Roughly ranked. One older film included.

1. Peter Ibbetson (Henry Hathaway, 1935, 35mm)
2. Dear Lorde (Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby, 2015, digital)
3. “he kind of like skips over me and tells all my African American
friends to go sit down
.” (A.J. McClenon, 2015, digital)
4. Paul Clipson & Gabriel Saloman performance at Pictures & Sounds
2016, University of Chicago (Paul Clipson, 2016, 16mm)
5. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016, digital)
6. Idyll (Mary Billyou, 2014, digital)
7. “Lightening In a Bottle” sketch in the episode “Killer Concept
Album” of Key and Peele (2015, Fatal Farm, TV)
8. Old Hat (Zach Iannazzi, 2016, 16mm)
9. Sugar Fractures (Luther Price, 2015, 35mm slide show)
10. Body Contours (Kristin Reeves, 2016, digital)


  1. Goldstone (Ivan Sen, 2016)
  2. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
  3. The Revenant (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2015)
  4. El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2015)
  5. Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  6. Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2016)
  7. Café Society (Woody Allen, 2016)
  8. Trumbo (Jay Roach, 2015)
  9. Hail Caesar! (Ethan Cohen & Joel Cohen, 2016)
  10. The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
world film poll 2016

Sunset Song



  1. Der traumhafte Weg(The Dreamed Path, Angela Schanelec, 2016)
  2. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  3. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  4. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  5. El auge del humano(The Human Surge, Eduardo Williams, 2016)
  6. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, 2016)
  7. Reichstag 9/11 (Ken Jacobs, 2016)
  8. Rester Vertical (Staying Vertical, Alain Guiraudie, 2016)
  9. Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)
  10. Ta’ang (Wang Bing, 2016)



Great films seen for the first time, made since 2011

Le Fils de Joseph (Son of Joseph, Eugène Green, 2016)
Une histoire de fou (Don’t Tell Me the Boy was Mad, Robert Guédiguian, 2015)
The Sea of Trees (Gus Van Sant, 2015)
Malgré la nuit (Despite the Night, Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
Meurtrière (Murderess, Philippe Grandrieux, 2015)
Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhang-ke, 2015)
Innocence of Memories – Orhan Pamuk’s Museum & Istanbul (Grant Gee, 2015), Loving (Jeff Nichols, 2016)
O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)

Great films seen for the first time, made before 2011

Vendémiaire (Film en trois parties et un prologue) (Prologue/Première Partie: La Vigne/ Seconde Partie: La Cuve/Troisième Partie: Le Vin nouveau) (Louis Feuillade, 1918/9)
La Femme nue (The Nude Woman, Léonce Perret, 1926)
Shōzō (The Portrait, Kinoshita Keisukē, 1948)
Shu to midori(zampen+kohen) (Vermilion and Green, Shimazu Yasujirō, 1937)
Kinkanshoku (Eclipse, Shimizu Hiroshi, 1934)
Let us Live (John Brahm, 1939)
Barrabas (Ciné-roman hebdomadaire en douze épisodes et un prologue (Louis Feuillade, 1919/20)
Ai yori ai e (So Goes My Love, Shimazu Yasujirō, 1938)
Kazoku Kaigi (Family Meeting, Shimazu Yasujirō, 1936)
Katei Nikki (Home Diary, Shimizu Hiroshi, 1938)
Strangers May Kiss (George Fitzmaurice, 1931)
Come Live with Me (Clarence Brown, 1941)
Chained (Clarence Brown, 1934)
Die letzte Chance (The Last Chance, Leopold Lindtberg, 1945)
Yoru no Kawa (River of the Night, Kōzaburō Yoshimura, 1956)
La Danseuse Orchidée (The Orchid Dancer/ Woman of Destiny, Léonce Perret, 1928)
High Air (Allan Dwan, 1956)
Tarawa Beachhead (Paul Wendkos, 1958)
O Desejado ou As Montanhas da Lua (Mountains of the Moon, Paulo Rocha, 1987)

Very good films seen for the first time, made since 2011

El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
La mort de Luis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV, Albert Serra, 2016)
Dangsinjasingwa dangsinui geot (Yourself and Yours, Hong Sang-soo, 2016)
In Jackson Heights (Frederick Wiseman, 2015)
Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
Sangailés vasara (The Summer of Sangaile,
Alanté Kavaïté, 2015)
La France est notre Patrie (France is Our Homeland;Rithy Panh, 2014)
Días color naranja (Orange Coloured Days, Pablo Llorca, 2016)
Revelations (Vijay Jayapal, 2016)
Tout de suite maintenant (Right Here, Right Now, Pascal Bonitzer, 2015)
Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
The Longest Ride (George Tillman, Jr., 2015)
Paper Towns (Jake Schreier, 2015)
Rester vertical (Staying Vertical, Alain Guiraudie, 2016)
Woman in Gold (Simon Curtis, 2015)
What Happened, Miss Simone? (Liz Garbus, 2015)
Midnight Special (Jeff Nichols, 2016)
Le secret de la chambre noire (Daguerrotype; Kurosawa Kiyoshi, 2016)
The 50 Year Argument (Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi, 2014)
Anquanto la lhéngua fur cantada (Enquanto a língua for cantada, João Botelho, 2012)
Waiting (Anu Menon, 2016)
Correspondências (Correspondences, Rita Azevedo Gomes, 2016)
Migas de pan (Breadcrumbs, Manane Rodríguez, 2016)
Me Before You (Thea Sharrock, 2016)
CC1682 (David Reznak, 2015)
João Bénard da Costa: Outros Amarão as Coisas que Eu Amei (Others Will Love the Things I Loved, Manuel Mozas, 2014)
A Death in the Gunj (Konkona Sen Sharma, 2016)
Pessoa/Lisboa (Alberto Ruiz de Samaniego & José Manuel Mouriño, 2016)
Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016)
Blood Ties (Guillaume Canet, 2013)
Magallanes (Salvador del Solar, 2015)
Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Very good films seen for the first time, made before 2011

The Judge Steps Out ( Boris Ingster, 1949)
Laughter in Hell (Edward L. Cahn, 1933)
Afraid to Talk/Merry-Go-Round (Edward L. Cahn, 1932)
Woman in Hiding (Michael Gordon,1950)
Mr. Skitch (James Cruze, 1933)
Union Depot (Gentleman for a Day, Alfred E. Green, 1932)
A House Divided (William Wyler, 1931)
The Son-Daughter (Clarence Brown, 1932)
Cover Up (Alfred E. Green, 1949)
Le code a changé (Change of Plans, Danièle Thompson, 2009)
Alina (Giorgio Pàstina, 1950)
Parachute Jumper (Alfred E. Green, 1933)
We Were Dancing (Robert Z. Leonard, 1942)
Die Somme-Das Grab der Millionen (The Somme, Heinz Paul, 1930)
Conrad in Quest of His Youth (William C. de Mille, 1920)
Transatlantic (William K. Howard, 1931)
Cry of the Hunted (Joseph H. Lewis, 1953)
L’Engrenage (Louis Feuillade, 1919)
No Man’s Woman (Franklin Adreon, 1955)
Time Table (Mark Stevens, 1956)
The Lone Hand (George Sherman, 1953)
The Threat (Felix E. Feist, 1949)
Hotel Berlin/Vicki Baum’s ‘Hotel Berlin’ (Peter Godfrey, 1945)
Confidential Agent (Herman Shumlin, 1945)
Roger La Honte (Trap for the Assassin; Riccardo Freda, 1966)
Pierrot Pierrette (Louis Feuillade, 1924)
Getting Mary Married (Allan Dwan, 1919)
The Idle Rich (William C. de Mille, 1929)
Kiki (Clarence Brown, 1926)
The Woman in White (Peter Godfrey, 1948)
Yoru no tsuzumi (Night Drum, Imai Tadashi, 1958)
She Couldn’t Say No (Lloyd Bacon, 1954)
Confession (Joe May, 1937)
This Could Be the Night (Robert Wise, 1957)
Ex-Lady (Robert Florey, 1933)
Front Page Woman (Michael Curtiz, 1935)
The Great Jewel Robber (Peter Godfrey, 1950)
Deep Impact (Mimi Leder, 1998)
Within the Law (Frank Lloyd, 1923)
Prime (Ben Younger, 2005)
Forged Passport (John H. Auer,1939)
So Young So Bad (Bernard Vorhaus & Edgar G. Ulmer, 1950)
The Forbidden City (Sidney A. Franklin, 1918)

Interesting failures
Le Paradis (Paradise, Alain Cavalier, 2014)
Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)

Great films rediscovered or re-evaluated by a new vision

Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980)
Qiu tian li de chun tian (Spring in Autumn, Bai Chen, 1985)
Fantômas (Drame en cinq épisodes): À l’ombre de la guillotine (Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine, Louis Feuillade, 1913-4)
The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 1942)
Tih-Minh (Grand Ciné-Roman hebdomadaire en douze épisodes) (Louis Feuillade, 1918/9, 12 parts)
Morir…dormir…tal vez soñar (To Die…To Sleep…Perchance to Dream Manuel Mur Oti, 1976)
20000 Leagues under the Sea (Richard Fleischer, 1954)
The Boston Strangler (Richard Fleischer, 1968)
Alphaville (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
Augen der Liebe (The Eyes of Love, Alfred Braun, 1951)
Heroes for Sale (William A. Wellman, 1933)
Rio do Ouro (River of Gold, Paulo Rocha, 1998)
Flesh and the Devil (Clarence Brown, 1926)
Possessed (Clarence Brown, 1931)
10 Rillington Place (Richard Fleischer, 1971)
A Woman Of Affairs (Clarence Brown, 1928)
Fear (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)
Mystic River (Clint Eastwood, 2003)
On The Town (Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, 1949)
Niño Nadie (José Luis Borau, 1996)
Onna bakari no yoru (Girl of Dark/Girls of the Night, Tanaka Kinuyō, 1961)
Christmas in July (Preston Sturges, 1940)
Amdaeng Muen kab Nai Rid (Um-gang Muen kab nai Rid;Muen and Rid, Cherd Songsri, 1994)
Bandido (Richard Fleischer, 1956)
The Kiss Before the Mirror (James Whale, 1933)
È primavera (It’s Forever Springtime, Renato Castellani, 1950)
The Lawless (Joseph Losey, 1950)
Inspiration (Clarence Brown, 1931)
Gigi (Vincente Minnelli, 1958)

Unhappily, one of the worst films I saw this year was also made by Eugène Green, Faire la parole (2015). I’m quite mystified by what seems to be ‘the film of 2016’ for a lot of people, Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016), despite not finding in it the slightest value of any kind. And that this or Ma Loute (Slack Bay, Bruno Dumont, 2016) are often called “comedies” simply baffles me.

world film poll 2016

Bring Me The Head of Tim Horton



No End (Josephine Massarella, 2015)
Light Study (Josephine Massarella, 2013)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2016)
Blood Sugar (Carl Brown, 2015)
Fragments #5 (Pedro Ferreira, 2015)



  1. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
  2. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  3. I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach 2016)
  4. The Levelling (Hope Dickson Leach, 2016)
  5. Tower (Keith Maitland, 2016)
  6. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
  7. The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)
  8. Hymyilevä Mies (The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, Juho Kuosmanen, 2016)
  9. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  10. Hypernormalisation (Adam Curtis, 2016)
  11. The Silences (Margot Nash, 2015)
  12. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (TV series, Ryan Murphy, 2016)
  13. Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
  14. Little Men (Ira Sachs, 2016)
  15. Es esmu šeit (Mellow Mud, Renārs Vimba, 2016)
  16. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  17. Zjednoczone stany miłości (United States of Love, Tomasz Wasilewski, 2016)
  18. Weiner (Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, 2016)
  19. Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar, 2016)
  20. Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)




Be warned, this is basically a list of spoilers, but each of these titles goes some way to reflecting or, at the very least, assisting with this year’s seemingly interminable grief. I could have added to this list the “Red Handed” episode of John Finnemore’s Double Acts, or the soundtrack to Hamilton, both of which also related this personal and universal sense of loss. The same goes for the best older films I saw for the first time this year: Boris Barnet’s Alyonka (1961) and Jon Jost’s The Bed You Sleep In (1993) and Coming to Terms (2013).

The death of a sibling: Horace and Pete (TV mini-series, Louis C.K., 2016) / The Silences (Margot Nash, 2015)

The death of a mother: L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016) / Mia madre (My Mother, Nanni Moretti, 2015) / Please Like Me Season 4 (TV series, Matthew Saville & Josh Thomas, 2016) / No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015).

The death of a father: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (TV series, Amy Sherman-Palladino & Daniel Palladino, 2016).

The death of children: Bojack Horseman, Season 3 (TV series, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, 2016)

/ Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016) / The Limited (Chris Elena, 2015)
The death of a stranger: 45 Years (Andrew Haigh, 2015) / Évolution (Lucile Hadžihalilović, 2015)

The death of a dog: Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015) / Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
The death of an idol: Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (Jonathan Demme, 2016)
The death of the world: Měi rén yú (The Mermaid Stephen Chow, 2016)
The death of the self: The Knick: “This Is All We Are” (TV episode, Steven Soderbergh, 2015)
Resurrection and survival against the odds: “Goodnight, Sweetheart”: Many Happy Returns (Laurence Marks & Maurice Gran, 2016) / Malgré la nuit (Despite the Night, Philippe Grandrieux, 2015) / Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016).



  • Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Jia Zhangke, 2015)
  • Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015)
  • O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)
  • The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2016)
  • Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  • Gokseong (The Wailing, Na Hong-jin, 2016)
  • Kurîpî: Itsuwari no rinjin (Creepy, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016)
  • The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015)
  • The Filipino Dream (Jeffrey Deyto, 2016)
  • Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)
  • Swiss Army Man (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, 2016)
  • Kong Bei (Three Wheels, Kavich Neang, 2015)
  • Fat Boy Never Slim (Sorayos Prapapan, 2016)
  • Doctor Strange (Scott Derrickson, 2016)

Anomalous Materials

[digital encounters in the web // evental sites of ruptures // exclusionary digipoiesis]

  • Dans le noir du temps, Jean-Luc Godard (Eng Sub available) (Florent Marotel, 2014)
  • communiqué (teorya clothing, 2016)
  • 4 Symposium: Speculations on Anonymous Materials – Iain Hamilton Grant (Fridericianum, 2014)
  • Jacques Lacan parle (Andrey Gasilin, 2011)
  • Squammy Girls By Rhyan Yang (This Crazy Planets, 2016)
  • Jacques Derrida. Full documentary film (Gor Madoyan, 2016)
  • Nietzsche – ‘Last Days’ Footage – 1899 (hiperf289, 2007)
  • Graphic video: Russian Ambassador shot (TV, CNN, 2016)
  • Opportunity [Official HD] ThaiLife Insurance (thailifechannel, 2016)
world film poll 2016

The Neon Demon


  • Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)
  • Hail Caesar! (Ethan Cohen & Joel Cohen, 2016)
  • Sing Street (John Carney, 2016)
  • L’attesa (The Wait, Piero Messina, 2015)
  • The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  • Umi machi Diary (Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Koreeda 2015)
  • Les innocentes (The Innocents, Anne Fontaine, 2016)
  • Café Society (Woody Allen, 2016)
    Florence Foster Jenkins (Stephen Frears, 2016)
  • Spa Night (Andrew Ahn, 2016)
  • Demon (Marcin Wrona, 2015)
  • Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2015)
  • Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
  • La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
  • Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar, 2016)
  • Holy Hell (William Francesco Allen 2016)




The list below includes films I watched in Dubai and several cities I visited this year. There’s a lack of repertory cinemas in my city, so I am thankful I get to make up for that during my travels.

My top 30

  1. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)
  2. A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, 2016)
  3. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
  4. Lu bian ye can (Kaili Blues, Bi Gan, 2015)
  5. Little Men (Ira Sachs, 2016)
  6. Umi machi Diary (Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2015)
  7. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
  8. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)
  9. Dawson City: Frozen Time (Bill Morrison, 2016)
  10. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
  11. Jug-yeo-ju-neun Yeo-ja (The Bacchus Lady, E J-yong, 2016)
  12. Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  13. L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
  14. Further Beyond (Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor, 2016)
  15. Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello 2016)
  16. Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)
  17. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)
  18. The Eyes of My Mother (Nicolas Pesce, 2016)
  19. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  20. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
  21. Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey (Terence Malick, 2016)
  22. 20th Century Women (Mike Mills, 2016)
  23. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  24. Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari, 2016)
  25. Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)
  26. Zjednoczone stany milosci (United States of Love, Tomasz Wasilewski, 2016)
  27. Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  28. Dog Eat Dog (Paul Schrader, 2016)
  29. Divines (Houda Benyamina, 2016)
  30. Barakah yoqabil Barakah (Barakah Meets Barakah, Mahmoud Sabbagh, 2016)

Honorable mentions
Ascent (Fiona Tan, 2016)
Kurîpî: Itsuwari no rinjin (Creepy, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2016)
Kékszakállú (Gastón Solnicki, 2016)
Grave (Raw, Julia Ducournau, 2016)
Zin’naariya! (The Wedding Ring, Rahmatou Keïta, 2016)
Zoologiya (Zoology, Ivan I. Tverdovsky, 2016)

Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien at the National Museum of Singapore Cinémathèque, February 2016

  1. Tong nien wang shi (A Time to Live, a Time to Die, 1985, 35mm)
  2. Lian lian feng chen (Dust in the Wind, 1986, 35mm)
  3. Xi meng ren sheng (The Puppetmaster, 1993, 35mm)
  4. Nan guo zai jian, nan guy (Goodbye South, Goodbye, 1996, 35mm)
  5. Qianxi Manbo (Millennium Mambo, 2001, 35mm)
  6. Kōhī Jikō (Café Lumière, 2003, 35mm)
  7. Zui Hao de Shi Guang (Three Times, 2005, 35mm)

Ride Lonesome: The Psychological Western series at BFI Southbank, London, May 2016

  1. Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang, 1952, 35mm)
  2. The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann, 1952 35mm)
  3. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954, DCP)

Tales of Cinema: The Films of Hong Sang-soo at the Museum of the Moving Image, New York, June 2016

  1. Daijiga umule pajinnal (The Day a Pig Fell into the Well, 1996, 35mm)
  2. Kangwon-do ui him (The Power of Kangwon Province, 1998, 35mm)
  3. Oh! Soo-jung (Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, 2000, 35mm)
  4. Saenghwalui balgyeon (On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate, 2002, DCP)
  5. Geuk jang jeon (Tale of Cinema, 2005, 35mm)
  6. Cheopcheopsanjung (Lost in the Mountains, 2009)
  7. Jal al-ji-do mot-ha-myeon-seo (Like You Know It All, 2009, 35mm)

Brian De Palma Series at Metrograph, New York, June 2016

  1. Hi Mom! (1970, 35mm)
  2. Dressed to Kill (1980, 35mm)
  3. Blow Out (1981, 35mm)
  4. Scarface (1983, 35mm)

Black Star at BFI Southbank, London, November 2016:

  1. Borderline (Kenneth Macpherson, 1930, Video)
  2. In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, 1967, DCP)
  3. Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990, 35mm)
  4. A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, 1967, 35mm)
  5. Deep Cover (Bill Duke, 1992, 35mm)
  6. The Bodyguard (Mick Jackson, 1992, 35mm)
  7. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995, 35mm)


  1. Napoléon (Abel Gance, 1927, DCP, BFI Southbank, London)
  2. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928, DCP, Shakespeare’s Globe, London)
  3. Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 1968, 35mm, BFI London Film Festival)
  4. Hospital (Frederick Wiseman, 1970, 35mm, BFI London Film Festival)
  5. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman, 1971, 35mm, Museum of the Moving Image, New York)
  6. Kanashimi no Beradonna (Belladonna of Sadness, Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973, DCP, Cable Car Cinema, Providence)
  7. El Sur (Víctor Erice, 1983, DCP, BFI Southbank, London)
  8. Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991, DCP, BFI London Film Festival)
  9. Trouble Every Day (Claire Denis, 2001, 35mm, The Prince Charles Cinema, London)
  10. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003, DCP, Anthology Film Archives, New York)



  1. The Lobster(Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  2. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  3. Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman, 2016)
  4. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)
  5. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Sang-Soo Hong, 2015)
  6. Umi machi Diary (Our Little Sister, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2015)
  7. 20th Century Women (Mike Mills, 2016)
  8. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendour, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  9. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2016)
  10. The Arbalest (Adam Pinney, 2016)
  11. Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
  12. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  13. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  14. Shan he gu ren (Mountains May Depart, Zhangke Jia, 2015)
  15. Keanu (Peter Atencio, 2016)
  16. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan, 2016)
  17. A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015
  18. Swiss Army Man (Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, 2016)
  19. The Violators (Helen Walsh, 2015)
  20. Our Kind of Traitor (Susanna White, 2016)
  21. Little Men (Ira Sachs, 2016)
  22. Ghostbusters (Paul Feig, 2016)
  23. American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)
  24. The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2016)
  25. Kate Plays Christine (Robert Greene, 2016)
world film poll 2016

Love and Friendship




No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
Thanks to Antenna Documentary Film Festival we got to see Akerman’s wonderful last film. The opening shot is my most memorable filmic experience of the year. It’s achingly sad that there will be no more films from this wonderful feminist (undeniable IMO, despite her reservations about the label) filmmaker.

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (Chantal Akerman, 1975)

Also, how lovely to see what I and many – most – others think is her best film: Thank you, Antenna for letting us see this on the big screen after so many years.

The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2016)
But for the smart and well-informed curatorial practice of Sydney’s Golden Age cinema, I would have missed this gem. An African-American teenager’s rite of passage (superbly played by newcomer Royalty Hightower), it pushes the boundaries of indie and mainstream US cinema. (What would we Sydney cinephiles do without the Golden Age Cinema?)

Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015)
For me this was a standout film at the Sydney Film Festival (SFF). After so many years of muted feminist filmmaking, I felt revived and energised by what at one level might seem like knee-jerk feminism but lurking underneath is a brilliant and slyly funny showing of how patriarchy also harms the patriarchs.

Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
Another standout film of the SFF. I seldom miss the chance to see Laura Dern but in this adaptation of two of Maile Meloy’s short stories, the long, slow burning performance by Lily Gladstone is unforgettable. Each film that Kelly Reichardt makes builds on what she’s done before.

Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015)
I showed this French-Turkish film in a course that explores cinema at the interstices of two or more cultural regimes of knowledge.  Five young, fiercely independent-minded Turkish sisters find themselves trapped by repressive religious relatives Intent on turning them into docile wives. They respond with a passion that echoes how they love life and each other. My students loved it; so do I.

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash 1991)
Thankfully newly restored, this film is mesmerising: sheer poetry. Narrated by an unborn child, it’s set in an African-American borderlands between a time of a past and a present, a place of a there and a here, and a language of a then and a now.

Beyoncé: Lemonade (Beyoncé Knowles Carter & Kahlil Joseph, 2016)
This is memorable pop music filmmaking – not least for its indebtedness to the images and spirit of Daughters of the Dust.

Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
It’s hard to believe that Sarah Water’s novel Fingersmith, a taut psychological thriller revolving around lesbian love in 19thcentury England, could translate so ravishingly to 1930s Korea under Japanese colonial rule. But it sure does.

Soy Cuba / I am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964)
A sojourner in Cuba, Kalatozov (The Cranes are Flying, 1957) used his Soviet perspective to chart the colonial history and revolutionary response of the Cuban people. Sergey Urusevsky’s cinematography is astounding: Long, fluid shots were achieved by attaching the camera to the operator’s vest with hooks on it and a line of technicians who hooked and unhooked the operator to numerous pulleys and cables spanning roads, swimming pools, tall buildings and roof tops. Criticized in Havana and Moscow, it lay forgotten until Scorsese and Coppola sponsored a new print. It is worth the wait.

Ghostbusters (Paul Feig, 2016)
OK, so this isn’t the year’s greatest cinematic achievement. But I saw it with my oldest and closest girlfriend: we loved the silly feminist revisionist take on a boy’s own story and laughed like we hadn’t for years at Chris Hemsworth as a dumb blonde. (Who said feminists lack a sense of humour?).




2016 was a solid year for good films, providing a welcome contrast to the alarming unfolding of world events and the destitute state of mind they created. There was something to look forward to in each season, from very well crafted festival films, meant to stir powerful emotions and meditation, to entertaining, witty blockbusters, meant to take the edge off.

In the order in which they reached theatres in Romania, here are the films I considered the best.

  1. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015) for the thrill and satisfaction of watching a greatly executed investigation, for the superbly acted story and for a glimpse into the now forgotten and seemingly sunset age of decisive journalism.
  2. Deadpool (Tim Miller, 2016) for the nerve of being idiosyncratically amusing, for its intelligent comic book metatextuality and for the well controlled frantic editing which heightens the action impact of the film.
  3. The Nice Guys (Shane Black, 2016) for the warm nostalgic feeling it provoked, the expressive filmic homages to L.A. Confidential and Boogie Nights, and for Ryan Gosling’s mellow and perfectly delivered humorous performance.
  4. Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015) for its uniquely original take on a battered subject, for a poet turned actor who spoke volumes with his eyes and for the reminder that humanity is in us all the way through hell and after it.
  5. Warcraft (Duncan Jones, 2016) for the pure joy of watching beloved lore brought to life (be it even imperfectly), for the childish excitement of an intriguing humans and orcs story and for Jones’ bravery to make this film.
  6. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016) for the deftly directed depiction of a weary, flawed country, made with wit and compassion, for revealing the ties that bind a family and a community in intricate patterns of power, poverty and history, and for the true to life palette of grey nuances of its characters.
  7. Câini (Dogs, Bogdan Mirica, 2016) for the courageous attempt at being a commercial, action film in the landscape of post-communist artsy sophistication of Romanian cinema, for the grit and realism of its plot, and for the elegant cinematography that beautifully presents the Romanian countryside.
  8. The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit, 2016) for the wordless wonder of simple, delicate animation, for honouring the cycle of life in a tender, melancholic way, and for the unobtrusive take on the fragile mystery of human existence.
  9. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016) for its invigorating message of universal collaboration and communion, for its images of an ambiguous dusk that wraps around time and makes it uncertain, and for the lingering question of choices worth being made.
  10. Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016) for the powerful feminism it quietly preaches, for the masterful double cross smoothly delivered to audiences and for its rhythmic eroticism, which takes turns being exploratory, demented and liberating.




Olaf Möller’s Eleven Friends 2016

Team Manager (Films of the Year)

  • Ang Araw Bago Ang Wakas (The Day Before the End, Lav Diaz, 2015)
  • Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Women Who Left, Lav Diaz, 2015)
  • Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, Lav Diaz, 2016)

First Team (Line-up in strictly alphabetical order)

  • Les Beaux Jours d’Aranjuez (The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez, Wim Wenders, 2016)
  • Elle ( Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  • Hanadama: Gen’ei (Hana-dama: Phantom, Satō Hisayasu, 2016)
  • Mama (Vlado Škafar, 2016)
  • Mannerlaatta (Tectonic Plate, Mika Taanila & Harry Salmenniemi, 2016)
  • A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, 2016)
  • Rì yào ríshì sànbù zhě (Le Moulin, Huáng Yàlì, 2016)
  • Seishun 100-Kilo (Hirano Katsuyuki, 2016)
  • Le Serpent aux mille coupures (Éric Valette, 2016)
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey (Terrence Malick, 2016)
  • Wołyń (Volhynia, Wojciech Smarzowski, 2016)

+ Peter von Bagh (Tapio Piirainen, 2016)


Ch’ŏndang-ŭi pamgwa an’gae (Night and Fog in Zona, 2016; Chŏng Sŏngil) // Danjiki geinin (Artist of Fasting, 2016; Adachi Masao) // !Eždehā vāred mīšavad (A Dragon Arrives!, 2016; Mānī Ḥaqīqī) // Fantásmata planioýntai páno apó tīn Evrópī (Spectres Are Haunting Europe, 2016; María Kourkoúta) // Fuocoammare (Fire At Sea, 2016; Gianfranco Rosi) // Gankyū no yume (The Eye’s Dream, 2016; Satō Hisayasu) // Kammaṭṭippāṭam (2016; Rājīv Ravi) // Kono sekai no katasumi ni (In This Corner of the World, 2016; Katabuchi Sunao) // Al-māʾ wa-l ḫoḍra wa-l wağha l-ḥasan (Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces, 2016; Yusrī Naṣr-Allāh) // The Neon Demon (2016; Nicolas Winding Refn) // The Purge – Election Year (2016; James DeMonaco) // La región salvaje (The Untamed, 2016; Amat Escalante)

+ Zielfahnder – Flucht in die Karpathen (2016; Dominik Graf)

+ Secrets of a Psychopath (2015; Bert Ira Gordon)

Extended Team

64 (Roku yon) (2016; Zeze Takahisa) // Atarashiki tami (Sanshu Uprising – Voices at Dawn, 2015; Yamazaki Jūichirō) // Bastille Day (2016; James Watkins) // Conflict: Saidai no kōsō (2016; Fujiwara Ken’ichi) // Conjuring 2 (2016; James Wan) // Dak6 Gung1 Je4 Je2 (The Bodyguard, 2016; Sammo Hung4 Gam1 Bou2) // Eliksir (Elixir, 2016; Daniil Zinčenko) // El futuro perfecto (Future Perfect, 2016; Nele Wohlatz) // Hacksaw Ridge (2016; Mel Gibson) // In’yoku kaika! Miwaku no Love House (2016; Ikejima Yutaka) // Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016; John Stockwell) // Kimi no na wa. (Your Name., 2016; Shinkai Makoto) // Koca Dünya (Wide, Wide World, 2016; Reha Erdem) // Monte (Mountain, 2016; Amir Nāderi) // My Life As an Actor (2015; Eric De Kuyper) // Naebujadŭl – The Original (Inside Men – The Original, 2015; U Min-ho) // Naruyukina tamashii (Random Lives, 2016; Zeze Takahisa) // Ne gladje mi u pijat (Quit Staring at My Plate, 2016; Hana Jušić) // Oṟṟāl (The Trap, 2016; Jayarāj Rājaśēkharan Nāyr) // Samayō ageha – Mitsutsubo torotoro (2016; Sakaki Hideo) // Sayonara (2015; Fukada Kōji) // Sunset Song (2015; Terence Davies) // Syun2 Lou2 Ding2 (The Mobfathers, 2016; Jau1 Lai5 Tou4 {Herman Yau}) // Tetragrammaton (2017; Klim Kozinskij)

+ Gū-Gū datte neko de aru 2 [Miniseries] (2016; Inudō Isshin) // Lanester: Memento Mori (2016; Franck Mancuso) // Patrola na cesti [Miniseries] (2016; Zvonimir Jurić) // Vasen ja oikea (2015; Tapio Piirainen)

+ The Condemned 2 (2015; Roel Reiné) // Hard Target 2 (2016; Roel Reiné) // Jarhead 3: The Siege (2016; William Kaufman)

Medical Staff

(film/video-based/related installations, film/video art projects, films seen in exhibitions and a performance by a filmmaker)

Angst [Video Performance/Action] (Fear, 1983/2016; Gerald Kargl) // Chamissos Schatten (Chamisso’s Shadow, 2016; Ulrike Ottinger) // Einfluss der Darmgifte auf das Auge – aus der 2008 im JRP|Ringier Kunstverlag AG erschienenen Faksimilierung einer 1977 realisierten und sich in der Sammlung des mumok, Wien befindlichen handschriftlichen Kopie der 1975 veröffentlichten 5. Auflage des 1920 erstmals im Verlag Neues Leben Bad Goisern, OÖ erschienen Buches von Dr. Franz Xaver Mayr „Schönheit und Verdauung oder die Verjüngung des Menschen nur durch sachgemäße Wartung des Darmes“ [Reading Performance] (2016; Josef Dabernig) // Los Feliz (Edgar Honetschläger) // RoCH (Trilogies) [Installation] (2015; Susan Lok3 Pui3 Saan1) // Simulacrum Tremendum (Khavn de la Cruz) // Studie für Film (Künstlerhaus Bremen) {Installation] (2016; Margaret Honda) // Unižennye i oskorblennye (Humiliated and Insulted; Marina Razbeškina)

Olaf Möller’s Eleven Veterans 2016

Team Manager (Revelation of the Year)

  • Malay oki kaisen (1943; Ōfuji Noburō)
  • Senninbari [Fragment] (The Thousand-Stitch Belt, 1937; Saegusa Genjirō)
  • Shanhai rikusentai (Naval Brigade at Shanghai, 1939; Kumagai Hisatora)

First Team (Line-Up in strictly alphabetical order)

  • Ai no machikado 2-chōme 3-banchi (Happiness Avenue, 1986; Hirano Katsuyuki)
  • [Défilé du 96° de ligne, II] (1896-98?; Société anonyme des plaques et papiers photographique Antoine Lumière et ses fils)
  • Dva druga, model’ i podruga (Three Friends and an Invention, 1928; Aleksej Popov)
  • Excelsior! [Fragment] (1913; Luca Comerio)
  • Es genügt nicht 18 zu sein (Being 18 Is Not Enough, 1966; Kurt Tetzlaff)
  • Laughter in Hell (1933; Edward L. Cahn)
  • Más allá del olvido (1955; Hugo del Carril)
  • Only Yesterday (1933; John M. Stahl)
  • S̄ạnti-Wīṇā (1954; Thwī Ṇ Bāngcĥāng)
  • Shikisai manga no dekiru made (Until the Colour Animation Is Made, 1937; Ogino Shigeji)
  • Za Ondeko-za (The Ondekoza, 1981/94; Katō Tai)
  • + Wink vom Nachbarn. Bemerkungen zum Filmfestival Oberhausen 66 (A Nod From the Neighbor. Notes on the Oberhausen 66 Film Festival, 1966; Harry Hornig [& Walter Heynowski & Gerhard Scheumann])

+ Tōkyō ~ Rebun-tō 41-kakan. Jitensha Touring Document. Wakuwaku furin ryokō. 200-patsu mo yatchatta! (1997; Hirano Katsuyuki)


ʾpšaruyot, ʾo: Kḥol haZaqan Wʾny (Possibilities or Bluebeard & Me, 1983; Raḥel Ḥalfi) // 24 Stunden aus dem Leben einer Frau (24 Hours in the Life of a Woman, 1931; Robert Land) // Back Street (1932; John M. Stahl) // A Canção da Terra (The Song From Earth, 1938; Jorge Brum do Canto) // ¿Cual es la cubana de los ojos mas lindos? (1929; Ernesto Gallardo) // Danseuses des rues (1896-98?; Société anonyme des plaques et papiers photographique Antoine Lumière et ses fils) // Historia de una noche (1940; Luís Saslavsky) // Kansas City Bomber (1970; Jerrold Freedman) // [Katsudō Shashin] (~1907?) // Kazoku kaigi (Family Meeting; 1936 Shimazu Yasujirō) // Madame Tallien (1916; Enrico Guazzoni) // Naked Sea (1954; Allen H. Miner) & Chubasco (1967; Allen H. Miner) // Native Son / Sangre negra (1950; Pierre Chenal) // Paul Dessau. Studie über die aufbauende Unzufriedenheit eines Komponisten (Paul Dessau, 1967; Richard Cohn-Vossen) // Peau de pêche (Peach Skin, 1929; Marie Epstein & Jean Benoît-Levy) // I plotoni nuotatori della 3.a divisione di cavalleria comandata da S.A.R. Il Conte di Torino (1912; Luca Comerio) // Le Quadrille (1950; Jacques Rivette) // Shabhā-ye Zayandeh-rūd (The Nights of Zayandeh-rood, 1990; Moḥsen Maḫmalbāf) // Varsovie, quand même… (1954; Yannick Bellon) // X chiama Y (1967; Mario Masini) // Yínhàn shuāngxīng (Two Stars, 1931; Shǐ Dōngshān) // Yoru no kawa (Night River, 1956; Yoshimura Kōzaburō) // Žavoronok (Tank T-34, 1964; Leonid Menaker & Nikita Kurichin) // Ze szlaku wyzwolenia (1984; Ludomir Motylski)

+ The Big Valley: The River Monarch (1966; Sutton Roley) // The Bold Ones: The Senator – A Continual Roar of Musketry, 1 & 2 (1970; Robert Day) // Combat!: Survival (1963; Robert Altman) // Io e…: Parise e… Piazza San Marco (1972; Luciano Emmer) // Kiimaiset poliisit [Miniseries] (1993; Jouku Turkka) // Outlaws: Starfall, 1 & 2 (1960; Walter Doniger) // Rawhide: Corporal Dasovik (1964; Bernard Louis Kowalski) // Rebellion der Verlorenen [Miniseries] (1969; Fritz Umgelter)

+ Tōkyō ~ Hokkaidō. Jitensha Road FUCKING. Wakuwaku furin ryokō 2 (1998; Hirano Katsuyuki)

Extended Team

…dann springt mein Herz (My Heart Leaps, 1966; Gitta Nickel) // 1/880000 no kodoku (Isolation of 1/880000, 1977; Ishii Sōgo) // Afraid to Talk (1932; Edward L. Cahn) // Akai jinbaori (The Scarlet Cloak, 1958; Yamamoto Satsuo) // L’Angélus de la victoire (1916; Léonce Perret) // Araki Mataemon [Toy film digest] (1931; Tsuji Kichirō) // Arch of Triumph (1948; Lewis Milestone) // Atsuatsu one-san: Gokubuto konemawasu (2010; Takehara Tsuya) // Atto senza parole 2 (1966; Carlo di Carlo) // Atu Oru Kaṉākkālam (That Was a Period of Dream, 2005; Bālū Mahēndra) // Aux quatre coins (1948; Jacques Rivette) // Avanzi di galera (Jailbirds, 1954; Vittorio Cottafavi) // Ballet: ‘Le Carnaval de Venise’, II (1896-98?; Société anonyme des plaques et papiers photographique Antoine Lumière et ses fils) // Berlin Klammer Auf Ost Klammer Zu (Berlin Open Bracket East Close Bracket, 1966; Fritz Illing & Werner Klett) // Bestiario (1967; Tonino De Bernardi) // The Brat (1931; John Ford) // Break up (1968; Marco Ferreri) // Brennende Langeweile – Bored Teenagers (1978; Wolfgang Büld) // Bunbuku chagama (The Bunbuku Teapot, 1928; Murata Yasuji) // Il carnevale di Nizza del 1910 (1910; Luca Comerio) // Cartagine in fiamme (Carthage in Flames, 1960; Carmine Gallone) // Chikemuri Takadanobaba [Toy film digest] (1929: Itō Daisuke) & [Toy film digest] (1932; Inagaki Hiroshi) // Cinque minuti con… – Cinecittà (1939; Pietro Francisci) // Chịyā (Muay Thai Chaiya, 2007; K̂xngkeīyrti K̄homṣ̄iri) // Claro (1975; Glauber Rocha) // Contare sulle proprie forze – Zìlìgēngshēng (1972; Mario Bernardo) // A Dança dos Paroxismos (1930; Jorge Brum do Canto) // The Days of Our Years (1955; Allen H. Miner) // Densha ga kido wo hashiru made (1929, Shigeji Ogino) // Il documento (1939; Mario Camerini) // Donne-moi tes yeux (My Last Mistress, 1943; Sasha Guitry) // Ehesache Lorenz (1959; Joachim Kunert) // Escala en la ciudad (1935; Alberto de Zavalía) // Evian: Procession de le Fête-Dieu IV (1896-98?; Société anonyme des plaques et papiers photographique Antoine Lumière et ses fils) // La famiglia Reale nell’intimità (1911; Luca Comerio) // Le Fer à cheval (1909; Camille de Morlhon) // The Good Fairy (1935; William Wyler) // Gunshin Tachibana-chūsa (War God Lieutenant Colonel Tachibana, 1926; Saegusa Genjirō) // Haha to ko (Mother and Child, 1938; Shibuya Minoru) // Ḥăloma (Her Dream, 1987; Raḥel Ḥalfi) // Hanasareru Gang (The Gang Separates, 1984; Suwa Nobuhiro) // Harms (2014; Nikolai Müllerschön) // Hatsuharu tanuki goten (Enchanted Princess, 1959; Kimura Keigo) // Hidden Gold (1940; Lesley Selander) // A House Divided (1931; William Wyler) // Ich küsse ihre Hand, Madam (I Kiss Your Hand, Madam, 1929; Robert Land) // Ima koko de daite. Shujin ga ne teru ma ni… (2011; Fukuhara Akira) // L’intrusa (The Intruder, 1956; Raffaello Matarazzo) // Jazz musume tanjō (A Jazz Girl Is Born, 1957; Sunohara Masahisa) // Jogakusei Guerilla (Female Student Guerilla, 1969; Adachi Masao) // Das kalte Herz (The Cold Heart, 1933/2016; Karl Ulrich Schnabel) // Kaniman-ji engi (The Tale Of Crab Temple, 1925; Okuda Hidehiko & Uchida Tomu & Kimura Hakuzan) // Karla [preservation DCP of a work print] (1965-66/15; Hermann Zschoche) // Khwāmrạk khwāms̄uk̄h khwāmthrngcả (Home: Love, Happiness, Memories, 2012; Chūkeīyrti Ṣ̄ạkdi̒wīrakul) // Kinbaku: Hakui gōmon (1982; Watanabe Mamoru) // King of Jazz (1930; John Murray Anderson) // Kurama Tengu [Toy film digest] (1938; Makino Masahirō & Matsuda Sadatsugu) // Kwiro (Home Bound, 1967; I Manhŭi) // Kyōdo no hokori (1932, Shigeji Ogino) // Liberté surveillée, (Provisional Liberty, 1957; Henri Eisner & Vladimír Vlček [& Marie Epstein?]) // Magia verde (Green Magic, 1953; Gian Gaspare Napolitano) // Maids and Muslin (1920; Noel Mason Smith) // Memento (1966; Karlheinz Mund) // Miedo a salir de noche (1980; Eloy de la Iglesia) // Mofukuzuma: Ikenie jigoku (1992; Kitazawa Yukio) // Natsuko no bōken (The Adventures of Natsuko, 1953; Nakamura Noboru) // Nawa to chibusa (Rope and Breasts, 1983; Konuma Masaru) // Néron essayant des poisons sur des esclaves (1897; Georges Hatot & Gaston Bretteau) // Nodaji (A Bonanza, 1961; Chŏng Ch’angwa) // Ojōsan kampai (A Toast to the Young Miss, 1949; Kinoshita Keisuke) // Operation Dead End (1986; Nikolai Müllerschön) // L’orizzonte (1969; Raffaele Andreassi) // Otoko no hanamichi (A Man’s Flower Road, 1986; Sono Shion) // Ang Panday (1980; Ronwaldo Reyes) // El parque del Palatino (1906; Enrique Díaz Quesada) // Piume al vento (1950; Ugo Amadoro [& Goffredo Alessandrini?]) // Quo vadis? (1901; Ferdinand Zecca & Lucien Nonguet) // La ragazza e il generale (The Girl and the General, 1967; Pasquale Festa Campanile) // Rājnīti (Politics, 2010; Prakāś Jhā) // Śarapañjara (Cage of Arrows, 1971; Śubravēṣṭhi Rāmasvāmayya Puṭṭaṇṇa Kaṇagāl) // Scano Boa (1961; Renato Dall’Ara) // Semmelweis – Retter der Mütter (1950; Georg C. Klaren) // Si muero antes de despertar (1952; Carlos Hugo Christensen) // Sieben Tage Frist (Seven Days Grace, 1969; Alfred Vohrer) // Il silenzio (1964; Raffaele Andreassi) // Les Sorcières de Salem (1957; Raymond Rouleau) // Das Stacheltier – Die Frau seiner Träume (1960; Otto Tausig) // Tōkyō hakusai-seki K-sha (Tōkyō Cabbageman K, 1980; Ogata Akira) // Tsukino miya no ōjo-sama (The Mooncastle Princess, 1934; Murata Yasuji) & Midori haruka ni (Far Off in the Green, 1955; Inoue Umetsugu) // UNK (1979; Tezuka Makoto) // Die Verantwortung (Responsibility, 1966; Kurt Tetzlaff) // Der verlorene Engel: Ein Tag im Leben Ernst Barlachs (The Lost Angel, 1970; Ralf Kirsten) // La vita semplice (1946; Francesco de Robertis) // Vues Lumière: no. 349: Exercice à la baïonnette (1896; Gabriel Veyre) // Wer stirbt schon gerne unter Palmen (1974; Alfred Vohrer) // Yoshizawa Akiho – Shitakute shitakute (2012; Satō Osamu) // Zwei rote Rosen (Two Red Roses, 1928; Robert Land)

+ Der Acht-Stunden Mann (1973; Carlo di Carlo) // The Bold Ones: The New Doctors – A Quality of Fear (1972; Richard Donner) // The Bold Ones: The Senator – The Day the Lion Died (1970; Daryl Duke) // The Bold Ones: The Senator – Power Play (1970; Jerrold Freedman) // The Bold Ones: The Senator – Some Day, They’ll Elect a President (1971; John Badham) // A Cold Night’s Death (1973; Jerrold Freedman) // Faces of November (1964; Robert Drew) // Frauen in Deutschland. Thilo Koch berichtet (Women in Germany. Thilo Koch Reports, 1966; Peter Otto) // Hoffnung – Fünfmal am Tag. Beobachtungen auf einem deutschen Bahnhof (Hope Comes Five Times a Day. Observations At a German Train Station, 1966; Hans-Dieter Grabe) // Miraž [Miniseries] (1983; Aloizs Brenčs) // Outlaws: Beat the Drum Slowly (1960; Walter Doniger) // Peyton Place [# 204] (1966; Walter Doniger) // Raid Into Tibet (1966; Adrian Cowell) // Rendezvous mit Unbekannt. Berichte aus der Pionierzeit der Abwehrorgane der DDR [Miniseries] (1969; Veiczi János) // Sarge: The Combatants (Walter Doniger) // Die Verfolgung und Ermordung des Strafgefangenen Ludwig L. (1971; Carlo di Carlo)

+ Ki tōkō [Roshutsu kōsoku x Namahame jukujo] (2006; Hirano Katsuyuki) // Machichi no onna-tachi (2004; Hirano Katsuyuki, Company Matsuo, Takatsuki Akira) // SEAL Team 8 – Behind Enemy Lines (2014; Roel Reiné)

Medical Staff

(film/video-based/related installations, film/video art projects, films/videos seen in exhibitions, and other creations and happenings such as these)

Grind (2012; Jenni Hiltunen) // Proposal for a New Kunsthaus, not further developed [Slide Projection] (2004; Josef Dabernig) // [Rushes di ‘Nostra Signora dei Turchi’] (1968; Carmelo Bene)




Once again, most of my favourites this year first appeared in Melbourne at the Melbourne International Film Festival. In no particular order:

  • No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
  • The Death and Life of Otto Bloom (Cris Jones, 2016)
  • !Ejhdeha Vared Mishavad (A Dragon Arrives!, Mani Haghighi, 2016)
  • Lu bian ye can (Kaili Blues, Gan Bi, 2015)
  • La Academia de las Musas (Academy of Muses, José Luis Guerín, 2015)
  • Le Fils de Joseph (The Son of Joseph, Eugène Green, 2016)
  • High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2015)
  • Innocence of Memories (Grant Gee, 2015)
  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  • Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (Visit or Memories and Confessions, Manoel de Oliveira, 1982/2015).

One should also mention that this has been a fabulous year for books on the cinema, my favourites being:

  • Éric Rohmer: A Biography. (Antoine De Baecque & Noel Herpe. Columbia University Press, 2016)
  • Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, edited by Ted Fendt (Austrian Film Museum, 2016)
  • Writings by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, edited by Sally Shafto (Sequence Press, 2016)
  • Bresson on Bresson: Interviews, 1943-1983 by Robert Bresson, edited by Mylene Bresson (New York Review Books, 2016).
world film poll 2016





Top 10 films first screened commercially, or via local festivals, in Australia in 2016:

  1. The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
    The first film I saw in 2016 was also the one to most accurately frame the violently toxic, tumultuous socio-political landscape to come. Tarantino’s purest “spaghetti western”, most politically vital film and best since Kill Bill. Also my favourite theatrical experience of the year, thanks to QT, Ennio and the Astor Theatre.
  1. The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2016)
    Refn’s most screw-you moment to date is an exquisite neo-giallo that plays like a 21st century Grimm’s Fairy Tale. Many hated it, I wanted to bathe in every frame – but I love that NWR doesn’t give a damn either way.
  1. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
    “Never lose your humour.” Christ, is there a single quote more helpful to surviving the clustercuss that was the 2016 news cycle? A daring exercise in form, cranking up the social cringe comedy to epic proportions; its final act prompting a thunderous release of laughs and tears like few I can recall.
  1. Goldstone (Ivan Sen, 2016)
    Sublime outback noir shows you can make a film that’s thoroughly Australian, yet plays like 70s New Hollywood, as Sen brilliantly racks focus from the racial tensions of Mystery Road to the economic forces that keep them in place. Aaron Pedersen is a goddamn movie star. I’m generally anti-sequel, but I’ll follow Jay Swan wherever Sen points him.
  1. 13TH (Ava DuVernay, 2016)
    DuVernay unleashes the full force of her justifiable rage and considerable filmmaking powers on highlighting the mass incarceration of African-American males, and its link to slavery. Excoriating, essential stuff, executed with an urgency befitting its subjects’ plight.
  1. Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2016)
    Another rage-inducing masterwork by a female filmmaker: debutant Ergüven takes on patriarchal tyranny of fundamentalist religion and its impact on young women, depicting despair, resignation and hope in equal measure – with incredible suspense, as it’s ingeniously structured like an escape thriller. Wadjda meets Papillion.
  1. The Witch (Or is it The VVitch?) (Robert Eggers, 2016)
    Speaking of female empowerment: here’s perhaps the weirdest, creepiest and – to borrow from Black Philip – delicious tale of actualisation of this, or any other, year? Exhaustive research and stunning design force a complete immersion into 17th century Puritanical New England – but it’s emerging lead Anya Taylor-Joy (and that goat) who’ll linger in your mind long after.
  1. The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015)
    The screenwriting high-wire act of the year, untangling the baffling mishegoss of the 2007/8 Global Financial Crisis with intelligence, insouciance and incredible skill. McKay’s anarchic style is employed to hilarious, devastating effect, but his anger and empathy is felt every step of the way.
  1. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
    In this bittersweet musical fable, Chazelle does Coppola’s One from the Heart right, giving it a spine and removing the misogyny, to fashion a beautiful ode to the City of Angels and its dreamers – and the sacrifices such dreams often demand. Gosling and Stone’s combined charm could power a planet.
  2. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
    In this breathtakingly shot, cleverly crafted sci-fi parable for adults, Villenueve finally finds a Hollywood vehicle where the pieces all click together. Its timing may be accidental, but its message of communication, understanding and empathy makes it exactly the kind of big picture we need right now.

Honourable Mentions (all could’ve been 10th):

Gokseong (The Wailing, Na Hong-jin, 2016)
Grave (Raw Julia Ducournau, 2016)
Eye in the Sky (Gavin Hood, 2015)
Winter at Westbeth (Rohan Spong, 2015)
Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford, 2016)



  1. Aga Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  2. A Quiet Passion (Terrence Davies, 2016)
  3. Love and Friendship (Whit Stillman, 201
  4. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  5. Umi yori mo Mada Fukaku (After the Storm, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2016)
  6. L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
  7. Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  8. The Love Witch (Anna Biller, 2016)
  9. Happî awâ(Happy Hour, Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
  10. Girl Asleep (Rosemary Myers, 2015)
  11. Sunset Song (Terence Davies, 2015)
  12. A United Kingdom (Amma Asante, 2016)
  13. Gokusen (The Wailing, Na Hong-jin, 2016)
  14. Bridget Jones’ Baby (Sharon Maguire, 2016)
  15. The Neon Demon (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2016)
  16. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da (Right Now, Wrong Then, Sang-Soo Hong, 2015)
  17. What’s in the Darkness? (Wang Yichun, 2016)
  18. Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang Ho, 2016)
  19. Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
  20. Watashitachi no haa haa (Our Huff and Puff Journey, Daigo Matsui, 2015)

Every year I read about directors and cinephiles alike bemoaning the death of film or the decline of the industry. I’m hardly an optimist, but year after year this happens, and year after year I still find myself profoundly moved, challenged and entertained by films. There are always great films waiting to be found, if only more people looked beyond the obvious of the white heterosexual male dominated industry and stories and keep their eyes out for female filmmakers and world cinema. Many of the stories that I have chosen for my year end list reflect my concerns and the stories I want to see depicted. Films by women, films about women, world cinema and in particularly Asian cinema. With so much erasure of Asian voices and stories in Hollywood, I feel more strongly than ever that it is my duty to spotlight the brilliant films coming out of the region.




Top Ten Films of 2016

Ranked in an order I’ll probably regret by 2017.

  1. Toni Erdmann(Maren Ade, 2016)

Quite possibly the only daddy-daughter comedy that doubles as a sly critique of capitalism. It’s hilarious and tender; I never wanted it to end.

  1. Arrival(Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

Not only did this give me all the feels, it’s also that rare commercial film that makes thinking imperative and rewarding, and celebrates the finer points of language and science.

  1. Saul fia(Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015)

Holocaust films tend to be harrowing by nature but Son of Saul‘s radical telephoto camerawork amplifies the effect: it individualises the despair of the protagonist while letting the wider horrors of the Holocaust fester off the frame in our imagination.

  1. Kate Plays Christine(Robert Greene, 2016)

It’s captivating enough as a documentary about an actor preparing for a role, but it goes to another level when it reveals itself as a stinging rebuke of our thirst for tabloid fodder.

  1. Nocturnal Animals(Tom Ford, 2016)

Considering it’s basically a movie about a woman reading a book, it’s remarkable how visceral and haunting Tom Ford’s second feature is. But it’s even more compelling as a meditation on the joys and sorrows of the creative process.

  1. Ji-geum-eun-mat-go-geu-ddae-neun-teul-li-da(Right Now, Wrong Then, Hong Sang-soo, 2015)

Languorous it may be, but the warmth and inventiveness of this humble romantic two-hander are marvellous to behold. In Hong’s game of alternate universes, fate turns on the smallest details of human interaction.

  1. Blue Jay(Alex Lehmann, 2016)

Speaking of romantic two-handers, this one has a more conventional form but I was floored by its wit, look and bittersweet tone. Sarah Paulson is a revelation as a romantic lead.

  1. Busanhaeng(Train to Busan, Sang-ho Yeon, 2016)

Sure, it’s essentially “zombies on a train” but there aren’t many films as wild in spirit and elegantly plotted like this one.

  1. Snowden(Oliver Stone, 2016)

It might not be as hyperkinetic as your typical Oliver Stone movie but this is a masterclass in simplifying complex material and smoothing it out into a thrilling narrative.

  1. De Palma(Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow, 2015)

Admirably basic in its construction, De Palma proves all you need to make a film is a captivating speaker: the man talks, you listen, the movie clips dazzle.




In alphabetical order.

Deadpool (Tim Miller, 2016)
One of the best comic-book films in recent years, or a guilty pleasure that breaks the fourth wall too many times for its own good? Deadpool finally brings this iconic anti-hero onto the big screen that is sure to please many of its fans.

Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi, 2016)
With exquisite cinematography, and scenes that are left for the viewers to develop their views rather than spoon-feeding what you need to feel, Fire at Sea is the feature-length documentary of the year.

První sníh (First Snow, Lenka Ivancikova, 2016)
If Yuri Norstien went into stop-motion animation, then this Czech short would be the outcome of what is an elegant piece of a non-speaking narrative about a hedgehog coping with the wintry perils of their forest.

Kaputt (Broken- The Women’s Prison at Hoheneck, Alexander Lahl & Volker Schlecht, 2016)
Using traditional hand-drawn animation techniques, this documentary short brings the horrors that went on in an East German prison to life with stark imagery and elegant transitions from one scene to another.

Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
Studio Laika’s best feature since Coraline, Kubo combines fantastic visual imagery with powerful messages on the theme of spirituality.

Sweet Maddie Stone (Brady Hood, 2016)
This titular character, performed brilliantly by Jessica Barden, proves that you can emphasise towards a juvenile delinquent with an exceptional script. Remember this British short drama’s director, as he is destined to do great things after such an achievement.

Trial (David T. Lynch & Keith Lynch, 2016)
This British sci-fi short delivers a cleverly constructed tale about a mind transfer experiment going wrong. Trial is an excellent piece of a cinematic white-knuckle ride, all done within 15 minutes leaving you on the edge of your seat… and probably a bit confused in a good way.




Films I can’t forget in a year I desperately want to forget!


  1. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  2. Arrival (Denis Villenueve, 2016)
  3. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  4. Neruda (Pablo Larraín, 2016)
  5. I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, 2016)
  6. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  7. A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015)
  8. The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2015)
  9. L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
  10. Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)


  1. O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)
  2. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)
  3. Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi, 2016)
  4. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman, 2015)
  5. Homeland: Iraq Year Zero (Abbas Fahdel, 2015)
  6. Kate Plays Christine (Robert Greene, 2016)
  7. I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016)
  8. Dubina dva (Depth Two, Ognjen Glavonić, 2016)
  9. Weiner (Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg, 2016)
  10. Tower (Keith Maitland, 2016)
world film poll 2016




  1. The Revenant (Alejandro G. Iñárritu, 2015)
  2. Rippu Van Winkuru no hanayome (A Bride for Rip Van Winkle, Shunji Iwai, 2016)
  3. La tortue rouge (The Red Turtle, Michaël Dudok de Wit, 2016)
  4. Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea, Gianfranco Rosi, 2016)
  5. High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2015)
  6. L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
  7. Homo Sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2016)
  8. Asphalte (Macadam Stories, Samuel Benchetrit, 2015)
  9. HyperNormalisation (Adam Curtis, 2016)
  10. Juste la fin du monde (It’s Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan, 2016)
  11. Montanha (João Salaviza, 2015)
  12. Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  13. The Phenom (Noah Buschel, 2016)
  14. Já, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová, Petr Kazda & Tomás Weinreb, 2016)
  15. The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)
  16. Évolution (Lucile Hadžihalilović, 2015)




As every year, my list is not a best-of collection per se, as I do not believe in quantitative methods when it comes to cinema. Instead, I took again a curatorial approach and chose those ten festival premieres I believe are the most representative / meaningful / daring. For good or for bad, many are documentaries and hybrid forms, because this is the type of cinema that slowly but surely conquers my viewing experience. All of these titles come from different countries and are listed in alphabetical order:

Albüm (Album, Mehmet Can Mertoğlu, 2016)
Turkish cinema does not need an introduction, but it is rare to see such a spot-on comedy of morals that burns bit by bit into elegy.

Animal político (Tião, 2016)
The film opens as a cattle gag only to turn into a political allegory à la Glauber Rocha without losing its self-ironic stance for a second.

Bezbog (Godless, Ralitza Petrova, 2016)
The most intense and divisive Bulgarian film of the year, Ralitza Petrova’s debut feature is a Buddhist rumination on suffering and national karma.

Câini (Dogs, Bogdan Mirică, 2016)
2016 was very strong for Romanian cinema, yet this both robust and exquisite genre piece makes Bogdan Mirică a filmmaker to follow.

Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson, 2016)
Plenty of high-quality documentaries from the States to choose from, still Cameraperson easily won over, probably as it had the strongest effect on me – as someone who is engaged in the politics of images and as a working mother.

The Challenge (Yuri Ancarani, 2016)
A door opens to another world, and we simply slide in on a sand dune, a mesmerising sci-fi masked as anthropological expedition in the desert.

Die Geträumten (The Dreamed Ones, Ruth Beckermann, 2016)
For me, this lyric(al) narrative brought back faith in poetry and German language.

Have You Seen My Movie? (Paul Anton Smith, 2016)
A mind-blowing collage / appropriation of cinema-going, cinephilia, and film canon.

Moi drug Boris Nemtsov (My Friend, Boris Nemtsov, Zosya Rodkevich, 2015)
For the Russian slot, I long hesitated between Ivan I. Tverdovsky’s Zoologiya and Kirill Serebrennikov’s (M)uchenik — a newcomer to keep an eye on and a director on the top of his game, nevertheless at the very last moment my choice fell on Zosya Rodkevich’s documentary on yet another Antichrist figure in contemporary Russia, only a real one. Very well constructed portrait of a man, and a country.

Ostatnia rodzina (The Last Family, Jan Matuszynski 2016)
One more debut work on my list, but very mature, wise, and multilayered.

Special mention goes to Garn (Yarn, Una Lorenzen, Heather Millard & Þórður Bragi Jónsson, 2016) – a film that I have very personal reasons to love for its subject and its yarnbombing attitude
And as 2016 was largely marked by the (second) coming of VR, my nomination for the best use of VR goes to Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness (project creators Arnaud Colinart, Amaury Laburthe, Peter Middleton & James Spinney)

Special cinephilia highlight of 2016: The Cinéma du Réel retrospective co-organized with the Albanian National Film Archive.




The following are all films I was able to come by in 2016, with a few 2015 festival films that didn’t make it to Philadelphia until recently. By and large it was a good year for films that were able to tell great stories without the necessity of a big budget or scope. Pundits have talked to death that film is seemingly dead due to an onslaught of big budget flops. This is mere hyperbole as more films are being made now than ever before; it’s just the wealth of material has been spread across smaller features instead of the big blockbusters, which aren’t going away anytime soon.

If you knew where to look, there was plenty of films to enjoy.  From 7 ½ hour documentaries to personal visual albums, there wasn’t even enough time to see everything (especially if your Netflix Queue is backed up). This year we saw a smorgasbord of quality low budget horror flicks, a cornucopia of auteur dramas, and a slew of emerging filmmakers who might shape the future of cinema. I’ve attempted to include all of the above on my list in the hopes of spreading the love wide and far.

  1. Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  2. Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  3. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
  4. O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)
  5. The Nice Guys (Shane Black, 2016)
  6. La La Land (Damien Chazelle, 2016)
  7. Zootopia (Byron Howard & Rich Moore, 2016)
  8. The Love Witch (Anna Biller, 2016)
  9. Grave (Raw, Julia Ducournau, 2016)
  10. Zir-e Sayeh (Under the Shadow, Babak Anvari, 2016)
  11. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  12. Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier, 2015)
  13. The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015)
  14. Beyoncé: Lemonade (Kahlil Joseph & Beyonce Knowles, 2016)
  15. Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
  16. Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  17. The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015)
  18. 13TH (Ava DuVernay, 2016)
  19. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg, 2016)
  20. Busanhaeng (Train to Busan, Yeon Sang-ho, 2016)

As a bonus, the best film I saw a re-release in Philadelphia this year was The Dekalog (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1989, 2016 re-release).

world film poll 2016





Although I have not seen some of most voted movies, I enjoyed a bunch of cinematic experiences. First of all I would highly praise as possible masterpieces Lu bian ye can (Kaili blues, Gan Bi, 2015) and Saul fia (Son of Saul, László Nemes, 2015), two cinematic, innovative, glances on a dream life story and a real nightmare, respectively.

On the other hand there have been really interesting movies coming from Spain such as La Academia de las Musas (The Academy of Muses, JL. Guerin, 2015), Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce, 2016) and La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV Albert Serra, 2016).

My list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the following movies:

Ejdeha Vared Mishavad! (A Dragon Arrives!. Mani Haghighi, 2016)
A complex and fascinating Persian fantastic tale inclusive of political references.  

Some sharp and bitter looks into real USA, through diverse characters and situations: American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016), The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015), Krisha (Trey Edward Shults, 2015) and Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)

The use of tales and elements of comedy to show actual drama and even tragedy in Europe in As Mil e Uma Noites: Volume 1, O Inquieto (Arabian Nights: Volume 1 – The Restless One, Miguel Gomes, 2015) or The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2015).

And also:
A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies, 2016)
Zir-e Sayeh (Under the Shadow, Babak Anvari, 2016)
Raman Raghav 2.0 (Anurag Kashyap, 2016)
The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino, 2015)
Kaguyahime no monogatari (The Tale of Princess Kaguya, I. Takahara, 2013)
Trois souvenirs de ma jeunesse (My Golden days Arnaud Desplechin, 2015)
L’avenir (Things to come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
La region salvaje
(The Untamed, Amat Escalante, 2016)
Paterson (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)
Havarie (Philip Scheffner, 2016)
Das große museum
(The Great Museum Johannes Holzhausen, 2013)

And last but not least, I think we must remark on a big group of really enticing South Korean movies that show not only the strength of its industry, but also the abilities of their authors and demand more attention. Movies such as:
Gokusen (The Wailing, Na Hong-jin, 2016)
The Age of Shadows (Kim Jee-woon, 2016)
Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
Teo-neol (The Tunnel, Kim Seong-hun, 2016)
(The Tiger, an Old Hunter’s Tale, Park Hoon-jung, 2015)




(In no particular order)

  • The Childhood of a Leader (Brady Corbet, 2015)
  • The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2015)
  • Goldstone (Ivan Sen, 2016)
  • Sully (Clint Eastwood, 2016)
  • High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2016)
  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  • Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
  • O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, 2016)
  • Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  • Hail, Caesar! (Ethan Coen & Joel Coen, 2016)
  • Under the Shadow (Babak Anvari, 2016)
  • Les innocents (The Innocents, Anne Fontaine, 2016)
  • Knight of Cups (Terrence Malick, 2015)
  • Into the Inferno (Werner Herzog, 2016)




Favourite foreign films

  1. Party Girl (Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger & Samuel Theis, 2014)
  2. Happî awâ (Happy Hour, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2015)
  3. Cirkeln (The Circle, Levan Akin, 2015)
  4. Eika Katappa (Werner Schroeter, 1969)
  5. Segreti di stato (Secret File, Paolo Benvenuti, 2003)
  6. Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)
  7. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (F.W. Murnau, 1927)
  8. Der subjektive Faktor (The Subjective Factor, Helke Sander, 1981)
  9. The Blackcoat’s Daughter/ February (Oz Perkins, 2015)
  10. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
  11. Maynila: Sa mga kuko ng liwanag (Manila in the Claws of Light, Lino Brocka, 1975)
  12. Nounai poizun berî (Poison Berry in My Brain, Yûichi Satô, 2015)
  13. Toute une nuit (A Whole Night, Chantal Akerman, 1982)
  14. Trailers (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2016)
  15. L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)

Favourite Thai films

  1. Rak ti Khon Kaen (Cemetery of Splendor, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2015)
  2. Dao khanong (By the Time It Gets Dark, Anocha Suwichakornpong, 2016)
  3. Kwam sao kong poot pee (Insurgency by a Tapir, Ratchapoom Boonbunchachoke, Wachara Kanha, Chulayarnnon Siriphol & Chaloemkiat Saeyong, 2016)
  4. Sa-nap (Snap, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee, 2015)
  5. Thudongkawat (Wandering, Boonsong Nakphoo, 2016)
  6. Time Actually Passes Slower in Dream (Alwa Ritsila, Lucy Day & Watcharapong Narongphine, 2016)
  7. Maha samut lae susaan (The Island Funeral, Pimpaka Towira, 2015)
  8. Prayoon (Somchai Tidsanawoot, 2016)
  9. Bermuda (Phawinee Sattawatsakul, 2016)
  10. Santi-Vina (Marut, 1954)
  11. Goodnight, Me (Satapron Suphawatee, 2016)
  12. Orathai Isoon (Pussy’s Throne, Sukrit Wongsrikaew, 2016)
  13. Rai gal (Subconsciousness, Tani Thitiprawat, 2016)
  14. Thepthida Bar 21 (Angel of Bar 21, Euthana Mukdasanit, 1978)
  15. Thongphun Khokpho ratsadorn tem khan (The Citizen, Chatrichalerm Yukol, 1977)

Favourite foreign short films

  1. Trespassed (Ho Yuhang, 2016)
  2. Bite (Charlotte Lim Lay Kuen, 2016)
  3. In the Dark and Deep Part of the Night (Enzo Cillo, 2015)
  4. Zero Distance (Lennert De Taeye, 2016)
  5. I’d Rather Not Say (Pedro Augusto Almeida, 2015)
  6. Ai đó đang đi vào rừng (Someone Is Going to Forest, Truong Minh Quy, 2013)
  7. Sea of Ash (Michael MacGarry, 2015)
  8. Late Spring: Regrets for Our Youth (Aaron Schimberg, 2009)
  9. May dinadala (The Weight, Giancarlo Abrahan, 2014)
  10. The Soft Giraffe (Guillaume Vallée, 2013)
  11. La légende dorée (The Golden Legend, Olivier Smolders, 2015)
  12. Elephant (Mona Kakanj, 2014)
  13. The Exquisite Corpus (Peter Tscherkassky, 2015)
  14. Junilyn Has (Carlo Manatad, 2015)
  15. Udhar (Tunggul Banjaransari, 2014)

Favourite Thai short films

  1. There’s Nothing at the Beginning (Pattanapol Suthaporn, 2016)
  2. Nai puentee nun (Block, Rattanawan Ngamwong, 2016)
  3. Sueng mae (A Real Dream, Chinavorn Nongyao, 2016)
  4. Anatomy of Her (2016, Waranyaa Punamsap, 2016)
  5. Fun sam baht (Three-Baht Dreams, Sompong Soda, 2016)
  6. Wattajakrawal (The Cycle of Universe, Pinmanee Emtanom, 2016)
  7. Layer un tubsorn larkluen kong kwam narag lae unhapoom kong kwam suay (Because Neoteny Is a Real Deal, Theeraphat Ngathong, 2016)
  8. Pason torn nuea nai pumi arkard ron chuen (Blackbird, Nattawoot Nimitchaikosol, 2016)
  9. Sang nang sun (To Make a Short Film, Akkaphon Satum, 2016)
  10. The Purple Kingdom (Pimpaka Towira, 2016)
  11. Mochit, Almost Love Story (Segment in the omnibus film Bangkok Stories Wichanon Somumjarn, 2016,)
  12. Ayu yaowares roon jaroen sri (Damsel in Distress, Sivaroj Kongsakul, 2016)
  13. Proeh kwam kidtueng sampas mai dai (Because It Can’t Touch Nostalgia, Arissara Surasang, 2016)
  14. My Vagina Comes from Text (Sasipa Songsermsakuldee, 2016)
  15. Find My iPhone (Krittiya Somboon, 2016)

Favourite Documentaries

  1. Kon mailek soon (Mr. Zero, Nutcha Tantivitayapitak, 2016)
  2. La montagne magique (The Magic Mountain, Andreï Schtakleff, 2015)
  3. Los reyes del pueblo que no existe (Kings of Nowhere, Betzabé García, 2015)
  4. Hôtel Monterey (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
  5. The Memory of Justice (Marcel Ophüls, 1976)
  6. El botón de nácar (The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzmán, 2015)
  7. Walang rape sa Bontok (Bontok, Rapeless, Lester Valle, 2014)
  8. BeFreier und BeFreite (Liberators Take Liberties, Helke Sander, 1992)
  9. Geomiui ttang (Tour of Duty, Kim Dong-ryung, Park Kyoung-tae, 2012)
  10. Anonymous in Bangkok (Sineenat Kamakot, 2016)
  11. La cour de Babel (School of Babel, Julie Bertuccelli, 2013)
  12. Piang rug (Everything Is Family, Wisaruta Rakwongwan, 2016)
  13. Vietnam the Movie (Nguyen Trinh Thi, 2016)
  14. Elle pis son char (A Woman and Her Car, Loïc Darses, 2016)
  15. Baladna alraheeb (Our Terrible Country, Mohammad Ali Atassi, Ziad Homsi, 2014)

Favourite animations

  1. Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  2. Zvahlav aneb Saticky Slameného Huberta (Jabberwocky, Jan Svankmajer, 1971)
  3. Jue ji (L.O.R.D: Legend of Ravaging Dynasties, Guo Jingming, 2016)
  4. Vynález zkázy (Invention for Destruction, Karel Zeman, 1958)
  5. Wrathful King Kong Core (Lu Yang, 2011)
  6. The Tiger of 142B (Harry & Henry Zhuang, 2015)
  7. Krysar (The Pied Piper, Jirí Barta, 1986)
  8. Train Station (Akapop Khansorn, 2015)
  9. Lev a písnicka (The Lion and the Song, Bretislav Pojar, 1959)
  10. Ruka (The Hand, Jirí Trnka, 1965)
  11. Meitantei Conan: Junkoku no naitomea (Detective Conan: The Darkest Nightmare, Kôbun Shizuno, 2016)
  12. Couleur de peau: Miel (Approved for Adoption, Laurent Boileau & Jung, 2012)
  13. Anomalisa (Duke Johnson & Charlie Kaufman, 2015)
  14. Pro mamu (About a Mother, Dina Velikovskaya, 2015)
  15. Repete (Michaela Pavlátová, 1995) 

Favourite video installations

  1. Levitating Exhibition (Ukrit Sa-nguanhai, 2016)
  2. Where the Wild Things Are (Sutthirat Supaparinya, 2016)
  3. Three-Cornered World (Virada Banjurtrungkajorn, 2016)
  4. The Dustpan (Kawita Vatanajyankur, 2015)
  5. Re-constructing Emptiness No.2 (Vichaya Mukdamanee, 2014)
  6. Hidden Love (Tada Hengsapkul, 2016)
  7. Karaoke Twilight (Taweewit Kijtanasoonthorn, 2016)
  8. Strange Loops (Pathompon Tesprateep, 2015)
  9. The Game (Le Brothers, 2013-2015)
  10. Self-Portrait (Amrit Chusuwan, 2016)





  • Sieranevada (Cristi Puiu, 2016)
  • La Mort de Louis XIV (The Death of Louis XIV, Albert Serra, 2016)
  • Der traumhafte Weg (The Dreamed Path, Angela Schanelec, 2016)
  • Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  • Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  • Nocturama (Bertrand Bonello, 2016)
  • El auge del humano (The Human Surge, Eduardo Williams, 2016)
  • O Ornitólogo (The Ornithologist, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2016)
  • Die Geträumten (The Dreamed Ones, Ruth Beckermann, 2016)
  • Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)
  • Hermia & Helena (Matías Piñeiro, 2016)
  • Mimosas (Oliver Laxe, 2016)
  • Restez Vertical (Staying Vertical, Alain Guiraudie, 2016)
  • Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa, 2016)
  • L’avenir (Things to Come, Mia Hansen-Løve, 2016)
  • Ta’ang (Wang Bing, 2016)
  • A Magical Substance Flows into Me (Jumana Manna, 2016)
  • Kékszakállú (Gastón Solnicki, 2016)
  • Svi severni gradovi (All the Cities of the North, Dane Komljen, 2016)
  • What Means Something (Ben Rivers, 2016)
  • Tales of Two Who Dreamt (Andrea Bussmann & Nicolás Pereda, 2016)
  • Homo Sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter, 2016)
  • Faire la parole (Eugène Green, 2015)

Short/Medium films

  • Ears, Nose and Throat (Kevin Jerome Everson, 2016)
  • AS WITHOUT SO WITHIN (Manuela de Laborde, 2016)
  • Foyer (Ismaïl Bahri, 2016)
  • Indefinite Pitch (James N. Kienitz Wilkins, 2016)
  • An Aviation Field (Joana Pimenta, 2016)
  • Ten Mornings Ten evenings and One Horizon (Tomonari Nishikawa, 2016)
  • Ha! terra! (Ana Vaz, 2016)
  • Sarah Winchester, opéra fantôme (Sarah Winchester, Phantom Opera, Bertrand Bonello, 2016)
  • 025 Sunset Red (Laida Lertxundi, 2016)
  • Reichstag 9/11 (Ken Jacobs, 2016)
  • I’ll Remember You as You Were, not as What You’ll Become (Sky Hopinka, 2016)
  • Penumbria (Eduardo Brito, 2016)
  • Luna e Santur (Joshua Gen Solondz, 2016)
  • Cilaos (Camilo Restrepo, 2016)
  • A Brief History of Princess X (Gabriel Abrantes, 2016)
world film poll 2016

Der Traumhafte Weg




This year saw an enormous diversity in cinema which led to outstanding movies such as Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016) and Loving Loving (Jeff Nichols, 2016). Here is my list of the top movies I have seen this year in no particular order. I took the privilege of labelling the Philippine movies for distinction:

  • The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer, 2016)
  • American Honey (Andrea Arnold, 2016)
  • El abrazo de la serpiente (Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra, 2016)
  • Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left, Lav Diaz, 2016, PH)
  • Ma’ Rosa (Brillante Mendoza, 2016, PH)
  • Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie, 2016)
  • Loving (Jeff Nichols, 2016)
  • Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare, Gianfranco Rosi)
  • Ah-ga-ssi (The Handmaiden, Park Chan-wook, 2016)
  • Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)
  • Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi, 2016)
  • Rippu Van Winkuru no hanayome (A Bride for Rip Van Winkle, Shunji Iwai, 2016)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins, 2016)
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight, 2016)
  • Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)
  • Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
  • Florence Foster Jenkins (Stephen Frears, 2016)
  • Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery, Lav Diaz, 2016, PH)
  • Kusina (The Kitchen, David Corpuz & Cenon Palomares, 2016, PH)
  • Pamilya Ordinaryo (Eduardo Roy Jr., 2016, PH)
  • Rogue One (Gareth Edwards, 2016)
  • The Witch (Robert Eggers, 2016)
  • Hardcore Henry (Ilya Naishuller, 2016)
  • Kimi no na wa (Your Name, Makoto Shinkai, 2016)
  • Lion (Garth Davis, 2016)

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