Obviously I have to do a top films of 2016 list right? No real ground rules, this isn’t the best films of the year, its my favorites from among the new films I have seen this year. My press screening attendance was limited this year, and my festival attendance non-existent, so it is a somewhat mainstream list and all these films received some kind of UK theatrical release in 2016.
Yesterday (the 18th of August 2016) was not a good day for the European film industry (yes, until Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is triggered I do still consider the British film industry part of a wider European industry). Dutch sales agent Fortissimo Films and UK based distributor Metrodome shuttered. Both companies had a strong history of supporting international independent filmmakers.
Metrodome straddled the divide between genre and art house fare, they had solid hits releasing films like Donnie Darko and Monster. More recently their acquisitions team had punched well above their weight, securing and releasing a string of significant art house films such as White God, Tangerine, The Falling, and What We Do In The Shadows (to name just my personal favourites.
The loss of both companies is a testament to the alarming shrinking of the independent film sphere, but Metrodome’s hits particularly hard as it removes a key distributor from a UK market now largely saturated with American studio product in which independent films across the spectrum from art house to exploitation increasingly struggle to be seen on a large format screen.
That Metrodome were to have released The Childhood of a Leader in the UK this week, and that it is on of the interesting films of the summer, is just pouring salt in the wound.
Anyway, on to the review… Continue reading