This year is about to end so here is one of my year- end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's more a list for myself to remember what I did spend my time on during the year.
Well I hope you come and see me in the movies
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally
Text from: The Beatles – Act Naturally
It’s closing time, the personal has brought out their flasks and are toasting for a job well done. Soon it’s time to give everything over to the next year, wish them good luck and hope they read the new entries into the user-manual.
I’m going to post, for our last post of the year, a list of my favorite movies of 2013. The year seemed pretty shitty as we were in the middle of the things, but now outside of the cloudy present there were a lot of good movies to be seen as well. Let’s begin shall we with my number ten pick out of all the movies I saw released in 2013, and a small list of films I missed during the year and want to see.
10. This is the End
Seth Rogan and pals coming together in an apocalyptic comedy. Locked inside James Franco’s mansion for protects everybody starts to show their real colors and anarchy sets in. Punishment is dealt to the sinners who can’t get access into heaven (which basically means everyone in LA).
Comedies seldom get much recognition from year-end best-list, but this was a good full-out comedy. Written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the duo behind Superbad and Pineapple express, this follows the same trend of jizz and weed jokes. It was a great laugh and should not be overlooked.
09. The Conjuring
As This is the End is a tried-and-true comedy flick, The Conjuring is a great among the greats horror flick. It seriously delivers everything you think a horror movie about a hunted house should deliver. Eye covering tension, and a paranoia of the unlit corners of your house. This is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen.
Except for it being a great scary movie, it also seemed to be a great contender for a summer-block buster. It looked like a big-budget action superhero picture, though used this carefully. It isn’t too exclusive and the scares I believe are universal. The world-building is well-made and the film is greatly structured and pasted. And then the demon reveals its face.
08. Upstream Color
This is not something for the general audience, this is a low-budget, independently made, abstract film with a story that’s hard to put into words. It’s beautifully shot and most, if not all of the story is told solely through pictures. It’s a hard-film to explain but I liked it a lot. Made by the man who wrote, directed and starred in Primer I had high hopes for this one, and I was in the end surprised by what this film turned out to be.
I watched Upstream Color glued to the screen for the duration of the film. I didn’t try to figure it out as you might want to figure out other sophisticated science-fiction stories, but instead just let the film-captured light wash over me. When the experience was over I was filled with a restless energy and needed an excuse to leave the house and take a walk in the middle of the night. It was a great walk, one of those walks were you see the world through a new lens, just wish the chips I bought at the some-what distant gas station were as good.
07. The Place Beyond the Pines
Time for the surprisingly epic tale that The Place Beyond the Pines tells. I don’t really want to tell you about the surprising curve-ball the movie throws the viewers way, but its a successful one I can tell you that. From the beginning it seems to be a regular film, though after a while it shows it’s hand and the story of the film becomes clear.
It’s a tale of consequence and heritage, about genes and blood, it’s a tale about alienation and love. It was a great time and a meaningful experience I would wish upon others.
The first of two documentaries i thought would fit the list. This one is about killer-whales, how they are treated in captivity and the consequences of this.
Centered on one specific killer-whale in general who killed a girl at Seaworld, this documentary wants to educate the viewers on the lies that Seaworld tell about these animals. There are a lot of interviews with people who formerly worked at Seaworld and other aquariums and document several catastrophes that the company has tried to cover-up.
05. Spring Breakers
There’s been some mixed feelings around Spring Breakers, which I think is the point and something that brings a smile to write and director Harmony Korine. This is a film about four girls wanting to take a vocation from school and life in general and go on spring break to party as much as possible.
Of course things quickly get twisted and things spin out of control as the girls start wanting more freedom and control which brings chaos with it. They soon meet up with James Franco’s character Alien, a gangster, rapper, drug dealer with a customized sports car and a bed filled with cash and ammo. Spring Breakers sets up a scenario and sees how far they can stretch it and how extreme it can become.
04. The Act of Killing
It was a great year for documentaries and I saw a lot of them this year. The Act of Killing is something else, it’s a great concept. There were a lot of murdering in Indonesia during the sixties. People who were thought to be communists and left-wing were taken, interrogated and killed. More than 500.000 people were murdered during a span of two years in Indonesia and this documentary follows Anwar, one who personally killed approximately one thousand of them.
The premise of the documentary is to film as the murderers makes a film of their own retelling what happened during the sixties. In the picture above we can see such a retelling were Anwar plays the part of a suspect. I think it’s a great way to get underneath the murders skin and see him reflect on his actions. For a big majority of the film Anwar doesn’t think that what he’s done in his past was wrong but as the film goes on it becomes harder for him to continue lying to himself.
03. Frances Ha
A film from director Noah Baumbach, he’s one of my favorite directors making such films as Kicking and Scream and The Squid and the Whale. Frances Ha is a film about the falling apart of a relationship between two women, Frances Ha and her best friend Sophie. They live together in an apartment in New York and often make jokes about how they are like an old lesbian couple.
Sophie eventually moves out and Frances has a hard time getting over their failing friendship. She’s also in a transition phase in her life and has a hard time taking the next big step away from her dreams and into a stable life. It’s a journey emotionally and physically as Frances gets tossed around trying to get a sofa to sleep on. A great film in a body of other great films, Noah Baumbach continues the great sophisticated comedy works of people such as Woody Allen.
02. 12 Years a Slave
A film based on real-life events during the era when slavery in America was legal, when a free black man was tricked and brought into slavery. It spans over twelve years and tells a harrowing tale of cruelty. Brought to the screen by British director Steve McQueen, who also made Hunger and Shame. It stars the British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
It’s a grand film and feels almost like a theater performance at times as actors are given great speeches to throw at each other. The film making is excellent and really portrays the dire circumstances that these people are in.
A roller-coaster of extreme catastrophe when an astronaut tries to get back to earth and survive the continuously incoming disasters that gets thrown her way. From the film-maker Alfonso Cuarón, this film just as Children of Men includes some of the longest sequences of uncut beautiful scenes with the stars and the round body of earth in the background.
Just as the amazing score by Steven Price builds and fades multiple times everything comes in waves. Disastrous action scenarios are thrown at the help less floating character played by Sandra Bullock. The highs are high and the lows are comfortable as this cart turns around sharp devastating corners. But besides the main story-line there are a lot of references to historical imaginary and events. I’m having a hard time not getting a bit heavy chested as I remember some of the undertones in a scene were the character reaches a radio (if you’ve seen the film I hope you’ll understand what I mean).
I really need to watch this movie again before it leaves theaters. This one really needs to be experienced with a big screen, a grand great speaker-system and with its 3D enhancements.
These are five of the films I missed this year and really want to see. Vi Är Bäst! (We Are The Best!) which is a swedish film by film director Lukas Moodysson (Fucking Åmål, Lilja 4-ever) about a fictive all female punk-rock band in 1982’s Stockholm. Martin Scorsese’s newest film Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill as shady stockbrokers on wallstreeet. There’s also the new science-fiction romance movie by former music video director Spike Jonze, Her, wherein Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an operating system (as you do). The Japanese animated film The Wind Rises by director Hayoa Miyazaki, said to be his last, this film tells a tale of a man who designs fighter planes (the Miyazaki-est premise ever?) during the second world war. And lastly the latest by the excellent directors duo, the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis a film about a folk musician.
Let’s enter the new year in style.