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jmj at 3:51 PM
Janet Pierson and crew really outdid themselves with everything this year and the programming was particularly great. At the top of my list is Dogtooth a simple yet exploding film about three late-teens trapped away from society by a controlling patriarch. I caught it several months ago at Cucalorus Film Fest but was eager to watch again. I'm quite captivated by it; from it's extremely dry humor, to it's subtle ode to cinephilia, to it's handling of both macro and micro themes of sex, violence, family and society. Plus, I can't stop saying "Bruce!"
Here's a trailer with subtitles (NSFW):
Here's a better trailer sans subtitles (also NSFW).
Some of my other top favorites were:
Winter's Bone - There's all sorts of elements I love about a film in this Southern Gothic Noir: a regional setting, a lead character who won't take no for an answer, and a slowly unfolding mystery told with as much emphasis on the character as the narrative. It's also full of wonderful performances especially Jennifer Lawrence in the lead and John Hawkes as her uncle.
Lovers of Hate - Granted that some of my very good friends made this film I do think I can be objective enough to say that this is a great film that has an amazing script and performances lead by a very assured director in Bryan Poyser.
Enter the Void - A technical feat and mesmerizing story. One could easily argue that it's kind of boring but there is something about it that pulls you in and doesn't let go. The opening title sequence alone got an ovation at the screening I was in.
Marwencol - Outstanding documentary that combines superb filmmaking with an eminently compelling subject.
Audrey The Trainwreck - Again, lots of friends involved with this project but I can say that's it's a wonderful gem of an indie that has one of the best endings of a film and one of the greatest rants on film. Not to mention Frank Ross' almost anthropological perspective on Suburban life and love and Lowery's quietly observing camera.
The Happy Poet - One look at the tag line and you might find yourself saying "Uh oh." But this film is a real winner. I hate to use the word charming but dammit that's exactly what it is. It's also really funny. Of course on a personal level I can identify with trying to bring something tasty and healthful to the world even when everybody doesn't seem to get it.
NY Export: Opus Jazz - This film is just plain beautiful. Beautiful photography of beautiful people doing beautiful dance moves. I want to watch it again and again. Seriously, just take a look at the trailer:
And more favorites:
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
The Red Chapel
I was remiss in my short film watching this year but I did catch a few that I really loved. Delmer Builds A Machine and a selection of 5-Second Films like this one:
Or this one:
Or this one!
Ones I really wanted to see but missed:
Red White & Blue
The occasion is two-fold; it's Amy's birthday and our seven year anniversary next week. We've known each other the same amount of years we've been married.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - I really won the lottery with that special lady. I love her.