CHRISSIE ILES IS THE ANNE AND JOEL EHRENKRANZ CURATOR AT THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART IN NEW YORK.
1 "Blue" (John Kelly) If YouTube is our collective online cinema, then the best film of the year was posted there: Veteran performance artist John Kelly's video rendition of "Blue" (excerpted from Paved Paradise Redux, his drag tribute to Joni Mitchell) turns conventions of sexual identity inside out and moved Mitchell herself to tears.
2 Women Without Men (Shirin Neshat in collaboration with Shoja Azari) The unsettling stories of four women's lives unfold in politically volatile 1950s Tehran.
3 The Posters Came from the Walls (Jeremy Deller and Nick Abrahams) A documentary on the enduring adoration of '80s British band Depeche Mode featuring eyelinered fans from Moscow to Los Angeles, England to Iran.
4 Double Take (Johan Grimonprez) A film essay in which Hitchcock's cameo movie and television appearances narrate the trajectory of the mass media's influence on collective fear, in a deftly edited collage of cold-war crises, Hollywood films, and TV ads.
5 Action Diana (Centre of Attention) A remake of the 1965 film Darling, shot by the art group Centre of Attention largely at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute, Scotland (but also at locations in Vienna, Liverpool, Gothenburg, and Berlin), and acted out by members of the public and the island community in a fusion of film set and performance. …