Posts Tagged ‘recap’

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My MIFF 2013

August 17, 2013
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I attended 19 actual screenings (bolded), 1 of which was a pairing of two shorts bordering on featurettes (italicised). That’s half the number I saw in 2012. The greyed out entries are those that played at MIFF this year but which I saw externally. Sorry for the lack of comments. The ranking:

  1. A Touch of Sin (2013, Jia)
  2. Stranger By the Lake (2013, Guiraudie)
  3. Passion (2012, De Palma)
  4. The Dance of Reality (2013, Jodorowsky)
  5. Computer Chess (2013, Bujalski)
  6. Everybody in Our Family (2012, Jude)
  7. Bastards (2013, Denis) I wrote a review here
  8. The Act of Killing (2012, Oppenheimer)
  9. Starlet (2012, Baker)
  10. Paradise: Faith (2012, Seidl)
  11. Omar (2013, Abu-Assad)
  12. Tip Top (2013, Bozon)
  13. Museum Hours (2012, Cohen)
  14. Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (2013, Côté)
  15. The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012, Rodrigues & da Mata)
  16. Viola (2012, Piñeiro)
  17. Stories We Tell (2012, Polley)
  18. Tiger Tail in Blue (2012, Ross)
  19. Leviathan (2012, Castaing-Taylor & Paravel)
  20. Nobody’s Daughter Haewon (2013, Hong)
  21. Manuscripts Don’t Burn (2013, Rasoulof)
  22. A Field in England (2013, Wheatley)
  23. Gloria (2013, Lelio)
  24. Lesson of the Evil (2013, Miike)
  25. 3x3D (2013, Greenaway/Godard/Pêra)
  26. The Capsule (2012, Tsangari)
  27. Drinking Buddies (2013, Swanberg)
  28. The Past (2013, Farhadi)
  29. The Missing Picture (2013, Panh)
  30. Oh Boy (2012, Gerster)
  31. Cutie and the Boxer (2013, Heinzerling)
  32. Closed Curtain (2013, Panahi)
  33. Harmony Lessons (2013, Baigazin)
  34. Magic Magic (2013, Silva)
  35. Ginger & Rosa (2012, Potter)
  36. differently, Molussia (2012, Rey)
  37. Child’s Pose (2013, Netzer)
  38. East Hastings Pharmacy (2012, Bourges)
  39. In a World… (2013, Bell)
  40. Upstream Color (2013, Carruth)
  41. Prince Avalanche (2013, Green)
  42. A Werewolf Boy (2012, Jo)
  43. Blue Ruin (2013, Saulnier)
  44. Gebo and the Shadow (2012, Oliveira)
  45. Blancanieves (2012, Berger)
  46. Rhino Season (2012, Ghobadi)
  47. V/H/S/2 (2013, various)
  48. Stoker (2013, Park)
  49. Ilo Ilo (2013, Chen)
  50. Outrage Beyond (2012, Kitano)

I have not included the retro titles that I have previously seen, nor Paradise: Love which first played at MIFF last year.

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My June ’13 in Film

July 1, 2013

June ’13

  1. The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter (Liu)
  2. A Cottage on Dartmoor (Asquith)
  3. Passion (De Palma)
  4. Before Midnight (Linklater)
  5. Picnic (Logan)
  6. The Man From Laramie (Mann)
  7. The Marrying Kind (Cukor)
    and to a lesser extent It Should Happen to You (Cukor)
  8. Two Girls and a Guy (Toback)
  9. Tennessee’s Partner (Dwan)
  10. Paradise: Faith (Seidl)
  11. I Hired a Contract Killer (Kaurismäki)
  12. L’argent (L’Herbier)
  13. Chronicle of a Summer (Rouch)
  14. Louisiana Story (Flaherty)
  15. Ruthless (Ulmer)
  16. Way Down East (Griffith)
  17. Lesson of the Evil (Miike)
  18. Leviathan (Castaing-Taylor/Paravel)
  19. After Earth (Shyamalan)
  20. Death Sentence (Wan)

vlcsnap-2013-06-30-21h07m31s239

Best rewatches:

The Village (Shyamalan)
Alphaville (Godard)

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My March ’13 in Film

April 3, 2013

March was another month of completism rather than discovery, so much so that I’ve had to create categories for the directors I became attached to. Rohmer and Chabrol’s small book Hitchcock: The First Forty-Four Films fueled a fascination (alliteration!) with the master’s silent period in particular, and in viewing the woefully ignored “minor” efforts from throughout his oeuvre. These 9 films only fortified my adoration for the man’s work. Yes, Hitch made suspense pictures, but truly his is a cinema concerned with marriage as vital as Lubitsch’s. Jesus, 94 films in one month, including Wang Bing’s 9-hour epic and not including Scorsese’s shorts…I am wasting my youth.

  1. The White Meadows (2009, Rasoulof)
  2. A Girl in Every Port (1928, Hawks)
    and to a lesser extent #2 & 3 under “Hawks” below
  3. Running on Karma (2003, To/Wai)
    and to a lesser extent Fulltime Killer (2001, To/Wai)
  4. The Manxman (1929, Hitchcock)
    and to a lesser extent #2-4 under “Hitchcock” below
  5. Khrustalyov, My Car! (1998, German)
  6. Raw Deal (1948, Mann) and T-Men (1947, Mann)
    and to a lesser extent He Walked by Night (1948, Mann/Werker)
  7. The Wife (1995, Noonan)
  8. Hard Target (1993, Woo)
  9. Drive (1997, Wang)
  10. Torque (2004, Kahn)
  11. Dead Heart (1996, Parsons)
  12. Sue (1997, Kollek)
  13. Decision at Sundown (1957, Boetticher)
  14. Choose Me (1984, Rudolph)
  15. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2003, Wang)
  16. Everybody in Our Family (2012, Jude)
  17. Dillinger Is Dead (1969, Ferreri)
  18. Nostalgia for the Light (2010, Guzmán)
  19. Melissa P. (2005, Guadagnino)
  20. The Tree, the Mayor and the Mediatheque (1993, Rohmer)
  21. Freeze, Die, Come to Life! (1989, Kanevsky)
  22. After May (2012, Assayas)
  23. Le Dernier Combat (1983, Besson)
  24. The Crimson Pirate (1952, Siodmak)
  25. Five Dedicated to Ozu (2003, Kiarostami)
  26. The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966, Pasolini)
  27. A Good Lawyer’s Wife (2003, Im)
  28. Rope of Sand (1949, Dieterle)
  29. Dans la Maison (2012, Ozon)
  30. The Flower of Evil (2003, Chabrol)

Compelled to mention:

  • Sudden Death (1995, Hyams)
  • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011, Ritchie)
  • Rien sur Robert (1999, Bonitzer)
  • In the Bathtub of the World (2001, Zahedi)
  • Abel Ferrara: Not Guilty (2003, Pitts)
  • New York Stories (1989, Scorsese/Coppola/Allen)
    for Scorsese’s Life Lessons only

Worst:

  • New York Stories (1989, Scorsese/Coppola/Allen)
    for Coppola’s Life Without Zoe, surely the worst film ever made.
  • Bullet in the Head (1990, Woo)
  • The Expendables (2010, Stallone)
    *

Hitchcock:

  1. The Manxman (1929)
  2. The Farmer’s Wife (1928)
  3. Downhill (1927)
  4. Topaz (1969)
  5. The Paradine Case (1947)
  6. Jamaica Inn (1939)
  7. Champagne (1928)
  8. Rich and Strange (1931)
  9. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)

Hawks:

  1. A Girl in Every Port (1928)
  2. Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
  3. The Criminal Code (1931)
  4. Tiger Shark (1932)
  5. The Crowd Roars (1932)

Boetticher:

  1. Decision at Sundown (1957)
  2. Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)
  3. The Cimarron Kid (1952)
  4. The Man from the Alamo (1953)

Carpenter:

  1. Someone’s Watching Me! (1978)
  2. Village of the Damned (1995)
  3. Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

I suppose these three Carpenters are considered among his least, but for me they each affirm his qualities. #1 & 2 are strong examples of the insidious terror that so encapsulates Carpenter, with the 1978 Hitchcockian film about a woman’s apartment being stalked/violated astutely fed right into the viewer’s own personal space via the television set that was its original destination. Also noteworthy for its strong, witty, successful, and sexually assertive female protagonist and the surrounding ideas of sexism and defilement ingrained in her urban milieu. Why wasn’t this in the above top 30 again? Village displays the auteur’s brilliant comprehension of line and composition in his trademark scope frame, scarcely more appropriate than for this story of inhuman Hitler Youth-esque offspring and the fascistic forms they collectively exhibit. And lastly there was his Invisible Man, a neo-noir technological (diegetic and formal) update of a “monster” classic made fascinating for Carpenter’s workmanlike dedication to achieving the many visual effects above its fairly clumsy humour (though shoutout to the risible womaniser and his strained Gregory-Peck-doing-James-Mason voice) and clumsier baddie scenes.

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My February ’13 in Film

March 1, 2013

February was the month of James Gray rewatches/commentaries, coming close to completing Soderbergh, Bigelow, Jerry Lewis and Michael Mann, and actually completing Kubrick’s features at last (with Fear and Desire), discovering James Toback (Fingers and Exposed unlisted), and confirming that I am not really much of a vulgar auteurist (with more ambivalent reactions to its canon’s works, chiefly Hill’s Johnny Handsome, Tourneur’s Anne of the Indies, Carpenter’s Vampires, and McTiernan’s Nomads). It’s probably no accident that films about complex, charming women impressed me (another being a rewatch of A League of Their Own, which is actually more remarkable for its ‘Scope framing!), and that the male-centric movies tended to possess homosexual subtexts or undertones (Sirk’s Captain Lightfoot providing scaffolding for the Cimino film in this and in its premise).

68 in total:

  1. The Oyster Princess (1919, Lubitsch)
  2. Duo Sang (1994, Wu)
  3. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974, Cimino)
  4. The Sterile Cuckoo (1969, Pakula) and Klute (1971, Pakula)
  5. Rent-a-Cat (2012, Ogigami)
  6. We Won’t Grow Old Together (1972, Pialat)
  7. The Loveless (1982, Bigelow & Montgomery)
  8. The Hanging Tree (1959, Daves)
  9. Sunny (2011, Kang)
  10. The Keep (1983, Mann)
  11. Thursday Till Sunday (2012, Castillo)
  12. Three Lives and Only One Death (1996, Ruiz)
  13. When Will I Be Loved (2004, Toback)
  14. You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet! (2012, Resnais)
  15. All the Light in the Sky (2012, Swanberg)

Compelled to mention:

  • Eros (2004, Wong/Soderbergh/Antonioni) mainly for Wong’s segment
  • The ABCs of Death (2012, various) for Dogfight and Orgasm only
  • Side Effects (2013, Soderbergh) for brilliant lensing
  • Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985, Burton)

Worst:

  • The Man with the Iron Fists (2012, RZA)
  • War (2007, Atwell)
  • The ABCs of Death (2012, various)

Best rewatches:

  • Two Lovers (2008, Gray)
  • We Own the Night (2007, Gray) -and again with commentary
  • Dogville (2003, Trier)
  • Contagion (2011, Soderbergh)
  • Little Odessa (1995, Gray)
  • Die Hard (1988, McTiernan)
  • Contempt (1963, Godard)

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My January ’13 in Film

February 1, 2013

An early attempt to watch nothing but canon masterpieces from trusted sources waned after just a few days, leaving me with the lamest month of film viewings in some time. Which means, given the amount of films I watch, there’s still a bunch of good shit. Oshima’s passing lead me to two of his films, which lead to a small discussion of contemporary Japanese cinema, which sparked a few viewings of new-to-me Japanese directors (Suwa, Ogigami, Iwai). But it was an insanely Japanese month regardless of this event, with my musical list having me watch Princess Raccoon and Miike’s Katakuris, and the inexplicable choices of a different Miike, a Koreeda, a Satô, and a Kon! 12 in total. Elsewhere, I was introduced to Giorgio Mangiamele, perhaps the earliest filmmaker to express the isolation and xenophobia of the migrant experience in Australian cinema. The last clear trend of January was…high school pictures. I have no idea why. Did the first fuel interest in the others? Besides the two mentioned, there was also Dante’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School. All among the best of the genre. A good number of rewatches, to boot. Not included: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (first time in many years), and The Saddest Music in the World, which for me still runs out of steam but is often hilarious; Ross McMillan is particularly delicious in it. Middle tier Maddin.

75 total:

  1. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924, Lang)
  2. Kamome Diner (2006, Ogigami)
  3. Executive Suite (1954, Wise)
  4. The Quiet Man (1952, Ford)
  5. Perfect Blue (1997, Kon)
  6. La Luna (1979, Bertolucci)
  7. Coeur Fidèle (1923, Epstein)
  8. Maboroshi no Hikari (1995, Koreeda)
  9. Clay (1965, Mangiamele)
  10. Bitter Victory (1957, Ray)
  11. Pleasures of the Flesh (1965, Ôshima)
  12. Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968, Satô)
  13. Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924, Lang)
  14. Jack Reacher (2012, McQuarrie)
  15. The Canterbury Tales (1972, Pasolini)

Compelled to mention:

  • Bombay Beach (2011, Har’el) that kid broke my heart so fucking hard
  • Pump Up the Volume (1990, Moyle)
  • I Love Melvin (1953, Weis) for the choreography
  • The Face You Deserve (2004, Gomes)
  • Detention (2011, Kahn)

Worst:

  • Les Misérables (2012, Hooper)
  • Far East (1982, Duigan)
  • Hitchcock (2012, Gervasi)

Best rewatches:

  • Before Sunrise (1995, Linklater)
  • Before Sunset (2004, Linklater)
  • The Yards (2000, Gray)
  • Vivre Sa Vie (1962, Godard)
  • Solaris (2002, Soderbergh)
  • Death Proof (2007, Tarantino)
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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)

40

39

38b

38

37

36c

36b

36

Read the rest of this entry ?

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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.