Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year-End Reflections of 2012

The end of another year and honestly, the end of a pretty bad year. Sure, I saw a lot of great movies and made some discoveries but there were also some personal issues that nearly ruined things as I also went into some health issues. I'm OK now though I really hope I don't go through another year like this. It was just horrible. Some of it had to do with families and I will admit, I don't really like any of them. There was also some financial issues that I went through as I really couldn't go anywhere or do anything. Now, it's been sorted out for now. Hopefully, I can do something and hope I can go to some film festivals for 2013.

Now that's out of the way, 2012 was still a good year in terms of film-watching and such. Though things in the music side weren't so great. There were things that kept me entertained and engaged. A lot of which were some discoveries as well as there were filmmakers I was into as well as films that I saw. A lot of which were new to me as also I found a lot of new films that I would definitely put in my all-time best of films list. So for now, here are the 10 best things that I experienced in 2012:

1. Robert Bresson

Of all of the filmmakers that I discovered this year that has intrigued me, no one was as more interesting than Robert Bresson. It started in December of 2011 when one of the DVDs I got from the last Criterion sale was for Mouchette. I was amazed by the minimalist quality of it and how he was able to find realism in the use of non-professional actors. Since then, I would see four more of his films in Diary of a Country Priest, A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, and The Trial of Joan of Arc. I'm eager to see more of his films in 2013 and beyond in the hopes I can do an Auteurs piece on him real soon.

2. The Auteurs Series

This was definitely the most successful essay series that I took part in. It began in late 2010 and then, a few more came by in 2011. Now, it's a monthly thing which gives me the chance to divulge into filmmakers I'm familiar with and those who I was just getting into and give them something that is worthy of their work. It also gave me the chance to revisit some of their films or see those that I had never seen to fulfill my list of films to see. From Lars von Trier to Stanley Kubrick, this was a good year for filmmaker discoveries for me as I hope 2013's subjects will do the same.

3. Letterboxd

I got to thank Courtney of Big Thoughts from a Small Mind for introducing me to this. For years, I had a hard time keeping up with the many films I've seen in my lifetime. Thanks to Letterboxd, I can not only keep track but also find out how many films I've seen so far. I don't have a good number of how many first-timers I saw in 2012 but I'm sure it's somewhere over 200. I hope to exceed this record for 2013 and create something that will have me lessen the number of films that I need to see.

4. Andrei Tarkovsky

One of the filmmakers of the Auteurs series that I ventured into was Andrei Tarkovsky. Prior to this year, I had only seen 2 films. By the end of the summer, I had now seen everything he's done. He's definitely a filmmaker that is unlike anyone who had been working in the second half of the 20th Century. His exploration into faith and humanity had been interesting from films like Andrei Rublev, Stalker, and The Sacrifice. I really hope people get a chance to see his films although they're not easy to watch but they all have something to say about the world in general.

5. New Music Discoveries

I'm not really fond of new music this year as there wasn't really anything other than some artists that I'm familiar with that released anything good. I hate top 40 pop music. I hate mainstream rock. I hate this new wave folk music. I practically detest everything that's on the radio. Even indie music isn't that good these days. For me, it forced me to go backwards somewhat where I revisited synth-pop while I discovered music from acts like King Crimson and Can where the latter introduced me to Krautrock.

6. Holy Motors

Of all of the films I saw this year, there was definitely one that stood out for me. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into as I had only seen bits of Lovers on the Bridge on TV as well as Leos Carax's segment in Tokyo!. What I saw was something that truly defined the meaning of what a film is and what it should be. There's not much plot to it nor did it need one. It's all about what it needed to say visually or stylistically. It's not a film for everyone but for anyone versed in cinema, this was a true delight of the year.

7. CM Punk

The man is definitely the Best in the World. For me, he is the best wrestler in the world not matter what the WWE Universe says nor what the Slammys say since they gave the Superstar of the Year to John Cena who didn't really have any big wins in 2012. The reason CM Punk is my favorite wrestler this year, along with Daniel Bryan, is the fact that he's the one guy who continues to defy description whether he's a face or heel. I too, am a Paul Heyman guy. Heyman is one of the few men who understands about what should be done with pro wrestling while Vince McMahon is becoming more out of touch as he is about to send some goof to arrive as a ballroom dancing gimmick. Right now, Punk has been the WWE champion for more than 400 days. No one hasn't done that in years so this man deserves some respect! Fuck you Cenation! I hope Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee give Cena the ass-kicking of a lifetime... and then some.

8. New Bloggers to Enjoy

One of the things about being a blogger is finding something else to read. In 2012, there were a lot of people to read that I managed to be entertained by. So for these bloggers, I want to thank them for making my year at least enjoyable. So thank you to Sati @ Cinematic Corner, David of Taste of Cinema, Movienut14 @ Defiant Success, Tips of Tips from Chips, Diana @ Aziza's Picks, Vern of The Video Vanguard, Tyler of Southern Vision, Chris of movieandsongs365, and Norma of Being Norma Jeane.

9. Finding Films/Documentaries on YouTube

One aspect about being online is that you tend to get bored. Sure, there's stuff to see on YouTube but they eventually get removed while for those who don't have Netflix or any other streaming service can always find something to see. If it wasn't for sites like IndieWire, I wouldn't get the chance to find things to see on the net like the Nicholas Winding Refn documentary NWR or BBC documentaries on YouTube. Plus, I got the chance to see things that would be available for a while as if they were exclusive. God bless the Internet.

10. New Films Discoveries

One aspects about being a film buff that is exciting are the discoveries. For me, there were a lot from films like Repulsion, Kes, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Vivre Sa Vie, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Silent Light, Scenes from a Marriage, La Jetee, Sans Soleil, and many others. I hope to see a whole lot more for next year as it's all about discoveries when it comes to film-watching.

Well, that is it for 2012. Let's toss this year away and begin a new one. I will close with something that I believe is one of the best moments in film for 2012:

(C) thevoid99 2012


Courtney Small said...

First off, I am glad to hear that the personal/health issues you encountered this past year are behind you. Hopefully 2013 will be far kinder to you in those departments.

Secondly, Letterboxd was one of my favourite discoveries of the year. It has made it so much easier to keep up with what I have seen given week or month.

Lastly, I love that names like Bresson, and Tarkovsky can be put on a list alongside CM Punk. It made me smile immensely.

All the best for 2013. Looking forward to your next round of The Auteurs Series.

David said...

Happy New Year, Steven! I'm glad you discovered so many great auteurs in 2012 like Bresson and Tarkovsky, those are the directors I always recommended to other film buffs.

thevoid99 said...

@CS-I hope 2013 will be much kinder to me as well. Plus, I really hope to have a vacation this year w/ just me and some films.

@David-I'm glad I discovered them too. I hope to see more Bresson films and hopefully more filmmakers to discover.

Nikhat said...

Haha my name is Nikhat but Norma's a cool name too. Thanks for the mention.

I hope you have a lovely 2013.

Puny God :')

Chris said...

Sorry to hear about your problems, hopefully 2013 will be a better year.

Robert Bresson, if you haven't seen them yet, I recommend: Four Nights of a dreamer, and L'Argent.

letterboxd rules!!! (:

You like King Crimson, ok. I first heard that band on the soundtrack to Buffalo '66 (1998)

Thanks for the blog mention!

Going to try and watch the doc NWR, didn't know about that.

James Blake Ewing said...

Bresson is a great discovery! One of my favorites. I ended up buying a couple of his films from the UK this year and they were pretty wonderful.

Also, hit me up on Letterboxd. I'm James Blake Ewing

thevoid99 said...

@Nikhat-You're welcome. I wanted to close the piece with something funny.

Chris-Today is a new year. I really want to start anew. King Crimson is awesome. They're exactly what music needs. Musicianship. I hope to check out those films by Bresson as I know some of them are still available on Criterion.

@James-I'll definitely look out for you on Letterboxd.

Chris said...

@thevoid99: Speaking of King Crimson, I noticed theneedledrop reviewed that band, today:

thevoid99 said...

@Chris-I'll check it out right now. I love that album In the Court of the Crimson King though Red is my favorite as of now.