Archive for January, 2013


The Best 21st Century Musicals

January 31, 2013

This is more or less in reaction to the Hollywood-only myopia of Best Musicals lists, which universally include such masterpieces as Dreamgirls and Hairspray. This century’s film musical output is very dire indeed, but appears significantly worse by way of said online lists. The truth is the musical refracted into various other genres or else remnants of the traditional form pop up in otherwise non-musical films (Zatoichi, Damsels in Distress, etc) as whimsical interludes. However, I have not included what IMDb classifies as “music” films, or else we’d have a significantly stronger list (think Linda Linda Linda and Ne Change Rien!), nor dance-only pictures -which would make a swell list on their own. I would love recommendations. Jury’s out on Dancer in the Dark, perhaps I should have revisited it. Tim Burton’s pair are pretty good from memory. The list is ordered more by how much I admire the film as a film rather than strictly as a musical.

12. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (Chazelle)

11. Winnie the Pooh (Anderson/Hall)

10. 8 Women (Ozon)

9. Princess Raccoon (Suzuki)

8. The Wayward Cloud (Tsai)

7. Opera Jawa (Nugroho)

6. Not on the Lips (Resnais)

5. Yellow (Peterson) Review

4. Moulin Rouge! (Luhrmann)

3. La France (Bozon)

2. Happy Feet Two (Miller)

1. For Love’s Sake (Miike) See also: The Happiness of the Katakuris


My Best First-Time Viewings of 2012

January 4, 2013

With a total of 834 film viewings (longer shorts included, but most not) in 2012, this is surely my most prolific year as a cinephile, and naturally it makes a wrap-up piece a daunting exercise filled with the disappointments that comes with being unable to mention all those little gems and habits, the finer points of my cinematic intake. Thus, I will lazily link to my various monthly recaps, of which there were ten, after the final list.

Things I learned about my taste in 2012: comedy good; dry comedies are often the most moving of films; vulgar auteurism good; shorts can indeed be great; 3D is beautiful; dance is everything.

Not including current-decade premieres, here are the finest I saw this year, with tie cheating:

(hover over for titles, click for IMDb)









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My December ’12 in Film

January 1, 2013

76 seen in total:

  1. Drifting Clouds (1996, Kaurismäki)
  2. Du Côté d’Orouët (1973, Rozier)
  3. From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995, Rappaport)
  4. L’enfance Nue (1968, Pialat)
  5. Wild Boys of the Road (1933, Wellman)
  6. Uncle Kent (2011, Swanberg)
  7. Mute Witness (1994, Waller)
  8. Undercurrent (1946, Minnelli)
  9. Mandingo (1975, Fleischer)
  10. The Beast Must Die (1969, Chabrol)
  11. The Alphabet Murders (1965, Tashlin)
  12. Big Wednesday (1978, Milius)
  13. Dangerous Game (1993, Ferrara)
  14. In Hell (2003, Lam)
  15. The Pearls of the Crown (1937, Guitry)
  16. Les Mauvaises Rencontres (1955, Astruc)
  17. The Master (2012, Anderson)
  18. Pitch Perfect (2012, Moore)
  19. The Pajama Game (1957, Donen)
  20. Red Hook Summer (2012, Lee)

Compelled to mention:

  • Silent Trigger (1996, Mulcahy)
  • Domaine (2009, Chiha)

Best rewatches:

Taxi Driver, Zodiac.