Tag: 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 …

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 …

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 seasons – that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts …

1910, Music

Humperdinck: Königskinder (2012) by Frankfurter Opern- und Museumsorchester, Chor der Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Sebastian Weigle et al

My initial impressions of Humperdinck were not great, even though I started with his most famous work. This one though, the opera version of a “melodrama” he wrote in 1897 – because the author of the original story wouldn’t consent to an opera – is really great. All the attempts at “big tunes” with the …

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.

Movies

The Company You Keep (2012, Robert Redford)

So, the first thing that’s off with this is the ages: Redford is significantly too old to play his character – he would have been in his thirties when he is supposed to have committed these terrorist acts – and most of the other (admittedly fine actor) friends of Robert Redford are also slightly too …

2012, Music

Niagara Falling: Tales for the Stage III (2012) by Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi

This is an EP rounding out Kihlstedt’s and Bossi’s “stage” music. It’s sparse and different from their usual stuff, but there’s not a lot here (and some of the running time is taken up by the creators of the performance piece) and it really isn’t essential. Only of interest to Sleepytime Gorilla Museum and Kihlstedt …

1935, 1957, 2012, Music

Simplicius Simplicissimus (2012) by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, performed by Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Netherlands Radio Choir, Juliane Banse, Petermarsch, Will Hartmann conducted by Markus Stenz

From the very opening bars it’s clear that this is no ordinary opera. And though that’s true of the most path-breaking and challenging operas of the early 20th century – I am thinking chiefly of Berg’s work – this one is perhaps more shocking given the (seemingly) more traditional stance of the composer.

2012, Movies

End of Watch (2012, David Ayer)

This is a found footage film mixed with a cop drama that is regularly ready to abandon its found-footage conceit – a good thing and a bad thing in these types of movies – and which appears to treat serving in the LA PD as serving in the military. (Gyllenhaal appears to be playing a …

2012, Movies

The Baytown Outlaws (2012, Barry Battles)

This is a really dumb movie, one of those that wishes it was a comic book – it even has a flashback segment told as a moving comic book! – and which thinks it’s funny. It’s very obviously trying to be a Rodriguez-style action comedy, but it’s got nothing on him. Braugher is horribly miscast …

2012, Movies

The Act of Killing (2012, Joshua Openheimer, Anonymous, Christine, Cynne)

Western religion, philosophy and even early psychology tells us that the world is made up of good and bad people, and their goodness and badness is based on some a priori concept of good and bad. Of course, this flies in the face of our daily experiences: people we label “bad” do good things (which …

2012, Movies

The Master (2012, Paul Thomas Anderson)

This is a fascinating  film about personality cults – both the people who are lead them and the people who are drawn to them. It’s kind of hard to talk about the film without talking about Phoenix and Hoffman, both of whom are fantastic (as usual) as the film is primarily about their relationship, whether …

2012, Books, Non-Fiction

Remembering Glenn Gould (2012) by Colin Eaton

This is a very unusual biography in that it is told by the people who knew Gould instead of by an author who tries to create a narrative of his life. The approach is interesting and, if you don’t like false narratives, it’s refreshing. And certainly there is a lot of information for Gould obsessives …

2012, Movies

Cloud Atlas (2012, directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski)

Some novels are just plain unfilmable, and sometimes you wonder why people try. But watching this, and not knowing the novel, I’m not sure this one is such an unfilmable novel. (Maybe I’m wrong.)

2012, Movies

Total Recall (2012, Len Wiseman)

Let’s get the good of this totally unnecessary remake out of the way: The production design is fantastic, worthy of Blade Runner – which is (very) heavily inspired by – the Fifth Element, Minority Report and the equal of respected modern sci fi epics like Pacific Rim. It’s better than the original, I would say. …

2012, Movies

Argo (2012, Ben Affleck)

I have generally had an issue with Affleck as a director, at least with his first movie. I felt like he almost hindered the strong material. But I don’t feel that way here. Though this is a by-the-numbers spy procedural, and Affleck doesn’t bring anything new to the style, he executes it near-perfectly.

2012, Movies

Room 237 (2012, Rodney Ascher)

This is a fascinating and alternatively infuriating and hilarious film – depending on your mood, I would think – that exposes the problems with the “Close Reading” of texts (books, film, other forms of art) without directly telling you that it’s problematic. (This is, in my mind, one of the film’s virtues). The film presents …