Film Having thought about this for a few days, or at least hours, perhaps minutes, I’ve realised it’s impossible for me to select ten films I’ve truly enjoyed this year because despite outward appearances at the box office, I’ve seen so many more than ten great films this year, it’s impossible for me to single them out and makes me wonder exactly how film critics manage it, though to be fair most of the time they’re choosing what they think are empirically the “best” because it’s their job, whereas I’m trying to find favourites.
It’s also a process not helped by the sheer volume of films I’ve watched and also the haphazard way I approach them with little regard for release schedules or vintage. As we’ve established elsewhere, my paying film theatrical experience of new films this year amounts to Cabin In The Woods, The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit, with press screenings of Delicacy and This Must Be The Place, all of which I’d happily include on such a list if I was being forced to make one. Even now I have a strange feeling I saw something at the Cornerhouse in Manchester too. Um.
But that leaves five to fill in and with Margin Call, Shame, Haywire, Coriolanus, The Descendents, Young Adult, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, John Carter (of Mars), Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, We Bought A Zoo, The Hunger Games, Tiny Furniture, Salmon Fishing in The Yemen, Damsels in Distress, Iron Sky, Moonrise Kingdom, A Royal Affair, Your Sister’s Sister, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World and The Flowers of War to choose from, that’s not easy.
Plus there’s all of the films made in other times which I saw for the first time this year which seem just as present, like the three hour cut of Margaret which would and should have been considered one of the greatest films of the 00s, and everything from the back end of 2011 like Midnight In Paris, Tyrannosaur, Sleeping Beauty, Contagion, We Need To Talk About Kevin, The Help, Immortals, The Rum Diary, 50/50, The Deep Blue Sea, Moneyball, My Week With Marilyn, Resistance, Another Earth, Mysteries of Lisbon and The Artist. Shouldn’t they count?
Take instead, then, all of those films as recommended, though let’s face it you’ve presumably seen most of them already. Here’s where I think film is in 2012. In surprisingly good health. Whilst it’s true there is a hole where US mid-budget films used to be, low budget titles have become even more ingenious to cope and the gap’s being filled internationally more than ever, in Europe and the Far East (cf, Headhunters and The Raid). Plus distribution networks outside of cinemas continue to make the history and geography of cinema even more available so there is always something “new” to watch.