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Through the Looking-Glass...Top 100 Most Anticipated Films of 2020

Annual Top Films Lists

Through the Looking Glass: Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020 – Picks #10 to #6

Through the Looking Glass: Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2020 – Picks #10 to #6

New projects directed by auteurs from Mexico, Brazil, Ukraine, Thailand and Hungary make up slots 6 to 10 in our most anticipated foreign films of 2020.

#10. State of the Empire (Estado del Imperio) – Amat Escalante

Four years after his subversive socio-genre creature feature The Untamed (which won Best Director in Venice 2016), Amat Escalante will return with his fifth feature State of the Empire. Produced by Nicolas Celis of Pimienta Films, the project won a CTT Exp & Rentals Award at the 2018 Los Cabos Film Festival. While the narrative details have yet to be revealed, we’re assuming something dark and disturbing given the Mexican auteur’s track record, which includes 2008’s Bastards and 2013’s Heli (which won him Best Director at Cannes).

#9. All the Dead Ones – Marco Dutra & Caetano Gotardo

Brazil’s Marco Dutra, who won the Special Jury Prize in Locarno for 2017’s excellent Good Manners (co-directed by Juliana Rojas), teams with Caetano Gotardo (who penned the screenplay for Dutra’s 2016 film The Silence of the Sky) for his latest project, All the Dead Ones, a period piece set at the end of the 19th century, where a white privileged family of coffee farm owners try to forget their history as slave owners during the country’s rapid industrialization. Sara Silveira (of Marcelo Gomes’ Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures, 2005) serves as producer.

#8. Babi Yar – Sergei Loznitsa

It seems, happily, we are to have a new narrative feature or documentary (or both) every year from Ukraine’s Sergei Loznitsa. Shortly after his 2012 sophomore narrative film In the Fog, Loznitsa had announced plans to commence filming on Babi Yar, which details the brutal eponymous massacre which took place in 1941 Ukraine. Due to the severe civil and political unrest in the region, Loznitsa was forced to move on to other projects. But following the premiere of 2018’s Donbass as the Un Certain Regard opening film (one of the year’s best films and still in need of US distribution), the director announced plans to revisit Babi Yar, eyeing a summer 2019 shoot.

#7. Memoria – Apichatpong Weerasethakul

It’s already been five years since Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s last feature, the enigmatic Cemetery of Splendor (2015) so we’re thrilled to finally see him team with Tilda Swinton. Weerasethakul casts the idiosyncratic actress as a Scottish woman traveling through Colombia who begins to hear strange sounds, which begins a process of conjuring their appearance.

#6. The Story of My Wife – Ildiko Enyedi

Winning the Golden Bear in 2017 for On Body and Soul following an eighteen-year absence from narrative filmmaking, Hungarian auteur Ildiko Enyedi adapts Milan Fust’s novel The Story of My Wife for her next project. Set to star Lea Seydoux and Anders Baasmo Christiansen, it’s the story of a sea captain who makes a bet in a café with a friend that he’ll marry the first woman who walks through the door. Seydoux will have a formidable 2019/2020, slotted for a return to James Bond duty while also taking part in new films from Wes Anderson, Arnaud Desplechin, and Ari Folman.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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