Zach's Top Five Top Five Screen Classics of 2016

Contributor; Toronto
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Did anyone else feel a little bit like Christine Chubbuck by the end of the year? I mean, in general and not in regards to what Chubbuck chose to do shortly after the still frame below. Speaking honestly, I do feel that 2016, to an extent, beat the shit out of me. First literally, when I found myself running from a speeding car in rural Utah that would catch up to my friends and I. The aftermath of the incident that occurred on the drive home from Sundance gave us all a chance to respectively pause and consider mortality in a more tangible way than we were accustomed.

As the months passed, so too did many of our heroes... and it hurt. The mounting number of fallen public figures struck most as eerie and the collective notion that year 2016 was vexed seemed an amusing, healthy-enough way to deal with a genuinely surprising abundance of tragedies. I took it in stride without literally humouring some notion of a curse and lived my life, made my dollars, kept a roof over my head and carved out time to make a few funnies and fit in dreams. Then, as Death Year came to a close, without my being able to put my finger on exactly when it started, I found myself a full-fledged curmudgeon by the year's end, taking too much displeasure in things like people's over-enjoyment of the insanely happy La La Land, in conjunction with their put downs of other musical achievements, like the dazzling Hail, Caesar! as unremarkable.

I was pleased that a film as powerful as Moonlight was getting so much attention, but uncertain whether I had my bad attitude to blame for being skeptical of its lavish praise. I want to believe that Moonlight's inevitable acceptance into the Academy Awards will have nothing to do with how stupid the Academy looked last year, but it's also possible that I've become a Grinch-like pessimist. I found myself lashing out in weird places like the Cineplex Facebook page where I unnecessarily expressed my disgust at the length of their “feature presentations” holiday short that preceded every award hype film.

On the lighter side? ...I did take solace in the good that 2016 provided. For example, here is a massive list of things that made me very happy and stimulated my brain and heart throughout the year. Since it was also a landmark year here at ScreenAnarchy, considering this time last year there was no such thing as ScreenAnarchy, as a sort of salute to the future, which I am welcoming with desperately open arms, the following list will review my favourite content across the vast array of screens. Here are five top fives reflecting the gamut of good screen times during, what I suppose we can now refer to as, last year... for now. Here's to turning a new page.

The Contenders

Before we dive in, here are list of wonderful works that you will not find celebrated in the following top fives. Please celebrate them on your own time. They deserve it! And so do you, dog sarnit.

Weiner, Amanda Knox, Gleason, Jim: The James Folly Story, One More Time With Feeling, Supersonic, Certain Women, Team Foxcatcher, The Handmaiden, Krisha, Michael Jackson's Journey From Motown To Off The Wall, Toni Erdmann, Moonlight, Paterson, Westworld, Reggie Watts: Spatial, The Get Down, The Night Of, Vinyl, Under The Shadow, The Wailing

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american honeyamy adamsandrea arnoldbest of 2016everybody wants somematt johnsonnocturnal animalsoperation avalanchetickledtom ford

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One-EyeJanuary 7, 2017 2:49 PM

Bret Easton Ellis offers and very eloquent, contradictory opinion of MOONLIGHT on the Anne Heche episode of his podcast.

While critics are falling over themselves praising the film he has some pretty major misgivings about it, especially as a gay man watching a gay movie made by a straight man.

It's definitely worth listening to.

ZachJanuary 7, 2017 4:45 PM

I'm a big fan of the B.E.E. podcast, but I missed that episode. You've just moved it to the top of my priorities, so thanks! I didn't even realize the director was straight to be honest. You can certainly count on Ellis for misgivings and I love him for it.

One-EyeJanuary 7, 2017 4:52 PM

It's certainly worth it for the interview as well.

Anne Heche is an INTENSE woman.

ZachJanuary 7, 2017 4:55 PM

I did not know that.

cjohnstonJanuary 9, 2017 6:47 PM

i'll try my darndest to NOT enumerate this past years favorites list for the umpteenth time 'cause everyone around here has probably already seen it ~ at least twice..
(that and - I don't wish to read about any suicides in the morning paper... lol)
~
A few "safe" comments and observations though. ..and especially/ ..mostly drawing upon your list.
- recently saw American Honey and The Autopsy of Jane Doe; and I can hardly agree more with each.
- .J.D. is (perhaps) one of the five or six CREEPIEST films I have EVER seen. (Open Grave, Spring, and Enemy are but three note-worthy others off hand..)
- - - - -
..and; (again) I Completely Agree upon American Honey. ...it payed (and cashed in) with Magnificent, Contemplative, Courageous, and Intellectual Gold-Bullion imho.
- .While I have yet to see 20th Century Women *a.s.a.p. to-see list for that*; --- there's personally only two other leading Ladies (Naomi Watts for Sea of Trees, and Amy Adams) that I would posit as heavey-hitting best actress statuette contenders this year. *along with the likes of Miss Lane..
She was Astounding, Entrancing, Beleivable, and Gorgeous in the film. ..as was just about every other facet of that film, imo.
~ ~ ~
finally. ..LOVED LOVEd Loved Lion.
....THAT. would Easily be; and IS, Easily one of this years BEST that I've seen..

ZachFebruary 1, 2017 2:57 PM

Sorry, I just saw this. Thanks for responding with some very good calls. 20th Century Woman is the only film I didn't get a chance to see before making this list, and now that I've seen it, I can tell you it would've been very high on this list. I loved it. I think Mike Mills has made good on his Thumbsucker promise (which I liked way more than Beginners) with this beautiful film about his simultaneously ancient and modern mother. I found it to be the best kind of nostalgia sprinkled with bittersweet wisdom. I should also confess that I passed on Lion. I'm sure it's great, but I really haven't felt like watching it. But I will soon.

cjohnstonFebruary 8, 2017 11:54 PM

hey There. .not sure how far back You scroll and read in your queue (so to speak..)
~ ~ ~
..just saw 20th Century Women... LOVED it.
As I am one (and am Very Fond of) making and drawing comparisons; I'd easily term this film as a "finding yourself" affair.. *terminology which I completely have made up..btw.
.Said film reminded me a-LOT (off-hand) of Captain Fantastic, How I Live Now, Adore, Swiss Army Man, Sea of Trees, These Final Hours, and American Honey.. ((titles which you can additionally feel free to also read as oblique recommendations to view and/or look into as well..))
~
i'll not only watch 20th Century Women again in the very near future.. ...i'll also recommend the clothing RIGHT off of it's back.. .....Impressive, Gorgeous actually, Intimate, and Very Touching affair.