I had been refraining from posting in-progress top tens until at least midyear, so as to avoid the outright comedy of shit-film inclusions. But I've discovered that my memory, along with my nerdly bookkeeping skills, are failing as I stumble into middle age. So consider this an internal document that has been WikiLeaked. Bear in mind, the world-premieres list is a little thin.

 

2013 TOP TWENTY (world premieres only)

 

1. Hard To Be a God (Aleksei German, Russia)

 

2. Spring (Nathaniel Dorsky, U.S.) [s]

 

3. The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zürcher, Germany)

 

4. Service of the Goods (Jean-Paul Kelly, Canada) [m]

 

5. The Realist (Scott Stark, U.S.) [m]

 

6. The Past (Asghar Farhadi, France / Italy)

 

7. Main Hall (Philipp Fleischmann, Austria) [s]

 

8. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong / China / U.S.)

 

9. Stranger By The Lake (Alain Guiraudie, France)

 

10. Daredevils (Stephanie Barber, U.S.)

 

11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S. / France)

 

12. Charlie Victor Romeo (Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson, U.S.)

 

13. Closed Curtain (Jafar Panahi and Kambozia Partovi, Iran)

 

14. Dusty Stacks of Mom: The Poster Project (Jodie Mack, U.S.) [m]

 

15. Upstream Color (Shane Carruth, U.S.)

 

16. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok, China)

 

17. Nebraska (Alexander Payne, U.S.)

 

18. The Missing Picture (Rithy Panh, Cambodia / France)

 

19. Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (Denis Côté, Canada)

 

20. RP31 (Lucy Raven, U.S.) [s]

 

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2013 TOP TEN RELEASES (poll-eligible only)

 

1. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, U.K.)

 

2. Student (Darezhan Omirbayev, Kazakhstan)

 

3. Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, Austria)

 

4. The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong / China / U.S.)

 

5. No (Pablo Larraín, Chile / France / U.S.)

 

6. Frances Ha (Noah Baumbach, U.S.)

 

7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, U.S. / France)

 

8. Nebraska (Alexander Payne, U.S.)

 

9. The Last Time I Saw Macao (João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra de Mata, Portugal / France)

 

10. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (Alain Resnais, France / Germany)