Friday, December 14, 2012

Film Comment lists of best films of 2012



Film Comment’s annual end-of-the-year survey of film critics, journalists, film section editors, and past and present contributors was released today with Leos Carax’s HOLY MOTORS, Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER and Wes Andreson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM taking the top spots among films released in 2012. Among films that made appearances at film festivals or special screenings worldwide, but haven’t been picked up for stateside distribution as of yet, Joachim Lafosse’s OUR CHILDREN, Song Fang’s MEMORIES LOOK AT ME and Alan Berliner’s FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED received the top rankings.

Offering the most comprehensive assessment of the year in film, Film Comment received responses from more than 120 participants including (in alphabetical order): Melissa Anderson (NYFF Selection Committee), David Ansen (LAFF Artistic Director), Richard Brody (The New Yorker), David Fear (Time Out New York), Scott Foundas (The Village Voice), Haden Guest (Director, Harvard Film Archive), Eugene Hernandez (Director of Digital Strategy, Film Society of Lincoln Center), J. Hoberman (Film Comment Contributing Editor), Glenn Kenny (MSN Movies), Stuart Klawans (The Nation), Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Karina Longworth, Scott Macaulay (Filmmaker Magazine), Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter), Wesley Morris (Boston Globe), Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times), Andréa Picard (Programmer, Toronto Film Festival’s “Wavelengths” Curator), Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly), Amy Taubin (Film Comment Contributing Editor and NYFF Selection Committee), and Kenneth Turan (LA Times).

Film Comment’s Top 10 Films Released in 2011 are; 1. Leos Carax’s HOLY MOTORS, 2. Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER, 3. Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM, 4. Jafar Panahi’s & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s THIS IS NOT A FILM, 5. Michael Haneke’s AMOUR, 6. Béla Tarr’s THE TURIN HORSE, 7. Jean-Pierre’s & Luc Dardenne’s THE KID WITH A BIKE, 8. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, 9. Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, and 10. Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY.

The rankings of other films making strong showings during the awards season are Benh Zeitlin’s BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (#14), David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (#18), and Ben Affleck’s ARGO (#24).

Film Comment’s survey also ranks films that have screened and made notable appearances at film festivals throughout the year, but remain without distribution in 2012 are 1. Joachim Lafosse’s OUR CHILDREN , 2. Song Fang’s MEMORIES LOOK AT ME, 3. Alan Berliner’s FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED, 4. Ying Liang’s WHEN NIGHT FALLS, 5. Jun Robles Lana’s BWAKAW, 6. Manoel de Oliveira’s GEBO AND THE SHADOW, 7. Nicolas Rey’s DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA, 8. Heinz Emigholz’s PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA, 9. David Gatten‘s THE EXTRAVAGANT SHADOWS, and 10. Wang Bing’s THREE SISTERS.

LINCOLN will serve as the cover story subject of Film Comment Magazine’s Jan/Feb issue, with THE MASTER, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, and THE KID WITH A BIKE also landing on Film Comment covers this past year. HOLY MOTORS, AMOUR, LINCOLN, Miguel Gomes‘s TABU, Christian Petzold’s BARBARA, Dror Moreh‘s THE GATEKEEPERS, and Ben Rivers‘s TWO YEARS AT SEA, as well as THE KID WITH A BIKE screened at this year’s New York Film Festival. A dozen films in the Unreleased Films category screened at this year’s NYFF, including top ten members OUR CHILDREN, MEMORIES LOOK AT ME, FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED, BWAKAW, and THE EXTRAVAGANT SHADOWS.

Film Comment editor Gavin Smith said, “Film Comment’s annual Best Films lists offer a comprehensive look at the year in film by combining the viewpoints of most of the magazine’s staff and contributors as well as many of America’s most influential film critics, writers and minds – with a specific emphasis this year on soliciting votes both in print and online.”

“Film Society: The Conversation starts here…” will be available at on Tuesday, December 18 with the Film Comment editor Gavin Smith discussing the 2012 Film Comment Best of Year lists with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new programming team of Kent Jones (New York Film Festival Director of Programming) and Robert Koehler (Director of Programming, Year Round).

The lists of films and poll participants can be found on and in the January/February issue of Film Comment, which hits newsstands January 7.



1. Holy Motors
Director: Leos Carax

2. The Master
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

3. Moonrise Kingdom
Director: Wes Anderson

4. This Is Not a Film
Directors: Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

5. Amour
Director: Michael Haneke

6. The Turin Horse
Director: Béla Tarr

7. The Kid With a Bike
Directors: Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

8. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

9. Lincoln
Director: Steven Spielberg

10. Zero Dark Thirty
Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Rankings #11 - #20
11. Tabu, Director: Miguel Gomes
12. The Deep Blue Sea, Director: Terence Davies
13. Bernie, Director: Richard Linklater
14. Beasts of the Southern Wild, Director: Benh Zeitlin
15. Cosmopolis, Director: David Cronenberg
16. Barbara, Director: Christian Petzold
17. The Loneliest Planet, Director: Julia Loktev
18. Silver Linings Playbook, Director: David O. Russell
19. Oslo, August 31st, Director: Joachim Trier
20. Neighboring Sounds, Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho

Rankings #21 - #30
21. Django Unchained, Director: Quentin Tarantino
22. Almayer’s Folly, Director: Chantal Akerman
23. Magic Mike, Director: Steven Soderbergh
24. Argo, Director: Ben Affleck
25. Attenberg, Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
26. The Color Wheel, Director: Alex Ross Perry
27. Rust and Bone, Director: Jacques Audiard
28. Killer Joe, Director: William Friedkin
29. Looper, Director: Rian Johnson
30. Life of Pi, Director: Ang Lee

Rankings #31 - #40
31. A Man Vanishes, Director: Shohei Imamura
32. Skyfall, Director: Sam Mendes
33. The Gatekeepers, Director: Dror Moreh
34. Elena, Director: Andrei Zvyagintsev
35. Haywire, Director: Steven Soderbergh
36. Damsels in Distress, Director: Whit Stillman
37. Abendland, Director: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
38. Two Years at Sea, Director: Ben Rivers
39. How to Survive a Plague, Director: David France
40. Keep the Lights On, Director: Ira Sachs

Rankings #41 - #50
41. A Burning Hot Summer, Director: Philippe Garrel
42. Miss Bala, Director: Gerardo Naranjo
43. Footnote, Director: Joseph Cedar
44. Compliance, Director: Craig Zobel
45. Alps, Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
46. Kill List, Director: Ben Wheatley
47. Farewell, My Queen, Director: Benoît Jacquot
48. In Another Country, Director: Hong Sang-soo
49. The Dark Knight Rises, Director: Christopher Nolan
50. The Day He Arrives, Director: Hong Sang-soo


1. Our Children

Director: Joachim Lafosse

2. Memories Look at Me
Director: Song Fang

3. First Cousin Once Removed
Director: Alan Berliner

4. When Night Falls
Director: Ying Liang

5. Bwakaw
Director: Jun Robles Lana

6. Gebo and the Shadow
Director: Manoel de Oliveira

7. differently, Molussia
Director: Nicolas Rey

8. Perret in France and Algeria
Director: Heinz Emigholz

9. The Extravagant Shadows
Director: David Gatten

10. Three Sisters
Director: Wang Bing

Rankings #11 - #20
11. Dormant Beauty, Director: Marco Bellocchio
12. Far From Afghanistan, Directors: John Gianvito, Travis Wilkerson, Jon Jost, Minda Martin & Soon-Mi Yoo
13. Camille Rewinds, Director: Noémie Lvovsky
14. Wadjda, Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour
15. Greatest Hits, Director: Nicolás Pereda
16. small roads, Director: James Benning
17. Everybody in Our Family, Director: Radu Jude
18. Shepard and Dark, Director: Treva Wurmfeld
19. Hannah Arendt, Director: Margarethe von Trotta
20. Araf: Somewhere in Between, Director: Yesim Ustaoglu

Rankings #21 - #30
21. Thursday Through Sunday, Director: Dominga Sotomayor
22. Goodbye, Director: Mohammad Rasoulof
23. After Lucia, Director: Michel Franco
24. Reconversão, Director: Thom Andersen
25. Kon-Tiki , Directors: Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg
26. Tiger Tail in Blue, Director: Frank V. Ross
and Traveling Light, Director: Gina Telaroli (TIE)
28. Sun Don't Shine, Director: Amy Seimetz
and Postcards from the Zoo , Director: Edwin (TIE)
and 3, Director: Pablo Stoll (TIE)

Rankings #31 - #40
31. The Invisible Ones, Director: Sebastien Lifshitz
32. Everyday, Director: Michael Winterbottom
33. Twilight Portrait, Director: Angelina Nikonova
and Age Is…, Director: Stephen Dwoskin (TIE)
35. The Strawberry Tree, Director: Simone Rapisarda Casanova
36. Here and There, Director: Antonio Mendez Esparza
and Louise Wimmer, Director: Cyril Mennegun (TIE)
38. Outrage Beyond, Director: Takeshi Kitano
39. Back to Stay, Director: Milagros Mumenthaler
and The Final Member, Directors: Jonah Bekhor & Zach Math (TIE)

Rankings #41 - #50
41. Kinshasa Kids , Director: Marc-Henri Wajnberg
and The War, Director: James Benning (TIE)
and Nights with Theodore, Director: Sébastien Betbeder (TIE)
44. The Minister, Director: Pierre Schöller
45. Celluloid Man, Director: Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
and Gangs of Wasseypur, Director: Anurag Kashyap (TIE)
47. The Dead Man and Being Happy, Director: Javier Rebollo
and The Invader, Director: Nicolas Provost (TIE)
and Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang, Director:Laurence Cantet (TIE)
50. Donoma, Director: Djinn Carrenard

Film Society of Lincoln Center
Under the leadership of Rose Kuo, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, the Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, having just celebrated its 50th edition, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award—now named “The Chaplin Award”—to a major figure in world cinema. Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, and Tom Hanks. The Film Society presents a year-round calendar of programming, panels, lectures, educational programs and specialty film releases at its Walter Reade Theater and the new state-of-the-art Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

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