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Old 01-01-2013, 03:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Keeping a journal of everything I've seen over the year has been a favorite project of mine for a couple years now. These are my Top 30 films that I saw for the first time in 2012 that I adored.

Here's the blog that gave me the inspiration to do this project:
http://rupertpupkinspeaks.blogspot.com/

30. We Are What We Are [Grau, 2010]
29. City of Life and Death [Lu, 2009]
28. The Asphalt Jungle [Huston, 1950]
27. Out for Justice [Flynn, 1991]
26. The Big Heat [Lang, 1953]
25. Torso [Martino, 1973]
24. Still Walking [Koreeda, 2008]
23. Kiss Me Deadly [Aldrich, 1955]
22. Lady Terminator [Djalil, 1989]
21. Harold and Maude [Ashby, 1971]
20. Nostalgia for the Light [Guzman, 2010]
19. The Bad and the Beautiful [Minnelli, 1952]
18. Johnny Guitar [Ray, 1954]
17. The Hustler [Rossen, 1961]
16. The Exterminating Angel [Bunuel, 1962]
15. The Brood [Cronenberg, 1979]
14. Cocaine Cowboys [Corben, 2006]
13. Belle de Jour [Bunuel, 1967]
12. Young Frankenstein [Brooks, 1974]
11. Crimes and Misdemeanors [Allen, 1989]

Top 10:
10. Dressed to Kill [De Palma, 1980]
As close to a giallo that an American film has ever gotten. You have your mysterious, black gloved killer, some good sleaze, wonderful cinematography and great performances by Michael Caine and Nancy Allen. Top 5 De Palma for me!

9. A Bullet for the General [Damiani, 1966]
A favorite spaghetti western of mine. Damiano Damiani brings a more political message to this type of film which is great. It's about a Mexican bandits robbing a train and intending to sell the weapons to revolutionaries. A lot of commentary on the American involvement in the Mexican Revolution. Gian Maria Volonte rules the film and Klaus Kinski is still as amazing as ever.

8. Leaving Las Vegas [Figgis, 1995]
Finally got to see the film that got Nicholas Cage the Oscar and it didn't disappoint. The film proves that Nicholas Cage can put in a great subtle performance (and I do love his over the top performances). I love films about addicts and this is one of the best ones.

7. Hud [Ritt, 1963]
My second favorite Paul Newman film of all time and he just rules the world in this film!

6. Love Exposure [Sono, 2008]
This film and the ones following have been duking it out for #1 all year. A 4 hour film about panty peeking pornography, Catholic guilt, brainwashing cults and an amazing homage to Female Prisoner Scorpion that breezes by which is no small feat! Subversive, funny and sweet all at the same time. Really good stuff.

5. Lake of Fire [Kaye, 2006]
A modern masterpiece in documentary filmmaking in my opinion. I don't know if it's because it's shot in amazing black and white, a very balanced and even handed take on a hot button issue like abortion, no heavy handed narration, some incredible insights or all of it together that completely silenced me after the film was over.

4. The Face of Another [Teshigahara, 1966]
The 60s poll strikes back! The best thing I've seen during that practically year long project. My second favorite film in Teshigahara's trilogy along with Woman in the Dunes [my favorite] and Pitfall. A great look at struggling with identity.

3. Blow Out [De Palma, 1981]
The best De Palma film I've seen and possibly my favorite, although it has to duke it out with Scarface. What an amazing technical achievement with the editing and the sound design in my opinion that also served extremely well with the plot. Those who haven't picked up the Criterion blu-ray really should as it's amazing. Saw it a month after Dressed to Kill and it was staying at #1 for quite a while until I've seen the following 2 films.

2. Nostalghia [Tarkovsky, 1983]
Finally have seen everything that Tarkovsky has directed and he's one of my personal favorite directors but I do know that his films are not for everyone as they are quite arty in the art film genre. This was made in Italy after being exiled from the Soviet Union. It's about a Russian poet that is travelling in Italy researching the life of an 18th century Russian composer who imprisoned his own family to save them from the evils of the world. The film is also a nostalgic piece about a man's longing for his homeland in which he can't return to.

1. Harlan County USA [Kopple, 1976]
With all of the debate about right to work and worker's rights lately, this was quite good timing that I saw this film. This is about the coal miners strike in Kentucky over unsafe work conditions and low pay. It turned from extremely bitter to violent. I love films and documentaries that show blue collar, hard working people in an honest and genuine light instead of talking down to them or just using them as crutch for whatever platform that the filmmaker wants to push. This film hit me harder than everything else I saw in 2012 and I loved everything that I listed in here.

I'm interested in seeing what everyone else's favorite discoveries were this last year.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

You seem to have great taste and a fine sense for catching these, assuming you watched all this in a single calendar year. There's a nice blend of genuine classics and obscure gems on this list. It always makes me smile to find Love Exposure mentions since that's one of my favorite discoveries of the last decade, and you can't ever go wrong with some Tarkovsky

I'll make a list of my own and post it on this thread, I don't want to rush it though, i've seen a handful and I don't want to overlook anything.

After seing this list, i'd be interested in your favorite movies of all time, or decade specific assuming you haven't made one of those already. I've stumbled on your 1960's list, but you mentioned that it was the result of several people voted on a website (or something like that)

Good job.
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Yeah, I've had a journal that I updated regularly of what I've seen. I don't know the exact number but I know I've seen over 200 films this year. Honestly, it's been a bit of a slow year but I was really busy with full time college and work. I know some people that have seen close to 500 or more.

I'll PM you my top 20 favorite films.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Really cool thread man!
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

This definitely sounds like something I would love to do! Good thread. I can say I have seen possibly 10% of the 30 there, man, which means I'm missing out.

I would love to do this though, my only problem is time. I feel that even if I watch a film a night I will still not see all that I want to see.
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Thief (1981)- Probably should have heard of it before but didn't. The fact that Tangerine Dream did the soundtrack (and especially the climactic song Dr. Destructo from the film) is what drove me to it. Great film. I'd say one of the best I've seen with James Caan.

Stay Tuned (1992) - John Ritter film where he gets sucked into a satellite dish from hell. I know what that sounds like...but I liked it.

Those are 2 I can recall offhand that I found and really liked this past year. I saw probably like 150 movies though, so I'll edit this if I think of some more.

I love this thread idea, by the way.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

I talked about it a few months ago and this year I finally got to see Blade Runner (1982 original cut) and later on the Director’s cut. I love the story of the replicants and at first I thought it was strange how many of them were shown in a sympathetic light but the ending brought some things to perspective for me and made the story an incredible tale.

The theme of fear within both humans and the NEXUS 6 replicants is a connection I saw in the end how they fear what we fear and that is 'the other race' and death. However, there are a lot of themes in the film and I found it interesting with people moving to a new home (new world) that was said to offer endless opportunities and contain "streets of gold." I thought that was interesting because there was a time (in real life) when people described the United States that way. I just like how they show how overpopulated the 'old world' had become and Chinese influence and culture everywhere.

Rutger Hauer gave the best performance of the entire film. Every scene he did was captivating to me. I loved how he spoke so eloquent yet robotic at the same time. Like I would imagine such a “being” would.

The religious symbolism with Roy really spoke to me. Roy is this perfect Tyrell creation only he must die just like any normal human being, and prematurely. As we know in the end he puts the nail in his hand and ultimately saves Deckard. Then the moment when Roy dies and the dove flies up to the heavens is just a magnificent moment. It's as if Roy indeed was the perfectly flawed son (of Tyrell...of humans...of God) who was "more human than human" (Jesus?). The film just leaves me engrossed with the symbolic possibilities interpreted (or at least how I saw it) in this film.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clique View Post
I talked about it a few months ago and this year I finally got to see Blade Runner (1982 original cut) and later on the Director’s cut. I love the story of the replicants and at first I thought it was strange how many of them were shown in a sympathetic light but the ending brought some things to perspective for me and made the story an incredible tale.

The theme of fear within both humans and the NEXUS 6 replicants is a connection I saw in the end how they fear what we fear and that is 'the other race' and death. However, there are a lot of themes in the film and I found it interesting with people moving to a new home (new world) that was said to offer endless opportunities and contain "streets of gold." I thought that was interesting because there was a time (in real life) when people described the United States that way. I just like how they show how overpopulated the 'old world' had become and Chinese influence and culture everywhere.

Rutger Hauer gave the best performance of the entire film. Every scene he did was captivating to me. I loved how he spoke so eloquent yet robotic at the same time. Like I would imagine such a “being” would.

The religious symbolism with Roy really spoke to me. Roy is this perfect Tyrell creation only he must die just like any normal human being, and prematurely. As we know in the end he puts the nail in his hand and ultimately saves Deckard. Then the moment when Roy dies and the dove flies up to the heavens is just a magnificent moment. It's as if Roy indeed was the perfectly flawed son (of Tyrell...of humans...of God) who was "more human than human" (Jesus?). The film just leaves me engrossed with the symbolic possibilities interpreted (or at least how I saw it) in this film.
Ah yes the ol' Blade Runner thread, I remember having a really good discussion with you on it that somehow morphed into a discussion on "Run Lola Run".

Not sure if I asked you this on the thread or not, but have you ever played the Blade Runner game by Westwood studios? I fired it up not long ago, and it seriously does the movie justice. Hands down one of the most atmospheric and well put together storytelling ever put in a game. It still holds up great today.

I almost wish that Blade Runner thread would get bumped. lol
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

Blade Runner, Life of Pi, Twelve Monkeys, Triangle... were the movies I loved and watched in the past 4 months. Anyways, OP you have a decent list of movies and I haven't seen most of them, I'll make sure I do though. Decent thread.
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Favorite Film Discoveries of 2012

My biggest and best discovery of 2012 was Jean-Luc Godard. I've been a fan of the New Wave and Noir for a while now, but never got around to watching any of his stuff. Pierrot Le Fou might be in my top 3 favourite movies ever made. Then there's Breathless, Alphaville, Vivre Sa Vie, Contempt and Band Of Outsiders which all range from really good to stunning pieces of film.

Some Hitchcock stuff I'd never seen before like North By Northwest (another that seems to have made it's way right up there in to my favourite of all time list. The Birds is another. Fantastic.

Lynch is another director I've only just started watching. Needless to say that was a wonderful discovery, for Blue Velvet especially (so far).

Some Scorsese undervalued gems like After Hours and Bringing Out The Dead too.

So yeah, the year was when I finally had enough time after finishing Uni to just sit and watch stuff I;d wanted to for ages.
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