Film Comment’s annual end-of-the-year survey of film critics, journalists, film section editors, and past and present contributors was released today with Leos Carax’s HOLY MOTORS, Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER and Wes Andreson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM taking the top spots among films released in 2012. Among films that made appearances at film festivals or special screenings worldwide, but haven’t been picked up for stateside distribution as of yet, Joachim Lafosse’s OUR CHILDREN, Song Fang’s MEMORIES LOOK AT ME and Alan Berliner’s FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED received the top rankings.
Offering the most comprehensive assessment of the year in film, Film Comment received responses from more than 120 participants including (in alphabetical order): Melissa Anderson (NYFF Selection Committee), David Ansen (LAFF Artistic Director), Richard Brody (The New Yorker), David Fear (Time Out New York), Scott Foundas (The Village Voice), Haden Guest (Director, Harvard Film Archive), Eugene Hernandez (Director of Digital Strategy, Film Society of Lincoln Center), J. Hoberman (Film Comment Contributing Editor), Glenn Kenny (MSN Movies), Stuart Klawans (The Nation), Eric Kohn (IndieWire), Karina Longworth, Scott Macaulay (Filmmaker Magazine), Leonard Maltin (Entertainment Tonight), Todd McCarthy (Hollywood Reporter), Wesley Morris (Boston Globe), Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times), Andréa Picard (Programmer, Toronto Film Festival’s “Wavelengths” Curator), Jonathan Rosenbaum, Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly), Amy Taubin (Film Comment Contributing Editor and NYFF Selection Committee), and Kenneth Turan (LA Times).
Film Comment’s Top 10 Films Released in 2012 are; 1. Leos Carax’s HOLY MOTORS, 2. Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER, 3. Wes Anderson’s MOONRISE KINGDOM, 4. Jafar Panahi’s & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb’s THIS IS NOT A FILM, 5. Michael Haneke’s AMOUR, 6. Béla Tarr’s THE TURIN HORSE, 7. Jean-Pierre’s & Luc Dardenne’s THE KID WITH A BIKE, 8. Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA, 9. Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, and 10. Kathryn Bigelow’s ZERO DARK THIRTY.
The rankings of other films making strong showings during the awards season are Benh Zeitlin’s BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD (#14), David O. Russell’s SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (#18), and Ben Affleck’s ARGO (#24).
Film Comment’s survey also ranks films that have screened and made notable appearances at film festivals throughout the year, but remain without distribution in 2012 are 1. Joachim Lafosse’s OUR CHILDREN , 2. Song Fang’s MEMORIES LOOK AT ME, 3. Alan Berliner’s FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED, 4. Ying Liang’s WHEN NIGHT FALLS, 5. Jun Robles Lana’s BWAKAW, 6. Manoel de Oliveira’s GEBO AND THE SHADOW, 7. Nicolas Rey’s DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA, 8. Heinz Emigholz’s PERRET IN FRANCE AND ALGERIA, 9. David Gatten‘s THE EXTRAVAGANT SHADOWS, and 10. Wang Bing’s THREE SISTERS.
LINCOLN will serve as the cover story subject of Film Comment Magazine’s Jan/Feb issue, with THE MASTER, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, and THE KID WITH A BIKE also landing on Film Comment covers this past year. HOLY MOTORS, AMOUR, LINCOLN, Miguel Gomes‘s TABU, Christian Petzold’s BARBARA, Dror Moreh‘s THE GATEKEEPERS, and Ben Rivers‘s TWO YEARS AT SEA, as well as THE KID WITH A BIKE screened at this year’s New York Film Festival. A dozen films in the Unreleased Films category screened at this year’s NYFF, including top ten members OUR CHILDREN, MEMORIES LOOK AT ME, FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED, BWAKAW, and THE EXTRAVAGANT SHADOWS.
Film Comment editor Gavin Smith said, “Film Comment’s annual Best Films lists offer a comprehensive look at the year in film by combining the viewpoints of most of the magazine’s staff and contributors as well as many of America’s most influential film critics, writers and minds – with a specific emphasis this year on soliciting votes both in print and online.”
“Film Society: The Conversation starts here…” will be available at filmlinc.com on Tuesday, December 18 with the Film Comment editor Gavin Smith discussing the 2012 Film Comment Best of Year lists with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s new programming team of Kent Jones (New York Film Festival Director of Programming) and Robert Koehler (Director of Programming, Year Round).
The lists of films and poll participants can be found on FilmComment.com and in the January/February issue of Film Comment, which hits newsstands January 7.