Friday, January 03, 2014

Best Christmas Present of 2012

My second year of Film Forum membership has come to an end, here are the movies I saw there this year. Brief commentary for most. On the whole: 2013 programming at the Film Forum was not as memorable as the 2012 programming, a few times I'd open the new calendar to see what was coming up and it would seem like there was nothing of immediate interest. This lead to more experimentation and more discoveries, some great, some less so. But I didn't see flat out stinkers (even if it seems like that's what I'm saying about Tokyo Story), in 2012 I saw one or two I definitely didn't like. At all.

Tabu — Not what I was expecting from the trailer, thought it was going to be weirder.

Black Narcissus — Had to see it because I'm always confusing it with Black Orpheus. Now I know the difference. This one takes place in India and is a lot more twisted than I expected.

Amour —My post re: my thoughts re: Amour ("Best Movie You Should Never See") was one of my most popular posts last year.

Little Giant — Fun old gangster comedy about a gangster who tries to go legit and move to Malibu.

Employee Entrance — Less fun old movie about the corrupting power of getting promoted at a department store.

Gatekeepers — Documentary where they interview former Israeli counter-terrorism heads. Their openness is astounding. I fell asleep a little during this, because I'd just had surgery a few days before.

Petit Soldat —An early Godard (the earliest?). Don't remember what else about it, though.

Un Flic — Have this written down in my list in my notebook, recognize the name, can't remember the movie at all.

Ricky Jay — Really fun documentary about this magician and his magician influences. Went home and spent all night watching black and white youtubes of old magician performances.

Badlands — Loved, so glad I didn't watch it on my laptop. The American Breathless.

The Servant —Also loved. I use expressions like "deliciously perverse" very carefully around here, but this is a movie that certainly deserves to be described that way. Story of a jerk British bachelor who hires a new servant who turns out to be an evil schemer, co-dependent relationship ensues.

Godzilla — The original. Godzilla was a lot smaller back then. A LOT more talk about the Oxygen Destroyer weapon than I ever expected.

Fearless Vampire Killers —Broad comedy gothic horror starring Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate. So great.

Abominable Dr. Phibes — Magnificently twisted Vincent Pryce murderous revenge rampage film. Didn't realize it was set in the 20's until way too late, wondered why this 60's movie was so art deco way loo long.

Russian Ark — Feature-length single tracking shot all filmed in one museum. Kind of a must see on a film-history level.

Joli Mai — Nearly three hours of extended interviews with various Parisians in the 60's. Grew on me. Fell asleep a bit at the beginning. I think I had to, though, to cleanse my palate.

The Killing — LA film noir, the "killing" referred to is like the kind you make, not the kind you do. Some characters learn a tough, tough lesson about carry-on luggage.

Bay of Angels — Recognize the name, barely remember the movie . . . black and white French (or Italian?) about gambling addiction. Less rolicking than expected.

Tokyo Story — Essential on a film-history level, too. Stupendously long and boring and slow moving and depressing. Didn't just fall asleep, straight up slept during this one.

Let's Get Lost — Documentary about Chet Baker filmed near the end of Chet Baker. All your heroes are drug addict jerks ruining the lives of everyone around them.

Mauvais Sang — First film (or a first film) by the guy behind Holy Motors. Not as fun as Holy Motors, one good dance scene, though.

The New Rijkmuseum — Four hour documentary about renovation of the Rijkmusuem in Amsterdam. Pretty much the Godfather of curation documentaries. You will get so sick of the Amsterdam Cyclist's Association. Did not fall asleep during it.

2012 viewings review over here, if you'd like to see it again.

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