Best Discoveries 2016

A yearly round-up of my favorite firsts featuring New Wave from Senegal to Sweden, a couple of very different Noirs, a few not-for-everyone, highly idiosyncratic classics, some trash and exploitation, a few in-betweens, and a handful of great documentaries--three about photographers, one about filmmaking, and one about garlic. Then there's A Spell To Ward Off the Darkness, which is, simply, unlike anything I've ever seen.

(Bonus points if you can name which of these features a Martin Scorsese cameo!)

Odd Man Out  Carol Reed, 1947

Touki Bouki  Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973

The Salt of the Earth  Juliano Ribeiro Salgado/Wim Wenders, 2014

Man in the Wilderness  Richard C. Sarafian, 1970

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness  Ben Rivers/Ben Russell, 2013

Candy  Christian Marquand, 1968

Girl on the Run  Arthur J. Beckhard/Joseph Lee, 1953

Millennium  Michael Anderson, 1989

Garlic Is as Good as Ten Mothers  Les Blank, 1980

Phase IV  Saul Bass, 1974

Finding Vivian Maier  John Maloof/Charlie Siskel, 2013

The Girls  Mai Zetterling, 1968

Operation Kid Brother (aka OK Connery)  Alberto De Martino, 1967

Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley's Island of Dr. Moreau  David Gregory, 2014

Supervan  Lamar Card, 1977

Solarbabies  Alan Johnson, 1986

Capricorn One  Peter Hyams, 1977

Bill Cunningham New York  Richard Press, 2010

Bone  Larry Cohen, 1972

Cannonball!  Paul Bartel, 1976

Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song  Melvin Van Peebles, 1971