2016 was another great year in movies. From the low-budget indie flicks that made major waves like Hell or High Water and Don't Breathe to the massive super hero epics like Deadpool and Captain America: Civil War, it was another year with a little something for everyone in the Bit Players. There were memorable songs, memorable characters, memorable moments all across the board. There were laughs, tears, frights, and action. It seems like every year gets better and better to be a movie fan as the ability to make a film reaches more and more creative fingertips, and 2016 was no exception. Bit Player favorites like Richard Linklater and the Coen Brothers delivered more of the same greatness we've come to expect, but newcomers like Robert Eggers and the continually impressive Jeremy Saulnier firmly placed themselves on the "to watch" list with their 2016 entries. Read below to find out everything we loved about this year, including best films, acting performances, music, scenes, writing, cinematography, and more.
"I knew it was going to be the most visually challenging and most interesting."
"When you see ‘Neon Demon,’ every shot, every aesthetic decision is so extreme and so confident that you’d think it’s totally planned from the beginning, but the interesting thing is that it’s not."
"Working in filmmaking is kind of, I feel, like an antidote to my life because life is this chaotic thing and you get to sort of pare it down and distill it and make a version of life that makes more sense."
"We wanted an organic look that was more colourful but without artificial lighting. It's mostly natural light, although the script isn't realistic. We also didn't use any studios, just locations."
"Did we get the sequence, but rather, did the material have the right tone? Do we need adjustments, not particularly to lighting or framing, but more to mise en scène — whether there is anything we can do to match up to our original intentions before we get to set. That process is so invaluable."
"I think all artists intend to have our work resonate with people—at least that’s why I make films—and that’s why I chose the career path that I wanted, and just to be able to communicate ideas that I have in my head and then to be lucky enough to be able to work on projects like these, and then to have those resonate with people, is everything."
"On a movie of this size it’s assumed that everybody knows their jobs at this point so it really comes down to having a great attitude under pressure and being there together for the film."
"I think there are fewer barriers to entry when it comes to cinematography in this day and age, and I'm excited to see what the young cinematographers who are coming up now will be doing. I think young cinematographers have a huge advantage over more established cinematographers. I used to shoot on film. Now you can go out and shoot on a 5D and you get amazing pictures."
"Every film is a certain level of reprogramming and deconstructing my own colonized mentality around what filmmaking is."
"For all the scenes, it was a lot of planning, but also we wanted to leave room for improvising on the day for actors. We always had the spirit of trying to capture things, as much as possible, in single takes or in long takes. Just because that would give the sense throughout the film that the style of the film was reality, whether it was a dream, or a magical situation like a dance number, so that it wouldn’t feel too unfamiliar, what was going on. It would be better to already have established with the audience that this was going to become something that could be magical all over, whether it’s real or not, so that the magic could happen any time."