Thursday, January 2, 2014

Top 10 Films of 2013

A year of isolation. Of triumph and false guilt. Of doomed love and tortured spirits. From big movies with personal themes, to small moves with grand aspirations. From micro budget masterworks of mystery, to big budget condemnations of excess. There was a lot to love at the movies in 2013, but these are the films that stayed with me most. 

Honorable Mention
Adore
dir. by Anne Fontaine

Out of all the films released this year, Adore is the one I liked the most that everyone else liked the least. A complex and judgment-free tale of middle aged best friends falling for each other’s teenage sons. It was beautiful, scandalous, and poignant. I unapologetically loved everything about it. Now available on DVD

10. The Hunt
dir. by Thomas Vinterberg

After kind schoolteacher Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen, a portrait of tortured perfection) is accused of molesting one of his students, the citizens of his small town slowly turn on him, making for a grueling exploration of how quick we as a society are to judge. The most infuriating and haunting film of the year. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray

9. The Place Beyond the Pines
dir. by Derek Cianfrance

A study of fathers and sons, and the ripples their actions cause for generations. While the A-list stars justly dominated the conversation surrounding this film, special mention needs to be made for Eva Mendes, who delivered career-best work as an emotionally brutalized mother, and Dane DeHaan and Emory Cohen, who acted precisely how two troubled teenagers actually act. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray

8. Gravity
dir. by Alfonso Cuarón

Cuarón did a very smart thing by leaving his film in space. No cross cutting to the panicked control room in Houston, no flashbacks to daughters during happy times; we stayed in hell, enduring the struggle. Gravity is the finest technical cinematic achievement in years, and everyone behind the scenes deserves to be rewarded accordingly. Emmanuel Lubezki’s Oscar better be waiting. Currently in limited theaters, expect a wide rerelease after Oscar nominations

7. The Wolf of Wall Street
dir. by Martin Scorsese

The most dangerous film of the year, Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio boldly went where few people of their status would. They created a manic, cocaine-infused epic of greed and excess, and they made it look fun. The film is getting a lot of heat for glorifying its on screen antics, but that criticism is misguided. The Wolf of Wall Street is an indictment of our culture; just cleverly masked with pleasure. Currently in theaters

6. Her
dir. by Spike Jonze

On the surface, Her is a comedy about a lonely man who develops a relationship with his operating system. But Jonze always encourages us to look closer. Look closer at what Her is saying about us. About our dependency on things. About our fear of emotional connection. Study the lonely, suffering man (Joaquin Phoenix, arguably never better) trying to figure it all out. Study, and behold. As unique a film of love, loss, and life that I’ve seen in years. Currently in limited theaters, wide release scheduled for Jan. 10

5. Fruitvale Station
dir. by Ryan Coogler

It’s a real testament to Coogler’s filmmaking that despite us knowing the fate of Oscar Grant, Coogler created one of the most raw and captivating films of the year. I’ve considered Michael B. Jordan a talented performer since his doomed portrayal of Wallace on Season 1 of The Wire. But with his brave turn as Grant, Jordan deserves to be a big, big star. Fruitvale Station is American independent film at its most courageous. And certainly its most sincere. Available on DVD and Blu-Ray Jan. 14

4. Spring Breakers
dir. by Harmony Korine

I have no idea what the hell goes on in the mind of Harmony Korine, but goddamn if it wasn’t a blast to watch via Spring Breakers. Infused with hypnotic beats, florescent cinematography and circular editing, Spring Breakers was the most fun I had at the movies this year. I can’t fully explain it, I dare not rationalize it, but I can most definitely appreciate it. Simply put, I’ve never seen anything like it, and I remain undeniably drawn to it. Now available on DVD and Blu-Ray

3. 12 Years a Slave
dir. by Steve McQueen

There was nothing easy about 12 Years a Slave, a merciless examination of America’s darkest period. Perhaps most shockingly, the film managed to portray all of its characters as human beings, rather than glorified heroes or caricatures of torturous thugs. Brutal, yes. Relentless, sure. But necessary…? Certainly. Currently in limited theaters, expect a wide rerelease after Oscar nominations

2. Blue is the Warmest Color
dir. by Abdellatif Kechiche

The finest love story of the year was a three-hour French epic about two women experiencing the bliss and hell of love. When we first meet Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos, delivering the year’s best performance), she’s not unlike most teenagers: shy, confused, aimless. But once the bold and blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux) comes into her life, Adèle slowly transforms into a young woman brimming with self-discovery. She discovers love. She discovers sorrow. She discovers life. It’s a beautiful film, but also a challenging one. Shot almost entirely in vivid close-up, with hardly any exposition to establish the characters, Kechiche’s film is an honest and moving portrait of love at first sight, and the dangers it can behold. Available via Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-Ray Feb. 25

1. Upstream Color
dir. by Shane Carruth

It never went away. The mysticism. The complexity. The power of Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color never faded. It’s the best looking, best sounding, best put together film of the year, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that just one man is responsible for it all. As the writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, composer, title designer, distributor and star of Upstream Color, Shane Carruth has proven that if you have a passion (or compulsion) to make a film, you make it by any means necessary.

The core beauty of the film is its spherical mystery. There are essentially three components to its obscure world, and if one is altered, everything else falls apart. To explain the components is pointless. It is far more conducive to experience Carruth’s vision yourself – to open your mind and let the light in. I don’t just love this film, I’m indebted to it. I’m awestricken by its lack of convention, and so eternally grateful for reminding me that originality in film is far from vanishing. Now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and Netflix Instant

Ten More I Loved

All Is Lost, an audacious and poignant journey of perseverance
Before Midnight, a heartbreaking chapter of one of my favorite screen couples
Captain Phillips, the conclusion of which is the single best scene of the year
The Past, Asghar Farhadi’s devastating family drama
Prisoners, a brutal investigation of what grief drives us to do
Short Term 12, the most realistic portrayal of troubled kids in quite some time
Side Effects, a mesmerizing psychological thriller featuring a perfect Rooney Mara
The Spectacular Now, teenage love treated with the intelligence it deserves
Stories We Tell, the best documentary of the year

86 comments:

  1. That's a good list. The Place Beyond the Pines, Spring Breakers, and The Hunt are in my 2012 short list of films to see as I'm going by year it came out. I hope see Upstream Color this month as Her is coming to Atlanta next weekend while Labor Day is also coming later this month while the other 2 films I hope to see are Like Father, Like Son, and The Past. 2013 has been a great year in films and I hope 2014 does well. BTW, did you see the list of filmmakers I'm going to profile for my Auteurs piece for this year?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh shit I didn't see your list, need to scope it out ASAP.

      Looks like you have some great flicks headed your way. Upstream... man, I can't wait to hear what you think of that one.

      Delete
  2. no man of steel? you make me sick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Convince me that a lens flare in a closed elevator is possible. Then, maybe, we can talk.

      Delete
  3. You have such good taste! Must be an "Alex" thing hahaha.

    Two of our top 5 are the same (Blue + Fruitvale) and I'm so excited for Her and Wolf of Wall Street.

    I hope I can squeeze in a rewatch of Upstream Color before my Top 50, it's teetering on the edge at the moment, but I was still in awe of some of the aspects.

    I will be happy when 12 Years A Slave wins Best Picture :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, right on! Oh man, I SO hope you're right about 12 Years nabbing the top prize. Like I've said, at this point, I trust your judgement above all others!

      Delete
    2. Oh man, I'm even more confident this year. Just can't see it losing!

      Delete
    3. You have no idea how happy that makes me.

      Delete
  4. I love this list but I haven't seen most of the films on it as they have not yet been released in Australia! But I'd honestly have to agree with Spring Breakers. What a brilliant, insightful and unique film it is

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked the list! I loved the hell out of Spring Breakers. So good.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Delete
  5. Saw a lot of these! Loved numbers 2-4 and 6-8....would have to swap number 7 and 4 positions, but only because of such intense love for the decade of excess--there won't be another time like it! Fabulous job--and a tough one with a limit of 10!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You saw so many great ones! You know, ask me in a year and Wolf of Wall Street will most likely be higher. That movie was so bold and fantastic. I absolutely loved it.

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen almost half of these(February is our December. So...) but you kind of surprised me with your no.1. I certainly liked that film too and it is lurking around my number 10 currently. So I am not going to challenge you for that pick but I certainly did not see that coming. I was expecting Wolf or 12 Years. :)

    I love your 'Other 10' more since I have seen a lot of these and 5 of them are in my current top 10. I guess, I would have a lot to choose from when I make such list in couple of months.

    P.S: Have you seen Broken Circle Breakdown yet? I saw it recently and was quite floored. Just interested in your opinion of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Loved Upstream, man. Loved it. I'll look forward to your list in a few months - such a bummer that you all get films later. Way it goes I guess.

      I haven't seen Broken Circle Breakdown but I'll track it down ASAP. Good stuff?

      Delete
    2. Great Stuff! Plus, you like Music.

      Delete
  7. Enjoyed your list... Haven't seen Upstream Color, so I will definitely check that out! The only one that I didn't care for was Spring Breakers (however, Franco was great)... My list will come out around Oscar time (takes too long to get movies to South Mississippi ha)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man, I cannot recommend Upstream highly enough, such a unique and personal film. I'll cherish it forever.

      Look forward to your list!

      Delete
  8. Amazing list! Loved all of your choices except Spring Breakers (which I despised very much). I can't help but feel very disappointed about Adore being left out of your Top 10 :( I'm glad it got an honorable mention though. It was beautiful, thoughtful, and pretty damn unique.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man! I really wanted to get Adore in the Top 10, but I just couldn't do it. I've never done an honorable mention on a year end list, but I felt it was necessary here. I... adored that film to say the least.

      You post your list yet?

      Delete
    2. I need to see a few more movies before I can make a list that is 'credible' in my books :)

      Delete
    3. Ah gotcha. Well be sure to let me know when it's posted!

      Delete
  9. Nice list! I particularly love your bold #1 choice. I've seen it twice so far and the second viewing made me appreciate Carruth's vision that much more. You barely know what's going on for much of the film and yet he makes you feel very deeply for his characters.

    The only one I disagree with (and only slightly) is Fruitvale Station. As good as the performances were, the film didn't click with me. The fingerprints of the filmmaker were more visible than they should have been (the dead dog, the bathroom sequence, throwing the pot into the bay, etc.). It's impressive as a directorial debut but still quite flawed in its execution. Spencer was reliably good and I hope to see more from Diaz and Jordan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man! I get where you're coming from with your Fruitvale criticisms. Seems to be the consensus shared by detractors of the film, and fair enough. The film, despite what it made up and what it didn't, really resonated with me, and that's all I can ask for.

      Glad you're an Upstream fan.

      Delete
  10. Excellent list by the way! I can hardly complain about it after all, as I also had UC as my #1 (and also genuinely quite liked Adore, for what it's worth, not that it made my list). Really looking forward now to seeing 12 Years a Slave, Her, Wolf of Wall St and Fruitvale Station, none of which have opened yet in the UK...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another fan of Upstream? Well hell man, you and I are gonna get along just fun. Seriously, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Will give your list a look today. And you have some GREAT films headed your way soon.

      Delete
  11. Fantastic list Alex. Plenty here I haven't managed to catch up with, mainly through limited/no viewings near me or that it hasn't actually opened here yet. As such, it seems I have plenty of quality viewing ahead!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man! And you do indeed have some gems headed your way. Will give your Top 10 of '13 list a look today!

      Delete
  12. Interesting list.

    I just couldn't get into Upstream Color, it reminded me of Bug, another film I struggled with.

    However one colour I did enjoy is your No.2, Blue is The Warmest Colour. It's my favourite of the year, mainly for the acting which was fantastic, much better than the direction. Hope Adèle Exarchopoulos performance is rewarded with a best actress win at the Oscars.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well hey, one out of two ain't bad. Wouldn't be great if Adèle managed to get some serious awards attention? She so deserves it.

      Delete
  13. Of all the lists, I like yours the best. maybe its because you have a knack for making lists and making me into wanting to see even the movies in bad lists.. I don't know.. you need to write me an e-mail or something how to write lists because I'm a failure at it..

    PS: I liked Adore.. and I'm going to see all the movies I already haven't seen mentioned in this list! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks so much, glad you like the list! I dunno, I don't really have a "trick" or anything to making them, only that I stick to my beliefs and don't let anything but the films influence my decision.

      I'm so happy to hear you're an Adore fan!

      Delete
  14. Yaay Stories We Tell!

    I still haven't seen a few films on your list, but I have a good feeling Her and Wolf of Wall Street might sneak into my final top 10 which I will publish in February or something (if the film gods are kind).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stories We Tell as so damn good. That revelation in the end... didn't see that coming at all. I hope the film gods are kind to you. I think you'll love both of those films. Or at least I hope you will.

      Delete
  15. Of your top 10 I've only seen Gravity so far. Yours is the second list I've seen with Upstream Color on it. I've had it in my Netflix Instant queue since it became available, but haven't watched it. It looks like I've got to get to it soon.

    As usual, I won't be able to do a top 10 list until late February or early March once I've had a chance to see most of the acclaimed films that always come out at the end of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts on Upstream. I know you aren't a fan of handheld cinema, but it is certainly the most technically controlled micro budget film I've ever seen.

      I'll look forward to your list as well.

      Delete
  16. Great list. I haven't finished Upstream Color, maybe I should (: I still haven't seen Her, Fruitvale Station, Wolf of Wall Street and Adore. 12 Years a Slave is currently my number one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Obviously, I highly recommend that you finish Upstream :) Ah, such a unique gem there. Hope you like the films you have left to see.

      Delete
  17. Great list! I've seen your entire top 5 as well as Gravity and Pines. I was actually really surprised to see Blue so high up on the list. My feelings towards it are similar to a film like Fanny and Alexander in that it's a film filled with great moments but also filled with so much padding that it keeps me from truly loving it and making it a rewatchable movie.
    -Dan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dan! Oh, I'm not sure if I'll be rewatching Blue anytime soon. It was very, very challenging for many reasons. But it did hit me harder than most films released in '13. I loved everything about it.

      Delete
    2. Your list also convinced me that I need to rent The Hunt ASAP

      Delete
    3. You'll appreciate it. It's infuriating as all hell but rather remarkable.

      Delete
  18. What did you think about Mud? That was my favorite movie of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really liked it. But I will admit that as the months have passed, it hasn't stayed with me as much as I would've hoped. Certainly not as much as Shotgun Stories or Take Shelter. But still, a great story, excellent performances... it's a solid film.

      Do you have a Top 10 of the year? I'd love to see it.

      Delete
  19. Have you not had the chance to see Act of Killing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, I saw both versions. A great doc, but one that didn't hit me nearly as hard as others, which is fine. I much preferred the shorter version, for what it's worth.

      Delete
  20. How great to see The Wolf of Wall Street, absolutely loved that film! I think that will rise up in my list. Also, awesome that The Place Beyond the Pines is in here, there's not enough love for that movie unfortunately! Great list, Alex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Stevee! It's kind of a bummer that Pines hasn't stayed in people's minds, but that's the way it goes. Still, I adored everything about that film.

      Delete
  21. Great list; it seems like we have pretty similar taste, as most of your top 20 that I've seen are either in my top 20 or in the vicinity. Still anxiously looking forward to Her and Wolf on Wall Street though! I wasn't as big on The Place Beyond The Pines as you - I found it good rather than great - and both The Act of Killing and Wadjda made my top 10.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man. I loved your list as well. Very eager to hear your thoughts on Her and Wolf. Two bold and unique gems right there.

      Delete
  22. I've seen 3 of these, 2 of which made my top 10 (Gravity and Spring Breakers) and one which made my top 10 in 2012 (The Hunt). A few aren't out here yet and I'm desperate to see pretty much all of these! Sounds like a great list to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pete! Spring Breakers... whatta trip. Hey, did you post your list? I'd love to give it a read.

      Delete
  23. You make me certifiably shamed for not having seen Upstream Color yet. I have no excuses. None. I will rectify this by the end of the month, I swear it.

    That out of the way, I love that we can agree Adele gives the performance of the year and I love that you can say Spring Breakers is the most fun you had at a movie this year and own it and I love that you say Stories We Tell is the best doc of the year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome man, can't wait to read your review of Upstream. It's just so... ah, it's so perfect to me. So unique and fierce.

      Stories We Tell was just remarkable. That reveal at the end... I mean, wow.

      Delete
  24. Awesome list! It would take some shuffling, but we currently have 6 of the same films in the top 10. Adore is in my top 15 right now, so it gets an honorable mention. My list should be up in a week or two, after I've seen Her and Inside Llewyn Davis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man! I can't wait to read your list. Really pumped for it actually. I wonder if you'll like Inside Llewyn Davis more than me. An odd little film right there.

      Delete
  25. Great list you've got here friend! I've yet to see Fruitvale Station but man, I look forward to it. Michael B. Jordan is a wonderful actor, I sincerely hope he sticks around for a long time. Excited to see a lot of these flicks. Most of your choices parallel mine, Amour being one of my favs, mostly because of my crush on Robin Wright. Speaking of Robin Wright, The Congress, that's a hell of a movie, watch The Congress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks man! I remember reading about The Congress but I never had a chance to see it. Sounds damn interesting. Do you have your Top 10 posted anywhere? I'd love to give it a read.

      Delete
    2. I saw The Congress at Sitges Film Festival and it's AMAZING. You really should see it.

      Delete
    3. Oh really? I'm definitely all over it. Thanks!

      Delete
    4. I've yet to post it, I'm still thinking about what to keep and what to drop haha. 2013 was a great year for cinema.

      Delete
    5. Gotcha. Well let me know when you post it!

      Delete
  26. Replies
    1. I certainly liked that one better than most people, but the competition was too fierce this year. A solid flick, but not Top 10 worthy in my opinion.

      Delete
  27. I really like your list. I saw the merit in everything on your list with one exception. Ironic that it’s your #1 choice. lol But hey that’s what I love about these lists. It’s the diversity. For the most part we agree. We even share four choices. That’s a lot since I saw 100+ movies. Gravity, Wolf and Blue were all films that just barely missed my Top 10 so I truly loved those. Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well hey man, like I said on your site, we like what we like. And we certainly hate what we hate. Who am I to convince anyone otherwise?

      Still, pretty groovy that our lists were otherwise very similar.

      Delete
  28. "I’ve considered Michael B. Jordan a talented performer since his doomed portrayal of Wallace on Season 1 of The Wire." Truth.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Very good list Alex, though I did not love 12 Years a Slave that much. I still need to see quite number of 2013 movie, so, I'll make my list a little later, I guess ))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nika! I really look forward to your list. Let me know when you post it.

      Delete
  30. i still have a lot to see, and i haven't even tried putting them in order but:

    stranger by the lake
    blue is the warmest color
    bastards
    gravity
    like someone in love
    frances ha

    still have to see: inside llewyn davis, her, the act of killing, a touch of sin, nobody's daughter heawon, our sunhi, jealousy...few others that escape me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be curious to hear what you think of Llewyn Davis. Wonder if you'll like it more than I did. The Act of Killing is heavy, heavy shit.

      Delete
  31. I still have a lot of catching up to do, but this is one slick-looking list. Glad to see The Hunt and The Place Beyond the Pines make it on there. Now I just need to *finally* watch Upstream Color.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, it is So. Good. Very polarizing, but it worked for me in every way.

      Glad you dig the list my friend!

      Delete
  32. I'm watching Upstream Color this weekend! Hope I like it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice! Me too man. Let me know what you think.

      Delete
  33. Interesting list. Unfortunately I haven't seen too many of these films because I don't live anywhere near a big city. I liked 12 Years and Blue is the Warmest Color a lot though. I'm planning to see The Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity soon.

    Which one do you think will win Best Picture? The consensus right seems to be 12 Years, with possible upsets being Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey man, thanks for stopping by and checking out the post. Ah, I know what you mean about distance keeping you from seeing these films. I've definitely been there.

      The Oscars are so hard to handicap this year. Seems a lot of people think 12 Years will nab Picture, while Gravity will take Director. I can see that. But really... who knows.

      Delete
  34. Nice to see several of my own picks made the cut, Pines, Blue, Her, Wolf, and Gravity. We also agree on some of the honorable mentions.
    I didn't love Upstream quite as much as you did (I loved the score), but still, you can't fault the effort Shane Carruth put into the production, holy cow, he almost made that movie single-handedly :) That's an inspiration to everyone to get busy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely an inspiration! A one man show who made it all happen. I really respect the hell out of that. I love that we have so many in common as well. Pines, man... that one really stayed with me.

      Delete
  35. God, I love your lists so much, man! This is just an amazing list. Totally amazing! It just goes to show your great knowledge of the art of cinema. Your picks are just like your writing, intelligent, uncompromising and wonderfully unexpected. I mean, "Upstream Color" is your number 1? Even if I've loved this little diamond of a film, I wouldn't go that far, but I love the fact that your choices are so damn bold (they always are, which is something so rare in our times). I'd like to share with you my personal "Top 10 Films of 2013" list and I'd really love to hear yout thoughts on it:

    1) Inside Llewyn Davis
    2) 12 years a slave
    3) Blue is the warmest color
    4) Her
    5) Gravity
    6) Nebraska
    7) The wolf of Wall Street
    8) Before Midnight
    9) American Hustle
    10) Frances Ha

    Ten More I loved would be:

    Prisoners
    Short term 12
    Ain’t them bodies saints
    Upstream Color
    Spring breakers
    Only lovers left alive
    Blue Jasmine
    Stoker
    The conjuring
    All is lost

    My Honorable Mention would be "Magic magic", this masterful psychological thriller, with Juno Temple in an unstoppable tour de force.

    There you go, these are my picks and they don't even include films I'm mad about ("Venus in fur" or "Afternoon delight", for example), but I think this was a particularly strong year for movies, so you can't put them all in. It's a shame "Only lovers left alive" hasn't been released in 2013 in USA, because I think it would be mentioned in your post. It's a fantastic film and a landmark in Jarmusch's astonishing career. I'm happy to say I've seen literally all the films you mention in this post and even though I don't agree with many of your picks in the Top 10 list ("Fruitvale Station", "The place beyond the pines"), all of them are movies I really loved and there's no denying there are moments of sheer brilliance in them. Congratulations once again for an amazing list!





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dude this is so cool – I love that we have so many picks in common. I’m always very appreciative of your kind words about my list, my friend. These past few years, I’ve really found myself latching onto more obscure indie flicks. I’m just so done with the majority of big budget films, so when something like Upstream Color comes along, I can’t get enough of it. I absolutely, unabashedly cherish that film.

      Onto your great picks. I had trouble with Llewyn Davis, but that was my own fault. I was blinded by preconceived notions of what the film would be, and it spoiled my experience with the film. I liked it so much more when I watched it on Blu-Ray recently. What a unique and gorgeous-looking movie. I loved that The Conjuring made your short list as well. I thought that was a very creepy film stuck in a genre that usually produces films that are anything but. I really dug it.

      Magic Magic never really came on my radar, but I’ll check it out ASAP given your recommendation. I think Juno Temple is a great talent.

      Thanks again for the comment!

      Delete
    2. That's so great, man! I appreciate your fondness of "obscure indie flicks", because I also prefer the artistic freedom and the subversive weirdness that these films allow, the one that you can only dream of finding in a high-budgeted Hollywood movie ("Inception" being one of the shining examples). Even a groundbraking masterpiece, released from a big studio, like Christopher Nolan's widely acclaimed film, lacks the brilliant experimental vibe you can find in a terrific little film like "Upstream Color". I totally get you buddy and I love the fact that you liked Shane Carruth's remarkable film so much. My love for idiosyncratic indie films, shot on a minuscule budget is endless and Sebastián Silva's "Magic magic" would fit perfectly for me in this category. You know, it's the kind of film most people hate right after they watch it, simply because it defies easy desciption or easy expectations ("Spring breakers" and "Adore" would certainly fit in that category as well). It's so great that you came to appreciate the brilliance of "Inside Llewyn Davis". I know many people had a hard time with it for the exact same reasons with yours. Yet if you come to Coen Brothers' wonderful film without preconceptions, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by its unconventional storytelling and its witty brilliance.

      Delete
    3. Damn man, I really need to track down Magic magic right away. Hopefully get to it this weekend. And I so agree about Inception - a very, very rare big budget masterwork of creativity. There aren't many people making such quality films at such a high level, but Nolan always nails it.

      Delete
  36. You're damn right he does! The man is simply one of a kind. I mean, look what he did with the Batman trilogy. Such an amazing, bold, innovative filmmaker. I really can't wait for "Interstellar". I hope you'll enjoy "Magic magic". To me, it was one of the most overlooked films of 2013. Really curious to hear your reaction to it after you see it through a comment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will definitely report back here after I watch it!

      Delete