Author Topic: Top Discoveries of 2016  (Read 1834 times)

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 08:54:39 AM »
4. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)



Huzzah!

When did you watch this?
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DarkeningHumour

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2017, 08:59:38 AM »
Everything else is lime green or worse. Things sure have changed for me, movie-wise.

Is that a function of your tastes changing or you having watched all the good stuff already ?
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Teproc

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2017, 09:06:26 AM »
Let's see... on July 9th. I didn't review it because I didn't feel I had anything particularly interesting to say, though I've since learned some don't care for Baxter's performance in it. I'd disagree : I knew nothing of the story going in (good thing I watched it before getting to Almodovar) and was continually wondering about her character's sincerity, which means she straddles the line very well. The film could have ended with Eve being revealed as exactly as naive and sweet as she pretended to be and I'd have bought it. She admittedly goes a little big at the end but I think it works. Bette Davis is all kinds of wonderful of course, and the film is very fun.

oldkid

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 09:30:35 AM »
1. Stormy Weather
This musical is often remembered as Lena Horne’s breakout performance, containing the song she is most remembered for.  In reality, it is the best variety show I’ve ever seen.  There is very little time spent on plot—less so than an early Fred and Ginger pic—instead focusing all eyes on the most inspiring, stunning, energetic performances I might have ever seen.  Dancing and singing that just gets better as the film continues.  Discovered in Musical group marathon.

2. The Hole
Tsai Ming-Laing, as I watch more of his films, is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors.  He isn’t concerned with keeping us from feeling bored.  Rather, his films tend to be meditative, focusing on giving us content and time to consider what we are seeing rather than giving us more to see.  This film about a couple of neighbors in an apartment building during a health crisis is a romance… or, well, it is about human relating.  But it communicates to us with odd metaphors and strange events. Discovered in Top 100 Club.

3. Fanny and Alexander (miniseries)
I watched the three hour Fanny and Alexander two times and I was done with it.  There were so many characters and they all fell flat to me, and the narrative barely held together.  This year Junior, whose opinion I trust, announced this film as his favorite of all time.  He also mentioned that he watched the 312 minute miniseries version.  I have never understood how a longer version of a film could be better than the official release, but I have had that experience before.   Sure enough, this Bergman film is a genius work of art, a fitting capstone to the legendary director’s career.  But only in the longer version.

4. Kes
Ken Loach is a director with a unique reputation, focusing on social issues.  This is his film with the highest reputation, and well it deserves it.  Years ago, I watched another film with a terribly high reputation, the 400 Blows. (Any film that is considered “essential” is just too high of a reputation—if we don’t like it then we wonder what is wrong with the majority of the film world.)  This film feels like an English remake of that with symbols I better understand and a protagonist I better relate to.

5.Titus
Shakespeare as an experimentally violent landscape.  The colors and actions strike the viewer as much as the characters.  A simple King Lear with Anthony Hopkins perpetually mourning at the butchery of his family.  But it is done with such brutal artistry! Discovered in 1999 Retrospots.

6. Rosetta
The Dardenne brothers are my favorite Christian filmmakers.  Here, they focus on one woman, desperate to escape the cycle of poverty.  But her mother, her employers, her friends, all seem intent on keeping her in a position of lowliness, which her pride cannot stand.  The central performance is busy, active, powerful, hypnotic.  Discovered in 1999 Retrospots.

7. They Live
John Carpenter’s disappointment with consumer society translates into a science fiction film where truth is disregarded for the sake of a small percentage of humans who surrender the earth to aliens.  Too close to reality to be comfortable, but Carpenter makes it an entertaining, joyful ride. Discovered in Horror group marathon.

8. Walkabout
Australian art film has a unique flavor, a different kind of stark beauty, both in landscape and in plot.  There are many scenes walking, walking, walking, but in the long times of nothing happening we learn about character and the power of environment to change personality. Discovered in List of Shame.

9. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
The classic film with Paul Newman and Liz Taylor.  Yes, this is the first time I saw it.  And, yes, it is worth it to see performances of a lifetime, especially by Burl Ives who I didn’t expect to be so powerfully nasty.

10. Skallamann
A hilarious short about the strangeness of a non-normative gender.  And a better musical sequence than most in La La Land. Highlighted by Bondo in Musical group marathon.
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Jeff Schroeck

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 11:33:20 AM »
1. Computer Chess (Andrew Bujalski, 2013)

This might not be the best new-to-me movie I saw this year but it's definitely the oddest and the one that pops into my head most often.

2. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wei, 1994)

The only WKW film I saw before this was In The Mood For Love, so I wasn't prepared for something so kinetic and fun to watch. Plus that Faye Wong rendition of Dreams is just incredible.

3. The Cranes Are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957)

This has some of the best moving, fluid camera work I've seen in a while. It's like the cranes themselves are the camera operators.

4. Killer Of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977)

This movie is quiet, meandering, sometimes revolting, and occasionally very funny, but tragically so.

5. Seconds (John Frankenheimer, 1966)

The middle section is a little screwy but as a whole it's a terrifying and interesting experience. It looks great and has a few nice pre-psychedelic touches.

6. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955)

This is quite moving, and it's interesting to watch a filmmaker learning how to be great.

7. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008)

I was expecting a "cool gangsters swearing" comedy that was just imitating Tarantino's funny bits, but this is far more interesting and meaningful than that. I love the fairy tale tone of it. A great Top 100 Club discovery.

8. The Saddest Music In The World (Guy Maddin, 2003)

Okay, this might be more odd than Computer Chess. Real weird but very funny.

9. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966)

Another Top 100 Club discovery. It feels like a true look at the lives involved in this struggle, and a fair look at both sides of a conflict.

10. Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler, 1969)

A great look at an exciting and interesting time in history. Plus it was cool to see this and then The Cranes Are Flying, which is at times an obvious and acknowledged influence.

The ones after this are movies by directors I was already a fan of but hadn't yet seen.

11. The Gleaners and I (Agnes Varda, 2000)
12. Fearless (Peter Weir, 1993)
13. Down By Law/Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch, 1986/1989)

MartinTeller

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2017, 11:38:54 AM »
Everything else is lime green or worse. Things sure have changed for me, movie-wise.

Is that a function of your tastes changing or you having watched all the good stuff already ?

One's tastes are always evolving, but I could say the latter. But it's more that my life is less focused on movies now, especially on the quest to keep unearthing hidden gems. I have no doubt there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of films out there that I would love. I've just quit trying to find them all, preferring instead to be happy with my established favorites, occasionally putting on something unseen that has piqued my interest. I still have a watchlist (~150 titles at the moment), but I'm no longer obsessively driven to complete it.

DarkeningHumour

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2017, 11:50:53 AM »
The idea of this thread is great and it makes me sad that I don't have some sort of record of everything I watch, especially since I have been reviewing so few movies lately. This list is tentative and I am only counting strictly non-2016 releases. The screenshots all come from Google images because I don't know where you people find your nice looking stills.

I narrowed it down to about 20 movies with some cheating. The order is fuzzy and I am in all likelihood forgetting at least one film. The order, as usual, is essentially bullocks.

Miller's Crossing (Coen Brothers, 1990)



To Be or Not to Be (Ersnt Lubitsch, 1942)



The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell and Pressburger, 1943)



Witness for the Prosecution (Billy Wilder, 1957)



El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1966)



Manhattan (Woody Allen, 1979)



Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957)



Snatch
& Lock, Stock and Smoking Barrels (Guy Ritchie, 2000 and 1998)

 

Once (John Carney, 2006)



For a Few Dollars More (Sergio Leone, 1965)



High & Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963)



All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)



Once Upon a Time in the West
& The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1968 and 1966)



Aliens (James Cameron, 1979)



Ace in the Hole (Billy Wider, 1951)



Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata, 1988)



Dial M for Muder (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)



The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1951)



My Fair Lady (George Cukor, 1964)



The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982)


A shout-out to Kind Hearts and Coronets and The Squid and the Whale which are perhaps not quite as good, but were still great to watch. I took them out of 100 lists even though I never wrote about them. I believe one of them might have been oldkid's.

To Be or Not to Be was in fact a rewatch but I might as well have been watching it for the first time.

Some other discoveries that are notable but I was not as big on (or at all):

Ikiru
M

Vertigo
The Double Life of Véronique
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
True Romance
Double Indemnity
Network

Soliarys
The Conversation
Dog Day Afternoon
The Exorcist
Cool Hand Luke
The french Connection
Under the Skin
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1SO

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2017, 11:56:30 AM »
One's tastes are always evolving, but I could say the latter. But it's more that my life is less focused on movies now, especially on the quest to keep unearthing hidden gems. I have no doubt there are dozens, hundreds, thousands of films out there that I would love. I've just quit trying to find them all, preferring instead to be happy with my established favorites, occasionally putting on something unseen that has piqued my interest. I still have a watchlist (~150 titles at the moment), but I'm no longer obsessively driven to complete it.

 :-[

oneaprilday

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2017, 12:58:59 PM »
So many great discoveries, everyone!

Especially happy about your Beaches of Agnes discovery, 1SO. Would love to read along with your Varda marathon.

Also, really happy you found your way into Fanny and Alexander with the mini-series, oldkid. I haven't, actually, watched the movie version (should I?), but I love the mini-series so much.

My top 20 list, with a couple of cheats and plus one.

1.   Kiarostami: Where Is My Friend’s House? /Close-Up - Kiarostami,  :'(
2.   Yang: A Brighter Summer Day - The Criterion is fab. Worth every penny of the purchase.
3.   Cimino: The Deer Hunter - Must watch more Cimino this year. Resolve: Watch Heaven's Gate.
4.   Welles: Othello - So, Welles is a pretty good director, huh? I should really re-watch Citizen Kane.
5.   Keaton: The Scarecrow / Seven Chances - Joyous. (Also caught up with In the Good Old Summertime for the first time this year. Felt so depressed seeing Keaton in that minor role, especially given that his athletic "falls" were a total delight.)
6.   Lupino: Outrage / The Hitch-Hiker - Wow. Lupino was really good. The former was one of the most disturbing watches of the year. - the claustrophobia and fear she conveys in the assault scene is palpable and exactly right. 
7.   Hitch: The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog / I Confess - Prep for my Hitch class. Starting this Wednesday. (Eep!)
8.   Donen/Kelly: On the Town
9.   Lubtisch: Design for Living
10.   Ashby: Shampoo
11.   Boulting: Brighton Rock
12.   Tourneur: Cat People
13.   Buñuel: The Exterminating Angel - Resolve: Watch more Buñuel in 2017.
14.   Sturges: Sullivan’s Travels
15.   Chabrol: Les Cousins
16.   Lemmons: Eve’s Bayou
17.   Oz: Little Shop of Horrors - Songs from this now burst spontaneously from family members in our house, esp, "Feed Me, Seymour" and "I don't know, I don't know. I have so, so many strong reservations. Should I go and perform mutilations?"
18.   Ulmer: The Black Cat
19.   Nyby/Hawks: The Thing from Another World - Didn't expect - but should've, given Hawks's involvement - the delightful dialogue here.
20.   Teshigahara: Woman in the Dunes
21.   Bergman: Through a Glass Darkly
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 03:17:31 PM by oneaprilday »

oldkid

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Re: Top Discoveries of 2016
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2017, 01:19:44 PM »
What I wouldn't give to participate in your Hitchcock class!
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