My favourite films of 2016

I went to see a lot of movies this year. All told, I’d say I pushed the doors of a movie theater about 50 times. Was 2016 a good year for cinema? Based on what I saw, I would say yes. Only twice did I come out of the room dissapointed (and in one case, that word is quite an understatement. More on that later). Some films were masterpieces and others were understated gems. Here is my list :

King Dave (Podz, Quebec)

Our little sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

Neruda (Pablo Larrain, Chile)

After the storm (Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan)

Christine (Antonio Campos, USA)

Avant les rues (Chloé Leriche, Quebec)

El Clan (Pablo Trapero, Argentina)

Taxi (Jafar Panahi, Iran)

Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey)

Montréal la Blanche (Bachir Bensaddek, Quebec)

The Big Short (Adam Mackay, USA)

Other films that almost made it on the list:

La Vache (Mohamed Hamidi, France) / Amores Urbanos (Vera Egito, Brazil) / 1:54  (Yan England, Quebec) / Moi Nojoom, 10 ans et divorcée (Khadija Al-Salami, Yemen) / Les délices de Tokyo (Naomi Kawase, Japan) / Truman (Cesc Gay, Spain) / Look who’s back (David Wnendt, Germany) / Toyko Fiancée (Stefan Liberski, Belgium) / Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti, Italy) / Kubo and the two strings (Travis Knight, USA) / El Club (Pablo Larrain, Chile) / Embrasse-moi comme tu m’aimes (André Forcier, Quebec)

Documentaries

A lot of exceptional documentaries came out this year. Montreal is a great city for doc fans because we have several film festivals and events where these types of films are featured, namely the Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal. Fans of social and politically inclined documentaries also flock to Concordia University’s weekly Cinema Politica screenings, which often feature Q and A sessions with the directors or with specialists. Here, in no particular order, are some of the great documentaries I saw and highly recommend watching:

Chicago boys (Carola Fuentes and Rafael Valdeavellano, Chile)

Knox (Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, USA)

Patti Smith: Dream of life (Steven Sebring, USA)

Welcome to Leith (Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker, USA)

Gimme Danger (Jim Jarmusch, USA)

Migrant Dreams (Min Sook Lee, Canada)

Raving Iran (Susanne Regina Meures, Iran)

Citizens of nowhere (Nicolas Alexandre Tremblay and Regis Coussot, Quebec)

Callshop Istanbul (Sami Mermer and Hind Benchekroun, Canada)

My beautiful broken brain (Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland, UK)

The 13th (Ava Duvernay, USA)

Audrie and Daisy (Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen, USA)

Where to invade next (Michael Moore, USA)

Discordia (Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal, Canada)

The Wrecking crew (Denny Tedesco, USA)

La linea de aborto (Fernando Lopez Escriva, Canada)

Raise your arms and twist (Atsushi Funahashi, Japan)

The Crossing (George Kurian, Norway)

Mixed feelings (Guy Davidi, Israel)

Movies I finally saw this year

Here is a list of classic films that had been on my list for a long time and that I finally got around to seeing.

Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon, Quebec)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, USA)

Serial Mom (John Waters, USA)

La vita e bella (Roberto Benigni, Italy)

L’aile ou la cuisse

Le grand restaurant

Les Ordres (Michel Brault, Quebec)

And the absolute worst film I saw this year, which easily earns its spot on the list of the worst films I have seen in my life: Youth, by italian film maker Paolo Sorrentino. This pretentious, empty, ridiculous film featuring two rich white assholes as main characters made me so angry that I stayed in a bad mood for three days. What it is, in a nutshell, is rich white men problems, supporting characters that are nothing more than empty shells spouting pseudo-philosophical bullshit, fake celebrity cameos and gratuitous shots of pretty, perky young naked girls (just to drive home the point that the two main guys are old and past their prime) . What a waste of time, talent and beauty.

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