It’s been an amazing year for films, possibly the best one since I started writing/talking about film seriously back in 2007. Devindra and I had a spirited discussion of our top 10 films of the year, but for those who prefer a shorter, 9-minute long version of that podcast episode, you can find a video version of my top 10 films of 2013 after the jump.
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End of year lists can be great for highlighting stuff you may have missed, and the annual poll from UK film magazine Sight & Sound, one of the first 2013 year-end lists out of the gate, has a number of films included that are worth tracking down. The magazine polls over 100 “international critics, curators and academics,” taking a top-five list from each. The magazine’s list of top films (with some tied for a couple berths) is generated from those votes.
Documentary The Act of Killing, which follows as men responsible for genocidal killings in Indonesia confront and recreate their crimes as film scenes, took first place by a margin of five votes. Gravity and Blue is the Warmest Colour are the second and third place choices.
The full list is below, complete with trailers for each film, so you can be introduced to whatever films on the list are unfamiliar. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 by David Chen
Dave, Devindra, and Matt Singer from The Dissolve discuss the brilliance of The Act of Killing, and praise the second season of The Killing. Be sure to read about movie-lovers who don’t love movies and the death of snapshots.
Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 by Russ Fischer
I know no one who has emerged unscathed from The Act of Killing. The film might be one of the strangest ever made, as it forces men to confront their actions by recreating them in movie form. But these aren’t just any men — they’re guys like Anwar Congo who, as death squad leaders during the “Thirtieth of September Movement,” staged a coup d’etat in Indonesia in 1965, and then committed genocide through an anti-Communist purge.
Estimates of the death toll vary widely, from 80,000 to one million. By any standard, these are heinous crimes. ”War crimes are declared by the winners,” Anwar Congo says, before happily proclaiming “I’m the winner!”
Today Anwar and other death squad leaders have not been tried as criminals; rather, they hold positions of some social standing. The Act of Killing features their full cooperation. It invites the death squad leaders to recreate their actions as genre movies — westerns, musicals, and so on — and in so doing bring their past back to life. The trailer below shows you some of the effect, and even in this abbreviated form it is deeply chilling. Read More »