It's that time of the year. That time when bloggers and critics begin making their 'best films of the year' lists. Nothing wrong with that, but this year I wanted to do something a little different.
I've compiled a list of favourite moments. These are not necessarily the 'best' of the year. They are however, my favourite cinema going moments of the year.
I've done this because there are some great films that I have simply missed this year so to compile a 'best of' list seemed a little inaccurate.
This year I've missed Arrival, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Girl With All The Gifts, Midnight Special, I Daniel Blake and American Honey to name a few. All of these have received critical praise but it's just not possible to see everything. At least that's what I tell myself!
In 2016 I've seen some great films and I've some great cinema going memories. So here are some of my favourite cinematic moments.
Green Room makes the list rather unexpectedly. I'm not someone who enjoys a horror movie very regularly. To be honest though I'm convinced this is a pure horror film. Certainly it is horror inflected and gory throughout but perhaps it would be better described as a horror thriller?
Regardless of genre, Jeremy Saunier has created a film wrought with tension and in between it's violent and bloody moments a real cinematic thrill ride.
Green Room makes the list though because of the audience experience. All around me people squirmed, cringed and yelped as the film went on (one poor couple actually left) and it made a great evening of entertainment.
You can read my full Green Room review here.
Green Room is now streaming on Netflix.
Without question one of my favourite films of the year, Kubo and the Two Strings was a highlight in what has been a busy and strong year for animation.
First and foremost, the technical aspects of Kubo are highly impressive. Its stop motion modelling is wonderful and I sat open mouthed at several points at what Laika Studios were able to achieve.
Secondly, watching my daughter hide behind her fingers in the scarier moments (and there are several) while simultaneously grinning from ear to ear was a real joy.
This story of one boy's journey to change the narrative of his family was as inspiring as it was beautiful. I can't wait to see it again!
You can read my full review of Kubo and the Two Strings here.
Notes on Blindness is the story of theologianJohn Hull who, after losing his sight, began keeping an audio diary of his experiences as his sight lessened and ultimately left him. Over three years John recorded over sixteen hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness. The audiotapes are key to this fantastic documentary as the actors involved lip sync to the audio and bring physical performances to the emotion of the tapes in a similar vein to another great docudrama The Arbor .
This is a tale of loss but also a tale of determination. This is a documentary that explores anger, frustration and the movement from these honest emotions into understanding.
Notes on Blindness is a wonderful, intelligent, dramatic documentary that I would encourage you all to see. Certainly In 2016 Notes on Blindness serves as a healing balm to the year gone by.
You can find more of my thoughts on Notes on Blindness here.
I wouldn't be true to myself if I didn't have a little fan boy moment for the now annual event of a Star Wars movie to enjoy.
Gareth Edwards has done a great job with this prequel and tells a good story in this prequel that serves to remind us that there is a war going on in the background of this well loved sci-fi fantasy epic franchise.
Is it a perfect film? Not at all, but its message of hope amid chaos is an end of year tonic for all to enjoy.
You can read my full review of Rogue One here.
From seeing The Revenant in January of 2016 I am staggered by how much this film has stayed with me.
On leaving the press screening I attended I stated that I wasn't sure if I could watch it again. To be truthful I haven't watched it since (although as I write I really want to) but its imagery has stayed with me for the entire year.
The films' opening sequence is a thing of cinematic beauty that would make Terrence Malick tremble and the awards it received are numerous and well deserved. I believe that there is something deeply spiritual about the film that Innaratu has created. I'm not convinced I know what it is yet but I think a further viewing may be required to work it out!
You can read more on my thoughts about The Revenant here.
o there are some of my favourite cinematic moments from 2016.
What have been your favourites this year?