Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Film Highlights of 2016

My annual top 10 films should be posted on this blog within the next week or so but first here's some bits of news, trivia and (several) links to articles. A list of highlights over the past 12 months in cinema:

- A "Director's Cut" of Michael Mann's criminally underrated Blackhat was screened in New York in February. No signs yet of a DVD release but hopefully there will be a chance to see this at some stage.

- US DVD label the Criterion Collection has finally been launched in the UK.

- Sight & Sound article on Anne-Marie Mieville's work.

- Comic legend Elaine May made a very welcome return to our screens with a documentary she directed about her comedy partner Mike Nichols as well as appearing in Woody Allen's amazon series Crisis in Six Scenes. Any additions to the slight filmography of this brilliant talent are worth treasuring.

- Two Hollywood legends celebrated their 100th birthday in 2016: Olivia de Havilland and Kirk Douglas.

- John Carpenter releases his second non-soundtrack LP Lost Themes II and performs live shows in North America and Europe.

- Aki Kaurismaki honoured with the Carosse d'Or (Golden Coach) award during the Directors' fortnight at Cannes.

- BFI Season 'Ride Lonesome: The Psychological Western'

- Best filmgoing experience:
The Wind (1928, Victor Sjostrom) with a live piano score at Hyde Park Picturehouse (3rd July, 2016)

- Film Discovery of the year:
Deep Water (1981, Michel Deville)
Part of the Patricia Highsmith season at Hyde Park Picturehouse which also included Carol, A Mighty Nice Man, Cry of the Owl, The American Friend & Enough Rope.

- BBC poll of 177 film critics sees Mulholland Drive voted the best film of the century so far. On the subject of David Lynch, select UK cinemas showed a 30th anniversary re-release of his earlier masterpiece Blue Velvet.

- Legion: The Exorcist III gets a Blu-Ray release from Shout! Factory including a previously unseen director's cut.

- News of a new John McTiernan film. His first since Basic in 2003.

- RedLetterMedia reviews The Force Awakens.
- News that Hyde Park Picturehouse is to receive Heritage Lottery Funding.

- Leeds International Film Festival, 3rd-17th November

- A restored print of Marlon Brando's sole directorial effort One-Eyed Jacks is shown at the Toronto Film Festival and gets released by Criterion in November. Nice to see this classic Western restored to its original glory after experiencing years of shoddy home video releases.

'The Timeless Appeal of Winona Ryder' article.

- News emerged that Hayao Miyazaki is working on a new feature length project.

- Favourite DVDs/Blu-Rays:
A Brighter Summer Day (Criterion), One-Eyed Jacks (Criterion), I'm Dangerous Tonight (Final Cut Entertainment), The New World (Criterion), Cohen and Tate (Arrow), Assault on Precinct 13 (Second Sight), Matinee (Arrow), Cat People (Criterion), The Man from Laramie (Eureka), Body Double (Indicator), Return of the Living Dead III (Vestron Video), The Hired Hand (Arrow), Four Nights of a Dreamer (Etantje), To Live and Die in L.A. (Arrow), Dekalog and Other Television Works (Arrow), McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Criterion), Dissent & Disruption: The Complete Alan Clarke at the BBC (BFI)

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