Gary Shannon’s Top 5:
5. Knight of Cups
Knight of Cups is Terrence Malick tapping into his internalized suffering as an artist and human. This medieval pilgrimage, realized through the contemporary, traverses through the material and spiritual in a quest for personal resolve.
4. The Neon Demon
It’s both a satire on the fashion modelling industry and a uniquely personal film. The Neon Demon serves as a brutal reality and a macabre fairy tale on the fleeting celebrity of female models.
Nothing this year surprised me more than Zootopia, a children’s parable on anti-racism embodying cinematic traditions of film noir and social realism. My full thoughts on it here.
2. The Witch
A history of religious atrocity and New England folklore rendered into a Puritan family drama. Anya Taylor-Joy’s dramatic command of seventeenth-century dialect is uncanny.
1. Green Room
Like Blue Ruin before it, this backwoods nightmare looks for humanity by digging its nails deep to the worst humanity has to offer. Green Room is genre filmmaking at its most angrily political and morally conscious.