Showtime Folks! The end year list is here, and i succeeded in composing my 5th annual selection of the best films… in my account, these selection of movies have shown the depth and richness of film medium much better than the handful of other brilliant pictures that one may have selected. Enjoy!
1. La La Land (2016)
These are my day to day thoughts and after thoughts so far…
Jan 12. I`m crying of joy! Can`t stop my tears… A very serious candidate for the Best Film of the 21st century!
Jan 15. Still can`t stop my tears. All i can think is that revue. Humming the melodies and feeling lovestruck. What have you done?!
Feb 20. Cant` believe just saw an Original 35 mm CinemaScope on Cinestar Original Und IMAX in Berlin. You juts get one shot at resurrecting a Cinema you worship and Chazelle did a great Job!
I just know I feel so good
Don’t you know I feel so good
I just know I feel so good
After Oscar Night: I am afraid to confess that, despite such exaggerating claims, Moonlight`s total aesthetic value is nothing versus the deep cinematic appreciation in the opening sequence of that tracking shot in L.A traffic. A sequence which is based on an authentically continental camera work, integrated with a number – which might be signed by Godard himself from The Weekend, or Demy in The Young Girls of Rochefort – and heavily glamourised in Basby Berkley`s style of 42nd Street. I am somehow embarrassed that the genius put in this ballad to avoid the slippery slope of melodrama and Hollywood ending, makes the total movie of “Moonlight” look like a kindergarten kid`s reply for a mathematical equation of “what is the total sum of race + gender issue?”. An Answer which moonlight gives with a vast corporative appetite.
Aug 21. Through all these years of writing about movies i learnt that i can not ignore one fact: Every director get one shot, only one chance in a lifetime to try to resurrect the cinema he adores! That`s right; Only one. It must be too savvy for many people, but i came to realize that it is true. So, when we saw that the Musicals been gone for some years we got that it would be back sometime. Though every miserable attempts in the process from Moulin Rouge, to Les Miserables or Chicago, even smaller endeavors such as Once just turned out as an O.K thing from the recipient or elite part. Still, the fact remained unchanged; Like Jazz, the genre was gone. It sadly belonged to a past era and It needed a total revolution. Damn, Chazelle made it all happen.
= 1. Toni Erdmann (2016)
2. London Road (2015)
Director: Rufus Norris
Stars: Olivia Colman, Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Anita Dobson
3.My Golden Days (2015)
Director: Arnaud Desplechin
“bear in their experience as memorable public events, segments of the experience,the memories,of a common life. So that the difficulty of assessing them is the same as the difficulty of assessing everyday experience,the difficulty of…making oneself find the words for what one is specifically interested to say, which comes to the difficulty of finding the right to be thus interested….This poses…the specific difficulty of philosophy and calls upon its particular strength, to receive inspiration for taking thought from the very conditions that oppose thought.”
Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho
We can argue that Clara’s fight, and the artistic vision that supports it, has a conservative dimension. Clara represents values that look, in the current climate, decidedly old-fashioned. Envisioned by glamorous – Sonia Braga – Clara is a warrior for aesthetic distinction, for critical thought, for sexual and creative liberty — for things that cannot be bought, sold or indexed (maybe, inspired and inherited by her aunt, passed to her niece`s girlfriend).
One thing is for sure, she is not someone you want to go up against in a fight. she is the cinematic portrayal Dilma. ”
6.The Handmaiden (2016)
“The Handmaiden”, which is far from everything we remember from him, is a free adaptation of “Sarah Waters”` acclaimed Victorian novel “Fingersmith”, relocating the setting and characters from England to Japan and Korea, 1930s. It tells the story of Con man Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha) who hires a pickpocket named Sook-hee (Min-hee Kim) to become the maid of the mysterious and fragile heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Tae-ri), in an attempt to seize her wealth. But the story takes a twist when the lady falls in love with her maid.As his aficionado, you still can`t imagine how Park`s perfectly crafted historical images would freeze your eyes (courtesy of the usual wizard Chung-hoon Chung),or guess how his subtle adaptation and perverted eroticism would faze you out again, or be surprised about why there is not enough of Yeong-wook Jo on the soundtrack and those immortal gooey/bloody sequences of Park all over the screen. This all can get you bored or confused, or gives you the reason to criticize the length, or not-so-attractive flashbacks of the movie, or even worse force you to laugh at the some-how funny atmosphere of the most violent sequences of its ending. But you can not deny the exemplary love story a maestro told you all along, and how that story make you feel. That is the definition of beauty. ”
“ A female feminist auteur at the conjunction of Eric Rohmer`s literal cinema and Western Genre, Kelly Reichardt adds some signature Eurasian silence to solve her puzzle of avoidance while envying the question. she does that with a surprising subtlety in her style that you can get tempted here and there to revise the whole idea of minimalism; The triptych stories are not woven, not leading you to believe they will have a “get-together” at the end, they are just there swaying one another with the minimum overlap possible, laying side by side without any sense of confusion.Laura Dern is used greatly as a fatigues lawyer and Michelle Williams is brilliant in here smoking breaks, Kristen Stewart proves her other-wordly skills of acting in less shots you can even imagine and Lily Gladstone is a ray of hope for next generation of stars. This is a christmas wish wrapped in a movie by Santa called Certain Women. ”
8.American Honey (2016)
“ It took me a while to find my connection with Andrea Arnold after “Wuthering Heights”. Still, not as gripping as “Fish Tank”, the “American Honey” has the best elements of that New British Realism movement Arnold and her pals mastered . It is amazingly bittersweet, powerfully undiscovered and hideously alive. With special thanks to a phenomena called Sasha Lane. ”
9.Right Now, Wrong Then (2015)
“ This is a mastery in Long Takes, Right Now, Wrong Then is far from usual pretentious attempts to shove the aesthetics of cinema into people’s mind. You`ll be surprised how much a same incident got carried away just by changing angles and pauses and silences. Let alone how the painter`s heart (played by unbelievable Min-hee Kim – The Handmaiden) would be conquered The very idea you perceive immediately is something like the rebellion speech of director ( the brilliant Jae-yeong Jong) at the end of his movie screening:”A lot of sounds are running through my head, and if i utter those sounds they become words, But at the end of the day words will remain just words. The films, myself, your experiences, your lives… All of these things have nothing to do with words! Power of words? What a Joke! Why do people keep searching for those words as if they were something special… for me there is no such thing as important words. On the contrary. They are just a hindrance!”This is the key answer to how you need to understand this masterpiece and or as film suggests “The Definition of Film”. Also it is a key to find the answer for the old question of “What is Film?”. This is film according to Hong Sang-soo! ”
10.The Age of Shadows (2016)
“ What is amazing about the chameleon Kim Jee-woon is that he often goes beyond the norms of Asian Pulp; He proved his mastery in Western (“The Good, the Bad and the Weird”) and horror (“A Tale of Two Sisters,” and the vicious “I Saw the Devil”) alongside his usual action flicks, but in “The Age of Shadows” he goes in-depth – with some Carol Reed vibe – into resistance/occupation genre. The movie has two giants standing as protagonists “Song Kang-Ho” and “Gong Yoo” and though it goes off-beat sometimes along the two hours, takes you with them to the fascinating story from Korea independence of Japan ”
11.After the Storm (2016)
Yōko Maki is daringly subtle as remarrying ex-wife and Hiroshi Abe outperforms the divorced father/son dynamic with Taiyô Yoshizawa which are all stuck in the rare chance of the occurring typhoon. Shading above them all is the gracious presence of Kirin Kiki as the mother whom you are surrounding your heart willingly – again and again – in each and every one of her artistic touchs.
12.Sunset Song (2015)
“ Rare jewel in the wilderness of fast-food movies. The classy, elegant and masterful adaptation in Terrence Davies` “Sunset Song” takes your heart and soul to a two-hour journey of “Why you have to watch the classics in Cinema”. It`s a rare spirit you would hardly find in any places of today`s cinema. ”
13.All Three of Us (2015)
15.Everybody Wants Some!! (2016)
“ Oddly a comedy than a Verite, Richard Linklater`s follow-up to “Dazed & Confused” is something you won`t forget for many years. With a great lovely ensemble who are probably going to be our next-gen film stars, the film proves – along with “The Nice Guys” – why we need to put more attention on 70s sub-culture and let go of these 80s nonsense.
Behind this never-ending joy of testosterone driven boys and their constant horni-ness, immediately you will find a movie which is amazingly crafted, deceptively written ,and masterfully acted by the new best thing that is happening to Hollywood. Loved every second of it. Let`s hear it for the gang:
J. Quinton Johnson,
Forrest Vickery. ”
16.The Salesman (2016)
“ There is a sheer IQ in every Farhadi movie that help you get fascinated, but if you have known him as your teacher from 15 years ago you definitely understand why i`m not surprised here…P.S. don`t read any reviews before watching it. ”
Director: Mia Hansen Love
“ Things to Come is not the best marriage i`ve seen between film and philosophy but one of the entertaining ones.To go through this is hard and truthfully, it is as difficult as a philosophical book on the subject of “The Ordinary”; A philosopher`s way of dealing with the ordinary. Her constant battle between the acknowledgment of the bygone past; her defeated revolts, her doomed love, her unpopular books, and avoidance of the future; the radical society changes, the terror of failure, the things to come: simplified through her battle of keeping up the balance between her being in personal and public spheres. Ironically enough she is supposed to teach philosophy – a radical way of thinking – in a university – where it wasn`t originally invented to be present – and publish it in ways compatible to life, today`s life. It remains undecided, through Ms Hansen-Løve`s clever script, whether she is trying to doubt it as a way of life or just ignoring the Pandora box?In my account, i rather believe that the director knew about the notorious ambiguities of the subject she undertaken and tried to avoid the abyss of answering these high-concept questions. After all the her protagonist, played skillfully by Isabelle Huppert, seems to conservative, or rather sterile, to answer them. This is the movie that is premising with the ashes of a fire which has been extinguished, brilliantly concluding with the long tracking zoom out of her life. One of the most original endings of the cinema today. ”
18. Before the Flood (2016 Documentary)
19. A Bigger Splash (2015)
Director: Luca Guadagnino
“ There is a strong sense of Bertulucci in Luca Guadagnino`s work here and the magnificent performances of his ensemble intensifies that we are in some sort of reunion with “Stolen Beauty”. I am regretting why i haven`t been curious enough to watch “I am Love”. I am loving every bit of this movie, and Tilda she is more than a muse. ”
for more detailed reviews, please visit