Monday, December 18, 2017

Listomania! My Favourite Films of 2017

Time, once again, for my entirely arbitrary and idiosyncratic Films of the Year list. Because I love you, here are a bunch of links to sate your overwhelming desire to catch up with my lists from years past:

2012 / 2013 / 2014 / 2015 / 2016

All caught up? Excellent!

I was going to write an elaborate, scene-setting preamble about My Year in Film, but I feel like I’ve been unwillingly subjected to the detailed opinions and tepid “hot takes” of Everyone On The Internet all year long, so I’m doing us all a huge favour by saying as little as possible about my choices this time round. As Dirty Harry Callahan said in his belated not-very-good sequel The Dead Pool: “Well, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.”

In that spirit, in no particular order, and for our collective amusement, it’s time to moon you with My Top Ten. Here we go:

Colossal (Nacho Vigalondo)

John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski)

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson)

The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (Chan-wook Park)

My Life as a Courgette (Ma vie de Courgette) (Claude Barras)

Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S. Craig Zahler)

Blade of the Immortal (Mugen no jûnin) (Takashi Miike)

The Disaster Artist (James Franco)

The Florida Project (Sean Baker)

It’s a small world after all.

Just under that formidable Top Ten is another honestly-just-as-good Ten - any one of which could have made it onto the main list on another day depending on my mood.

Close But No Cigar:

The Big Sick (Michael Showalter)
Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts)
Logan (James Mangold)
The Love Witch (Anna Biller)
Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (Sebastián Lelio)
The Merciless (Sung-hyun Byun)
On Body and Soul (Teströl és lélekröl) (Ildikó Enyedi)
Silence (Martin Scorsese)
Thor: Ragnarok (Taika Waititi)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Listomania! It Is Happening Again

What year is this?
Before we get to my now-traditional and oh-so-eagerly-awaited Films of the Year list, let’s get this out of the way first:

Twin Peaks
was the best thing I saw all year. I don’t know if it’s one eighteen-hour movie or eighteen one-hour movies or just the third season of a beloved television series, and I really don’t care.

I do know what it is for me, though. It’s dissonant industrial noise and mist-wreathed mountains and kabuki and “Squeeze his hand off!” and Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and slippery in here. It’s blood and static and slapstick, candyfloss clouds and “Fuck Gene Kelly, you motherfucker!” and yrev very good indeed. Jerry Horne screamed “I don’t know where I am!”. I knew exactly how he felt, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a helluva ride, and it was undoubtedly my favourite slab of storytelling of any length this year.

I don’t watch much television at all any more, but I do want to give an additional shout-out to both Samurai Jack and Vice Principals for deeply satisfying conclusions to their respective sagas too.

Next stop: My Actual Films of the Year List! I can taste your anticipation from here.