(This article is part of our Best of the Decade series.)
The 2010s were a banner decade for female directors. Despite the still abysmally low number of women working behind the camera, women directors have made significant strides in Hollywood and across the globe, earning as much or even more acclaim — and now, as much money — as their male counterparts.
In just the past decade, which came off of Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director, Greta Gerwig became the new generation’s rising star, Patty Jenkins became the highest-paid female director working in Hollywood, and acclaimed indie filmmakers like Chloe Zhao and Ava DuVernay used their weight to land high-profile superhero jobs or boost other rising diverse directors. We still have a long way to go, but the glass ceiling has already started to accumulate plenty of cracks.
So without further ado, here are the best female directed movies of the decade, listed in alphabetical order.
Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The end of year is always accompanied by a parade of lists and rankings and recaps and awards, all of the assembled by publications and groups of all sizes and tastes. At its best, this is a season of celebration, of looking back on the year and appreciating the absolute best cinema from past 52 weeks. At its worst, it can be a little mind-numbing, especially when a writer you usually trust puts something especially boneheaded in that number one spot.
One of the beacons amidst the noise is always film critic’s David Ehrlich‘s annual top 25 video, which serves not only as his official list, but as a work of art in and of itself. Honestly, I look forward to these videos as much as I look forward to some movies and I’ve never been disappointed. His Top 25 Movies of 2016 picks do not disappoint.
Read More »
Posted on Friday, December 2nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
We’ve reached the point in the year where every publication, website, and critics’ group is rushing to announce their favorite movies of the year before everyone else, a time-honored tradition known as “First!” But few film publications carry as much weight in the end-of-the-year game quite like Sight & Sound, whose Greatest Films of All Time list (updated every ten years after polling critics and film directors) tends ignite movie site comments sections like a match dropped in a puddle of gasoline.
Their annual lists tend to reflect a similar sensibility – a mixture of arthouse fare from around the world with a sprinkle of Hollywood.
Read More »
We’re heading into the heart of awards season, and first out of the gate with accolades to go around is Film Independent with the 2017 Independent Spirit Awards nominations, honoring achievements in the world of indie cinema. This year the nominations seem to be spread out quite a bit, though there were a couple clear leaders in the number of nominations.
Both Moonlight from Barry Jenkins and American Honey from Andrea Arnold came away with six nominations each, including Best Feature and Best Director. Other nominees spread across various categories include the Sundance sensation Manchester by the Sea, the first lady biopic Jackie, the comedic drama Other People, the quirky farting corpse comedy Swiss Army Man, and plenty of other movies that you simply must seek out.
Get the full list of 2017 Independent Spirit Award nominations after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
You never know what you’re going to get at Fantastic Fest, the Austin-based genre film festival that takes great delight in immersing attendees in the strangest, wildest, and most unique movies from around the globe. Over the course of eight days, I saw 27 movies. I saw some of the best films I’ve seen all year. I saw oddities I will never forget. I saw some things I wish I could forget. As is always the case, I missed a few big titles, like Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, the divisive The Greasy Strangler, and the crowd-pleasing Bad Black.
But now, it’s time to put a bow on this year’s fest. Sure, the festival itself has juries on hand to recognize films in the line-up, but there’s only one awards ceremony that really matters here – the one that I create out of thin air to throw imaginary accolades at my favorite movies from the line-up.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in the best, weirdest, funniest, oddest, scariest, etc. movies to emerge from Fantastic Fest 2016.
Read More »
When the smoke cleared, I ended up seeing 27 movies over eight days at Fantastic Fest 2016. The Austin-based genre film festival always has a strong line-up of odd, unusual, and unique movies from around the world, but this year was truly exceptional – I saw very few movies I wouldn’t recommend in some capacity. I even saw a handful of movies that are in serious contention for my end-of-the-year top 10.
For the sake of completeness, I have compiled all of my Fantastic Fest coverage into one place, with links to my reviews and smaller capsule reviews for everything that didn’t get their own post. If you’re looking for a something terrifying or unique or action-packed or tear-jerking or just plain unusual, there is something here for you.
Read More »
Posted on Friday, September 30th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Andrea Arnold’s American Honey is a remarkable movie and one of the best films of 2016. At the center of this intimate and quietly epic drama is newcomer Sasha Lane as Star, a young woman who escapes her abusive home by joining a “mag crew” of equally disaffected youth. We follow this crew as they travel from state-to-state, peddling magazines, having misadventures, and finding hope and pain in every nook and cranny of the the American heartland.
Lane gives the kind of raw and brutally real performance you do not often find from more polished and experienced actors. The same applies to an interview in a karaoke room at Fantastic Fest – she’s not one to offer a canned answer. Over the course of a too-brief conversation, we spoke about working with a director as empathetic as Andrea Arnold, what it’s like to work with Shia LaBeouf, and how most movies turn away from the subject matter explored in American Honey.
Read More »
Posted on Monday, September 26th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
The United States of America is a nation of many nations. Within this vast expanse, you carve out your own destiny, define your existence, and struggle against the walls, both real and imagined, that box you in. You choose to look past those whose nation is so different from your own, your gaze deliberately passing through a individual, a fellow human being, whose circumstances are so alien to your own. Or maybe you wonder why that person won’t look you in the eye, why they’re looking at you without looking at you, and why their polite smile is so empty. It’s easy to get lost in America.
Andrea Arnold‘s American Honey is a machine powered by empathy, 163-minute odyssey through the forgotten and overlooked ranks of humanity who call America’s heartland their home. This is a road trip through flyover country, a cinematic opportunity to meet the gaze of those so many have forgotten or dismissed. It is a masterpiece and one of the best movies of 2016.
Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
This 2016 fall movie preview was written by Jacob Hall and Jack Giroux.
The summer is over and the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting milder and (fingers crossed) the movies are going to start getting better. The next four months offer an embarrassment of cinematic riches, with new films from Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Tim Burton, Gareth Edwards, Paul Verhoeven, Mel Gibson, Robert Zemeckis, Park Chan-Wook, Terrence Malick, J.A. Bayona, Jeff Nichols, Ang Lee, Denis Villeneuve, Kenneth Lonergan, and other filmmakers of note waiting in the wings.
We’ve narrowed down the list of must-see movies to 32 titles and have ranked them from “We really want to see this!” to “We will push you out of the way at a sprint to see this!”
Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 by Angie Han
Andrea Arnold may be a British director, but her latest feature, American Honey, is about as all-American as they come. And to emphasize that point, she’s getting a little assist from that most American of musicians, Bruce Springsteen. The Boss’ “Dream Baby Dream” soundtracks the latest American Honey trailer, along with some voiceover reminding you that American Honey has gotten some really, really good reviews on the festival circuit.
As with Arnold’s Fish Tank, American Honey stars a total newcomer. Sasha Lane plays a troubled teen who takes up with a traveling magazine sales crew, falling in love with a particularly charismatic member named Jake (Shia LaBeouf). Running the operation is steely Krystal, played by Riley Keough. Watch the latest American Honey trailer below.
Read More »