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973), Attica (Cinda Firestone, 1974), Naissance (Robert Kramer, 1982), and Barbarosa (Fred Schepisi, 1982).

Jasmine Abbasov, Digital Marketing Coordinator 

In no particular order:

The Worst Person in the World (dir. Joachim Trier)
Titane (dir. Julia Ducournau)
Drive My Car (dir. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
Faya Dayi (dir. Jessica Beshir)
Bergman Island (dir. Mia Hansen-Løve)
Shiva Baby (dir. Emma Seligman)
Night Colonies (dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Petite Maman (dir. Céline Sciamma)
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Mama (dir. Topaz Jones, Simon Davis, Jason Sondock)
Licorice Pizza (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Out of the Blue (dir. Dennis Hopper), Possession (dir. Andrzej Żuławski), The Grand Bizarre (dir. Jodie Mack), Duvidha (dir. Mani Kaul), The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (dir. Penelope Spheeris), A Visitor to a Museum (dir. Konstantin Lopushansky)

What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? True Stories (dir. David Byrne), The Secret of the Third Planet (dir. Roman Kachanov), Serial Mom (dir. John Waters)
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? New Directors/New Films
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? Another Gaze (For a Free Palestine: Films by Palestinian Women), Metrograph (Punks Don’t Go Home for Thanksgiving), FACETS (Alternative Horror Essentials)
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Fire (dir. Claire Denis), Showing Up (dir. Kelly Reichardt), The Idiot [not sure if it’s a 2022 release] (dir. Sandi Tan), Poor Things (dir. Yargos Lanthimos)


Katie Skelly, Marketing Coordinator

1. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
2. The Worst Person in the World
3. Drive My Car
4. Malignant
5. Vortex
6. Titane
7. The Power of the Dog
8. Shiva Baby
9. Bergman Island
10. New Order

What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Disappointment Blvd. or Don’t Worry Darling

Florence Almozini, Senior Programmer at Large

DRIVE MY CAR by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
THE POWER OF THE DOG by Jane Campion
THE SOUVENIR PART II by Joanna Hogg
BENEDETTA by Paul Verhoeven
BERGMAN ISLAND by Mia Hansen-Love
WHEEL OF FORTUNE AND FANTASY by Ryusuke Hamaguchi
WHAT DO WE SEE WHEN WE LOOK AT THE SKY by Aleksandre Koberidze
MEMORIA by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
ANNETTE by Leos Carax
UNDINE by Christian Petzold

I saw THE CARD COUNTER by Paul Schrader quite late after I made my list, and it is definitely a very worthy top ten.

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Kummatty by Govindan Aravindan
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? The restoration of RUDE BOY by Jack Hazan and David Mingay.
What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? I have a few, among others: The Eternal Daughter by Joanna Hogg, Triangle of Sadness by Ruben Östlund and Armageddon Time by James Gray.

Walter Blum, Front of House

1. Dune: Part One – Dir. Denis Villeneuve
2. Red Rocket – Dir. Sean Baker
3. Licorice Pizza – Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
4. Tenet (IMAX 70mm) – Dir. Christopher Nolan
5. Annette – Dir. Leos Carax
6. Undine – Dir. Christian Petzold
7. The Green Knight – Dir. David Lowery
8. A Quiet Place Part II – Dir. John Krasinski
9. Benedetta – Dir. Paul Verhoeven
10. Last Night in SoHo – Dir. Edgar Wright

Best Older Film First Time: In the Mood for Love – Dir. Wong Kar-Wai
Best Older Film Rewatch: Sorcerer – Dir. William Friedkin
Favorite Programing at FLC 2021: World of Wong Kar-Wai
Favorite Programing Elsewhere: See it Big in 70mm (MOMI)
Best Q&A at FLC 2021: Denis Villeneuve & Hans Zimmer NYFF 59 (Dune)

Most Anticipated Film of 2022: Nope – Dir. Jordan Peele

Eric Maala, Front of House

Annette
Bergman Island
The French Dispatch
Isabella
Last Night In Soho
Licorice Pizza
Outside Noise
West Side Story
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
The Works and Days

Favorite classic first watch: Simone Barbes or Virtue– it has it all, punk-rock! disco-backed gladiatorial combat! crushing loneliness!
Favorite classic re-watch: Flowers of Shanghai and/or Josie and the Pussycats– both masterpieces based on costumes & music alone.
Favorite FLC programming: NYFF Redux– Lover’s Rock is NOT a small screen experience.
Favorite programming elsewhere: Japan Society’s online programming: Obayashi, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Sono’s ‘Red Post on Escher Street.’
Most Anticipated: both new Cronenberg movies– oh, and I still gotta see The Worst Person in the World!

Electra Colevas, Marketing Project & Administration Associate

C’mon C’mon (Mills)
Drive My Car (Hamaguchi)
Judas and the Black Messiah (King)
Mogul Mowgli (Tariq)
The Green Knight (Lowery)
The Hand of God (Sorrentino)
The Power of the Dog (Campion)
The Worst Person in the World (Trier)
Titane (Ducournau)
Zola (Bravo)

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? The Last Picture Show (Bogdanovich)
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Le Bonheur (Varda)
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year?  NYFF back in-person 🙂
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? La Piscine (Deray) at Film Forum
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? The Batman (Reeves)

Tyler Wilson, Assistant Programmer

Favorite features released in 2021:
All About My Sisters
All Light, Everywhere
Days
Faya Dayi
France
Licorice Pizza
Memoria
The Souvenir Part II
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin)

Shorts from 2021:
Do Not Circulate (Tiffany Sia)
Kindertotenlieder (Virgil Vernier)
Home When You Return (Carl Elsaesser)
Reach Capacity (Ericka Beckman)
A Human Certainty (Morgan Quaintance)
earthearthearth (Daïchi Saito)
Fictions (Manuela de Laborde)
Tonalli (Los ingrávidos)
Black Square (Peter Burr)
THE CAPACITY FOR ADEQUATE ANGER (Vika Kirchenbauer)

Manuel Santini, Exhibition Manager

Top 9

Drive My Car
The Beatles: Get Back
The Inheritance
Titane
The First 54 Years
El Planeta
Judas and the Black Messiah
House of Gucci
Rita Moreno

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Lovers Rock
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? Sweet Sweetback’s Badasssss Song
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? World of Wong Kar Wai
What was your favorite programming elsewhere? Cool Breeze TV
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? Atlanta – Season 3

Drew Weiss, Front of House

10. Shiva Baby
9. Dune
8. Vortex
7. Titane
6. Last Night in Soho
5. C’mon C’mon
4. Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn
3. West Side Story
2. Red Rocket
1. Licorice Pizza

Sureme Laster Bey, Senior Coordinator, Membership

1. Flee
2. King Richard
3. House of Gucci
4. West Side Story
5. Don’t Look Up
6. Tragedy of MacBeth
7. Ailey
8. In The Heights
9. Tick Tick Boom
10. Judas and The Black Messiah

What’s the best older movie you saw for the first time this year? Flee
What’s the best older movie you saw again this year? All of the Harry Potter Films
What was your favorite programming at FLC this year? NYFF and the Spike Lee Gala
What was the best Q&A/talk you watched that FLC conducted this year?

What’s your most anticipated movie of 2022? NOPE by Jordan Peele

Chris Stevenson, Senior Director, Marketing, Communications, and Strategy

In no particular order:

The Worst Person in the World
Mass
The Power of the Dog
Life in a Day
Judas and the Black Messiah
Flee
The Velvet Underground
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
The Beatles: Get Back

Sabrina Tenteromano, Marketing Outreach & Engagement Associate

In no particular order:

Undine
Don’t Look Up
Red Rocket
Flee
I Carry You With Me
Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
State Funeral
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Time

Devika Girish, Film Comment Co-Deputy Editor

1. Memoria
2. Days
3. Undine
4. Annette
5. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
6. The Inheritance
7. Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
8. What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?
9. Drive My Car
10. Bergman Island

New Old Pick(s): Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971); Duvidha (Mani Kaul, 1973)

Eugene Hernandez, Deputy Executive Director, Programs and Director, New York Film Festival

1. Summer of Soul
2. Parallel Mothers
3. Flee
4. The Power of the Dog
5. The Velvet Underground
6. Memoria
7. The Souvenir Part II
8. Licorice Pizza
9. El Planeta
10. Bergman Island