Monday 30 December 2013

Top films of 2013

A much better year for movies this year, despite being annoyingly lured in to watch the appalling 'After Earth' and Tom Cruise turkey 'Oblivion'. I do enjoy the big screen blockbusters occasionally, but special effects are not everything, as last years 'Prometheus' proved effortlessly.

But if I'm going to watch something on the big screen I expect to be treated to great cinematography and decent special effects, along with good story telling. This was achieved most notably by 'Cloud Atlas' a spectacular attempt to do the impossible, to film David Mitchells brilliant book of the same name. It is perfect for the big screen, and is one of the few films that is rewarded by efforts to rewatch it. In all, definitely the cinema experience of 2013

In second place came 'Gravity' for the sheer ingenuity of the direction and energy of the production. A ridiculous story, masterfully told, it conveyed a real passion for life and for living in the moment. The effects alone encouraged me to see it twice at the cinema, though I am never convinced by the 3D effects (with the exception of Imax, the effect doesn't really work for me, is it my colour blind eyes?)

For world cinema, I thoroughly enjoyed 'No', the Chilean film about the 'ad' campaign to oust Pinochet from power. Utterly compelling and honest cinema.

They are my top three, (just pipping 'Elysium' due to its pointless excessive violence and poor ending) but I also thought that it was a good year for sequels. If you were put off by the disappointing first parts of the 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Hobbit', I would recommend dragging your yourselves to see 'Catching Fire' and 'The Desolation of Smaug' - both better told and better entertainment then their predecessors.

Top Documentary was 'Dirty Wars', exposing the madness and counterproductive nature of US secret military operations world wide. Sobering and brave film making at its best.

Our Friday film club at the Chaplaincy has been a real treat this year, and I am always heartened to hear how films have changed and challenged perspectives. Got any good recommendations? (yes, I know I should have managed to see Philomena...)

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