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Thread: Best movies of 2012 so far

  1. #106
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    You left "Lincoln" off your list, Chris?
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  2. #107
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    Controversy surrounding ZERO DARK THIRTY.

    Unfortunately this movie is one a lot of us (including me) may have to wait till 4 Jan. 2013 to see, and it is already clouded by nothing less than a protest sent by US Senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin, and John McCain in a well-publicized letter to Michael Lynton, chairman and chief executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment, calling the film "grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location" of Osama bin Laden, the NY Times article today (19 Dec. 2012) says.

    This was hotly debated on Twitter and the blogosphere last week, and I was surprised myself at how quickly younger writers (like one connected with the A.V. Club) jumped to the defense of the film. They saw it. Did the senators see it? Did Glenn Greenwald see it before writing his article in the Guardian, "Zero Dark Thirty: CIA hagiography, pernicious propaganda"? A well-known movie blogger, Glenn Kenny, hotly protested this article in his blog, claiming Greenwald showd an ignorance of "film grammar" that would disprove his characterizations.

    I'm against torture, and was impressed by the speakers in Alex Gibney's 2008 documentary TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE who state with authority that besides being wrong, it simply doesn't work. It looks "incriminating," so to speak, that ZERO DARK THIRTY (which coming right after THE HURT LOCKER suggests an increasingly pro-military stance by this director) begins with a lengthy torture sequence and ends with a lengthy sequence of the finding and killing of bin Laden. No connection, they say? Can "film grammar" really counteract this ordering of events?

    Some (Dargis, Tobias) are saying that the virtue of ZERO DARK THIRTY is that it's morally complex, and leaves you to figure things out. We have to see the movie to decide. Richard Brody,. film editor and blogger at The New Yorker, has entered the fray with a typically complicated discussion. He seems to take a contrary stand that ZERO DARK THIRTY achieves its effects by narrowing down its vision and eliminating context.

    If I were in NYC I'd have seen the movie already; or at least I could see it today; but, as mentioned, being in Northern California (not LA where it opened 19 Dec., as in NYC), and I have to wait till January.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-22-2012 at 11:32 PM.

  3. #108
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    cinemabon:

    No LINCOLN, neither did Manohla Dargis include it. But I'll have more lists at the end, Best English language, Best Foreign, Shortlisted, and Best Documentaries.

  4. #109
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    Controversy surrounding ZERO DARK THIRTY - 2


    Now the acting CIA chief Michael Morrell has spoken out against the impression ZERO DARK THIRTY gives about torture. His statement is reported on in the NY Times today , 22 Dec. 2012.

    In a message sent Friday to agency employees about the film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” Mr. Morell said it “creates the strong impression that the enhanced interrogation techniques that were part of our former detention and interrogation program were the key to finding Bin Laden. That impression is false.”
    He goes on to say there were many sources that led to bin Laden's alleged lair and even whether the detainees subjected to "enhanced interrogation techniques" had to be is subject to question.

    Morrell also faulted the movie's implication that only a few CIA agents were key to the operation to "get" bin Laden, when in fact the search 'involved “the selfless commitment of hundreds of officers.”'

    He also feared that the movie could "cloud our memory" of CIA officers killed in a terrorist bombing in Afghanistan in 2009.

    All this came in a message Morell sent to agency employees.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-22-2012 at 11:33 PM.

  5. #110
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    I wonder if the fear of reprisals is fueling this surge in criticism, most from the right. The recent debacle over a "youtube" vidieo may have prompted this or the fact that Obama is portrayed in a positive light. It will be interesting to see where it develops.

    If I don't get another chance, Merry Christmas to you, Chris, and Oscar, Tubano, Johann, Howard, and all of the others who contribute to this site and are enjoying the "rush to the Oscars" splurge in film releases this December. May you all have a Happy New Year.
    Colige suspectos semper habitos

  6. #111
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    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, cinemabon, and all filmleafers.

    Hasn't it been 10 years since we started our 'lil online cinema-loving community ?! Wow!

  7. #112
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    Same here to all of you.

  8. #113
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    Mike D'Angelo has posted his year's end list. If you follow me here you know I follow him. I've copied him a bit in running a constantly updated list myself this year. He has recently added ONLY THE YOUNG and IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY and YOU ARE HERE. I haven't seen those, and would never put THE LONELIEST PLANET, HAYWIRE, or ARGO in a best list though combining them shows indepdence on his part perhaps. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE also seems an odd choice. To each his own. I like a lot of his choices and it was from his I first heard about HOLY MOTORS and LOOPER. I'm glad he has SISTER on his list. Ursula Meier is my discoery of the year.

    Mike D’Angelo: 15 Best Films of 2012 (as published by The A.V. Club; it has lists by eight of their writers)

    1. Holy Motors – Leos Carax
    2. The Imposter – Bart Layton
    3. The Loneliest Planet – Julia Loktev
    4. Miss Bala – Gerardo Naranjo
    5. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
    6. Amour – Michael Haneke
    7. The Deep Blue Sea – Terence Davies
    8. Only The Young – Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims
    9. Looper – Rian Johnson
    10. This Must Be The Place – Paolo Sorrentino
    11. Haywire – Stephen Soderbergh
    12. You Are Here – Daniel Cockburn
    13. It’s Such A Beautiful Day – Don Hertzfeldt
    14. Argo – Ben Affleck
    15. Sister – Ursula Meier

  9. #114
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    One more little 2012 best list from Mike D'Angelo

    I missed this earlier, which went up on Las Vegas Weekly Dec. 27, 2012 is logically the same as the AV one missing the last five titles. I am glad to be free of Haywire and Argo. D'Angelo's Twitter thumbnails from Cannes and Toronto and longer AV Club bulletins from Cannes seem the highlights of his year's work as a film critic, frankly, but that is a not inconsiderable contribution. He seems to write very few reviews, only for Las Vegas Weekly. All we get from September is (out of five ratings) End of Watch 2 1/2, The Master 3 1/2, Holy Motors 4, Silver Linings Playbook 2 1/2, This Must Be the Place 4, Les Mis 2 1/2, and ZD30 3 1/2. Given the precision on his personal numerical grading system, these 1-5 ratings lack nuance, and the reviews themselves are a bit skimpy. It seems like anything he didn't like that much got a 2 1/2; and since Holy Motors was his favorite of the year, why not give it more than 4? Because he means to be a very strict grader.

    1. Holy Motors
    2. The Impostor
    3. The Loneliest Planet
    4. Miss Bala
    5. Moonrise Kingdom
    6. Amour
    7. The Deep Blue Sea
    8. Only the Young
    9. Looper
    10. This Must Be the Place
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-15-2013 at 01:38 PM.

  10. #115
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    HOLY MOTORS. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 3:20 PM. I'll be there. Got my ticket already. can't wait. Will post, of course.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  11. #116
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    Great. If you wanted to you could post about it on the New York Film Festival 2012 thread because that's where we talked about it first on this site

    http://www.filmleaf.net/showthread.p...8890#post28890

  12. #117
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    I watched Sister last weekend. I was surprised that it's not in IndieWire's Top 50 but thinking about it a little more I realize that the film is a bit too slight and cryptic to make it into many Top 10s (overall, that's what the editors ask for, right?) but probably would make it into many critics' top 20 or 25 on account of its sense of place, naturalistic performances, and two revealing and emotionally-affecting moments.

  13. #118
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    I found it very special and have said Ursula Meier is my directorial discovery of the year. I go with Mike D'Angelo's Cannes Twitter comment, "Surprisingly Dardennes-y, but it's not like that's a bad thing." The action, the irresponsibility of siblings/family members, the constant running around on the hustle, the underclass existence, are indeed all very Dardennse0-y. The Dardennes in fact however would be unlikely to create this distinct and different a milieu, or go so far from Belgium for that matter, and the combination of Kacey Mottet Klein (surely one to watch) and Lιa Seydoux (already well watched) is a brilliant one, she (D'Angelo's tweet again) "ideally cast." Thanks very much for your comment.

    Film Comment and Indiewire don't seem to give Sister/L'enfant d'en haut a listing, but I don't think one big list is very useful and that's why I make separate lists. What you say about listings is probably true, but "slight and cryptic" don't mean anything to me. I'd say BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, which I think overrated, is "slight and cryptic" too but in less interesting ways: BEASTS doesn't delve into real people the way SISTER does. Not in my opinion, anyway.

  14. #119
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    I'm disappointed to learn now that ON THE ROAD only ran one week (the Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley has a series of such runs) and ended Friday (Jan. 25) so it is probably gone for good and I'll have to wait till March-April DVD/BluRay release to see it. Minor ripoff.

    P.s. There was no need for me to slur BEASTS to praise SISTER. They are both worthy, in some people's view. SISTER is on a few, if a very few, critics' 2012 ten best lists, I think, or top twenty, as with D'Angelo.

    A MAJOR COMPENDIUM OF LINKS TO 2012 ONLINE BEST LISTS CAN BE FOUND HERE.

    THIS OTHER ONE ON FANDANGO HERE (which may or may not be in D'Angelo's compendium). I notice MOONRISE KINGDOM, HOLY MOTORS, and THE MASTER come up a lot in these more "cinephile" and less "mainstream-Oscar-oriented" critics' lists.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-27-2013 at 07:55 PM.

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