Its always a tradition not just with myself and my own podcast (and website) but also with pretty much every other broadcaster and website creator that at the end of the year, we reflect back over the previous twelve months and happily announce our favourite films and go through some of our highlights of the year. So here we are.Last week I recorded the end of year podcast episode with Robert Dyer and we went through out lists and shared recommendations. But sadly not everyone who reads this websites content also listens to the podcasts (and I forgive you for that its not a problem at all) so I thought I would share my own ‘awards’ with you.
Just to put things into perspective. I do what I do with the film and publicity side of things, not for a living, I receive no payment and I love what I do. Ive been a film fan most of my life and over the years have watched thousands and thousands of films. Each year I keep a list of the titles I watch which makes it a lot easier when it comes to articles like this. This year I have seen 163 films, which isnt the most I have ever viewed in a single year (that would be the year I watched 366 films) but 163 films in a year is pretty great especially when you think that this doesnt include any television series, and ive seen a few of those this year.
So how do I choose the awards? Well its easy. As long as my first ever viewing of the film ( or performance) was in the previous 12 months, then it counts. Which does mean that for example, had II never seen Gone With the Wind from 1939 until this year, then this could actually end up being my favourite film of the year. For me its not all about the films that were released this year, its about the films that I have seen this year. Other than that simple rule. Its very easy to choose my award winners.
Every film on my Top Films list is of course highly recommended so if you see a title on there and you havent seen it, please do check it out, I dont put a film on my list easily and with 163 films this year to choose from, there are many films I could have chosen, but these ones are the cream of the cinematic crop.
Before I begin the lists, I would like to thank not only everyone who reads this, but more to the point. Many thanks to all the people who worked so hard on making movies for film geeks like me to watch. So much hard work goes into making projects which film fans spend a couple of hours watching and then more hours judging or talking about on social media and on websites and podcasts. Lets take a moment o appreciate every crew member who takes time to do what they do and bring stories to our screens in the hope of entertaining us or educating us. to each and every filmmaker out there, I thank you.
Best New Television Series.
When the first season of this six part British drama series aired in May 2018, social media lit up and people were instantly fans. Taking us into one of the best buddy cop shows since Lethal Weapon we are introduced to Aaron Bishop (played by Noel Clarke) and Ronnie Pike (played by Ashley Walters) and turn out to be one of the most entertaining and watchable teams on TV at the moment. With a perfect balance of humour and action and rounded out with a great supporting casts and great storylines. Six episodes of Bulletproof just want enough. But thats fine because the show is returning for a season 2. If you did miss the show then you can pick it up on DVD and its well worth watching. Go on treat yourself.
Bros:After The Screaming Stops
I was of course aware of Bros when I grew up in the 80s and could probably name 2 or 3 of their songs, however I wasnt a ‘Bro’ (which is the male version of a Brosette) But nor was I against the work they did. I was too busy listening to Duran Duran albums and movie scores. For me when someone mentions Matt Goss, I think of the Vegas headliner, and when someone mentions Luke Goss, I think of films like Blade 2 or Interview With A Hitman, or Charlie. A few months ago I started seeing the feedback from a documentary that had been made entitled Bros:After The Screaming Stops which had begun some screenings around the country and reading the feedback from the viewings. My interest was certainly sparked. So when the documentary hit home release, i checked it out and was blown away by one of the most powerful look at not only the entertainment industry but also what appears to be one of the most honest looks at what its like for family members to work together that I have ever seen. One day I might get to sit down with one or both of the brothers and whilst I would have a list of questions to ask them, I would single out the question of ‘how does it feel when you watch this documentary’ It gives such an emotional insight into what its like to become famous, to live through fame, what its like when things go wrong, and how it feels to regroup once they have both taken up new careers in a separate direction. Ive had many conversations with people I know about Bros:After The Screaming Stops and when I pitch this documentary to them, I do state that whether you are a Bros fan or not, whether you are familiar with their work or not, That you will find this documentary one of the best documentaries you will see.
Best Classic Film
This is a strange one. I have been a fan of William Friedkin’s work for years, having seen The Exorcist, The French Connection, Jade, and To Live and Die In LA countless times over the years. But I had never watched his 1977 film Sorcerer. Im not really a fan of films featuring magic or magicians and such like so I always avoided this film. However I couldnt have been more wrong, Sorcerer features no sorcery and no sign of any magicians at all and is in fact a reality based film that tells the story of four men from different parts of the globe who agree to risk their lives transporting gallons of nitroglycerin across dangerous South American jungle. This film is epic with some of the best set pieces that I have seen in a film (even by todays standards) The story is engrossing, the cast is wonderful and once again William Friedkin proves that he is one of the masters of cinema. Entertainment One have done a fantastic restoration on the film and the bluray itself features a lengthy interview between filmmakers WIlliam Friedkin and Nicholas Winding Refn Drive, Only God Forgives)
David LG Hughes ( Of Gods and Warriors) & Luke Goss ( Your Move)
I struggled with this category, not because I didnt know who my favourite director was from this year, but because I knew I had two and would have kicked myself had I been forced to narrow it down to one director.So with these FromPage2Screen Awards, I realised that I could do what I want and I wanted to give this two men the award to share. Whilst their films are very different, taking us into two different worlds, what is the same is that these two men are super talented and both their films are works of art and highly entertaining. What is also a connection between these two men is that they arent just very talented at directing ensemble casts, but they are both very talented writers and Of Gods and Warriors and Your Move proves that I now announce my favourite directors of 2018 as.
David LG Hughes for writing and directing Of Gods and Warriors (also known as Viking Destiny) The film tells the story of a Viking Princess is forced to flee her kingdom after being framed for the murder of her father, the King. Under the guidance of the God Odin, she travels the world gaining wisdom and building the army she needs to win back her throne. The film is a wonderful ensemble cast telling a beautiful and yet dark story that puts a serious deadly spin on the classic Disney Princess movie and with the directing talent of David LG Hughes, you are in for a treat.
Luke Goss for writing and directing Your Move, a story of David (played by Luke Goss) who is forced to go to extreme lengths when he watches his wife and daughter being snatched right before his eyes. The mood of the film, and the cinematic feel of the film is perfect for this type of story with a central performance by Luke but also featuring a great supporting cast with names like Robert Davi, being along for the journey in this fantastic directorial debut. I cant wait to see what Luke does for his follow up, but im patient.
Anna Demetriou (Of Gods and Warriors)
As her role in the David LG Hughes directed film, Anna is fantastic. Her portrayal of Princess Helle of Volsung is real, tough, emotional, exciting. ou worry about her when shes in danger but you know she is more than capable of fending off anyone who means her harm. Her performance is flawless and when you realise that only a few months before filming began on this film, she was still in drama school. It blows your mind but also enforces just how talented this actress is. Of Gods and Warriors is Anna’s first feature and most certainly wont be her last. She holds the audience in the palm of her hand in her scenes and adds yet another reason as to why Of Gods and Warriors is one of my favourite films this year.
Best Book Of The Year
I love biographies and I love autobiographies, and Bill Duke: My 40 Year Career On Screen and Behind The Camera takes its place with some of the best Ive read. Film fans will know Bill from his roles in favourite films Commando, Predator and the Mel Gibson starring film Payback but should know that his talents lead to directing films such as Deep Cover (starring Jeff Goldblum), Hoodlum (starring Laurence Fushburne) and A Rage in Harlem (starring Forest Whitaker) to name just a few of Bills projects. This book takes us through his life and is such a great read that not only shows us how many wonderful adventures Bill has had with the films he has chosen but also shows us how much of a lovely person Bill Duke actually is. His extraordinary accomplishments on and off screen are all documented in the book for you to read and learn from.
Talented director, actor, producer, entrepreneur, humanitarian and now winner of the FromPage2Screen Best Book Of The Year award..
Best Films of 2018
I wont delve too much these ten films. I will let the trailer speak for themselves, however let me remind you that for each of these films. My first viewing was in 2018. I know a couple of them ere first released in 2017 but for me that doesnt matter. Each of these ten films stunned me, entertained me and reminded me why I love movies and whilst I really do enjoy helping filmmakers gain a wider audience, I thoroughly enjoy speaking with film fans, I enjoy podcasting, writing, and soon in 2019, I will begin making my own films (starting with the Mimi trilogy and then following it up with One Night Reservation) I would never have become so involved with the filmmaking world, were it not for all the hard work that goes into making motion pictures (and TV shows) that I spend a lot of hours each year watching and then talking or writing about.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Of Gods and Warriors (a.k.a. Viking Destiny)
The Greatest Showman
Bros After the screaming stops