The deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds earlier this week makes this bittersweet- but suddenly having Debbie Reynolds call into the New York Film Festival was just one of the coolest things that happened all year.
Brent Green and Same Green's LIVE CINEMA was probably the coolest cinema event of the year. It transcended being a film screening or a theatrical event to be a one of a kind moment in time. What happened touched your head and heart and was a one night only happening despite being repeated, with variation each night of the run. In an age where film viewing is becoming a more and more insular event the Greens have returned it to a communal experience where our dreams become something we all share.
Patrick Meaney sending me two new films this year was really cool. His agreeing to let me ask him a lot of questions about both of them was even cooler. This was the sort of thing that as a film fan one dreams of happening but never expects it to. Best of all his film kicked serious ass.
NECK AND NECK - Shaun Clark's short is as perfect a version of Shakespeare as I have ever seen. In minutes he explains Othello so perfectly as to make you understand the play better than if you've seen the whole play. This is why he is one of my favorite filmmakers.
RED TURTLE- This fable of life had me sobbing audibly for the final third. I have no words only wet tissues.
CINEMA TRAVELERS - glorious celebration of film and the dying way of life of traveling movie shows. This film should have opened the New York Film Festival instead of being shunted to a sidebar.
DAWSON CITY Bill Morrison's look at a town at the end of the road where movies went to die is a glorious celebration of life, of film and everything. This unique vision of our dreams is the why Morrison is one of the greatest filmmakers working today.
LAST DAYS OF CONEY ISLAND- Ralph Bakshi's short masterpiece is sheer genius. It is the master working free of constraints and at the peak of creative powers
The main character in the short HUM is one of the greatest robots ever
the title character in MR SIX is just cool as all hell
SEOUL STATION/TRAIN TO BUSAN- the rebirth of the zombie film via one Korean director.
THE WAILING- Even if the film has one huge logic flaw this film just fucks you up so damn bad that I still can't shake it.
NEIL GAIMAN DREAM DANGEROUSLY- Patrick Meaney's documentary masterpiece is one of the greatest cinematic biographies I've ever seen. Everything he has ever done has lead to this and its amazing. (And my best friend is in it)
HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE- Charming, life affirming and why the hell hasn't everyone seen this marvelous film?
BASKIN- Turkish nightmare is one of the scariest films ever. Even if the last ten seconds are WTF this film is just wrong in all the right ways
THE LITTLE PRINCE- Mark Osborne has expanded the tale and made it something marvelous.
DIXIE- The history of the song, of racism and the struggle to end it and reclaim the tune. So good on so many levels.
INTO THE INFERNO- Werner Herzog and Volcanos. That's all you need to know.
UNCLE HOWARD- portrait of a filmmaker who died too young.
the technical virtuosity of H.O.M.E blew me away. I can't remember the plot only every shot, sound and transition.
EMBERS has haunted me for almost a year. A film about not being able to remember is one of the films I simply will never forget
PSYCHONAUTS- bleak animated film is more real than any live action film or documentary I've seen this year. What does it say when I feel a kindred spirit for a suicidal drug addled bird heading for oblivion?
INERASABLE for most of the film its all stories in this quest to find the source of a haunting. I literally couldn't sleep after I saw it.
RAGE OF THE DEMON- what if George Melies was making demonic films? Wonderful spoof documentary will chill you.
LEGEND OF TARZAN- possibly the greatest Tarzan film is everything I ever wanted and much I never knew I wanted. This is the Tarzan of my heart and soul and I love it.
OJ MADE IN AMERICA- amazing look at crime, race, America and OJ. So much to think about....
CURMUDGEONS- Danny DeVito's short is just amazing. Its lovely and heart warming and the best damn thing he's ever done.
KILLER & THE UNDERCOVER- Fantastic short about a cab driver and a cop and the things that happen one night. Possibly the best film at NYAFF which is saying a great deal,
EMBRACE THE SERPENT- Mind blowing tale of two trips down the river and what happens. I was not expecting where this went. This is what cinema is all about.
PERSONAL SHOPPER is an imperfect portrait of a young woman-it is very much a character study and a drama which has some of the scariest ghost films you'll ever see. As many have said why is it that the best horror films of the year isn't a horror film?
SILENCE (2016) Faithful adaption (more or less) of the classic novel is a moving film. While imperfect in a couple of places the film must be on the best of the year list since it is causing reactions to every audience from groans of pain, sobbing and even walk outs. I've heard it called a masterpiece and a piece of shit. Any film that causes everyone to react differently is a masterwork because it does what any great piece of art should do-forces the audience to engage with it for better or worse.
|My favorite film poster of the year|