All eyes may be on Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, or any of the other Oscar darlings, but 2016 offered a lot of other great movies. Below are Wylie Writes’ top picks; don’t forget to click the highlighted titles to read each contributor’s review!
Articles by Wylie Writes Staff
By: Jessica Goddard Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened is a documentary that operates largely like a moving, speaking scrapbook, and for this reason it is both preciously poignant and guilty of some (ultimately forgivable) navel-gazing.
Engineers (DIR. Tyler Williams) In a worn-down warehouse, three individuals tempt an experiment on a corpse. The result may be not exactly what they intended.
The Master Cleanse (DIR. Bobby Miller) The Master Cleanse is such a small film, it’s easy to see why it would slip under someone’s radar. It’s 79 minutes long, contains a seemingly underdeveloped plot, and the film doesn’t seem to provide much in way of cultural presence. This is why Bobby Miller’s movie was such a pleasant surprise – it was so endearing.
We’re halfway through the year, which means it’s time for Wylie Writes’ recap of the best and the worst films of 2016. Sometimes, these early gems fall through the cracks once Oscar season rolls around. Let these choices remind you which films you should still check out, and which movies should stay unnoticed on your moviegoing radar.
No Man Is an Island (DIR. Tim De Keersmaecker) By: Addison Wylie I imagine Tim De Keersmaecker’s outline for No Man Is an Island looked good on paper: make a first-hand view at how African refugees perceive life while living in the unknown territory of Lampedusa. Unfortunately, the documentary is another victim of poor fly-on-the-wall filmmaking.
The Pearl of Africa (DIR. Jonny von Wallström) By: Shannon Page Director Jonny von Wallström’s first full-length documentary is the story of Cleopatra Kambugu, a transgender woman living in Uganda who is forced to leave her country after a bill is passed making her gender identity punishable by life in prison or even execution. The Pearl of Africa follows Cleo as she travels from Uganda to Thailand for sex reassignment surgery.
Bobby Sands: 66 Days (DIR. Brendan Byrne) By: Shannon Page Bobby Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army, was only twenty-seven years old when he died in prison in 1981 after refusing food for 66 days. Sands was the first of ten IRA prisoners to die as the result of a hunger strike in protest of their status as regular criminals, as opposed to political prisoners.
Holy Hell (DIR. Will Allen) By: Shahbaz Khayambashi Cults have almost become a stereotype in our society to a point where anyone can practically spot one on sight. This is one of the main reasons why Holy Hell is so powerful.
De Palma (DIR. Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow) By: Shannon Page Directed by Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha!, Mistress America) and Jake Paltrow (Young Ones), De Palma is a love letter to twentieth-century cinema and an engaging look into the mind of an artist whose career has been nothing if not eclectic.