2019 in Film

Bart Weiss of the Dallas Video Association on his favorite films (and TV and podcasts) of the year.

published Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Dallas — It was a crazy year in the cinema. Indeed, we’re at the point where we can ask ourselves, “what is cinema?” — not just the title of an important book by French film critic André Bazin. So much good work is created for Netflix and Amazon, is The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel cinema? Clearly, The Irishman is.

This was the year when Martin Scorsese attacked Marvel films for killing cinema. Sorry, Marty, but cinema is not dead. It is just morphing — as it always has. Film is a specific technology: celluloid, sprocket holes, etc. Cinema is a language of telling stories, started by Thomas Edison and D.W. Griffith, and it has constantly evolved. The cinematic tradition transcends any specific production technology or delivery platform. And 2019 was a good year for cinematic storytelling.

It was also a great year for watching films in theaters. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is lucky to have great art house theaters: The Angelika, Magnolia, the Alami (plural for the many Alamo theaters) and the greatness of the Texas Theatre. The Magnolia features many great documentaries, the Angelika has the classy indie foreign films, the Alamo has great diversity, and the Texas is like a year-round film festival. On any given night, there is a good film to be seen in North Texas. In Cowtown, there is now a small but great art house cinema called the Grand Berry. We also have an abundance of great film festivals that bring a rich and diverse look at cinema. (and indeed, at the end of February we will have the Best of the Fests II in which 23 film festivals in the area merge for one festival).

For years, filmmakers have shown us the illusion of seeing a film in one take (Rope, Timecode, and Russian Ark). The new film 1917 takes it a step further, making us feel like what it is like to be in WWI — it’s an astonishing feat and it works on a deeply visceral level.

While 3-D in cinema was a big deal a few years ago, in the documentary Cunningham, we got to experience important historic dance in a new way, celebrating the centennial of the great Merce Cunningham.  

Without further ado, here is my Top 10 for 2019. If you want to know my specific thoughts on these, find me out and about at a movie theater, at a Video Association of Dallas event, or at one of the area’s great film festivals. Look for my commentary on the best film of the decade coming on TheaterJones.



Photo: Madman Films

Best Films

1. Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho

2. 1917, directed by Sam Mendes

3. American Factory, directed by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (Netflix)

4. Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi

5. The Last Black Man in San Francisco, directed by Joe Talbot

6. The Two Popes, directed by Fernando Meirelles (Netflix)

7. Apollo 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller

8. Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, directed by Quentin Tarantino

9. The Irishman, directed by Martin Scorsese

10. Varda by Agnés, directed by Agnès Varda and Didier Rouget



A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, directed by Marielle Heller

Bombshell, directed by Jay Roach

Dolomite is My Name, directed by Craig Brewer (Netflix)

Us, directed by Jordan Peele


Photo: Netflix
American Factory

Best Cinematic TV

BoJack Horseman


Leaving Neverland


Years and Years

When They See Us


Best Podcasts


Against the Rules

The Daily

Reply All




» Looking for more on the year (2019) and decade (2010s) in the performing arts? Here's a guide to our special sectionThanks For Reading

View the Article Slideshow
Click or Swipe to close
2019 in Film
Bart Weiss of the Dallas Video Association on his favorite films (and TV and podcasts) of the year.
by Bart Weiss

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :