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).

Inherent Advice

I probably should have written something about this a week ago, but I was busy with radio shows and things. Had I not been busy with radio shows and things I would have had time to blog about it, but then there wouldn’t have been anything to blog about. It’s a sort of catch-22, you see.

Over the Summer, I am co-hosting a show on Melbourne’s Triple R called Inherent Advice. Marian Blythe and I will be examining modern relationships through the prism of pop culture and the prism of special guests provided the guests are transparent and can refract light.

Have the movies and television lied to us about how our relationships should look? Have we accepted terrible advice about how to resolve conflicts? Are we living our lives all wrong?

Last week we talked about relationships in the workplace, and you can listen to that right now. This week we’re talking about family relationships, and we’ll be airing live each Tuesday from 7pm for the next few weeks. And if you need any help with a problem in your life, head over to our Facebook page and ask us about it and we’ll endeavour to give you guidance that’s even worse than the pop culture you consume.

Heartbreak and Chaos Under the Christmas Tree

Here’s me pointing at Eva Orner’s book, because I don’t understand how perspective works. Also, you should probably get Eva’s book as well.

Looking for the perfect Christmas present for your loved one or friend or colleague? Well, bad luck. There’s no such thing as the perfect present. The best you can hope for is some trinket that bypasses the look of confusion, disgust and contempt that flashed onto the recipient’s face when that key piece of wrapping paper is finally torn from the body of the gift.

In that spirit, consider giving the human beings in your life a copy of my book Double Dissolution: Heartbreak and Chaos on the Campaign Trail. If they like politics, jokes, travelogues or sad white men complaining about their marriage breakdown, then this is honestly the only thing worth getting. You can find a physical copy in most bookstores and digital copies on most websites, probably.

Buy a copy right now by clicking here.