Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Monthly Round Up - The Best Films I Saw in January 2012

Well, January is all-but over and 2012 already feels like it is flying by. It is always a busy month, January, and though I have had a few more days off work over the last couple of weeks than those preceding, I don't feel any more refreshed, and still desire an extended break from...everything. No time for that though, considering what I have scheduled for the next few weeks - and what I hope to do later in the year.

January brought us the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globe Awards, and just the other day, the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards. The awards season is nearing its climax, and it really hasn't been an interesting year at all. This is very unfortunate because 2011 was a remarkable year for cinema. Thankfully, some of the fine January/February releases will feature on Oscar Day. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Descendants, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Artist and Hugo all received multiple Oscar nominations - and as a result, immediately attracted increased crowds. Well, The Artist comes out tomorrow, and I suspect it will be huge.

I also saw some great films at home - purchasing three Palme d'Or winners (Paris, Texas, Taste of Cherry and The Tree of Life) and a pair of Bresson masterpieces (Pickpocket and Au Hasard Balthazar). Completely by accident, I ticked off two of my 2012 Blind Spot Series (Paris, Texas and Balthazar). I also re-watched Animal Kingdom, one of the finest Australian dramas I have ever seen, and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. I appreciated both films more on this repeat viewing. One I thought I would give another go in the hopes of enjoying it more, was Bridesmaids. I still don't get the love for that film - and I am truly shocked by its dual Oscar nominations.

As many of you might have noticed, with the exception of one early in the month, I haven't been posting a regular 'Monday Links' post. I have simply not had time since. I feel bad, because my visits to other blogs have been infrequent, and I love to spread the word about great articles I have come across each week. I hope to find the time to continue this regular column. I thank everyone for continuing to stop by (almost 40, 000 page views this month) and leaving comments. I greatly appreciate the feedback and support. It remains a pleasure and a privilege to be amongst such a great community of film enthusiasts.

After the jump, check out my January viewing (with links to my reviews). I watched a total of 31 films...

New-to-Me: Cinema/DVD (In order of Preference)

Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)

Au Hasard Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966)

Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr, 2000)

Taste of Cherry (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984)

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011) (Twice)

The Descendants (Alexander Payne, 2011)

Weekend (Andrew Haigh, 2011)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher, 2011) (Twice)

The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius, 2011)

Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)

Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)

Blow-Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966)

Hugo (Martin Scorsese, 2011) (Twice)

Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2011)

Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011)

Young Adult (Jason Reitman, 2011)

Chronicle (Josh Trank, 2011)

Then a significant gap...

J. Edgar (Clint Eastwood, 2011)

Albert Nobbs (Rodrigo Garcia, 2011)

Killer Elite (Gary McKendry, 2011)

Re-watches: DVD (In order of Preference)

Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)

Animal Kingdom (David Michod, 2010)

The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007)

Somewhere (Sofia Coppola, 2010)

Star Trek (J.J Abrams, 2009)

Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1983)

Bridesmaids (Paul Feig, 2011)

Goal for 2012: to once again surpass 365 films viewed. Current tally = 31


  1. You have certainly kept yourself busy. If my job and my graduate thesis did not require so much of my time I could try to begin to find time to watch about a film a day and keep up with my blog.
    What are your thoughts on the Robert Bresson film? I have watched Pickpocket and A Man Escaped, both masterful pieces of work that caused an impression on me, the latter being one of my all-time favorites.

    - Niels

    1. I loved both of the Bresson films I saw - Pickpocket and Balthazar. Incredible. I really want to see A Man Escaped. Yeah, my finances are pretty tight because I balance paid work with screenings and blogging (which I am unpaid for) so in the future I may have to surrender some writing time - but for now its a satisfying balance. I get to see most of the new releases, and have time to watch some old stuff. Cheers for the comment Niels!

  2. What's that TIFF poster supposed to mean ;) ?

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