I kind of hate trying to come up with a top ten list for a huge variety of reasons: 1) I have an extraordinarily loose grip on time – I can never remember what I saw when or what was this year or last year or a decade ago so trying to even list ten films I definitely watched within a specific period of time is not something my brain is set up for 2) I change my mind all the time 3) I’ve almost certainly left something out due to point 1 4) I’m over sensitive and will probably burst into tears when the inevitable trolling begins OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU THINK AI TO MAKOTO IS BETTER FILM THAN AMOUR, WHAT KIND OF IDIOT ARE YOU OH I SEE YOU ALSO LIKE SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS YOU EVIDENTLY HAVE NO EYES OR EARS, I PITY YOU – GOOD EVENING  5)I feel bad making a list when I didn’t see every film released this year, I don’t even think that would be possible but still it feels wrong from a scientific point of view 6)What does ‘best’ mean anyway? Closest to perfect? could we ever agree on the criteria for this? 7) as usual I’ve totally over thought the whole thing and wasted a whole 200 words on neurotic waffle. Oh well, neurotic waffle is what I do ‘best’, after all….

Ahem, all that in mind, I have come up with an extremely subjective, somewhat arbitrary, list of films I quite liked over the last year. As I say it’s a list of the films I liked the most, I’m not going to try and argue the artistic merits (or otherwise) of all the films on the list or debate the positioning – it’s a simply a list of the films that I either enjoyed the most, was most affected by, or impressed me in the most significant way. Are you all wearing your party hats? Right then, trumpets please

 

1 Himizu

I reviewed this over at Uk-anime back in June and was completely blown away by it – raw and tender it’s the story of two damaged children trying to find their way in world that’s all sorts of broken. Devastating yet oddly uplifting.

2 Tabu

A tale of longing, loss and the cinema Miguel Gomes’ Tabu is a beautifully made homage to silent cinema. Memory, the passage of time and the relationship between past and present come together to create one of the best European films from the last year.

3 The Master

To say The Master received a divisive reception is to understate the state of affairs. I don’t claim to have understood all of it, but on a first viewing found it utterly overwhelming.

4 Ai to Makoto

Fun, great ridiculous unrepentant FUN.

5 Holy Motors

Strange and extraordinary – the accordion scene might even make it into my top scenes in cinema history list!

6 Amour

An extremely powerful, and usually warm, film from Michael Haneke about the true nature of love. Undoubtedly difficult to watch but rewarding.

7 Berberian Sound Studio

An homage to Giallo with a strong performance from Toby Jones as the bewildered Gilderoy – an Englishman lost in the foreign world of slasher movies. Does extraordinary things with sound.

8 Dredd

A supreme effort that perfectly captures a genre and a place and time. Gritty, spare and punkish this is my favourite action movie for a very long time. Also excellent use of 3D.

9 Kotoko

A harrowing film about a woman who can no longer distinguish reality from imagined fears and her battle to protect her son. A horrifying experience in which we’re just as unsure as Kotoko is whether or not what we’re watching is actually happening. Truly impressive performance from leading actress Cocco.

10 Seven Psychopaths

Again, just a lot of entertaining meta fun as brilliantly dark and witty as the best of McDonagh’s stage work. Those expecting another In Bruges might be disappointed as this is altogether a lighter exercise but no less entertaining for it.

3 comments

  1. Great list. Very diverse as it holds an array of films from around the world and not just the west.

    As much as I loved Himizu, what keeps it from being number one on my list is the fact that I really don’t feel the need to watch it as much as something like Ai to Makoto. I have never felt that way about a Sono film apart from Love Exposure. I’m surprised you liked Kotoko that much. It was good but I prefer the more hyper Tsukamoto films 😉

    I wish I saw Dredd and Berberian at a cinema. Those two are regrets for 2012.

    Happy New Year!

    1. I think that might be why I liked it so much, that’s it’s comparatively restrained and so different from a lot of his other films. I’m really into films which question reality/dreams/sanity though which might be why I found it so interesting 🙂

  2. I know this is a bit late but I’m pleased to see someone else have Himizu and Kotoko in their annual Top 10 for 2012! They ranked 2 and 3 respectively in mine! 🙂

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