One of our favorite annual traditions is a best-of-the-year movie list that usually finds a more interesting path than all the various guilds and critics groups. The wonderfully eccentric director John Waters, whose eclectic tastes always includes a mix of the unexpected and underseen, hasn’t let us down this year with his top 10 films of 2021.

Published at Artforum, where one should click over to read his thoughts on each, the list is topped by Leos Carax’s “nutcase masterpiece” Annette, a perfectly fitting madcap musical for the mind of Waters. Other selections include Bruce LaBruce’s incestuous drama Saint-Narcisse, Sean Baker’s Red Rocket (“Finally, fuckin’, fightin’, and frontal nudity are back on the art-house screen, where they belong,” says Waters), and the latest from The Human Centipede director Tom Six, which edged out Pedro Almodóvar’s “exquisite” Parallel Mothers for the 10th spot.

Check out the list below as Waters embarks on his Christmas tour.

1. Annette (Leos Carax) 

2. Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson)

3. Vortex (Gaspar Noé) 

4. France (Bruno Dumont)

5. The Most Beautiful Boy in the World (Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri) 

6. Mandibles (Quentin Dupieux)

7. Red Rocket (Sean Baker) 

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (Joel Coen)

9. Saint-Narcisse (Bruce LaBruce) 

10. The Onania Club (Tom Six) 

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