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2013 my year in films: January

by Dominic Simard-Jean
If 2012 was the year that I really got into cinema, I hope that my love for film will grow in 2013. Cliché shit. Best: Amour, Underground Meh: My Own Private Idaho Worst: Dredd Army Of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969 13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, 2010 American Movie, Chris Smith, 1999 The Bakery Girl of Monceau, Eric Rohmer, 1963 Amour, Michael Haneke, 2012 Total Recall, Paul Verhoeven, 1990 Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971 Underground, Emir Kusturica, 1995 Une Femme est une Femme, Jean-Luc Godard, 1961 Mouchette, Robert Bresson, 1967 1. Irreversible: B-, It may have been made by a master’s hand, this is so absurd and fucked up, I… Read more

If 2012 was the year that I really got into cinema, I hope that my love for film will grow in 2013. Cliché shit.

Best: Amour, Underground
Meh: My Own Private Idaho
Worst: Dredd


Army Of Shadows, Jean-Pierre Melville, 1969


13 Assassins, Takashi Miike, 2010


American Movie, Chris Smith, 1999


The Bakery Girl of Monceau, Eric Rohmer, 1963


Amour, Michael Haneke, 2012


Total Recall, Paul Verhoeven, 1990


Two-Lane Blacktop, Monte Hellman, 1971


Underground, Emir Kusturica, 1995


Une Femme est une Femme, Jean-Luc Godard, 1961


Mouchette, Robert Bresson, 1967

1. Irreversible: B-, It may have been made by a master’s hand, this is so absurd and fucked up, I can’t help but to think it’s still a bit empty. But, wow for that camera technique, just fucking wow.
2. Army Of Shadows: A-, A masterpiece like only Melville can do. The way he builds up his movie are incredible, they feel like they are done in a very sober and classic way, but at the same time, they are really unusual.
3. 13 Assassins: B+, While the plot is almost annoyingly formulaic, this has to one of the greatest action scenes of all time. The equivalent of Hard Boiled done with swords. Damn!
4. Dredd 3D: D-, This attempts to be the movie equivalent to dubstep or something, which in itself is a terrible idea, but even there, it completely fails in reaching his goal. The action scene aren’t worth anything, and even there there’s so few of them. Overall, this is your usual dumb b-movieish action movie with more violence. Also, am I the only one whose completely bored with dystopian settings for action films?
5. I Hate But Love: B, My third Kurahara and not my favorite of the bunch so far. I love the colors and the main character, but the girl annoyed me so much sometimes, and I think that it was unnecessary to the story to make her so despicable. Still, what we find here is still Kurahara’s wildness and recklessness done in a wonderful way.
6. My Own Private Idaho: C, The way Van Sant uses dialogues and his characterisations makes it impossible for me to connect with the movie. I’m usually not a huge fan of Shakespeare’s work transposed to the contemporary world and this one is no exception.
7. American Movie: B+, A beautiful movie, sometimes overlong, but extremely funny and interesting. Mike is the funniest motherfucker ever.
8. The Bakery Girl of Monceau: A, My first entry into the Moral Tales. I can so much relate to the whole story as I feel I’ve played this game of seduction all of my life. This is a brilliantly crafted short that feels just perfect in the end.
9. Suzanne Career’s: C+, While it is unfocused and quite despicable for the most part, it features the narration and some very nice moments.
10. Amour: A+, This may well be the saddest film I have ever seen. Haneke being Haneke, we always experienced his sadism while being completely fascinated by it, but this time around, everything is different. First all, he deviated completely from his habitual subject and instead of using violence to shock us, he used emotions. Haneke was able to erase every fake sentimentalism and to show us the bare truth of life, the film goes from almost unwatchable moment to beautiful one, referencing directly here the title, Amour. Using an incredibly sober and simple mise en scène, with 2 hours of the 2 hours and 5 minutes taking place in the beautiful apartment, and the two greatest performances of the year from both Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant, Haneke showed us that he is probably the greatest director working right now.
11. My Night at Maud’s: B, Halfway through the Moral Tales. While it failed to completely reach me on an emotional engagement level, this is quite the piece of work. The way Rohmer uses his pattern throughout his “saga” is very interesting, in this film studying the religious and philosophical moral related to love. These are complex yet quite entertaining film that are maybe more studies than movies, but are still very masterful cinematically.
12. Pineapple Express: B, Like it was soooo good, like I was so high watching it and I was like, yoo, this is like, relatable cause I’m high and they’re also high, so like, we do the same things when we’re high and like it’s like…
13. La Collectionneuse: C, This one was vapid and pretentious and in the end it just was rather uninteresting. Or is it just me that after 4 fours film is bored with those 2 cool for life characters.
14. Claire’s Knee: C, Claire may be a tremendous babe, this reaffirmed the fact that am I pretty pissed with Rohmer’s films. My hatred for his characters seems to grow in every movie.
15. Total Recall: A-, I had the certitude at first that it would be a terrible movie, but man, this is just great. Amazing set design and style, gripping action sequence as well as a bloodbath like we don’t often. But the best thing is the humour, from the annoying cab driver to Arnold disguised as a women, the mix of comedy, Cronenbergian weirdness and hardcore action make this quite the masterpiece.
16: Two-Lane Blacktop: A+, Someone called it Bresson on wheels, and my relationship with the movie is pretty much the same than the one that I have with Bresson’s Pickpocket. During the film, I was trying to find the greatness in it, I even found it a bit empty in parts. But as soon as the movie finished, it stroked me. This is so subtle yet meaningful in every way, it is hardly describable.
17. Underground: A+, (The second A+ in a row, am I going soft) This may be the greatest film I have ever seen. A masterpiece combining comedy, sensibility, political message and surrealism. The complexity of this work is unbelievable. Also, for an almost 3 hour long movie, there is no time out, the frenetic music is always on, the wildness goes. This is magic right there.
18. Brand Upon the Brain!: B+, Even thought I found the whole vampire part quite unnecessary and underdeveloped, this is fantastic experimental cinema, great images and great editing. The story is really fascinating and this is something hard to accomplish while dealing with experimental.
19. Love In The Afternoon: C+, Overall the same deal than the rest of the Moral Tales, I was generally bored with it, except the dream sequence which was ravishing.
20. Django Unchained: B, A great exquisite entertainment, and even a nice “direction change” for Tarantino, yet it is very easy to see imperfections to it. But even there, that’s kind of the point of the film the enumerate the flaws and if you do this you’re in a way an asshole. One question thought, I was waiting for Rick Ross to appear during the whole fucking movie and he didn’t. Where was Teflon Don. Honestly.
21. My Winnipeg: B, Sometimes the production qualities felt cheap and the narration was too much, but this is a complex documentary that serves perfectly as the description of nostalgia.
22. Une Femme est Une Femme: B+, I’ve got to a point where I know Godard pretty well, and I judge his movie solely on the fantastic moment he is able to create, because the cinematography and the free-spirited energy are always there. Still, Karina never looked so beautiful as she did in this film.
23. Mouchette: A+, This is just… devastating.
24. PressPausePlay: B, While this is an extremely well made and interesting documentary, it got me into a terrible state of sadness. The people interviewed are so talented, yet terribly pretentious, as a young artist I was just like: “Forget it, you’re never gonna make it, you suck.”
25. GasLand: C+, While quite interesting and shocking, this is way too repetitive in its form.

Rewatch:
1.Man Bites Dog: A+, Surely in my top 5 favorites movies, probably the one that makes me laugh the most and also probably the greatest performance of all time. «L’amour, laisse, comme une trainée de souffre derrière lui, comme une odeur qui traine, et qui malgré tout dès que tu rencontres quelqu’un tu sens… Un peu comme quand tu vas pisser et que tu sens tes doigts.»
2. The Master: A-. There’s just so much substance in this move that I was able to pick up on second viewing. I find it still a bit overlong, but it enlights me like a fe movie do.
3. Holy Motors: A+, Film of the year, of the decade whatever.
4. Casablance A+, I had forgotten how good Casablanca was.

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