The Best Films of 2017

Do I mean best or favourite? Since art is entirely subjective and there can be no objective measure of success outside of the financial, obviously I mean best.

The two pieces of 2017 art that moved me the most were the new series of Twin Peaks, and the album Whiteout Conditions by The New Pornographers. But some of the movies were pretty good too. I dug Logan, Lucky and Logan Lucky. I enjoyed Wonder Women, Wonderstruck and Wonder Wheel, but missed Wonder and Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. I saw Coralie Fargeat’s Revenge and Alice Lowe’s Prevenge. I enjoyed Gerald’s Game, and waited for Molly’s Game. I started the year with1994’s Ladybird Ladybird and ended it with 2017’s Lady Bird. It’s important to maintain variety.

My approach to release dates is haphazard and designed to annoy. There are some 2016 films that were not released in Australia until 2017. There are some 2017 films that won’t be released in Australia until 2018. And there are some 1992 films that trump everything released this year because nobody’s figured out how to make a film better than Sneakers.

Also, I do a film podcast. It’s good. You should listen.

All right. On with it. From my arbitrarily-numbered yet mandatorily-divisible-by-five list of favourite films, it hurt to cut: Moonlight, 20th Century Women, Prevenge, Colossal.

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The Best Films of 2016

Compared to previous years, I saw relatively few films in 2016, and it’s safe to say the days of a top fifty are well and truly behind me. Unless I feel like trolling you all, which I kind of do. But I won’t. It wasn’t a particularly well-curated year of viewing on my part, and I missed large swathes of films that are habitually turning up on everyone else’s lists. But of what I did see, these ten titles moved or tickled me the most.

New Release Films Seen In 2016

The Hateful Eight, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benhazi, A Bigger Splash, Hail Caesar!, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Pearl Button, Black Mountain Poets, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Big Short, Spotlight, Trumbo, Joy, Sisters, Captain America: Civil War, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Mustang, The Devil’s Candy, Sonita, Spa Night, Kate Plays Christine, The Nice Guys, Ghostbusters, The BFG, Star Trek Beyond, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, The Event, Personal Shopper, The Salesman, High-Rise, A Dragon Arrives!, The Lure, Winter At Westbeth, Julieta, The Unknown Girl, The Commune, Paterson, Zero Days, Francofonia, Hell Or High Water, Barista, Toni Erdmann, Certain Women, The Neon Demon, Innuendo, Snowden, A Beautiful Planet, The Noon-Day Witch, I Am Not a Serial Killer, Baden Baden, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, The Girl on the Train, Café Society, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Nocturnal Animals, The Arrival, Doctor Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Dog Eat Dog, Trench (WIP), La La Land, Jackie, Sugar Mountain, Passengers, Star Wars: Rogue One, Assassin’s Creed, Cameraperson, Broken Ghost (WIP).

Older Films Watched In 2016

Dark Star (1974), Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Halloween (1978), Someone’s Watching Me (1978), Elvis (1978), The Fog (1980), Escape From New York (1981), The Thing (1982), Christine (1983) Starman (1984), Big Trouble In Little China (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), They Live (1988), Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), In the Mouth of Madness (1994), Escape From LA (1996), Vampires (1998), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Ward (2010), The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947), Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), Kramer vs Kramer (1979), What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Aloha (2015), Slap Shot (1977), The Warriors (1979), Die Verliebte Firma (The Company’s In Love) (1932) Die Verkaufte Braut (The Bartered Bride) (1932), Lachende Erben (The Merry Heirs) (1933), Une Histoire D’Amour (Love Story) (1933), La Signora di Tutti (Everybody’s Woman) (1934), Divine (1935), La Tendre Ennemie (The Tender Enemy) (1936), Komedia Om Geld (The Trouble With Money) (1936), Yoshiwara (1937), Le Roman de Werther (The Novel of Werther) (1938), Sans Lendemain (Without Tomorrow) (1939), De Mayerling à Sarajevo (Sarajevo) (1940), The Exile (1946), Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948), Caught (1949), The Reckless Moment (1949), La Ronde (1950), Le Plaisir (1952), The Earrings of Madame de… (1953), Lola Montes (1955), Despicable Me 2 (2013), Blood Simple (1984), Raising Arizona (1987), Miller’s Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), Fargo (1995), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001), Intolerable Cruelty (2003), The Ladykillers (2004), No Country For Old Men (2007), Burn After Reading (2008), A Serious Man (2009), True Grit (2010), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), A Little Chaos (2014), The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (1965), The Parallax View (1974), Safe (1993), Priest (1994), Mad Love (1995), Face (1997), Ravenous (1999), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Croupier (1997), The Hamburg Cell (2004), The Connection (1962), Cry Freedom (1987), Good Will Hunting (1997), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Sneakers (1992), The Cool World (1963), Portrait of Jason (1967), Ant-Man (2015), The French Connection (1971), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Dark Crystal (1982), Labyrinth (1986), Top Secret! (1984), Cronos (1993), Mimic (1997), El Spinazo Del Diablo (The Devil’s Backbone) (2001), Blade II (2002), Hellboy (Director’s Cut) (2004), Pan’s Labyrinth (2006), Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008), Pacific Rim (2013), Crimson Peak (2015), When Marnie Was There (2014), Tropic Thunder (2009), Hell Is For Heroes (1962), A Shot in the Dark (1964), School of Rock (2003), Steve Jobs (2015), Raging Bull (1980), Marnie (1964), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Salinger (2013), Guys and Dolls (1955), The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975), The Last Wave (1977), The Plumber (1979), Gallipoli (1981), The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), Witness (1985), The Mosquito Coast (1986), Dead Poets Society (1989), Green Card (1990), Fearless (1993), The Truman Show (1998), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), The Way Back (2010), The Pink Panther (1963), Stories We Tell (2013), Downhill (1927), Elstree Calling (1930) ,The Skin Game (1931), Waltzes From Vienna (1934), The Paradine Case (1947), The Pleasure Garden (1925), The Lodger (1927), Our Brand Is Crisis (2015), The Help (2011), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Ring (1927), Secret Agent (1936), Rope (1948), Easy Virtue (1928), Saboteur (1942), The Farmer’s Wife (1928), The Manxman (1929), Young and Innocent (1937), The Trouble With Harry (1955), Blackmail (1929), Murder! (1930), Number Seventeen (1932), Juno and the Paycock (1929), Rich and Strange (1931), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936), Jamaica Inn (1939), Vertigo (1958), Stage Fright (1950), Foreign Correspondent (1940), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Mrs & Mrs Smith (1941), The 39 Steps (1935), Rebecca (1940), The Lady Vanishes (1938), Spellbound (1945), Suspicion (1941), Strangers on a Train (1951), Lifeboat (1944), Under Capricorn (1949), Notorious (1946), Psycho (1960), The Birds (1963), North By Northwest (1959), Torn Curtain (1966), I Confess (1953), Dial M For Murder (1954), Topaz (1969), Frenzy (1972), Family Plot (1976), The Wrong Man (1956), Rear Window (1954), Girlfriends (1978), Killer’s Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Fear and Desire (1953), Paths of Glory (1957), Spartacus (1960), Lolita (1962), A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures (2001), Barry Lyndon (1975), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), The Changeling (1980), The Hunger Games (2012), Performance (1970), Walkabout (1971), Don’t Look Now (1973), The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976), Bad Timing (1980), Eureka (1983), Insignificance (1985), Castaway (1986), Track 29 (1988), Sweet Bird of Youth (1989), The Witches (1990), Cold Heaven (1991), Heart of Darkness (1993), Full Body Massage (1995), Two Deaths (1995), Samson and Delilah (1996), Puffball (2007), Hart’s War (2002), In Which We Serve (1942), This Happy Breed (1944), Blithe Spirit (1944), Brief Encounter (1945), Great Expectations (1946), Oliver Twist (1948), The Passionate Friends (1949), Madeleine (1950), The Sound Barrier (1952), Hobson’s Choice (1954), Crocodile Dundee (1986), Summertime (1955), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Ryan’s Daughter (1970), A Passage To India (1984), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

Short Films Watched In 2016

Goodbye Five (2015), Dance in the Sun (1953), In Paris Parks (1954), Bullfight (1955), A Moment In Love (1956), Bridges-Go-Round (1958), A Scary Time (1960), Savage/Love (1981), Tongues (1982), The Heartless Giant (1988), The Soldier and Death (1988), Ripples (1967), Wheels That Go (1967), Cat & Mouse (196?), King of Eight (1970), Idea Man (1966), Queen of Six (1971), Time Piece (1965), The Cube (1969), The Heisenberg Principle (2001), Excursion (2003), The Funk (2008), Wait (2016), The Boyfriend Game (2015), You Deserve Everything (2016), Moving (2016), The Ravens (2016), Slug (2015), Curve (2015), St Elmo (2016), Olympic Nick (2016), 3 To Go Michael (1969), Homesdale (1971), Incredible Floridas (1972), Three Directions In Australian Pop Music (1972), Day of the Fight (1951), Flying Padre (1951), The Seafarers (1953), Hotel Paradise (1995), Inner Workings (2016), Cigarette (2016), Lost and Found: The Story of Cook’s Anchor (1979).