Jonathan is a long-standing contributor of film reviews to Screen International. He writes for The Observer, Sight & Sound, Film Comment and others, and teaches at the London College of Communications.
- Son Of Saul
Dir Laszlo Nemes
This masterfully executed first feature by a former Bela Tarr AD is a deeply troubling film, and one of the few 2015 titles that looks likely to leave a mark on cinema history. It completely rewrites the possibilities of filmed Holocaust drama with its story of a Sonderkommando in Auschwitz — a prisoner forced to assist in the daily business of extermination. The film is horrific as much in what it obscures as what is shown and, in its rigorous anti-sentimentalism, it raises pressing questions about how much mainstream cinema has come to accept atrocity as spectacle. Acclaimed by documentarist Claude Lanzmann as the “anti-Schindler’s List”, Son Of Saul will no doubt go on to be one of the most discussed release titles of 2016.
CONTACT Films Distribution firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Forbidden Room
Dirs Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson
CONTACT Mongrel International email@example.com
- Inside Out
Dirs Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
CONTACT Disney www.movies.disney.com
- Arabian Nights Trilogy
Dir Miguel Gomes
CONTACT The Match Factory firstname.lastname@example.org~
Dirs Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson
CONTACT HanWay Films email@example.com
Dirs Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow
Though hardly the year’s most heavyweight doc, this is brimming with cinephile pleasures: a cheerfully pugnacious masterclass on technique, casting, Hitchcock reinvention, (dubious) sexual politics and the laziness of name actors. A muscular, no-nonsense look at the realities — and sometimes, indignities — of Hollywood film-making from a master raconteur.
CONTACT A24 Films firstname.lastname@example.org
Best UK Film
Dir Andrew Haigh
The director of Weekend and TV’s Looking offers a fine-tuned chamber drama that is the year’s most eloquent vote for simplicity. The story of a woman belatedly discovering the fault line in her 45-year marriage, the film uses its narrative elisions with sublime subtlety. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are at their finest.
CONTACT the match factory email@example.com
Dir Otar Iosseliani
Not so much undiscovered as overlooked, this is the latest from the inimitable Georgian veteran. In his characteristic multi-character, multi-narrative frieze style, Winter Song skips from the French Revolution to the present day. A deadpan, quietly celebratory tableau of crime, folly, love and mischief — the whole Human Comedy with liberal splashes of booze and absurdity.
CONTACT Les Films du Losange firstname.lastname@example.org