Partycrashers X: 2016 in Review

A video discussion between two critics looking at this year in cinema.
Neil Young, Michael Pattison
Partycrashers is an on-going series of video dispatches from critics Michael Pattison and Neil Young.

Now it's dark.
Twelve months ago we recorded our 2015 Review on the 8th floor of a certain Newcastle tower-block, looking out over the river towards Gateshead as the late-afternoon sunlight rapidly faded into deep dusk and the pinprick lights of rush-hour on the Tyne Bridge steadily gained luminescence. 
But by the time Craig Hawkes' camera started rolling for the 2016 edition—in the very same room looking out through the very same windows—night had already fallen over a city which had, in the intervening year, resurfaced onto the global cinema radar thanks to I, Daniel Blake.
We make no apologies for Paul Laverty and Ken Loach's much-loved Palme d'Or winner dominating the early stretches of our exchange, nor for us once again extolling the virtues of Best Picture laureate Spotlight, a 2015 picture in the USA but a 2016-er here in Blighty. An awful lot has happened—a lot of it awful—since Tom McCarthy's timely paean to the noble traditions of American investigative journalism pipped The Revenant to the Oscar on the last day of February. 
But you'll forgive us if we don't devote many seconds of the 10th Partycrashers to weeping over Bowie, Prince, Castro, Wilder, Wogan, Kiarostami and Ali, or rending our garments over that soul-numbing electoral double-whammy of Brexit and Trump. We accentuate the positive—and while we certainly don't eliminate the negative, we carry zero torches for Mr. In-Between. —Neil Young

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