2015 IN FILM

2015 in film was about novel experiences. I found this in most of the films I will pick out as the year’s best and also in trying to focus on so more homely productions.

On the home front it was women and the female centered narratives that impressed regardless of the dithering levels of quality. Pieces of Me, If Tomorrow Never Comes, Silver Rain and The Cursed Ones are all driven by nuanced female characters that just felt refreshing. I really connected to films helmed by women and maybe it’s some pretentious conditioning in the name of gender equality but women have stood up to be counted both home and abroad and things should get better in 2016.

6
Ophelia Dzidzornu, Cursed Ones

Its Christmas and I don’t feel like griping about GH cinema s I’ll just say 2015 has shown us equal amounts of good, bad and weird so I imagine we’ll get same in 2016. I still haven’t seen The Cursed Ones as of writing this but it remains my most anticipated Ghanaian film of 2015/16. I hope it, and Ophie Dzidzornu, do not disappoint. I will break if it does. Shirley Frimpong Manso released just one film (Grey Dawn) this year which is a surprise. She normally hits two a year I believe. Maybe it bodes well for the production values of her next film, Rebecca.

This year I also decided to put my Information Science degree to good use by tracking every film I saw this year by certain parameters including medium viewed, genre and month viewed. The only tangible pattern I derived was I started to see less films when I got a full time job late this year. That doesn’t bode well for next year. As of writing this, I have seen 122 different films in 2015 with 137 different viewings of those films. Not bad. I however wish I tracked my film viewing in 2013. I was probably seeing an average of two films a day that year. To answer the question on your minds, no, this will do nothing to make you a better human being.

?????????????????Before I get into my top films, let’s take a moment to remember the films in 2015 that disappointed and infuriated me: the asinine and crappy Chappieridiculously boring Jupiter AscendingDouble Cross featuring a prison guard wearing a pair of Birkenstocks, Get Hard featured Kevin Hart and the product laden toy commercial that was Age of Ultron. They should be left into 2016.

On to my films of 2015, below are my picks in no particular order per usual. I went with ten for the first time because there was some strong stuff in film this year. I assure you life will get better if you see these films.

Ex Machina ex-machina_cinema-1341

I saw Ex Machina again a week before writing this and Oscar Isaac just operates with a sense of supreme thespian entitlement. That dance sequence is just dripping with the swagger of an actor in his prime. The film itself remains cerebrally and philosophically thought provoking and visually alluring. What makes us human? Alex Garland presents a bleak answer that gratifies us cynics. Full Review…

October 1october-1-2

An African film makes my end of year list for the first time. There is a little bias in that selection but October 1 truly was impressive and like I said earlier, 2015 was about new experiences. October 1 gave me that in a vision of pre/post-colonial Nigeria that serves as the provocative canvas for a simple whodunit. Full Review…

Mad Max; Fury Roadmaxresdefault

The guitarist in the red onsie is being snubbed this awards season. Disappointing. The film is however getting some love beyond our favorite rabid guitarist. Everyone responded to George Miller’s pure and manic apocalyptic vision. His overwhelming execution of practical stunts and direction was just what the world needed coming of the toy ad that was Age of Ultron. Full Review…

Glass Chinglass-chin

Terrific supporting performances bolstering up a sweet screenplay dripping with tasty dialogue and Corey Stall, who is understatedly brilliant as lead here. Glass Chin ultimately makes this list because of its heavenly sound track and introducing me to the glorious Laura Nyro. Full Review…

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night1118full-a-girl-walks-home-alone-at-night-screenshot

The one film that come close to being my undisputed number one film of 2015. Noir, satire, pastiche, feminism-ish, hypnotic visuals, Mozhan Marnò – Ana Lily Amirpour plays a strong hand here to produce an eclectically remarkable piece of cinema. Full Review…

Second ComingNadine Marshall and Idris Elba in Second Coming.

A truly compelling debut from debbie tucker green. She keeps her distance in this film and revels in the ambiguity she creates amidst genuine interest and empathy for her central characters. Full Review…

Slow West slow-west

A beautiful but violent portrait of the Wild West like I’ve never seen before. This love story of a death foretold smells rosy and is filled with colour and surprisingly diverse cultures but punctuated by death. Full Review…

Kajakikajaki

Kajaki will play as a horror film for soldiers. It is excruciatingly tense and patiently woven together maintaining utmost reverence for the characters onscreen.. Full Review…

Clouds of Sils Mariasilsmariacover

Less is more in cinema as they say. Oliver Assayas, Juliet Binoche and Kirsten Stewart give an exhibition in understated gravitas. Subtlety be what. Full Review…

The Revenant the-revenant-trailer

Probably the best film this year on an objective spectrum. Iñárritu’s projection of true grit and punishing resilience is the complete spectacle masterpiece of 2015. Visually outstanding, tremendous dexterity with the camera and glorious thespian heft helmed by a man at the top of the directorial food chain. Full Review…

Honourable mentions: The Hateful Eight, The Kingsmen, Sicario, Star Wars; The Force Awakens, Rogue Nation and Creed.

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