It’s possible I took this list a bit too seriously this year.
I may balk at the constant ranking and award-giving that seems to occupy so much of the discussion that surrounds film, but it’s at this time of the year that I remember that the film lovers who don’t see practically every new release are likely overwhelmed by the increasing number of new titles that appear in multiplexes, arthouse palaces, film festivals, video stores (remember those?) and online. If a ‘best of the year’ film list has any use to anyone, it’s pointing them towards the gems worth seeking out.
Before we get started, I’m going to confess that my approach to release dates is somewhat inconsistent. Because you are reading this on the World Wide Web, this list is, where possible, made up of films that were originally, internationally released in 2012. This was not always possible; I was unable to view some 2012 films that are being released in Australia in 2013 (Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook, for instance), although I made a bigger dent in them than I ever have before. Some 2011 films made it into here by sheer necessity; others did not. Hugo, Shame and some others which were released in Australia in January made it onto my Best of 2011. It’s really best not to think too hard about it.
I’m probably leaving this a little late, but those of you who wanted to catch my father’s one man show – now in its tenth year – should know that the Melbourne leg of the tour begins tonight!
After touring Shanghai last month (and winning an award from the Shanghai Contemporary Theatre Festival) and New Zealand, he’ll be playing the Athenaeum in Melbourne for six shows before heading off to Europe until the end of the year.
For those who don’t know, he plays Charles Dickens performing A Christmas Carol from start to finish. Dickens himself used to do this show, and it was massively popular back in his day. It probably sounds dull, like someone reading at you for two hours, but it feels like a full production, with every single character distinct and unique.
As one of the two essential Christmas stories*, it’s one you simply have to see.