Thursday, January 02, 2014

2013 Films

Another year done... 2013 was kind of an off year for me and films - I didn't see all that many (though I think I beat 2012, which kind of surprises me) - and wasn't exactly overwhelmed by the ones I did see. It certainly seemed that there were a lot more weeks this year than usual where I didn't care if I saw any new films or not. Strange. But now at the end - it's not a bad collection. Actually, in terms of movies I saw in theaters this year - a rather strong year, though a lot of it was because the stragglers from 2012 turned out to be very good.

And - I do wonder how much of my general negative attitude toward this year's films comes from my inability to do a lot of writing about new films. I have completely lost the habit of reviewing new films, even in capsules - a habit I need to try to get back... I did a lot more writing about old films, whether associated with my directors series, or with the Wonders in the Dark's Western Countdown - certainly, Japanese films and Westerns made a lot more impression on me than the new stuff.

But that's still not quite fair. I look at the list below, and realize there were some very good films out this year. And quite a few good films beyond the 25. (Of course that might be a result of cutting back on film going - being even more careful than usual to only go to films that I know I will be impressed by. Though that takes a lot of the fun out of it - takes the chance of being surprised away, which is a shame. I have to work against that.) Okay - that is enough. Here then - the best films I saw, that were released commercially, in Boston, in 2013:

1. The Act of Killing
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Blue is the Warmest Color
4. Beyond the Hills
5. 56 Up
6. Apres Mai
7. Tabu
8. Inside Llewyn Davis
9. Like Someone in Love
10. Computer Chess
11. Stories We tell
12. The Hunt
13. Ain't them Bodies Saints
14. Post Tenebras Lux
15. Much Ado About Nothing
16. Night Across the Street
17. Frances Ha
18. Mud
19. The Great Beauty
20. No
21. Ginger and Rosa
22. Upstream Color
23. Before Midnight
24. Enough Said
25. I Used to be Darker

And now - though it's early, of course - the best films dated in 2013:

1. 12 Years a Slave
2. Blue is the Warmest Color
3. Inside Llewyn Davis
4. Computer Chess
5. Ain't them Bodies Saints
6. The Great Beauty
7. Upstream Color
8. Before Midnight
9. Enough Said
10. I Used to Be Darker

Finally, a look back at 2012 - which is retrospect, looks a lot stronger than I thought. I remain completely sold on those top 2 films - 2 of the best of the century. But there's a lot of depth there too. Good year.

This was my immediate top ten for 2012:

1. Moonrise Kingdom
2. The Master
3. Barbara
4. Killing them Softly
5. Lincoln
6. Django Unchained
7. Compliance
8. The Central Park Five
9. Keep the Lights On
10. How to Survive a Plague

And retrospectively:

1. Moonrise Kingdom
2. The Master
3. Amour
4. The Act of Killing
5. Beyond the Hills
6. Barbara
7. 56-Up
8. Apres Mai
9. In Another Country
10. Tabu
11. Like Someone in Love
12. Stories We Tell
13. The Hunt
14. Zero Dark Thirty
15. Post Tenebras Lux
16. Much Ado About Nothing
17. Killing them Softly
18. Night Across the Street
19. Lincoln
20. Frances Ha
21. Mud
22. Ginger and Rosa
23. No
24. Django Unchained
25. How to Survive a Plague

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