29 Dec 2016

NGboo Presents: Top 80 Films 2016

The last months of 2016 have been quite busy for me, particularly in Taste of Cinema list-compiling department, with my latest article focusing on more or less obscure titles from the 90s

As for the annual list, I'm accustomed to including older films I haven't seen prior to the current year, but this time I shall not go back as far as 2014 (seven entries). The advantage is given to weird, exotic, eccentric, whimsical, atmospheric, experimental, visually stimulating and "Oh, what a surprise!" works, although there are some exceptions to this "rule". So, without further ado, I present my pick of top 80 cinematic treats of 2016.

(Letter "E" signifies that the linked review is written in English.)


Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson / Canada
André Turpin / Canada
3. The Survivalist (2015)
Stephen Fingleton / UK
4. Grüße aus Fukushima / Greetings from Fukushima (2016)
Doris Dörrie / Germany
5. Elle (2016)
Paul Verhoeven / France | Germany | Belgium
6. La distancia / The Distance (2014) (E)
Sergio Caballero / Spain
7. Nōnai Poizun Berii / Poison Berry in My Brain (2015) 
Yūichi Satō / Japan
8. Kurīpī: Itsuwari no rinjin / Creepy (2016)
Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Japan
9. Love & Peace (2015)
Pietro Marcello / Italy | France


11. Risttuules / In the Crosswind (2014)
Ismail Basbeth / Indonesia
13. Zoom (2015) (E)
Pedro Morelli / Brazil | Canada
14. Knight of Cups (2015)
Chan-wook Park / South Korea
16. Cosmos (2015)
Andrzej Zulawski / France | Portugal
17. The VVitch: A New-England Folktale / The Witch (2015)
Robert Eggers / USA | UK | Canada | Brazil
Nicolas Winding Refn / USA | Denmark | France
19. Evolution (2015)
Lucile Hadžihalilović / France | Belgium | Spain
20. Zeit der Kannibalen / Age of Cannibals (2015)
Johannes Naber / Germany


Miguel Llansó / Spain | Ethiopia | Finland
22. Umimachi Diary / Our Little Sister (2015)
Hirokazu Koreeda / Japan
23. True Love Ways (2015) (E)
Mathieu Seiler / Germany 
Kiyoshi Kurosawa / Japan | France
25. The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid
Takashi Miike / Japan | France | China
27. Girl Asleep (2015)
Rosemary Myers / Australia
28. John From (2015)
João Nicolau / Portugal | France (E)
29. The Childhood of a Leader (2015) (E)
Brady Corbet / UK | France | Hungary
Marcin Wrona / Poland | Israel


31. The Nice Guys (2016)
Shane Black / USA
32. Hrútar / Rams (2015)
Grímur Hákonarson / Iceland | Denmark | Norway | Poland
33. Dol-yeon-byeon-i / Collective Invention (2015)
Kwon Oh-kwang / South Korea
34. Notias / Mythopathy (2016)
Tassos Boulmetis / Greece
35. Collective: Unconscious (2016) (E)
Daniel Patrick Carbone, Lauren Wolkstein, Lily Baldwin,
Frances Bodomo & Josephine Decker / USA
36. Córki dancingu / The Lure (2015)
Agnieszka Smoczynska / Poland
Nikias Chryssos / Germany 
38. Disorder (2015)
Alice Winocour / France | Belgium
39. Simindis kundzuli / Corn Island (2014)
George Ovashvili / Georgia | Germany | France |
Czech Republic | Kazakhstan | Hungary
40. Já, Olga Hepnarová / I, Olga (2016)
Petr Kazda & Tomás Weinreb / Czech Republic |
Poland | Slovakia | France


41. Boi neon / Neon Bull (2015)
Gabriel Mascaro / Brazil | Uruguay | Netherlands
42. A Bigger Splash (2015)
Luca Guadagnino / Italy | France
43. Hide and Seek / Amorous (2014)
Jae-hyun Jang / South Korea (E)
45. Gesu no ai / Lowlife Love (2015)
Aleksey German Jr, 2015 / Russia | Ukraine | Poland 
47. Die dunkle Seite des Mondes / The Dark Side of the Moon (2015)
Stephan Rick / Germany | Luxembourg
48. Goksung / The Wailing (2016)
Hong-Jin Na / South Korea
49. Busanhaeng / Train to Busan (2016)
Sang-ho Yeon / South Korea
50. Scare Campaign (2016)
Cameron Cairnes & Colin Cairnes / Australia


Nicolas Pesce / USA
Jeppe Rønde / Denmark
53. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Tim Burton / UK | Belgium | USA
54. Deo Pon / The Phone (2015)
Kim Bong-Joo / South Korea
55. Heart of a Dog (2015)
Laurie Anderson / USA | France
56. Zir-e Sayeh / Under the Shadow (2016)
Babak Anvari / UK | Qatar | Jordan | Iran
57. Saul fia / Son of Saul (2015)
László Nemes / Hungary
58. He Never Died (2015)
Jason Krawczyk / USA | Canada
59. 4 Könige / 4 Kings (2015)
Theresa von Eltz / Germany
60. The Invitation (2015)
Karyn Kusama / USA


61. El abrazo de la serpiente / Embrace of the Serpent (2015)
 Ciro Guerra / Colombia | Venezuela | Argentina
62. Southbound (2015)
 Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner,
Patrick Horvath & Radio Silence / USA
63. Demolition (2015)
Jean-Marc Vallée / USA
64. Aloys (2016)
Tobias Nölle / Switzerland | France
65. High-Rise (2015)
Ben Wheatley / UK | Belgium
66. Identicals (2015)
Simon Pummell / UK
67. Ham-jeong / Exchange (2015)
Hyeong-jin Kwon / South Korea
68. Polednice / The Noonday Witch (2016)
Jiří Sádek / Czech Republic
69. Tu dors Nicole / You're Sleeping Nicole (2014)
Stéphane Lafleur / Canada
70. Wild (2016) (E)
Nicolette Krebitz / Germany


71. Mi gran noche / My Big Night (2015)
Álex de la Iglesia / Spain
72. Deadpool (2016)
Tim Miller / USA
73. Swiss Army Man (2016)
Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert / USA
74. Der Nachtmahr / The Nightmare (2015)
Akiz / Germany
75. Nachthelle / Bright Night (2015)
Florian Gottschik / Germany
76. El vigilante / Night Guard (2016)
Elena Hazanov / Germany | Russia | Switzerland
78. Mot naturen / Out of Nature (2014)
Ole Giæver & Marte Vold / Norway
79. Shelley (2016)
Ali Abassi / Denmark | Sweden
80. Before I Wake (2016)
Mike Flanagan / USA

28 Dec 2016

10 najboljih animiranih filmova za 2016.

... prema NGboo Art-u, podrazumeva se. Pre naslova koji su mi prijali na ovaj ili onaj način, kao najveće razočaranje, a uprkos odličnom prijemu kod glavnotokovske publike i kritike, izdvajam anime Kimi no Na wa. kojim, prema nekim izvorima, ni sam autor Makoto Šinkai nije sasvim zadovoljan. A sudeći po mom izboru, ove godine su francuski animatori bili najmarljiviji i najubedljiviji.


Japan
Japan
Japan
8. Zootopia (Byron Howard, Rich Moore & Jared Bush)
USA
France | Denmark

Honorable mentions:


Kubo and the Two Strings (Travis Knight)
USA
Seoul Station (Sang-ho Yeon)
South Korea
Phantom Boy (Jean-Loup Felicioli & Alain Gagnol)
Lithuania | Denmark | Latvia | Luxembourg
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (Takeshi Nozue)
Japan | USA

27 Dec 2016

Da Yu Hai Tang (Xuan Liang & Chun Zhang, 2016)


Inspirisan drevnim tekstovima iz Zbirke planina i mora (Shan Hai Jing), antologije legendi U potrazi za natprirodnim (Soushen Ji) i taoističkog klasika Čuang Ce (Zhuangzi), nezavisni film Da Yu Hai Tang (Krupna riba i begonija) predstavlja prekretnicu u kineskoj "industriji crtaća", jer je toliko moćan da ostavlja snažan utisak čak i onda kada se gleda bez titlova. Nakon prolaska kroz dvanaestogodišnji produkcijski pakao i sa budžetom koji je višestruko manji od onog za blokbastere kao što su Zootopia ili Kubo and the Two Strings, dospeva u top 3 dugometražne animacije za 2016-u, bar što se autora ovih redova tiče.

Smeštena u magični svet čije nebo je ispod dna zemaljskih okeana, a koji nastanjuju mitska bića odgovorna za ljudske emocije, godišnja doba i protok vremena, ova duhovno-ekološka fantazija (sa filozofskom notom?) deluje kao Mala sirena koja "sedi" na folklornoj gromadi Kine. Egzotična i mijazakijevski gorkoslatka, usredsređuje se na neobičnu (i zabranjenu) romansu između devojčice Čan, koja ima moć da kontroliše floru, i duše dečaka, koji se utapa pri pokušaju da je, preobraženu u delfina, oslobodi iz ribarske mreže.

Baveći se temama kao što su požrtvovanje, iskupljenje, ljubav i smrt, Krupna riba i begonija (inače, prvenac rediteljskog dueta Liang i Žang) ostavlja bez daha već u prvim minutima tokom kojih, uz umirujuć glas naratorke, uranjamo u predivno oslikano okruženje i susrećemo se sa izvrsno dizajniranim likovima. Vizuelno nadahnute scene raskošnih boja i neretko simetrične kompozicije kadrova nižu se jedna za drugom, odišući prefinjenošću i elegancijom, bilo da izgledaju kao da su istkane od najfinijih niti snova (let jata delfina) ili da evociraju apokaliptične košmare (provala oblaka). A ubedljiva glasovna gluma i atmosferični skor sa tradicionalnim prizvukom čine da užitak u opčinjavajućim slikama bude još prijatniji.

22 Dec 2016

Girl Asleep (Rosemary Myers, 2015)


Greta je naizgled slatka, "pomalo" nesigurna i lako razdražljiva (tipična?) četrnaestogodišnjakinja, u briljantnom tumačenju Betani Vitmor (mini Teri Gar sreće Sirše Ronan). To što je, nakon selidbe, nova devojka u školi baš joj i ne ide na ruku, dok je kod kuće čekaju otac u kratkom šorcu (Metju Vitet), majka koja se oblači u skladu sa obrokom (Amber Makmahon) i zlovoljna sestra (Imodžen Arčer) sa momkom (Imon Faren) koji flertuje 24 časa dnevno, 7 dana u nedelji.


U prvom (dugom i statičnom) kadru na času fizičkog, prilazi joj riđokosi štreber (Harison Feldman) sa frizurom Pomoćnika Boba iz Simpsonovih, nudeći joj prijateljstvo. Međutim, Greta privlači i pažnju trija dežurnih harpija (Maja Stjuardson + bliznakinje Fiona i Grejs Doson) čija su imena boje žada, safira i ćilibara. A bliži se i petnaesti rođendan, koji donosi žur, poniženje, san i prosvetljenje...


Usnula devojka je odgovor na pitanje: "Šta dobijate kada u blender stavite Hensonov Lavirint ili Makinovu Masku u ogledalu, nasumičnu epizodu Veselih sedamdesetih, zalijete sa par decilitara anderesnovske simetrije i začinite prstohvatom linčovsko-ženeovske ekscentričnosti i šakom začudnosti koja izbija iz pesama sa albuma My Head Is an Animal islandskog benda Of Monsters and Man?" 


Drugim rečima, kuvari iz australijske sinematske kuhinje isprobavaju recept koji na papiru zvuči 'smuti i prospi', ali kad probate gotov kolač, nije vam dovoljan samo jedan zalogaj. Iako fil o incijaciji u svet odraslih (uprkos jarkoj želji da se ostane dete) ima dobro poznat slatko-kiselkast ukus, iz nekog razloga ne možete da mu odolite. A koloritna glazura i dekoracija su priča za sebe - dizajner kostima i setova Džonatan Okslejd zaslužuje sve komplimente.


Svežina koja izbija iz ove simpatične, iščašene, frojdovske disko-bajke verovatno se može pripisati činjenici da dobar deo ekipe čine debitanti spremni na igru i eksperimentisanje, počev od rediteljke i Okslejda koji dolaze it sveta teatra, preko Viteta koji se oprobava kao scenarist, Feldmana koji je prirodan talenat, Makmahonove koja ume da ukrade scenu iako se tek probija na veliko platno, pa sve do kompozitora Herija Kovila. Sa nekoliko kratkih, dokumentarnih i igranih ostvarenja iza sebe, najiskusniji član družine je DP Endrju Komins koji okom svoje kamere uspeva da uhvati svaki ćef, meta-iskorak i sitnu (origami) idiosinkraziju.

14 Dec 2016

Taste of 100 Films from the 21st Century

My latest four lists for Taste of Cinema bring 100 great, yet less talked about films from all around the world. The selection is so diverse that even the most picky cine-gourmands should find something to nibble on. There are a number of relatively fresh features that might come to the fore in the future, yet the concept of these articles was to include at least one film per year for the period 2001-2016.


Ascension (Karim Hussain, 2002)

True Love Ways (Mathieu Seiler, 2015)

Borrowing its title from Buddy Holly's mushy song of the same name, True Love Ways marries artsploitation to rape & revenge subgenre, as it explores the darkest parts of psychosexual area. What at first seems like a slowburning romantic drama (of the cynical kind) evolves into a suspense thriller triggered by a Faustian bargain.


The film recounts the story of Séverine (Anna Hausburg) who - enticed by a recurring dream of a handsome stranger - decides to take a break from her current relationship. Her lovelorn boyfriend Tom (Kai Michael Müller), refuses to let her go, so he makes a bizarre deal with a silver-tongued man (David C. Bunners) he meets at a bar. She will be "fake" kidnapped and he will come to the rescue as a knight in shining armor (or Tarzan, in the words of a mysterious offeror). However, Tom doesn't know the true intentions of his "new friend" and Séverine gets pulled into a snuff-nightmare she will wake up from utterly transformed.


Subtly suggesting that something is weirdly off right from the start, the Swiss-born German director Mathieu Seiler gradually deciphers most of the riddles thrown in the midst of the young couple's love crisis, only to end the feverishly oneiric and tightly controlled narrative on an obscure (Stockholm syndrome?) note. Dealing with the themes of mind-clouding infatuation, fatal coincidences, human depravity and, above all, easily corrupted innocence, he relies on implicitness rather than explicitness, which doesn't mean he shies away from depicting the violence. In one particular scene, blood and vomit are mixed up in a darkly humorous, gorgeously disgusting way.


Heavily influenced by Hitchcock, Polanski, Lynch and, probably, Buñuel (given the protagonist's name), Seiler delivers something that looks like a twisted Nouvelle Vague film directed by Géla Babluani (13 Tzameti). But still, there's enough originality, peculiarity and reinventing here to keep you interested - not to mention the stark B&W cinematography, fittingly haunting score, meticulous set design and Hausburg's magnetic portrayal of a belle de jour in distress... and later, wielding axe.

10 Dec 2016

Tuvalu (Veit Helmer, 1999)

(Neznatno dorađen tekst postavljen 31. marta 2012. na forumu fijmovi.)
 
 
Slično deset godina mlađem Kelin, prvenac Vajta Helmera može se nazvati "nemuštim filmom", s obzirom na to da se komunikacija između protagonista uglavnom svodi na gestikulaciju. Za razliku od spomenutog kazahtanskog bisera, može se čuti i poneka prepoznatljiva reč ili nečije ime, ali je uprkos tome dijalog odsutan. 
 
Tuvalu donosi bizaran spoj socijalne drame i romantične komedije, koja počiva na neretko apsurdnom humoru sa slapstick predznakom, a smešten je u gotovo nadrealno okruženje koje neodoljivo podseća na svet iz Ženeove i Karoove Delikatesne radnje.

Ćaknuta priča odvija se usred nedođije, u i oko trošnog javnog kupatila u vlasništvu neobične porodice - (bukvalno) naduvenog slepog spasioca, njegove punačke supruge (čiji hobi je skupljanje i lepljenje dugmadi žvakom za plastičnu patku!) i njihovog naizgled priglupog sina Antona. 

Usamljeni mladić (Deni Lavan) zaljubljuje se u Evu (preslatka Čulpan Hamatova) koja sa ocem (bivšim pomorskim oficirom?) jednog ružnog dana dolazi na kupanje. Kada ovo potonje dvoje ostane bez krova nad glavom, a sve zahvaljujući mahinacijama podlog Gustava (sa frizurom Lajla Loveta, a u tumačenju Đoka Rosića), Anton im pruža utočište. 

Nakon nezgode u kojoj starac gubi život (još jedno Gustavljevo maslo), curica optužuje Antona i rešena je da mu se osveti tako što će učiniti da ostane bez ionako bednih prihoda, te krade ključni deo mašinerije koja održava njegov objekat i postavlja ga na svoj brod, spreman da otplovi ka ostrvu Tuvalu...

Prljav, opuštajuć, gorkosladak i simpatično-groteskan u svojoj vrcavoj ekcentričnosti, Tuvalu se prevashodno ističe izvanrednom fotografijom - oronuli enterijeri su u sepijastim i zelenkastim tonovima, podjednako ruinirani eksterijeri su modro-sivi, a sekvence snova su u negativu. Film je zanimljiv po tome što je snimljen sa nemačkim novcem u Bugarskoj, a okuplja glumce koji u većini vode poreklo iz istočnoevropskih zemalja. Od gledaoca zahteva izvesnu dozu suspenzije neverice i prihvatanje likova kao igranih ekvivalenata karikatura iz kakve animacije namenjene nešto  starijoj publici.

4 Dec 2016

The Eyes of My Mother (Nicolas Pesce, 2016)

 
Gorgeously shot in digital B&W and veiled in deep silence and unnerving drones, The Eyes of My Mother is, technically speaking, an impressive calling card for the 26-year-old newcomer Nicolas Pesce. However, it is a difficult film to recommend, whether you are a horror fan or belong to the most patient amongst the arthouse crowd.

The evil, slow beating heart of this brooding psychological drama with suppressed slasher & torture porn undercurrents is Francisca - a pretty sociopath raised on a remote, Portuguese immigrants' farm which could be situated somewhere on the outskirts of Neo Twin Peaks. (There's a place called Donna's Bar in the nearest neighborhood.)

As a little girl (gracefully portrayed by the first-timer Olivia Bond), she learns the basics of human and animal anatomy from her elderly, former eye surgeon mother (Diana Agostini) who gets killed in front of her not quite innocent eyes. When a reticent daddy (Paul Nazak) returns home, the body of the dead woman is buried in the forest and the perpetrator (named Charlie and played by Will Brill) becomes Francisca's chained pet.


Years later, the (anti)heroine (the conspicuous low key performance by Kika Magalhaes, ominously ethereal) indulges in daughterly necrophilia tendencies (possibly cannibalism as well) and believes that murder feels amazing as Charlie told her before she took his eyes and tongue. Her lonely existence and deranged mind make for a deadly combination, especially for those wretched, unsuspecting souls lured by Francisca's misleading naiveté.

Frighteningly methodical, just like his protagonist, Pesce splits the spare, cryptic and lethargic narrative into three acts which pervert the very idea of 'mother', 'father' and 'family'. Considering the story is told from the fucked-up individual's POV, he manages to set the right (or rather, awkward) tone to it and yet, sporadically, it seems like the film's short running time should be even shorter. Why? Well, it is hard to pinpoint - maybe it is not interesting enough as a characters study, in spite of Magalhaes being committed, or maybe it's the minimalist plot stretched almost to the breaking point.

On the other hand, DP Zach Kuperstein's meticulous framing make the young aspiring auteur's stylistic exercises in subtle indications, precise cuts, overcoming the location limits and letting the viewer to connect the dots (with plenty of missing ones) a real pleasure to watch. The gloomy, hauntingly enthralling imagery evokes a funereal atmosphere, while fado interludes inject a healthy dose of melancholy and elevate The Eyes... to poetic levels.

If there's a moral to Pesce's debut feature, it must be: "Thou shalt not raise thy child in the middle of nowhere, with no friends and a chained murderer in a barn."