The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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Love it or hate it, Holy Motors is a movie that gets people talking. Already a darling on the festival circuitLeos Carax‘s first feature film in over a decade follows a man played by Denis Lavant who travels in a limo going from place to place and inhabiting different characters. The connective tissue is minor, each role is radically different, some are all together disturbing, and in the end you’ll be scratching your head about what it all means more than you did at The Master. Still, the whole thing is done with such skill that you’d be hard pressed not to want to sit down and talk about it for hours, days, months after your first viewing.

Holy Motors is currently playing in limited release but will likely expand to other art houses soon. If you love film, you owe it to yourself to check it out. The official U.S. trailer is below. Read More »

I can say without hesitation that Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors is not just one of the best films I’ve seen this year, but one of the most impressive I’ve seen in a long time. The movie rocketed to the top of my list at Fantastic Fest in the past two weeks, and it is one that I have continued to think about in the days since my first viewing. That seemed to be the case with almost everyone I talked to at the fest, and the organizers responded by adding multiple additional screenings, each of which created new admirers for the picture.

There is a trailer, which we ran some weeks ago, but I would advise most people not to watch it. The trailer is good, but it presents a rather different vision than the movie actually represents. Which, in many ways, is in keeping with the film. But I went into Holy Motors mostly blind and unaware, and was very happy I did. I really hope people see this movie, because I think it will capture the imaginations of most who do see it, but it’s not the sort of thing that makes for an easy sell.

I’ll say this: actor Denis Lavant, who plays the film’s central role, outdoes not only his own excellent previous work, but the work of nearly every other actor I’ve seen on the screen this year. I can see ways in which Holy Motors is not for absolutely everyone, though the film isn’t truly as strange as it first seems. But Lavant’s performance is one of those beautiful, living, thriving things that you only see every few years. He’s exceptional in a role that is varied, and very demanding. And, yes, the encounter with the figure pictured in the center of the poster is an unusual and memorable one.

Check out the first US poster for the film below. Read More »

We tend to love Fantastic Fest, because it is the film festival that caters to audiences who like movies that are weird, strange, and totally fucked-up, but with a quality that puts the films in a rare category that isn’t just simple schlock or exploitation. Fantastic Fest will take place September 20-27 in Austin, Texas at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, and a whole bunch of great films have been added to the lineup.

After the break you’ll find info on the great second wave of announcements, which includes Rian Johnson’s Looper, the anthology horror movie The ABCs of Death, and The American Scream, which is the new effort from Best Worst Movie director Michael Paul Stephenson. Then there is Leos Carax’s head-scratcher Holy Motors, which is one of the films I can’t wait to see, and Doomsday Book, the anthology from South Korea that includes new work from Kim Jee-woon. Read More »

We haven’t talked much about Leos Carax‘s Holy Motors in the run-up to its Cannes debut, but now that the festival’s underway it’s already emerging as a strong candidate for the most buzzed-about title of this year’s event. Since premiering on Wednesday, Carax’ first feature since 1999′s Pola X has drawn tons of fervent admiration and a bit of withering scorn — but the one thing everyone seems to agree on is that it’s totally freaking off-the-wall insane.

Frequent Carax collaborator Denis Lavant stars as a mysterious figure who spends 24 hours zipping across town in a limousine, completing various “assignments.” Eva Mendes, Kylie Minogue, Edith Scob, and Michel Piccoli also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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