Two “Best” Lists for Sight and Sound, 2016/2017

Included in Sight and Sound‘s January 2017 issue and on its web site. — J.R.

1. Best Films

The-Day-Before-the-End

 The Day Before the End
Year: 2016
Director(s): Lav Diaz

EverybodyWantsSome
Everybody Wants Some!!
Year: 2016
Director(s): Richard Linklater

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Aragane
Year: 2016
Director(s): Oda Kaori
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Paterson
Year: 2016
Director(s): Jim Jarmusch

Louis-XIV

La Mort de Louis XIV
Year: 2016
Director(s): Albert Serra

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The first on my list, a short, I caught at the estimable Filmadrid; the third, a documentary by a former FilmFactory student of mine, I saw via a Vimeo link. Worthy runners-up would include João Nicolau’s John From, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship, and Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s Journey to the Shore – and perhaps certain other contenders I haven’t yet caught up with.

2. Best DVDs and Blu-Rays

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Nico Papatakis Box Set (France, 1963-92) (Gaumont Vidéo, DVD).

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I Want to Live! (U.S., 1958) (Twilight Time, Blu-Ray)

ElectraMyLove

Electra, My Love (U.K., 1974) (Second Run Features, Blu-Ray).

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Early Murnau (U.K., 1921-1925) (Masters of Cinema, Blu-Ray box set)

saisons

Marcel Hanoun: Les Saisons (France, 1968-1972) (Re:Voir, DVD)

 

Five exemplary releases condemned to obscurity by their resistance to being summarized in sound bites:

A comprehensive portrait of a singular filmmaker from Ethiopia and Greece (not simply a Greek, any more than Barack Obama is simply black), with excellent extras subtitled in English; a powerful piece of melodramatic filmmaking from Robert Wise that justifies its opening endorsement by Albert Camus; the first Miklós Jancsó Blu-Ray accorded to an exhilarating, colorful Hungarian musical pageant than unfolds in just a dozen shots; an essential package of five beautiful silent German features with many clarifying extras; and a neglected cycle of films by a major French independent.

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