A few words about all the movies I watched in 2016

I’ve been keeping a list of every movie I watched this year… those I’ve seen before and those I saw for the first time. For each of them, I wrote a very brief reaction. Some are thoughtful, some are irreverent. All are honest. Here’s the list, in sequential order of my viewing: Babel – makes Tokyo and Afghanistan and Mexico seem like another planet Revenant – more movies should be filmed 100% with natural light Winter on Fire – meanwhile in America the Kardashians what?? Big Eyes – the guy in this movie is a huge asshat Moonraker – are they serious? They can’t be serious. I love it The Big Short – Steve Carrell should always play this character Dallas Buyers Club – …

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three Films Worth Watching

Senna Sports films seem to be trending toward documentary lately, leaving behind fictional drama like ‘Hoosiers’ and ‘Rudy.’ ESPN’s ’30 for 30′ series is a great example, and this portrait of Ayrton Senna, the Formula 1 driver, is another. I’m not really a  fan of auto racing, but I was able to enjoy this critical exploration of Senna’s character, and the sport of Formula 1. Recommended for fans of anything Brazilian, and also as an interesting chronicle of international sportsmanship in the days before Atlanta ’96, China’s economy, and Livestrong. Holy Motors Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Holy Motors is the strangest – and most wonderful – movie I’ve seen in a while. The kind of film that …

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two Films worth Seeing

Sidewalls (Medianeras) For English speakers, the crown of ‘best quirky foreign-language romance’ has been passed from Amelie to a touching film about two neighbors in Buenos Aires. The characters ring true in the age of paranoia about digital loneliness, and their internal dialogues about trying to connect are sincere. Without any sappy, jokey, over-the-top acting, Sidewalls is funny without losing its credibility as heartfelt. Overall, a great portrait of modern urban life both by virtue of the characters and the photography. The Tree of Life When I saw Terrance Malick’s ‘The Thin Red Line’ as a teenager, I wasn’t sure what to think. The lyrical, poetically visual style was a departure from the combat movies I was used to (ahem, …

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Xi’an and Cinema (Universal language)

The cough which started on the final day of the Yangtze cruise has persisted and is duly irritating me today. In the Chinese media cases of swine flu are zealously reported, and any Chinese official would probably diagnose me as positive as soon as looking at me. I look forward to returning to clean skies and natural air at home which is surely the cure I need. Upon arriving in Xi’an we checked in at the City Hotel close to the center of town. There are apparently 8 million people in this city but I have only seen what looks like one or two. The hotel is in the middle of a construction zone, walking out to the street feels …

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