Sunday, January 01, 2017

Hello 2017! Here's Some Favorites of 2016

It's New Year's Day, which is traditionally not a day for work, but I feel I have let my blog followers down by having failed to post any kind of annual Best Of or Favorite list of films or home video releases before the end of 2016. So I'll grab the opportunity of the undemanding day to assemble some quick lists - without comment, because that takes a great deal of time and assessment, but the blue links I've provided will take you right to them. Titles in white are not generally available.

Mind you, I do not pretend these lists are definitive. They are personal, based on what I have seen with my own eyes. The MANOS - THE HANDS OF FATE Blu-ray from Synapse is something that probably belongs on my list of top restorations, but our review screener of that disc was requested by another writer for review before the axe fell, so I haven't had the opportunity to consider it. The frame grabs I've seen look outstanding, however. 

Naturally, the DVD and Blu-ray releases in which I participated are my very favorite releases of the year, for sentimental and often better reasons, but - aside from the list of outstanding restorations, I am leaving these titles out of the general running and listing them in a special category at the end.

A harrowing highlight of BONE TOMAHAWK.
MY 10 FAVORITE FILMS OF 2016
BONE TOMAHAWK
THE BFG
COSMOS
THE LOBSTER
DOCTOR STRANGE
THE REVENANT
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS
BORN TO BE BLUE
THE NEON DEMON 
FILM ADVENTURER KAREL ZEMAN (also available at iTunes)


Walter Pidgeon and Roddy McDowall in HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.
MY FAVORITE FILMS SEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2016
HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY
3 GODFATHERS
AMER
IKARIE XB-1
HARD CONTRACT
THAT GUY DICK MILLER
BULLDOG DRUMMOND STRIKES BACK
THE WALK

Oliver Reed in Ken Russell's THE DEBUSSY FILM (included in THE GREAT PASSIONS).
MY FAVORITE BLU-RAY RELEASES OF 2016
KEN RUSSELL: THE GREAT COMPOSERS/THE GREAT PASSIONS (BFI - UK) 
DEKALOG (Criterion)
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Criterion)
BEAT GIRL (BFI - UK)
WOMEN IN LOVE (BFI - UK)
HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS FEAST (Arrow)
DIE MOERDERKLINIK (aka THE MURDER CLINIC; FilmArt - Germany, technically Nov 2015)
THE TRIP (Signal One Entertainment - UK)
FANTOMAS (Kino Classics)
DIE MUHLE DER VERSTEINERTEN FRAUEN (aka MILL OF THE STONE WOMEN; Subkultur - Germany; includes three different versions)


Spencer Williams' THE BLOOD OF JESUS (1941), included in PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA.
MY TOP DVD/BLU-RAY RESTORATION PICKS OF 2016
PIONEERS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CINEMA (Kino Lorber)
DEKALOG (Criterion)
CHIMES AT MIDNIGHT (Criterion)
THE IMMORTAL STORY (Criterion) 
DESTINY (Kino Classics)
THE TRIP (Olive Films - technically MGM, who restored this director's cut years ago)
PSYCH-OUT (Olive Films - ditto)
CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (Kino Classics)
BURIAL GROUND (Severin Films)
TENEBRAE (Synapse Films)
COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE (Vinegar Syndrome)
RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (Flicker Alley)
BLOOD BATH (Arrow)
VAMPIRE ECSTASY (Film Movement)
OPERATION LEVRES ROUGES (Artus Films - included only with Alain Petit's book JESS FRANCO - LES PROSPERITES DU BIS)
THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS (Olive Films)


Michelle Phillips in VALENTINO.
MY OWN HOME VIDEO CONTRIBUTIONS OF 2016
VALENTINO (Kino/BFI - audio commentary)
5 DOLLS FOR AN AUGUST MOON (Arrow - audio commentary)
JOURNEY TO THE SEVENTH PLANET (Kino Classics - audio commentary)
DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS/DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT (Arrow - audio commentaries)
BLOOD BATH (Arrow - feature-length audio essay)
DAUGHTER OF DRACULA (Redemption - audio commentary)
DESTINY (Kino Lorber - audio commentary)
VAMPIRE ECSTASY/SIN YOU SINNERS (Film Movement - liner notes)
THREE WISHES FOR CINDERELLA (Second Run - UK - liner notes)

 (c) 2017 by Tim Lucas. All rights reserved by the author.

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