The Top 10 Films of 2013

12 Years a Slave

12YAS-Poster-ArtSteve McQueen’s third film (following Hunger and Shame) and a bona fide masterpiece, 12 Years is an unflinching, uncompromising look at slavery in the American south. It’s painful and emotionally harrowing, and makes no attempt to make anyone feel good about not only this history but the long-reaching effects of it, which we’re still feeling today. 12 Years is not The Help, congratulating white people for ending racism in 1962. Instead it holds up a mirror to an ugly, unavoidable truth and asks only that we accept it and then figure out how to move on from there. It’s a beautiful film, almost lyrical at times, even for all the ugliness it contains. And with a central message of hope and survival in the face of soul-crushing despair, it’s one that, even though there are no easy answers, doesn’t give up on the possibility of healing. It’s not an easy watch, but it’s a necessary one. Continue reading “The Top 10 Films of 2013”

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Stoker. Is. BANANAS.

stoker posterPark Chan-Wook’s Stoker was on my “most anticipated” list for 2013 because I was curious to see how the South Korean director, best known for his action/revenge “Vengeance” trilogy, would translate not only in English but also when working in the slower, subtler medium of the Southern Gothic family drama. I thought if nothing else Stoker would be lovely to look at because Park is a composition man, capable of framing beautiful shots. Well Stoker is certainly a beautiful looking film. It also happens to be COMPLETELY AMAZING IN EVERY RESPECT.

Continue reading “Stoker. Is. BANANAS.”