The number of legendary names that assembled to make 1966 one of (if not the) finest years in cinematic history is astounding. Following films are backed by prolific masters of their own unique crafts, many of them working at the very top of their game to deliver works of stunning importance that all happened to converge on the very same year. A blissful piece of cinematic serendipity, very few years can boast an equally impressive line-up. Again, here’s the list of best movies of 2016.
Michelangelo Antonioni’s flick is, in more ways than one, in fashion. It’s a story of artificiality and the aesthetic that doesn’t remotely reach the dizzying height of Michael Powel’s 1960 Peeping Tom, from which it is clearly taking a lot of its inspiration. The movie marks an important watershed in the artist’s career in terms of working outside of Italy — Blow-Up being a revered classic of British cinema despite the maestro behind it — and understandably given the rich, multi-textured mystery that lurks in its core. There is always something dark and ominous in the shadows of Antonioni’s bright pop world; and this admirable mastery of layered mood is perhaps the only thing that saves it from mediocrity.
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Whilst not Spaghetti Western titan Sergio Corbucci (the other other famous Sergio)’s magnum opus, Django provides an adept primer for what the core genre has to offer outside of Leone. It’s rougher, leaner and raw in depiction of violence and interpersonal relationships. The lack of subtlety and often directorial skill does not throttle Corbucci’s ambition however, jamming his work with gems of fore-thought that speak to his passion. Such passion breathes beautifully in the climactic gundown that closes Django and is, again, a fascinating representation for the roaring lion of the Spaghetti Western slashing at the folkloric American vision of the Frontier.