Monday, December 31, 2012

Movies for Music Lovers: 2012 Edition

Click here for the 2011 edition.

Some of these films premiered in the US in 2011, but didn't arrive in Seattle until 2012, in which case I deferred to local release dates. Some missed the city altogether, in which case I caught up via DVD. The links lead to my reviews for Amazon, Line Out, The Seattle International Film Festival, SIFFBlog, and Video Librarian (Amour hasn't been posted yet, since it doesn't open here until January 25). 

The Tops:
1. Patience (After Sebald) (Grant Gee)

In his haunting profile of an author's defining novel, Gee (Radio-
head: Meeting People Is Easy, Joy Division) created a true work of art.

2. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr)
3. Shame (Steve McQueen)
5. Rust and Bone (Jacques Audiard)
6. The Master (P.T. Anderson)
7. Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine)
8. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominick)
9. Hello I Must Be Going (Todd Louiso)
10. The Source (Maria Doumopolis and Jody Wille)

1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)

Love the adults, couldn't stand the kids. 

2. Compliance (Craig Zobel)
3. Skyfall (Sam Mendes)
4. Bernie (Richard Linklater)
5. Amour (Michael Hanecke)
6. Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranja)

If Laura (Stephanie Sigman) comes at the trade from a different angle, Miss Bala serves as an inside-out response to Joshua Marston's Maria Full of Grace, which also centered on a sympathetic mule (and featured a strong central per-
 formance from another virtual unknown). From start to finish, Laura is neither action heroine nor passive victim, but rather stoic survivor.

7. House of Pleasures (Bertrand Bonello)
8. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell)
9. Dark Horse (Todd Solondz)
10. Lincoln (Steven Spielberg)

Second runners-up:
1. Tie: The Avengers (Joss Whedon) and 
Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
2. The Sessions (Ben Lewin)
3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax)
4. Looper (Rian Johnson)

Mostly for the boy from StephenKingLand.  

5. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg)
6. Flight (Robert Zemeckis)  
7. For a Good Time, Call... (Jamie Travis)
8. Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
9. Chicken with Plums (Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud)
10. Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh)

Also worthy of note: Anna Karenina, Before Your Eyes (Min Dit: The Children of Diyarbakir), Bonsái, Bullhead, Cirkus Columbia, Cloud Atlas, Coriolanus, The Dark Knight Rises, The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, Eden, Eye of the Storm, Goodbye (Bé Omid E Didar), The Hunger Games, In Darkness (W Ciemności), The Iron Lady, Policeman (Ha-shoter), Post Mortem, Rampart, Rebellion (L’Ordre et la Morale), Rent-a-Cat (Rentaneko), Roadie, Seven Psychopaths, Snowtown Murders, Sound of My Voice, The Slut, Summer Holiday (Boogie), Turn Me on Dammit! (Få Meg På, for Faen), V/H/S, We Need to Talk about Kevin, Your Sister's Sister.

Missed (or haven't seen yet): Arbitrage, Barbara*, Bestiaire,
Chronicle, The Color Wheel, Consuming Spirits, Damsels in Distress,  
The Day He Arrives (Book Chon Bang Hyang), The Deep Blue Sea, Footnote (Hearat Shulayim), Goodbye First Love (Un Amour de Jeunesse), The Grey, In Another Country (Da-reun Na-ra-e-seo), Keep the Lights On, The Kid With a Bike (Le Gamin au Vélo), Late Quartet, Les Misérables, The Loneliest Planet, Middle of Nowhere, Neighboring Sounds (O Som ao Redor), Oslo, August 31st, A Royal Affair (En Kongelig Affære), A Simple Life (Tao Jie), Sister (L'Enfant d'en Haut), Starlet, Zero Dark Thirty.

Television notables: Boardwalk Empire - Season Two,  
Downton Abbey - Season Two, Game Change, The Good Wife - Season 
Four, Revenge - Season Two, and Vegas - Season One.

* I caught a screening on Jan. 5. Adding to my Best of 2013 list.

They've done better: Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights), Bob-
by and Peter Farrelly (The Three Stooges), William Friedkin (Killer 
Joe), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), and Woody Allen
(To Rome with Love...which I enjoyed in spite of myself).
Top documentaries: 

Caught few big non-fiction films, but saw the small ones others missed.

1. 5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi)
2. The Chilean Building (Macarena Aguiló)
3. The Boxing Girls of Kabul (Ariel Nasr)
4. Taken by Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgerson
and Hipgnosis
(Roddy Bogawa)
5. Paul Williams: I'm Still Here (Stephen Kessler)
6. Pink Ribbons, Inc. (Léa Pool)
7. Girl Model (David Redmon and Ashley Sabin)
8. Marley (Kevin Macdonald)
9. Bad Brains: A Band in DC (Benjamen Logan)
10. Chely Wright: Wish Me Away (Bobbie Birleffi and Beverly Kopf)

Also worthy of note: Barbershop Punk, Carol Channing: Larger Than Life, Dish: Women, Waitressing and the Art of Service, Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, Family Portrait in Black and White, Better Than Something: Jay Reatard, Last Days Here, Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess, Made in India, Step up to the Plate, Tales 
of the Waria, and Winter Nomads (Hiver Nomade).

Missed (or haven't seen yet): Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Beware of Mr. Baker, Brooklyn Castle, Bully, The Central Park Five, Detropia, The Gatekeepers, The House I Live In, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, The Queen of Versailles, Searching for Sugar Man, This Is Not a Film, and Under African Skies.

Reissues and rediscoveries: 
1. World on a Wire / Welt am Draht (Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
2. A Man Vanishes / Ningen Jôhatsu (Shohei Imamura)
3. Tie: The Connection and Ornette Made in America (Shirley Clarke)
4. Movie Orgy (Joe Dante)
5. La Vampire Nue / The Nude Vampire (Jean Rollin)

With live Demdike Stare score at this year's Decibel Festival. 

Yes, I did see: Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Endnote: A work in progress. Cross-posted here.