Not exactly my films of the year
January 3, 2012, 10:55 pm
Filed under: film

I’ve seen, and listened to via podcast a number of films-of-the-year lists, enjoyed them, agreed with them in parts, don’t see much reason to add another to them. But it was quite a filmish year for me, with my first visit to Sundance and over 50 cinema trips (dismal by professional standards, I know, or even real cinephile standards, but more than I think I’ve managed any other year), and a recap seems in order. So here are two lists, first of the ten films I most regret missing this year, then of moments in film that mattered to me.

What I missed that I regret most (in quasi chronological order)

  1. Benda Balili
  2. Submarine
  3. Meek’s Cutoff
  4. A Separation
  5. Tree of Life
  6. Project Nim
  7. Skin I live in
  8. Kill List
  9. Take Shelter
  10. Deep Blue Sea

Looks like my missed list would be a pretty good best of list in other parts. (I should say I have mostly only myself to blame — I think the excellent Greenwich Picturehouse showed all but two of those)

A similarly quasi-chronological list of moments that moved, mattered and stunned

  1. The girl in the car close to the end of Life in a Day, who hasn’t done anything special but wants to be in on what’s happening.
  2. The distraught shepherd phoning home from the high pasture near the end of Sweetgrass
  3. The doping/seduction/murder in Animal Kingdom. (Also the remarkable painterly scenes of the boy alone in the house at night; also the cut to the gallery scene; also…In dramatic terms, this was pretty much my film of the year)
  4. The bullet-time-ish moment where he finally gets it right in Source Code (quite ambivalent about the double coda after this, though I appreciate some of why it was needed). It’s like Ecclestone’s “Just this one time, everybody gets to live” moment in The Doctor Dances, one of the Moff’s great moments
  5. The God’s presence at Monaco sequence in Senna
  6. The bit where Elle Fanning acts at the boys in Super 8
  7. The amends made in the barber’s shop in The Interrupters
  8. The lift scene in Drive
  9. The automaton starts to draw in Hugo (actually, pretty much all of Hugo…)
  10. The Burj Khalifa exterior sequence in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
When I did the missed list it came out at ten with no forcing. The moments list was a bit longer and so I trimmed: here are the cuttings
  • The Siberian shore lingered on, repeatedly, through rippled panes of glass in How I Ended This Summer
  • “Allow it” in Attack the Block; way to define a hero..
  • The death/goat on the table in Il Quattro Volte
  • The final stairway sequence of Russian Ark (yes, I know — but it was new *to me* this year…)
  • Rhinoceros“: Midnight in Paris (more generally, Corey Stoll; but for a moment, Brody…)
  • “Loser loser loser” at the end of Moneyball

Update: too self congratulatory on getting ten first time when counting missed films. Melancholia, We need to talk about Kevin and Tyrannosaur should probably have been on it too, edging out Meek’s Cutoff and Submarine

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