TUMBLR

A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about. Ask me anything you can't Google.



Posts tagged "my watching year 2012"

Jan 01, 2013
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My watching year, 2012

10 great movies I saw this year:

Bernie (2011) - The movie I recommended most to everybody this year. Works for parents, grandparents, hipster friends, etc.

Barry Lyndon (1975) - This movie blew me away. I never considered myself a Kubrick fan, but this made me want to go rewatch all of his movies.

Beauty Is Embarrassing (2012) - While Jiro Dreams of Sushi was a portrait of heads-down mastery and craft, this film captured the kind of artistic life I’m shooting for — one full of humor, family, and multiple mediums.

Argo (2012) - I remember turning to my wife in the theater and saying, “Is it just me, or is this really good?” Affleck is 3/3.

13 Assassins (2011) - Straight-up, kickass samurai movie.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2012) - Honestly, although I enjoyed it, I’m tempted to call this one of the most overrated movies of the year, simply because some of my artist friends acted like it unlocked The Secret of Life for them or something. It’s great food porn and a beautiful portrait of a master craftsman, but it’s also a portrait that shows a man completely absorbed in his work, his shadowed sons stuck carrying on his legacy, and his wife literally out of the picture. (At his request, she wasn’t shown/interviewed for the movie.)

Thief (1981) - So badass. The ancestor of Drive.

The Queen of Versailles (2012) - Damn, those filmmakers were lucky.

Haywire (2012) - Best Soderbergh of the year was a tossup between this and Magic Mike. More asses were kicked in this movie, so it wins.

The trailers for The Master (2012) - A movie that was better in my head before I saw it, but still beautiful and technically amazing and wonderfully acted and puzzling and just fucking weird. Can’t wait to rewatch on blu-ray.

And 10 11 more:

(I didn’t get to see Django Unchained.)

Favorite TV: Louie, Game of Thrones, Justified, Girls, Mad Men, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Seinfeld reruns.

Most of my movie recs come from @jamesfflynn, @mlarson, and @mattthomas.

See my favorite movies from 2010 and 2011.

Dec 07, 2012
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Tchoupitoulas: a film by the Ross Bros

My friends The Ross Brothers (their first film was the great 45365) are celebrating the theatrical release of their movie (after a successful Kickstarter campaign to finish it) which is getting insanely great reviews.

NYTimes:

“Tchoupitoulas,” a heady hybrid of documentary and dream, is a movie by and about brothers… It is alive with the risk and curiosity of youth, and unapologetic in insisting that the pursuit of fun can be a profound and transformative experience.

Popmatters:

…a portrait of New Orleans that is by turns poetic and poignant and rapturous.

I saw the film at SXSW last year, and had mixed reactions, but the images and the fantastic soundtrack have stuck with me. Like a lot of great work, it stirred my guts a bit because it was so different than anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s not a documentary — it’s a portrait of a place painted with real people but collaged together from different periods of time into one seamless night:

The Rosses take “documentary” to mean the documenting of an experience, and are more open about the misrepresentation of space and time for the good of the film than most other practitioners of their craft. Here, in what is no doubt a “documentary,” the filmmakers pass off more than half a year’s worth of New Orleans street life as the adventures enjoyed by three young boys over the course of a single night out.

I’m looking forward to seeing it again. These guys are on a roll.

Watch a clip then see if it’s playing in your town!

(Source: vimeo.com)

Nov 14, 2012
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Nov 01, 2012
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Beauty Is Embarrassing

I loved, loved, loved this movie. It’s a portrait of the artist Wayne White — whose credits among many include the original puppets for Pee Wee’s Playhouse and music videos for Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” and Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight.”

If you’re interested in art, humor, and family, you must see it. Buy the film DRM-free for $7.99 or rent it for $3.99 on Amazon→

(Source: youtube.com)

Oct 13, 2012
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Argo was intelligent, funny, and tense. That’s 3/3 for Ben Affleck as director, each better than the last. Recommended.

Here’s the 2007 Wired article that the movie was partially based on.

Argo was intelligent, funny, and tense. That’s 3/3 for Ben Affleck as director, each better than the last. Recommended.

Here’s the 2007 Wired article that the movie was partially based on.

Oct 06, 2012
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  People like us, we must be able to travel faster than our clients.


Holy shit, Barry Lyndon! Totally wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.

People like us, we must be able to travel faster than our clients.

Holy shit, Barry Lyndon! Totally wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.

(Source: theoszczepanski)

Oct 01, 2012
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The People Vs. George Lucas

It suffers from being just a tad too long (it’s a rare movie that needs to be more than 90 minutes, and it’s a very rare documentary that needs to be more than 60) but I liked this documentary quite a bit. Here’s The Atlantic:


  The central question is this: What does a creator owe his fans, and what do the fans owe the creator in return? […] Does Lucas have the right to go back and change his films, and then make the originals more or less unavailable? At what point do creative works become more the domain of the public than the creator?


As a casual fan of Star Wars, I actually learned a lot about Lucas.  For instance, I didn’t know he was in a car crash as a teenager, and that was a major event in getting his life on track: “I thought, well, I’m here now, and every day now is an extra day.”

While I despise the existence of the prequels and the tinkered-with versions of the original episodes, I also found myself really sympathizing with Lucas. (He is, after all, the man who created Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and my beloved LucasArts game company.) Lucas started out as a film student who wanted to make personal, experimental films. In a lot of ways, Star Wars is the worst thing that could’ve happened to those ambitions. This idea is most clearly expressed by Francis Ford Coppola, one of Lucas’s oldest friends:


  The great success of Star Wars didn’t leave to the [independent films] and the personal filmmaking. George never made another film after that. Instead, he became a producer and an entrepreneur…We were deprived of those films that he was going to make and might have made. And instead we have an enormous industrial marketing complex…. No matter how many billions of dollars Star Wars could earn, no matter how valuable that franchise is, it isn’t worth a tenth of what he’s worth as an artist and what he’s capable of doing.


There’s a ton of things Lucas’s story makes me think about: the perils of success, how often worldbuilding and merchandising go hand-in-hand, the importance of constraints, criticism and collaboration, how the auteur theory can spin out of control, knowing when to quit and be finished…

Well worth a watch.

The People Vs. George Lucas

It suffers from being just a tad too long (it’s a rare movie that needs to be more than 90 minutes, and it’s a very rare documentary that needs to be more than 60) but I liked this documentary quite a bit. Here’s The Atlantic:

The central question is this: What does a creator owe his fans, and what do the fans owe the creator in return? […] Does Lucas have the right to go back and change his films, and then make the originals more or less unavailable? At what point do creative works become more the domain of the public than the creator?

As a casual fan of Star Wars, I actually learned a lot about Lucas. For instance, I didn’t know he was in a car crash as a teenager, and that was a major event in getting his life on track: “I thought, well, I’m here now, and every day now is an extra day.”

While I despise the existence of the prequels and the tinkered-with versions of the original episodes, I also found myself really sympathizing with Lucas. (He is, after all, the man who created Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and my beloved LucasArts game company.) Lucas started out as a film student who wanted to make personal, experimental films. In a lot of ways, Star Wars is the worst thing that could’ve happened to those ambitions. This idea is most clearly expressed by Francis Ford Coppola, one of Lucas’s oldest friends:

The great success of Star Wars didn’t leave to the [independent films] and the personal filmmaking. George never made another film after that. Instead, he became a producer and an entrepreneur…We were deprived of those films that he was going to make and might have made. And instead we have an enormous industrial marketing complex…. No matter how many billions of dollars Star Wars could earn, no matter how valuable that franchise is, it isn’t worth a tenth of what he’s worth as an artist and what he’s capable of doing.

There’s a ton of things Lucas’s story makes me think about: the perils of success, how often worldbuilding and merchandising go hand-in-hand, the importance of constraints, criticism and collaboration, how the auteur theory can spin out of control, knowing when to quit and be finished

Well worth a watch.

Sep 17, 2012
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Los Angeles Plays Itself


  CalArts professor Thom Andersen’s long-form video essay on his city and its countless representations throughout cinematic history. After its almost three information-dense yet rhythmically meditative hours, you may emerge with a clear, new understanding of southern California’s many-centered, 500-square-mile metropolis. If you don’t, you’ll at least come away with a clear, new understanding of the impossibility of understanding Los Angeles with any clarity whatsoever, and you’ll have taken an idiosyncratic, opinionated visual tour of hundreds of films new and old, respected and ridiculous, canonical and disposable.


Like a 3-hour supercut on steroids, it’s a long watch that loses steam at the end (partially due to the gradually increasing righteousness of the monotone noirish narrator), but it’s really fascinating, and made me want to visit LA even more than I already did.

Filed under: my watching year 2012

Los Angeles Plays Itself

CalArts professor Thom Andersen’s long-form video essay on his city and its countless representations throughout cinematic history. After its almost three information-dense yet rhythmically meditative hours, you may emerge with a clear, new understanding of southern California’s many-centered, 500-square-mile metropolis. If you don’t, you’ll at least come away with a clear, new understanding of the impossibility of understanding Los Angeles with any clarity whatsoever, and you’ll have taken an idiosyncratic, opinionated visual tour of hundreds of films new and old, respected and ridiculous, canonical and disposable.

Like a 3-hour supercut on steroids, it’s a long watch that loses steam at the end (partially due to the gradually increasing righteousness of the monotone noirish narrator), but it’s really fascinating, and made me want to visit LA even more than I already did.

Filed under: my watching year 2012

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Sound of Noise


  Sound of Noise is a 2010 Swedish-French comedy-crime film written and directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson. It tells the story of a group of musicians who illegally perform music on objects in the various institutions of a city. The film is a follow-up to the 2001 short film Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers, which was made by the same people and followed the same basic concept. The title comes from the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises.


I really, really liked this movie. It’s basically STOMP! as a Swedish romantic crime caper comedy. Also, there’s a great balaclava joke, which made me think of Pussy Riot. (Has anybody mentioned that connection yet?)

Here’s some clips to watch:

trailer
really cool animated musical score
scene of musicians drumming on an operating roomroom
Streaming on Netflix and Amazon→

(Thx to my friend @oh_steph for the rec!)

Sound of Noise

Sound of Noise is a 2010 Swedish-French comedy-crime film written and directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson. It tells the story of a group of musicians who illegally perform music on objects in the various institutions of a city. The film is a follow-up to the 2001 short film Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers, which was made by the same people and followed the same basic concept. The title comes from the Italian futurist Luigi Russolo’s 1913 manifesto The Art of Noises.

I really, really liked this movie. It’s basically STOMP! as a Swedish romantic crime caper comedy. Also, there’s a great balaclava joke, which made me think of Pussy Riot. (Has anybody mentioned that connection yet?)

Here’s some clips to watch:

Streaming on Netflix and Amazon→

(Thx to my friend @oh_steph for the rec!)

Aug 16, 2012
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The Raid: Redemption

To give you an idea of how many asses were kicked in this movie, I present to you a snippet of the credits.

Great action flick..

The Raid: Redemption

To give you an idea of how many asses were kicked in this movie, I present to you a snippet of the credits.

Great action flick..

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