By the time 2016 is over, I will have watched more than 250 movies with at least half of those being film noir or neo-noir titles. (I know 250 movies isn’t really that impressive, but I also tried to read 250 books this year, currently on #235. Hey, it’s a tough life loving books and movies…) These are some of the noir/neo-noir films I saw for the first time in 2016, many of which I hope to revisit in the coming years. It’s a fairly long list and I’m breaking it up into segments each day, so pace yourselves! I hope you’ll find something new to discover or a favorite to re-watch.
As regular readers of Journeys in Darkness and Light know, I don’t see all that many “new” movies, certainly not enough to justify a Best of 2016 list that actually means films released in 2016. Instead, I’ve listed the films I saw this year for the first time covering the years 2000 to the present, which includes a few 2015 and 2016 titles. I hope you find something to discover.
Wow. Kirk Douglas turns 100 today… I wonder if we really can grasp just how spectacular this birthday is. He made his first screen appearance in 1946 with The Strange Love of Martha Ivers next to the great Barbara Stanwyck 70 years ago and he’s still with us.
Today’s post focuses on older films (pre-2000) that I discovered for the first time in 2016. You could make a case that some of these are film noir or neo-noir titles, but for the most part they aren’t. I’ll cover those as well as more modern movies (2000 to the present) in upcoming posts. The following weren’t all the pre-2000 movies I saw for the first time this year, just the ones I enjoyed most. As always, I hope you’ll find something to discover as well. Films are listed in alphabetical order by title. For the films that have little or no commentary, click on the title to read more.
I always approach rewatching movies with a certain level of fear and trembling… What if a movie doesn’t live up to that one magical viewing you gave it many years ago? Should I have left that wonderful memory alone? If I revisit a movie, do I run the risk of ruining it forever if it no longer delivers?
I expressed some of these concerns in last year’s rewatch post and those concerns still apply. For this year’s list, I limited myself to films I had previously seen only once, eliminating the favorite multiple-rewatch films, movies I revisit frequently such as Vertigo or fun movies like Back to the Future. It’s been several years between viewings of the films listed below. In some cases you can click on the title link for more info; in other cases I typed out a few thoughts. I hope you’ll find some films here to visit or revisit.
The deeper you immerse yourself into any subject, the more you discover you don’t know about that subject. I’ve been watching movies for most of my life and have occasionally picked up books about them, but such books were never a serious focus. During the past few years, I’ve been very aware that there’s so much about film that I don’t know. I’ve started reading more these past few years and this year I read several books on film. None of them were a waste of time and several of them were very good. I’d like to share with you my favorite books on movies I read in 2016 (although only a few of them were actually published in 2016).