A few comments and highlights
Graduation by Claire Simon (#1)
Le Concours exposes the ideologies inherent to the evaluation and assessment process of a prestigious school, the inconsistencies of "meritocracy", the logic of privilege and exclusivity, self branding and the performance of authenticity. Like Wiseman (At Berkeley), Simon does not take an overt, didactic stance. And that makes Le Concours remarkable both as an artwork and as an ethnographic record.
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond by Chris Smith (#5)
Jim Carrey's "best ever" after his James Brown's impersonation at the "most meaningless event of the year". The ultimate reenactment by one of the greatest performance artists of the 20th century with a Messiah syndrome. Ninety minutes of pure, unadulterated schizophrenia coupled with an impressive achievement beard. Outstanding stuff.
Stranger in Paradise by Guido Henrikx (#6)
Conceived in the Netherlands, but shot in Sicily, Hendrikx blunt documentary in three acts illuminates the inherent paradoxes on an ongoing humanitarian disaster by presenting different points of view: the European neoliberal technocratic who only cares about the bottom line; the European equipped with a conscience; the European film director who is trying to tell a story. Excellent.
Burden by Richard Dewey and Timothy Marrinan (#9)
It's remarkable that Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey shared next to nothing about Burden’s upbringing, not to mention the rationale behind the artist' sudden turn from performance art to a more playful, but always sinister, sculptural practice. What makes Burden a compelling viewing experience is the auratic, charismatic, ultimately cryptic nature of the artist himself rather than the directors' prowess.
Get Me Roger Stone by Dylan Blank, Daniel Dimauro, and Morgan Prime (#10)
The ultimate primer into the contemporary American political landscape, which is so inherently corrupted, compromised, and broken that, in comparison, regimes like Russia or China seem almost democratic, even benevolent. In a sense, Roger Stone is the perfect embodiment of the modern American, the ultimate, soulless salesman.