I am delighted to host Screen Readings’ first guest blogger: the wonderfully talented film critic Jordan Brooks – GC
As a general rule, old people hate the young, and young people hate the old. Struggling for control over laws, culture and morality, battles waged between (generally speaking) progressive children and their more conservative parents have shaped modern society – and have, in many cases, provided us with fuel for the ongoing stereotypical images that likely formed in your head while reading these opening sentences.
Unlike most publications, this blog only reveals its year-end favourites at the actual end of the year. Otherwise, how does one account for Monster Trucks? (Spoiler. Monster Trucks does not feature in this count down)
Without further delay, and in reverse order, here are my favourite 20 films that were released in the UK in 2016:
When Amma Asante’s A United Kingdom was announced as the opening night gala selection for the 2016 BFI London Film Festival it was widely reported as an important landmark in the history of the festival. Not only was this the second opening gala film in as many years to be helmed by a female director (following Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette), it was the first to be directed by a black woman. Coming during a year that saw the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, and the BFI’s own celebration of black filmmakers (the ‘Black Star’ season), this was rightfully seen as a positive, and decades overdue, event.
I’m reviving this blog from its dormant slumber. The reason for my prolonged furlough is a research project I’ve embarked on, concerning self-reflexive cinema. Since I’ve been watching so many of these kinds of film I thought that I’d share my findings with the world. Here, in an absolutely particular order, are my 21 favourite films about making films.
David Robert Mitchell’s sinister It Follows exacts its chills from a simple central idea: an entity (“It”) that pursues its victims endlessly and slowly (at walking pace but is apparently a strong swimmer). The entity can take any human shape, and frequently takes the shape of its quarry’s loved ones. “It” only pursues one cursed victim at a time. The curse can only be passed on through sexual intercourse. If “It” catches and kills a victim then the curse reverts back to the previous recipient, and so on. “It” can only be seen by those who have possessed the curse and seemingly cannot be significantly harmed or destroyed. Continue reading →
Bad Timing (1980) bookended a decade of extraordinary creativity for its director Nicolas Roeg. In the 1970s he made Peformance, Walkabout, Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth. Roeg experimented with montage and sound to explore aspects of identity, memory, trauma, sex and time. Bad Timing represents the purest exhibition of Roeg’s unique style and thematic concerns. Continue reading →