Sunday, March 4, 2012
Another Kind of Top Ten
"As Daddy said, life is 95 percent anticipation." - Gloria Swanson
As one of the co-editors cogently argued in an essay in this book, cinephilia is every bit as much about anticipation as it is about reflecting upon past cinematic experiences. So, in the wake of top-ten-of-2011 fury, I offer the ten film experiences I am anticipating the most over the next year. Let's hope the remaining 5% in the quote above isn't disappointment. I like surprises and revelations as much as the next guy, but fulfilled expectations also have their pleasures.
1. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, TBA). With Philip Seymour Hoffman as an L. Ron Hubbard figure, and Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams in tow. Shot on 65mm film, with a score by Jonny Greenwood. Yes, please.
2. Low Life (James Gray, TBA). Now that Joaquin Phoenix has un-retired, James Gray can start making movies again. With Jeremy Renner and Marion Cotillard.
3. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, May). The conversation about whether or not Anderson is "maturing" has already been broached upon the release of the trailer. Let's put this to bed now: it is not possible to make a film as beautiful and as emotionally complex as The Royal Tenenbaums without being "mature." The trailer is full of perfectly symmetrical shots, slow-motion set to 60s pop music, and Bill Murray. I'm there.
4. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, March). Davies makes the most achingly romantic films around; I only wish he would make more. Rachel Weisz is an acceptable Gillian Anderson substitute.
5. Brave (Pixar, June). After a couple of years of sequels, I am looking forward to Pixar's first female-led animated film.
6. The Wettest County (John Hillcoat, August). Gary Oldman and Jessica Chastain. In. The. Same. Movie. And this rock n' roll auteur wrote it. And Hillcoat has already made one masterpiece (The Proposition).
7. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, December). Now that Michael Mann has apparently returned / retired to television, Bigelow has every opportunity to assume his mantle as America's premier action auteur. Hopefully this film distances itself from military ideology a little bit better than The Hurt Locker did.
8. The End (Abbas Kiarostami, TBA). Kiarostami returns to Japan, where he filed his 2005 Ozu tribute Five.
9. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, TBA). No one has become more steadily reliable than Cronenberg; perhaps he can turn Robert Pattinson into, you know, an actor.
10. Something in the Air (Olivier Assayas, TBA). Any new Assayas film is an event; I hope it finds its way into Southern U.S. distribution.
Alas, the film currently known to the world as Untitled Terrence Malick Project does not qualify for this list, since Malick's epic post-production methods make a 2013 (or even 2014) release more likely.