Throughout December, J.R. Jones and I will take turns writing about our favorite films that had their Chicago premieres this year.

The intentionally vague English subtitles that Jean-Luc Godard prepared for Film Socialisme made the movie something of an interactive game, with audiences having to pool their wits in order to figure it out. I brought the movie to several friends’ apartments over the summer, and each viewing became a lively, funny conversation. Because of the pleasure I took from it, I was surprised by how hostile many of the reviews were. This hostility reminded me of John Lydon’s description of David Bowie’s notoriety in the 1970s: “without saying anything offensive, he somehow managed to offend everybody.”