As always, a “2016 movie” is defined as a movie released in 2016 (or the last couple years) which I had a reasonable opportunity to see (played theaters within an hour’s drive of here, or came out on blu-ray) for the first time in 2016. So, Carol is a 2016 movie, and I guess Elle and Jackie will be 2017 movies.

The ranking of some of these is shaky. I’m not sure exactly how much I like The Handmaiden or Cosmos or Hateful Eight or Everybody Wants Some!! or a couple others until I watch them again. I was going to make a separate “great but unranked” list but I’ll just wing it because who cares.

1. The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin)
2. Carol (Todd Haynes)
3. Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight)
4. The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer)
5. Experimenter (Michael Almereyda)
6. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
7. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
8. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
9. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie)
10. Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles)

11. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos)
12. Cosmos (Andrzej Zulawski)
13. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
14. Show Me a Hero (Paul Haggis)
15. Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman)
16. The Handmaiden (Chan-wook Park)
17. The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu)
18. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)
19. Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino)
20. One More Time With Feeling (Andrew Dominik)

21. Hail, Caesar! (Joel Coen)
22. Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti)
23. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
24. A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)
25. HyperNormalisation (Adam Curtis)
26. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman)
27. Office (Johnnie To)
28. Swiss Army Man (Daniels)
29. Sing Street (John Carney)
30. Chi-Raq (Spike Lee)

Runners-up:
The Edge of Seventeen (Kelly Fremon Craig)
The Invitation (2015, Karyn Kusama)
The Meddler (Lorene Scafaria)
Where to Invade Next (2015, Michael Moore)
Francofonia (2015, Aleksandr Sokurov)

Last year I focused on movies that were five years old and made a 2010 Redux list. I tried that again this year, watched a bunch of 2011 movies that I hadn’t seen, but really was trying to catch up on recent movies in general. So instead of a 2011 Redux, here are the best things I saw from the last five years.

1. Ernest & Celestine (2012, Stéphane Aubier)
2. Song of the Sea (2014, Tomm Moore)
3. When Marnie Was There (2014, Hiromasa Yonebayashi)
It was a good year for animation at our house.

4. Night Moves (2013, Kelly Reichardt)
5. La Sapienza (2014, Eugène Green)

6. Call Me Lucky (2015, Bobcat Goldthwait)
7. Vivan las Antipodas (2011, Victor Kossakovsky)
8. Goodbye First Love (2011, Mia Hansen-Løve)
9. Killing Them Softly (2012, Andrew Dominik)
10. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (2011, Johnnie To)

11. Sicario (2015, Denis Villeneuve)
12. The Mill and the Cross (2011, Lech Majewski)
13. Life of Riley (2014, Alain Resnais)
14. The Arbor (2010, Clio Barnard)
15. The Imposter (2012, Bart Layton)

16. Norte, the End of History (2013, Lav Diaz)
17. Tom at the Farm (2013, Xavier Dolan)
18. The Color of Noise (2015, Eric Robel)
19. Bridge of Spies (2015, Steven Spielberg)
20. The Deep Blue Sea (2011, Terence Davies)

21. The Day He Arrives (2011, Hong Sang-soo)
22. Life Without Principle (2011, Johnnie To)
23. Monsieur Lazhar (2011, Philippe Falardeau)
24. The Woman (2011, Lucky McKee)
25. The Big Short (2015, Adam McKay)

Older than 2011, that is.

1. Shoah (1985, Claude Lanzmann)
2. Shirin (2008, Abbas Kiarostami)
3. The Band’s Visit (2007, Eran Kolirin)
4. An Affair to Remember (1957, Leo McCarey)
5. Gilda (1946, Charles Vidor)

6. Le Grand Amour (1968, Pierre Etaix)
7. La Ciénaga (2001, Lucrecia Martel)
8. Summer Wars (2009, Mamoru Hosoda)
9. Lovers of the Arctic Circle (1998, Julio Medem)
10. Pit and the Pendulum (1961, Roger Corman)

11. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010, Banksy)
12. Targets (1968, Peter Bogdanovich)
13. Secret Sunshine (2007, Lee Chang-dong)
14. Rosetta (1999, Luc & Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
15. Innocence (2004, Lucile Hadzihalilovic)

16. Bend of the River (1952, Anthony Mann)
17. Ponyo (2008, Hayao Miyazaki)
18. Hyènes (1992, Djibril Diop Mambety)
19. Black Christmas (1974, Bob Clark)
20. Whispering Pages (1993, Aleksandr Sokurov)

Most of these I first watched 20+ years ago on videotape. Some I didn’t remember at all, a few I remember quite well, and a few I’ve never seen before. Half I watched at home on shiny new blu-rays, the rest at The Ross or the Alamo. Ranked based on presentation and rediscovery (I don’t actually like Varieté and Mad Max 2 better than Colonel Blimp). It makes sense to me. I don’t have to explain myself to you people.

1. Variety (1925, E.A. Dupont)
With live music by Alloy Orchestra at The Ross

2. Possession (1981, Andrzej Zulawski)
3. The Devils (1971, Ken Russell)
4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978, Philip Kaufman)
Three of my favorite horrors, beautifully presented at the Alamo

5. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981, George Miller)
6. Ali (2001, Michael Mann)
7. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964, Jacques Demy)
8. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967, Jacques Demy)
9. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992, David Lynch)
10. News From Home (1977, Chantal Akerman)

11. Only Yesterday (1991, Isao Takahata)
12. Wendy & Lucy and Old Joy (2008, Kelly Reichardt)
13. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, Hayao Miyazaki)
14. Phantasm (1979, Don Coscarelli)
15. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943, Powell & Pressburger)

I watched 200+ shorts this year, so this took some figuring out.

1. The Exquisite Corpus (2015, Peter Tscherkassky)

2. Masterworks of Avant-Garde Film

This blu-ray from Flicker Alley needs its own section, or else its individual films would’ve dominated the shorts list. Some revelatory works, beautifully restored. Links to the writeups, and my favorite creators from each:
Part one – Robert Florey, Ralph Steiner, Jay Leyda, Fischinger, Watson & Webber
Part two – Maya Deren, Rudy Burckhardt, Bute & Nemeth
Part three – Jim Davis, Hilary Harris, Bruce Baillie, Francis Thompson
Part four – Larry Jordan, Bruce Posner, Brakhage & Solomon

3. Lumière!

I’ve only watched part of the disc so far, so look for the second half to turn up on next year’s list.
Chapters 1 & 2
Chapters 3 & 4

4. Der Apfel (1969, Kurt Weiler)
5. Father and Daughter (2000, Michael Dudok de Wit)

6. Animations by Rein Raamat

Lend (1973)
a bunch more

7. Piper (2016, Pixar/Alan Barillaro)
8. Black Soul (2000, Martine Chartrand)
9. The Danish Poet (2006, Torill Kove)
10. Jammin’ the Blues (1944, Gjon Mili)

11. Four by Vuk Jevremovic

12. Uncle Yanco (1967, Agnès Varda)

13. By Brakhage, Volume 2
Program 2 (1967-1976)
Program 3 (1972-1982)

14. Spies (1943, Chuck Jones)

15. Carmen and Papageno (1933/35, Lotte Reiniger)

16. False Aging (2008, Lewis Klahr)
17. Lorenzo (2004, Disney/Mike Gabriel)
18. Harvie Krumpet (2003, Adam Elliot)
19. Blinkity Blank (1955, Norman McLaren)
20. We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (2014, Konstantin Bronzit)

Not every 2016 must-see, but a few notable ones.

I don’t understand theatrical distribution, never know what’s gonna play in town. Some movies I definitely missed or they came out on video without playing theaters here. Some have either been announced to play here in Jan/Feb or IMDB lists a U.S. release in 2017. And some exist in that Queen of the Desert limbo where nobody’s currently talking about it and you can’t tell if it’s opening next weekend or in six months or never. Anyway the distinction is important when deciding what’s safe to watch on video.

Movies I (Probably) Missed:

April and the Extraordinary World
Hello, My Name Is Doris
Manchester By The Sea
Kate Plays Christine
Creative Control
Under the Shadow
American Honey
Lo and Behold
Cameraperson
Indignation
Happy Hour
Creepy
Fences
Loving
Krisha
Demon
13th

Movies (Probably) Still to Come:

I Am Not Your Negro
The Lost City of Z
Personal Shopper
The Red Turtle
Things to Come
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann
Fire At Sea
Evolution
Paterson
Julieta
Silence
Jackie
Elle

Movies In Limbo:

The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki
Yourself and Yours
The Ornithologist
The Dreamed Path
Hermia & Helena
A Quiet Passion
Endless Poetry
Voyage of Time
Son of Joseph
Daguerrotype
Kékszakállú
Aquarius
Christine
Nocturama
Neruda
Tower

I’ve done this before many times, and there’s no point, but I can’t help myself. The only thing I like more than movie lists are lists of movie lists, and the BBC’s got a new one. I must turn it into a viewing list for myself, even though it’s Criterion Month now, and SHOCKtober is coming up, and when that’s over I will have forgotten all about this until I stumble upon it two years from now and get annoyed that I still haven’t watched any of these. Movies like Innocence keep showing on these lists – it’s also here and here – but if I ever make a list comparing the frequency of titles on my various lists, someone will need to take this blog away from me. Anyway.


Movies from the Top 100 that I’ve never seen, or never written about so should probably watch again, in increasing order of greatness

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)


Must-see titles from the individual lists

Sam Adams in Slate:

As always, the real action is in the individual ballots, all 177 of them. That’s where you’ll find the outliers, the beloved orphans and oddball singularities … Polls tell us what everyone likes, but sometimes it’s more interesting to focus on the movies that just one person truly loves.

Simon Abrams
The White Meadows (Mohammad Rasoulof, 2009)
Night Across the Street (Raoul Ruiz, 2012)
Sparrow (Johnnie To, 2008)
Fados (Carlos Saura, 2007)

Thelma Adams
Snow White (Pablo Berger, 2012)
Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008)
Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)

Matthew Anderson
The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke, 2001)
Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)
Red Road (Andrea Arnold, 2006)
Tony Manero (Pablo Larraín, 2008)

Adriano Aprà
These Encounters of Theirs (Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, 2006)
Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009)
The Profession of Arms (Ermanno Olmi, 2001)
Gostanza da Libbiano (Paolo Benvenuti, 2000)

Michael Arbeiter
The Comedy (Rick Alverson, 2012)
The Congress (Ari Folman, 2013)

Cameron Bailey
Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014)
Selma (Ava DuVernay, 2014)

Lindsay Baker
I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino, 2009)

Diego Batlle
The Son’s Room (Nanni Moretti, 2001)
Extraordinary Stories (Mariano Llinás, 2008)

Mahen Bonetti
Cuba: An African Odyssey (Jihan El-Tahri, 2007)
Sexe, gombo et beurre salé (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, 2008)
Shoot the Messenger (Ngozi Onwurah, 2006)
The Colonial Misunderstanding (Jean-Marie Téno, 2004)

Richard Brody
Butter on the Latch (Josephine Decker, 2013)
Heaven Knows What (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2014)
The Future (Miranda July, 2011)

Enrico Chiesa
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Tommy Lee Jones, 2005)

Robbie Collin
You, The Living (Roy Andersson, 2007)

Colin Covert
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)

Mike D’Angelo (via letterboxd)
Afterschool (Antonio Campos, 2008)

Ken Dancyger
Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)

Fernand Denis
Eldorado (Bouli Lanners, 2008)

Lindiwe Dovey
Hooligan Sparrow (Nanfu Wang, 2016)

Alonso Duralde
Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011)

Bilge Ebiri
An Injury to One (Travis Wilkerson, 2002)
Love & Basketball (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2000)

David Ehrlich
Girl Walk: All Day (Jacob Krupnick, 2011)

Kate Erbland
Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014)

Joseph Fahim
Divine Intervention (Elia Suleiman, 2002)

David Fear
Head-On (Fatih Akin, 2004)

Kenji Fujishima
In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
Love Exposure (Sion Sono, 2008)

Owen Gleiberman
Chuck & Buck (Miguel Arteta, 2000)
Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005)
Lilya 4-Ever (Lukas Moodysson, 2002)

Ed Gonzalez
Femme Fatale (Brian De Palma, 2002)
Two Lovers (James Gray, 2008)

Jean-Philippe Guerand
Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, 2003)
Import Export (Ulrich Seidl, 2007)

Tom Gunning
Daylight Moon (Lewis Klahr, 2002)
The Fourth Watch (Janie Geiser, 2000)
Our Daily Bread (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2005)

Angie Han
Me and You and Everyone We Know (Miranda July, 2005)

Aisha Harris
When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts (Spike Lee, 2006)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013)
Brick (Rian Johnson, 2005)

Tina Hassannia
Closed Curtain (Jafar Panahi, 2013)
Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)

Shiguehiko Hasumi
Triple Agent (Éric Rohmer, 2004)
Seventh Code (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2013)

Katarina Hedrén
Dreams of a Life (Carol Morley, 2011)
Tey (Alain Gomis, 2012)
Eat, Sleep, Die (Gabriela Pichler, 2012)
Middle of Nowhere (Ava DuVernay, 2012)

Alexander Horwath
Wolff Von Amerongen: Did He Commit Bankruptcy Offences? (Gerhard Benedikt Friedl, 2004)
Longing (Valeska Grisebach, 2006)
The External World (David O’Reilly, 2010)
Secret Sunshine (Lee Chang-dong, 2007)
The Holy Girl (Lucrecia Martel, 2004)

David Jenkins
Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014)
Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)

Kent Jones
My Golden Days (Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
The Son (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, 2002)

Butheina Kazim
Theeb (Naji Abou Nowar, 2014)
A Time for Drunken Horses (Bahman Ghobadi, 2000)

Andreas Kilb
Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard, 2012)
5×2 (François Ozon, 2004)

Uri Klein
The Last of the Unjust (Claude Lanzmann, 2013)
Police, Adjective (Corneliu Porumboiu, 2009)

Eric Kohn
Enter the Void (Gaspar Noé, 2009)

Dan Kois
You Can Count On Me (Kenneth Lonergan, 2000)
Morvern Callar (Lynne Ramsay, 2012)
Animal Kingdom (David Michôd, 2010)

Tomris Laffly
Father of My Children (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2009)

Rebecca Laurence
The Consequences of Love (Paolo Sorrentino, 2004)

Maggie Lee
Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2003)
Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon, 2001)

Fiona Macdonald
The Taste of Others (Agnès Jaoui, 2000)

Hans-Christian Mahnke
Days of Glory (Rachid Bouchareb, 2006)
Waltz with Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008)

Calum Marsh
Millennium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2001)
Woman on the Beach (Hong Sang-soo, 2006)

Lee Marshall
Silent Souls (Aleksey Fedorchenko, 2010)

Adrian Martin
Un lac (Philippe Grandrieux, 2008)
Detention (Joseph Kahn, 2011)
Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti, 2015)

Joe McElhaney
No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
The Blues: Warming by the Devil’s Fire (Charles Burnett, 2003)

Farran Smith Nehme
About Elly (Asghar Farhadi, 2009)

Michael Phillips
Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

Hannah Pilarczyk
Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012)

Agnès C Poirier
Oasis (Lee Chang-dong, 2002)
The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000)

Claudia Puig
Sin Nombre (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2009)
Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013)

Alberto Ramos Ruiz
The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers (Ben Rivers, 2015)
From What Is Before (Lav Diaz, 2014)
Lost and Beautiful (Pietro Marcello, 2015)

Isabelle Regnier
The Captive (Chantal Akerman, 2000)
Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (Wang Bing, 2002)
Shara (Naomi Kawase, 2003)
Twixt (Francis Ford Coppola, 2011)
To Die Like a Man (João Pedro Rodrigues, 2009)

Scott Renshaw
Sita Sings the Blues (Nina Paley, 2008)

Vadim Rizov (via twitter)
In the City of Sylvia (José Luis Guerín, 2007)
Happy Hour (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
Could See a Puma (Eduardo Williams, 2011)

Antonio Mazón Robau
The Beat That My Heart Skipped (Jacques Audiard, 2005)
Good Bye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003)
Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)

Tim Robey
Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2011)

Jonathan Romney
The Arbor (Clio Barnard, 2010)

Rasha Salti
The Time That Remains (Elia Suleiman, 2009)

Matt Zoller Seitz
Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amselem (Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz, 2014)
The Look of Silence (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2014)
Godzilla (Gareth Edwards, 2014)

Avner Shavit
No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)

Matt Singer
Step Brothers (Adam McKay, 2008)

Justine A Smith
Bright Star (Jane Campion, 2009)
Mr. Turner (Mike Leigh, 2014)

Fernanda Solórzano
Still Walking (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2008)

David Stratton
Distant (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2002)
Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton, 2009)
The Man Without A Past (Aki Kaurismäki, 2002)

Cédric Succivalli
Secret Things (Jean-Claude Brisseau, 2002)
La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001)

Ella Taylor
Burning Bush (Agnieszka Holland, 2013)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)

Jake Wilson
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Tsai Ming-liang, 2006)

Raymond Zhou
The Sun Also Rises (Jiang Wen, 2007)
Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, 2007)

My own top fifteen, at the moment, unranked:

2046
25th Hour
Boyhood
The Forbidden Room
Holy Motors
Hot Fuzz
Inglorious Basterds
Le Havre
Mulholland Dr.
The New World
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Trap
The Turin Horse
Up
World of Tomorrow

Happy New Movie Year! Here is a look back at the movie year that was.

The Lists

Favorite New Movies, 2015
Favorite Older Movies watched in 2015
Series and Retrospectives, 2015
Favorite Shorts of 2015
2015 Movies To Watch
2010 Favorites Redux
Previous year lists


Television

Strong showing from television this year. Favorites:

1. Parks & Recreation seasons 5-7
2. Rick & Morty season 1
3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 1
4. Inside Amy Schumer seasons 1-2
5. Over The Garden Wall
6. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
7. True Detective season 1
8. Girls seasons 2-3

TV series abandoned in 2015: Sense8 (watched three episodes), Always Sunny (one episode), M*A*S*H* (most of season one, I think), and Transparent (half of season one).


SHOCKtober

It’s not fair to expect the horror movies to compete with the others.
Here are eight really good ones.

The ABCs of Death 2 (2014)
Crimson Peak (2015, Guillermo Del Toro)
Hour of the Wolf (Vargtimmen) (1968, Ingmar Bergman)
The Hunger (1983, Tony Scott)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, Don Siegel)
Let Us Prey (2014, Brian O’Malley)
The Nightmare (2015, Rodney Ascher)
Proxy (2013, Zack Parker)


The Year In Bad Movies

I didn’t much enjoy watching Godard’s Film Socialism, but I enjoyed trying to figure it out afterwards, reading articles about it, writing it up. I feel like there’s value in watching Godard movies, that Film Socialism gave me more of a sense of his late work, tying together threads from Eloge de l’amour and Histoire(s) du Cinema, and that his movies contain unique ideas. Here instead are some movies I watched this year (each out of obligation to a favorite filmmaker or critic) that I wish I hadn’t, containing nothing of interest.

MacGruber (2010, Jorma Taccone)
Maps to the Stars (2014, David Cronenberg)
Story of My Death (2013, Albert Serra)
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011, David Fincher)
Willow Creek (2013, Bobcat Goldthwait)
Burying the Ex (2014, Joe Dante)

and I’m still mad at The Martian, but won’t go as far as calling it a bad movie.


Favorite Rediscovery
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972, Luis Buñuel)

Also watched/enjoyed for the first time in years (in no order):

Nightbreed (1990, Clive Barker)
Alien (1979, Ridley Scott)
Our Hospitality (1923, Buster Keaton)
Jackie Brown (1997, Quentin Tarantino)
A Bug’s Life (1998, John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton)
Monsoon Wedding (2001, Mira Nair)


Viewing Projects & Lists

I made a bunch more must-see lists and made serious progress on none of them. But hey, I finished my Chris Marker project after a decade, which seems pretty tremendous. As ever, I’ve got big plans for exciting stuff to watch in 2016, which I’m not mentioning here because I’ll inevitably change those plans, make a ton of new plans, then feel foolish when I go back and read this.

“It’s more pleasant to work in such a way that things multiply instead of dividing.”
– Jacques Rivette

No particular progress on this blog itself, other than to keep it going (for nearly ten years now!). Sometimes I mean to work on improving my writing, but I have little motivation for doing so. Inspiration from hero blogger and accomplished filmmaker and horror writer David Cairns: “I think it’s all creative work, or I try to make it so. When I write about a movie, it’s never ‘How can I express my opinion?’ it’s ‘What fun can I have with this?'”

1. World of Tomorrow (Don Hertzfeldt)
2. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako)
3. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas)
4. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell)
5. Jauja (Lisandro Alonso)
6. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller)
7. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-Liang)
8. Inside Out (Pete Docter)
9. The Double (Richard Ayoade)
10. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson)

I don’t have strong feelings about the ranking order of the next ten:

11. Shaun the Sheep (Mark Burton & Richard Starzak)
12. Room (Lenny Abrahamson)
13. Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland)
14. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)
15. They Came Together (David Wain)
16. Mistress America (Noah Baumbach)
17. Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
18. 20,000 Days on Earth (Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard)
19. You and the Night (Yann Gonzalez)
20. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Julie Taymor)

Honorable mentions, alphabetically:

Bitter Lake (Adam Curtis)
Blackhat (Michael Mann)
Brooklyn (John Crowley)
Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman)
Girlhood (Céline Sciamma)
Junun (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
Tehran Taxi (Jafar Panahi)
Trainwreck (Judd Apatow)

Bill Plympton’s Cheatin’ was a favorite, but got moved to another list.

This is from a pool of about seventy titles, most of which I liked since I research movies before seeing ’em. I think the cutoff, determining which (and how many) movies I list here, is “would I watch this again right now?” So what I’m saying is that I’d strongly recommend any/all of these, including the honorable mentions list.