Geoff Gardner
Antony I. Ginnane
Chiranjit Goswami
Jaime Grijalba
Lee Hill
Alexander Horwath
Florent Houde
Peter Hourigan
Cerise Howard
Christoph Huber
Dominik Kamalzadeh
Daniel Kasman
Christopher Kearney
Simon Killen
Rainer Knepperges
Bogna M Konior
Jay Kuehner
Adam Kuntavanish
Marc Lauria
Maximilian Le Cain
Dennis Leachman
Kevin B. Lee
Dennis Lim
David McDougall
JB Mabe
Fidel Jesús Quirós Maqueira
Miguel Marias
Dmitry Martov
Adrian D. Mendizabal
Peter Meredith
David W. Miller
Olaf Möller
Brent Morrow
Jorge Mourinha
Bill Mousoulis



Blogs away on matters of film interest.

New Films

Ai de tishen(All Apologies, Emily Tang, 2012)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
Khers (The Bear, Khosro Masumi, 2012)
Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, 2012)
Kriegerin (Combat Girls, David Wnendt, 2011)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
Gangs of वासेपुर(Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap, 2012)
Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
Soog (Mourning, Morteza Farshbaf, 2011)
No (Pablo Lorraín, 2012)
Los pasos doble (The Double Steps, Isaki Lacuesta, 2011)
Ren shan ren hai (People Mountain People Sea, Cai Shangjun, 2011)
Sharqiya (Ami Livne, 2012l)
Arekara (Since Then, Shinozaki Makoto, 2012)
Neukdae sonyeon (A Werewolf Boy, Jo Sung-hee, 2012)
Wu xia (Dragon, Peter Ho-sun Chan, 2011)

Plus, revealing a late age conversion, TV on DVD

Luther, series 1&2, Downtown Abbey series 1,2 & Christmas Special, Treme, series 2, The Killing, series 1&2, Berlin Alexanderplatz, The Hour, Sherlock series 2, State of Play and Cambridge Spies

Plus, old films (some seen for the first time, some in gorgeous new restorations in cinemas or on DVD)

Bedevil (Tracey Moffatt, 1993), Black Jack (Ken Loach, 1979), Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958), La Grande Guerra (The Great War, Mario Monicelli, 1959), The Hitler Gang (John Farrow, 1944), Ningen no joken (The Human Condition, Masaki Kobayashi, 1957-61), The More the Merrier (George Stevens, 1943), O slavnosti a hostech (The Party and the Guests, Jan Nemec, 1966), Pursued (Raoul Walsh, 1947), Twilight’s Last Gleaming (Robert Aldrich, 1977), Wild Girl (Raoul Walsh, 1932)

The fact that the only Australian film mentioned anywhere was made a couple of decades ago by a director who was never given the opportunity to make another feature film speaks volumes for the current miserable circumstances in which our national cinema finds itself.



Producer, distributor and commentator, Melbourne / Los Angeles. President of FG Film Productions (Australia) Pty Ltd / IFM World Releasing Inc.; currently producing Patrick and Blowback in Australia.

Top 10 (Eligibility: 2012 theatrical, festival or premiere DVD first release in the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand – listed alphabetically by title)

Jodaelye Nader az Simin(A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
Extraordinarily stylish thriller – elegantly balancing passion and pain in an alien landscape.

The Grey (Joe Carnahan, 2012)
Man against the elements. Man against animals. A taut Cornel Wilde piece that grows progressively bleaker and nihilistic.

Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
Surprisingly gentle, emotional and heartfelt tale of death and grief told with the clinical, but never cynical Haneke eye.

Killer Joe (William Friedkin, 2012)
Friedkin’s obsession with pathological excess reaches new heights in this cocktail of decadence and perversity blended with a macabre sense of humour.

Polisse (Maïwenn, 2011)
Melville meets Giovanni with a feminist Hawksian edge. Cops under pressure in a tough job. 

Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)
Affleck is well on his way to assuming Eastwood’s mantle as the last classicist. A blend of ‘70s political thriller, procedural and Hollywood inside joke.

End of Watch (David Ayer, 2012)
Modernist Richard Fleischer / Richard Brooks update filtered through a cinema-verite style.

Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption, GarethEdwards, 2011)
A reverse of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13(1976)and Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo (1959) (with the heroes on the outside). Pitch perfect low budget action thriller.

Trouble with the Curve (Robert Lorenz, 2012)
Eastwood’s shadow looms long over this work by his acolyte Lorenz. Ruminations on old age, father-daughter relationships and the Eisenhower American past consume this simple yet moving tale.

Haywire (Steven Soderberg, 2012)
Kinetic pop art sparking off a balletic performance by Gina Carano and Soderberg’s weary post Contagion (2011) worldview.

Other titles that have excited or inspired me during the year include:

  1. Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows (Guy Ritchie, 2011)
  2. Hodejegeme (Headhunters, Morten Tyldum, 2011)
  3. Underworld Awakening (Mans Marlind, Bjorn Stein, 2012)
  4. Savages (Oliver Stone, 2012)
  5. Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)
  6. Margin Call (J.C Chandor, 2012)
  7. Vous n’avez pas rien vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Alain Resnais, 2012)
  8. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  9. Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)
  10. Lawless (John Hillcoat, 2012)
  11. Man with the Iron Fists(RZA, 2012)
  12. Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)
  13. Magic Mike (Steve Soderberg, 2012)
  14. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012)
  15. The Dark Knight Rises(Christopher Nolen, 2012)
  16. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)
  17. In Darkness (Agnieszka Holland, 2012)
  18. Arbitrage (Nicolas Jarecki, 2012)
  19. Seven Psychopaths (Michael McDonagh, 2011)
  20. Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter (Timur Beckmambetov, 2012)


Resides in Winnipeg, Canada, where a number of notable 2012 movies have yet to arrive, so he regrets not being able to attend TIFF this past fall.

Best Films of 2012

  1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  2. Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)
  3. Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)
  4. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
  5. Killer Joe (William Friedkin, 2011)
  6. Looper (Johnson, 2012)
  7. Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
  8. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)
  9. Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino, 2012)
  10. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (David Gelb, 2011) & Bernie (Richard Linklater, 2011)

Honourable Mentions:

Surprisingly Hilarious, Discreetly Perceptive

21 Jump Street (Phil Lord & Chris Miller, 2012)
Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2012)

Dependable Delivery

Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2011)
Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012)
The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)

Captivating Debut

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)

Fascinatingly Forsaken

John Carter (Andrew Stanton, 2012)

Mesmerising Misfires

Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)
Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)



Chilean wanna-be screenwriter and filmmaker that wastes his time reviewing films and watching them, not in that order.

Films released this year in any part of the world and that were made available to me in some way, either theatrically, festivals, DVDs, etc.

1. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
At this moment, this is my favourite Haneke film of those I’ve seen, mainly because he is not afraid to show feelings, which undoubtedly affect the audience. A sensation that makes you empathise with the main characters, and not just regard them with shock at their actions (as in earlier Haneke films). The two leads easily bestow the best acting of the year and the finest examples of ‘senior’ acting, surpassing any young people with expectations, while trying to overcome their own limits. Beautiful and tear-worthy, this is the best film of the year in its script, direction, acting and framing, and easily the best movie of the decade that just began.

2. The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)
One of the biggest movies that came out this year, it also happened to be one of the best that I saw. Maybe it is the weakest link of the three films, but it’s like saying that one of the stars in the sky shines less than the others… in the end it’s still a star. Having a thematic consistency has been a great thing for Christopher Nolan and his films, and the theme of rising and resurrection of the characters in the film is one that is followed visually, musically and in the script, giving it a powerful message and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats through the entire runtime. The last hour is so suspenseful that one better check one’s body before seeing it, for they may have a hard time sitting down after being so tense about how the situations will play out. Batman is indisputably now out of our lives and I’m ready for something completely different.

3. Indie Game: The Movie (Lisanne Pajot, James Swirsky, 2012)
How can a documentary so specific in its world- and subject-matter be so inspiring and great? How have two first-time directors managed to create one of the best edited, best shot and most beautiful documentaries of recent years? Here is a commentary on modern art and, more broadly, on the way creativity works, indifferent to the actual subject matter: video games. It looks good, it sounds good, it has a narrative, it makes you care and love the people that are in it, you are immersed in their problems and you celebrate their triumphs. It’s been a while since a debut film has blown me out of the water so profoundly and greatly. Truly, this is a masterpiece and one of the films that may start the debate on the subject of “why are we debating whether video games are art when they so obviously are?”

4. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Magic was the only word that I could come up with when the film finished playing and the applause was heard from the audience. What is the reasoning behind all that is happening? Who cares, really? There is this character played to perfection by Denis Lavant transiting and playing different roles in a world that seems to be ours but at the same time isn’t, as doubles and doppelgängers roam the city in white limousines conducted by ghostly figures who seem to be connected to God, while their talking cars are as holy as their motors. Does it make sense to you? No? Well, it is an experience to be felt in your mind and body and for your own pleasure. A great love letter to cinema, as much as Leos Carax doesn’t want it to be.

5. Safety Not Guaranteed (Colin Trevorrow, 2012)
Sometimes a film just blindsides you, and that is the case with this indie comedy with elements of science fiction. The plot and the characters initially seem simple, but then the film begins to narrate something much more profound, something relating to the relationship between ourselves as human beings. We are taught to understand people’s emotions and reasons, no matter how crazy they are, if you have a passion you must follow it all the way to the other side of the world if you need to. This is a film that surprises with its ending, its superb acting and more than anything, its feelings.

6. Gyakuten saiban (Ace Attorney, Takashi Miike, 2012)
Video game adaptations aren’t at the top of the list in anyone’s mind, but here comes Takashi Miike to shut us up, because here we have a great and emotional adaptation of a video game, that feels like one and looks like one. It is funny and suspenseful, following the beats and tropes of Japanese gaming culture as well as the world that was created for the Ace Attorney series of games. One marvels at the images, the colours, the special effects and the style in every frame.

7. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
As Wes Anderson moves closer to the world of children, he moves closer to my heart. It is true that Fantastic Mr. Fox was his first film that I actually liked, and with this one he comes across as a wonderful filmmaker who knows his audience and his tropes. On this occasion however he utilises them within an emotional storyline about true love and emotional connection at an innocent age. There are some unforgettable moments in this one. Great, great, great.

8. Where the Eagles Fly (Carlos Klein, 2012)
It is a strange and awkward sensation when you find a “making-of” (sorta) of another film to be better than the film itself, well, that is the case in this film directed by the Chilean director Carlos Klein, who followed Victor Kossakovsky through the shooting of his latest film Vivan las Antipodas! (2011), and in some way makes up for the failings of that latest film, by splitting time between narrative and character-based moments and the beautiful imagery of the world. Here we find out that Kossakovsky is one odd fellow, a character one could watch on a reality show and never be bored of (now, that is something I never thought I’d say).

9. The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)
The biggest, loudest, most incredible film of the summer deserves those adjectives, mainly because it’s a dream come true. It’s better than all the other Marvel movies because the direction manages to give each character substantial screen time. Also, the personal narratives are present in a story that tries to encapsulate everything that they represent as a team trying to defend the world at every moment. A movie for the fans and for people who like movies as spectacle.

10. Las cosas como son (Things as They Are, Fernando Lavanderos, 2012)
Chilean cinema has come into its own this year, in terms of films appearing in festivals and winning prizes internationally, and this is one of the best narrative Chilean films in a year more dominated by documentaries. Directed in a personal and economical way, this film tells the simple story of a young house owner, who rents his rooms to foreign students who have come to Chile for short-term stays. Summer comes and he is left alone with a Norwegian woman who is taking summer classes. Their relationship and how it builds is a thing of discovery of acting and great moments. Truly, one of the best moments at the cinema this year.

11. La chica del sur (The Girl from the South, José Luis García, 2012)
A documentary from Argentina that twists around and finds trouble in South Korea regarding one of the most famous people in the country: the girl of unification, who is still alive today.

12. Ruby Sparks (Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, 2012)
A fantasy that works, feels and looks like a fairytale that comes from the most beautiful and at the same time the darkest place of our minds. Greatly acted.

13. Gyo (Gyo: Tokyo Fish Attack, Takayuki Hirao, 2012)
Mainstream Japanese anime has never been this gross and unsettling. A film that manages to make you feel sick, as the smell of dead fish gets into your nose.

14. [REC]³ Génesis (Paco Plaza, 2012)
A complete diversion from the first two films in the best way possible. This is good handling of the franchise, entertaining, gory and intelligent in its script and characters.

15. Pieta (Kim Ki-duk, 2012)
Strong Korean drama from one of the country’s master directors. Acted and framed amazingly, a tour de force from all the characters, and a marvellous choice for a main character.

16. Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)
This film won me over when it inserted me in the process of the production of a fake film and how it related to the issues of Iran. The last half hour is superb and a lesson in editing.

17. Las mujeres del pasajero (The Women of the Passerby, Patricia Correa & Valentina MacPherson, 2012)
An impressive short documentary about the women who work at a motel in Santiago de Chile: their stories, their loves, their experiences with the clients in this place.

18. Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)
One must be blind to notposit this as one of the best examples of cinematography today. The colours and the action alone make it worth watching.

19. De jueves a domingo (From Thursday to Sunday, Dominga Sotomayor Castillo, 2012)
Winner of the Rotterdam Film Festival’s Tiger competition, this film is in this list because it reminds me of my life and my travels with my parents. Nostalgic.

20. Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
Hong Sang-ZOOM! 

The Dark Knight Rises


Writer based in London, England. Author of A Grand Guy: The Art and Life of Terry Southern and a BFI book on Easy Rider.

Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)
The Kid With A Bike (Le Gamin au vélo, Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2011)
Aqui y alla (Here and There, Antonio Mendez Esparza, 2012)
No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)
V tumane (In The Fog, Sergei Loznitsa, 2012)
Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012)
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (Drew DeNicola, 2012)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
For No Good Reason (Charlie Paul, 2012)
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

F For Fake (Orson Welles, 1975), End of the Road (Aram Avakian, 1970), Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962), Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980), In the Year of The Pig (Emile Antonio, 1968), Bonjour Tristesse (Otto Preminger, 1958)

Skyfall (Sam Mendes), the career of Christopher Nolan (who was given, God help us, a retrospective at the BFI Southbank this year…a programming low in an otherwise strong year. The Dark Knight Rises will ultimately be remembered for showing Anne Hathaway can kick ass with the best catwomen) and the notion of “serious” blockbusters in general.

A distinct dropping off in terms of quality and variety from the previous year. With the New York Film Festival celebrating its 50th Anniversary and Sight & Sound publishing its once in a decade Critics/Directors poll, it seemed the greatest pleasures I had were in watching non-2012 films. Whether it was Marnie on DVD or F For Fake at an arthouse in Bloomsbury, pouring over the results of the S&S poll or marvelling at the eclectism of the NYC programmers, the best of 2012 was more likely to be found in another part of the time/space continuum that is Cinema History. Opinions differ.

Damsels in Distress


Director of the Austrian Film Museum, Vienna.

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
Anton tut ryadom (Anton’s Right Here, Ljubov Arkus, 2012)
Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
Csak a szél (Just the Wind, Bence Fliegauf, 2012)
All Divided Selves (Luke Fowler, 2012)
Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
Amour (Love, Michael Haneke, 2012)
For Ellen (So Yong Kim, 2012)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
anders, Molussien (differently, Molussia, Nicolas Rey, 2012)
Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl, 2012)


Teacher and writer of Princecranoir blog, France.

I’ve not seen so many films but these are the most exciting to me:

The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011)
War Horse (Steven Spielberg, 2011)
Twixt (Francis F. Coppola, 2011)
Adieu Berthe – l’enterrement de mémé (Granny’s Funeral, Bruno Podalydès, 2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)
The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Killer Joe (William Friedkin, 2011)
Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)
Dans la maison (In the House, François Ozon, 2012)


Leads film discussion groups with the Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne.

With the vagaries of film distribution some of my best films for 2012 appeared on other people’s 2011 lists.

Especially when you’re thinking about the best films of the year, it’s anathema to me to try to rank one film over another. So here are the new films that had the biggest impact on me in the last 12 months, in the order in which I saw them.

Akunin (Villain, Lee Sang-il, 2010)
An amour fou with power and sympathy.

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
Its acclaim is well deserved.

Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
I could wallow in this wonderful film over and over and over.

Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine, 2011)
Not a joyous viewing experience, but powerful.

Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
A procedural can be so much more than just a whodunit.

Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
The tribute to Ozu that rings true not in style but in humanity.

Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
A fascinatingly rich and complex exploration of different ways of telling a story.

Patience (After Sebald) (Grant Gee, 2011)
In description it sounds like a set of study notes for a book, but it transcends that to be a rich experience in its own right.

Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die, Paulo and Vittorio Taviani, 2012)
A performance explores Shakespeare with depth and incredible contemporary relevance.

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
This masterpiece will get richer with each viewing, I am sure.

I should also note Werner Herzog’s humane achievement with both Into the Abyss (2011) and the related four-part documentary series On Death Row (2012).

Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation)


Freelance writer, peregrine film critic, and Artistic Director of the Czech and Slovak Film Festival, debuting in Melbourne in 2013.

Screen cultural highlights for the year that was 2012

Best seen in, or shortly to be in, general release in Melbourne:

Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
Exhausting, with barely a misstep. For a film with the hunt for Osama Bin Laden as its principal narrative concern, it’s a powerful, unexpected rejoinder to all those who carped about Bigelow’s becoming the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar, for the very boysy The Hurt Locker (2008), as being only a qualified triumph for feminism.

Les Misérables (Tom Hooper, 2012)
It peaks far too early, but what a peak! Anne Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” is a wrenching revelation.

Highly honourable mentions:

Chronicle (Josh Trank, 2012), The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011); La source des femmes (The Source, Radu Mihăileanu, 2011), Hearat Shulayim (Footnote, Joseph Cedar, 2011), Lore (Cate Shortland, 2012), Polisse (Maïwenn, 2011), Hail (Amiel Courtin-Wilson, 2011), I Am Eleven (Genevieve Bailey, 2011), Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012), All The Way Through Evening (Rohan Spong, 2011), Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011), The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard, 2011)

Best (first) seen at the Melbourne International Film Festival:

Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
As magnificently surreal a piece of hand-wringing fence-sitting over the whole analogue-digital cusp period clusterfuck we are all of us surprised to find has so suddenly caught up with us, as one could possibly ever hanker for. Absolutely, singularly brilliant.

Highly honourable mentions:

Kiseki (I Wish, Hirokazu Koreeda, 2011), Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012), Poulet aux prunes (Chicken with Plums, Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, 2011), Alois Nebel (Tomáš Luňák, 2011), Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012), Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012), Love Story (Florian Habicht, 2011), Call Me Kuchu (Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, 2012)

Best animated works:

Romance (Georges Schwizgebel, 2011)
Bobby Yeah (Robert Morgan, 2011)
Tram (Michaela Pavlátová, 2012)
Tatsumi (Eric Khoo, 2011) 

Best seen elsewhere, in the wider world:

Histórias Que Só Existem Quando Lembradas (Found Memories, Júlia Murat, 2011)
Countdown (Huh Jong-ho, 2011)
Xiao Shi Da Kan (Honey PuPu, Chen Hung-I, 2011)
Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption, Gareth Evans, 2011)
Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo, 2011)
Keep the Lights On (Ira Sachs, 2012)
In Search of Avery Willard (Cary Kehayan, 2012)
Not least for the anthropological work performed in the fictionalised-yet-actual documentary film-within-the-film.
Laurence Anyways (Xavier Dolan, 2012)
Hors les murs (Beyond the Walls, David Lambert, 2012)

Best retrospectives:

Nocturnal Transmissions: The Cinema of Guy Maddin at ACMI
Already a glorious, unexpected feast for a Maddin devotee such as myself, Maddin’s co-curation of the event led to some truly inspired, delirious double bills, like his Keyhole (2011) running back-to-back with, if anything, the even more gleefully demented Hausu (House, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi, 1977).

Highly honourable mentions:

Jean Epstein: Bonjour Cinema at MIFF and, all courtesy of The Melbourne Cinémathèque: Immortal Stories: The Living Cinema of Raúl Ruiz; Elia Kazan: The Outsider; The Power of Desire: The Decadent Visions of Josef von Sternberg; Borderlines: Selected Works by Claire Denis.

Everything is cinema, more or less: Greatest extra-cinematic happenings of 2012:

Jan Švankmajer: Dimensions of Dialogue – Between Film and Fine Art in the House at the Stone Bell in Prague’s Old Town Square (26 October 2012 – 3 February 2013)

Room after Rudolphinian room a-glut with Švankmajeriana. Magical, obsessive, capital-S Surrealist objects abound, all riffing on relationships, direct or indirect, with Švankmajer’s 48-year-long filmic output. Featured one film, whether long or short form, looping in its entirety in each room, and with the exhibition’s great plenty of uncanny objects organised correspondingly. Magnificent!

Yet, an even bigger, albeit far more fleeting, personal Švankmajer highlight for 2012 was finding myself locking eyes with the man himself as he disembarked from a tram immediately before me early one chilly November morning in Prague, ahead of promptly scuttling into the Malostranská metro station, thence, one can only presume, to undergo some sort of Archimboldo-esque transformation, to transmutate into an oversize marionette, or somesuch…

Slovanská epopej (The Slav Epic, Alfons Mucha, 1912-1928), now hanging permanently, if not without controversy, at Veletržní Palace, a campus of the National Gallery in Prague

I was struck, over the necessary three hours of my first viewing and attempted digestion of the Art Nouveau titan’s 20-colossal-canvas-strong magnum opus, how much “The Slav Epic” has, in fact, in common with the particular art form to have been the most nouveau of all in its time.

The years of its production largely correspond with that in which cinema’s vocabulary was being established. Is it any coincidence, then, that Mucha’s masterwork, spanning 20 big screens and several hundred years of historical narrative, is full of visual devices recognisable from the cinema, from extreme close-ups and expressionistic lighting effects, through to direct addresses “to camera” and vignetted elements superimposing phantastical elements upon scenes rooted in reality (if a reality with which Mucha is acknowledged to have taken a few liberties)?

OK – it might be a stretch to press a claim for “The Slav Epic” as cinema, per se, but, nonetheless, Mucha’s breathtaking masterpiece is my big screen event of the year.
William Kentridge: Five Themes at ACMI

Five Themes was, for me, ACMI’s best exhibition since Eyes, Lies & Illusions back in 2006-07, with which it had quite a bit more in common than I had anticipated. Kentridge’s three model theatres prepared for his 2005 production of the Mozart opera The Magic Flute, replete with film projections, automata and interrogations of the worst excesses of colonialism, were especially magnificent.

Georges Schwizgebel exhibition in theCantonal and University Library, Fribourg, Switzerland

A fascinating, treasured look behind-the-scenes at the methodology employed by the Swiss supremo in producing his gorgeous, painterly, Escherian animations.
Goblin during Melbourne Music Week

Goblin, best known for their prog rock soundtracks to several of Dario Argento’s best films, graced Melbourne with two shows, one an out-and-out greatest hits rock package at the Melbourne Town Hall using, if not as heavily as the hype might have suggested, the Grand Organ, and the other a live score to Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977). I had never imagined I’d ever witness either.

With Suspiria, the liveness of the music, the sheer improbable, unprecedented actuality of its being Goblin performing that extraordinary score beneath the big screen of ACMI Cinema 2, more than countered the diminution of the experience brought about by a projection of a quality which sadly didn’t do the extraordinary visual beauty of the film justice. Still: Goblin! In Melbourne!

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge – Q&A with Stuart Grant of the Primitive Calculators at ACMI, courtesy of Speakeasy Cinema
A fascinating, consciousness-raising discussion and promotion of pandrogyny, featuring a perfect match of interviewee and interlocutor in the wake of a screening of Marie Losier’s marvellous documentary, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye (2011).

2012’s greatest triumph for film culture in Melbourne:

The social media-led campaign ensuring that Melbourne’s sole remaining single-screen picture palace of yesteryear, St Kilda’s grand Art Deco Astor Theatre, is still with us and, indeed, even flourishing! May it ever be so.

Best filmmaker parody account on Twitter:

No contest. With throwaway gold like this effort from 4 December, “i 1ce bet terruns malick a bag of skitles that he cudnt film 2 hours of twigs and win a parms dorz 4 it. i owe him skitles lol #teamhaneke”, the winner is, of course, @Michael_Haneke.

Zero Dark Thirty


Film critic for Die Presse, Vienna.

2012: Ten startling standouts

Sennen no Yuraku (The Millennial Rapture, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012) & 11.25 Jiketsu no hi, Mishima Yukio to wakamonotachi (11.25: The Day He Chose His Own Fate,Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012) & Kaien Hoteru – burû (Petrel Hotel Blue, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
Angriff auf die Demokratie – Eine Intervention (Romuald Karmakar, 2012)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl, 2012) & Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith, Ulrich Seidl, 2012) & Paradies: Hoffnung (Paradise: Hope, Ulrich Seidl, 2012)
La madre (Jean-Marie Straub, 2012)
Das unsichtbare Mädchen (Dominik Graf, 2011)& Lawinen der Erinnerung (Dominik Graf, 2012)
Gangs of वासेपुर(Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap, 2012)
A Messenger from the Shadows (Notes on Film 06/Monolog 01) (Norbert Pfaffenbichler, 2012)
Dracula 3D (Dario Argento, 2012) & Dredd 3D (Pete Travis, 2012) & Resident Evil: Retribution 3D (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012) & Piranha 3DD (John Gulager, 2012)

The treasure trove

a) Three jolly journeys

Der Fahnder: Nachtwache (Dominik Graf, 1993) & Bittere Unschuld (Dominik Graf, 1999) & München – Geheimnisse einer Stadt (Dominik Graf, Michael Althen, 2000) & Hotte im Paradies (Dominik Graf, 2002) & Der Weg, den wir nicht zusammen gehen (Dominik Graf, 2009)

9 dnej odnogo goda (Nine Days in One Year, Michail Romm, 1962) & Zastava Ilijča (Marlen Chuciev, 1963) & Pered sudom istorii (Facing the Judgment of History, Fridrich Ėrmler, 1965) & Vremja, vpered! (Time, Forward!, Michail Švejcer, Sof’ja Mil’kina, 1965) & Rabočij poselok (Workers’ Quarters, Vladimir Vengerov, 1965)

Kommunikation – Ton der Verständigung (Edgar Reitz, 1961) & Vormittag eines alten Herrn (Peter Pewas, 1962) & Es muß ein Stück vom Hitler sein (Walter Krüttner, 1963) & Der heiße Frieden (Friedrich Khittl, 1965) & Für meine Kinder – von Vati (Ulrich Schamoni, 1969)

b) Ten delicious double features

Black Moon (Roy William Neill, 1934) & The Woman in Green (Roy William Neill, 1945)
Cesta duga godinu dana (The Year Long Road, Giuseppe De Santis, 1958) & Tre ipotesi sulla morte di Pinelli (Elio Petri, 1970)
The Big Trail (Grandeur Version) (Raoul Walsh, 1931) & Sailor’s Luck (Raoul Walsh, 1933)
Poslednyaya noch (The Last Night, Julij Raizman, 1937) & Kommunist (Julij Raizman, 1958)
The Last Horror Film (David Winters, 1982) & Maniac 2: Mr. Robbie (Buddy Giovinazzo, 1986)
The Maggie (Alexander Mackendrick, 1954) & Sammy Going South (Alexander Mackendrick, 1963)
Forever Amber (Otto Preminger, 1947) & The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (Otto Preminger, 1955)
Skazanie o zemle Sibirskoj (Song of the Siberian Earth, Ivan Pyr’ev, 1948) & Kubanzkie Kazaki (Cossacks of the Cuban, Ivan Pyr’ev, 1950)
The Real Glory (Henry Hathaway, 1939) & Brigham Young – Frontiersman (Henry Hathaway, 1940)
Incubo sulla città contaminata (Nightmare City, Umberto Lenzi, 1980) & Return of the Living Dead III (Brian Yuzna, 1993)

c) 20 enduring ecstasies

The Fearmakers (Jacques Tourneur, 1958)
Priklyucheniya Sherloka Kholmsa I doktora Vatsona: Dvadtsatyy vek nachinaetsya (The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson: The 20th Century Begins, Igor Maslennikov, 1986)
Himala (Miracle, Ishmael Bernal, 1982)
The Traveling Executioner (Jack Smight, 1970)
¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (Who Can Kill A Child?, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, 1976)
Norman Mailer’s Untitled (Norman Mailer, 1947)
Trás-os-montes (Antonio Reis, Margarida Cordeiro, 1976)
Dai Chushingura (The 47 Ronin, Kinugasa Teinosuke, 1932)
Friese-Greene Biocolor – Poster On Hoarding (1912)
S’Margritli und d’Soldate. Ernstes und Heiteres aus der Grenzbesetzung (August Kern, 1940)
Tell Me Lies (Peter Brook, 1968)
Tourist Trap (David Schmoeller, 1979)
Oflag XVII A (prisoners collective, 1954)
India (Armando Bó, 1960)
Un uomo in ginocchio (Damiano Damiani, 1980)
Penetration Angst (Wolfgang Büld, 2003)
Chôju giga (The Satirical Animal Scrolls, Yasuo Matsukawa, 1966)
This Love of Ours (William Dieterle, 1945)
Triptih Agate Schwarzkobler (Triptych of Agate Schwarzkobler, Matjaž Klopčić, 1997)
Miliz in der Früh (Hans Scheugl, 1966)
Delírios de um Anormal (Hallucinations of a Deranged Mind, José Mojica Marins, 1978)


Film critic and journalist, Vienna.

Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Reality (Matteo Garrone, 2012)
Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
Du zhan (Drug War, Johnny To, 2012)
Starlet (Sean Baker, 2012)
Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)
Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)

15 older films (on DVD and in retrospectives)

Mistérios de Lisboa (Mysteries of Lisbon, Raul Ruiz, 2010)
De la guerre (Bertrand Bonello, 2008)
Na srebrnym globie (On the Silver Globe, Andrzej Zulawski, 1987)
Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011)
La faute de l’abbé Mouret (The Demise of Father Mouret, Georges Franju, 1970)
Thomas l’imposteur (Thomas the Imposter, Georges Franju, 1965)
Donovan’s Reef (John Ford, 1963)
Anna (Alberto Grifi & Massimo Sarchielli, 1975)
Recordacoes da cas amarela (Recollections of the Yellow House, João César Monteiro, 1989)
Trás-os-Montes (Antonio Reis & Margarida Cordeiro, 1976)
Spione (Spies, Fritz Lang, 1928)
Walden (Jonas Mekas, 1969)
Bunny Lake is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965)
Whirlpool (Otto Preminger, 1949)
Fallen Angel (Otto Preminger, 1945)



Editor of MUBI, New York.

NEW / NEW – premiering films first seen in 2012

11·25 jiketsu no hi: Mishima Yukio to wakamono-tachi (11/25 The Day Mishima Chose His Fate, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012)
Ai to makoto (For Love’s Sake, Takashi Miike, 2012)
anders, Molussien (differently, Molussia, Nicolas Rey, 2012)
August and After (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2012)
Bella addormentata (Dormant Beauty, Marco Bellocchio, 2012)
Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
Perret in Frankreich und Algerien (Perret in France and Algeria, Heinz Emigholz, 2012)
Burning Star (Josh Solondz, 2012)
Che sau (Motorway, Soi Cheang, 2012)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
Departure (Ernie Gehr, 2012)
The Extravagant Shadows (David Gatten, 2012)
Flight (Robert Zemeckis, 2012)
Gangs of वासेपुर(Gangs of Wasseypur, Anurag Kashyap, 2012)
O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution ­– Masao Adachi (It May Be That Beauty Has Reinforced Our Resolve – Masao Adachi, Philippe Grandrieux, 2011)
In the Stone House (Jerome Hiler, 2012)
Jai Bhim Comrade (Anand Patwardhan, 2011)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
The Man Phoning Mum (John Smith, 2012)
Monument Film (Peter Kubelka, 2012)
Never a Foot Too Far, Even (Daichi Saito, 2012)
Nervous Magic Lantern (Ken Jacobs, Flo Jacobs & Aki Onda, 2012)
La noche de enfrente (Night Across the Street, Raúl Ruiz, 2012)
Orpheus (Outtakes) (Mary Helena Clark, 2012)
Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl, 2012)
Passion (Brian De Palma, 2012)
Point de Gaze (Jodie Mack, 2012)
Resident Evil: Retribution 3D (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012)
San zimei (Three Sisters, Wang Bing, 2012)
Saudade (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2012)
Student (Darezhan Omirbayev, 2012)
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012)
The Unspeakable Act (Dan Sallitt, 2012)
View from Acropolis (Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan, 2012)
Viola (Matías Piñeiro, 2012)
Vous n’avez encore rien vu (You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet, Alain Resnais, 2012)
Walker (Tsai Ming-liang, 2012)
the war (James Benning, 2012)

NEW / OLD – films that premiered in past years but were released in the US in 2012

4:44 Last Day on Earth (Abel Ferrara, 2011)
Bernie (Richard Linklater, 2011)
Book chon bang yang (The Day He Arrives, Hong Sang-soo, 2011)
The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011)
Dyut meng gam (Life without Principle, Johnnie To, 2011)
In film nist (This Is Not a Film, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb & Jafar Panahi, 2011)
Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2011)
The Hole (Joe Dante, 2009)
Two Years at Sea (Ben Rivers, 2011)
Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo, 2011)
Tao jie (A Simple Life, Ann Hui, 2011)
Whores’ Glory (Michael Glawogger, 2011)

OLD / OLD – retrospective films theatrically screened in 2012 not previously seen

The Painted Lady (D.W. Griffith, 1912)
The Battle at Elderbush Gulch (D.W. Griffith, 1914)
Straight Shooting (John Ford, 1917)
Cœur fidèle (The Faithful Heart, Jean Epstein, 1923)
Aelita (Aelita: Queen of Mars, Yakov Protazonov, 1924)
Tsukigata Hanpeita (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1925), digest version with sound-on-disc benshi narration
Moana (Robert Flaherty, 1926), with 1981 soundtrack by Monica Flaherty
La Glace à trois faces (The Three-Sided Mirror, Jean Epstein, 1927)
Napoléon (Abel Gance, 1927) 5 ½ hour Kevin Brownlow version
Finis terrae (Jean Epstein, 1929)
Young Eagles (William A. Wellman, 1930)
Ledolom (Thaw, Boris Barnet, 1931)
Mor vran (Sea of Ravens, Jean Epstein, 1931)
Call Her Savage (John Francis Dillon, 1932)
The Conquerors (William A. Wellman, 1932)
L’or des mers (Jean Epstein, 1932)
Wild Girl (Raoul Walsh, 1932)
Central Airport (William A. Wellman, 1933)
L’homme à l’Hispano (The Man with the Hispano Car, Jean Epstein, 1933)
The President Vanishes (William A. Wellman, 1934)
Two Alone (Elliott Nugent, 1934)
She Married Her Boss (Gregory La Cava, 1935)
Zolotoye ozero (The Golden Lake, Vladimir Shnejderov, 1935)
Secret Agent (Alfred Hitchcock, 1936)
Sabotage (Alfred Hitchcock, 1936)
Les bâtisseurs (Jean Epstein, 1938)
La femme du bout du monde (Jean Epstein, 1938)
HA. WEI. March 14, 1938 [archival title] (Anonymous, 1938)
Northwest Passage (King Vidor, 1940)
The Face Behind the Mask (Robert Florey, 1941)
Reaching for the Sun (William A. Wellman, 1941)
Unfinished Business (Gregory La Cava, 1941)
Aventure malgache (Alfred Hitchcock, 1944)
Buffalo Bill (William A. Wellman, 1944)
His Sister’s Secret (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946)
Le tempestaire (Jean Epstein, 1947)
Ruthless (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1948)
Westward the Women (William A. Wellman, 1951)
La macchina ammazzacattivi (The Machine that Kills Bad People, Roberto Rossellini, 1952)
Oflag XVII A (prisoners collective, 1954)
Symphonie mécanique (Jean Mitry, 1955)
The Cry of Jazz (Edward Bland, 1959)
Das magische Band (The Magic Ribbon, Ferdinand Khittl, 1959)
Kommunikation – Technik der Verständigung (Technology of Communication, Edgar Reitz, 1961)
Die Parallelstraße (The Parallel Road, Ferdinand Khittl, 1961)
Two Rode Together (John Ford, 1961)
Machorka-Muff (Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, 1962)
Donovan’s Reef (John Ford, 1963)
Es muß ein Stück vom Hitler sein (That Must Be a Piece of Hitler, Walter Krüttner, 1963)
Kino 1. Geschwindigkeit (Cinema 1. Speed, Edgar Reitz, 1963)
Lehrer (Teacher, Alexander Kluge, 1963)
Os verdes anos (The Green Years, Paulo Rocha, 1963)
The Cavern (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1964)
Der heiße Frieden (The Hot Peace, Ferdinand Khittl, 1965)
Porträt einer Bewährung (Portrait of a Probation, Alexander Kluge, 1965)
Ming Green (Gregory J. Markopoulos, 1966)
Black TV (Aldo Tambellini, 1968)
Massnahmen gegen Fanatiker (Measures Against Fanatics, Werner Herzog, 1969)
Ryakusho renzoku shasatsuma (AKA Serial Killer, Masao Adachi, 1969)
Hong se niang zi jun (The Red Detachment of Women, Pan Fu Jie, Pan Wenzhan, 1970)
Proverka na dorogakh (Trial on the Road, Aleksei German, 1971)
UFOs (Lillian Schwartz, 1971)
Le cousin Jules (Cousin Jules, Dominique Benicheti, 1972)
Enigma (Lillian Schwartz, 1971)
Googolplex (Lillian Schwartz, 1971)
The Girl Chewing Gum (John Smith, 1973)
FM/TRCS (Coleen Fitzgibbon, 1974)
Jaime (António Reis, 1974)
Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, Pier Palo Pasolini, 1975)
11 x 14 (James Benning, 1976)
Epileptic Seizure Comparison (Paul Sharits, 1976)
Trás-os-Montes (António Reis, Margarida Cardoso, 1976)
Le berceau de cristal (Phlippe Garrel, 1976)
Dvadtsat dney bez voyny (Twenty Days without War, Aleksei German, 1977)
One Way Boogie Woogie (James Benning 1977)
A Opção (The Option, Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias, 1981)
Arabic Numeral Series 13-19 (Stan Brakhage, 1981-82)
American Dreams (Lost and Found) (James Benning, 1984)
The Egyptian Series (Stan Brakhage, 1984)
Starman (John Carpenter, 1984)
Tortured Dust (Parts 3 & 4) (Stan Brakhage, 1984)
Runaway Train (Andrey Konchalovskiy, 1985)
Le soulier de satin (The Satin Slipper, Manoel de Oliveira, 1985)
The Loom (Stan Brakhage, 1986)
Night Music (Stan Brakhage, 1986)
The Dante Quartet (Stan Brakhage, 1987)
Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (Tony Buba, 1988)
Na srebrnym globie (On the Silver Globe, Andrzej Zulawski, 1988)
Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité et puis après (Jean Rouch, 1990)
Xavier (Manuel Mozos, 1991)
Village of the Damned (John Carpenter, 1995)
The Belly of America (Luc Moullet, 1996)
The Present (Robert Frank, 1996)
NS-Trilogie (Linda Christanell, 1997)
Khrustalyov, mashinu! (Khrustalyov, My Car!, Aleksei German, 1998)
Routemaster – Theatre of the Motor (SFO Mix) (Ilppo Pohjola, 2000)
Mosaik Mécanique (Norbert Pfaffenbichler, 2008)
Dernier soupir (Jean-Claude Rousseau, 2011)

I apologise, after you scrolled through (or past) the above list that it was so long. There are two reasons: one is that inevitably films that fall into the NEW/NEW category will include a disproportionately higher number of films that have not yet gotten (or, mostly likely, never will get) a theatrical run in the US. This is either because they are festival features too risqué for whatever reason, or they are shorts in some form or another – usually “avant-garde” or “experimental” shorts, which essentially have no official popular release outlet in theatres in the States and can therefore never make “official” critics’ polls for the year at more conservative and unadventurous venues than this one. The second reason, and an easy and simple one, is that 2012 was a banner year for repertory viewing in New York, where I’m based. These included Anthology’s silent and sound Epstein program, IFC Center’s John Carpenter program (to get a large 35mm Carpenter retro in NYC now it has to be shown in a “Midnight” series!), Film Forum’s William A. Wellman series, the collaborative project on Jean Rouch between French Institute Alliance Française and Anthology, David Phelp’s short but essential program putting together a small salvo of filmmakers neglected in the city (Rousseau, Moullet), the as-luck-would-have-it appearance of Soviet films not directed by Eisenstein and Tarkovsky (MoMA’s limited but still new to me Mezhrabpom program; Film Society of Lincoln Center’s nearly unattended but nevertheless complete Aleksei German retrospective); and MoMA’s ever more vital To Save and Project series, which is essentially (and should be marketed as such, like Bologna and Pordenone) a festival of retrospective restorations and preserved prints. This local repertory scene was combined with my festival travels: a good sign of a good film festival is that it features a healthy retrospective element; the sign of a really good one is when the retrospective program is so strong that it actively competes with the new films for everyone’s attention. The Oberhausen, New York and Vienna film festivals all revealed new, wonderful things to me that were “old”. As film viewing shifts more and more to downloads, on demands, and streams, the majority of popular moviewatching and access to movies will be (and certainly already is via hard software like DVDs and Blurays) “retrospective,” and so while I do want to apologise for the length of this list and particularly of titles that seem to have no relevance, perhaps, to you in 2012, I think it is indicative of a shift of the zeitgeist towards individuals accessing cinema of the past more and more often. Except, because I am very lucky, I got to see these almost exclusively projected on film – an experience more and more regarded as something passed. Yet when engaged on filmitself, that past is always present, both “live” and “alive”. So woe-be any reader who finds a list of the films I first saw and discovered on home video or digitally at home this year!

anders, Molussien (differently, Molussia)


Independent screenwriter and teacher of TV Production and English at George M. Steinbrenner High School, Lutz, Florida.
  1. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  2. Hearat Shulayim (Footnote, Joseph Cedar, 2011)
  3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky, 2012)
  4. Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)
  5. Kari-gurashi no Arietti Kari-gurashi no Arietti (Arrietty, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010)
  6. Lincoln (Steven Spielberg, 2012)
  7. Polisse (Maïwenn, 2011)
  8. Le Gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike, Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, 2011)
  9. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011)
  10. Serbuan maut Serbuan maut(The Raid: Redemption, Gareth Evans, 2011)


Melbourne-based distributor.

Ten films that rocked my world in 2012:

1.Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
Morning premiere at Cannes this year, I stopped in to see what Kylie Minogue was doing in there, and had my hair blown backwards by the sheer audaciousness of this epic piece of WTF??

2. Wish You Were Here (Kieran Darcy-Smith, 2012)
We Australians have a very odd relationship with Asia, and this film tugs at that oddness brilliantly. Everything looks bright and shiny whether in Sydney or Cambodia, but what lurks beneath is consistently disturbing. Smart cinema this, a firecracker.

3. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
Took forever to be released, looks snapping fresh. Smart and in love with Manhattan, fills the space that Woody Allen used to inhabit, while being nothing like a Woody Allen film.

4. Bernie (Richard Linklater, 2011)
Effortlessly fascinating, sympathetic and plain funny at times. Jack Black in an underneath-the-radar performance that I dug.

5. The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012)
I think the screen I saw this one was four inches wide, but it’s so well constructed that I never felt it. The best distillation of the spirit of Marvel Comics yet. Iron Man to Thor: “Does thou mother knoweth thou wear her drapes?”!!!

6. Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
Took the kids to see this at The Astor Cinema in Melbourne, the best decorative, vintage cinema in Australia. Marty would have liked that. Great love letter to cinema and childhood by Scorsese.

7. Side By Side (Christopher Kenneally, 2012)
Hosted by Keanu Reeves (no, come back…), this documentary on the transition from celluloid to digital just floored me with what I DIDN’T know about the medium in which I work. It’s a consistently entertaining feast of details about cinema that no-one can afford to miss.

8. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
I’ve never really had a whole lot to say after watching a Haneke film. They just percolate over the weeks, months and years. This one feels better and better in my mind, I can’t wait to go see it again. Unforgettable acting too, if you like that kind of thing – Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant in the house. Literally.

9. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012)
This and The Master tussled for the “man, that’s a dense film that’s clearly a work of genius, but does it connect in the end?” section of my year’s 10. And this one made it, cause the characters absolutely did convey the themes that Dominik was shooting for. Well, I reckon they did, and this is my list.

10. Journal de France (Raymond Depardon & Claudine Nougaret, 2012)
Admission: I bought this film at Cannes, but I’ve seen it four times now, and am no less thrilled each time I see it. Depardon and his producer/wife Claudine Nougaret give us a widescreen view of France, past and present, and a great working model of an effective creative relationship.

And a word on films I caught this year, which would have made last year’s list if I had been a little quicker:

L’exercice de l’État(The Minister, Pierre Schöller, 2011)
Rango (Gore Verbinski, 2011)

and one more note before going back into my cave:

Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods is an absolute blast, and my # 11.



Filmmaker, Cologne, Germany.

My 50 favourite films seen in 2012 for the first time or again after years, in cinemas in Bologna, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Istanbul or simply at home.

In chronological order, my momentary mini-history of film

Barcelonne (Segundo de Chomón, 1912)
Det Hemmelighedsfulde X (The Mysterious X, Benjamin Christensen, 1914)
Male and Female (Cecil B. DeMille, 1919)
The Penalty (Wallace Worsley, 1920)
The Extra Girl (F. Richard Jones, 1923)
Visages d’enfants (Jacques Feyder, 1925)
Gardiens de phare (Jean Grémillon, 1929)
Wild Girl (Raoul Walsh, 1932)
Back Street (John M. Stahl, 1932)
Four Frightened People (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934)
The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936)
L’étrange Monsieur Victor (Strange M. Victor, Jean Grémillon, 1938)
Letter of Introduction (John M. Stahl, 1938)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (William Dieterle, 1939)
It Started with Eve (Henry Koster, 1941)
Quattro passi fra le nuvole (Four Steps in the Clouds, Alessandro Blasetti, 1942)
Random Harvest (Mervyn LeRoy, 1942)
Son of Fury (John Cromwell, 1942)
The Immortal Sergeant (John M. Stahl, 1943)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Sam Wood, 1943)
Since You Went Away (John Cromwell, 1944)
The Eve of St. Mark (John M. Stahl, 1944)
Our Hearts Were Young and Gay (Lewis Allen, 1944)
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (Roy Rowland, 1945)
Lady on a Train (Charles David, 1945)
Panique (Panic, Julien Duvivier, 1947)
Blanche Fury (Marc Allégret, 1948)
Father Was a Fullback (John M. Stahl, 1949)
Rawhide (Henry Hathaway, 1951)
Traité de bave et d’éternité (Venom and Eternity, Isidore Isou, 1951)
Return to Paradise (Mark Robson, 1953)
The Tall Men (Raoul Walsh, 1955)
From Hell to Texas (Henry Hathaway, 1958)
Lonelyhearts (Vincent J. Donehue, 1958)
Never Take Sweets From A Stranger (Cyril Frankel, 1960)
The Savage Innocents (Nicholas Ray, 1960)
Bonanza: Dark Star (Lewis Allen, 1960)
Il demonio (The Demon, Brunello Rondi, 1963)
Sands of the Kalahari (Cy Endfield, 1965)
Brainstorm (William Conrad, 1965)
The Naked Prey (Cornel Wilde, 1966)
Kdo chce zabít Jessii? (Who Wants to Kill Jessie? Vaclav Vorlicek, 1966)
Beach Red (Cornel Wilde, 1967)
Anatahan Anatahan (Martin Müller, 1969)
Popi (Arthur Hiller, 1969)
Die Nacht von Lissabon (The Night in Lisbon, Zbynek Brynych, 1971)
Visions of Eight: The Losers (Claude Lelouch, 1973)
Holocaust (Marvin J. Chomsky, 1978)
The In-Laws (Arthur Hiller, 1978)
JCVD (Mabrouk El Mechri, 2008)

Top Ten 2012

Beziehungsweisen (Negotiating Love, Calle Overweg, 2011)
The Five-Year Engagement (Nicholas Stoller, 2012)
Grandma Lo-Fi (Kristín Kristjánsdóttir, 2011)
The Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)
The Newsroom: “We Just Decided To” (Greg Mottola, 2012)
Sachamanta (Viviana Uriona, 2012)
Searching for Sugar Man (Malik Bendjelloul, 2012)
The Three Stooges (Farrelly Brothers, 2012)
The Watch (Akiva Shaffer, 2012)
Ziehen (Puff, Jutta Riedel, Mirek Balonis, 2012)


Copywriter and a freelance contributor, currently working towards her MA in Film at the University of Amsterdam.
  1. Bunohan (Dain Said, 2011)
  2. Dupa Dealuri (Beyond the Hills, Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
  3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
  4. Kuichisan (Maiko Endo, 2011)
  5. Project Nim (James Marsh, 2011)
  6. Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier, 2011)
  7. Post Tenenbras Lux(Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
  8. The Grey (Joe Carnahan, 2011)
  9. Tôkyô pureibôi kurabu (Tokyo Playboy Club, Yosuke Okuda, 2011)
  10. Room 237 (Rodney Ascher, 2012)
  11. Shock Head Soul (Simon Pummel, 2011)
  12. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)


Dupa Dealuri (Beyond the Hills)


Writer, programmer, contributor to Cinema Scope and Fandor.

Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
Arraianos (Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro, 2012)
Carne de perro (Fernando Guzzoni, 2012)
Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
Viola (Matías Piñeiro, 2012)
small roads (James Benning, 2011)
Winter, Go Away! (Elena Khoreva, Denis Klebeev, Askold Kurov, Dmitry Kusabov, Nadezhda Leonteva, Anna Moiseenko, Madina Mustafina, Sofia Rodkevich, Anton Seregin, Alexey Zhiriakov, 2012)
O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012)
Ji yi wang zhe wo (Memories Look At Me, Song Fang, 2012
Vers Madrid (The Burning Bright!, Sylvain George, 2012)
Inori (Pedro González-Rubio, 2012)
August and After (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2012)
Enjoy Yourself (Gastón Solnicki, 2012)

Highly anticipating in 2013: Manakamana (Pacho Velez & Stephanie Spray).


Writer of Top Ten lists for the Toronto-based online publication Next Projection.

2012 World premiere favourites

1. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
2012’s whirling dervish of movie love and cinematic excavation, ringmastered by a fearless squad of Denis Lavants.

2. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
Wes Anderson marries the literally handcrafted dollhouse aesthetic of his last film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, with the facility for young actors on display in Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums in his most comically poignant evocation of childhood yet.

3. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
The other great limousine film of 2012 finds a perfectly-cast Robert Pattinson as a vacant master of capital surveying the rebellious world his kind created, sleek and digitised but absent of value.

4. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
An enchanting, bifurcated tale of cold post-colonial modernity and wistful erotic passion right under imperialism’s nose, in both glorious black-and-white and veritable silence.

5. ParaNorman (Chris Butler and Sam Fell, 2012)
This stop-motion wonder is gorgeously fluid in style and refreshingly morbid in its outlook, reveling in its protagonist’s outsider status.

6. Tchoupitoulas (Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross, 2012)
Three young brothers missing their ferry home from New Orleans is the mere pretext for an affectionate nighttime odyssey of the post-Katrina French Quarter.

7. Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)
A fleet genre mash-up with emotion to spare, pitting established newcomer Joseph Gordon-Levitt against Bruce Willis, he of the action firmament.

8. Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
As sure and suspenseful as Petzold’s previous movies, with Nina Hoss’s brave visage bringing home the true cost of putting the political ahead of the personal.

9. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
One of the most divisive films of the year, I found it a mysterious and captivating vehicle for two wildly divergent powerhouse performances and PTA’s unerring eye.

10. Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
The vagaries of international releasing means that the US received an abundance of Hong riches this year, with In Another Country as the one true “new release” premiere. It embraces its breezy slightness with some new wrinkles in the usual setup, most notably Isabelle Huppert as a cultural outsider and a riotously funny turn by regular Yoo Jun-sang as a horny lifeguard.

A few 2012 US premiere favourites

The following made their non-festival premieres within the US in 2012 (and I didn’t include them in last year’s Senses of Cinema poll):

Book chon bang yang (The Day He Arrives, Hong Sang-soo, 2011)
Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman, 2011)
The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011)
In film nist (This is Not a Film, Jafar Panahi, 2011)
Oslo, 31. august (Oslo, August 31st, Joachim Trier, 2011)

The Deep Blue Sea


Marc Lauria wrote the screenplay for Dartworth (Andre Seager, 2011), and can say that cinema is not dead!


  1. Keyhole (Guy Maddin, 2011)
  2. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)

Beware of false prophets:

  1. Beyond the Hills (Cristian Mungiu, 2012)
  2. Martha Marcy May Marlene (Sean Durkin, 2011)
  3. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

Child is father to the man:

  1. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)
  2. Hearat Shulayim(Footnote, Joseph Cedar, 2011)
  3. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
  4. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  5. No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)

Happy families:

  1. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
  2. Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, 2011)


Experimental filmmaker, Cork, Ireland.

2012 was, quite simply, the year of Carax’s ineffably refreshing, profoundly moving and unpredictably necessary Holy Motors. I was also blown away byA Torinói ló (The Turin Horse, Béla Tarr, 2011) and Dignity (James Fotopoulos, 2012).

Beyond that, I’d like to propose a local list, a postcard from my far-flung corner of cinema. Underground films by people in, or closely related to, the Irish experimental scene. Ten astonishing, mysterious, beautiful works all made over the past year. Something is happening here…

The Gas Works (Esperanza Collado, 2012)
Persistencies of Sadness & Still Days: Take 1 (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2012)
Light From an Old Town (Dean Kavanagh, 2011)
Indwell Extinction of Hawks in Remoteness (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2012)
Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep (Michael Higgins, 2012)
Structures, Machines, Apparatus and Manufacturing Processes (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2012)
The End of the Earth is My Home (Alan Lambert, 2012)
History of Water (Dean Kavanagh, 2012)
Homo Sapiens Project 126 (Rouzbeh Rashidi, 2011)
Chapter 2 – First Date (Michael Higgins, 2011)

A Torinói ló (The Turin Horse)


Film lover in his sixties, addicted to movies since seeing North by Northwest in 1960s and still passionate as he ever was, Reading, UK.

Best films

Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
Corpo Celeste (Alice Rohrwacher, 2011)
Atmen (Breathing, Karl Markovics, 2011)
A Torinói ló (The Turin Horse, Bela Tarr, 2011)
Ovsyanki(Silent Souls, Aleksei Fedorchenko, 2010)
Nostalgia de la luz (Nostalgia For The Light, Patricio Guzmán, 2010)
L’Oiseau (Yves Caumon, 2012)
Everyday (Michael Winterbottom, 2012)
Wadjda (Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012)
Zhit (Living, Vasili Sigarev, 2011)
Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2011)
Rampart (Oren Moverman, 2011)
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011)
Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011)
Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)

Worst films

Belle du Seigneur (Glenio Bonder, 2012)
Polisse (Maïwenn, 2011)
Berbarian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

Best Discoveries

Chocolat (Claire Denis, 1988)
Bhumika (Shyam Benegal, 1976)
La piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969)


Founding Editor and Chief Video Essayist of Fandor Keyframe; Video Essayist for Sight & Sound Magazine; Vice President of Programming and Education of dGenerate Films.

My best in alphabetical order

Abendland (Nicholas Geyrhalter, 2011)
Book chon bang yang (The Day He Arrives, Hong Sang-soo, 2011)
Consuming Spirits (Chris Sullivan, 2012)
Fei chang yi han (So Sorry, Ai Weiwei, 2012)
Girl Walk // All Day (Jacob Krupnick, 2012)
Girls First Ski Jump (UK2NZ2NC2UT, 2012)
Holy Motors (Léos Carax, 2012)
In film nist (This Is Not a Film, Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb,2011)
In the Family (Patrick Wang, 2011)
Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)
Meanwhile (Hal Hartley, 2011)
O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
Short Films by the Signatories of the Oberhausen Manifesto (1962,Various Directors – screened at Oberhausen Short Film Festival and released on DVD)
The Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)
Tao jie (A Simple Life, Ann Hui, 2011)
Les trois disparitions de Soad Hosni (The Three Disappearances of Soad Hosni, Raina Stephan, 2011)
The Unspeakable Act (Dan Sallitt, 2012)
Wo hai you hua yao shuo (When Night Falls, Ying Liang, 2012)

Book chon bang yang (The Day He Arrives)


Critic, programmer and editorial director of the Museum of the Moving Image, New York.

Top 10 films that premiered in 2012, ranked:

  1. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
  2. Leviathan (Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel, 2012)
  3. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
  4. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
  5. anders, Molussien (differently, Molussia, Nicolas Rey, 2012)
  6. Manha de Santo Antonio (Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day, João Pedro Rodrigues, 2012)
  7. O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
  8. Barbara (Christian Petzold)
  9. A Última Vez que Vi Macau (The Last Time I Saw Macao, João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2012)
  10. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)

A dozen more, alphabetical: Bestiaire (Denis Côté, 2012), Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012), Easy Rider (James Benning, 2012), O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012), Greatest Hits (Nicolás Pereda, 2012), Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012), Ji yi wang zhe wo (Memories Look At Me, Song Fang, 2012), Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012), Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012), No (Pablo Larraín, 2012), Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012), Student (Darezhan Omirbaev, 2012)

Discoveries: Anna (Alberto Grifi & Massimo Sarchielli, 1972-75), Xavier (Manuel Mozos, 1991/2002)


Two 2012 film experiences that redefined, for the author, the nature of emotional experience in the cinema

L’Apollonide – Souvenirs de la maison close (House of Tolerance, Bertrand Bonello, 2011)
Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (Napoléon as seen by Abel Gance, Abel Gance, 1927, Kevin Brownlow Restoration, 2000, score written and conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, 2012)

A 2012 top 15, in order of approximate preference from first to last, beginning with the essential and moving towards the merely moving

L’Apollonide – Souvenirs de la maison close (House of Tolerance, Bertrand Bonello, 2011)
Napoléon vu par Abel Gance (Napoléon as seen by Abel Gance, Abel Gance, 1927, Kevin Brownlow Restoration, 2000, score written and conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Oakland East Bay Symphony, 2012)

Trás-os-Montes (Margarida Cordeiro & Antonio Reis, 1976)

Ana (Margarida Cordeiro & Antonio Reis, 1984)

Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)

The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry, 2011)
In film nist (This Is Not a Film, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb & Jafar Panahi, 2010)
Titanic 3D (James Cameron, 1997/2012)

Jeonju Digital Project 2012, Raya Martin Message (Raya Martin, 2012)

The Return (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2011)
The Enjoyment of Reading (Lost and Found) (David Gatten, 2001)
The Great Art of Knowing (David Gatten, 2004)
August and After (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2012)
Secret History of the Dividing Line (David Gatten, 2002)
Pastourelle (Nathaniel Dorsky, 2010)

Four contenders for worst film of 2012, or, four films that meant nothing at all, in order of increasing embarrassment to the craft of cinema

The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, 2012)
Sun Don’t Shine (Amy Seimetz, 2012)


A filmmaker, programmer, and librarian living in Chicago.

Newer Work:


35mm Slides (Luther Price, 2012)
Point de Gaze (Jodie Mack, 2012)
Mapang-akit (John Torres, 2011)
Optra Field VII & IX (T. Marie, 2011)


A Party Record Packed with Sex and Sadness (Bobby Abate, 2011)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)


Compound Eyes 1-5 (Paul Clipson, 2011)
Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: I Want to Paint it Black (Saul Levine, 2011)
Decorations of the Mind II (Shana Moulton, 2011)
American Discotheque Number One (Deron Williams, 2012)
Larry David as Sister Mary-Mengele in The Three Stooges (Farrelly Brothers, 2012)
Finger Dick (Andy Landen, 2012)
Haunted House (Martin Arnold, 2011)
Bernie (Richard Linklater, 2011)
Life Without Principle (Johnnie To, 2011)
Flying Fish (Tara Nelson, 2012)
Unstoppable (Tony Scott, 2010)


We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)
gains and losses (Leslie Supnet, 2011)
Sounding Glass (Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2011)
This Must be the Place (Luis Arnias, 2011)
The Dictator (Larry Charles, 2012)
Dueling Banjos (Adam Paradis, 2012)


The Super 8 films of Pablo Marín
The Super 8 films of Pablo Valencia


Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, 2011)
Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
Wreck-It Ralph (Rich Moore, 2012)

Older work seen for the first time

Without a doubt, the greatest curators of retrospective titles in Chicago are the folks at The Northwest Chicago Film Society. Julian Antos, Rebecca Hall and Kyle Westphal present films weekly at the (threatened) Portage Theater. I hope they have a long healthy run wherever they end up.


After Tomorrow (Frank Borzage, 1932)
Nightfall (Jacques Tourneur, 1957)
Porch Glider (James Herbert, 1970)
Moy drug Ivan Lapshin(My Friend Ivan Lapshin, Aleksei German, 1984)
Conscious (Julie Murray, 1993)


Ventriloquist Cat (Tex Avery, 1950)
Tr’Cheot’My P’y (Julie Murray, 1988)
Paranoid Park (Gus Van Sant, 2007)


Old Man of the Mountain (Dave Fleischer, 1933)
Christmas In July (Preston Sturges, 1940)
Josie and The Pussycats (Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, 2001)


Werewolf of London (Stuart Walker, 1935)
People Near Here (Ron Finne, 1969)
Welt am Draht (World On A Wire, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)
Jelly Fish Sandwich (Luther Price, 1994)


The Great Gabbo (James Cruze, 1929)
Hallelujah I’m a Bum (Lewis Milestone, 1933)
Thicker Than Water (James W. Horne, 1935)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Don Siegel, 1956)
Deep Westurn (Robert Nelson, 1974)

We Need to Talk About Kevin


Film web site editor, Havana, Cuba.

The significant films that I enjoyed in 2012

As is the case every year, it is impossible to list the remarkable films of the year in Cuba without considering the program of Havana Film Festival, which, while I write this, is still running. So this a partial, limited list of films that I considered remarkable in some regard, but which I definitely enjoyed.

And there is no better way to start than by mentioning the first screening in Havana of a definite cinematic gem, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Satan’s Brew (merely another of his films, each of them a masterpiece), a film that delves into the theme of representations in life, art, and beyond. From here I move to the ubiquitous Hollywood share with peaks such as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Gary Ross‘s Hunger Games; the first a serious look at humanity’s journey on earth, the second a vision of a dehumanised future society not very far from our own, but both succumbing to the unavoidable action-spectacle pace. Also in Hollywood but within an independent streak: Patricia Riggen’s Girl in Progress and Jason Reitman’s Young Adult reveal respectively the socially and psychologically less favoured corners of the American dream.

Steve McQueen’s Shame, an all-British film that takes place in New York, shows a pair of characters contending with lust, loneliness and themselves. Another British film, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, takes place in the severe environment of the middle class, where nothing but evil grows up lavishly. The French surprised with a variation of The Sleeping Beauty – or The Snow Queen? – that turns out to be director Catherine Breillat’s retelling of the Belle endormie fairytale. With French dialogue, and a setting in bleak northern France, Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki’s Le Havre tells a quintessential story of human love and solidarity.

Far to the East, Polish films proved to maintain their greatness with Wojciech Smarzowski’s Rose, naturalist and lyrical at the same time, as it passed through the cultural and political turmoil of the aftermath of World Word II. Suicide Room by fellow Pole Jan Komasa turns to new media in an attempt to express the angst of young people in the world today.

The Cuban cinema, in spite of its small number of productions, keeps offering prodigious films – for instance, Juan Carlos Cremata’s Chamaco, a gritty, exemplary fable. Veteran Enrique Pineda Barnet’s Verde verde, a vital immersion of two male characters in the abyss of homophobia, proved his mastery of storytelling. Surprisingly within the subgenre of zombie flicks, Alejandro Brugués’s Juan of the Dead managed to become the most significant and internationally acclaimed Cuban film of recent years. 7 Days in Havana, by a clutch of international directors, promises to become a cult favourite, in spite of its uneven stories.

In the thriving excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, Brazilians are still able to excel through films of unique artistry, think of this year Cláudio Assis’s Rat Fever or Marcelo Gomes’s Once Upon a Time Was I, Verônica. Argentine cinema showed new aesthetic horizons with the quasi-ethnographic but ultimately poetic look of Alejandro Fadel’s The Wild Ones, 2012. Just before I finished these lines the Havana Festival awarded Pablo Larraín`s No (2012) and Andrés Wood’s Violeta se fue a los cielos(Violeta Went to Heaven, 2011) (which would surely be sure included here if I had managed to see them).

Satansbraten (Satan’s Brew, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1976)
Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)
Hunger Games (Gary Ross, 2012)
Girl in Progress (Patricia Riggen, 2012)
Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011)
Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011)
La Belle Endormie (The Sleeping Beauty, Catherine Breillat, 2010)
Le Havre (Aki Kaurismäki, 2012)
Róza (Rose, Wojciech Smarzowski, 2011)
Sala samobójców (Suicide Room, Jan Komasa, 2011)
Chamaco (Juan Carlos Cremata, 2010)
Verde verde (Enrique Pineda Barnet, 2012)
Juan de los Muertos (Juan of the Dead, Alejandro Brugués, 2011)
7 días en La Habana (7 Days in Havana, Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, Julio Medem, Elia Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tabío, Pablo, 2012)
A Febre do Rato (Rat Fever, Cláudio Assis, 2012)
Era uma vez Eu, Verônica (Once Upon a Time Was I, Verônica, Marcelo Gomes, 2012)
Los salvajes (The Wild Ones, Alejandro Fadel, 2012)

Violeta se fue a los cielos (Violeta Went to Heaven)


Economist; former Director of the Spanish Film Archive (1986-88); wrote for most Spanish film magazines, now for foreign online ones. Author of books on Manuel Mur Oti and Leo McCarey.

A) Great films seen for the first time, made since 2007

38 Témoins (38 Witnesses, Lucas Belvaux, 2011/2), Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro (The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Robert Guédiguian, 2011), Kærestesorger (Aching Hearts, Nils Malmros, 2009), Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012), Restless (Gus Van Sant, 2011), O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012), Les Chants de Mandrin (Smugglers’ Songs, Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, 2011), Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012), Vidros  partidos (Cristales rotos / Broken Glasses, Víctor Erice, 2012), Traduire / Safa achat ve dvarim achadim Israel (Nurith Aviv, 2011), Book chon bang hyang (The Day He Arrives, Hong Sang-soo, 2011), Un été brûlant (That  Summer, Philippe Garrel, 2011), Iti ‘Mrinalini’:An Unfinished Letter… (Aparna Sen, 2010)

P.S. I have not seen yet the latest Kiarostami, Brisseau, Resnais, Gallo or  Jeff Nichols films, nor the last of Dwoskin.

B) Great films seen for the first time, made before 2007

Banka (Elegy, Heinosuke Gosho, 1957), Small Town Girl (One Horse Town, William A. Wellman; collab. Robert Z. Leonard, 1936), Ima hitotabi no (Once More, Heinosuke Gosho, 1947), Osaka no Yado (An Inn at Osaka, Heinosuke Gosho, 1954), Wakare-gumo (Dispersed Clouds, Heinosuke Gosho, 1951), Sati (Suttee / Widow Burning, Aparna Sen, 1989), At kende Sandhende  (To Face the Truth, Nils Malmros, 2002), Kanchanjangha (Kanchenjunga, Satyajit Ray, 1961), Kundskabens Træ  (The Tree of Knowledge, Nils Malmros, 1981), Laugh, Clown, Laugh (Herbert Brenon, 1928), Paroma (Parama, Aparna Sen, 1984), 15 Park Avenue (Aparna Sen, 2005), Kiiroi karasu (Yellow Crow, Heinosuke Gosho, 1957), Razzia in St. Pauli (Raid in St. Pauli, Werner Hochbaum, 1932), While Paris Sleeps (Allan Dwan, 1932), Haha wa Shinazu (Mother Never Dies, Mikio Naruse, 1942), A Lady to Love (Victor Sjöström, 1930), Smoky / Will James’ “Smoky” (Louis King, 1946), L’Ultima Violenza (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1957), Chances (Allan Dwan, 1931), Je pensé à vous (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 1992), Woman on the Run (Norman Foster, 1950), Naked Alibi (Jerry Hopper, 1954), Ani to sono imōto (A Brother and His Younger Sister, Yasujiro Shimazu, 1939), Skønheden og udyret  (The Beauty and the Beast, Nils Malmros, 1983), Scaramouche (Rex Ingram, 1923), Maddalena (Augusto Genina, 1954), The Ace of Hearts (Wallace Worsley, 1921), Too Late For Tears (aka Killer Bait, Byron Haskin, 1949), A Mulher do Desejo  (A Casa das Sombras, Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1975), L’Intrusa (The Intruder, Raffaello Matarazzo, 1955), The Mender of Nets (David W. Griffith, 1910), Chistoie nebo  (Clear Sky, Grigori Chukhraí, 1961), Iunóst Maksima (The Youth of Maxim, Grigori Kozintsev, 1935), Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji, Kozaburo Yoshimura, 1951), Dyn Amo (Stephen Dwoskin, 1972),  and Raffaele Andreassi’s shorts: Bambini (1960), Agnese (1961), I maccheroni (1957), Gli animali (1965), Antonio Ligabue pittore (1965).

C) Very good films seen for the first time, made since 2007

Rapt (Abducted, Lucas Belvaux, 2009), Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012), Ang Ninanais (Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song, John Torres, 2010), La Guerre est déclarée (Valérie Donzelli, 2011), Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011), Espion(s) (Nicolas Saada, 2008/9), Au fond des bois (Deep in the Woods, Benoît Jacquot, 2010), Mekong Hotel (Apichatpong Weerasekathul, 2012), La noche de enfrente (Night Across the Street, Raúl Ruiz, 2012), Twixt (Francis Ford Coppola, 2011), Sport de filles (Patricia Mazuy, 2011),The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011), Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, 2011), Goor Fitt (La Pirogue, Moussa Touré, 2012), Avé (Konstantin Bojanov, 2011), Shotgun Stories (Jeff Nichols, 2007), Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012), Impardonnables (Unforgivable, André Téchiné, 2011), Holmes & Watson: Madrid Days (José Luis Garci, 2012), A Closed Book (Blind Revenge, Raúl Ruiz, 2010), Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, 2010), Avec Dédé (Christian Rouaud, 2010), Tomboy (Céline Sciamma, 2011), Tous au Larzac (Leadersheep, Christian Rouaud; collab. Clémence Latour, 2011), Mulberry Street  (Jim Mickle, 2007)

D) Very good films seen for the first time, made before 2007

Kapurush (The Coward, Satyajit Ray, 1965), The Great Gatsby (Elliott Nugent, 1948/9), Quantez (Harry Keller, 1957), The Eternal Sea (John H. Auer, 1955), Kid Glove Killer (Fred Zinnemann, 1942), Tall Man Riding (Lesley Selander, 1954/5), Sakasu Gonin-gumi (5 Men in the Circus, Mikio Naruse, 1935), Cavale (On the Run, part two of the Trilogy, Lucas Belvaux, 2002), O Menino e o Vento (The Boy and the Wind, Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1966/7), Schástie viechnoí nochi (Evgenií Bauer, 1915), Une belle garce (Marco de Gastyne, 1930), Spring Offensive (aka An Unrecorded Victory, Humphrey Jennings, 1940), Escape (Mervyn LeRoy, 1940), Girls’ Dormitory (Irving Cummings, 1936), Defiance (John Flynn, 1979/80), The Earth Dies Screaming (Terence Fisher, 1964), The Sergeant (John Flynn, 1968), Café Metropole (Edward H. Griffith, 1937), Cattle Empire (Charles Marquis Warren, 1957), Svinarka i pastuch (Ivan Píríev, 1941), Sekretár rajkoma (Ivan Píríev, 1942), Kubanskie Kazaki (Ivan Píríev, 1949), Welfare of the Workers (Humphrey Jennings, 1940), Días de campo (Journées à la campagne / Country Days, Raúl Ruiz, 2004), Pietà per chi cade (Mario Costa, 1954), Ladies Love Brutes (Rowland V. Lee, 1930), Ōshō (The King / The Grand Master, Daisuke Ito, 1948), Blood Money (Rowland Brown, 1933), Quick Millions (Rowland Brown, 1931), The Stuff (Larry Cohen, 1985), Lilly Turner (William A. Wellman, 1933), Frenchie (Louis King, 1950), The Lion and the Horse (Louis King, 1952), Green Grass of Wyoming / Mary O’Hara’s’Green Grass of Wyoming’ (Louis King, 1948), Desert Hearts (Donna Deitch, 1985), Kærlighedens smerte (Pain of Love, Nils Malmros, 1992), The Last of the Fast Guns (George Sherman, 1958), Women In The Wind (John V. Farrow, 1939),Turksib / Stálnoí pút (Kino-ocherk v 5 chastiakh) (Viktor A. Turin, 1929), The Devil Thumbs A Ride (Felix E. Feist, 1947), Jūjiro (Crossroads, Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1928), The Sisters (Anatole Litvak, 1938), I’ll Never Forget You (aka The House in the Square, Roy Ward Baker, 1951), Zemestan (It’s Winter, Rafi Pitts, 2006), Crashout (Lewis R. Foster, 1955), Caingangue a Pontaria do Diablo (Carlos Hugo Christensen, 1973), Suddilage Kathawa (Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, 1984), The Wrath of the Gods or The Destruction of Sakura-Jima (Reginald Barker; p. Thomas H. Ince, 1914), The Man From Bitter Ridge (Jack Arnold, 1955), Behind Locked Doors (aka The Human Gorilla, Oscar ‘Budd’ Boetticher, 1948), Wagon Tracks (Lambert Hillyer; s. p. Thomas H. Ince; w. William S. Hart, 1919), The Man With a Cloak (Fletcher Markle, 1951), On the Bowery (Lionel Rogosin, 1956), To Hear Your Banjo Play (Irving Lerner & Willard Van Dyke; collab. Charles Korvin, 1946), La Bête à l’affût (A Beast at Bay, Pierre Chenal, 1959), Wedding Present (Richard Wallace, 1936)

E) Great films rediscovered or re-evaluated by a new vision

The Shining Hour (Frank Borzage, 1938), Nouvelle Vague (Jean-Luc Godard, 1990), You and Me (Fritz Lang, 1938), Roma Ore 11 (Rome 11:00, Giuseppe De Santis, 1951/2), River of No Return (Otto Preminger, 1954), Tōkyō no yado (An Inn in Tokyo, Yasujiro Ozu, 1935), Stranger on Horseback (Jacques Tourneur, 1954), High Green Wall (Nicholas Ray, 1954), Bird of Paradise (Delmer Daves, 1951), La Bohème (Luigi Comencini, 1987), Fūfu (Man and Wife, Mikio Naruse, 1953), The First Days (Humphrey Jennings, Harry Watt & Pat Jackson, 1939), Swamp Water (aka The Man Who Came Back, Jean Renoir; collab. Irving Pichel, 1941), Der Liebe der Jeanne Ney (The Love of Jeanne Ney, G.W. Pabst, 1927), That’s Life! (Blake Edwards, 1986), The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell (Otto Preminger, 1955), Saint Joan (Otto Preminger, 1957), I Walk Alone (Byron Haskin, 1947/8), Body Snatchers (Abel Ferrara, 1993), The Moon is Blue (Otto Preminger, 1953), Skazanie o zemlie Sibirskoí(Song of the Siberian Land, Ivan Píríev, 1947/8), V 6 chasov vechera posle voiní(At 6 in the Evening After the War, Ivan Píríev, 1944), The Country Doctor (D.W. Griffith, 1909), The Mothering Heart (D.W.Griffith, 1913), Marie-Jo et ses 2 amours (Robert Guédiguian, 2001), The Crowd Roars (Howard Hawks, 1932)

F) Very good pictures rediscovered or re-evaluated by a new vision

Memory of the Camps (Sidney Bernstein, 1945/85), My Name is Julia Ross (Joseph H. Lewis, 1945), Border River (George Sherman, 1953/4), Trooper Hook (Charles Marquis Warren, 1957), Sergeant Madden (Josef von Sternberg, 1939), The Bishop’s Wife (Henry Koster, 1947), A Damsel in Distress (George Stevens, 1937), Storm Warning (Stuart R. Heisler, 1950/1), Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929), One Rainy Afternoon  (aka Matinee Scandal, Rowland V. Lee, 1936), Rogue Cop (Roy Rowland, 1954), So Dark the Night (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946), Riding Shotgun (Andre de Toth, 1952), Beachhead (Stuart R. Heisler, 1953/4), Ossos (Bones, Pedro Costa, 1997), Oblomok Imperii  (Fragment of an Empire, Fridrikh Ermlier, 1929), Kiss The Blood Off My Hands (Norman Foster, 1948), The Bribe (Robert Z. Leonard, 1948/9), The Last Outpost (aka Cavalry Charge, Lewis R. Foster, 1951), This Woman is Dangerous (Felix E. Feist, 1952), The Fallen Sparrow (Richard Wallace, 1943), The Raging Tide (George Sherman, 1951), Nastasia Filippovna (1st part of Idiot) (Ivan Píríev, 1958), Susan Slept Here (Frank Tashlin, 1954), City for Conquest (Anatole Litvak, 1940), Witness to Murder (Roy Rowland, 1954), Daïnah la métisse (Jean Grémillon, 1931), Star in the Dust (Charles F. Haas, 1956), The Nevadan (Gordon Douglas, 1950), The Young In Heart  (Richard Wallace, 1938)


Film critic, USA/ Russia.
  1. anders, Molussien (differently, Molussia, Nicolas Rey, 2012)
  2. A Última Vez que Vi Macau (The Last Time I Saw Macao, João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2012)
  3. Demain? (Tomorrow?, Christine Laurent, 2011)
  4. A Vingança de Uma Mulher (A Woman’s Revenge, Rita Azevedo Gomes, 2012)
  5. O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012)
  6. Easy Rider (James Benning, 2012)
  7. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
  8. The Color Wheel (Alex Ross Perry, 2011)
  9. The Unspeakable Act (Dan Sallitt, 2012)
  10. Louie Season 3 (Louis C.K., 2012)


Filipino cinephile whose work on Philippine Cinema has been published in the MUBI Notebook.

My top 15 films of 2012:

1. Colossal (Juan Manuel Alcazaren, 2012)
2. Jungle Love (Sherad Anthony Sanchez, 2012)
3. Nang Gabing Maging Sinlaki ng Puso ang Bato ni Darna (Darna: A Stone is a Heart You Can’t Swallow, Jon Lazam, 2012)
4. Post Tenebras Lux (Carlos Reygadas, 2012)
5. Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
6. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
7. Mamay Umeng (Dwein Baltazar, 2012)
8. Ang Prinsesa, Ang Prinsipe at si Marlborita (The Princess, the Prince and Marlborita, Carl Joseph Papa, 2012)
9. Kung Ano Ang Alam ng Manok (What the Chicken Knows (Or, The Eight Stages of Grief), Ramon Raquid, 2012)
10. Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (Lav Diaz, 2012)
11. Diablo (Ramon Mez De Guzman, 2012)
12. Ang Paglalakbay ng mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim (A Star’s Journey into the Dark Night, Arnel Mardoquio, 2012)
13. Anak Araw (Gym Lumbera, 2012)
14. The Great Cinema Party (Raya Martin, 2012)
15. Mater Dolorosa (Adolfo Alix Jr., 2012)


Long-time film buff, Sydney.

Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011)
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation, Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011)
The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)
The Sessions (Ben Lewin, 2012)
Lonesome (Pál Fejös, 1928)
Endingu nôto (Ending Note: Death of a Japanese Salaryman, Mami Sunada, 2011)
Dreams of a Life (Carol Morley, 2011)
Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)
Bir zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)

The Sessions


Trustee and Programmer, Keswick Film Club, Programmer Keswick Film Festival, Chairman British Federation of Film Societies 2002 – 2008, Vice President British Federation of Film Societies 2012 – , International Federation of Film Societies Jury Member – Tromso – Tallinn – Kiev – Miskolc- Lucas (Frankfurt) – Galway.

En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair, Nikolaj Arcel, 2012)
A Torinói ló (The Turin Horse, Béla Tarr, 2011)
Cría cuervos (Raising Ravens, Carlos Saura, 1976) DVD release 2012
Broken (Rufus Norris, 2012)
Xue chan (Little Moth, Peng Tao, 2007)
Ways To Live Forever (Gustavo Ron, 2010)
Serbuan maut (The Raid: Redemption, Gareth Evans, 2011)
Anna Karenina (Joe Wright, 2012)
Skyfall (Sam Mendes, 2012)
The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)

And the worst film by a very, very long way was Hodejegerne (Headhunters, Morten Tyldum, 2011)


Cinephile, writer, translator and curator, Cologne, Germany.

Eleven Friends 2012

Team Manager Team (Films of the Year)

The Capsule (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2012)
Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)

First Team (Line-up in strictly alphabetical order)

Angriff auf die Demokratie – Eine Intervention (Democracy Under Attack – An Intervention; Romuald Karmakar, 2012)
Anton tut rjadom(Anton’s Right Here, Ljubov Arkus, 2012)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, 2012)
Far from Afghanistan (John Gianvito, Jon Jost, Minda Martin, Soon-Mi Yoo, Travis Wilkerson, 2012)
11.25 jiketsu no hi: Mishima Yukio to wakamonotachi (11:25 The Day He Chose His Own Fate, Kôji, Wakamatsu, 2012)
Paradies: Liebe& Glaube & Hoffnung (Paradise: Love & Faith & Hope; Ulrich Seidl, 2012/13)
Steekspel (Tricked, Paul Verhoeven, 2012)
Syrakus (Klaus Wyborny, 2012)
Tanec Deli (Delhi Dance, Ivan Vyrypaev, 2012)
To the Wonder(Terrence Malick, 2012)


Après mai (Something in the Air, Olivier Assayas, 2012); Florentina Hubaldo, CTE (Lav Diaz, 2012); Gegenwart (Consequence, Thomas Heise, 2012); Jai Bhim Comrade (Anand Patwardhan, 2011/12); Lawinen der Erinnerung (Dominik Graf, 2012); Memoria de mis putas tristes (Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Henning Carlsen, 2011); Mitote (Mexican Ritual, Eugenio Polgovsky, 2012); Nebesnye ženi lugovych Mari (Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari, Aleksei Fedorchenko, 2012); Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi und römischer Beton (Parabeton – Pier Luigi Nervi and Roman Concrete, Heinz Emigholz, 2012); Sennen no yuraku (The Millennial Rapture, Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012); Večnoe vozvraščenie (Eternal Homecoming, Kira Muratova, 2012); Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)

Extended Team

Les Adieux à la Reine (Farewell, My Queen, Benoît Jacquot, 2012); All Sides of the Road 3D (Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar & Paul Kaiser, 2012); Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012); Bella Addormentata (Dormant Beauty, Marco Bellocchio, 2012); Che sau (Motorway, Cheang Pou-soi, 2012); Dredd 3D (Pete Travis, 2012); Du zhan (Drug War, Johnnie To, 2012); Un Enfant de toi (You, Me and Us, Jacques Doillon, 2012); O Gebo e a Sombra (Gebo and the Shadow, Manoel de Oliveira, 2012); Goltzius and The Pelican Company (Peter Greenaway, 2012); Ins Blaue (Into the Blue, Rudolf Thome, 2012); Ixjana (Józef & Michał Skolimowski, 2012); Kaien Hotel · Blue (Petrel Hotel Blue; Kôji Wakamatsu, 2012); Khāne pedar-i (The Paternal House, Kianoosh Ayari); Die Lage (Condition, Thomas Heise, 2012); La madre (Jean-Marie Straub, 2012); 1 + Plus 1 + Plus 1 – Sympathy for the Decay (Ilppo Pohjola, 2012); Outrage Beyond(Takeshi Kitano, 2012); Perret in Frankreich und Algerien (Perret in France and Algeria, Heinz Emigholz, 2012); Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012); I topi lasciano la nave (Yes Sir, I Can Boogie, Nadia Ranocchi & David Zamagni, 2012); V tumane (In the Fog, Sergej Loznitsa, 2012); the war (James Benning, 2012); Zavtra (Tomorrow, Andrej Grjazev, 2012)

Medical Staff

(Six film/video-based/related installations and/or film/video art projects plus a true crime theatre piece with a one-shot gesture made for the movies):

Kannibale und Liebe (Stadttheater Dortmund, Jörg Buttgereit, 2012) & Ein Moment der Stille am Grab von Ed Gein (A Moment of Silence at the Grave of Ed Gein, Jörg Buttgereit, 2012)
Light and Beliefs: Voices and Sketches of Life from the Vietnam War (Lê Quang Đỉnh [Dinh Q. Lê], 2012)
Muster (Rushes) (Clemens von Wedemeyer, 2012)
The Sovereign Forest (Amar Kanwar, 2012)
Suomen sähköisen kunta (The Most Electrified Town in Finland, Mika Taanila, 2012)
Els tres porquets (The Three Little Pigs, Albert Serra, 2012)
Tristanoil (Nanni Balestrini & Giacomo Verde, 2012)

Eleven Veterans 2012

Team Manager [Team] (Revelation[s] of the Year)
(All films still in existence featuring actress Lia Franca)

Arietta antica (Mario Almirante, 1930)
Corte d’assise (Before the Jury, Guido Brignone, 1931)
Resurrectio (Resurrection, 1930/31; Alessandro Blasetti)
Rivista Cines. Numero speciale dedicato agli Stabilimenti Cines (Carlo Campogalliani [supervising series editor], 1930)
La stella del cinema (Mario Almirante, 1931)
Gli uomini, che mascalzoni… (What Scoundrels Men Are!, Mario Camerini, 1932)

First Team (Line-Up in strictly alphabetical order)

Allons enfants… pour L’Algerie (Karl Gass, 1961)
Documentary Footage (Morgan Fisher, 1968)
La Folle de Toujane ou comment on devient un ennemi de l’interieur (The Madwoman of Toujane, René Vautier & Nicole Le Garrec, 1974)
Die Frage (Muhand ‘Alī Yaḥyā, 1962)
[Friese-Greene Biocolor – Poster on Hoarding] (1912)
Gopak (Michail Cechanovskij, 1931)
Klabautermanden (We Are All Demons, Henning Carlsen, 1968)
Kyō mo matakakute arinan (Thus Another Day, Keisuke Kinoshita, 1959)
Ratavartijan kaunis Inkeri (Hannu Leminen, 1950)
Tell Me Lies (A Film About London) (Peter Brook, 1968)
Tōkyō no eiyū (A Hero of Tōkyō, Hiroshi Shimizu, 1935)


Gli Animali (Raffaele Andreassi, 1965); Come Out (Narcisa Hirsch, 1971); Da Bologna a Stalino. Documentario sul viaggio del convoglio n.1 (Enrico Chierici, 1942); Dai chushingura (The Story of the Loyal 47 Retainers, Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1932); Face (Andy Warhol, 1965); Fuk Fuk à Brasileira (Fuk Fuk Brazilian Style, Jean Garret, 1986); Hypocrites (Lois Weber, 1915); O insigne ficante (The Insig Nificant, Jairo Fereira, 1980); L’Italia con Togliatti (Glauco Pellegrini, Gianni Amico, Giorgio Arlorio, Libero Bizzarri, Carlo Lizzani, Francesco Maselli, Lino Miccichè, Elio Petri, Sergio Tau, Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Marco Zavattini, Valerio Zurlini, 1964); Lewat Djam Malam (After the Curfew, Usmar Ismail, 1954); The Maggie (Alexander Mackendrick, 1954); Marée noire, colère rouge (René Vautier, 1978); Matango (Fungus of Terror, Ishiro Honda, 1963); Mennesker mødes og sød musik opstår i hjertet (People Meet and Sweet Musik Fills the Heart, Henning Carlsen, 1967); Pasifik 231 simfoničeskaja poėma o paravoze Artura Oneggera (Pacific 231: A Symphonic Poem About the Steam-Engine Locomotive of Arthur Honegger, Michail Cechanovskij, 1931); As-Salām al-walīd (So Young a Peace, Jacques Charby, 1964); Sekishunchō (Farewell to Spring, Keisuke Kinoshita, 1959;); Suuri sävelparaati (Jack Witikka, 1959); Taḥīyā yā Dīdū (Viva Didou!, Muḥammad Zīnāt, 1971); Te o tsunagu kora(Children Hand in Hand, Inagaki Hiroshi, 1948); Velikaja sila (The Great Force, Fridrich Ėrmler, 1950); L’ultima avventura (The Last Adventure, Mario Camerini, 1932); [Untitled] (Norman Mailer, 1947); Vintik-Špintik (Little Screw; Vladislav Tvardovskij, 1927)

Extended Team

Ahora te vamos a llamar hermano (Now We’re Going to Call You Brother, Raúl Ruiz, 1971); Les Ajoncs (René Vautier, 1970); The Angry Red Planet (Ib Melchior, 1959); Atentát (The Assassination, Jiři Sequens, 1964); Bambini (Raffaele Andreassi, 1960); Blėk ėnd uajt / Černoe i beloe (Black and White, Leonid Amalrik & Ivan Ivanov-Vano, 1932); Bouquets de fleurs dans un vase (Société des établissements Gaumont, 1912); Camicie rosse (Red Shirts, Goffredo Alessandrini & Francesco Rosi [& Luchino Visconti], 1952); Caterina da Siena (Oreste Palella, 1947); Čemi bebja (My Grandmother, Kote Mikaberidze, 1929); Chị Tư Hậu (Ms. Tu Hau, Phạm Kỳ Nam, 1962); Chronik eines Mordes (The Story of a Murder, Joachim Hasler, 1965); Cirk (The Circus, Aleksandr Sinicyn & Vitalij Sjumkin, 1940); O convinte ao prazer (Invitation to Pleasure, Walter Hugo Khouri, 1980); Deauville – La Plage (Société des établissements Gaumont, 1912); O despertar da bestia (Awakening of the Beast, José Mojica Marins, 1970); Dieu a besoin des hommes (God Needs Men, Jean Delannoy, 1950); La distribution de pain (ex: Réfugiés algériens en Tunisie) (Cécile Decugis, 1957/2011); Dva okeana (Two Oceans, Vladimir Šnejderov & Jakov Kuper, 1933); East Side West Side (Allan Dwan, 1927); Em bé Hà Nội (The Little Girl from Hanoi, Hải Ninh, 1974); Festa na Boca (Party at the Boca, Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias, 1976); Free at Last (Gregory Shuker, James Desmond & Nicholas Proferes, 1968); Genoveffa di Brabante(Primo Zeglio, 1947); Ginevra degli Almieri (Guido Brignone, 1935); Le Homard(Léonce Perret, 1912); Hør, var den ikke en, som lo? (Did Somebody Laugh?, Henning Carlsen, 1978); Hototogisu yori Namiko (Namiko, Eizo Tanaka, 1932;); Hyakunengo no aru hi (A Day After a Hundred Years, Ogino Shigeji, 1932); L’Inhumaine (The Inhuman Woman, Marcel L’Herbier, 1924); [Ivory Elephant Tusk Carving] (1912?); Joriku dai’ippo (First Steps Ashore, Yasujiro Shimazu, 1932); Kagayaku ai [katsuben-Version] (Shining Love, Hiroshi Shimizu & Yoshio Nishio, 1931); Kathleen und Eldrige Cleaver in Algier (Claudia von Alemann, 1970); Katok (Skating Rink, Jurij Željabužskij, 192;); Kattorna (The Cats, Henning Carlsen, 1963); Kello (The Clock, Anssi Mänttäri, 1984); Me and My Gal (Raoul Walsh, 1932); Me tulemme taas (Armand Lohikoski, 1953); Moj syn [Fragment] (My Son, Evgenij Červjakov, 1928); Mocart i Sal’eri (Mozart and Salieri, Vladimir Gorikker, 1962); Oh! Rebuceteio (Cláudio Francisco Cunha, 1984); Onna (Woman, Keisuke Kinoshita, 1948); A opção (ou: As rosas da estrada) (The Option (or: The Roses on the Highway), Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias, 1981); Paulo Roberto Cotechiño centravanti di sfondamento (Nando Cicero, 1983); Pesn o gerojach (Komsomol) (Komsomol, Joris Ivens, 1933); The Petrified Dog (Sidney Peterson, 1948); Počta (The Post, Michail Cechanovskij, 1929); Polet k tysjačam solnc (Aleksej Erin, 1963); Poslednjaja noč’ (The Last Night, Julij Rajzman, 1936); [Procédé Versicolor] (1910); La promessa (Valerio Zurlini, 1970); Pytel blech (A Bag of Fleas, Věra Chytilová, 1963); Rachmaninoff’s Prelude (Castleton Knight, 1927); Regeneration (Raoul Walsh, 1915); Rumi (Narcisa Hirsch, 1999); Scandal Mongers (Lois Weber & Phillips Smalley, 1915); Skazka o glupom myšonke (The Tale of the Dumb Little Mouse, Michail Cechanovskij, 1940); Skazka o pope i rabotnike ego Balde [Fragment] (The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda, Michail Cechanovskij, 1936); Ski Patrol (Lew Landers, 1940); SKMP2 (Luca Maria Patella, 1968); Springet (The Leap, Henning Carlsen, 2005); La storia del Caffè Hag (Joop Geesink‘s Dollywood, 1957); Sunshine Molly [Fragment] (Lois Weber & Phillips Smalley, 1915); Techniquement si simple (René Vautier, 1971); This Love of Ours (William Dieterle, 1945); The Trollenberg Terror (Quentin Lawrence, 1958); Tsukigata Hanpeita [katsuben digest] (Teinosuke Kinugasa, 1925); Valtakunnan sydän (Heart of the Nation, Antti Peippo, 1989); The Velvet Underground in Boston (Andy Warhol, 1967); [Venetian Glass Ware] (Société des établissements Gaumont, 1912); Das weiße Stadion (The White Stadium, Arnold Fanck & Othmar Gurtner, 1928); Yīgegūpì de rén (One Recluse, Ai Weiwei, 2010); Ztracenci (Lost People, Miloš Makovec, 1956); Zwischen Mond und Sonne (Recha Jungmann, 1981)

Berberian Sound Studio


Cinephile and infrequent keeper of the blog Technicolor Red, Melbourne.

I am one of those strictly premiere/IMDb dates list makers, and as such beautiful gems like Goodbye First Love, The Color Wheel, and Girl Walk // All Day, to name just a few, probably (hopefully) admitted by other cinephiles here are not applicable. Following that, this list is barely reflective of 2012 as a year in cinema since the finest tend to trickle down for months after the year ends. And though currently screening, I have yet to see The Master.

  1. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
  2. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
  3. Ai to makoto (For Love’s Sake, Takashi Miike, 2012)
  4. Resident Evil: Retribution (Paul W.S. Anderson, 2012)
  5. La noche de enfrente (Night Across the Street, Raúl Ruiz, 2012)
  6. The Comedy (Rick Alverson, 2012)
  7. Dareun naraeseo (In Another Country, Hong Sang-soo, 2012)
  8. Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love, Ulrich Seidl, 2012)
  9. Dredd (Pete Travis, 2012)
  10. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
  11. Student (Darezhan Omirbayev, 2012)
  12. Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, 2012)
  13. Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012)
  14. Magic Mike (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
  15. Like Someone in Love (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012)
  16. No (Pablo Larraín, 2012)
  17. A Running Jump (Mike Leigh, 2012)
  18. O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
  19. Step Up Revolution (Scott Speer, 2012)
  20. Bestiaire (Denis Côté, 2012)
  21. Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (John Hyams, 2012)
  22. Tiger Tail in Blue (Frank V. Ross, 2012)
  23. Frankenweenie (Tim Burton, 2012)
  24. Swimmer (Lynne Ramsay, 2012)
  25. Vamps (Amy Heckerling, 2012)

Also noteworthy:

Ashes (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2012)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012)
Che sau (Motorway, Cheang Pou-soi, 2012)
Escuela Normal (Normal School, Celina Murga, 2012)
Gao hai ba zhi lian II (Romancing in Thin Air, Johnnie To, 2012)
La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser (The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, Davide Manuli, 2012)
Lockout (James Mather & Stephen St. Leger, 2012)
Lore (Cate Shortland, 2012)
“Lotus Community Workshop” (Harmony Korine) segment of The Fourth Dimension (2012)
Marfa Girl (Larry Clark, 2012)
ParaNorman (Chris Butler & Sam Fell, 2012)
Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore, 2012)
Premium Rush (David Koepp, 2012)
Wild and Precious (Bill Mousoulis, 2012)

Not much point in listing least favourites but I will say Kim Ki-duk’s Pieta was atrocious and Beasts of the Southern Wild nauseating.


Film critic at Portuguese daily newspaper Público and blogs about cinema at The Flickering Wall.

For professional reasons, I have been spending the past few weeks thinking and talking about lists and canons; thinking just how unfair it is to list films according to possible orders of merit when really all I can order them by are by themed or emotional resonance. So, 2012 for me was made of these films that I saw between January 1 and December 10.

It’s necessarily a different, and more inclusive, list from my ten best released in Portugal in 2012, a ranked list restricted to commercial releases between Jan 1 and Dec 31 (for the record, #1 was Joachim Trier’s Oslo August 31, #2 Béla Tarr’s Turin Horse, both of which I saw in 2011).

The 30 titles below, shorts and features alike, are films I saw, enjoyed, admired, appreciated; films that engaged, questioned, intrigued, challenged, disturbed, delighted me; films that for one or another reason stuck like glue.

Ranked in alphabetical order

Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
L’Anabase de May et Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi et 27 années sans images (The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years without Images, Éric Baudelaire, 2011)
Anna Karenina (Joe Wright, 2012)
L’Apollonide – Souvenirs de la maison close (House of Tolerance, Bertrand Bonello, 2010)
Bellamy (Inspector Bellamy, Claude Chabrol, 2008)
Bin zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
Bonsái (Bonsai, Cristián Jiménez, 2011)
The Cabin in the Woods (Joss Whedon, 2012)
Cesare deve morire (Caesar Must Die, Paolo & Vittorio Taviani, 2011)
Cloud Atlas (Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer & Andy Wachowski, 2012)
Después de Lucía (After Lucía, Michel Franco, 2012)
Deus e o Diabo na Terra do Sol (Black God, White Devil, Glauber Rocha, 1964)
Elena (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2011)
Flamingo Pride (Tomer Eshed, 2011)
Haywire (Steven Soderbergh, 2012)
Into the Abyss (Werner Herzog, 2011)
Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012)
O Que Arde Cura (As the Flames Rose, João Rui Guerra da Mata, 2012)
Pythagasaurus (Peter Peake, 2011)
The Radiant (The Otolith Group, 2012)
Shame (Steve McQueen, 2012)
O som ao redor (Neighbouring Sounds, Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2012)
Stilleben (Still Life, Sebastian Meise, 2011)
Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, 2011)
Terra em Transe (Entranced Earth, Glauber Rocha, 1967)
Toata Lumea din Familia Nostra (Everybody in Our Family, Radu Jude, 2011)
Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011)
Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, 2011)
Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011)

L’Anabase de May et Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi et 27 années sans images (The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years without Images)


Australian independent filmmaker now based in Europe and founding editor of Senses of Cinema.

Alas, I haven’t seen many films this year, so this is a limited list – no Léos Carax, Abbas Kiarostami, Chantel Akerman and others have passed before my eyes. But I believe the first film I list, Joy, is a masterpiece that still would have landed at no. 1 on this list no matter what else I would have seen. It is clearly the best Greek film of this Greek film renaissance of recent years, and a very striking and original film all-round. It deserves recognition.

Best Films of the Year

Hara (Joy, Ilias Yannakakis, 2012)
Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
“Sygharitiria stous aisiodoxous?” (A.C.A.B. All Cats Are Brilliant, Constantina Voulgari, 2012)
Imerologia Amnisias (Amnesia Diaries, Stella Theodoraki, 2012)

A gap in quality, then …

Eden (James Howard, 2012)
Amour (Love, Michael Haneke, 2012)
Student (Darezhan Omirbayev, 2012)
To agori troi to fagito tou pouliou (Boy Eating the Bird’s Food, Ektoras Lygizos, 2012)
Alpeis (Alps, Yorgos Lanthimos, 2011)

Retrospective discovery

Turkish director Reha Erdem, especially his most recent film Kosmos (2010)


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