Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best Films I Saw for the First Time in 2012

I don't go to the multiplex enough to warrant a typical Best of Year list. So here are the films I saw in 2012 that I rated 4.5 stars or higher:


35 Shots of Rum (2009)
"35 Shots of Rum is a remarkable existential drama about the intersection of some thoroughly unremarkable lives."

Room at the Top (1959)
"The prequel to 1962’s Life at the Top, this bleak British New Waver shows how that blackguard Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey) weaseled his way to a good job and lasting unhappiness."



Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
"A classic horror movie becomes a symbol for humanity’s deceptions and delusions in The Spirit of the Beehive, Victor Erice’s minimalist allegory from 1973."



Oslo, August 31st (2011)
"Joachim Trier’s Oslo, August 31st is the antithesis of the seasonal blockbuster, but this brooding portrait of a recovering drug addict will remain in your mind long after memories of summer’s superheroes have faded."





Meek's Cutoff (2010)
"Meek’s Cutoff captures the brutal slog faced by the pioneers without a hint of the traditional romantic heroism, grinding the dust, heat and discomfort of the undertaking deep into its characters’ faces."





Man Without a Past (2002)
"Man Without a Past encapsulates just about everything that is good about the Kaurismäki canon, and creates a new appreciation for the director’s ability to craft eccentric realties."




Hide Away (2011)
"Morose and meditative, Hide Away is a film that’s executed to near perfection."



Chico & Rita (2010)
"The movie is a sensory fest, with superb visual design by Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba along with some great Jazz tunes. "


A Separation (2011)
"A Separation is a work of such assurance and skill it stands as that rarest of commodities; a film you don’t want to end."



Take Shelter (2011)
"The thunderheads that form in the late afternoon sky are not mere meteorological phenomena, but harbingers of a new and powerful malevolence; their golden slimy raindrops a dire warning to a distracted world."



Late Spring (1949)
"Societal customs and early forms of feminism collide in Late Spring, a masterfully delicate family drama from director Yasujirô Ozu."






HONORABLE MENTION



Margaret (2011)
"Anna Paquin, despite pushing 30 in real life, is totally convincing here as a privileged teen from the Upper West Side who learns the hard way that life is not all about designer shoes."




City of Your Final Destination (2009)
"With the passing of Ismail Merchant --and director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala both well into their 80s-- The City of Your Final Destination may mark the last production of this legendary creative team."




The Concert (2009)
"Think Rocky for classical musicians, and if tears aren’t streaming down your cheeks by the end, have someone check your pulse."




Film Socialiisme (2010)
"Beautifully shot on digital video, Film Socialiisme contains visual allusions to earlier Godard pieces that seem to organically expand on the original sources."





4 comments:

Marcheline said...

I have to ask: Where do you discover/find/get hold of all these obscure films that you watch? Do you have a secret underground tunnel that leads to alternate universes?

Bunched Undies said...

Yes, I do have such a tunnel, but it rarely leads to movies. I get a lot of recs from a Facebook group I'm in. I can join you if you're interested. They're all nice folks.

Bob of Holland said...

Yes. Spirit of the Beehive contains that catchy song and these beautiful eyes of Ana Torrent. Need to see that film again in 2013!

Retro Hound said...

The Man Without a Past looks interesting and I've already added Meek's Cutoff to my queue. I've added an Ozu also, but it's way at the bottom.

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