First I want to say that the name of this post is a reference (homage?) to an underrated Chris Rock movie, Top 5.

But today I wanted to talk about “Top 5” lists. Recently I wrote two Top 5 lists for Aesthetics For Birds: my top five movies of the past ten years and top five novels of the past ten years. Aesthetics For Birds did a series of top five lists for movies, writing, art, TV shows, games, music, and a really fun top ten anything list

Well, my movie list (with brief justificatory summary) was overwhelmingly non-English speaking and male. On the foreign language heavy focus of my list: I’m with Bong Joon Ho whose Golden Globe speech implored folks to get beyond the “1-inch tall barrier of subtitles.” Your world literally opens up if you watch world cinema. However, I do feel uncomfortable with the maleness of the list I presented. 

When I think of some of my favorite documentaries of the past ten years, my list is overwhelmingly English-language but not that more gender-balanced. So I urge you to read everyone’s lists over at Aesthetics for Birds, and I’d like to add a list of five favorite documentaries of the past ten years below (in no particular order): 

  1. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Herzog, 2010)
  2. I am not your negro (Peck, 2016)
  3. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy? 2010)
  4. Faces Places (Varda and J.R., 2017)
  5. Shirkers (Tan, 2018) 

I’m not including The Act of Killing on this list, since it made my overall best of the last ten year list (but The Act of Killing is a favorite documentary of mine). And I’m not even sure if these are the documentaries I think are *the best* but they are the ones I’ve enjoyed watching the most. 

Some honorable mentions: Finding Vivian Maier, Leviathan, and The Black Power Mixtape.