Film

Of grumpy cats and Kony kings

YEAR IN FILM 2012: The video memes we couldn't get off our screens

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YEAR IN FILM Welcome to "Shit Year-in-Film Writers Say"! This was a swag/YOLO year for video memes (vemes?): they helped take down a major presidential candidate (47 percent, baby), helped elect another presidential candidate (Obama hugging Sandy victims), made sure "Call Me Maybe" and "Somebody That I Used To Know" popped up in some form or other on our feeds all year. Also, if .GIFs count as videos — and 2012 was surely the year of the .GIF revival — then even McKayla Maroney is impressed. Forget Angelina Jolie's leg, texting Hillary, botched Ecce Homo, and stingray photobomb. Read more »

Respect your elders

YEAR IN FILM 2012: Step aside, Spidey: old dudes were the real superheroes of 2012

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By Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM Before Bruce Willis saved Bonnie Bedelia at Nakatomi Plaza, he was David Addison, detective-agency foil to Cybill Shepherd on Moonlighting. Then, after some multi-genre foreplay (1987's high pedigree rom-com Blind Date, an iffy pop album), Willis charmed the pants off America in 1988's Die Hard, sliding — gritty and glistening — down an air duct to escape the film's fiery climax.Read more »

They see me rollin'

YEAR IN FILM 2012: The "limo operas" of 2012: 'Cosmopolis' and 'Holy Motors'

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM Two of 2012's finest, most philosophical, and most frustrating movies share a setting of sorts. Although one film takes place in New York, the other in Paris, both films' protagonists spend a lot of time in their white stretch limousines. The limo: an ostentatious symbol of status and wealth, a home away from home.Read more »

Chick it out

YEAR IN FILM 2012: A new wave of female screenwriters emerged in 2012

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM Cluck as you may, it was only a matter of time before the chicks started rewriting those chick flicks. Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, and their peers represent the girls — how politically incorrect — in all their messy, sexy, oozy, frizzy-haired, fallible, flabby, and unflappable glory. And this year saw a major meeting in the ladies room, films out real soon, that poked fun at women's work, relationships, identities, and insecurities.Read more »

This ain't a wrap

An unexpectedly controversial German film about skaters challenges the establishment in more ways than one.

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YEAR IN FILM Perhaps the backlash was inevitable. Any film that so flawlessly wows its initial audience in turn begins to receive a lot more scrutiny down the line, and there are definitely things about This Ain't California to scrutinize. Billed as a documentary, yet centered around a character who may not actually exist, This Ain't California details the unlikely rise of a rebellious East German skateboarding scene hidden from view behind the Iron Curtain.Read more »

Harvey's list

YEAR IN FILM 2012: Dennis Harvey's top narrative films and documentaries

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DENNIS HARVEY'S TOP 25 NARRATIVE FILMS OF 2012

Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, US)

Bernie (Richard Linklater, US, 2011)

The Eye of the Storm (Fred Schepisi, Australia)

Fat Kid Rules the World (Matthew Lillard, US)

Footnote (Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2011)

Girl Walk//All Day (Jacob Krupnick, US)

Hermano (Marcel Rasquin, Venezuela, 2010)

Holy Motors (Leos Carax, France/Germany)

The Hunter (David Nettheim, Australia, 2011) Read more »

Ficks' picks

YEAR IN FILM 2012: Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' top films and performances of the year 

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1. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, Canada/France/Portugal/Italy) During the five times I watched this brilliantly slow-burning, transcendental flick, I saw dozens of audience members fall asleep, walk out early, and complain all the way down the corridor of the Embarcadero Center Cinema hallways. I had to watch it that many times (plus read the book and have countless late-night discussions) just to try and wrap my brain around this era-defining exploration of what it means to be a (hu)man in the Y2Ks. Read more »

Reel love

YEAR IN FILM 2012: A look back at the superheroes and standouts of 2012 -- and a sly peek at 2013

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cheryl@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM "Oh — ninjas." "Argo-fuckyourself!" Any number of unprintable exclamations from Django Unchained. After a silent beginning to 2012 — courtesy of Best Picture winner The Artist — the year in film has proven to be quite quotable, not to mention memorable and even celebration-worthy.Read more »

Holiday movie massacre!

'Django Unchained,' 'Les Misérables,' and 10 more new flicks

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM To paraphrase Christmas Vacation (1989), 2012 is poised to deliver the biggest late-December film glut since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Fucking Kaye. From Wednesday, December 19 to Tuesday, December 25, no less than 12 new movies are opening in the Bay Area, doomsday be damned.Read more »

San Francisco Film Critics Circle's 2012 awards!

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Oscars and Golden Globes are one breed of animal — critics' groups are another beast entirely (hopefully, of the more free-thinking, out-of-the-box type). At the lively annual meeting of the San Francisco Film Critics' Circle Sun/16, several races came down to just one or two votes' difference. But we muddled through (there was wine, there were cookies) and came up with a slate of winners I'm proud to report here.

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