Sunday, 31 December 2017

Film Discoveries of 2017

Here's a list of my favourite first time viewings/film discoveries of 2017:

My top ten first time viewings of 2017:

  1. Housekeeping (1987, Bill Forsyth) - After languishing in semi obscurity for decades this truly wondrous film has been given the presentation it so richly deserves on the UK dual format release, courtesy of Powerhouse films/Indicator label.
  2. Vengeance is Mine (1979, Shohei Imamura)
  3. A Brighter Summer Day (1991, Edward Yang)
  4. La Captive (2000, Chantal Akerman)
  5. Retribution (2006, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  6. Great Day in the Morning (1956, Jacques Tourneur)
  7. Lourdes (2009, Jessica Hausner)
  8. Seance (2000, Kiyoshi Kurosawa)
  9. Go Go Tales (2007, Abel Ferrara)
  10. 20 30 40 (2004, Sylvia Chang)

Best filmgoing experience: 

  • Peppermint Soda (1977, Diane Kurys) at Hyde Park Picturehouse (19/9/17).

My top ten repeat viewings of 2017:

  • Alien: Resurrection (1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
  • Christmas in July (1940, Preston Sturges)
  • Ghosts of Mars (2001, John Carpenter)
  • Gran Torino (2008, Clint Eastwood)
  • The Host (2006, Bong Joon-ho)
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Steven Spielberg)
  • Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948, Max Ophuls)
  • Rosemary's Baby (1968, Roman Polanski)
  • Sorcerer (1977, William Friedkin)
  • Spontaneous Combustion (1990, Tobe Hooper)

Hope to make many more great discoveries in 2018.
Happy New Year!

2017 Film Diary

Here's the full list of all the films I watched in 2017:


1/1/17: Intolerance (1916), Creed (2015)

2/1/17: Silence (2016), What Did the Lady Forget? (1937)

3/1/17: La chambre (1972)

4/1/17: A Couch in New York (1996)

5/1/17: The Two Jakes (1990)

7/1/17: Stoker (2013)

8/1/17: Madchen in Uniform (1931), David Bowie: The Last Five Years (2017)

9/1/17: Mammals (1962), The Fat and the Lean (1961)

10/1/17: Apocalpto (2006)

11/1/17: Dracula 3D (2012)

12/1/17: Go Go Tales (2007)

13/1/17: Edge of Darkness (2010), The Voice Thief (2013)

14/1/17: The Man Without a Face (1993), The Thin Red Line (1998)

16/1/17: Tokyo Chorus (1931)

17/1/17: Certified Copy (2010)

18/1/17: Get the Gringo (2012)

19/1/17: When Angels Fall (1959)

20/1/17: The Last Mistress (2007)

21/1/17: Manchester by the Sea (2016)

23/1/17: Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

24/1/17: Experimenter (2015)

29/1/17: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

31/1/17: Angel's Egg (1985)

1/2/17: Lola (1961)

2/2/17: JSA: Joint Security Area (2000)

3/2/17: Dune (1984)

4/2/17: Dodes'ka-den (1970)

5/2/17: La La Land (2016)

7/2/17: Kamikaze Girls (2004)

8/2/17: Parasomnia (2008)

9/2/17: Love Crimes (1992)

10/2/17: Spy (2015)

11/2/17: Jug Face: The Pit (2013), The Outfit (1973)

12/2/17: Men (1997), Tokyo Twilight (1957)

13/2/17: Blue Like You (2008), Honey Bunny (2001), Going Inside (2001)

15/2/17: Bone Tomahawk (2015)

17/2/17: Memories of Matsuko (2006)

18/2/17: The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

19/2/17: John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017), Hideko the Bus Conductress (1941)

21/2/17: V for Vendetta (2005)

22/2/17: The Enforcer (1976)

25/2/17: Old Joy (2006), A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

26/2/17: Slitch (2003), Mutations (1972), Doctor X (1932)

27/2/17: The Hitcher (1986)

28/2/17: Undertow (1996)


1/3/17: Split Second (1992)

2/3/17: Night Moves (2013)

4/3/17: Le Deuxieme Souffle (1966), Rosetta (1999)

5/3/17: The Fall (2006)

6/3/17: Travis (2004), Japanese Girls at the Harbor (1933)

7/3/17: The Silence of Lorna (2008)

8/3/17: The Girl in the Rumour (1935)

9/3/17: House by the River (1950)

10/3/17: Bulworth (1998)

11/3/17: Elle (2016)

12/3/17: Showgirls (1995)

14/3/17: Eat the Document (1972)

15/3/17: China (1943)

16/3/17: La Promesse (1996)

17/3/17: U Turn (1997)

19/3/17: Drum Beat (1954)

20/3/17: Eureka (1983)

21/3/17: The Apple (1998)

22/3/17: Glimpse of the Garden (1957)

23/3/17: And Now Tomorrow (1944)

24/3/17: The Last Waltz (1978)

26/3/17: Louie Bluie (1985)

27/3/17: Breaking In (1989)

28/3/17: That Sinking Feeling (1979), Bill Forsyth Lifetime Achievement Film (2009)

29/3/17: Islands of the West (1972)

30/3/17: Faust and Mephistopheles (1903), La villa Santo Sospir (1952)

31/3/17: At Land (1944), Jean Cocteau Addresses the Year 2000 (1962)

1/4/17: Universal Soldier: The Return (1999), Gregory's Two Girls (1999)

2/4/17: The Whole Family Works (1939)

3/4/17: Angel-A (2005)

4/4/17: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010), L'avant dernier (1981)

5/4/17: Suicide Squad (2016)

6/4/17: 5 Centimetres Per Second (2007)

8/4/17: The Big Blue (1988), Personal Shopper (2016)

9/4/17: Journey to Agartha (2011)

10/4/17: Je Tu Il Elle (1974)

11/4/17: Les rendez-vous d'Anna (1978), Hotel Monterey (1972)

12/4/17: The Last Battle (1983), 20 30 40 (2004)

13/4/17: Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles (1975), The Smile (2003), Other Worlds (1999)

14/4/17: Tomorrow We Move (2004)

15/4/17: Ani*Kuri15: A Gathering of Cats (2007), She and Her Cat: Their Standing Points (1999), Someone's Gaze (2013), Fast & Furious 8 (2017)

17/4/17: From the Other Side (2002), Father of My Children (2009)

18/4/17: Rosemary's Baby (1968)

19/4/17: The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)

24/4/17: Goodbye First Love (2011)

25/4/17: Lourdes (2009)

26/4/17: I'm Going Home (2001)

27/4/17: The Family (2013)

30/4/17: Arthur and the Invisibles (2006), A Quiet Passion (2016), The Boost (1988)

1/5/17: Summer Wars (2009)

2/5/17: A Kiss Before Dying (1991)

3/5/17: Eden (2014)

4/5/17: The Lady (2011)

5/5/17: Bringing Up Bobby (2011)

6/5/17: Three Stanzas on the Name of Sacher (1989), The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)

7/5/17: Lady Macbeth (2016)

8/5/17: Golden Eighties (1986)

9/5/17: Who Am I This Time? (1982), My Soul to Take (2010)

10/5/17: The Life of Death (2012), The Falling (2014)

11/5/17: Caged Heat (1974)

12/5/17: Scream 4 (2011)

13/5/17: Crazy Mama (1975), Neil Young: Heart of Gold (2006), Melvin and Howard (1980)

14/5/17: Alien: Covenant (2017)

15/5/17: The Eighties (1983)

16/5/17: Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist (2005)

17/5/17: Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)

18/5/17: Family Business (1984)

19/5/17: Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)

20/5/17: Cursed (2005), Judgement (1999), A Rose Reborn (2014), Night Fishing (2011)

21/5/17: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

22/5/17: Bitter, Sweet, Seoul (2014)

23/5/17: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), Twin Peaks Season 3 premiere (2017)

24/5/17: Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)

26/5/17: Histoires d’Amérique: Food, Family and Philosophy (1989)

27/5/17: Three... Extremes (2004), Never Ending Peace and Love (2003)

28/5/17: The Game (1997)

29/5/17: The Black Dog (1987)

30/5/17: Lore (2012)

1/6/17: The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984)

4/6/17: Chiller (1985)

5/6/17: Gas Food Lodging (1992)

6/6/17: Nobody's Daughter Haewon (2013)

7/6/17: The Other Side of Hope (2017)

8/6/17: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962, Agnes Varda), Elle Fanning’s Fan Fantasy (2017, Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost)

10/6/17: Shocker (1989), Snowpiercer (2013)

11/6/17: The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004)

12/6/17: Voices of a Distant Star (2003), Cross Road (2014)

13/6/17: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)

14/6/17: Orlando (1992)

15/6/17: Hot Fuzz (2007)

16/6/17: Sucker Punch (2011), Rakka (2017)

17/6/17: After the Storm (2016)

18/6/17: Bridges-Go-Round (1958), Immer Zu (1997)

19/6/17: The Green Ray (2001), Film (2011)

20/6/17: Like Father, Like Son (2013)

21/6/17: Dark Touch (2013)

22/6/17: The Chaser (2008)

24/6/17: Under the Skin (1997)

25/6/17: Fever (1994), A Simple Life (2011)

26/6/17: I Wish (2011)

27/6/17: The World of Kanako (2014)

28/6/17: Saving Face (2004), In This Corner of the World (2016)

29/6/17: Histoire de Marie et Julien (2003)

30/6/17: My Cousin Rachel (2017), Oldboy (2003)


1/7/17: The Harvest (2013), Baby Driver (2017)

4/7/17: Transformers (2007), The Seventh Seal (1957)

5/7/17: Still Walking (2008)

6/7/17: Ant-Man (2015), Frankenstein (2015)

7/7/17: Nobody Knows (2004), The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)

8/7/17: After Life (1998)

9/7/17: 21-87 (1963/4), Moods of the Sea (1941/2)

10/7/17: Air Doll (2009)

11/7/17: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Town & Country (2001)

13/7/17: The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (1939), Firebase (2017), Zygote (2017)

14/7/17: Jesus' Son (1999)

15/7/17: Elysium (2013), War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)

16/7/17: The Claim (2000), Psycho (1998)

17/7/17: Good Will Hunting (1997)

18/7/17: Palookaville (1995)

19/7/17: Promised Land (2012)

20/7/17: Restless (2011), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

22/7/17: The Spy in Black (1939), Dunkirk (2017)

23/7/17: The Captive (2000)

24/7/17: La Belle Noiseuse (1991)

25/7/17: Mickey One (1965), The Beguiled (2017)

26/7/17: Ill Met by Moonlight (1957), The Thief of Baghdad (1940)

27/7/17: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

28/7/17: Finding Forrester (2000), Alien (1979)

29/7/17: The Host (2006), So It Goes (2017)

1/8/17: They're a Weird Mob (1966)

2/8/17: Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017), Sleeping Beauty (2011)

3/8/17: Vengeance is Mine (1979), In a Heartbeat (2017)

4/8/17: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

5/8/17: Le Pont du Nord (1981), Cymbeline (2014), Yakuza Graveyard (1976)

6/8/17: Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001), Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)

7/8/17: The Company's in Love (1932)

8/8/17: Aliens (1993 - Almereyda), The Rocking Horse Winner (1997)

9/8/17: At Sundance (1995), Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)

10/8/17: Another Girl Another Planet (1992), The Novel of Werther (1938)

12/8/17: Atomic Blonde (2017), The Battle of the River Plate (1956)

13/8/17: Mai Mai Miracle (2009), A Ghost Story (2017)

14/8/17: The Queen of Spades (1949)

15/8/17: Me and Me Dad (2012)

16/8/17: The Edge of Seventeen (2016), Swamp Thing (1982)

18/8/17: Powaqqatsi (1988), Aliens: Special Edition (1986)

19/8/17: Napping Princess - aka Ancien and the Magic Tablet (2017), The Night Porter (1974)

20/8/17: Secret People (1952)

22/8/17: Great Day in the Morning (1956), Circle of Danger (1951)

23/8/17: Age of Consent (1969), To the Devil a Daughter (1976)

24/8/17: Dark Water (2002)

25/8/17: Logan Lucky (2017), The Comedy of Terrors (1963)

26/8/17: Detroit (2017)

27/8/17: Retribution (2006)

28/8/17: My Life Without Me (2003)

29/8/17: The Road to Fort Alamo (1964), The Dark Tower (2017)

30/8/17: Erik the Conqueror (1961), Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)

31/8/17: Bitter Victory (1957)

1/9/17: Chronos (1985)

2/9/17: The Savage Innocents (1960), Origin: Spirits of the Past (2006)

3/9/17: Baraka (1992)

4/9/17: Night Visions: The Maze (2002), Night Visions: Cargo (2002), Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)

5/9/17: The Window (1949), Blowing Wild (1953)

6/9/17: Gaslight (1940)

7/9/17: Barren Illusion (1999), Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

8/9/17: Hot Blood (1956), Alien 3: The Assembly Cut (1992/2003)

9/9/17: It (2017)

10/9/17: Knock on Any Door (1949), Wind River (2017)

12/9/17: I Vampiri (1957), Champion (1949)

13/9/17: The Assignment - aka Tomboy, (Re) Assignment (2016)

16/9/17: Kotoko (2011), Mother! (2017)

17/9/17: The Boy and the Beast (2015)

18/9/17: Seance (2000)

19/9/17: Peppermint Soda (1977)

21/9/17: Black Rain (1989, Shohei Imamura)

22/9/17: Suzanne (2013)

23/9/17: American Made (2017)

24/9/17: De Palma (2015), Profound Desires of the Gods (1968)

25/9/17: A Girl at My Door (2014)

26/9/17: Pigs and Battleships (1961)

27/9/17: Daughters of Darkness (1971)

28/9/17: Take Care of My Cat (2001)

30/9/17: The Stepfather (1987)

1/10/17: Song to Song (2017)

2/10/17: Dr. Akagi (1998)

4/10:17: The Fountain (2006), The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (2017)

5/10/17: Man on Fire (2004), Shampoo (1975)

7/10/17: A Man Vanishes (1967), Born to Be Bad (1950), One Night Stand (1997)

8/10/17: Fighting Elegy (1966)

9/10/17: The Insect Woman (1963)

14/10/17: Suspiria (1977)

15/10/17: Blade Runner 2049 (2017). Spy Game (2001)

18/10/17: Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

19/10/17: The Fan (1996)

21/10/17: Loving Memory (1971), The Death of Stalin (2017), Alien: Resurrection (1997)

22/10/17: One of the Missing (1968)

23/10/17: The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975)

24/10/17: Housekeeping (1987)

25/10/17: Revenge (1990)

28/10/17: Red Angel (1966), Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

29/10/17: Hardcore (1979)

30/10/17: The Man Between (1953)

31/10/17: Ghost in the Shell (2017)


1/11/17: The Square (2017)

2/11/17: Life (2017)

3/11/17: Thelma (2017)

4/11/17: Veronica (2017), Happy End (2017)

5/11/17: Lu Over the Wall (2017), The Breadwinner (2017), Mutafukaz (2017)

6/11/17: Claire's Camera (2017), Dark River (2017)

7/11/17: Big Fish & Begonia (2016), Kong: Skull Island (2017)

8/11/17: Fifty Shades Darker (2017), Zabriskie Point (1970), Good Time (2017)

9/11/17: Amelie (2001)

10/11/17: Oh Lucy! (2017), Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

11/11/17: The Mimic (2017)

12/11/17: Cop (1988), Tokyo Ghoul (2017), Blade of the Immortal (2017)

13/11/17: Lover for a Day (2017)

14/11/17: Red Eye (2005)

15/11/17: Ex Libris: New York Public Library (2017)

16/11/17: Wonderstruck (2017), You Were Never Really Here (2017)

17/11/17: Get Out (2017)

18/11/17: The Awful Dr. Orlof (1962)

19/11/17: Justice League (2017), Crisis in Six Scenes (2016)

20/11/17: The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

21/11/17: Okja (2017)

23/11/17: The Merciless (2017)

25/11/17: Zardoz (1974), Snow Steam Iron (2017)

26/11/17: A Brighter Summer Day (1991)

27/11/17: I Can't Sleep (1994)

28/11/17: U.S. Go Home (1994)

29/11/17: Wonder Woman (2017)


2/12/17: The Bye Bye Man (2017), The Wall (2017)

6/12/17: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

7/12/17: The House (2017)

8/12/17: Gran Torino (2008)

10/12/17: The Villainess (2017)

12/12/17: Manifesto (2015)

15/12/17: Gremlins (1984)

16/12/17: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Mascots (2016)

17/12/17: Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

22/12/17: Christmas in July (1940), Logan (2017)

23/12/17: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

27/12/17: Back to the Future Part II (1989)

28/12/17: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

29/12/17: Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010), Boiling Point (1993)

30/12/17: Sorcerer (1977)

31/12/17: Risky Business (1983), Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Monday, 18 December 2017

Top 10 Films of 2017

My Top 10 Films of 2017

1. Lover for a Day (Philippe Garrel)

2. Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike)

3. Song to Song (Terrence Malick)

4. Claire's Camera (Hong Sang-soo)

5. Ex Libris: New York Public Library (Frederick Wiseman)

6. Okja (Bong Joon-ho)

7. Good Time (Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie)

8. The Merciless (Byun Sung-hyun)

9. The Villainess (Jung Byung-gil)

10. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Luc Besson)

Runners up:
Happy End (Michael Haneke)

Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes)

John Wick: Chapter Two (Chad Stahelski)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos)

A Ghost Story (David Lowery)

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl (Masaaki Yuasa)

Top of the Lake: China Girl (Jane Campion & Ariel Kleiman)

My Cousin Rachel (Roger Michell)

The House (Andrew Jay Cohen)

Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh)

The Beguiled (Sofia Coppola)

Standout performances:
Rachel Weisz in My Cousin Rachel
Eric Caravaca, Esther Garrel & Louise Chevillotte in Lover for a Day
Sol Kyung-gu in The Merciless
Kyle MacLachlan in Twin Peaks: The Return
Rooney Mara in Song to Song
Robert Pattinson in Good Time
Sakari Kuosmanen in The Other Side of Hope
Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Raffey Cassidy and Alicia Silverstone in The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Kirsten Dunst in The Beguiled
Simon Russell Beale & Andrea Riseborough in The Death of Stalin
Hugh Jackman in Logan
Jean-Louis Trintignant & Fantine Harduin in Happy End
Millicent Simmonds in Wonderstruck
Shinobu Terajima & Koji Yakusho in Oh Lucy!
Eili Harboe in Thelma

Notable films from 2016 that I saw for the first time this year:
Elle, After the Storm, In This Corner of the World, Silence, A Quiet Passion, Crisis in Six Scenes, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, The Edge of SeventeenPersonal Shopper, MascotsLady Macbeth, Big Fish & Begonia, La La Land, Manchester by the SeaHacksaw Ridge

Films from 2017 that I'm still eager to watch:
Before We Vanish, Let the Sunshine In, Zama, Wonder Wheel, On the Beach at Night Alone, The Day After, Based on a True Story, Alive in France, Piazza Vittorio, The Third Murder, Faces Places, Mary and the Witch's Flower, Our Time Will ComeRevolution of Sound: Tangerine DreamWorld of Tomorrow 2: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts, The Shape of Water, Shock WaveJeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc, Madame Hyde, Ismael's Ghosts, ColumbusFirst Reformed, Kursk, Acts of Vengeance, Coco, Manhunt, The Foreigner, The Post, Susan Lacy's Spielberg documentary and many, many others.

Brian Aldiss, X Atencio, John G. Avildsen, Michael Ballhaus, William Peter Blatty, Powers Boothe, Carolyn Cronenberg, Holger Czukay, Mireille Darc, Danielle Darrieux, Jonathan Demme, Pam Engel, Miguel Ferrer, Warren Frost, Jack H. Harris, Glenne Headly, John Heard, Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, William Hjortsberg, Tobe Hooper, John Hurt, George Kosana, Martin Landau, Sonny Landham, Umberto Lenzi, Jerry Lewis, Elsa Martinelli, Tomas Milian, John Mollo, Roger Moore, Jeanne Moreau, Haruo Nakajima, Barry Norman, Michael Nyqvist, Michael Parks, Bill Paxton, Don Rickles, Emmanuelle Riva, George A. Romero, Richard Schickel, Sam Shepard, Harry Dean Stanton, Seijun Suzuki, Mary Tsoni, Frank Vincent, Anne Wiazemsky

Further Thoughts:
This is really just a snapshot of where I currently stand on the cinema of 2017. My top 10 will inevitably be revised upon further viewing and may look substantially different a few months from now in my regularly updated year by year lists. At the end of last year's roundup I noted my record number of cinema trips in 2016 and how I hoped for that to be matched this year. Well, I saw plenty on the big screen in 2017 but there were certainly times when my enthusiasm was waning and my devotion to the cinema was tested.

My viewing of new titles throughout the year is inevitably informed by how things will stand come December. For much of the year it looked as though 2017 was going to be a write-off on the film front. Until just over a month ago I had seen only one title that I would call outstanding and worthy of being counted among the decade's best. The rest of the year's high points all came along in November, when the Leeds Film Festival and some well timed new releases came to a very late rescue. My persistence was finally rewarded close to my deadline but I would have liked my highlights to have been spread out a bit more evenly over the course of the year.

Certain mainstays have been missed. For the first time since 2009 I haven't been able to see the latest Woody Allen film. In the UK we won't get to see Wonder Wheel until March next year. Pixar's latest offering Coco (I skipped Cars 3 for obvious reasons) has also not yet reached these shores. It's been great to see more Anime titles getting wider exposure and cinema releases in the UK. Perhaps encouraged by the success of Your Name in 2016, films such as Lu Over the WallNapping PrincessThe Night is Short, Walk on GirlFireworks and Fairy Tail: Dragon Cry all reached UK audiences in the same year as their native Japan. None of these sufficiently impressed to make my top 10 but I certainly welcome the opportunity to see more from Japan's animation stables without the usual lengthy delays.

It's perhaps fitting that one of the best films I saw this year (Okja) was well nigh impossible to see on UK cinema screens as Netflix made it more or less exclusive to their website.
The decision to largely bypass cinemas raised a few eyebrows but it was a more fortunate fate than Bong's previous feature Snowpiercer (2013), which inexplicably failed to get a UK release. Lovefilm by post came to an end in October causing a rethink about the way I consume titles. It may be that the film industry is becoming more like the music business in its need to adapt and find different channels for fans to locate and sample its new and old releases.

Several of the year's more worthwhile titles were qualified successes. The very entertaining John Wick: Chapter Two was not quite in the same league as its predecessor. Longer, more elaborate and a bit overblown in places, it seemed to lose sight at times of the no-nonsense plotting and genre thrills of the first John Wick. I also greatly enjoyed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Its dazzling visuals and design allowed for some of the most impressive worldbuilding of any science fiction film in recent memory. It was unquestionably a passion project and blockbuster cinema could certainly use more of its kind. Sadly it found a similar fate to the similarly misunderstood and underrated John Carter and Jupiter Ascending. Although a worthwhile effort in its own right, Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled is not a patch on Don Siegel's 1971 original. Logan Lucky is an intentionally slight caper flick that has an easy charm and it's good to have Soderbergh back (even though he never really went away) after declaring "movies don't matter any more" in 2013. I have to admit that Happy End wasn't top of my watchlist but my hopeful Cannes forecast was largely met. While the subject was familiar the approach felt different, flirting with melodrama in places, and morbidly funny.

With several old masters on my list it's nice to see younger talent get a look-in with the Safdie Brothers' Good Time. I would have liked a few more rough and ready offerings to shout about but genre cinema is in a seemingly perilous state at the moment. That said, South Korean cinema delivered the goods with two stunning thrillers - The Merciless and The Villainess. I was impressed with how both films found inventive ways to present familiar stories and did it with such finesse. Blade of the Immortal is said to be Takashi Miike's 100th film. He certainly marked the occasion in style. Having seen such a small portion of his filmography I hesitate to call it one of his best but it feels like a major work and alongside his earlier efforts Harakiri and 13 Assassins is another highly accomplished take on the Samurai movie.

The influence of Eric Rohmer felt very much in evidence in the almost novelistic approach of both Claire's Camera and Lover for a Day. Hong's film is a low key delight that deftly shifts perspectives and chronology to show the complications and fractures of relationships in a way that is still wholly cinematic.

Lover for a Day is a masterclass in form and narrative that impressed me more than any other work this year. Significantly both of these features have running times of less than 80 minutes but are full of incident, observations and telling details. At a time when long form storytelling (franchises, sequels and extended universes in film as well as TV series and box-sets) seem to have usurped more concise plotting these two slight but incisive works gave a welcome counter-argument.

I feel fortunate to be around at a time when Terrence Malick is going through the most productive phase of his career. There have been five new works this decade with a sixth (Radegund) still to come. A much happier state of affairs than the 20 year gap that followed Days of Heaven. Initially received as a magnum opus or some sort of ultimate statement, 2011's The Tree of Life now seems like a scattershot dry run for Malick's 2010's work. Ideas and themes from it have been further refined in To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, Voyage of Time and this year's Song to Song where he has continued to evolve a filmmaking language and editing style that is uniquely his own.

Ex Libris: New York Public Library is a very personal choice for me. The documentary pays tribute to these places of education, opportunity and community but doesn't shy away from the challenges they face in the 21st century, a time when the very values they represent are being undermined. It's a rare achievement and just the kind of inspiring but also sobering film that I needed to find solace among the new releases of 2017.

Recommended 'Films of 2017' links:
Sight & Sound's Best Films of 2017
Cahiers du Cinema
Toronto Film Review
New York Times
John Waters on Artforum
Pinnland Empire
Film Comment
Slant Magazine
The Ringer
Entertainment Weekly
Sight & Sound's Best Blu-rays and DVDs of 2017
The Playlist - Best Movie Posters of 2017

Friday, 15 December 2017

Film Highlights of 2017

To be followed shortly (I hope) by my top 10 films of 2017. I've inserted numerous links which you can click on for further information if you wish to learn more. Here are my film and film related highlights of 2017:

- From a viewing standpoint the 52 films by women challenge was undoubtedly my most worthwhile undertaking of the year. I made some great discoveries and realised more than ever before that the disproportionately low amount of films directed by women is one of cinema history's biggest failings. The viewing challenge would sadly take on an added relevance as numerous allegations of discrimination and harassment towards women within the film industry was unquestionably the major talking point in the world of film this year.

- 2017 Leeds International Film Festival, 1st-16th November

- John Ford's criminally underrated 1961 western Two Rode Together got a fabulous dual format release by Eureka/Masters of Cinema in March. Casually dismissed by Ford himself, I feel this has long been unfairly overshadowed by his similarly themed (and wildly overrated) earlier western The Searchers (1956) but hopefully the film is slowly getting some of the appreciation it deserves.

- After many delays and setbacks, Shin Godzilla finally got a UK release.

- News that Guillermo del Toro is working on a documentary about Michael Mann.

- 'The Cotton Club Encore', a longer cut of Francis Ford Coppola's 1984 gangster musical was shown at the Telluride Film Festival in September. I'm interested in seeing this as it sounds like the additional footage is fairly significant and could greatly improve a very flawed work.

- In October I attended a screening of Suspiria at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford. This was the restored 4K version and it looked as glorious as ever.

- 'We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale', edited by Neil Snowden. A collection of articles, essays and reviews on the writer and his work.

- Isabelle Huppert's Best Actress Oscar nomination for Elle.
I'm not much interested in the Academy Awards, but on rare occasions a very surprising and deserving candidate sneaks through. Past instances include Spirited Away being awarded Best Animated Feature, The Fugitive getting a Best Picture nomination at the 1993 awards, Marion Cotillard's Best Actress nomination for Two Days, One Night, Terrence Malick's Best Director nomination for The Thin Red Line, David Lynch's Best Director nominations for Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive and Martin Scorsese getting a nod for his highly controversial feature The Last Temptation of Christ.

- Jacques Becker was the subject of a BFI season in March. A director I've long admired based on the few available works I've been able to see. In the UK other works have been granted exposure, notably with home video releases of Edward and Caroline and Montparnasse 19.

- Edward Yang's Taipei Story has been restored and made available as part of 'Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project No. 2'.
Like Jacques Becker, I've only been able to view a small portion of Yang's work but what I've seen is exceptional. Here's hoping more restorations and rereleases are planned.

- A rare early short film by Jean-Luc Godard, 'Une Femme Coquette' surfaced earlier this year having been thought to be lost and was made available on YouTube and vimeo.

- News emerged that Netflix is said to be restoring and releasing Orson Welles's unfinished final film 'The Other Side of the Wind'. It should be available to watch in 2018. Fingers crossed.

- Speaking of Welles, the New York Times reported that numerous writings and materials by the great man are to be archived by the University of Michigan.

- 'Stephen King on the Big Screen': A BFI season of film adaptations of King's work coincided with cinema releases of The Dark Tower and It in September. I was pleased to read that King named William Friedkin's Sorcerer as his favourite film when asked by the BFI to name some personal favourites.

- A mubi notebook piece on James Whale's little-seen final film Hello Out There.

- Notable viewings:
Who Am I This Time? (1982, Jonathan Demme) - I watched this shortly after Demme's death earlier this year and it was a fitting tribute.
Great Day in the Morning (1956, Jacques Tourneur) - I've wanted to see this for years and was fortunate to catch a rare showing of this on BBC 2. It was every bit as great as I'd expected.

- Favourite DVDs/Blu-Rays:
Raising Cain (Arrow), Mildred Pierce (Criterion), Othello (Criterion), Destiny (Eureka), Eight Hours Don't Make a Day (Arrow), The Man Between (Studio Canal), Spotlight on a Murderer (Arrow), The Informer (BFI), Fat City (Indicator), One-Eyed Jacks (Arrow), Sorcerer (Entertainment One), Madame de... (BFI), The Life of Oharu (Criterion), Psycho II (Arrow), The Wages of Fear (BFI), The Saga of Anatahan (Eureka/Masters of Cinema), Peppermint Soda (BFI)

Friday, 17 November 2017

31st Leeds International Film Festival, 1st-16th November 2017

As an active filmgoer the period between Halloween and Christmas is by far my busiest time of year. Seeking out contenders for the "year's best" I try to find possible highlights that have been mentioned in lists, journals, reviews, blogs and various websites. The deadline for my annual top 10 is roughly mid-December so it does feel a bit like a race at times. Sometimes I will extend this deadline for exceptional cases but the roundup inevitably loses a layer of interest by the time January comes around. Stuff I may have missed earlier in the year is usually available to rent or showing online by this stage. In addition there's usually a wealth of new releases from arthouse to blockbuster titles that are worth seeking out. Best of all though is the Leeds film festival which begins in early November. For roughly two weeks it gives me the chance to see advanced screenings of obscure and acclaimed new titles from all over the globe.

I first attended the festival in 2005 when I saw an early UK screening of Michael Haneke's Hidden and have got a single pass each year since 2013, which allows me to see as many titles as I can squeeze in to the time available. Occasionally this calls for tough decisions about what to see and what will have to be missed due to schedule clashes. Needless to say, having all this so close to home is a real godsend. Other parts of the UK are less fortunate.

Admittedly the festival preview in October - a 45 minute selection of trailers from highlighted films - didn't exactly fill me with excitement but that probably says more about the quality of trailers in contemporary cinema than anything else. Studying the programme over the coming days got my hopes up. Going through the contents and trying to come up with a workable timetable is all part of the fun. Now the festival is over I'm slightly reluctant to look again at the guide as it will no doubt reveal a plethora of enticing films that I managed to miss.

The Square
Several titles from this year's Cannes film festival were featured. Palme d'Or winner The Square was a prestigious opening film. New works by filmmakers such as Michael Haneke (Happy End), Hong Sang-soo (Claire's Camera), Todd Haynes (Wonderstruck) & Philippe Garrel (Lover for a Day) all appealed to my auteurist sensibilities. On a local level it was good to see Yorkshire represented by Dark River, which also had a Q&A with writer/director Clio Barnard and producer Tracy O'Riordan. The closing film was the much hyped Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which would go on to win the audience award.

 Lu Over the Wall
 Big Fish & Begonia
The animation Sunday (including Lu Over the Wall, Big Fish & Begonia Mutafukaz) was a little underwhelming compared to previous years and the Horror selections that I saw (Thelma, The Mimic, Tokyo Ghoul & Veronica) were further signs of the exhaustion, boredom and repetition that I see in much of today's genre fare. However the Fanathon: Manga Movie Marathon on Sunday 12th was an inspired addition. It consisted of 4 live action Manga adaptations, 3 of which (The Mole Song, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Blade of the Immortal) were directed by the prolific Takashi Miike.

The retrospective selection was extremely impressive this year and it's unfortunate that I had to miss so many interesting films of yesteryear. There was a dazzling selection of 1960s and 1970s European political thrillers, including The Mattei Affair, Investigation of a Citizen Above SuspicionZ, State of Siege, Seven Days in January, The Lost Honour of Katharine Blum, The Man on the Roof, The Flight, The Deputy and The Day of the Jackal. The works of Jan Nemec were featured, including Diamonds of the Night and Mother and Son. Alas I had to skip the silent films with live music accompaniments - Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger and F.W. Murnau's Tabu: A Story of the South Seas. It seems like every year I get a chance to see one of my all time favourites in the Town Hall and I have to pass up the chance. In 2016 it was Michael Mann's Heat, this year it was Perfect Blue. As I've already mentioned the focus for me is on new titles. However I allowed myself one major indulgence this year by seeing Michelangelo Antonioni's 1970 cult classic Zabriskie Point in the Town Hall. For all its flaws it really is a phenomenal experience when viewed on the big screen.
Zabriskie Point
There were a few casualties of timetable clashes and delineating between essential and secondary choices, as well as preferred venues. In terms of what I missed I don't have too many regrets. I would like to have found room for The Endless, primarily due to my inevitable interest in any film described as "Lovecraftian" or "Lovecraft-inspired". I saw Andrey Zvyagintsev's previous feature Leviathan at LiFF in 2014 and wasn't overly impressed so his new film Loveless was omitted from my choices due to fierce competition. Despite being in the lineup I decided to wait until after the festival ended to see The Killing of a Sacred Deer and The Florida Project. Both of these will be showing at Hyde Park later in the month and so it seemed less crucial to see them at this point in time.

In total I saw 21 titles at the 2017 Leeds International Film Festival. The same number as 2016, although lower than prior years. I figure if I can see at least 3 or 4 standout titles over the course of the fortnight then it has been worthwhile. This year I'd say there were 6 that were exceptional. In previous years later films have suffered due to a fatigue factor but the second week offered a host of treats, some of which I will discuss in my yearly roundup in December. I was also able to add four more titles to my 52 films by women in 2017 project - The BreadwinnerDark RiverOh Lucy! and You Were Never Really Here.
You Were Never Really Here
My one major qualm was that I didn't feel like I had a great "discovery" this year. The films I enjoyed most were all the ones that I was most excited about from the beginning, mostly by well established filmmakers and that I had known about well in advance from other festivals earlier in the year. In prior years there has always been at least a couple of films that I watched on impulse or to fill a gap that unexpectedly blew me away. For example Persistence of Vision (2012), Garden of Words (2013), Stations of the Cross (2014), The Case of Hana & Alice (2015), Harmonium (2016) and A Silent Voice (2016). Unfortunately 2017's selection wasn't so fortuitous. Even the excellent thriller Good Time had garnered a lot of buzz among members of the Letterboxd community and cannot be classed as a "find" in any real sense.

The festival seems to have grown considerably over the years. Seeing high turnouts for such obscure or specialist titles is really encouraging at a time when the need for more diverse and adventurous product in cinemas feels as urgent as ever. Its importance in my film calendar cannot be overstated. Prior to this year's film festival 2017 was looking to be an almost total washout as a filmgoer. This festival certainly gave me a renewed sense of hope.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Brian Eno & Kevin Shields - Only Once Away My Son

Very excited to hear this new collaboration. Kevin Shields is playing a live show in Iceland in late December and has announced there will be live shows and a new album by My Bloody Valentine in 2018.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sunday, 27 August 2017

R.I.P. Tobe Hooper

Very sad to be posting again so soon on the death of a Horror icon. Tobe Hooper has died at the age of 74.

In the era following George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968) several groundbreaking Horror films emerged from different regions across the USA and Canada including Last House on the Left (1972), Black Christmas (1974), It's Alive! (1974), Shivers (1975) and Halloween (1978). Key among these films was Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), the film with which he will be forever associated.

The standard narrative on Hooper's career is that after a strong beginning his career trailed off and stalled. This assessment has rarely been altered or challenged but it's a view that I've always rejected. Many have lazily written off Hooper's career, even suggesting that Chain Saw was a fluke. While it's true that few films have come close to matching Chain Saw's assault on the senses, its eccentricity and unorthodox brilliance were very much in evidence throughout his filmography. He rarely enjoyed the same level of freedom or control that he had on his seminal shocker.  While mainstream success often eluded him and he became a more marginal figure his career developed in interesting ways. It was often fraught with battles with producers, distributors, studios and censors.

A lifelong film buff, Hooper saw Texas Chain Saw as a calling card to a Hollywood career. It didn't quite transpire that way but in the decade that followed he delivered what now seems like an extraordinary run of films, starting with the deranged, EC comics-style chiller Eaten Alive (1976). The remarkable TV movie Salem's Lot (1979), about a quiet New England town overrun by vampires was one of his greatest achievements and remains one of the best Stephen King adaptations. The Funhouse (1981) was a sly take on the burgeoning slasher film of the early 1980s. Hooper seemed to achieve the mainstream breakthrough he craved with the 1982 blockbuster Poltergeist. However controversy surrounding the picture remains to this day over authorship of the picture, with some attributing the success of the film to producer and co-writer Steven Spielberg and there were even claims that Spielberg unofficially directed the film.

A 3 picture deal in the mid-1980s with the Cannon Film Group seemed like a promising development but the deal would soon turn sour. The first effort was the extraordinary sci-fi/Horror Lifeforce (1985). Like many Hooper films it would later find its audience on home video and become a cult classic. It was followed by a remake of the 1953 B-movie Invaders from Mars (1986) and the The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986), a sequel that confounded many with its overt black humour, satire and notably more graphic violence than its predecessor. Working with larger budgets and crews these three pictures showcased some of Hooper's most audacious and imaginative work but sadly the fallout from these pictures would effectively mark the end of his career as a mainstream filmmaker.

To my mind the combination of hostility and indifference that greeted his later films does reveal an underlying conservatism amidst Horror fans. He had an "anything goes" approach to Horror and redefined the genre by subverting its rules or ignoring them completely. The films hinted at brave new horizons for the genre that sadly few chose to pursue. His use of framing, lighting and decor were all part of his strong visual punch that transcended the sometimes schlocky concepts behind his work. For me the film that best exemplifies this is 1990's Spontaneous Combustion which strikes me as one of his finest works, although it was inevitably panned on release. I was pleased to hear it being championed by Japanese Horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who included it as one of his selections for lacinetek.

Television work provided a refuge at several times in Hooper's career. Notable credits include the TV movie I'm Dangerous Tonight, episodes of Tales from the CryptAmazing StoriesNight Visions, Freddy's Nightmares and a segment of the John Carpenter anthology film Body Bags (1993).

After the career low point of Crocodile (2000) the 21st century would see a resurgence for Hooper. He reteamed with Spielberg for the opening episode of the TV show Taken in 2002. The 2003 remake of Chain Saw by Marcus Nispel (a passable slasher film) arguably helped raised his profile after years of neglect (Salem's Lot would be remade in 2004 and Poltergeist in 2015). He was also championed by a younger generation of Horror directors, most prominently Rob Zombie and Eli Roth. Hooper bounced back in 2004 with a remake (in name only) of the 1970s exploitation flick Toolbox Murders, a slasher film with supernatural overtones that had the benefit of a terrific cast including Angela Bettis, Juliet Landau, Marco Rodriguez, Greg Travis & Rance Howard. The atmospheric zombie film Mortuary (2005) followed along with two episodes of 'Masters of Horror' Dance of the Dead and The Damned Thing. He showed himself to be open to new challenges in the later stages of his career, writing the novel Midnight Movie and his final film Djinn (2013) was made in the United Arab Emirates.

His career trajectory, going from a notorious breakthrough work to Hollywood exile, earned comparisons with Orson Welles and there are some striking parallels between the two. Like Welles there are neglected works that have been rediscovered (thanks to some terrific special edition DVDs/Blu-Rays from labels such as Arrow and Shout Factory) and previously unavailable offerings such as his early short film The Heisters (1963) and feature debut Eggshells (1969) have been restored and made available to new audiences.

Hooper's films have meant a great deal to me at different times of my life. As a young Horror fan I had a poster of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 on my bedroom wall. Having been a proud advocate of that film for many years it's been nice to see its reputation has steadily grown over time. I would frequently trawl through the video stalls at Leeds Market in the 1990s looking for VHS copies of Hooper's rarer work - an early 1980s precert copy of The Funhouse was a much cherished find, as well as two films he made with Robert Englund - Night Terrors and The Mangler. At the start of the 21st century when the DVD format revolutionised home entertainment one of the first discs I purchased was Lifeforce - the version featured was a longer cut than the one that had been previously available. In 2004 I made a special trip to London to see Toolbox Murders at the Prince Charles Cinema as part of Frightfest. As I've grown more accustomed to streaming films it was with great delight last year that I was at last able to see his final feature Djinn online more than three years after it was first screened.

Although he was often mentioned alongside fellow North American genre masters such as George A. Romero, Wes Craven, David Cronenberg and John Carpenter I feel he was in some ways closer to European directors such as Jacques Tourneur, Mario Bava, Roman Polanski and Dario Argento with his macabre humour, surreal flourishes and brilliant control of atmospherics. Hooper understood that Horror was as much about shadows, mist, broken mirrors and old dark houses as it was about monsters. He was a frequently maligned and misunderstood filmmaker whose reputation rested on a small quantity of his output but for me his entire oeuvre has been a source of endless fascination and rewards.

R.I.P. Tobe Hooper (1943-2017)

Monday, 17 July 2017

R.I.P. George A. Romero

Heard the sad news this morning. The legendary director George A. Romero has died at the age of 77. One of the great icons of Horror and American Independent cinema, I've been a huge fan of his work since my teenage years. He made many great films starting with his extraordinary debut, the classic zombie film Night of the Living Dead (1968) and its various sequels.

Subsequent features include the suburban witchcraft tale Season of the Witch (1972), paranoia/contagion chiller The Crazies (1973), the remarkable modern vampire tale Martin (1978 - my own personal favourite), cult oddity Knightriders (1981) - which he regarded as his most personal film, the EC comic-style anthology Creepshow (1982) on which he collaborated with fellow Horror legend Stephen King, suspense tale Monkey Shines (1988) and the revenge thriller Bruiser (2000).

His career had many setbacks. He had a fraught relationship with Hollywood studios over unrealised projects - including a Poe adaptation with Isabella Rossellini and rejected scripts for new versions of The Mummy and Resident Evil that would be eventually made by other hands. There was a long period of inactivity during the 1990s where he spent most of the decade in development Hell and would only make one feature (1993's The Dark Half) which created a frustrating gap in his filmography. Despite his fondness for the genre and his cult following he was never able to escape his being typecast as a 'Horror director', to his occasional frustration. His last 3 films (Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and Survival of the Dead (2009)) were all returns to the zombie series that made his reputation. They allowed him the free-reign and creative control that he fought hard to maintain throughout his career.

I got a chance to see Romero in London at the UK premiere of Land of the Dead in 2005 and it was a huge thrill. I still feel that film has never got its due recognition and was ahead of its time with its focus on growing inequality and social divides in the 21st century. He brought humour, satire, thought provoking social commentary and a sharp and distinctive eye for human frailties to his films. Discovering his output in the early years of my cinephilia was a huge deal for me and more than any other filmmaker made me aware of the vast possibilities of Horror cinema. I really felt like I'd found a kindred spirit through his work.

A fearless maverick, an undisputed icon and a true inspiration. Thank you George Romero for the incredible body of work and the indelible impression it has left on me and countless other filmgoers.

R.I.P. George A. Romero (1940-2017)

Monday, 29 May 2017

52 Films by Women - 2017

I heard about this campaign in 2016 and it seemed like a great idea. One of my film viewer resolutions this year is to see at least 52 films by 52 female directors. For whatever reasons, films directed by women still seem to be in the minority of general releases and perhaps more than any other other major position in the film industry it seems directing is the one role above all others that remains disproportionately low for women. Hopefully we're at a point where the contribution of female directors to cinema as an artform and entertainment is being more acknowledged and appreciated. Each year I find that many of the most exciting talents in film today are female directors and I hope the number of women behind the camera will grow in years to come. This viewing mission should allow me to discover more names and titles that I'd previously been unaware of as well as seeing lesser known works from established directors. I'll update this list throughout the year and personal highlights will be marked with an asterisk (*).

3/1/17: La chambre (1972, Chantal Akerman)
8/1/17: Madchen in Uniform (1931, Leontine Sagan & Carl Froelich)*
20/1/17: The Last Mistress (2007, Catherine Breillat)*

9/2/17: Love Crimes (1992, Lizzie Borden)
12/2/17: Men (1997, Zoe Clarke-Williams)
25/2/17: Old Joy (2006, Kelly Reichardt)
26/2/17: Slitch (2003, Dianne Bellino), Mutations (1972, Lillian Schwartz)

21/3/17: The Apple (1998, Samira Makhmalbaf)
22/3/17: Glimpse of the Garden (1957, Marie Menken)
30/3/17: Faust and Mephistopheles (1903, Alice Guy)
31/3/17: At Land (1944, Maya Deren)

12/4/17: 20 30 40 (2004, Sylvia Chang)*
17/4/17: Father of My Children (2009, Mia Hansen-Love)
25/4/17: Lourdes (2009, Jessica Hausner)*

5/5/17: Bringing Up Bobby (2011, Famke Janssen)
10/5/17: The Life of Death (2012, Marsha Onderstijn)
The Falling (2014, Carol Morley)
29/5/17: The Black Dog (1987, Alison De Vere)
30/5/17: Lore (2012, Cate Shortland)

5/6/17: Gas Food Lodging (1992, Allison Anders)
8/6/17: Cleo from 5 to 7 (1962, Agnes Varda)
14/6/17: Orlando (1992, Sally Potter)
18/6/17: Bridges-Go-Round (1958, Shirley Clarke)
Immer Zu (1997, Janie Geiser)
19/6/17: The Green Ray (2001, Tacita Dean)
21/6/17: Dark Touch (2013, Marina de Van)
24/6/17: Under the Skin (1997, Carine Adler)
25/6/17: A Simple Life (2011, Ann Hui)*
28/6/17: Saving Face (2004, Alice Wu)

14/7/17: Jesus' Son (1999, Alison Maclean)
25/7/17: The Beguiled (2017, Sofia Coppola)

2/8/17: Top of the Lake: China Girl (2017, Jane Campion & Ariel Kleiman)
Sleeping Beauty (2011, Julia Leigh)*
3/8/17: In a Heartbeat (2017, Beth David & Esteban Bravo)
9/8/17: Slums of Beverly Hills (1998, Tamara Jenkins)
15/8/17: Me and Me Dad (2012, Katrine Boorman)
16/8/17: The Edge of Seventeen (2016, Kelly Fremon Craig)
19/8/17: The Night Porter (1974, Liliana Cavani)*
26/8/17: Detroit (2017, Kathryn Bigelow)
28/8/17: My Life Without Me (2003, Isabel Coixet)

19/9/17: Peppermint Soda (1977, Diane Kurys)*
22/9/17: Suzanne (2013, Katell Quillevere)
25/9/17: A Girl at My Door (2014, July Jung)
28/9/17: Take Care of My Cat (2001, Jeong Jae-eun)*

23/10/17: The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (1975, Volker Schlondorff & Margarethe von Trotta)

5/11/17: The Breadwinner (2017, Nora Twomey)
6/11/17: Dark River (2017, Clio Barnard)
10/11/17: Oh Lucy! (2017, Atsuko Hirayanagi)
16/11/17: You Were Never Really Here (2017, Lynne Ramsay)
27/11/17: I Can't Sleep (1994, Claire Denis)*
29/11/17: Wonder Woman (2017, Patty Jenkins)

2/12/17: The Bye Bye Man (2017, Stacy Title)