Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My 2012 in Film

I watched 330 films this year, and this is what I have to show for it. God love the the Trylon, the Walker and the Heights for keeping this town interesting film-wise. 

My top 25 films of 2012, within the machine of US distribution, ranked, with a few notes there at the end:

  1. This is Not a Film / Jafar Panahi 
  2. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia / Nuri Bilge Ceylan 
  3. Tabu / Miguel Gomes 
  4. Cosmopolis / David Cronenberg 
  5. Neighboring Sounds / Kleber Mendonça Filho 
  6. Attenberg / Athina Rachel Tsangari 
  7. Consuming Spirits / Chris Sullivan 
  8. Deep Blue Sea / Terence Davies 
  9. Let the Bullets Fly / Jiang Wen 
  10. Elena / Andrey Zvyagintsev 
  11. The Day He Arrives / Hong Sang-soo 
  12. Wuthering Heights / Andrea Arnold 
  13. The Turin Horse / Bela Tarr 
  14. The Color Wheel / Alex Ross Perry 
  15. Girl Walk // All Day / Jacob Krupnick 
  16. Damsels in Distress / Whit Stillman
  17. 4:44 Last Days on Earth / Abel Ferrara
  18. The Raid / Gareth Evans 
  19. I Wish / Hirokazu Koreeda 
  20. Post Mortum / Pablo Larrain 
  21. Whore’s Glory / Michael Glowogger 
  22. Killer Joe / William Friedkin 
  23. A Simple Life / Ann Hui 
  24. Two Years at Sea / Ben Rivers 
  25. Miss Bala / Gerardo Naranjo 
(Why 25? Because I hated the idea of not giving those last 5 a mention. I have yet to see Zero Dark Thirty, so take that for what you will; otherwise, I also feel it necessary to state that I didn't fall head over heels with the cinephilia for cinephilia's sake in Holy Motors - as a matter of fact, I found most of it tedious - and nor was I moved by another man-child's kitschy love for himself - I'm talking about Wes, not young Sam - in Moonrise Kingdom. Sorry about that.)

Best viewing 2012, regardless of distribution and release date, alphabetically:

Beautiful 2012 (2012) / Gu Changwei, Ann Hui, Kim Tae-yong, Tsai Ming-liang
Emperor Visits the Hell (2012) / Li Luo
Faust (2011) / Alexander Sokurov
The Gang's All Here (1943) / Busby Berkeley
Grey Matter (2012) / Kivu Ruhorahoza
Guilty of Romance (2011) / Sion Sono
In April the Following Year, There Was a Fire (2012) / Wichanon Somunjarn
The Land of Hope (2012) / Sion Sono
Laurence Anyways (2012) / Xavier Dolan
Leviathan (2012) / Lucien Casting-Taylor, Verena Paravel
Margaret (2011) / Kenneth Lonergan
Mekong Hotel (2012) / Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Memories Look at Me (2012) / Song Fang
Napoleon (1929) / Abel Gance
No (2012) / Pablo Larrain
small roads (2012) / James Benning
Target (2011) / Alexander Zeldovich
Three Sisters (2012) / Wang Bing
The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012) / João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata
When Night Falls (2012) / Ying Liang

And finally, my two most anticipated films for 2013 are Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmasters and Matt Porterfield's I Used to Be Darker.


YTSL said...

Hi Kathie --

I'm shocked and awed by the number of movies you viewed in 2012! Given that I've viewed way fewer films than you, I'm quite heartened to find that I've viewed 6 of the films you listed in your top 25 of 2012 and at least one in your best viewing 2012 list... ;b

Kathie Smith said...


The more selective viewer is the smart viewer! If 330 films is excess, then it is mostly excess of consumption of, at best, average viewing. Happy new year to you!

YTSL said...

Hi Kathie --

If you don't me asking: How many films did you watch for pleasure (or at least leisure) vs how many did you do so for work?

Kathie Smith said...


A good question, but one I'm not sure I can answer easily. Simply because work and pleasure are so intertwined. I work with two exhibition organizations in town (Walker Art Center and Take-Up Production/Trylon microcinema), and I go to many screenings at both venues, but none of them are obligatory. Granted, working with both the Trylon and Walker means more access, but not a huge amount more. Long story short, I'm crazy!

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