December 18, 2012

“Real children. Real birds. Real cats. Real graves”: Films and music, 2012

THE TEN FILMS OF 2012 (more on these and some others in my Werewolf column)

1. Amour

2. Margaret

3. Holy Motors

4. Martha Marcy May Marlene

5. The Cabin in the Woods

6. A Separation

7. The Skin I Live In

8. Shame

9. Autoluminescent

10. Looper

Wuthering Heights. The Red House. Brother Number One. Arrietty. Le Havre. We Need to Talk About Kevin. This is Not a Film. The Dark Knight Rises. Shihad: Beautiful Machine.


Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)

In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)

Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954)

Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)

Eyes without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960)

Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)

La Jetee (Chris Marker, 1962)

Masculin Feminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)

Le Cercle Rouge (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1970)

Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971)

La Vallee (Barbet Schroeder, 1972)

The Long Goodbye (Robert Altman, 1973)

The Parallax View (Alan J Pakula, 1974)

Fingers (James Toback, 1978)

Camera Buff (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1979)

Altered States (Ken Russell, 1980)

Dressed to Kill (Brian De Palma, 1980)

The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

Possession (Andrezj Zulawski, 1981)

Pirate Tape (Derek Jarman, 1983)

This is Spinal Tap (Rob Reiner, 1984)

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991)

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (David Lynch, 1992)

Three Colours: Blue (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1993)

Ulysses Gaze (Theo Angelopoulos, 1995)

Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)

The Thin Red Line (Terrence Malick, 1998)

The Wind Will Carry Us (Abbas Kiarostami, 1999)

Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003)

Basic Instinct 2 (Michael Caton-Jones, 2006)

Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)

Lady Chatterley (Pascale Ferran, 2006)

Into the Wild (Sean Penn, 2007)

The Man from London (Bela Tarr, 2007)

Mock Up on Mu (Craig Baldwin, 2008)

Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos, 2009)

Fantastic Mr Fox (Wes Anderson, 2009)

Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009)

Lourdes (Jessica Hausner, 2009)

Animal Kingdom (David Michod, 2010)

Film Socialisme (Jean-Luc Godard, 2010)

Incendies (Denis Villeneuve, 2010)

The Runaways (Floria Sigismondi, 2010)

Bobby Fischer Against the World (Liz Garbus, 2011)

Kill List (Ben Wheatley, 2011)

Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011)

Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols, 2011)


Earth, Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light II, and live at King’s Arms, Auckland, September 8. Swans, The Seer. Demdike Stare, Elemental. X-TG, Desertshore/The Final Report. Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ‘Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend! Monolake, Ghosts. Our Love Will Destroy the World, Thousands Raised to the Sixth. Burial, Street Halo/Kindred. Pete Swanson, Gate, Eye, Adam Willetts, at the Physics Room, Christchurch, August 10 and September 29. The Pin Group, Ambivalence. Konx-om-Pax, Regional Surrealism. Kemper Norton, Carn and Collision/Detection v6. The Caretaker, Patience (After Sebald) and Extra Patience. Hacker Farm, “Fuck the Olympics” and UHF. The Haxan Cloak, The Men Parted the Sea to Devour the Water. Carter Tutti Void, Transverse. KTL, V. Mark Stewart, The Politics of Envy. Blanck Mass, White Math EP. Raime, Quarter Turns Over a Living Line. White Rainbow, The Contemplator. My Bloody Valentine, EPs 1988-1991. The Close Readers, “New Spirit”. Bill Callahan, “So Long, Marianne”. Leonard Cohen, “Darkness”.


The title – “Real children. Real birds. Real cats. Real graves.” – comes from La Jetee by Chris Marker (1921-2012). In his essential Film as a Subversive Art, Amos Vogel (1921-2012) called La Jetee a “mysterious, profoundly disturbing masterpiece” and “a poignant philosophical speculation on memory, loss and human destiny”. La Jetee extends from and meditates on Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which from now until at least 2022 is the best film ever made, according to Sight and Sound, who should know. Also, Theo Angelopoulos (1935-2012).