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Films of 2012: After Lucia

One of Mexico's best offering in 2012 is a more subtle but moving drama in contrast to the previous year's sensational action thriller "Miss Bala"by Gerardo Naranjo. Director-Screenwriter Michel Franco's second feature explores miscommunication between a daughter and father relationship dented by the tragic death of the mother. As they both move to a new town to start a new life both still in grief setting them further apart. To make things worse, when the daughter Alejandra gets ganged upon with terribly escalated teenage bullying by practically the whole class which she partly suppresses and hides as self punishment for her guilt, she just disappears as not to further aggravate her father's anguish. The father Roberto finally snaps out of his immobilising depression for the loss of his wife and focuses on her daughter's disappearance and flips into a very dark extreme in avenging another loss of a loved one. 

Films of 2012: A Liar's Autobiography

A superb animation written by a superb group of British Screenwriters Graham Chapman, David Sherlock, Douglas Addams, David Yallop, and Alex Martin with voices by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones as themselves. Directors Bill Jones, Jeff Simpson, Ben Timlett successfully animates Graham Chapman's cod life story A Liar's Autobiography, subtitled The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman. Quite an amusing variety of cartooning styles produced from fourteen different animation studios switching from one animation style to the next. The filmmakers achieves to appropriately place audio recordings of Chapman's readings from the book which effectively make it seem that Chapman was dubbing this film from the dead. A must see for Monty Python fans.


Films of 2012: Dreams for Sale

Japanese Director-Screenwriter Miwa Nishikawa thoroughly researched female characters with odd jobs in Japan topped with being knowledgeable about the concept of marriage fraud. He uses these elements creating a fantasy marriage fraud somehow.

What is happiness? What are the extent of the things we may do in the pursuit of it and to what price? A young couples ambition drives them both to a vicious attack in fooling the weak and soft hearted in which they themselves come to certain realisations about themselves their moral fiver, and what love is.

Is it money or the priceless caring and compassion in a a relationship?

A mellow dark comedy where real lessons are learnt.

Films of 2012: End of Watch

Hollywood has come a long way since cop duos on TV such as CHIPs and Starsky & Hutch.

American Director-Screenwriter David Ayer brings us an extremely gripping thriller yet still funky copper film.

Now in our digital world where most of us may randomly film reality and capture moments of casual laughs to extreme heavy stuff,

actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña excels as brave regular patrolling cops challenged and falls into the darker extreme side of the local cartel.

The duo takes us to terrifying situations, comedic instances, and shows us heroic valour as well as moving candour of friendship/brotherhood.

Films of 2012: Kelly + Victor

A UK-Ireland Production of Niall Griffith's novel adapted by Director-Screenwriter Kieran Evans.

Rushing into a high Victor is approached by Kelly who's also on a high in a nightclub, and as expected they end up swiftly in bed having an intense sexual connection.

But is it just primal lust induced by drugs or true love?

New comers Antonina Campbell-Hughes (Kelly) and Julian Morris (Victor) realistically make out passionately with an added dark touch.

Potentially a young sweet affair possibly destined to a fruitful relationship which ends up in tragedy.

A film fitting enough of the BFI's genre called 'Dare'.  

Films of 2012: Eat Sleep Die
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Half Bosnian half Austrian Director-Screenwriter Gabriela Pichler who was born in Sweden carries on doing films which focuses on cultural identity and social class.

The lead character is a young Balkan immigrant living with her unhealthy father that she's courageously taking care of working as the top salad packer in a small town factory which eventually had to lay off workers to survive which included her. 

Day to day life may be tough on her but she carries on being happy somehow living the simple life of just eating, drinking, and resting.

Despite economic downfalls in hard times, Raša Abdulahović ends up with a chance to leave her small town and start anew where she'll get better chances in life.

Will she go or not?

Films of 2012: The Sessions
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Based on a true story more or less of a man in his late 30s confined to an iron lung as convincingly portrayed by John Hawkes, constantly guided by his local priest humorously played by William Macy,

and sexually relieved in the quest to loose his virginity by a married sex surrogate brilliantly portrayed by Helen Hunt.

This US production was filmed by Director-Screenwriter Ben Lewin won both the Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2012.

Both its lead and director didn't want people to feel bad about its original true to life character that they managed to come up with that feel good factor despite the circumstance.  

Films of 2012: Frankenweenie

Yet again Tim Burton Brings us a dark and funny production in #3D animation.

With many cult movie references tuned in along with his original style this would-be global hit is another classic Burton.

Quite commercial and 'Disneyfied' yet still distinctive.

It will always appeal to most if not all.

Films of 2012: Wadjda
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Saudi Arabia's first female film maker Haifaa Al Mansour proudly brings us her first full-length feature about about a girl Wadjda one of the many girls who are the Arabic world's new generation who can, and will, reshape and redefine their nation.

We are taken in the world of Wadja within her very strict, morally upright school for girls run by a  school mistress who in her life is questionable.

As well as Wadjda's life with her loving mother who has her own ordeal to deal with in such a society...

But what is morally upright in this society? 

Truly a heartfelt gem of a film that will move and inspire.

 



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