Top 10 Films of 2016

Well 2016 has come and gone very rapidly, and although it wasn’t the best year for major blockbusters aside from some Marvel and Disney releases, it was a great year for smaller and more modest, personal films. From smaller, more intense horror films that weren’t afraid to scare people out of their wits, or intense dramas that got at the core of how people experience grief, this was a very diverse year. Just as in years past, there were some that decried the “death of cinema” but as always those calls were antithetical to the wide slate of excellent films of all sizes and sorts that we got last year. I went through various levels of appreciation for this past year in cinema while it was happening, from high anticipation at its beginning, to worrying about the state of big-budget features at the height of the Summer, and finally a sense that last year was full of great films as long as one was willing to look for them.

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Top 25 Directors Working in Hollywood Today

This article is part of a three-part series about the best Hollywood directors of all time, stretching from the birth of sound films until the modern day. This is the third and final part of that series where I will list the Top 25 Modern Hollywood Directors who are making their mark on the industry today. I have ranked them by their recent impact on Hollywood, general audiences, American culture, my own appreciation of film, as well as their upward career trajectory and consistent body of work at the present time. Considering the wide range of technology and techniques available for Modern directors, I will also consider those who have made use of these innovations to develop their own distinct style and that use that to make their mark on the industry. For the purposes of this list I have defined Modern Hollywood as beginning the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and lasting until the present day. Many of these filmmakers may have gotten their start as early as the mid 80’s, but by and large many of them started out in the 1990’s or reached peak form between then and the early 21st century. These directors remain our best artists working in the film industry today.

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Top 20 New Hollywood Directors

This article is part of a three-part series about the best Hollywood directors of all time, stretching from the birth of sound films until the present day. This is the second part of that series, where I will list the Top 20 Directors from the New Hollywood era who I believe have had the greatest impact on Hollywood, general audiences, American culture, and my own appreciation of cinema. For the purposes of this list, I will define “New Hollywood” as the era of filmmaking that predominated between 1967, when Bonny and Clyde and The Graduate were released, and 1982, when One From the Heart and other major box office bombs spelled the end of director-driven filmmaking that predominated in the 1970’s. Filmmakers on this list may have begun filmmaking well before 1967 and continued making films well after 1982, even until the modern day. The time frame above is to give this list some structure and to give readers an idea of what to expect. These filmmakers will have their roots in the 1960’s, some peaked in the 1970’s, and likely continued making major career-defining films in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and beyond.

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Top 10 Classical Hollywood Directors

This article is part of a three-part series about Hollywood directors, stretching from the birth of sound films until the modern day. This is the first part of that series, where I will list the Top 10 Hollywood Directors whose work I think has had the greatest impact on Hollywood, general audiences, American culture, and my own appreciation of cinema. For the purposes of this list I will define “Classical Hollywood” as extending from the 1930s until the 1960s, with directors here releasing their work primarily between 1935 and 1960. Works outside of this time-frame won’t be unmentioned, but this helps establish a more specific criteria from which to choose directors that I think are worthy of recognition. I will mention what I believe to be each director’s best or most noteworthy film, as well as selecting some honorable mentions. This list is part of a three-part series including one about New Hollywood Directors and Modern Hollywood Directors. So make sure to check those out when they’re released.

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Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

When my dad asked me a couple of weeks ago which I thought was better, La La Land or Singin’ in the Rain, I told him that I didn’t know cause I’d never seen Singin’ in the Rain before. We decided to watch it together and it helped me truly understand why the film is deemed by so many as not only one of the great movie musicals but one of the great movies to come out of Hollywood. I’ve let it stir in my mind a little and after watching a video last night that said that Justin Hurwitz, the composer for the music in La La Land had said music recorded on the same sound stage that was used for this movie, and the passing of its star Debbie Reynolds, I felt the need to put my thoughts on paper, so to speak. What’s so interesting is that while the two films are deeply connected through references, ideas, and structure, La La Land is truly full of original music while Singin’ in the Rain was formed from a number of older songs that MGM already owned and decided to bring back. The result was a film that came out in 1952 but was set in the late 1920s at the time when motion pictures were transitioning to sound.

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