Category: 2012

2012, Movies

Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police (2012, Andy Grieve, Lauren Lazin)

This is a fascinating and compelling documentary about guitarist Andy Summers’ life, focusing mostly on his time in The Police.

2012, Movies

Call Me Kuchu (2012, Katherine Fairfax Wright, Malika Zouhali-Worrall)

This is an absolutely devastating documentary about the situation for LGBTQ people in Uganda and the fight to make homosexuality legal again (as it wasn’t illegal until 1984 for me and 2000 for women). SPOILERS (though that’s obviously a relatively silly thing to say for a documentary about something you can just google)

2012, Movies

Byzantium (2012, Neil Jordan)

This is a fascinating revisionist vampire film that takes a different approach to an over-done genre in more than one way. It’s not a great movie, necessarily, but it’s a neat twist on a tired genre and it’s worth watching if you are interested in vampire films that don’t follow the tired old movie formulas …

2012, Books, Non-Fiction, TV

The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Forever [Updated] (2012) by Alan Sepinwall

Sometime while I was making my way through The Wire and Deadwood for the first time, I had an idea for a book. It would be about how a bunch of HBO shows, and a few other select shows, altered the nature of fictional TV series (drama but also comedy) forever, finally bringing TV to …

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, Music

The Bob’s Burgers Music Album (2017)

Much like The Simpsons (at least back when I watched it) music plays a very significant role in Bob’s Burgers. In fact, it plays an even more significant role, given the singing propensities of multiple characters in the Belcher family. This album collects the featured songs from the show, as well as a few covers …

2012, Movies

Brooklyn Castle (2012, Katie Dellamaggiore)

Brooklyn Castle is a film about a year in the of a particularly successful junior high school chess team. The film follows a few of these students of different ages as they compete in chess tournaments. At first glance, it feels like one of the innumerable “kids competing” documentaries that spread up in the wake …

2012, Movies

Brave (2012, Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell)

I’m glad movies like this exist. I can’t imagine how hard it was to be a girl in the past (or present) who had a mother (or a mother and a father) who believed that she should grow up to be a Lady. I think men had their struggles with male archetypes too, but it …

2012, Movies

Casting By (2012, Tom Donahue)

This documentary starts off as a PSA or apologia for casting directors. However, it improves quickly when it narrows its focus to Marion Dougherty and one other director. There are lots of interviews with famous Hollywood stars and it’s interesting to know how some of these people got their first film roles. The film is …

2012, Movies

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012, Felix van Groeningen)

This is a well-meaning, and well-acted film ostensibly about the breakdown of a relationship but equally about the clash of science and faith in the 21st century. It is, in my opinion, too ambitious, as well as too arty, for its own good. There’s plenty of good stuff, but the whole is less than the …

2012, Books, Non-Fiction, Personal

Turning Pro (2012) by Steven Pressfield

At this point, Pressfield has made a second writing career out of inspiring others to write. This is the third book of his I’ve read, and they get less effective each time I read a new one. Why? Because basically they are all the same book. Pressfield is passionate about writing something that compels us …

2012, Movies

Blancanieves (2012, Pablo Berger)

This Spanish, silent (i.e. no dialogue) version of “Snow White” ingeniously moves the story to 20s Spain and the bullfighters of the era. It’s both a pretty great tribute to silent cinema (and I would assume Spanish silent cinema, though I have seen none of it) and a great reworking of an over-told story. It’s …

2012, Movies, Sports

The Boxing Girls of Kabul (2012, Ariel Nasr)

This TV episode-length documentary concerns a group of girls in Afghanistan who are boxing, and competing internationally. Like any film that focuses on people doing something their community thinks they shouldn’t, this is illuminating. Afghanistan, as a society, obviously doesn’t approve of women boxing (and, at one point, sports in general) and yet these women …

1907, 2012, 2016

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder live at the Princess of Wales Theatre June 15, 2016

Unbeknownst to me, this is based on the same novel as one of my favourite comedies of all time, Kind Hearts and Coronets. I have not seen that movie in sometime, though the plot (and the gimmick) was still quite familiar. This is a funny show. But it’s a safe show, especially for a show …

2012, Movies

Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012, Robert B. Weide)

Putting aside the possible moral objection some may have to Woody Allen, this is a decent summary of his career as a filmmaker (and, before that, as a comedian). It’s a little odd in its approach, given that the first “half” (I watched it on Netflix) is fairly chronological, but the second part is less …

2012, Movies

Beyond Outrage (2012, Takeshi Kitano)

The sequel is more of the same: tons of people getting shot (and occasionally stabbed) because of some perceived offense. At least there’s a little character development this time, but the parade of creative death scenes feels less creative. I just don’t really get these films; they’re like typical American revenge movies transported to Japan …

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, TV

Mad Men (2007)

I watched Mad Men over an even longer period than most of you, so my memory of the individual episodes is not perfect. I know there were some weaker ones in there, and there even parts of seasons (perhaps even whole ones) that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts of the …

2012

Bestiaire (2012, Denis Cote)

This is a Frederick Wiseman-style documentary about animal and human interaction (though, if Wiseman made it, it would be 3-4 times as long0. It’s ostensibly about animals and humans observing each other, but I thought it was more about animals in captivity (and a bit about taxidermy). The problem (or the great thing) about fly-on-the-wall …

2012, TV

Bill Burr: You People Are All the Same (2012, Jay Karas)

This is the first of Burr’s specials I’ve seen. Burr is funny and provocative. He has a pseudo-folksy wisdom that he uses to say things that offend (that even offend me, which is hard). I may not agree with much of what he has to say – I think comparing domestic violence to gold-digging is, …

2012, Movies

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me (2012, Drew DeNicola, Olivia Mori)

This is a thorough and engaging documentary about the seminal power pop band Big Star. It’s definitely on the fawning side, but it’s idiosyncrasies as a film, and the willingness for the interviewees to discuss the negative aspects of the idols’ personalities, make for a more engaging film than you might suspect. It also works …

2012, Music

Kelan Philip Cohran and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble

This is some great, funky progressive big band stuff is more about the groove than it is about doing anything radical. The horn writing is really solid and the music The band (who I’ve never heard before) is joined by their father (seriously, I’m pretty sure he’s the father of most of the guys here…think …

2012, Movies

Beyond the Hills (2012, Cristian Mungiu)

This is an unrelentingly bleak film about a convent struggling and failing to deal with the psychological (and possibly physiological) problems that befall a young girl when she comes to visit her former friend. The two characters grew up in an orphanage and probably has a relationship. Since then, one of them has lived in …

2012, Movies

Beauty is Embarrassing (2012, Neil Berkeley)

This is an engaging, entertaining and occasionally thought-provoking documentary about the animator, puppeteer and pop artist Wayne White, in part inspired by his one-man show (much like Swimming to Cambodia). I was not familiar with White’s work beyond his contributions to Pee Wee’s Playhouse and some music videos (and, of course, I didn’t know who …

2012, Movies

Bettie Page Reveals All (2012, Mark Mori)

This is an authorized biography, unlike the authorized bio pic that I apparently liked, though I don’t remember it at all. I’m sure it’s very informative if you’re interested in Bettie Page. I don’t really care much, so I found this movie kind of myopic. Though there is some attempt to explain to us all …

2012, Movies

Berberian Sound Studio (2012, Peter Strickland)

You either like Giallo or you don’t. I don’t. An engineer who works on nature films is hired by an Italian Giallo director to work on his latest horror film (just don’t call it horror). And things deteriorate from there. Strickland is suggesting the age-old idea that the art can corrupt the man. It’s a …

2012, Movies

BB King: The life of Riley (2012, Jon Brewer)

This is an in-depth but rather fawning documentary about B.B. King, a man who has a decent claim as the greatest living blues musician, or at least among them. It’s more of a celebration than a documentary or proper biography – though there is lots of information about his upbringing, it does feel like a …

1917, 1922, 1927, 2012, Music

Hindemith: Kammermusik (2012) by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado, et al.

This set collects Hindemith’s Kammermusik compositions (two are actual chamber music pieces, seven are concertos) and for reasons I may not ever understand, pairs them with a violin sonata and an incomplete work. The first Kammermusik is a crazy, vibrant piece that manages to combine fairly strong melodies (relatively speaking) with the kind of aggressively …

2012, Movies

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012, Benh Zeitlin)

Sometimes even years after the hype has faded, there are still expectations for a movie. Even though I hadn’t read much about this movie, I wonder if the hype had still coloured my appreciation of this. (Or, alternatively, it’s just not as good and original as people have said.) Yes, Wallis is incredible. And the …