Film As ever this year brought several film viewing projects. There’s the Sight and Sound 2012 poll, which surprised me in two ways, both because I’d already seen all of the top ten (apart from La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc) and because they manage to be both innovative and thoroughly entertaining at the same time, something not all of the other two hundred and forty films voted below them can claim. Too often the so-called “canon” puts artifice and innovation above watchability, leaving the viewer having to wade through three hours of dull lighting. Which isn’t going to stop me from wading through the next 240. Having reviewed both, I should add that in no way is Vertigo a better film than Citizen Kane, a work which still maintains most of its thematic resonance seventy years later.
Having decided Anne Hathaway was the best thing about The Dark Knight Rises, I’ve also set about working my way through her career, which meant finally sitting through Bride Wars. Predictably she’s the best thing about that too just as she manages to elevate other less than promising material like Havoc and Passengers. She’s a rare example of a teen actress capably managing the shift into mature fare, though it’s also true that disappointingly her only film with any real indie sensibilities is Rachel Getting Married, even though she’d be excellent at mumblecore (which that isn't quite). About the only film she can’t save is One Day, mainly because as with most films of that ilk (and like Love and Other Drugs actually), the writers and director are determined to tell the whole thing from the man’s perspective.
Plus there’s the ongoing attempt to make sure I watch anything that’s been nominated for an award at a smattering of ceremonies. Due to the sheer volume of film content produced each year and not wanting to bother too much with spoilery reviews, I’ve taken to adding (as a priority) to my Lovefilm list any film nominated for anything at the Oscars, Baftas, Golden Globes and Cannes as well as the yearly lists from Empire, Sight and Sound Magazine and Mark Kermode. Sometimes this consensus approach leads me to snoring through the likes of Act of Valor because it received a best song nod, but it does at least mean I feel like I’m seeing most of anything of (general) regard in a year, with only the Golden Globes throwing in a few bogies in the comedy and musical categories.
Lovefilm is still my main source of cinematic exposure having been inside an auditorium precisely thrice, for Cabin in the Woods, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit all spoiled to some degree by the nearby inconsiderate audience members with their food and their mobile phones. If the internets hadn’t been having a spoilergasm over them I wouldn’t have bothered, though as it turned out I probably should have seen The Avengers too, its biggest surprise accidentally ruined on the same day I received the boxed set, such are the dangers of following the blu-ray release dates for films rather than theatrical. None of which stops me from still listening to the Kermode podcast each week, even if I’ve generally forgotten what he’s said by the time I receive the shiny discs in the post. Watch out for my top ten soon.