Archive for January, 2014

4th January
2014
written by leiabox

I have not been quite as meticulous this year on keeping up with Letterboxd or MovieLogr as I have in years past. They make these year in review posts very easy with all the fancy stats. Here’s to seeing if I can cobble together some insights from my bare-bones title and day list.

Total films watched: 387
(2012: 354)

Festivals attended:
New York Korean Film Festival (6)
Rendez-Vous with French Cinema (2)
SXSW (34)
Tribeca (1)
Independent Film Festival Boston (9)
Exhumed Films eX-Fest (8)
New York Asian Film Festival (7)
Fantasia Film Festival (6)
Fantastic Fest (36)
Exhumed 24 Hr Horror-thon (13)
DocNYC (3)

 
What I Missed:
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Museum Hours
Twenty Feet From Stardom
and I’m sure tons more

 
My top 10 films
(Films that impacted me the most upon first viewing, regardless of release date. In no particular order.)

Upstream Color (2013)
UC
My first film at this year’s SXSW set a fantastic tone for the fest. Shane Carruth is worthy of all the respect. From the excellent story and direction, to the haunting soundtrack, to the inspiring approach to distribution – I love it all.

 
Peeping Tom (1960)
peepingtom
Peeping Tom had been a hole in my viewing list for a long time. I finally set aside the time to spend with it…then rewatched it a few days later. This movie is haunting and terrifying, while still remaining quite tame in what’s displayed on screen. Sympathetic antagonists are consistently something that I appreciate. It’s not easy to pull off, but when it is done successfully, few things make me happier.

 
Jodorowsky’s Dune (2013)
dune
This documentary is the ultimate tale of passion, even if framed around a failed project. Heartbreaking in it’s “what if this had been made? It would have changed EVERYTHING!”, I found myself inspired throughout. The film’s greatest accomplishment is that it avoids the traps of an “insider club” doc; the message would resonate, even if you did not previously know of the players involved.

 
Her (2013)
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I am still a bit melancholy after seeing this a week ago…which is why it made my list. It is a beautiful film (except for the awful pants) that needs very little to build out a Utopian (on the possible verge of Dystopian?) sci-fi world. Performances all around were wonderful.

 
OXV: The Manual (2013)
oxv
THIS movie is why I love film festivals. I saw this during Fantasia in Montreal and possibly wouldn’t have been otherwise exposed to it. It’s beautiful, haunting, and original. Along with UPSTREAM COLOR and HER, this is another successful addition to the lo-fi sci-fi group of movies I adore.

 
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)
dwarfs
I saw this as part of the Herzog retrospective at Lincoln Center. It stayed top of mind for days after I saw it. It is a crazy ride of psychedelic insanity. It has a fairly shallow story, but the imagery and sound design will stay with me for a very long time.

 
The Act of Killing (2012)
act
This one has sooo much buzz around it…and it is worth all of that and more. Over halfway into the movie, I was not completely sold on the concept. By the end, I could barely contain the tears. I very much look forward to watching the 166min director’s cut (included on the Drafthouse Films release).

 
Portrait of Jason (1967)
jason
This is one of those films that was playing at IFC Center, so we went. I had no expectations…and was blown away. This is a great example of how a single, dynamic character (and booze) is sometimes all you need.

 
Come Back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
5anddime
Only available on VHS, this film never made the jump to DVD or Blu. It is packed with fantastic performances by Cher, Karen Black and Kathy Bates. I saw many Altman films this year for the first time and this is the one that stuck with me the most.

 
Spring Breakers (2012)
sprang
SPRANG BREAK 4 EVA! On the surface, this is a ridiculous movie. There is so much more to it. Satire in a delicious candy coating.

 

Most special film to me this year:
REWIND THIS!
rt

My first feature film that brought about many firsts in my life: My first SXSW premiere, trip to asia, experiences with distribution and legal teams. I had the opportunity to work with two of my very best friends through the journey. I have met many people through this project who have left a lasting impact on my life.

I am still contemplating a next project, but I know that Rewind This! will continue to hold a very dear place in my heart.