Monday, January 2, 2012

52 Films For 2012

Last year was my least successful endeavor so far. I managed a meager 28 out of 52 films, though in fairness many fell through simply for availability issues. Some I've carried over to this edition, but not many. However, there's a a reason for that, as I've decided to stick with a theme. I've reached a point in my movie knowledge where the glaring gaps simply aren't so glaring any more (that gigantic cinematic bible you may know as 1001 Movies to See Before You Die - I've seen some 830 of them). That's a sign that it's time to buckle down and start getting really good at something, so from here on out, my new year's lists will be increasingly specific. I toyed with the idea of some ridiculous genre (giallo, pre-code musicals, pink films) or even just a movement (German expressionism is where it's at) but given the availability nightmares I've been plagued with in years past, I settled for something slightly more accommodating.

East Asian Cinema

Specifically, that of Japan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, with some being better represented than others. Needless to say, I've tapped many of the key auteurs, past and present, of the region, and found room for a few long over-looked titles. And I've still found a way to satisfy my genre fix, with the most essential categories: anime, samurai, wuxia, horror, and yes, pink films, all making appearances. And with that long-winded intro out of the way, here you kids go. 52 films for 2012. 


The Grandmasters
Red Beard (Kurosawa)
Stray Dog (Kurosawa)
I Was Born, But… (Ozu)
An Autumn Afternoon (Ozu)
The Empress Yang Kuei-Fei (Mizoguchi)
The Crucified Lovers (Mizoguchi)

The Classics
The Sword of Doom (Okamoto)
Crazed Fruit (Nakahira)
Blind Beast (Masumura)
Harakiri (Kobayashi)
The Human Condition (Kobayashi)
Tokyo Olympiad (Ichikawa)
An Actor’s Revenge (Ichikawa)

The Coolest Kid On The Block
Tattooed Life (Suzuki)
Story of a Prostitute (Suzuki)
Youth of the Beast (Suzuki)

The Face of Another (Teshigahara)
Chinese Ghost Story (Ching)
Kuroneko (Shindo)
Jigoku (Nakagawa)

Wuxia/Martial Arts
Come Drink With Me (Hu)
Dragon Gate Inn (Hu)
Killer Clans (Yuen)
Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (Hark)

Porno Jidaigeki: Bohachi Bushido (Ishii)
Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion (Ito)
Female Prisoner Scorpion: Jailhouse 41 (Ito)

Ninja Scroll (Kawajiri)
Ghost in the Shell (Oshii)
Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro (Miyazaki)
Pom Poko (Takahata)
Origin: Spirits of the Past (Sugiyama)

South Korea
Attack the Gas Station (Kim)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Park)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (Park)
Poetry (Lee)

Contemporary Favorites
Green Snake (Hark)
Once Upon a Time In China (Hark)
Tampopo (Itami)
Hardboiled (Woo)
Police Story (Chan)
The Actress (Kwan)
Ichi the Killer (Miike)
Visitor Q (Miike)
Zatoichi (Kitano)

Other Auteurs
Black Rain (Imamura)
Vengeance is Mine (Imamura)
A Brighter Summer Day (Yang)
Vive l’Amour (Tsai)
The River (Tsai)
A City of Sadness (Hou)
Goodbye South, Goodbye (Hou)