ENTRIES IN PART 3:

 


WILLIAM EDWARDS

LONG TIME FILM FANATIC, SYDNEY.
  1. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  2. A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, 2016)
  3. Jug-yeo-ju-neun Yeo-ja (The Bacchus Lady, E J-yong, 2016)
  4. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  5. La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV, Albert Serra, 2016)
  6. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  7. Das Tagebuch der Anne Frank (The Diary of Anne Frank, Hans Steinbichler, 2016)
  8. Uncle Howard (Aaron Brookner, 2016)
  9. 24 Wochen (24 Weeks, Anne Zohra Berrached, 2016)
  10. De Palma (Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow, 2015)

Honorable Mentions

  • L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve; 2016)
  • Kedi (Ceyda Torun, 2016)
  • Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)
  • Quand on a 17 ans (Being 17, André Téchiné, 2016)
  • Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)
  • The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)
  • Rosalie Blum (Julien Rappeneau, 2016)
  • Helmut Berger, Actor (Andreas Horvath, 2015)
  • Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016)
  • Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Fenton Bailey and Randy Bailey, 2016)

RUSSELL EDWARDS

ASIA TIMES’ BOX OFFICE REPORTER AND MANAGER OF THE KOREAN FILM REVIEWS YOUTUBE CHANNEL, ‘WADAYATHINK’.
  • Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku (After the Storm, Koreeda Hirokazu, 2016)
  • Goksung (The Wailing, Na Hong-jin, 2016)
  • Teo-neol (Tunnel, Kim Sung-hoon, 2016)
  • Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)
  • I Am Not Madame Bovary (Feng Xiaogang, 2016)
  • Café Society (Woody Allen, 2016)
  • Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  • Forushande (The Salesman, Asghar Farhadi, 2016)
  • Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  • Lao shi (Old Stone, Johnny Ma, 2016)
world film poll 2016

The Wailing

RANDALL EGAN

FORKLIFT OPERATOR AND CINEPHILE FROM MELBOURNE; REDEEMING THE SLOG OF THE DAILY GRIND BY WAY OF THE BIG SCREEN.
  1. Happî awâ (Happy Hour, Hamaguchi Ryusuke, 2015)
  2. Spear (Stephen Page, 2016)
  3. American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)
  4. Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle, 2015)
  5. Rester Vertical (Staying Vertical, Alain Guiraudie, 2016)
  6. The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2016)
  7. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  8. 88:88 (Isiah Medina, 2015)
  9. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)
  10. Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (Jonathan Demme, 2016)

HOSSEIN EIDIZADEH

FILM CRITIC AND TRANSLATOR BASED IN TEHRAN, IRAN. CONTRIBUTOR TO 24, FILMKANEH AND FILMNEGAR.

In no order:

  1. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  2. Inimi cicatrizate (Scarred Hearts, Radu Jude, 2016)
  3. Lu bian ye can (Kaili Blues, Bi Gan, 2015)
  4. Skhvisi sakhli (House of Others,Rusudan Glurjidze, 2016)
  5. Toni Erdmann(Maren Ade, 2016)
  6. Zjednoczone Stany Miłości(United States of Love, Tomasz Wasilewski, 2016)
  7. Poesía sin fin(Endless Poetry, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 2016)
  8. Sieranevada(Cristi Puiu, 2016)
  9. Gorge coeur ventre(Still Life, Maud Alpi, 2016)
  10. Kékszakállú (Gaston Solnicki, 2016)

KAYA ERDINÇ

PRACTITIONER OF CINESTHETICS AND FILM THINKER.
  • My most uplifting cine-events:
  • Pauvre Pierrot (Émile Reynaud, 1892)
  • Katy Perry: Part of Me (Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth, 2012)
  • Eniaios (The Temenos, 2016)
  • Nine Lives (Barry Sonnenfeld, 2016)
  • I Don’t Belong Anywhere: the Cinema of Chantal Akerman (Marianne Lambert, 2015)
  • Théâtre de Monsieur & Madame Kabal (Walerian Borowczyk, 1967)
  • Simulacrum Tremendum (Khavn de La Cruz, 2016)
  • Jean Cocteau s’adresse… à l’an 2000 (Jean Cocteau, 1962)
  • Bridget Jones’s Baby (Sharon Maguire, 2016)
  • Artificial Paradise (Chick Strand, 1986)
  • The Brave Artist (Farah Hasanbegović, 2016)
  • Danse Serpentine: Loie Fuller (Georges Demeny, 1897)
  • Light Years (Esther Campbell, 2015)
  • Cry When it Happens (Laida Lertxundi, 2010)
  • journal (3.22.16 – 6.5.16) : reload(ed) (Isaac Goes, 2016)
  • The Bird Can’t Fly (Threes Anna, 2008)
  • Why is it difficult to make film in Kurdistan? (Ebrû Avci, 2016)
  • Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, 2015)
  • Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: Ratlos + Die Unbezähmbare Leni Peickert (Alexander Kluge, 1968 + 1970)
  • Jeune femme à sa fenêtre lisant une lettre (Girl Reading a Letter by an Open Window, Jean-Claude Rousseau, 1983)
  • Do You Want to Go for a Drive? (Kelly Gallagher, 2016)
  • It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books (Richard Linklater, 1988)
  • According to Greta (Nancy Bardawil, 2009)
  • Malgré la nuit (Despite the Night, Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
  • N + 2 (Ivan Maximov, 1993)

 

TED FENDT

FILMMAKER, TRANSLATOR AND PROJECTIONIST BASED ON NEW YORK.

Films listed in the order they were seen. All films discovered in cinemas, galleries or fields in 2016.

Shared Table (Robert Beavers, 16mm, 2016)
Knight of Cups
(Terrence Malick, DCP, 2015)
Portraits
(Tacita Dean, 16mm, 2016)
Isabella Mora
(Isabel Pagliai, DCP, 2015)
Autumn
(Nathaniel Dorsky, 16mm, 2016)
Feng ai
(Til Madness Do Us Part, Wang Bing, DCP, 2013)
Eniaios
, Cycle XI (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 16mm, 1948-c. 1990)
The Illinois Parables
(Deborah Stratman, 16mm, 2016)
All the Cities of the North
(Dane Komljen, DCP, 2016)
Der traumhafte Weg
(The Dreamed Path, Angela Schanelec, DCP, 2016)

 

FELICITY FORD

TUTOR, RESEARCHER AND PHD CANDIDATE IN SCREEN AND CULTURAL STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE.

Top Ten (in approximate order)
The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2016)
Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2016)
Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2016)
Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2016)
Hrútar (Rams, Grímur Hákonarson, 2016)
Victoria (Sebastian Schipper, 2016)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)
American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)

Festival highlights
Royahaye dame sobh (Starless Dreams, Mehrdad Oskouei, 2016)
Córki dancingu (The Lure, Agnieszka Smoczynska, 2016)
À peine j’ouvre les yeux (As I Open My Eyes, Leyla Bouzid, 2016)

Top docos
Weiner (Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, 2016)
Chasing Asylum (Eva Orner, 2016)
Sherpa (Jennifer Peedom, 2016)
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2016)

Notable mentions
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2016)
Louder Than Bombs (Joachim Trier, 2016)
Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
The Revenant (Alejandro G. Inarritu, 2016)

world film poll 2016

The Handmaiden

 

GWENDOLYN AUDREY FOSTER

AUTHOR, EXPERIMENTAL FILMMAKER, AND WILLA CATHER PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA, LINCOLN.

Top Ten
Io la conoscevo bene (I Knew Her Well, Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965), Criterion (2016)
La folie Almayer (Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman, 2011), Icarus Video (2016)
L’économie du couple (After Love, Joachim Lafosse, 2016)
Boris sans Béatrice (Boris Without Béatrice, Denis Côté, 2016)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)
Ma’ Rosa (Brillante Mendoza, 2016)
A Flickering Truth (Pietra Brettkelly, 2016)
Lontano nel tempo (Luciano Colavincenzo, 2016), Vimeo
The Babushkas Of Chernobyl (Holly Morris & Anne Bogart, 2016), Vimeo VOD
Prismatic Music – The Super 8 Films of Joseph Bernard (2016), Geodesic Disques

The only film on the list above that I saw in a theatre is Certain Women, a beautifully enigmatic poem and an instant favourite. Times sure have changed for the cinephile. Actually, the best films I saw last year are films I tracked down on DVD – purchasing them before they vanish. Criterion’s I Knew Her Well is easily one of the best films I have ever seen, along with Pietrangeli’s stunning Adua and Her Friends (1960) and his tender La Visita (1963). One of my most treasured finds is a very unusual anthology film directed by Fellini, Antonioni, Alberto Lattuada, Carlo Lizzani, Francesco Maselli, Dino Risi, and Cesare Zavattini, called Love in the City (1953). Thanks, Raro! Viewing Eureka!’s stunning restoration of Fellini’s Il Bidone (1955) completely changes the film for the better. In this hellish election year of 2016, Agnes Varda’s delightfully restorative From Here to There is not a 2016 release, but I streamed it on Amazon during one of the horrifying “debates,” and later purchased the DVD. I also discovered so many talented international film and video artists on Vimeo in 2016, only after becoming a member myself. Go check out the work of Bill Domonkos, Luciano Colavincenzo, Isabel Chiara, Fernanda D’Agostino, Yuge Zhou, Martina Menegon, Marco Coraggio, and so many visual artists who are reinvigorating filmmaking as we know it: much of their work is free on Vimeo. There are plenty of stunning and significant films out there (both old and new) but it takes some digging.

 

MARK FREEMAN

FILM ACADEMIC AT SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY AND EDITOR AT SENSES OF CINEMA

I find myself every year in the peculiar position as a film academic spending all my time talking about and screening film, and then struggling to physically get to see stuff that’s actually showing at cinemas and festivals. During non-teaching periods, when I can organise my time a little better is the time when I take a deep dive into contemporary cinema and do a furious catch up. So this list of the best I saw in 2016 is contingent on the fact that sometimes things pass me by, and it’s now, in January 2017, that I’m best positioned to see what was great the year before. That said – here’s a roughly and imperfectly ranked list of 2016.

1. Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
I found this a perfect combination of the heist film, the gothic romance and sly, brutal, perverse comedy. Park Chan-wook constantly divides us between an admiration for a lofty heritage style beauty and the craven voyeurism of jade gates and clanking metal balls. Loved it.

2. Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016).
I know some people have been a bit sniffy about this, but I fell for it completely. Everything about this film is slightly raised and excessive: the autumnal colours of the past, the cold formalism of the present, the exaggerated narrative and performances in the fictional world. In a tale about revenge, masculinity, misogyny and most importantly memory and fiction, that hyperbolic approach hits it exactly right.

3. Chasing Asylum (Eva Orner, 2016).
I don’t know that I could sustain an argument that this is the best directed / constructed / formally incredible documentary of the year. But if getting kicked in the Australian nuts counts for anything, then I think this gets the biscuit. Documentary serves any number of functions – and this one sets its sights on asylum seeker advocacy and the humiliation of successive Australian governments and their shameful exploitation of racism for political gain. It succeeds.

4. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
I think everybody’s response to Verhoeven’s film is the most interesting thing about this. Just because how we respond to the film – to her – becomes the perfect litmus test to how we think about gender, what our social and cultural expectations are of women. The fact that Elle doesn’t behave the way that we might expect frankly says more about what we as a culture expect of women in life, than it does about the choices she makes in the film.

5. Zir-e Sayeh (Under the Shadow, Babak Anvari, 2016).
Like all good horror, this film understands what fear is. An external monster can be fine, but the terror of the evil that hides in the expectations and impositions of culture, gender, religion, are far greater. Anvari uses that horror template to work through a whole raft of concerns in the wake of the Iranian Cultural Revolution. I had an Iranian student who saw this film, and he said he didn’t get scared. He just wept.

6. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Watiti, 2016)
Never underestimate the power of pure charm. Yeah, fine, it’s formally not especially innovative, but if you ever need to be reminded that cinema can also just be a big emotion generator, then this will do it. I hate everyone and even I loved it, so it must be doing something right.

7. Further Beyond (Christine Molloy & Joe Lawler, 2016)
A really surprising analysis of the process of migration, charting an historical figure and his journey from Ireland to Chile, and the journey of the mother of one of the filmmakers from the US to Ireland. But in the same way that Robert Greene is doing so successfully, this film manages to both dismantle and construct the documentary before our eyes in an incredible, illuminating way.

8. Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016).
So I’ve been feeling like the whole zombie thing was over. It was a trope that had lost all meaning, a blind, blank signifier that had lost the power to generate anything new. The narratives were dull, the tearing of flesh mundane, the desecrated cities a bore. Was there anywhere else the zombie film could possibly go? Here’s an idea: how about a train?

9. Rester Vertical (Staying Vertical, Alain Guiraudie, 2016)
This was one of those great film-going experiences. This screened at MIFF and as the film unfolded, you could hear the audience shifting, both physically and emotionally. The film is about a lot, but it was the active participation in the narrative, our capacity to hypothesise and predict and fail so consistently to read motive and action that really sold this. I love it when cinema wrong-foots me, and this had me landing on my metaphorical arse the whole damn way. Good job.

10. 13th (Ava DuVernay, 2016)
This rolls out a bleak history of racism, but the impact of DuVernay’s film is her capacity to disrupt our reading of 13th as being purely and only that. Those early historical bases are fundamental to a reading of contemporary, Trump-era race issues. And damn, Angela Davis is just the best, isn’t she?

world film poll 2016

Elle

 

KENJI FUJISHIMA

NEW YORK-BASED FREELANCE FILM CRITIC WHO HAS CONTRIBUTED TO SLANT MAGAZINE, BROOKLYN MAGAZINE, PASTE MAGAZINE AND VILLAGE VOICE.
  1. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  2. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)
  3. J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)
  4. Rak ti Khon Kaen(Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  5. The Illinois Parables (Deborah Stratman, 2016)
  6. Happy Hour (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2016)
  7. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
  8. Swiss Army Man (Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, 2016)
  9. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2016)
  10. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)

ANDERS FURZE

CRITIC AND JOURNALIST AT THE CITIZEN, BASED IN MELBOURNE.

Choosing to give myself over to new release cinema, in 2016 of all years, was an occasionally invigorating but mostly exhausting endeavour. Still, it was worth it for the few transcendent moments arising out of the stream of ephemera. The films in my list are wildly diffuse and far from perfect but they all share moments. An example: in Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash (2015), Ralph Fiennes’ character, midway through urinating over the top of a buried body, notes that “all of Europe’s a grave”. There’s truth in those five words. Many lesser films spend hours grasping for the same measure of profundity.

Ten Favourite Films Seen in General, Limited or Festival Release in Australia in 2016

I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, 2016)
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015)
The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbett, 2015)
L’Attesa (The Wait, Piero Messina, 2015)
El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
Hangule (The Tunnel, Kim Seong-hun, 2016)
Helmut Berger, Actor (Andreas Horvath, 2015)
Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
The Fits (Anna Rose Helmer, 2015)
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)

 

GAVIN GAEBE

COLLEGE FRESHMAN, STUDYING TO BE A DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER.
  1. Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)
  2. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  3. 13th (Ava DuVernay, 2016)
  4. Beyoncé: Lemonade (Kahlil Joseph & Beyoncé Knowles, 2016)
  5. La tortue rouge (The Red Turtle, Michaël Dudok de Wit, 2016)

2016 was 90% disappointment and 10% surprise for me at the cinema. Unfortunately, most of the big movies I was excited to see like Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016) Captain America: Civil War (Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, 2016) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016) came anywhere near to being called “good” films. However, for all that disappointment, just in the month of December really changed all that for me. I was able to see La tortue rouge, I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016), Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016), Loving (Jeff Nichols, 2016), Nocturnal Animals, O.J: Made in America, and Arrival, all of which impressed me greatly and provided a structure for my “best films of 2016” list.

 

SACHIN GANDHI

PROGRAMMER, CALGARY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND CALGARY CINEMATHEQUE.

This list is restricted to only 2016 films, even if they were only screened at a film festival.

1. Take Me Home (Abbas Kiarostami, 2016)
Cinema lost a leading voice when Abbas Kiarostami passed away in 2016. The artistic beauty with which he crafted his films can be found in Take Me Home, a lovely short film about a soccer ball’s journey. The short is beautiful, packs warm emotions and plays with the concept of reality. A precious final gift from one of cinema’s greatest directors!

2. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)
Even though the film is localised to a Brazilian apartment building, the events echo our current world of rapid development where the past is always in danger of being demolished for a shiny new future.

3. Uchenik (The Student, Kirill Serebrennikov, 2016)
The Student brilliantly portrays the recent changing political sentiment in Europe and USA. The film uses the radicalisation of a lonely shy white male to underline that hateful ideas that may seem harmless at first can result in grave consequences if unchecked and allowed to spread.

4. Shin Gojira (Shin Godzilla, Hideaki Anno & Shinji Higuchi, 2016)
A film of immense beauty and fierce intelligence about creation, evolution, destruction, logistics and problem solving.

5. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, 2016)
A tense razor sharp film that is stripped of any specific ideology but is completely aware of our contemporary world.

6. Nočno življenje (Nightlife, Damjan Kozole, 2016)
This Slovenian co-production cleverly uses a single incident to depict how private events can quickly end up becoming public scandals. The film style has shades of the Romanian New Wave.

7. Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016)
Creatively uses the poetry of Neruda to create a fictional framework which questions the reality and myth surrounding Neruda’s escape. Infused with humour and a scrumptious touch of noir.

8. Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot (Yourself and Yours, Hong Sang-soo, 2016)
In the films of Hong Sang-soo, characters open up their feelings and transform when alcohol is present. That point is hammered home in Yourself and Yours where the main character morphs into a completely different person as soon a fresh pint of beer is served. The end result is a dizzying delightful work!

9. O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)
A hypnotic journey which is an innovative mix of a fable and myth that seamlessly shifts through multiple cinematic genres.

10. Akher ayam el madina (In the Last Days of the City, Tamer El Said, 2016)
tied with
Eshtebak (Clash, Mohamed Diab, 2016)
Two completely different Egyptian films set in different eras but the two films end up having a dialogue with each other.

In the Last Days of the City is a poetic love letter to a Cairo that no longer exists. The film consists entirely of footage shot in 2009-10 and there are many scenes which may have seemed harmless back in 2010 but take on a much different meaning after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. In the Last Days of the City shows a time when people could roam the streets of Cairo freely and openly discuss political ideas. The freedom of the camera’s movement in Tamer El Said’s film is in stark contrast to Clash which is set in a confined space in the back of a police van. Mohamed Diab’s powerful film depicts the division in Egyptian society that came to a boil in 2013. The confined space in Clash creates a powerful immersive experience and mirrors the state of society in 2013 in contrast to In the Last Days of the City.

Honourable mentions (alphabetical order):

Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
Ema (Mother, Kadri Kõusaar, 2016)
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
Lao Shi (Old Stone, Johnny Ma, 2016)
Zhi fan ye mao (Life after Life, Zhang Hanyi, 2016)

world film poll 2016

Aquarius

 

GEOFF GARDNER

ACTOR IN BRAKE FLUID (1969) AND BEYOND FULLER (1971). HAS WRITTEN FOR THE AGE, THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD AND NOW PUBLISHES AT FILM ALERT 101.

At the Movies
Solid commercial shows, all seen at commercial venues:
45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015)
Miljeong (Age of Shadows, Kim Jee-woon, 2016)
Beasts of No Nation (Cary Jo Fukunaga, 2015)
Down Under (Abe Forsythe, 2016)
Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)
Julieta (Pedro Almodovar, 2016)
La La Land (Dominic Chazelle, 2016)
Hrútar (Rams, Grímur Hákonarson, 2016)
Shanghai (Dibakar Banerjee, 2012)
Snowden (Oliver Stone, 2016)
Spear (Steven Page, 2015)
Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
Trumbo (Jay Roach, 2015)

On TV
Catching up with old and new on TV: 2016 highlights included, in the order seen, some mini-series, some continuing, Show Me a Hero, The Bridge, Luther, Mr Robot, Black Mirror, Homeland, Spiral, And Then There Were None, The Night Manager, Happy Valley, House of Cards, Better Call Saul, The Americans, Gomorrah, Bloodline, The Night Of, Baron Noir, Narcos, Cleverman, The Fall and The Missing.

On DVD
I am always in awe of the New Zealanders. They are smarter (viz Taika Waititi above) and better far too often. On DVD two NZ releases were peerless and far above any local issue.

The NZ Blu-ray of the restoration of Geoff Murphy’s 1983 Utu is a superb example of someone doing the hard yakka to get a film back to a point far beyond what was presented to us by nervous producers and unthinking international distributors way back when.

Colour Box, only on DVD, is a superb collection restored and assembled by New Plymouth’s Len Lye Foundation. 19 of Len Lye’s films are included, ranging in date from 1929 to 1979, and showing off the old avant-gardist’s tricks to great effect. Produced at the Govett Brewster Gallery where Lye’s work is the centrepiece of a fine and very beautiful new building.

 

STEPHEN GAUNSON

SENIOR LECTURER, SCHOOL OF MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION, RMIT UNIVERSITY.

Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
Notes on Blindness (Pete Middleton & James Spinney, 2016)
Hail, Caesar! (Ethan & Joel Coen, 2016)
Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)
Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)
I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, 2016)
O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)
One-Eyed Jacks (Marlon Brando, 1961) (2016 restoration)
Florence Foster Jenkins (Stephen Frears, 2016)
One More Time With Feeling (Andrew Dominik, 2016)

 

FLORA GEORGIOU

A FREELANCE WRITER AND FILMMAKER.

Akher ayam el madina (In The Last Days Of The City, Tamar El Said, 2016)
Sieranevada (Christi Puiu, 2016)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven, 2015)
Innocence of Memories (Grant Gee, 2015)
One More Time With Feeling (Andrew Dominik, 2016)
River Of Grass (Kelly Reichardt, 1994)
Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, 2015)
Personal Shopper (Olivier Assayas, 2016)
Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy J. Berg, 2015)

A bumper year for notable and eminent screenings of films this year! Narrowing down to my top ten films for 2016. The screening of In The Last Days Of City blurs the lines between fact and fiction. It is a groundbreaking exploration of a great decaying city. Innocence Of Memories, set in Istanbul has a similar flavour. Both films are atmospheric and multilayered explorations of identity and lament for a city. I had the opportunity to view the first Kelly Reichardt film River Of Grass at an American Independent film Festival in Melbourne this year. It is a great raw and energetic debut film. Her new film Certain Women explores the dysfunctional characterisation of displaced women. A theme l feel Reichardt feels very passionate about.

At an epic length (just under three hours) Sieranevada is a portrayal of a dysfunctional family drama set in a small Bucharest apartment. The exquisite camera work weaves in and out of the confined space in real-time in a tight time-spatial frame. Mississippi Grind has a distinct seventies feel; blurs the genre of road movie with addiction drama. It is a compelling yet simple indie production that is high on realism and sentimental values. Janis: Little Girl Blue a long awaited candid and honest portrayal of a great rock legend. It is an absorbing rockumentary that invites you into the myth of Janis Joplin. Andrew Dominick’s One More Time With Feeling is an eloquently simplistic rockumentary shot in 3D and black and white. It is a distinctive and beguiling angle into rock legend Nick Cave’s recording of his new album whilst grieving the loss of his son.

The final highlight is Mustang, a rustic, light-hearted, poignant tale of a group of young sisters fighting against their repressive upbringing in rural Turkey. Deniz Gamze Erguven, a feminist in her own right, playfully touches on the deeper issues of female restrictions in her culture whilst reflecting on the current socio-political climate.

world film poll 2016

Mustang

 

ANTONY I. GINNANE

PRODUCER AT FG FILMS.

Top 10 (Eligibility: 2016 theatrical, festival or premiere DVD or VOD first release in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand) listed alphabetically by title:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
Verhoeven blends Hitchcock and Chabrol with the transgressive nihilism of Breillat in a text that defies expectations. Isabelle Huppert is extraordinary as the exterminating angel of the title.

The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
Chock full of the usual film quotes; resplendent in 65mm film, this ultimately, intimate suspense thriller reminds us of Rope (Hitchcock, 1948) in a period western setting.

Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
Stylish period thriller with a satisfying trick ending featuring edgy performances in a gothic love story that again displays Chan-wook’s fevered visuals of sex and violence.

Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016)
Eastwood continues to explore the meaning of heroism in contemporary cinema with his classical simplicity and a perfect modern take on Jimmy Stewart via Tom Hanks.

La La Land (Dominic Chazelle, 2016)
Heartbreaking love story set in contemporary LA. A musical filled with the mix of happiness and tragedy that Jacques Demy presented in Les parapluies du cherborg (1964) and Les demoiselles de Rochefort (1967). Damien Chazelle has the perfect star couple in Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)
For every decade the thriller genre needs a stylist and following on from A Single Man (2009) Ford here presents a nightmarish tale of noirish revenge via a novel written by the ex-husband of a local gallery owner. Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon shine.

Silence (Martin Scorsese, 2016)
The last of his trilogy of interrogation of faith and belief, Scorsese largely avoids discussion of religious imperialism by focusing on the balance between conviction and fanaticism.

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
A cerebral yet fast moving piece of sci-fi that considers an extra-terrestrial appearance through a different prism, Villeneuve manages to balance tensions, empathy and the military imperative.

The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2016)
Winding Refn moves further into hyper crazy with this surreal take on LA and the model industry against a modern vampire background. Super slick and super visceral.

Hitchcock/Truffaut (Kent Jones, 2015)
A fascinating adjunct to Truffaut’s 1966 book on Hitchcock, this feature documentary is both scholarly and charmingly anecdotal.

Other titles that have excited or inspired me during the year include:

  1. Joy (David O Russell, 2015)
  2. Chi-Raq (Spike Lee, 2015)
  3. Saul fia (Son of Saul, Laszlo Nemes, 2015)
  4. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)
  5. Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols, 2016)
  6. Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar, 2016)
  7. I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, 2016)
  8. The Nice Guys (Shane Black, 2016)
  9. Goldstone (Ivan Sen, 2016)
  10. The Purge: Election Year (James DeMonaco, 2016)
  11. Snowden (Oliver Stone, 2016)
  12. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Tim Burton, 2016)
  13. A Monster Calls (J.A. Bayona, 2016)
  14. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  15. Room (Lenny Abrahamson, 2015)
  16. Turist (Force Majeure, Ruben Östlund, 2014)
  17. Meru (Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarheyl, 2015)
  18. Jane Got a Gun (Gavin O’Connor, 2015)
  19. Triple 9 (John Hillcoat, 2016)
  20. The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015)
  21. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder, 2016)
  22. Hardcore Henry (Ilya Nashuller, 2015)
  23. Money Monster (Jodie Forster, 2016)
  24. X-Men: Apocalypse (Bryan Singer, 2016)
  25. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)
  26. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2016)
  27. Café Society (Woody Allen, 2016)
  28. Pawno (Paul Ireland, 2015)
  29. Weiner (Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, 2016)
  30. Lights Out (David F. Sandberg, 2016)
  31. The Love Witch (Anna Biller, 2016)
  32. Bad Girl (Fin Edquist, 2016)
  33. Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016)
  34. Don’t Breath (Fede Alvarez, 2016)
  35. Morgan (Luke Scott, 2016)
  36. Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
  37. Queen of Katwe (Mira Nair, 2016)
  38. The Magnificent Seven (Antoine Fuqua, 2016)
  39. Amanda Knox (Rod Blackhurst & Brian McGinn, 2016)
  40. Denial (Mich Johnson, 2016)
  41. The Accountant (Gavin O’Connor, 2016)
  42. Miss Sloan (John Madden, 2016)
  43. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
  44. The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker, 2016)
  45. Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)

 

LEO GOLDSMITH

CO-EDITOR OF THE FILM SECTION OF THE BROOKLYN RAIL, A PHD CANDIDATE IN THE DEPARTMENT OF CINEMA STUDIES AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, AND THE CO-AUTHOR OF A FORTHCOMING BOOK ON PETER WATKINS.

El auge del humano (The Human Surge, Eduardo Williams, 2016)
Cilaos (Camilo Restrepo, 2016)
Dao Khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2016)
Havarie (Philip Scheffner, 2016)
Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro, 2016)
The Illinois Parables (Deborah Stratman, 2016)
INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./] (Adam Khalil & Zack Khalil, 2016)
Luna e Santur (Joshua Gen Solondz, 2016)
Oleg y las raras artes (Oleg and the Rare Arts, Andres Duque, 2016)
O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (Brett Story, 2016)
Rat Film (Theo Anthony, 2016)
Resident Evil (Sondra Perry, 2016)
Sarah Winchester, opéra fantôme (Sarah Winchester, Phantom Opera, Bertrand Bonello, 2016)
The Thoughts That Once We Had (Thom Andersen, 2016)
Der traumhafte Weg (Angela Schanelec, 2016)
The Was (soda_jerk, 2016)
What Means Something (Ben Rivers, 2016)
Where the Chocolate Mountains (Pat O’Neill, 2016)
You yi nian (Another Year, Shengze Zhu, 2016)

And a few retrospectives …

  • The new Peter Hutton preservations at Anthology Film Archives
  • “For an Impossible Cinema: Documentary and Avant-garde in Cuba (1959-1972)” (curated by Michael Chanan; Doclisboa)
  • “Beloved and Rejected: Cinema in the Young Federal Republic of Germany” (curated by Olaf Möller and Roberto Turigliatto; Festival del film Locarno)
world film poll 2016

Hermia and Helena

 

LUKE GOODSELL

FREELANCE WRITER AND EDITOR (ABC, SBS, EMPIRE) AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR AT 4:3 FILM.

25 favourites

  1. Cosmos (Andrzej Żuławski, 2015)
  2. Bring Me the Head of Tim Horton (Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson & Galen Johnson, 2015)
  3. In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
  4. Kimi no na wa. (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  5. Wiener-Dog (Todd Solondz, 2016)
  6. Personal Shopper (Oliver Assayas, 2016)
  7. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  8. Hail, Caesar! (Ethan & Joel Coen, 2016)
  9. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater, 2016)
  10. What Happened to Her (Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, 2016)
  11. Beyoncé: Lemonade (Kahlil Joseph & Beyoncé Knowles, 2016)
  12. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  13. Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015)
  14. Shin Gojira (Shin Godzilla, Hideaki Anno & Shinji Higuchi, 2016)
  15. Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)
  16. The Shallows (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2016)
  17. Já, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga, Tomás Weinreb & Petr Kazda, 2016)
  18. Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016)
  19. Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016)
  20. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  21. Kate Plays Christine (Robert Greene, 2016)
  22. American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)
  23. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)
  24. Dirty Grandpa (Dan Mazer, 2016)
  25. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)

IAN GOULDSTONE

ARTIST & FILMMAKER

La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
Jessica
 (Amy Lockhart, 2014)
m.A.A.d (Kahlil Joseph, 2014)
The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
THANX 4 NOTHING (Ugo Rondinone, 2015)
Soft Crash (Alan Warburton, 2016)

 

PAUL DOUGLAS GRANT

PROFESSOR OF GRADUATE CINEMA STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF SAN CARLOS, CEBU, PHILIPPINES.

Top 10 in no particular order.

Lily (Keith Deligero, 2016)
Superpsychocebu (Christian Linaban, 2016)
Hele sa hiwagang hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, Lav Diaz, 2016)
Diamond Island (Davy Chou ,2016)
Mya ga naing (Tin Maung, 1934) (Restored)
Yatanabon (Tin Maung, 1953) (Restored)
Road to Mandalay (Midi Z, 2016)

Měi rén yú (The Mermaid Stephen Chow, 2016)
HyperNormalisation (Adam Curtis, 2016)
Nerve (Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost, 2016)

world film poll 2016

Kate Plays Christine

 

CARMEN GRAY

NEW ZEALAND-BORN FILM CRITIC, JOURNALIST AND PROGRAMMER FOR BERLIN CRITICS’ WEEK BASED IN BERLIN.

New Features

Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)
From the master – a masterpiece of existential absurdity, in deadpan choreography.

Kate Plays Christine (Robert Greene, 2016)
Astute revelations about the pressured, prismatic nature of identity, the toxic mythologising impulse inseparable from fame, and our collective voyeurism.

The Love Witch (Anna Biller, 2016)
Arch, irreverent, saucy and subversive: the cleverest twist on vintage genre, in exuberant kitsch splendour.

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
What we’ve long needed, even if we didn’t know it: a wickedly bizarre, existential German tragicomedy that nails the dispiriting awkwardness of workplace sexism.

Die Geträumten (The Dreamed Ones, Ruth Beckermann, 2016)
The psychological violence scarring post-war Europe tinges the romance and longing of this haunting and haunted multi-layered experiment.

Dubina dva (Depth Two, Ognjen Glavonic, 2016)
Erasing bodies erases crimes. That contagious mindset of secrecy is countered with this dark, brave and significant bearing of witness to national atrocity.

La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV, Albert Serra, 2016)
Nobody brings such renegade flair and deadpan wit to costume histrionics as Serra. So tangibly realised you can almost smell the gangrene, cosmetic paint and absolute power.

One More Time With Feeling (Andrew Dominik, 2016)
Cathartic, profound, truthful: one of the most accurate portrayals of the grief, unreality and primal superstition of grappling with untimely death.

O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)
A wilderness fever dream of beautiful lunacy that’s hallucinatory and poetic, mixing spiritual talismans with pop-culture irreverence and playful abandon.

Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison, 2016)
The mining of footage preserved by rare chance conjures a gorgeous, hypnotic vision of lost time and the entrepreneurial roots of today’s America.

Shorts
Symbolic Threats (Lutz Henke & Mischa Leinkauf, 2015)
Więzi (Close Ties, Zofia Kowalewska, 2016)
Girls & Boys (Ninja Thyberg, 2015)

Retrospective Screenings and Revivals
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991)
The Fair (Kirmes, Wolfgang Staudte,1960)

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