Following on from Keith’s Favourites from 2016 I commented and including my own list, here it is again in case you didn’t see it.
1. No Home Movie
Belgian artist and film maker, Chantal Akerman, revisits familiar themes here. A tough, yet beautiful piece of documentary self portraiture, that ranks with her greatest work.
2. The Assassin
A rigorous experiment with the themes of classical Chinese Wuxia films. Contemplative, with sparks of blunt aggression. The film Refn’s Drive (2011) wishes it could have been.
3. Fire at Sea
Verité document of Lampedusa (setting of this years La Piscine riff, A Bigger Splash, there couldn’t be a more different film). The cinematography and editing here is top notch, and highlights a fascinating microcosm reflecting larger global issues.
I was completely knocked out by this Mumbai-set absurdist gem. An elderly dissent poet/singer is brought into court on trumped up charges of inciting a sewage worker to commit suicide. The resulting case, and the efforts of both the defence and prosecution to bring it to a conclusion, creates a film that brings to mind the films of Ruben Östlund or possibly Roy Andersson.
5. Cemetery of Splendour
An ex-nurse and young soldier suffering from a mysterious sleeping sickness become friends as he drifts through different states of consciousness. Another wistful and gently funny magical realist masterpiece from Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
… and the rest:
6. Little Men
7. Love and Friendship
8. American Honey
9. The Pearl Button
10. Louder than Bombs