So we enter the Award season and the moment when we reflect back on the previous year. I thought a good year, but not a great year for film: but there were some great movies. Of the new releases that I watched at the HPPH I was especially impressed with:
Arrival (USA but also Canada 2016). Denis Villeneuve has directed the most interesting sci-fi in years and Amy Adams offers a sterling performance.
The Pearl Button / El botón de nácar *France, Spain, Chile, Switzerland 2015). Patricio Guzmán provided a documentary that was moving, analytical and both looked and sounded great.
Son of Saul / Saul fia (Hungary 2015). László Nemes produced an intense and revelatory treatment of an often overworked subject.
Taxi / Taxi Teheran (Iran 2015). I prefer film to video but Jafar Panahi can make an impressive film with any sort of cinematic technology.
Our Little Sister / Umimachi Diary (Japan 2016). The latest film by Hirokazu Koreeda is a simple tale of four sisters: and goes into my list of the top films of the century so far.
We also enjoyed a lot of classics from times gone by. The best in a competitive field for me was:
Eternity and a Day / Mia aioniotita kai mia mera (France, Italy, Greece, Germany 1998). Theo Angelopoulos’ rich and complex film was screened in a good quality 35mm print.