In all the fuss and hubbub with China I completely forgot what time of year it was, it’s New 1001 Movies Book time!
There have been ten additions for the 2016 edition and, as the number in the title hasn’t changed, that means there’s ten removals too. We’ll get to those in a minute (they’re less important, as just because a film gets removed from the List doesn’t mean I’m not going to still review it) but first, here are the additions, along with any top-of-my-head thoughts on them:
The Look of Silence – I still haven’t seen The Act Of Killing yet, let alone this one. I sense a very depressing double bill in my future.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – A surprising addition. It did well commercially, but I feel it is far too soon to give The Force Awakens the kind of cultural significance required for the List. Then again I didn’t love it as much as everyone else. Considering what didn’t make it, I’m a little sad to see this here.
The Revenant – No surprise given the team behind it, regardless of my feelings. I’m very glad I anticipated this being added and reviewed it when I did, as it means I don’t have to sit through it again.
Son of Saul – I’ve heard a little, and what I’ve heard is good.
Bridge of Spies – Another surprise. I feel Spielberg is taking the Hitchcock mantle of being a great director, but having far too many films on the List. I liked Bridge of Spies, don’t get me wrong, but it’s my no means essential viewing.
The Big Short – I thought this film was fine, but wasn’t wowed by it. Topical, but again not really List-worthy. This is starting to feel like a make-the-numbers kind of year.
Spotlight – Best Picture winners always make it on, even ones as average as this. I watched it earlier this year with the intention of completing a write-up in preparation for this day, so maybe I’ll be a bit more inspired to get to it now.
Tangerine – The addition I know the least about. It sounds promising and, if it’s not, then at least it’s short.
Straight Outta Compton – Making a correction the Oscars missed out on, this is a welcome addition that I thoroughly enjoyed despite having absolutely zero prior knowledge of NWA.
Mad Max: Fury Road – Another complete lack of surprise, and a film I’m delighted to see immortalised on the List forever.
So what got taken off? This bunch:
Senna – Haven’t seen it yet.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Haven’t seen it yet.
Drive – I’m OK with this. I’ve not re-watched it since my initial viewing, so my thoughts on this are still pretty underwhelmed.
Amour – Good. I remember not hating this film, but also not ever wanting to watch it again.
Django Unchained – I liked it, as I do pretty much all Tarantino, but it’s not essential.
The Act of Killing – Haven’t seen it yet. Presumably this made room for The Look Of Silence.
The Wolf of Wall Street – Glad this is being removed. I’m not a fan.
Citizen Four – Haven’t seen it yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy – I’m surprised this has left so early, especially given the continued prevalence of superhero movies, and with the recent slew of bad ones proving this to be a better example of the genre. Still, every time I watch it I like it less.
The Theory of Everything – Decent film but yeah, it was never going to last on the List.
Overall it’s a fairly standard changeover. Nothing knock-me-down surprising on either side, and nothing terribly upsetting either. I still think these additions are made far too soon after the films are released – this year we should be looking at additions that were released in maybe 2011 – as cultural impact hasn’t yet been proven, but I also understand that the book-sellers are more likely to flog copies with The Revenant and Fury Road on the cover than The Artist and War Horse. I’m surprised (but not overly disappointed) that the likes of Ex Machina, Sicario, Inside Out, Brooklyn and Creed didn’t make it, and I genuinely thought that The Martian and Room would have good shots, and am annoyed that they aren’t present, especially when Bridge of Spies and The Big Short made it instead. I reviewed Inside Out purely because I thought it’d be added! Ah well. I wonder what’s going to be added next year? I doubt anything discussed in the rest of this post will be added!