Top30 Favorite Film Discoveries of 2017

5. Gordos

The first time I watched this, I spent the whole time wondering how they made them look different weights throughout. But sometimes, the simple answer is the right answer. They just lost the weight. I was blown away- who does this for comedies?

NSFW trailer.

Gordos is a really funny movie about a bunch of people that need to deal with the drama that surrounds their up & down weight. Antonio de la Torre is Enrique, the gay weight-loss guru who’s gained all his weight back, and is at risk of losing his bread and butter. To get back to his slim weight, he attends Abel’s (Roberto Enríquez) therapy sessions, where Enrique also meets Sofia (Leticia Herrero) who’s struggling with her weight as her wedding to her sex-deprived conservative fiancee looms; Leonor (María Morales) who’s trying to lose the kilos she’s gained since her returning boyfriend left; and Andres (Fernando Albizu) who’s trying to lose weight in order to avoid dying just like his brother and father did.

4. A Time to Love (情人结)

Even though I love romantic movies and rom-coms *cough*India*cough*, Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is probably my most eye-roll worthy romance story. The tragedy, especially if you’re making an adaptation— even more if it’s a contemporary adaption, feels dated and dumb. One of the reasons why I liked Ram-Leela and its twist to the story was because the resolution is dumb.

So while watching A Time to Love, which is based on the story, you could see me groaning until the twist to the story. Huo Jianqi’s (霍建起) version, written by Xu Xiaowei (苏小卫) and Zhang Renjie (张人捷), lets the story continue as time takes its toll.

To live with you in the same building, that was once my happiness. To live with you in the same city, that also was once my happiness. To be alive with you at the same time in this world… That will be my happiness.

3. The Ballad of Narayama (楢山節考)

Prompted by #20 on the list, I was just overwhelmed by the theatricality, the colors and music. It’s Japanese folk musical theater, exploring Obasute or Oyasute [1], which was the tradition of carrying one’s parent to leave them in the mountain to die. It also kinda mirrors Kinoshita’s own mountain journey carrying his own mother (not to die, but you know~), which makes it all the more emotional by the end, honestly.

2. To Live (活着)

Zhang Yimou’s unpretty look at 30 years in the turbulent history of China; which includes gambling debt, war, the Cultural Revolution, and personal loss.

1. Sopyonje (서편제 | 西便制)

So here it is, my favorite new-to-me movie of 2017~ Im Kwon-taek’s father-children/sibling drama ode to Pansori [1], which kinda started the phenomenon of critically-acclaimed movies that actually take audiences to the cinema that the South Korean industry seems to have; a phenomenon also seen in last year’s hit, A Taxi Driver (택시운전사).

In here, a father, who aims to turn his son and daughter into top Pansori performers, pushes his children to the extreme of training to the point of driving the siblings apart, and taking everything away from his daughter.

Except for like five titles on this list, a lot feels like catching up on people’s filmography; so let’s hope 2018 brings many more surprises!

What were some of your favorite new-to-you movies this year?


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

3 Responses

  1. Diandra says:

    Kinoshita’s version of Ballad of Narayama is so amazing

    • Amy says:

      I had a hard time placing contemporary Japan with the idea of leaving their parents to die in the mountains. And the teeth. O_O

  1. January 6, 2018

    […] did find enough for my usual Top30 Favorite Film Discovery post […]

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