John Waters Picks Czech Film ‘I, Olga Hepnarová’ as Second-Best of 2017

John Waters Picks Czech Film ‘I, Olga Hepnarová’ as Second-Best of 2017

Iconic trash movie director John Waters hasn’t been able to get a film off the ground since his 2004 flick A Dirty Shame bombed at the box office (a shame indeed - it’s one of his best), but he still keeps himself busy. 

Waters will travel the states over the next month for the spoken-word tour “A John Waters Christmas”, which began last week in Chicago, and as a longtime contributor to Artforum magazine, the director posts his musings on contemporary film. 

In the December 2107 issue of Artforum, Waters’ list of top 10 films of 2017 includes a number of unusual selections, as one might expect, but for local audiences one stands out above all: the Czech mass murderer drama I, Olga Hepnarová, coming in at number 2.  

“A hypnotic black-and-white docudrama based on the case of a pretty, twenty-two-year-old chain-smoking lesbian from Prague who in 1973 hopped in a truck and mowed down twenty pedestrians on a sidewalk,” Waters notes. 

“Deadpan indeed.”

I didn’t care for smoke-filled, sleep-inducing I, Olga Hepnarová when it premiered in Prague during the 2016 Febiofest, but it’s undoubtedly the work of talented visual filmmakers. Petr Kazda and Tomáš Weinreb made their feature debut with the film, which has drawn accolades not only from Waters but from film festivals around the world.  

Waters’ favorite film of 2017 was Baby Driver, which I also found problematic (though I’m in the minority on that one). 

Here are the rest of his selections for the best films of 2017, and you can read more of his musings at Artforum:

1. Baby Driver
2. I, Olga Hepnarová
3. The Strange Ones
4. Nocturama
5. Wonderstruck
6. Graduation
7. The Wizard of Lies
6. Lady MacBeth
9. Wonder Wheel
10. Tom of Finland

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