Author Topic: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles  (Read 209 times)

DarkeningHumour

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7078
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« on: October 08, 2016, 03:18:19 AM »
I wanted to know what this year's hidden gems are according to everyone. What are the obscure entries you would like everyone to see ?
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

Teproc

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1551
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2016, 04:32:41 AM »
Let's see most of those are going to be French, obviously... my favorite film of the year so far is Nocturama, by Bertrand Bonello. My problem is I kinda want to say nothing more than "go watch it" but also be warned it is about a subject that is particularly touchy right now. What I can say is that it is tense, fascinating, disturbing, gripping, and daring.

La vache is a feelgood comedy about an Algerian guy who goes on a road trip to get to the Salon de l'Agriculture in Paris (he has a cow and gets invited here after harassing them for years). It's very heartfelt and very funny, cliché at times certainly but just an all-around good time.

Voir du pays / The Stopover is a drama about two female soldiers in the French army who are just getting out of Afghanistan. They (and the other soldiers they were with) are made to stay in a touristy hotel in Cyprus for three days to adress the psychological impact of what they went through and generally try and be ready to go back to normal society. Very compelling, great performances by the two leads, goes to some interesting, somewhat unexpected places.

Vor der Morgenröte / Stefan Zweig : Farewell to Europe is a Stefan Zweig biopic, in that new sub-genre of biopics focusing on a specifi part of their lives, in this case the time Zweig spent in America (Argentina, Brazil and the US mostly) late in his life. It's more interesting formally than you'd expect from a biopic, again an excellent central performance and has intereting resonance with current events in more way than one. 

Edit : Stuff that's not technically 2016 but qualifies :

Les ogres is about a traveling theater group in current-day France : they're a very loud bunch, with a family at their centre and they essentially function like a big, deeply dysfunctional family in the large sense of the word (because you know, they have sex with each other). he film is to their image : loud and hyperactive, over-dramatic at times... but I loved it for that energy. It's a true ensemble film and apparently a very personal one (the director grew up in similar circumstances I think), with a deep bench of interesting characters. it's a bit long though (well over 2 hours), and some people find it shrill rather than exuberant.

Comment c'est loin is a film by and with Orelsan, whom you may know as a rapper and/or comedian (he does Bloqués on Canal + which this is very close to tonally). It's a largely autobiographical comedy about him and his best friend (Gringe), both losers completely stuck in their tendency to procrastinate and incapability to motivate themselves to do anything productive with their lives, or their days. If Les ogres is too energetic at times, this is the complete opposite. I found it very funny and engaging, in part because procrastination is certainly a huge problem for me (and many people I know).

Tout en haut du monde / Longway North is a French animated film that takes place in late-tsarist Russia and has unique animation style that serves a Jules Vernes-type narrative. OAD reviewed it on Letterbox'd, she writes about it better than I can.

Lu bian ye can / Kaili Blues is a Chinese film taking place in provincial China, current-day. It follows a physician as he deals with ... stuff. Let's be honest : it's a confounding film, dealing with memory, and time, and reality, and dreams and life, the universe and everything. It's also absolutely gorgeous and has a long take for the ages, in a scene that's so astounding and captivating that it makes the film work despite how lost I felt watching it.

Ce sentiment de l'été / This Feeling of Summer is an indie drama about twentysomethings being sad about life. It's good though, very gentle and melancholy. Good performances too.

Le nouveau / The New Kid is a French comedy about a kid (12-13 ?) who arrives at a new school. There's not much more to say about it : the young actors are good, it's funny and just works well.

Demain / Tomorrow is a documentary about climate change, and specifically the solutions that are developing all around the world to respond to it. If you hate Mélanie Laurent you should avoid it, but it's a very optimistic look at the issue, one that succesfully melds big-picture ideas and concrete cases.

« Last Edit: October 08, 2016, 05:13:45 AM by Teproc »

1SO

  • FAB
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 26861
  • Marathon Man
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2016, 09:04:24 AM »
The only one I can recommend is The Invitation, which IMDB lists as 2015 because it played festivals last year. It was released in the US in April this year.

Bondo

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 19403
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2016, 09:18:44 AM »
From my current top 10 (filmspot eligibility), these are probably the most obscure three:

Fort Tilden
The Second Mother
Dukhtar

philip918

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3461
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2017, 11:41:13 AM »
Little Sister
Very funny and big-hearted. It captures contemporary life in the rural US better than any other recent film I can think of.

Spa Night
An incredibly assured debut. Great performances from the main cast.

Both on Netflix in the US.
"If God gives you lemons find a new God."

DarkeningHumour

  • Godfather
  • ******
  • Posts: 7078
  • When not sure if sarcasm look at username.
    • Pretentiously Yours
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2017, 12:05:43 PM »
Szweig and Nocturama are being released here in the coming months, which is nice.
« Society is dumb. Art is everything. » - Junior

https://pretensiouslyyours.wordpress.com/

metaphorical

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
Re: 2016 Catchup: Diamonds from Pebbles
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 08:40:45 AM »
Divines, which I think would have been a strong candidate in this past year's Golden Brick (though not as strong as the eventual winner, which was my choice personally). It was only Houda Benyamina's second feature film, so certainly eligible.

Without spoilers, imagine a much, much darker French-Arab version of Tangerine. Available on Netflix (download as well as streaming).