The cast of Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
In 2012 I watched 155 features that has some type of official release in America. There’s always some debate about what year to include foreign films if they debut at a major festival like Cannes yet don’t wash up on the shores of America until the next year. Overall it was a fairly decent year in cinema, especially as some great foreign films slipped into the list late this year (Tabu, I’m looking at you). Where the year might have been light on masterpieces there was a strong quality to the average range of movies I watched.
For the top spot it was a struggle to decide between two of my favorite directors in PTA v. Ceylan as each have continued to rumble around in my head for months, even after multiple screenings. It was easier to write about Anatolia whereas The Master still has me tied up in knots to properly write a review. I think after three viewings that Peggy is the master, a notion proposed to me by my better half and one that I tried to think about in the last viewing I had. A lot of attention is dedicated to the Freddie-Lancaster relationship but something about her presence in the film has serious importance. After another screening of it on dvd next month maybe I can formulate a better hypothesis on it. For now I will stick with my free-jazz review of the film.
Peggy Dodd played by Amy Adams
The links are to full reviews at Mile High Cinema.
The Top 10
2. The Master
4. The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev’s second feature is a gem of wordless landscape poetry punctuated by one brief, yet stunning scene which ruptures the tale of a couple on a hiking trip through the Caucus mountains. This slow burn of a movie really stuck with me for quite a while after it was over.
5. Amour – Michael Haneke’s unflinching look at an aging couple in Paris starring Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva who are both fantastic in the film. They play the usual Georges and Anne roles which are in Haneke’s movies. Really need to see again on the big screen when it arrives in Denver near the end of the month. #Pigeon
6. Barbara – Nina Hoss and Christian Petzold and the peanut butter and chocolate of German cinema for me. This period piece set in East Germany of 1980 is a tense and controlled slow burn thriller. Here’s a link to some stills from the film of Nina deep in thought.
7. Tabu – Miguel Gomes third feature is a black and white two parter set in present day Portugal for the first half and then back in colonial Africa for a l’amor fou backstory. Really need to see it again. #Crocodile
8. Beasts of the Southern Wild #Hushpuppy
9. This is Not A Film – House-arrested Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panhi’s pseudo-doc filmed (or not?) with Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. Panhai chats with Mojtaba, his family and his lawyer about his case on appeal in Iran where he faces twenty years in jail for his alleged subversive films. It starts off slow but once the college student comes to pickup his trash on Fireworks then the film really packs a punch ending with the haunting shot of Jafar filming a street fire just outside the gates to his building. #Iguana
10. Louie – Season Three – I am more than willing to call it a film as the show continues to transcend it’s television format. Building off each of the previous two seasons moving away from their Curb meets Seinfeld sitcom format to move into its own world where anything can happen, be it surreal, emotional, hilarious or any combination of the three. The two-episode arc with Parker Posey and the 3-episode arc with the Late Show and David Lynch packing more punch than 95% of what Hollywood churns out each year. The show is a great reminder that the auteur is not dead.
11. The Kid With a Bike
12. Django Unchained
15. Holy Motors
17. Kill List
18. The Color Wheel
19. Killer Joe
20. Farewell, My Queen
22. The Imposter
23. Life of Pi
24. Rust and Bone
26. I Wish
27. Pitch Perfect
30. The Comedy
33. The Ambassador
34. Miss Bala
38. End of Watch
39. Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry
40. Magic Mike
41. The Deep Blue Sea
42. Oslo August 31st
43. Marina Abramovic -The Artist is Present
48. We Needs to Talk About Kevin
49. Post Mortem
50. Damsels in Distress
Others of Note:
Bernie, Killing Them Softly, Ruby Sparks, Beyond the Black Rainbow, Cabin in the Woods, Easy Money, Argo, Lincoln, Cat in Paris, The Monk, We Have A Pope, In Another Country, Premium Rush, The Day He Arrives, Cleveland 95 (NFL Films), Sleepwalk With Me, Payback, Khodorkovsky, Catastroika, John Carter, Haywire, Cloud Atlas, Casa de mi Padre, The Revisionaires, Headhunters
Ones that were Missed:
Zero Dark Thirty, Turin Horse, Bestaire, Chicken With Plums, The House I Live In, Crazy Horse, Whore’s Glory