It is July. We have already celebrated our nation’s independence. We have launched our fireworks into the night sky and gorged to the point of shame spiraling, our self-loathing winding and weaving through our subconsciousness as surely as wisps of smoke curl in the wake of celebratory ordnance. It is six months until the time of year when pop culture’s arbiters collectively gather their minds to denote the “best” of what the last three hundred and sixty five days have offered us in the worlds of music, movies, television, gaming, and other such leisurely pursuits.
But the arbiters have gotten a head start on awarding honors, as they do every year with increasing regularity and timeliness. It is easy to ignore the ceremony to begin with; one person shares a list there, another a list here. Then the floodgates swing up in a rush of commemorating judgments and honors. Nominations are not even part of the process. There is no voting. There is no debating. There is just designation.
I will stay strong. I will not bend. I will not participate. Once a year of list-making rumpuses is enough. Twice is too much. We may as well call films cattle and adorn them with blue ribbons. The temptation is great, but I can ignore…
…no! No! I won’t give in! You can’t make me! You’ll have to read my reviews and my features, my actual writing, to figure out what movies I best admire in 2016…cease! Cease vexing me with your inquiries! Halt your prying! I will never sacrifice my integrity just for the sake of page hits! Views are not worth the cost of my probity!
And yet I can’t stop myself – it’s as if by some magic, some social devilry, that my hands and fingers have taken on a mind of their own, a purpose of their own! Against my sense of rectitude and dignity…they type! They are giving away the secret bounties of my year thus far in the movies before my very eyes, my will be damned!
Then so be it! But know this – know that it is ye, ye clamoring savages and insatiable pop culture thirsts, who hath cast this sorcery upon the tools of my office! I do not relinquish my propriety freely; I do so because ye demand it against all decorum! Know this as ye gaze upon my top ten favorite movies of 2016 to date! Gaze at what ye hath wrought!
10) Don’t Think Twice*
9) Hunt for the Wilderpeople
8) The Mermaid
7) The Wailing
5) The Witch
4) Swiss Army Man
3) Kate Plays Christine*
2) The Fits
(Abandoning my mock insanity: “*” denotes the absence of commercial availability. Don’t Think Twice and Kate Plays Christine have not yet hit their release dates. The former opens on 07/22. The latter opens on 08/24. I’ve already seen them because I’m pretty sure movie critics are supposed to see movies before you, though please correct me if I’m mistaken on that one.)