Jun 20, 2013

Mid-Year Favourites

I have, of course, started making my end of year lists of the best and worst films of 2013 (it’s a 12 month process, if it weren’t I’d forget something at the end of the year). Yesterday I voted in Simon Kinnear’s poll to find the best film of the year so far (which is something you should do too).

Given that that idea has already been taken, I thought I’d ask a different question…

What are the Top 5 films NOT from 2013 that you’ve seen for the first time this year?

My list follows below, please add yours in the comments, or tweet it to @24FPSUK or email it to sam@24fps.org.uk. The actual midpoint of the year falls on July 3rd, so soon after that I’ll have a post with some of the recommendations that result from this little survey.

Top 5 NON 2013 releases I’ve seen this year
 5: Onibaba
My first Kaneto Shindo film, and it’s a strikingly creepy, extremely well acted, drama about extreme poverty and jealousy, inflected with supernatural themes.

4: Love in the Afternoon ['72]
A complex and well observed drama about a man tempted by infidelity, despite the fact that he loves his wife. Eric Rohmer directs unobtrusively and offers no easy moral escape for his protagonist.

3: The Place Promised In Our Early Days
Makoto Shinkai weds a big sci-fi concept to an intimately and touchingly observed love triangle plot that makes everything personal, and then shows it to us with images that look like an animated Terence Malick film. Breathtaking.
2: Solaris ['72]
Andrei Tarkovsky’s film is far from the austere, remote thing I feared it would be. It moves slowly, but inexorably, using its science fiction concept (and the fantastic performances at its heart) to tell a desperately moving and tragic love story.
1: Tuesday, After Christmas
The most brilliantly acted film I’ve seen for a long time; a brutally raw and real film about the breakdown of a marriage after the husband has an affair with a younger woman. It’s full of moments of pain, but equally of moments of joy. The 15 minute break up scene in the middle of the film is one of the best sustained pieces of acting and direction so far this decade.
So, those are my choices. What are yours?

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