It’s time for the annual Movie List!! This is every film I watched in 2012 (plus, for the first time, TV series at the end!). Asterisk means a rewatch, and the number in parentheses is the release date. Here is last year’s list, for the sake of comparison.
01 - Bring It On (00)- spending the day watching (more or less) bad movies is a New Year’s Day tradition! The best part of this was the pop-up video style commentary, which seemed to centre on the kid who played Kirsten Dunst’s little bro?
02 - Teen Wolf (85)
03 - State of Play (09)
04 - * Star Trek: Insurrection (98)
05 - Win Win (11) - I really enjoyed this movie about high school wrestling (??!)
06 - Metropolis (27)
07 - Centre Stage (00) - what you want to do is see this movie on a bus full of girls who were teens when it came out. THAT’s what you want.
08 - * Zoolander (01) - OMG gasfight, OMG
09 - One Day (11) - travels through time as we all do - in a mostly linear, forward motion?
10 - * The Rules of Attraction (02) - I find this movie comforting and distressing in almost equal measure.
11 - Fanny & Alexander (82) - long and play-like, but much less bleak than I was expecting.
12 - Faithfully Yours (88)
13 - Cronos (93) - i gird myself for disgust when watching a del Toro that I’ve never seen before.
14 - Dr Bronner’s Magic Soapbox (07) - I’d been searching fitfully for this documentary since I found out about it!
15 - * Match Point (05) - one of the more pleasing recent Woody Allen movies, by my reckoning.
16 - The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp (43) - there’s a bit of Powell & Pressburger sprinkled throughout this year’s movies, and this one is the first.
17 - The Golden Compass (07)
18 - Twins (88) - one (likely hungover?) day, I wanted ridiculous Arnold movies, and so i got Netflix, and here we are.
19 - Hudson Hawk (91)
20 - Hobson’s Choice (53)
21 - Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (94) - Lin designed the Vietnam War Memorial as a mere 21-year-old, and if you’ve ever wanted to know how that whole thing went down (hint: complicatedly?) this is a good way to get that info.
22 - * American Psycho (00)
23 - Brewster’s Millions (85)
24 - * Pleasantville (98)
25 - The Red Shoes (48)
26 - The Remains of the Day (93)
27 - My Winnipeg (07)
28 - Certified Copy (11)
29 - * Real Genius (85)
30 - * Star Wars (original trilogy, 77-83)
31 - * True Lies (94)
32 - * Scarface (83)
33 - Ran (85)
34 - Impromptu (91)
35 - The Secret World of Arietty (11) - I’m very attached to the source book for this story, so I had high expectations. Spiller is possibly the most exciting character though, and he gets no play here. Sequels, pls?
36 - * My Neighbour Totoro (88) - saw this for my birthday at the Lightbox theatre, on a brief break from schoolwork. So many people so obsessed with the cuteness!
37 - Project Breakwater (12) - a movie in which I played an alien!
38 - Tabloid (10)
39 - Papillon (73)
40 - Tiny Furniture (10)
41 - Cabin in the Woods (12) - Found this mostly enjoyable, and loved that the ending was uncompromising.
42 - The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (11)
43 - Meek’s Cutoff (10)
44 - The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces (80)
45 - Revolutionary Road (08) - Read a bunch of Richard Yates this year, and had to watch the film version, too.
46 - Bye Bye Birdie (63) - been waiting to see this since waaaay back when it was referenced on Mad Men. It’s MUCH sillier than I thought it would be.
47 - Avengers (12)
48 - Brick by Brick (11)
49 - The Incredible Hulk (08)
50 - Weekend (11) - soft and pretty and embarrassing in the right way.
51 - Young Adult (11)
52 - Moonrise Kingdom (12)
53 - The Boys From Brazil (78)
54 - Melancholia (11)
55 - Eastern Promises (07)
56 - Face/Off (97)
57 - Humpday (09)
58 - Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (09)
59 - Wanderlust (11)
60 - I Love you Philip Morris (10)
61 - * Heavenly Creatures (94)
62 - * My Man Godfrey (36)
63 - Moonrise Kingdom (12) - yeah, I watched this twice?! With different friends, in different cities, not to mention different countries. whoa.
64 - *Jaws (77) - on the big screen! so great, so great
65 - Beasts of the Southern Wild (12) - ended up feeling so-so about this. I wish the beasts had stayed metaphorical?
66 - Examined Life (08)
67 - The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (06) - Zizek on the history of cinema. Excellent long train trip viewing.
68 - * Rachel Getting Married (08)
69 - * Apollo 13 (95)
70 - The 39 Steps (35)
71 - Munich (05)
72 - The Last Waltz (78)
73 - * The War Room (93) - american election year? must be time to watch The War Room again…
74 - Heaven Can Wait (43)
75 - Ace in the Hole (51)
76 - Looper (12)
77 - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (07)
78 - High Art (98)
79 - Black Narcissus (47)
80 - Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (05) - finally finished the Vengeance trilogy, still like the first one the most.
81 - Into Eternity (10) - documentary about the storage of nuclear waste. The angles that interest me most (how to label such a thing? should it be labelled at all, or will that just tempt people of the future to dig it up?) were not given as much time as I would have liked.
82 - Argo (12) - adventure/popcorn movie, much exaggerated for dramatic value I’m sure. I was uncomfortable with the villainous way in which the Iranians (the men in particular) were portrayed.
83 - Beginners (11)
84 - Chungking Express (94) - so cheery compared with Wong Kar-Wai’s later movies! Delightful and great and has stuck with me!
85 - Trust (90)
86 - Sleeping Beauty (11)
87 - Paradise Lost 1 & 2 (96 and 00) - These are the first two segments of a three-part documentary about the West Memphis Three.
88 - You Can Count on Me (00)
89 - * The Anniversary Party (01)
90 - Return of the Living Dead (85)
91 - * The Beach (00) - this is a shit movie, but there was something in it that I remembered and had to have again. You know how that goes.
92 - Source Code (11)
93 - Talk to Her (02)
94 - * Mean Girls (04) - stop trying to make “fetch” happen
95 - * Thunderball (65)
96 - * Casino Royale (06) - watched as Skyfall prep, and I realized that my boredom with Bond action sequences is b/c they’re made to be watched HUGE, not on my tiny computer screen.
97 - * Quantum of Solace (08)
98 - Goldeneye (95) - probably the best of the Brosnan Bonds, but this isn’t saying much. Alan Cumming uses a ludicrous Russian accent? Also interesting to think of it in context as the first post-cold-war Bond…
99 - Contact (97)
100 - Skyfall (12) - I had no problem with the large amount of Judi Dench (WHO WOULD?!) but I’m a little apprehensive about where the ending puts the series. I liked a troubled Bond, one who works with women in a non-secretarial context, one who has feelings. We shall see.
101 - * In the Mood for Love (00) - always great, always beautiful.
102 - Extract (09)
103 - Waitress (07) - puts me in mind of this essay, and if you know how it ends, you’ll know why. Weirded me out, was way cutesy and rural.
104 - Jeff, Who Lives at Home (11) - I really like a title with punctuation in it! I watched two Duplass brothers movies this year, and the jury’s still out on these guys, as far as I’m concerned. I prefer Mark as an actor in other people’s movies? Like the next one?
105 - Your Sister’s Sister (11) - see? He’s better this way!
106 - My Week With Marilyn (11)
107 - Marnie (64) - this HAS to be one of the weirdest Hitchcock movies. Right?
108 - The Fruit Hunters (12) - have you ever wanted a movie to make you hungry for exotic fruit? Well. Find this, and watch it!
109 - The Trip (11)
110 - Night Train to Munich (40)
111 - Breaking Dawn pt 1 (11) - you’ll notice that the second one, the one with all the awesome decapitations, is not on the list. My pals went, I demurred, and saw zero heads fall off. What a rip.
112 - * Live and Let Die (73)
113 - * The Usual Suspects (95)
114 - Vanilla Sky (01)
115 - Bernie (11)
116 - Sleepwalk With Me (12) - this story is most enjoyable as a standup album, then as a TAL segment, then as a fictionalized film.
117 - The Big Chill (83) - soundtrack is unbeatable, there are many babes.
118 - Southland Tales (06)
119 - The Fly (86) - watched this while doing christmas party baking. This is not a course of action I recommend. There is pus.
120 - Holiday (38)
121 - * Die Hard (88) - christmas movie-watching par excellence.
122 - Friends With Kids (11) - i found this pretty great until the end, when it totally tipped over into standard romantic-comedy territory.
123 - Un Amour De Jeunesse (11)
124 - Moon (09)
125 - Wicker Man (06) - whooooooa what a thing to end 2012! I watched the original some years back, and had heard a lot about the wackiness of this remake.
This is the first year I’d bothered to keep track of TV. This includes only series I watched completely, whether they were full 20+ episode US-style series or just a few episodes.
Sherlock Series 2 (12) - why is it that these guys keep making really good episodes 1 & 3, and totally fucking up episode 2? Granted, the end of Scandal in Belgravia left lots to be desired (see Ryan’s take here) but ep 3 was unreservedly great! Baskerville suffered from weird character stuff and unfocused story.
State of Play (03) - I watched this b/c of my beloved Kelly Macdonald! Fun to watch competent people doing their jobs, and Bill Nighy was extremely fun as the boss. Do I need to say it was better than the american version?
Black Mirror Series 1 (11) - sci-fi mini-series of unconnected episodes. Creator Charlie Brooker seems like a certified asshole most of the time, and the critique of contemporary society is often pretty heavy-handed (esp. in ep 1, geeeeez) but particularly episode 2 had compelling characters and an interesting world, which reminded me a bit of Moon.
Edwardian Country House (02) - Downton Abbey withdrawal (even after series 2, which was clearly ridiculous) can do strange things to a man. This is a 1940s House-style program, where modern people live in a manor house. Scullery maids freaking out! Little kids drunk with power!
Twin Peaks seasons 1&2 (90-91) - I waited an unreasonably long time to see this! Made me miss the west coast forests in a huge way. And of course, is totally wonderful and insane, until the murder gets solved and everything falls apart.
The following are a bunch of british documentary series. BBC iplayer is still a good resource for at least finding what’s on, to then be surreptitiously downloaded. Watch any of them to learn some things, and as an extra bonus, see lots of footage of the hosts wandering around and looking thoughtful:
Melvin Bragg: Class and Culture (12)
The Lost Prince (03)
Sex & Sensibility: The Allure of Art Nouveau (12)
The Story of Wales (12)
Bullets, Boots and Bandages (12)
Our Food (12)
Misfits Series 3 & 4 (11 & 12) - Misfits is a good series, y’all! The “magic powers” thing is handled quite well, and there’s some genuinely funny writing. They managed to replace the most over-the-top character in series 1 & 2 with an even more effective firebrand-y guy. Also re: the music? Clearly chosen by someone around my age (witness the theme song) rather than someone around the age of the protagonists (ie, in the neighbourhood of 20).
Green Wing series 1 & 2 (04-07) - found this on American Netflix and continued watching it at home via downloads. What with this + Black Books below, this was basically the year of Tamsin Greig?
Great British Bake-Off series 3 (12) - aaaaah, bake-off! I got spoiled by the Guardian re: the final winner, but this was still a very fun series to watch. It’s been funny to watch it become a genuine phenomenon, but stay largely the same as it always was.
Veep season 1 (12) - see below!
The Thick of It series 1 (05) - I saw In The Loop when it was in theatres, but somehow didn’t get around to starting the series till now. It was the above Veep that nudged me in that direction.
Key & Peele seasons 1 & 2 (12) - pretty solid sketch show, although I will admit that I watch it at 1.5x speed, to make the sketches I don’t enjoy pass faster. TV ON DEMAND, MAN
Peep Show series 1-7 (03-11) - I’d tried and failed to get into this show in the past, but finally did it this time! There were, in fact, even some moments when I laughed out loud, in spite of watching this alone (I tend to laugh more when I’m watching things with others, this is a thing humans do, right?).
Girls (12) - yeah, like everyone, I watched this. And will admit to being interested to see where it goes next. Somehow was given to understand that the penultimate ep was in fact the final one, and when you look at it that way, it..almost…works?
Black Books series 1 & 2 (00-02) - been hearing about Dylan Moran for too long. Put off by the laugh track, but otherwise a decent showcase for the actors, and appealingly weird.
The Story of Film (11) - 15-part series on the worldwide history of film. I learned a tonne from the first few episodes and was very taken by it. I didn’t always agree with the presenter’s ideas, particularly about the transitions he proposes around the turn of this century, though.