Friday, March 2, 2012

Where I've Been, When I'll Return and a List

My wife gave birth to our first child, my son Elliot, two weeks ago. Since then, things have been a little busy needless to say. I just wanted to log in and chime a hello to those that still check for updates here, and assure you that I will return, hopefully by this month's end, when I will finally wrap up my 1981 Project with my Top Ten and Honorable Mentions list. After that I have an idea for a longer weekly series related to 1982 that is reminiscent of my 31 Days of '81 Horror series (fingers crossed I will have the time and energy for this).

But with those looming, something has got to go, and I decided to cease with the films I watched in 2011 poster posts. They are too time consuming with very little reward to the reader. If you are interested in what I've been watching in 2012 though, I have been keeping a log at this new site It's a fun social networking place centered around film where you can post reviews and lists (kind of similar to the Netflix friends feature before that was scrapped). I think it's still in beta test mode but I have two invites left, if you want to leave your email in the comment field, I'll send you one.

So see you back here (and on your blogs, I owe some of you comments) towards the end of the month, but to give you something to discuss until that time, I present with no comment, my Top 20 films of 2011.

Okay, a little bit of comment...This list is as always with these things, completely personal. Some of you are going to hate some of these films (I particularly do not recommend # 2, 4, 9 and 17 to the less adventurous or short attention spanned viewer), as I am sure some of the films you love I am not so fond of (Academy Award winner The Artist currently sits at #50 of the seventy-one films I watched for example). I think this list comprises a good variety in the type of cinema that I personally respond to be it high art, personal, bizarre or well executed genre pieces. As always, your mileage may vary.

1. Attack the Block (Joe Cornish)
2. Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
3. Drive (Nicholas Winding Refn)
4. Love Exposure (Shion Sono)*
5. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
6. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Thomas Alfredsson)
7. Hugo (Martin Scorsese)
8. The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodovar)
9. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay)
10. Senna (Asif Kapadia)
11. Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo)
12. Submarine (Richard Ayoade)
13. Shame (Steve McQueen)
14. Beginners (Mike Mills)**
15. 13 Assassins (Takashi Miike)***
16. Moneyball (Bennett Miller)
17. Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt)
18. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
19. The Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog)****
20. Contagion (Steven Soderbergh)

* Technically a 2008 release that made the festival circuit in 2009, Sono nearly four hour epic ode to love, religion and upskirt photography received it's stateside theatrical premiere run (and DVD release where I finally caught it) early in 2011, and so impressed me, that I had to make a space for it on my list

**The surprise of the year seeing how I utterly despised Mill's debut feature Thumbsucker

***Another surprise as the cult of Miike had alluded me thus far

****The single most integral use of 3-D amongst any of the modern wave I've seen. Not sure if it would have the same impact at home (unless you got one of them fancy 3-D teevees)

And here's the films I failed to catch that I hope to eventually get around to: The Muppets, The Interrupters, that Woody Allen documentary, Carnage, Weekend, Paradise Lost 3 (really upset about missing that one), Young Adult (not a big fan of Jason Reitman, but hear only positives about this one), Snowtown, The Black Power Mixtape, Into the Abyss, Project Nim, A Dangerous Method, Terri, Margaret, The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse (did both of these Spielberg joints which opened within days of each other disappear from theatres in a flash or is it just me?)
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