If you happen to be in the market for Fritz Lang Christmas ornaments, they do exist, though they don't come cheaply. At any rate, much of the third issue of Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism (the successor to Movie, the print journal Ian Cameron edited from 1962 to 2000) is given to the second part of its Fritz Lang dossier featuring — and I should mention before you start clicking that these are PDFs — Stella Bruzzi on Fury (1936), VF Perkins on You Only Live Once (1937), Edward Gallafent on The Return of Frank James (1940), Adrian Martin on Scarlet Street (1945), Peter William Evans on The Big Heat (1953), Deborah Thomas on Human Desire (1954) and Peter Benson on Moonfleet (1955).
Also in this issue: Christian Keathley on Otto Preminger's Bonjour Tristesse (1958), Alex Clayton on Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and Gus Van Sant's 1998 remake and John Gibbs on Jamie Thraves's The Cry of the Owl (2009). With new issues of Senses of Cinema and Cinema Scope also just out, you won't lack for holiday reading.
In other news. Sight & Sound has given us an incredibly generous Christmas gift this year in the form of reviews, features, essays, columns and riffs by the late Gilbert Adair. Michael Brooke introduces the trove as well as each batch.
Lists. Brian Darr and Ryland Walker Knight, hosts of this past week's series BANG BANG, chime in themselves on the year that was.
"If my world is indeed shaped by conversations, lately I have come to feel mine is an adventurous existence because it is so intimately linked to the creative processes of others. Nothing is more satisfying." Michael Guillén revisits his ten favorite conversations of the year and writes up his ten favorite films.
Jonathan Kiefer in the Faster Times: "If You Liked Those Other Top 2011 Movies Lists, Try This One."
Ben Sachs's #2 is Secret Sunshine: "For me, Lee Chang-dong's 2007 feature (which received a belated theatrical release in Chicago this past January) is the greatest film yet produced by the so-called Korean New Wave, a synthesis of that movement's general tendencies into a grand philosophical statement."
Nathaniel Rogers lists the "Best LGBT Characters of the Year" at Towleroad. #1 is Christopher Plummer's Hal in Mike Mills's Beginners, a film that "looks unblinking at the sexuality of a senior citizen — how rare is that in the movies? — and rather than reverting to tired ageism or stopping short at tolerance, expresses admiration and love."
"Not very long ago I was commenting (ok, whining) that 2011 was one 'weak-ass' year for fans of horror cinema. But then I sat down to write a top ten…" What Scott Weinberg has come up with at Movies.com is a list of the "20 Best, 20 Worst, and 13 to Watch Out for Next Year."
For Julie Miller at Movieline, David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo "is easily the most electrifying and interesting thriller of the year."
Viewing. The National Film Preservation Foundation has made available three more films preserved in collaboration with the New Zealand Film Archive. Mabel Normand directs and stars in Won in a Closet (1914), a one-reel comedy that "follows the Romeo-and-Juliet romance of Mabel and her beau, played by Charles Avery." A Bashful Bigamist (1921) is a comedic short with a lesson to teach. And there's about half an hour from the promotional film Dodge Motor Cars (ca. 1917).
Then, of course, elsewhere, the trailer for Ridley Scott's Prometheus.