In 2016, I set out to devote myself more to film and it turned out to be an incredibly successful year. I watched more films and wrote more criticism. In May, I graduated from college with a degree in English and Film. In August, I was accepted into the Critics Academy, where I attended the 54th New York Film Festival (my first ever film festival, in fact), as well as various workshops taught by esteemed critics, programmers, and other members of the film industry. In October, I begun free-lancing and had my first ever professional piece published. Then, just in December, I was accepted into a Master’s program and so later this January, I will officially be pursuing a Master’s degree in Cinema Theory.
I assume that grad school will be keeping me busy, so I don’t know what 2017 will bring. I am however, going to continue the trends that I’ve established in 2016, albeit tweaked. I’m going to continue writing for my blog, but I’m going to be consistent. Last year I often went from writing a review once a day for perhaps two weeks straight before taking a short hiatus, only to repeat the pattern. Continuing on from here, I’m going to slow down the rate at which I publish work on my blog in order to produce better quality and more diverse (Reviews, Essays, Retrospectives, etc.) writing.
I’m going to continue free-lancing, and my goal is to be published on a variety of websites. The ultimate aim is to get enough credibility, so that I can attend more film festivals as a member of the press. Following the NYFF, I was invited to DOC NYC and later on, I was able to attend KAFFNY.
I want to begin doing video-essays. This would simply entail transferring my written work into video format. For now, I’m mostly looking to do this with my “Film of the Week” series, where I’d be able to play scenes from the film dubbed over with my analysis.
And of course, I’m going to continue watching films. That front will begin with me getting Movie Pass. Moving on then, here are my top 10 favorite films, films that I think deserve honorable mentions, least favorite films, and finally, films that I missed.
A few things to note: considering the number of films I’ve missed, this list is surely to change once I get around to catching up. Just because a film is listed under the “least favorite) category doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch it. On the contrary, if you haven’t watched it, you should. Some of those films I immensely enjoyed upon viewing only to change my mind as time went on. I also ignored the Hollywood fare of blockbusters, because it would be all too easy to fill up a “least favorite” list otherwise. Finally, the numbers themselves are arbitrary.
- “The Human Surge” (Eduardo Williams)
- “No Home Movie” (Chantal Akerman)
- “Certain Women” (Kelly Reichardt)
- “A Bigger Splash” (Lucas Guadagnino)
- “The Witch” (Robert Eggers)
- “Sully” (Clint Eastwood)
- “Cemetery of Splendour” (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
- “Kate Plays Christine” (Robert Greene)
- “Knight of Cups” (Terrence Malick)
- “Lemonade” (Beyoncé Knowles)
Top 10 Honorable Mentions
- “Little Sister” (Zach Clark)
- “The Fits” (Anna Rose Holmer)
- “Things to Come” (Mia-Hanson Love)
- “Aquarius” (Kleber Mendoca Filho)
- “April and the Extraordinary World” (Franck Ekinci, Christian Desmares)
- “Moonlight” (Barry Jenkins)
- “20th Century Women” (Mike Mills)
- “Under the Shadow” (Babak Anvari)
- “Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade)
- “Love and Friendship” (Walt Stillman)
Top 10 Least Favorite
- “American Honey” (Andrea Arnold)
- “The Lobster” (Yorgos Lanthimos)
- “The Neon Demon” (Nicholas Winding Refn)
- “Little Men” (Ira Sachs)
- “Hail, Caesar!” (Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
- “Arrival” (Dennis Villeneuve)
- “The Shallows” (Jaume Collet-Sera)
- “The Handmaiden” (Park Chan-Wook)
- “The Club” (Pablo Lorrain)
- “Elle” (Paul Verhoeven)
Top 10 Missed Films
- “La La Land” (Damien Chazelle)
- “The Love Witch” (Anna Biller)
- “Happy Hour” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
- “Kaili Blues” (Gan Bi)
- “Tower” (Keith Maitland)
- “Yourself and Yours” (Hong Sang-soo)
- “Silence” (Martin Scorsese)
- “Your Name” (Makoto Shinkai)
- “Embrace of the Serpent” (Ciro Guerra)
- “Cameraperson” (Kirsten Johnson)