Sean Gilligan: Films of 2017
SEAN’S FILMS of 2017
by Sean Gilligan
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.
An emotional rollercoaster I didn't want to get off. This is superb filmmaking. We go to the movies because we want to feel something... to have an emotional experience and connection... this film made me feel everything... and sometimes all within a single scene. Nothing is earned easily here and that's what makes it so damn satisfying.
Obviously this film has made many top ten lists and for good reason. Having been a fan of Key and Peele I was really looking forward to this film’s release in Australia - which frustratingly lagged the US release date! Cleverly structured and tonally assured it allowed the audience a glimpse into the permeating claustrophobic nature of subtle racism. It's smart, scary and funny with a great gonzo horror final act which turns the volume up to eleven, brings the fun and a satisfyingly bloody ending.
Deliciously deviant in all the right ways building to a beautiful love story. This South Korean film by the director of OLDBOY (amongst many) has become one of my all-time favourites. And what a truly gorgeous soundtrack.
Technically not a 2017 release but on my list of things to watch I recently caught this on Netflix. It literally had me craned forward, tense and on the edge of my seat. Again this is a tonally tight and assured lesson in smart low budget genre filmmaking - 12 characters, one location! And embodies a life lesson we can all abide - don't drink the Kool Aid!
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
I'm not sure what to say. This is a film that is truly felt... it might not be a comfortable experience but it will get under your skin and linger. This is a filmmaker with a committed vision. Also another astoundingly effective soundtrack.
Brutal and ultra violent. It's a superhero movie and an antidote to superhero movies!
Another gonzo crazy Korean horror film. They do them so well!
BLADE RUNNER 2049
I had the pleasure of seeing this at the Arclight in LA. I've never had a cinema experience as technically immersive - swallowed by the images and the audio. And this was the right film for that. I'm a big fan of Denis and "ARRIVAL" is another favourite... oh and Roger Deakins. BLADE RUNNER 2049 has everything going for it. Lush, smart, hypnotic... probably the biggest budget arthouse sci-fi movie ever made. Hats off!
COCO & THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
I have kids, which provides a thin cover for sharing in some truly superb family oriented filmmaking... and COCO is one of those films up there with the best Pixar has done. It's a magical magnetic experience that hits all the right beats and sweeps you into a beautifully realised world. AND THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE is just plain good fun with a brilliant Batman/Joker, hero/villain rivalry that some of the more recent adult superhero fare could take notes from.
Sean Gilligan is an award-winning filmmaker whose body of work spans music videos, narrative projects and documentaries. He has directed over 40 music videos for many of Australia’s most acclaimed musicians including Silverchair and Gin Wigmore. His feature documentary Fantome Island screened at The Brisbane International Film Festival, won Best Australian Film at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and recently received its first national broadcast on Australian television. Sean’s short films have won accolades and screened internationally with his latest, The Baby Whisperer, premiering at Screamfest LA in 2017.