Posts Tagged ‘Before Sunset’

Ezra’s Top Ten Favorite Movies Of 2013

Posted 01 Mar 2014 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Behind the Candelabra is a delightfully decadent look at the life of Liberace, brilliantly played by Michael Douglas in one of his very best performances. Every year, I struggle with the relatively arbitrary process of ranking movies, so this year I’ve decided to do something a little different. Instead of a traditional Top Ten list, I’m grouping two thematically connected films together for each place on the list, resulting in a hopefully more interesting Top 20 list. I’ve also included a more traditional Top Ten below that, for all you “too long, didn’t read” folks. One final note before we get to the list: it should tell you a lot about my credibility as a film critic that I liked Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa more than most of the Academy Award Best Picture nominees for 2013.

10. THE WICKER MAN: FINAL CUT / JURASSIC PARK 3-D – BEST RE-RELEASES. Obviously, this category doesn’t really count, as both of these films were originally released decades ago, but I can’t deny that each of them provided one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in a movie theater in 2013. This new cut of the original 1973 classic The Wicker Man adds some nuance and more musical numbers to an already great film. Most crucially, it opens with a scene of Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) praying in church, emphasizing his piousness from the very start, which enriches the events to follow. Jurassic Park, on the other hand, is quite simply my favorite movie (it has the most dinosaurs in it – I rest my case), and seeing it on a big screen again, in 3-D no less, made me fall in love with it all over again.  Read More

Form As Function – The Arbor & Certified Copy

Posted 24 Jun 2012 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

The Arbor, UK, 2010

Directed by Clio Barnard

Certified Copy, France / Italy / Belgium, 2010

Written and Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

The Arbor, Clio Barnard's debut feature, takes an unusual approach to the documentary film. I am continually amazed by the odd synchronicities (or coincidences, if you insist) that crop up in my seemingly random viewing habits. For some reason, even when I’m not trying to, I often end up viewing two or more films within a short period of time that seem to have nothing to do with one another, only to suddenly find striking comparison points between them. Two of the past year’s best films – Clio Barnard’s The Arbor and Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy – are a prime example of this phenomenon. Having been attracted to the latter based on what I had heard about its unusual approach to the documentary form, I watched it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Only the next day, I finally got around to Certified Copy, one of 2011’s other most acclaimed films, and found that it also had a very interesting formalistic approach that directly informed and commented upon its subject matter. Let’s start with The ArborRead More