Heightened Anticipation: 15 Foreign Language Films for 2016

Whether you speak a language other than English or simply like a little light reading to go with the flickering images of pert buttocks and scurrying chickens, here are the must-see foreign language films coming to British and American cinemas this year.

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Heightened Anticipation: 15 English Language Films for 2016

Another year, another 600-700 cinematic releases in the UK and US. Oh, what to watch? It simply isn’t possible to see every worthwhile film that comes out in any given year, and 2016’s release schedule is already filling up. I am certain that I will reach 2017 with dozens of movies from this year still languishing on my “To Watch” list. At the very least I would like to catch each of the English language releases mentioned here, whether for the pedigree of the director, the consistently sound choices of the stars involved or the novelty of an unbroken 140-minute take.

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New Year's Film Resolutions 2016

We're almost a week into the new year and, in addition to the usual health related self-improvement and language-learning resolutions, I've resolved to achieve four simple but important things that will make me a better, healthier cinephile by the end of 2016. Appreciating cinema is like practicing a sport: it takes a concerted effort to get past certain milestones and overcome certain obstacles. So come on, 2016, let's dance...

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Best Film Scores of 2015

How did your past year in the cinema sound? Mine sounded bloody fantastic! To close my retrospective of the year’s best cinema and cinema-ephemera, I’ve turned my attention to the film scores that stood out from the crowd in 2015. Follow the jump to listen to my 54-minute mix of the sonic landscape that crept into British cinemas this year.

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Best Films of 2015 - Honourable Mentions

In the wreckage left by any Best Of list there can always be seen the twinkling of gems that, for one reason or another, just didn't shine as brightly as those that made the ascent to Top 30 (etc.) Here are some of those minor or imperfect but notable films that hit UK cinemas in 2015, as well as my favourites from the last Oscar race, here referred to as the Awards Season Hangovers.

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Great Films / Great Posters 2015

The year is drawing to a close and I'm catching up on some of 2015's must-see films before compiling my BEST OF 2015 lists. Meanwhile, spending any amount of time trawling for beautiful film stills online exposes a wealth of astonishing illustrations and graphic design for numerous film posters. Here are my picks for some of the best poster designs created for films released in the UK in 2015. 

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UK RELEASE REVIEW: THE LOBSTER

★★★★★

Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos’ first film in English serves up the richest, most heartily enjoyable kind of black comedy – one with genuine observations to offer on human nature, constant deadpan absurdity and the occasional punch in the head to keep the audience on their toes.

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LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2015 REVIEW: EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT

★★★★★

Colombian director Ciro Guerra delivers a truly mind-bending tale of the quest for knowledge in the Colombia’s Amazonas region. After the stunning power of his magic realist fable The Wind Journeys (2010) my anticipation could not have been higher in the lead-up to the UK premiere at LFF and, suffice to say, Maestro Guerra did not disappoint.

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LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2015 REVIEW: A BIGGER SPLASH

★★★

Director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton follow up their astonishing, sensual tour de force of I am Love (2009) with a vibrant, sexy distillation of the rock and roll lifestyle and the pitfalls of emotional rescue.

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15 Female Filmmakers You Should Know

The Bechdel Test Fest is a year-long series of screenings and events running in London and other parts of the UK in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Alison Bechdel's cartoon, 'The Rule', which inspired the Bechdel Test, a yard-stick by which to measure the representation of women on film. A particularly prominent feature of the Bechdel Test Fest's agenda is to expose British audiences to work by female directors not given a proper release in the UK, which has inspired me to compose a quiz highlighting a few of the notable female directors to have emerged in the last 30 years. Another fine opportunity to put your female filmmaker knowledge to the test will come with BTF's Feminist Film Quiz night at East London's Genesis Cinema on September 10th.

'The Rule' (1985) from Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip. Bechdel credits her friend Liz Wallace with the idea for the rule.

'The Rule' (1985) from Alison Bechdel's Dykes to Watch Out For comic strip. Bechdel credits her friend Liz Wallace with the idea for the rule.

CHICHESTER FILM FEST 2015 REVIEW: A GIRL AT MY DOOR

★★★★★

Coming to British arthouse screens this September, A Girl At My Door provides a rare opportunity for Western audiences to see a Korean female director in action and in so doing become entwined in the unforgiving machinations of small-town Korean society. Bae Doona and Kim Seo-ron each deliver a knock-out performance in another stick of quiet dynamite for 2015, which I'm sincerely grateful to have seen in my old haunt, Chichester's beloved New Park Cinema

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BBC2 REVIEW: THE SCANDALOUS LADY W

★★★★

Natalie Dormer distinguishes herself with her first leading role in BBC2's wilfully lurid exploitation of the beloved British costume drama. Even more notable than Dormer's confident performance is the film's ability to be the most lavish, luscious and fetishistic of period dramas, whilst gracefully exemplifying the subjugation of women permitted by British law not 300 years ago.

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EEFF 2015: THE STRANGE COLOUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS RE-SCORED BY BLANCK MASS

The Film: ★★★   The Score: ★★★★★

10th July saw the album launch of Blanck Mass’ freshly cut original score for Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s second passionate riff on the twisted pleasures of Italy's beloved horror sub-genre, Giallo. Though Cattet & Forzani's eccentric sex-horror ultimately falls short of satisfaction, the exceptionally tight score from Blanck Mass and his collaborators delivered sexy thrills with every beat at the 15th East End Film Festival.

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