THE COOST TEAM
“Fuck You, 2016” has become the theme of this past year. But trust us, some good stuff came out of the last 12 months. These are our favourites of 2016; the pieces of art that made us think, feel, laugh, dance, and love. This is/was Coostin’ 2016.
Acclaimed documentarian and teller of hard-truths Adam Curtis released HyperNormalisation in October 2016, just as Trump fever was infecting the world. This is an absolute must-watch and a starting point for people trying to make sense of this year’s political events. Based on the idea that corporations and politicians have given up on the real world in favour of a controllable and profitable “fake world”, the film is a timely reminder that in order to change the system, citizens must first step outside the echo chamber in order to better understand it.
– BRENDAN PARK
Everybody Wants Some!!
Considered a spiritual sequel to director Richard Linklater’s cult classic Dazed and Confused, Everybody Wants Some!! employs many of the same devices that made the 1993 film so beloved. Less plot and more microcosm of youth at a particular time that nevertheless feels timeless (Dazed was the last day of high school in 1976 whereas this follows the adventures of a 1980 college baseball team on the weekend before classes begin), an absolutely belting nostalgic soundtrack, and a vast cast of endearing characters that are a pleasure to hang out with, played by a bunch of people you’ve never heard of.
A huge part of the fun is guessing who of the no-name cast will make a career for themselves. Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg, Nicky Katt, and Matthew McConaughey (in his first cinematic appearance) were all in the embryonic stages of their careers in Dazed and would go on to varying degrees of success. Here, we have Blake Jenner (Glee, Edge of Seventeen), Wyatt Russell (Black Mirror, 22 Jump Street), Zoey Deutch (Why Him?), and Austin Amelio (The Walking Dead) currently doing something, but keeping track of who actually becomes someone will be fascinating over the years to come. Surely Glen Powell, who very nearly steals the show as Finn, will make something from such a charismatic performance.
Linklater has commented that he also sees Everybody Wants Some!! as a spiritual sequel to Boyhood, considering it begins right where Boyhood ends – the first days of college. We all wanted the best for Mason at the end of that film and he could do worse than ride around with these guys for a weekend.
Each of the young men get their moment being a stud and being a loser. No-one here is 100% Arthur Fonzarelli and no-one is 100% Milhouse. “We all take turns being chumps around here,” Finn says at one point. “You accept your chumpification, and move on.” It’s that kind of well-rounded and honest character development – a tremendous feat considering the film takes place over three days – that makes the film so appealing, and will make everybody want some for generations to come.
– ZAC STREVENS
10 Cloverfield Lane
Warning first up – if you haven’t seen this movie and don’t know anything about it then don’t read on. It’s best to go into this one blind.
Rumours were flying about this being just a cash-grab; some poor screenwriter getting their script bought, gutted and repackaged with Cloverfield branding to make a quick buck off a cheaply made flick. And all those rumours are probably correct. However, much like a freshly caught haddock, sometimes you need to gut something, clean it up, scale it right, add some lemon zest and suddenly you’ve got a delicious meal whereas before you just had another fish swimming around unnoticed in a vast and polluted ocean full of sharks and used dingers.
Essentially a small-scale psychological thriller about a survivalist (John Goodman, being his excellent self) keeping a pair of captives in his underground bunker to protect them from the possibly fictional horrors occurring outside, the Cloverfield element ensures things eventually go batshit in a complete tonal shift in the final 10 or so minutes. In culinary terms it would be like adding a generous serving of baklava to the delicious haddock we fried up earlier. It makes no sense to do so, and plenty of people will turn up their noses at the combination, but at the end of the day baklava is fucking delicious.
– NICK STEVENS
I was taken aback by the weirdness of The Lobster when I first saw it, even by my standards. It made me feel a level of uncomfortable that is incomparable to any satire that I’ve seen to date. I haven’t felt so affected by a movie in a very long time.
Made by relatively unknown director Yorgos Lanthimos, the plot follows David (Collin Farrell), a man who’s been forcibly checked into a hotel for singles who have 45 days to find a mate. If at the end of this 45-day stay they haven’t found love they are turned into an animal of their choosing. When I’d originally heard about the general plot of the movie, I was completely drawn in to how whimsical it all sounded. Rest assured, this movie is anything but light. The dialogue is direct and has a childlike honesty that reminds me of a Wes Anderson script, but the imagery is aggressive and the message is as straightforward as an exploitation film. Lanthimos pokes fun at society’s view of love and the overall general pressures on finding “someone” but the tragedy lies somewhere between desperation – as couples try and match each other’s inconvenient flaws (ie nearsightedness, nosebleeds, limps, etc) – and the resiliently militant singletons. The Lobster manages to be beautifully absurd, painfully romantic and slightly scary as it offers no real solution to a not so alien dystopia.
– NAT YORSKI