[2014 Film Roundup]

Total: 204 (full list here)
…plus 8 other (NT Live, etc)
Revival: 70
SIFF: 51
Other festivals (SLGFF, Noir City): 21
Free: SIFF volunteer (67 + festival), other machinations (29)
…all told I paid $376.95 in total for movies in 2014, not including Veronica Mars, giving us an average ticket price of $1.85.

Favorite films (which this year means films which haunted me the most): Ida, Force Majeure, and Foxcatcher

Honorable mention: the Tilda Swinton Trilogy of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Snowpiercer

Continue reading “[2014 Film Roundup]”

[2013 Film Roundup]

I resolved to see fewer movies this year. It worked, though getting laid off & thus not being able to afford them was probably not the best way to go about it.

Total: 235 (full list here)
…plus 7 other (NT Live, etc)
Revival: 78 (!!!)
SIFF: 61 (+screeners)
Other festivals: Noir City (12), SLGFF (6).
Free: previews (21), SIFF volunteer (102)

Favorite: Upstream Color forever and ever amen

…followed closely by: Her, Before Midnight, Frances Ha.

Also: 12 Years a Slave, Short Term 12, Blancanieves, When a Wolf Falls in Love with a Sheep, Prince Avalanche, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Gravity, Fruitvale Station, Spring Breakers, Stoker, Byzantium, Inside Llewyn Davis, Enough Said.

Best popcorn movies: This Is the End, The World’s End, The Heat, Catching Fire, The Kings of Summer, The Way Way Back, The Conjuring, Pain & Gain.

Best documentaries: The Act of Killing, Big Joy, Stories We Tell, Planet of Snail (which I think was actually last year, but whatever, I saw it in 2013 & this is my blog).

Best music documentaries: The Punk Singer, A Band Called Death, 20 Feet From Stardom.

Favorite queer films: Concussion, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Beyond the Hills.

Under the radar stuff worth checking out: In a World…, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Le Skylab, Gimme the Loot, The Angels’ Share, Flicker, The Rocket.

Strong argument for more lady film critics: Austenland.

Notable performances in flawed films: Amy Acker’s fierce Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Jake Gyllenhaal’s restrained detective in Prisoners, Adèle Exarchopoulos’s wide open self discovery in Blue Is the Warmest Color (to call this film flawed is generous; I actively hated it), & Leonardo DiCaprio as the heart of The Great Gatsby.

Best revival experiences: Woody Allen & James Bond at Grand Illusion, Noir City as always, Auntie Mame as always, The Godfather Pt 2, Safety Last, M, & Cabaret (for obvious reasons, but also because of the guy sitting behind me who had no idea what he was getting into).

I spent the second half of the year watching television, so let’s do an honorable mention for some tv full of awesome ladies: Orphan Black (so good I’ve already watched it three times), Orange Is the New Black, Bletchley Circle, Bomb Girls & Call the Midwife (both of which I just discovered this year), Top of the Lake, & The Good Wife (which has been doing fantastic character work for four years, paying off big time in this fifth season).

Extra honorable mention: The Night of the Doctor, part of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, for beautifully bringing back *my* Doctor.

Have yet to see: All Is Lost, August: Osage County, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Go For Sisters, The Great Beauty, Nebraska, Wadjda, probably more I’m forgetting.

What did I miss? What titles would you like me to talk a little more about?

[2012 Film Roundup]

Total: 320 (full list here)
…plus 11 other (TV dinners, NT Live, etc)
Revival: 110
SIFF pass: 147*
SIFF: 68
Other festivals: MIFFF (3), Noir City (13), SLGFF (6).
Free: 32

Now, the good stuff this year in film, by my totally arbitrary & inconsistent categories:

Favorite films: HOLY MOTORS (ask anyone; I cannot stop talking about this movie), ANNA KARENINA, THE MASTER.

Favorite films you’ve possibly never heard of: Girl Walk // All Day, The Imposter, Yossi, Sound of My Voice.

Worthy of their buzz: Any Day Now, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Margaret, Moonrise Kingdom, Robot & Frank, The Sessions, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Safety Not Guaranteed.

Under the radar: Natural Selection, Sister, The Hunter, Burning Man.

Optimistic movies that made me happy: Liberal Arts, Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, Rent-a-Cat, Goon.

Best queer movies: Any Day Now, Cloudburst, Yossi, Keep the Lights On.

Best local films: Your Sister’s Sister, Eden, Fat Kid Rules the World.

Best teen films: Fat Kid Rules the World, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Best popcorn movies: Cabin in the Woods, John Carter, The Bourne Legacy.

SIFF Favorites: Future Weather, Dragon, King Curling, Starbuck, Rent-a-Cat, Nosilatiaj.Beauty, Chapiteau-show, Rebellion, Easton’s Article, Diaz: Don’t Clean Up This Blood, Teddy Bear.

Best animated movie: Life of Pi 3D, The Avengers.

Best animated movie (for real): Tatsumi, Wrinkles.

Best horror movie: Ruby Sparks, The Innkeepers.

Best (depressing) romance: Take this Waltz, Friends with Kids.

Best documentaries: Pina, Samsara, Side by Side, Caesar Must Die, Dreams of a Life, Indie Game: the Movie, The Other Dream Team.

Best documentaries about famous & infamous people: Bill Cunningham: New York, Harry Belafonte: Sing Your Song, Under African Skies, The Queen of Versailles, The Source.

Ten favorite revival experiences: The Great Gatsby & Three Strangers at Noir City, Mean Girls vs Fight Club, Scarface shootalong, Children of Paradise 4K restoration, Badlands on 35mm, Castles in the Sky: Studio Ghibli series on 35mm, Grand Illusion on 35mm, Bonjour Tristesse 4K restoration, “Trapped in the Closet” singalong, Auntie Mame (AS ALWAYS).

Hey-it’s-that-guy of the year: Matt O’Leary (Natural Selection, Eden, & Fat Kid Rules the World).

Things I missed because there’s only so much time: Five Broken Cameras, Compliance, Brooklyn Castle, Chicken with Plums, and many many more.

Things I have yet to see on account of not living in NY or LA: Amour, Rust & Bone, Zero Dark Thirty.

Thing I have yet to see because it feels like homework: Lincoln.

Thing I have yet to see because it just came out last week: Django Unchained.


So, that’s that! A pretty full year of film, and yet, I know I missed a bunch. What did you love? What did you hate? Do you want me to talk more about anything? Are you shocked at anything I haven’t seen? Because personally I’m still pretty shocked I haven’t seen Pitch Perfect yet.


* The SIFF Cinema pass is such a fantastic deal. It worked out to about a buck fifty a film, & I definitely took more risks & expanded my viewing by having it.

[2011 Film Roundup]

2011 by the numbers:

Total: 227 [full list here]
Festival: Noir [13], SJFF [2], SIFF [50], MIFFF [6], SLGFF [10].
Shorts packages: 9
Free: 56, plus festival volunteering
Revival: 68

By my arbitrary categories:

Best beloved: Trigger (about which I cannot be rational)

Other favorites: Win Win, Bridesmaids, Hanna, Midnight in Paris

Also worth seeing: The Artist, Melancholia, Drive, Amigo, Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50, Le Havre, The Descendants, J Edgar, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Margin Call

Best genre (scifi/fantasy): Attack the Block, Perfect Sense, Super 8, Absentia

Film that put a smile on my face for a solid week, and left me with a nearly-unmanageable crush on Jason Segel: The Muppets

Best Michael Fassbender film: Jane Eyre

Best Jessica Chastain film: The Tree of Life

Best superhero movie: Captain America

Best queer film: 3, Mary Lou, Vito, A(Sexual)

Best documentaries: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Project Nim, The Black Power Mix Tape, Being Elmo, A(Sexual), Into the Abyss, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Best of SIFF: Submarine, Tyrannosaur, Beginners, Small Town Murder Songs, Saigon Electric, Boy, Detention, The King of Devil’s Island

Best movies you probably didn’t hear about, but are worth a look: Nora’s Will, Henry’s Crime, Cedar Rapids

Best revival: Too many to name

Movies I’m really glad I saw alone: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Almost Famous (director’s cut), Biutiful, You Are Here, Playtime, Resurrect Dead

Most surprising movie I saw twice: Galaxy Quest

Least surprising movie I saw twice: In the Mood for Love

Are these the best films of 2011? Who knows. They are the films I am most likely to hunt you down and make you watch.

Terrible movies with no redeeming qualities: Sherlock Holmes 2 (longest movie *ever*), No Strings Attached, The Rite, Jamie & Jessie Are Not Together, The Scandalous Four, Anonymous, The Darkest Hour

Terrible movies with redeeming qualities: Priest (Maggie Q!), Breaking Dawn Part One(though objectively it is definitely the worst movie I saw all year, even worse than those bad gay movies), Real Steel (Robot dancing!), In Time (with amazing time related puns and Justin Timberlake trying SO HARD to act).

Movies that aren’t out here yet: Maggie: Destroyer of Social Services, Albert Nobbs, Pariah, In the Land of Blood and Honey, A Separation, Carnage, Coriolanus, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Pina, Tomboy

Movies that I missed because I suck: Mainly just The Ides of March & Moneyball.

So… what else did I miss? What did you think was awesome? What did you think sucked, so we can all avoid it?

[2010 Film Round-up]

2010 by the numbers
Total: 150
Festival (Noir, SIFF, SLGFF): 67
Free: 45
Remaining revival: 18
Remaining regular sort of movies which I paid for like a normal person: 20 (though only 4 of them were full price. Booyah.)

Revival is a total separate thing that I’d like to talk about, because I had so many awesome experiences, so this post is just 2010 films by my totally arbitrary and yet amazing categories. To hell with top tens!:

Best films: Black Swan, Exit Through the Gift Shop (is it a documentary? is it performance art? yes.), 127 Hours

Best genre films: Inception, The Eclipse (a criminally overlooked ghost story), Buried

Most beloved films: Monga, Castaway on the Moon, Howl, Never Let Me Go

Best director: Danny Boyle, 127 Hours, for bringing us from wide desert vistas down to a few drops of water, for making a single guy alone on screen for basically the whole movie visually compelling, for two harrowing minutes of film that even without watching affected my whole being.

Best queer film: Undertow, Eyes Wide Open, Monga (wait, that was just subtext? Oh.)

Best musical: Hipsters, sex & drugs & rock & roll

Best trifecta about America at war: Green Zone, Fair Game, & The Tillman Story

Favorite but overlooked performances that I can remember at the moment: Ryan O’Nan as the returning veteran in The Dry Land, Frances O’Connor as one of several troubled mothers in Blessed, Paul Chiang as the unflappable Gao in Au Revoir Taipei, Greta Gerwig as the PA & then some in Greenberg, Sam Rockwell in Iron Man 2,Togo Igawa as the lovely new neighbor in The Hedgehog & as the restaurateur/sumo coach in A Matter of Size

Most fun I had at the theater: Legion, RED, RoboGeisha, K-20: The Fiend with 20 Faces

List of awesome features: Greenberg (my favorite solo Baumbach since Kicking & Screaming), The Hedgehog (charming French adaptation of the novel), Cell 211 (not your average prison movie), Toy Story 3, Winter’s Bone, Never Let Me Go (unjustly ignored all over the place), Carlos (the whole damn thing), Rabbit Hole, The King’s Speech, The Fighter

List of awesome documentaries: Marwencol, The Secrets of the Tribe, The Tillman Story. Thunder Soul, Prodigal Sons

List of movies that aren’t out in Seattle yet, but that I am obsessed with: Biutiful, Blue Valentine, Another Year, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Annoyed I missed: Mesrine, Animal Kingdom, Get Low, Fish Tank, The American, I Am Love

Stuff I saw on DVD worth mentioning: Cairo Time, Easy A, A Prophet (which I think is technically 2009, but is showing up on a bunch of lists this year, deservedly so), Please Give

Movies everyone else went batshit over, and I thought were solid, but not omg amazing: The Kids Are All Right (a conservative little movie about how marriage is hard that just happened to be about a lesbian couple) & True Grit (beautifully shot & perfectly cast, but no *there* there)

Also, the ones I spent the year pissed off about:

Most stylish & snappy representation of rich white man pain: The Social Network

Second movie in which I desperately wanted to punch the lead in the nose: Solitary Man

Most frustrating waste of talent: Shutter Island

Most disturbing: Splice (“It’s not what it looks like!”)

First movie I ever walked out of: Hot Tub Time Machine (I am honestly not sure if I can deal with anyone who enjoyed this movie. *That* is how upsetting it was. So if you thought all the gay panic and rape jokes were great, you should maybe not tell me. And you should rethink some things. I’m just saying.)

Second movie I ever walked out of: Perfect 10, which was really a perfect storm of things that make my head pop off.