June is here, which means so is my birthday, and as a birthday gift to myself I’m going to make another list. Hooray for lists! June also means that we are half-way through another year and that it’s time to reflect on the massive amount of new releases that I’ve already seen. With still a dozen or so highly anticipated releases to come, I’m pretty sure that my year-end list will look vastly different from this one.
Check out my top 10 movies from the first half of the year after the jump
10. Last Winter
My two cents: Picturesque french countryside landscapes accompanied with slothful pacing and a sparse melodic stringed soundtrack made watching this film a meditative and calm experience, something not found all too often in theatres nowadays.
9. The Cabin in the Woods
My two cents: Horror nerds (myself included) will most likely experience something of a horrorgasm about 3 quarters of the way through, whereas fans of self-aware movie making of any kind should find this enjoyable as well.
8. Snow on Tha Bluff
My two cents: A very well done and interestingly unique take on the whole “found-footage” genre.
7. Tokyo Waka
My two cents: This documentary, seemingly about some 20,000 plus Tokyo dwelling crows, transformed itself into an existential viewing that not only identifies the pulse of a city, but was able to offer a unique insight as to how a city breathes.
6. Moonrise Kingdom
My two cents: Wes Anderson’s multi-layered comedy was like being stuck inside a young reader’s novel and never wanting to get out.
5. Dreileben Trilogy: Beats Being Dead
Plot: This is the first part of a trilogy (that does not have to be seen as a trilogy) that focuses on young love. All three films are set during the same time period, and all three films deal with a different protagonist who in some way is connected to Molesch, a local escaped convict.
My two cents: Watching this is like watching something more sinister than just another well put together coming-of-age drama – something a little more on the David Lynchian side.
4. Unfair World
Plot: Two aging police interrogators on the cusp of retirement, one of which played by Dogtooth‘s Christos Stergioglou, find themselves involved in a murder coverup, which, like any good murder coverup story involves large sums of money being owed, double-crosses, and the threat of being caught.
My two cents: Picture the antics of the Coen Brothers‘ Burn After Reading. Now substitute every actor’s highly emoted performance in that movie for one of monotone expressionless – a face you would find on a sloth perhaps.
3. The Snowtown Murders
Plot: Based on true events, 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother’s new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder.
My two cents: Director Justin Kurzel‘s debut falls right in line with all of the exceptional Aussie crime movies that have been coming out of late.
Plot: A horror writer enters a little Twin Peaks-esque town for a book signing at the local hardware store. After an odd visit from a ghost, and an even odder visit from the local sheriff, the writer becomes convinced that his next story has to be written in this town.
My two cents: Francis Ford Coppola‘s return to horror had me questioning if I watched this while awake in a theatre, or were lucid dreaming the entire thing.
1. Found Memories
My two cents: I can’t recall the last time watching such a slow-paced movie had me so excited and at a loss for words. Astonishing.