Awesome films of 2012
Every year I take a retrospective look at all the films I’ve seen, here I’ve listed those that have been enjoyable, thought provoking & stayed with me well beyond their end credits. These are the best films I’ve seen this year, I’ve focused on films that could have been easily missed, overlooked or over hyped but still worth seeing.
Chronicle illustrates what happens when a group of young men suddenly gain powers that they rapidly loose control of. It highlights the pain young people can feel when they are faced with testing situations. This film uses a fantastical senario to address the real world confusion, awkwardness & depression that can face young people while not being bogged down by the silly suits & predictable end-of-world narratives covered in so many super hero films.
The film centers on a pair of orphaned street kids as they attempt to control & cope with the violence that surrounds them on the on the dangerous streets of Takaramachi (Treasure Town).
It’s a fantastic looking film thanks to the work of visual effects artist Michael Arias. If you have seen The Animatrix, you can expect Tekkonkinkreet to be equally rich & visually detailed.
This film deals with awful childhood events from a child’s point of view in a similarly dark & tragic (but not soul destroying) way as Grave of the Fireflies. It’s worth the ride.
This is what I would describe as an ‘ambient’ film. This film pushes narrative along quietly & subtly by using long cuts to imply the passing of time or using brief glances between characters to describe a weighty emotional connection in a similar way to The Weather Man & Lost In Translation.
A terrible event entangles two otherwise unconnected people. The film follows their story with the back drop of a world event more commonly found in a sci-fi plot. In the same way Signs isn’t really about an alien invasion, Another Earth isn’t really about the discovery of a duplicate planet in the solar system.
Project X is every party you have ever been to, every alcohol or drug fuelled situation you have discovered yourself in all rolled into a simple story of a normal kid wanting to throw a really great party.
This film is chaotic & funny but also has a soul. It doesn’t get cheap laughs from offensive or boring jokes like American Pie or Scary Movie, it’s not that kind of film. Yeah the dog is on a trampoline, but he appears to take it in his stride & certainly doesn’t get hurt. Although its over the top, it feels plausible.
It shines a light on youth bravery & free spiritedness that my life currently lacks. I went to a house party in Brighton a few years ago, as we walked up to the house, there was a smashed window that the old TV in the garden had been thrown through, at that moment you think ‘this party is going to be awesome!‘ …Project X encapsulates that feeling or excitement wonderfully.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
This films follows the life of a girl named Hushpuppy as she is faced with both her hot-tempered father’s fading health & the melting ice-caps that flood her ramshackle bayou community.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fascinating film. The characters & dialogue flip between being funny, light hearted & care free one moment, to being sad, scary & upsetting the next. The journey leaves you routing for them to succeed in every situation they face. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a film that made me laugh & nearly cry in the way Beasts of the Southern Wild did.