Feature: Top 10 Films of 2016

As another cinematic year veers to a close, we evaluate our favourite films of 2016. 

10. The End (dir. G Nicloux)
This esoteric thriller from Guillaume Nicloux sees Gérard
Depardieu’s hunter lost in a French woodland filled with surreal turns.
Unsettling throughout but the final act delivers blows of utterly chilling

9. The Greasy Strangler (dir. J Hosking)
Jim Hosking positions himself as the next
John Waters with The Greasy Strangler, a tour de force of depravity, high-camp
gore and buckets of grease. Committed performances from Sky Elobar, Elizabeth
De Razzo and Michael St. Michaels, paired with Andrew Hungs’ quaint synth
soundtrack help assert The Greasy Strangler as a cult masterpiece.

8. Goat (dir. A Neel)
This American indie explores the horrors
of frat hazing with an unrelenting, visceral style. Andrew Neel’s direction is unrelentingly tense
and unflinching, with further impact brought to Goat through Nick Jonas and Ben
Schnetzer’s convincingly unrestrained performances.

7. Youth (dir. P Sorrentino)
This symphonic, masterfully-crafted
piece is evocative of European arthouse cinema as it explores seasoned
professionals, Michael Caine’s composer and Harvey Keitel’s filmmaker, vacationing in the Swiss Alps.

6. Nocturnal Animals (dir. T Ford)
Tom Ford blends the worlds of high
glamour arthouse with seventies exploitation in the dual narratives of
Nocturnal Animals. The elegance is hollow, the grime of the narrative’s
Texploitation subplot is unnerving and unholy.

5.  King Cobra (dir. J Kelly)
Justin Kelly’s follow-up to the
still-unreleased I Am Michael sees him tackle the gay porn world under the lens
of a true crime tale – the murder of producer Bryan Kocis. This exploration of
privileged gay men being driven by the greed of the American dream and sexual
appetite simply presents queer people without a hint of ideological
victimisation in sight.

4. Roar (dir. N Marshall)
Finally released in cinemas in 2016, this
little-seen cult phenomenon follows Tippi Hedren and then-husband Noel
Marshall, alongside daughter Melanie Griffith starring in this fictional tale
of a family living on a reserve with lions in Africa. The narrative may be
fictional, but the mauling is entirely real.

3. Disorder (dir. A Winocour)
to the precision of Alice Winocour’s direction and her unrelentingly tense
cinematic grip, Disorder is a thrilling, yet unsettling watch.
Matthias Schoenaerts sublimely delivers a performance rich in depth that
explores the damaging effects of combat and fractured machismo.

2.  Valley of Love (dir. G Nicloux)
Valley of
 is an enigmatic tour de force that continues a
thrilling winning streak for Guillaume 
Nicloux – asserting
him as one of France’s most exciting filmmakers. Unsettling cinematography
paired with staggering performances from Isabelle Huppert and
Gérard Depardieu ensures
Valley of Love is one of the year’s strongest narrative
features soaked in eerie supernatural undertones.

1.  A Bigger Splash (dir. L Guadagnino)
Swinton re-teamed with I Am Love’s Luca
Guadagnino for A Bigger
– a loose remake of the 1969 Jacques Deray picture La Piscine. The result is a
simmering glimpse into hedonistic desire and privilege that veers into
thrilling tempestuous tragedy.

Caesar, The Love Witch, Wiener-Dog, Closet Monster, The Invitation, Allied,
Florence Foster Jenkins, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Childhood of a Leader,
Remember, Things To Come, The Neon Demon, Trash Fire, Kalinka, Tale of Tales,
Everybody Wants Some!, The Man Who Was Thursday, The People Garden.
Elle and Jackie should feature here – but due to UK release dates,
won’t feature until the 2017 list.

Leave a Reply