Since I got press accreditation for the London Film Festival this year, I ended up seeing more films than usual - and would have made it to more were it not for the always-pressing demands of the day job. LFF 2012 - a transitional year for the festival with a new artistic director, some structural changes and the addition of more major prize categories - offered a sturdy line-up, from what I managed to see, with strong showings from seasoned auteurs, and several remarkable debuts.
US dominance of production and distribution is so strong these days that it’s always invigorating to experience a range of movies from other countries, and from Tokyo to Paris, Montreal to Senegal, Thailand to the Highlands some of the finest films in the Festival came. That the Best Film Prize ended up going to what was, for me, one of the worst films screened - Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone - only confirms how gallingly subjective such judgements are. In that spirit, I offer my list of 24 - presented in loose order of preference - rather humbly, as a round-up, simply, of the films that spoke to me most profoundly (and those that didn't speak to me at all). Click on the links for full reviews; more will be posted in the coming weeks.
1. Amour (dir. Haneke) Review here.
2. Shell (dir. Graham). Review here.
3. In The House (dir. Ozon)
4. Sister (dir. Meier) Review here.
5. Tall as the Baobab Tree (dir. Teicher). Review here.
6. Simon Killer (dir. Campos) Review here.
7. Laurence Anyways (dir. Dolan). Review here.
8. Ginger and Rosa (dir. Potter)
9. Like Someone in Love (dir. Kiarostami)
10. Caesar Must Die (dir. Tavianis)
11. Imagine (dir. Jakimowski)
12. Quartet (dir. Hoffman) Review here.
13. In Another Country (dir. Hong)
14. In the Fog (dir. Loznitsa)
15. I Carried You Home (dir. Tongpong)
16. Our Children (dir. Lafosse)
17. Song for Marion (dir. Williams)
18. Everyday (dir. Winterbottom). Review here.
19. House With a Turret (dir. Neymann)
20. Robot & Frank (dir. Schreier). Review here.
21. Rust and Bone (dir. Audiard). Review here.
22. Thursday Till Sunday (dir. Sotomayor)
23. What Richard Did (dir. Abrahamson)
24. Blood (dir. Murphy). Review here.