The Best of the Rest: The Forgotten Writers, Directors & Performers of 2016

The unloved. The strays. The mutts. There’s value here, but you have to look a little harder. As we all remember John Winger saying, no one is “more faithful, more loyal, more loveable than the mutt.” All right, that’s a very strange (and perhaps a little insulting) way into my annual nominations for the writers,…

By Jonathan Eig
Train to Busan - cool movies

The Hip Six: The Coolest Films of 2016

“He’s the exact opposite of everything I really hate. In a way he’s such a clueless dork that he’s almost cool.” “That guy is many things but he definitely isn’t “cool.” And so goes the argument between Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) over the merits of Seymour (Steve Buscemi) in Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost…

By Jonathan Eig
The Fits

The Mute Child in Three Films: The Fits, Kicks, and Moonlight

2016 has been a mediocre year for mainstream American film. That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some excellent work. But the product as a whole has been mired in redundant sequels and superheroes, and the blandness of the output is cause for alarm. But there is also cause for hope. This is all anecdotal for…

By Jonathan Eig
David Bowie - musical talents

Musicians In Film: 10 Great Musical Talents We Lost In 2016

I hesitate to draw conclusions before all the facts are in, but let’s face it. 2016 has sucked. And not just in the land of cinema, where precious few gems have risen above the extraordinary wave of mediocrity we have witnessed. As the world at large retreats from communality, decency and fact, we need artists…

By Jonathan Eig
Cameraperson documentary

Documentaries in focus: ‘Cameraperson’ and ‘Marathon’

The documentary landscape recently grew a little bit brighter with the release of two first-rate works, very different from each other, but both doing what film has always done best: eliciting powerful emotional responses by showing us things we have not seen before. At least not like this. The first movie is Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson.…

By Jonathan Eig
Hell or High Water

The best films, performers, and other talent of 2016 thus far

Critics sure do love our year-end best-of lists. It’s kind of what we live for. I love them too, but I don’t wait until year’s end. No – that’s not how I roll. I prefer to write them at the end of August. Sure, it leaves out four months – four pretty important months if…

By Jonathan Eig
BFG Pete's Dragon

Who Wore It Better: A Cinematic Smackdown

News flash: Hollywood is derivative. I’ll pause here to let that sink in. I know it must come as quite a shock. So I suppose if I’m a producer and I’m plunking down 50 mill on two hours of fantasy, I’d want as much assurance as possible that an audience would actually come see the…

By Jonathan Eig