FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Best Films of 2012

by LOUIS PROYECT

Best films of 2012. Those marked with an asterisk can be seen on Netflix either as DVD (D) or streaming (S). They are in no particular order of preference.

Narrative films

1. Neighboring Sounds – Urban ennui and class conflict in a Brazilian gated high rise community (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/neighboring-sounds/)

2. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (S) – A sly policier by Nuri Bilge Ceylan in which you know the killer’s identity at the outset.  The films main charms are the stark beauty of the Turkish countryside and the small talk of the cops.

3. Oslo, August 31 (S) – 24 hours in the life of a heroin addict released from a rehab center that leaves you with the feeling that his choice to go back on smack is unavoidable given the emptiness of Swedish middle-class existence.

4. Elena (S) – A Russian oligarch challenged by his wife, a member of the working class who understands the new Russian realities. Straight out of Balzac.

5. White Tiger – A new Russian film about WWII with a Nazi ghost tank being challenged by a Red Army ghost crew. A return to the good old days of Russian cinema, a combination of a Spaghetti Western and Melville. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/the-900-days/)

6. This is Not a Film – Iranian film director under house arrest considers his craft and his nation. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/three-films-of-note-3/)

7. Hyde Park on the Hudson (D) – FDR knocked off his pedestal and a welcome relief from the adoration of the Lincoln cult. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/hyde-park-on-the-hudson/)

8. Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai (D) – remake of a Japanese classic about the social degradation of the Samurais and one warrior’s determination to right a terrible wrong. Reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/hari-kiri-death-of-a-samurai/

9. Arbitrage (D) – Don’t tell Oliver Stone that I said so, but this is much better than his “Wall Street” sequel.

10. The Well-Digger’s Daughter (D) – A terribly old-fashioned movie in the PBS Masterpiece Theater or Ivory-Merchant mold but beautifully filmed and acted. The real star is the French countryside.

Best documentaries

1. Central Park Five
2. The Loving Story

If you want someone to understand something about racism in America, have them see these, not “Django Unchained”. The first is about the miscarriage of justice that took place in a racist hysteria reminiscent of the Emmett Till case; the second is about a mixed-race couple’s successful fight against miscegenation laws in Virginia. Reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/the-central-park-five-the-loving-story/.

3. The Law in these Parts
4. Tears of Gaza
5. Five Broken Cameras (D)

Three terrific films about Zionism and the Palestinians. The first allows the Israeli judges who wrote Nuremberg type laws to dispossess Palestinians to hang themselves on their own petard. The second is war journalism about one of Israel’s blitzkriegs. The last is a beautiful and inspiring tale of a Palestinian photographer’s struggle to document his people’s struggle despite all sorts of odds, including the broken cameras. Reviewed athttp://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/5-broken-cameras-un-me/http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/tears-of-gaza-in-my-mothers-arms/ and http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/5-broken-cameras-un-me/respectively.

6. Dear Mandela – The first film to take on the corruption and greed of the ANC.

7. Detropia (D) – A study of Detroit’s decline without any bland reassurances about its recovery by becoming the next Williamsburg. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/detropia/).

8. Ikland – A courageous attempt to redeem the Ik, a Ugandan tribe described by anthropologist Colin Turnbull in 1972 as the “worst people in the world,” sadistic and unloving even toward their children. (reviewed a thttp://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/ikland/)

9. The Forgotten Space – Hardcore Marxist film about the worldwide transportation system and its awful impact on people and nature. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/the-forgotten-space/)

10. Robinson in Ruins – another hardcore Marxist film that takes a look at the horrible legacy of Thatcherism. This and number 9 will likely never make it to Netflix but should be mandatory viewing for everybody who cares about the future of the world. Political films at their best. (reviewed at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/lula-son-of-brazil-the-robinson-trilogy/ )

Louis Proyect blogs at http://louisproyect.wordpress.com and is the moderator of the Marxism mailing list at http://greenhouse.economics.utah.edu/mailman/listinfo/marxism

Louis Proyect blogs at http://louisproyect.org and is the moderator of the Marxism mailing list. In his spare time, he reviews films for CounterPunch.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 09, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nasty As They Wanna Be
Henry Giroux
Trump’s Second Gilded Age: Overcoming the Rule of Billionaires and Militarists
Andrew Levine
Trump’s Chumps: Victims of the Old Bait and Switch
Chris Welzenbach
The Forgotten Sneak Attack
Lewis Lapham
Hostile Takeover
Joshua Frank
This Week at CounterPunch: More Hollow Smears and Baseless Accusations
Paul Street
The Democrats Do Their Job, Again
Vijay Prashad
The Cuban Revolution: Defying Imperialism From Its Backyard
Michael Hudson - Sharmini Peries
Orwellian Economics
Mark Ames
The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying
Erin McCarley
American Nazis and the Fight for US History
Yoav Litvin
Resist or Conform: Lessons in Fortitude and Weakness From the Israeli Left
Conn Hallinan
India & Pakistan: the Unthinkable
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Nativism on the Left – A Realer Smith
Joshua Sperber
Trump in the Age of Identity Politics
Brandy Baker
Jill Stein Sees Russia From Her House
Katheryne Schulz
Report from Santiago de Cuba: Celebrating Fidel’s Rebellious Life
Nelson Valdes
Fidel and the Good People
Norman Solomon
McCarthy’s Smiling Ghost: Democrats Point the Finger at Russia
Renee Parsons
The Snowflake Nation and Trump on Immigration
Margaret Kimberley
Black Fear of Trump
Michael J. Sainato
A Pruitt Running Through It: Trump Kills Nearly Useless EPA With Nomination of Oil Industry Hack
Ron Jacobs
Surviving Hate and Death—The AIDS Crisis in 1980s USA
David Swanson
Virginia’s Constitution Needs Improving
Louis Proyect
Narcos and the Story of Colombia’s Unhappiness
Paul Atwood
War Has Been, is, and Will be the American Way of Life…Unless?
John Wight
Syria and the Bodyguard of Lies
Richard Hardigan
Anti-Semitism Awareness Act: Senate Bill Criminalizes Criticism of Israel
Kathy Kelly
See How We Live
David Macaray
Trump Picks his Secretary of Labor. Ho-Hum.
Howard Lisnoff
Interview with a Political Organizer
Yves Engler
BDS and Anti-Semitism
Adam Parsons
Home Truths About the Climate Emergency
Brian Cloughley
The Decline and Fall of Britain
Eamonn Fingleton
U.S. China Policy: Is Obama Schizoid?
Graham Peebles
Worldwide Air Pollution is Making us Ill
Joseph Natoli
Fake News is Subjective?
Andre Vltchek
Tough-Talking Philippine President Duterte
Binoy Kampmark
Total Surveillance: Snooping in the United Kingdom
Guillermo R. Gil
Vivirse la película: Willful Opposition to the Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
Patrick Bond
South Africa’s Junk Credit Rating was Avoided, But at the Cost of Junk Analysis
Clancy Sigal
Investigate the Protesters! A Trial Balloon Filled With Poison Gas
Pierre Labossiere – Margaret Prescod
Human Rights and Alternative Media Delegation Report on Haiti’s Elections
Charles R. Larson
Review:  Helon Habila’s The Chibok Girls: the Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
David Yearsley
Brahms and the Tears of Britain’s Oppressed
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail