Films that I saw in 2012 that I really loved:
Pariah is, I think, the best film that I saw in the year. The line Alike says, toward the end of the film — “I’m not running; I’m choosing.” — still stands out to me as one of the most simple, and yet powerful, lines I’ve seen delivered in a film the last number of years. In many ways, the film caught me off guard. I knew that it was going to be a queer coming of age story, and it touched on most of the standard tropes of that kind of story. But it was so slice-of-life-y that when the trope-y moments arrive, they just cut to the bone.
The Gatekeepers — which I saw at the festival — was an amazingly good documentary that interviews the 6 most recent still-living heads of the Israeli Shin Bet agency. The director gets them all to talk about their views of the Israeli-Palestine conflict and, given their jobs, what they have to say is really quite eye opening.
I also really enjoyed Take Shelter. In many ways, it follows a well-tread formula: man is having dreams of the end of the world. Are they real, or is he having a breakdown? I thought that this film did an interesting job keeping you guessing about which of those outcomes was going to be shown as “real.” (I haven’t really gone to look for it, but I’d be interested in any critique of how the film treats mental illness) A big part of what worked for me in the film was the dialog. There was something very real-seeming and fresh about the dialog and the delivery of that dialog.
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Mirrored from Under the Beret.