Sunday, November 22, 2015

Nightcap 11/22/15 The best of DOC NYC 2015, The Kool Aid List or great directors you never heard of and Randi's links

With DOC NYC done and after seeing 132 of 157 films I thought I’d put together a ten best list- and keep it at ten films. Having seen as many films as I did that was a damn tough thing to do.

What I resorted to doing was removing all of the "short list" films of possible Oscar contenders. I then went through a list of all of the films and the ones I didn’t hesitate for a second went on the list. This resulted in NEW HIGH, WILHEMINA’S WAR, BOLSHI BABYLON, BOUNCE, FRACKMAN not making the list because of a momentary hesitation. Since I didn’t see SPEED SISTERS that’s not included despite everyone telling me how good it is. I also removed MAN UNDER which is one of the best films I saw in 2015, but I already put on Tribeca’s best of list. I felt bad including it again.

 My best films list ended up being:
And most of the sonic Cinema- SYL JOHNSON: ANY WAY THE WIND BLOWS, HUSTLERS CONVENTION, MAD TIGER & THEORY OF OBSCURITY because they all are that good.

While there are a few films I didn’t like putting them on a worst of list is unfair since where DC NYC is concerned they are being unfairly compared to 157 other great films. Its like picking the worst Vermeer- you’ll like some more than others, but they are still all Vermeers

Earlier this month I reviewed Christian Svanes Kolding's END OF THE INTERNET and I mentioned that there were a couple of filmmakers whose work I love but whose names you’d never know and a couple of people asked me who these people were.

While I have a long list of filmmakers where I've only seen a single example of their work but who have impressed me none the less  (Jason Kartalian or the duo of Jordan Harris and Andrew Schrader for example) The group I’m talking about have taken the next step and made a couple of films that I think are as good if not better than their firsts. These are the guys I'm waiting to make the jump to super stardom. These are the guys whose work made my jaw drop and murmur under my breath that I was seeing the emergence of someone great-not just once but twice or three times or more. These guys make up the so called KOOL AID LIST because as far as their ability to turn out great films is concerned I'm all in and I've drunk the Kool Aid.

The list is unscientific and purely personal. While I have seen other directors who may have as much talent as these guys the guys on the Kool Aid List score in one key place- I can't shake their films. These are they guys who's work I keep thinking about. And these are they guys I want to name drop when I get involved in talking about the up and coming talent and the next big film directors. I love these guys and I love that there work has become part of my psyche.

The listing below is not in any order- they are all just great directors.

Christian Svanes Kolding as you know is a great filmmaker. I loved his THE EMERGENCY KIT and now his END OF THE INTERNET is even better. You can read my thoughts on EMERGENCY KIT in the review for END and you can put him on the list of people to watch

Jon Kasbe has made a whole bunch of films including MIPSO IN JAPAN and BEAUTIFUL WASTE (see them at his website) and I love every one of them.  Jon has an eye and a sense of place and beauty that is the sort of thing that in a few years is going to be the style everyone is copying. While the look of his films might be enough for some filmmakers its not for Jon who turns in compelling tales every time. (Here is the trailer for his next film and I can't wait)

Jerimiah Kipp is one of the greatest directors of horror films I’ve ever run across.He deserves to be in the pantheon of guys who will scare the crap out of you over and over again. He’s directed a bunch of films but simply on the basis of this two films THE DAYS GOD SLEPT and MINIONS (not the cartoon) he deserves to be making full length fright films because he knows how to disturb his audience deeply. This isn't to sell his other films short- they are damn scary films, but DAYS and MINIONS still haunt me and make me not even want to think about them.

Chun-Yi Hsieh is one of the greatest directors working anywhere in the world. He contacted me way back in 2011 and told me I needed to see his film THE BRAID and he was right it was one of the best films I saw that year, and it’s a film that has haunted me ever since. When he gave me the link to that film he accidently gave me links to a whole bunch of other films that he had made. It was clear back then that he had the right stuff. He’s now back in Taiwan making feature films and his APOLITICAL ROMANCE just kicked it to the curb as one of the great films of NYAFF 2014.

I debated including Alec Kubas Meyer in this group for two reasons. First he’s a friend which makes my recommendation suspect and secondly the films he’s made that put him on the list haven’t officially premiered yet. REEL, a Hollywood action film is finishing post-production and NOT TOO YOUNG has been submitted to several film festivals for next year. However based upon those films, plus his earlier film MIRANDA and his student films Alec is a filmmaker to watch. While I’ve talked at length about his ability to handle action in my piece on MIRANDA, it’s the handling of troubling difficult subject matters in NOT TOO YOUNG and two additional films he’s working on that forced him on to the list.

And so concludes my Kool Aid List. Take notes and watch for these guys to break out and do something wonderful real soon....

And now several weeks of links from Randi


If you still have Halloween Candy- How to trade up
Blair Witch the Greatest Horror film?
Potboiler quiz
Pictures from un released Australian films
A kick ass piece on NOSFERATU
Onion Studios Covers
Bring me the head of Winnie the Pooh
The Death of the Yeti
On the newly restored William Gillette SHERLOCK HOLMES
How TRICK R TREAT became a Halloween classic
The original Urban Cowboys
Death Avenue
25 years at a video store taught me
David Lynch talks ERASERHEAD
When Disney was trippy
Films de fin d'├ętudes 2015 – G
Most powerful photos
Serial's place in film history
Still haunted by the Yorkshire ripper
lost disney film found
Sea monster?
Creepy houses
record treasure of Mongolia
You can be too clean
Story Time gallery
The opening of the Lion King on Broadway in 360 degrees
This week look for a bunch of cinematic turkeys as Unseen presents it’s annual Thanksgiving series.
After that look for what has become the usual mix of films- old and new which should head straight on until our 6th birthday in February

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