2016 was quite a year for me, both on a national/international level, but on a personal one as well. I left my job at Rotten Tomatoes and moved from California (I’m a 6th generation Californian!) to Atlanta, Georgia to start work at Turner Classic Movies (and FilmStruck). Uprooting my entire life took a toll on my film watching for most of the year (though I got my numbers up pretty high while attending the Pordenone Silent Film Festival; more on that later). All and all, I think I managed to strike a pretty good balance in my film watching this year. I was afraid after A Year With Women that jumping back into the cinema of men I would find myself just as disgruntled as I started to feel at the end of 2014, however I took much more curatorial approach to my watching this year and chose to skip certain films that were a big part of the ~film conversation~ because I knew I would not like them and focused more on the films I knew I would enjoy. Starting work with TCM reminded me once again how much I love classic Hollywood films, and I found myself watching more older films again. I also spent a good deal of 2016 rewatching films that I love, but maybe hadn’t watched in year. There really is a special joy to revisiting an old favorite. Also, obviously Movie Quote of the Day went away this year. But I did bring back Female Filmmaker Friday – this time in the form of a podcast! So, without any further ado, after the cut you will find every new-to-me film I watched in 2016, plus a few thoughts on some of my watching goals and trends.
I spent a good deal of December either not feeling well leading up to my pacemaker replacement surgery or recovering from the surgery, so my new-to-me film watching suffered, especially out in theaters (though I did do quite a bit of wonderful revisiting to some old favorites). Regardless, I saw some great films in December – and am much closer to finishing off François Truffaut’s directorial filmography! As always, everything I watched in December plus a few words about some favorites can be found after the cut.
After last year’s A Year With Women I was apprehensive dipping my toes back into to the world of cinema directed by men. Luckily, one thing 2015 taught me was that I could skip movies that I knew I wouldn’t enjoy instead of seeing everything just to be part of the conversation (although I did see a few things this year that I thought I would hate for that very reason and then I hated them anyways; not happening in 2017, I swear!). Overall, there were lots of films released in 2016 that I truly loved. There are a few late released 2016 films that haven’t come to Atlanta yet that probably would have made this list, but I doubt any of them would dethrone my #1 favorite of the year. For the first time since 2012, my favorite film of the year was actually directed by a man. I am as shocked as you are! As always, you’ll find my favorite films of the year after the cut, as well as some brief thoughts.
This has been a roller coaster year. When I moved across to the country to work at Turner Classic Movies (and FilmStruck!) I had to put Movie Quote of the Day on hold and I haven’t yet managed to bring that feature back. I did, however bring back Female Filmmaker Friday, this time as a podcast and I’ve had some great guests on talking about some great filmmakers. Due to some health issues I had to put that on hold as well (it will be back soon though!). Aside from driving across the country (and through 7 states!), I also went to Virginia to Joseph Cotten’s hometown on a research trip (I even wound up on the local news!) and to Italy to attend the Pordenone Silent Film Festival! All and all, it’s been a pretty crazy year and I’m grateful I was able to share it with all of you. 2017 is going to be full of all kind of adventures as well.
Bonus points if you can name the film that the above scene is from!
November was a pretty crazy month personally, but it was also the seventh year of Noirvember, which seems to have gotten bigger than I ever could have dreamed. It’s also the part of the year where many, many great films find their way into theaters. As always, you can see everything I watched last month behind the cut.
This week Kristen Sales joins me to talk about the work of filmmaker Kelly Reichardt.
This week writer Angelica Jade Bastien joins me to talk about the work of filmmaker Kasi Lemmons.
After a really low month in September, things got really popping in October thanks to the Pordenone Silent Film Festival (in Italy!!!),wherein I watched a bajillion films. Well, not quite that many, but after the cut you’ll see what I mean. October was PACKED WITH CINEMA. Not as much horror as I usually do, but I got some good ones in there. October was a great month for me cinematically. I hope it was for you as well!
This week on the Female Filmmaker Friday podcast writer and Surrealism researcher Sabina Stent joins me to talk about the work of experimental filmmaker Maya Deren (and cats!).