2012: My Year In Movies

I didn’t track my movie watching in 2012 but below is a list of movies that I watched and enjoyed over the past year.

Marley (10/10)
Being Elmo (9/10)
True Grit (8/10)
Toy Story 3 (8/10)
Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (8/10)
Adventureland (7/10)
The Descendants (7/10)
The Avengers (7/10)
Rango (6/10)
21 Grams (7/10)
The Joneses (6/10)

Here were my favorites from 2011, 2010, 2008, and 2007 I have done a handful of posts over the past year that have to do with movies. Go explore them under the movies tag.

Total Film’s 50 Most Hated Movies Ever

Below is a list Total Films put out containing of the 50 most hated films of all time today. It’s really just a list a movies that people love to hate. It mostly consists of crappy remakes (Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of Psycho) and horrible sequels ( Joel Schumacher’s 1997 “Batman And Robin”). There aren’t really any surprises on the list but I thought it might offer you a little Schadenfreude for your Tuesday evening. The entire list is after the jump and the top ten contain Total Film’s reason for making the list. Enjoy.
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2011: My Year In Movies

I didn’t track my movie watching again during 2011. The fact is I didn’t really even watch that many movies over the last year (Much of my TV time was spent watching all of the Mad Men episodes). However, here are the five great movies I have seen over the past 365 days:

1. Herb & Dorothy (10/10)
2. Wrist Cutters: A Love Story (9/10)
3. Exit Through the Gift Shop (8/10)
4. Blue Valentine (8/10)
5. Young Adult (8/10)

I have done a few posts over the past year that have to do with movies. Go explore them under the movies tag.

Trainwreck from "The General"

The Most Expensive Shot Of The Silent Film Era

Trainwreck from
Gif Credit: Maudit

This gif is a clip from the single most expensive scene shot in silent film history. The film is Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1926) and had a total budget of $400,000 supplied by Metro.

It was filmed in a single take with a real train and a ‘dummy’ engineer (notice the white arm hanging out the conductor’s window). It looked so realistic that the townspeople who had come to watch screamed in horror. The looks of shock on the faces of the Union officers in the film were also real because the actors who played them were not told what was going to happen to that train. Rumor has it that a spectator even fainted.

The scene was filmed in a conifer forest near the town of Cottage Grove, Oregon. The production company left the wreckage in the river bed after the scene was filmed and the wrecked locomotive became a minor tourist attraction for nearly twenty years. The metal of the train was salvaged for scrap during World War II.

On a side note, The Denver Silent Film Festival starts next week.
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Penny And The Quarters – You And Me

The song “You And Me”, featured in the new film “Blue Valentine”, is of mysterious origins. All that is known is that the archival label Numero Group (which is an absolutely brilliant label that researches, recovers, remasters and repackages obscure pop gems that are no longer distributed) discovered the rehearsal tape at an estate sale in Columbus, OH. It was labeled only as ‘Penny and the Quarters’,

Directors at Numero have played this recording to over 100 movers and shakers from the time and no one has a clue who originally sang it or where it came from.

Regardless of its unknown origins, or popularity from the movie, the song is gorgeous. I think you should give it a listen:
Penny and the Quarters – You and Me

The Catcher In The Rye (The Movie)

There have been multiple attempts to adapt J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher In The Rye” to film. In fact J.D. Salinger turned down a long list of notables, including Goldwyn, Billy Wilder, Elia Kazan (for the stage rights), and Steven Spielberg, among others, for the rights. Despite that, in 2008, Nigel Tomm released an adaptation of J.D. Salinger’s “Catcher In The Rye”. However, the movie is not what you might expect.

This is 75 minutes and 6 seconds of pure blue screen. Nothing less and nothing more. Abstract film by Nigel Tomm demolishes the boundaries of new absurdism. In 1951, a novel ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J. D. Salinger was published. In 2008, a film ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ directed by Nigel Tomm was filmed. Intelligent. Eccentric and subversive. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by Nigel Tomm preserves and destroys, it lifts and anchors, it aids and hinders, it’s convenient and frustrating. It has two sides. The most extravagant depths of your wildest imagination are packed in 75 minutes and 6 seconds of pure blue screen. Breathtaking.

If you are interested you can watch the movie in its entirety here.

2010: My Year In Movies

I didn’t track my movie watching during 2010. The fact is I didn’t really even watch that many movies over the last year. Regards, here are the five great movies I have seen over the past 365 days:

1. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (6/10)
2. The Hangover (9/10)
3. (500) Days of Summer (5/10)
4. Inception (8/10)
5. Babies (7/10)

I have done a few posts over the past year that have to do with movies. Go explore them under the movies tag.

2001 Explained by Kubrick

The end of 2001: A Space Odyssey is confusing to say the least. I have seen the movie a number of times and never really got it. In a 1969 interview given to Joseph Gelmis, Stanley Kubrick explains what happens in the movie in its simplest terms.

You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man’s first baby steps into the universe — a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there’s a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.

When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he’s placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man’s evolutionary destiny.

That is what happens on the film’s simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself.

The film’s ending actually makes a bit of sense to me now. I think I’ll be watching it again soon. (via Kottke)