Hello my dear six readers& followers new and old!
Well,, it wasn’t really a bad year, compared to 2013 and 2014- the previous two years, which were the years I referred to them in my infamous and well quoted blog!(Oh the realm of fantasy!!).Once again the non Hollywood and other Movie industries gave a fantastic fight, once again they won.
This year I did something remarkable and utterly unexpected, and I’m sure I’m one of the few. Get this: I didn’t see J.J.Abrams’:”Star WarsThe Force Awakens”! Wow!!
I’m a brave man, am I not? I’m sure there are enough men, women, both young, old, middle ages, who actually live in USA, Europe, Israel and other countries, which have multi screen movie theaters!!, who share my opinion. It’s nice to know people who resist conglomerates carnivals like that. And with that, let’s start the countdown, and mind you, some of these movies you didn’t see, an d I hope you’d see them.”!
2)(Chin-2015 Dearest (aka:Qin Ai De
4(At li Laila(“Next to her”-Israel
5): -UK-2014Amy (Doc.)
6a( A most violent year(
8(Inside out (Anim.)
8 a)The Martian
10(Bridge of spies
a)10 -The Gift
1)”Mustang” is the winner, co written by Alice Winocur, and directress Deniz Gamse Erduyen, this movie seemingly and deceptively local and simple, about the struggles of our girls, in a Turkish village, their tragedies, and victories, is a living testament, that Italian Neorealism didn’t die,which certainly thrills me to no end. Yes, no doubt, there were this year many movies, which qualified for this category, and yes, they were made in a third world dictatorship, but I didn’t see them, or shall we say, saw a few. What even surprised me, is that the Turkish film industry, and Qatar of all places, actually made and financed this jewel of a movie, imagine that! Qatar, well, France and Switzerland helped, but I’m still amazed that in the Mid-East, there are brave producers who makes an anti-Muslim movie like that, as a matter of fact, its political message of freedom, women empowerment, and anti reactionary sentiment, is a proof, that the Mid-East is and have and will have a somewhat optimistic place. And though, the decade isn’t over yet, my opinion is that Erdoyen’s movie will be one of its best.!
2)Dearest (aka:Qin Ai De – Peter Chang’s movie already got a positive buzz at Venice and Toronto, and for a good reason thew Ji Chang screenplay and Wang’s , a child is abducted and his divorced parents embark on a quest to find him, the
detailed no holds barred story, would’ve been a tear-jerker, but it’s not. Its power , lies in its restraint, telling us a sad and harrowing story, and its actors Huang Bo and Hao-Ley, as the parents are wonderful , as well as Liu Xiao Juan, the unexpected third wheel, the alleged mother, who got a new outlook, thus making the movie a whole new meaning.
3)Mommy Canada-Xavier Dolan’s French Speaking Canadian film, shared the Palm D’or award at Cannes film festival this year, and though I admit, never seeing Goddard’s movie,(And who can blame me? The Swiss old geezer, bullshit his way into the hall of fame bored and pretentious filmmakers since the 70’s), Mommy resonates and thrilled me. The story of a mentally disturbed young man and his single harassed, and at times tough and obnoxious mother, is a tour de force, despite its length,it doesn’t sag for a minute( A Really rare feat at that; think about the tedious overblown movies this year, and tell me if I’m wrong), it doesn’t resort to tacky happy ending, it’s not a feel good movie, not at all, and its figures, aren’t that sympathetic, the neighbour a teacher at maternity leave, who tried to help, is thwarted, and the movie manage to have evoke a sad and real empathy, despite its flawed characters, a dark humor is spiced through this movie, manage to ease the tension, and I’m sure that the last 10 minutes won’t leave a dry eye in the audience.
4(“At li Laila”(“Next to her”) Israel’s first entry to this list, is a masterpiece. Its script, which was co , and directed by her husband Asaf Korman, is based on Ben-Shloush’s own life with her mentally challenged sister( who sadly died this year), again this would’ve been a tear-jerker, instead we see a moving, touching intimate family portrait of one sister, who tries to protect her other unfortunate sister, a protection which ultimately deny her true love, due to a suspicion, which is unfounded, and despite the overly protected life Gabby, the mentally challenged, retard to some people, is not immune, and yes, she knows how to love. Ben-Shloush and Dana Ivgy gives a stellar performances, Ivgy which is a comedienne as well as a dramatic actress, soars to height s of a Magnanni, Signoret, Hepburn(Katherine), and all the fantastic screen actresses, I can think of, she’s in their league, and prove that Israeli film acting was radically changed for the better in the past decades.
5(- Documentaries about Rock Stars can be very tricky, but Ashis Kapadia’s documentary effortlessly did a wonderful and absolutely mesmerizing and chilly portrayal of a Jewish-British soul performer lyricist Amy WInehouse, using homme movies, interviews, supplied by the family, it showed us the British RocknRoll industry, at its most ugly, sleazy, manipulative, heartless which drove poor Amy Winehouse to Od herself. Is it? Nor quite, because Kapadia also show us the real Amy, manipulative, shrewd, needy, rebellious, vulnerable, and by doing it, we face a deliberate unclear, but emotional roller coaster of a doc., which does something smart Leaving us to solve the questions by ourselves. No spoon-feeding here, no message of a simpleton, it’s a movie, which clearly challenged us to find the answer ourselves. And I just love movies l;ike that fictional or non fictional.
6)American sniper” After spending some years talking to a chair at the Republican” convention, return to acting , Clint Eastwood finally remembered that he’s a movie director, “Sniper”, was his greatest achievement so far, and most profitable. True, I’m Social-democrat, and he’s a staunch Republican, but still a fantastic story-teller and a director, and while his long career suffered, and some of his movies , few, were duds, he still can be an old-timer, who can thrill me, and give me an extra dimension, “Sniper” recounts the life and tragic death of Chris Kyle(In fact it ends on his last day), who was a deadly sniper, and suffered from a shell shock traumas due to his consecutive tours at Iraq. So, while this story doesn’t relate to Arabs, still its core and its telling are so compelling, so touched my heart, that I was willing to forget this neglect. The scene where Bradley Cooper, an excellent actor, sits and looks at the empty TV Screen,m while hearing battle sounds, is one among many .
scenes, which etched and refused to leave my memory, even now.
( A most violent year(6a
Sharing Eastwood’s place is another film, this one is independent thriller, surrounding New-York, at its most violent year, it’s a not a nostalgic look at the eighties decade, this film does the opposite-It depicts a fascinating story of a Nicaraguan immigrant, ambitious and tough, who with his American wife strive to make good. Abel Morales’ business of heating contract and personal lives are besetting with troubles, his American family doesn’t help, his wife Anna tries her best, but to no avail. The film is a sobering account of an immigrant lives in modern America of Reaganomics era, and sadly enough, it’s not a really encouraging, feel good uplifting movie, not at all, its poignant realism, is impressive and Oscar Issac, and Jessica Chastain, delivers a soaring and accurate look of a couple whose life are disintegrating, while trying to pursue a rather false and elusive American Dream, which gets sour by the minute.
7)Inherent vices Paul Thomas Anderson is a long personal love of mine, his movies are fresh, unexpected, sometimes over long, but always compelling, he also have a wonderful seldom used sense of humor, and here in his adaptation to Thomas Pynchon’s private eye novel, he used it at lengths. The film which centered around the lives of a Hippi seventies dropout private eye, wonderfully played by Joaquin Phoenix, another great actor, who sometimes is wasteful, surrounded by equally fantastic actors and actresses, employed the missing person plot to present a seamier, sleezy side of Americana this time California Republican’s politics and its own skekket=ons and nest of vipers, into which our goofball of a detective, gamely try to solve. A beautiful marvel, a funny , satiric and yes even menacing, thrilling movie, the Anderson movie was a triumph of adaptation, film noir, and above all my kind of political film, which doesn’t do editorial, or hit you with the messages.
(8(Inside out (Anim.
Pixar made sometimes marvellous movies, and at times just a churning out boring pics. This year, they return to greatness, Peter Directer’s & Ronnie DelCarmen’s “Inside Out”, is a delight, both funny, emotional, and yes, surprise educational. portraying of emotions inside us, this case a relocated girl from a small town to San-Francisco with her parents, is a delight, funny, especially the Brazilian fantasy figure which keeps popping up inside the women’s, and the journey through timer inside Riley’s head, and her parents’, is a journey, which can be funny, sentimental, and rewarding.
Ridley Scott’s movies were checkered ones. A times, he made embarrassing celluloid shits, like:”The counsellor”, at times he’s making movies like:”Black Hawk Down”,”Blade Runner”, and at times he’s just not there, this year he returned in a big tine.”The Martian”, was everything that sci-fi movie should. Tention, heroics, humor, and the intellect’s triumph, the movie depicts people, there are not bad guys, or good guys, there are well-meaning men and women, who bring Mark Watney’ back home. excellent performances by all, Matt Damon is a Watney one remembers, combining intellect, will power, brawn, and above all no sentimental bullshit, he’;s one of the most lovable heroes of this year’s screen. NASA couldn’t expect a more PR movie like that, but it’s not just a sci-fi, it’s a movie about camaraderie, commitment, and common bondage. One should hope that Scott will make good movies, one can only pray.
9)- Sicario- Was another must, a morally dedicated FBI agent named Kate Mase, joined a unit who allegedly fights Mexican cartels, headed by a cynical tough man named Matt Graver, and an ex D .A. from Mexico, as the Ted Sheridan-Denis Villaneuve’s movie progress, we find ourselves, like Kat inside a quagmire, where the familiar plot gets twists and turns , and still manage to be believable. Rebecca Hall, Josh Briolin, and Benicio Del Turo gives us complex, motivated characters, who force us to wonder at our own moral compass. A movie like that is an example of
.what Hollywood can do, and should do as a direction for the next decade
Let’s close the best ten with two movies
10(“Bridge of spies”
Steven Spielberg’s movie is a tale of humanity in face of massive hysteria., a cautionary one. James B. Donovan is an insurance lawyer, who once was with the Nuremberg’s Nazi Trials, where he worked as an attorney, helping the allies to punish Nazis. Rudolph Abel was a brilliant KGB colonel. Both are now enemies, the ex allies are menacing , the Americans fight, both fight dirty, both are living in a dangerous atmosphere, the McCarty hearings are now a traumatic memory(The movie takes place in the year McCarthy died 1957), the Gary Powers incident prove a case of exchanging spies, Abel which was caught, and Powers are pawns, with another economy American student imprisoned in East Germany. The movie isn’t a Bond’s derring do, it’s a game of chess, which won through guile, mean tactics, and above all courage of one man, who brave a suspicious society within and hostile without, a chilly, and a times nerve racking, the movie is a success in every department from Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance acting to the screenplay, which the Coen brothers and Matt Cahrman wrote, a prime example of sane people in an insane world.
“Joel Edgerton an Australian actor turned director in this impressive debut. A movie, which centers on a very uneasy and twisted relations of two men, one is a seemingly
successful man, the other is a loser
Both studies in the same highschool, both are now at the different sides os the American society. Edgerton’s movie is a psychological film noir, which shows Real promise, Jason Schwartzman is at his best, as well as Edgerton woman whose life throws in turmoil, and investigate her husband’;s past, and finds a can of worms is excellent.
These are the 10 best.