Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another Year

Looking at my clock, I soon realized that I have not been moving for at least 62 seconds. A week has passed, and I thought nothing of last year, except for the few distinct events that must be remembered at some course in the future. It seems that the year flew by in a flash, and for many happy people out there, memorable moments means sharing their thought bubbles with other happy people. But the man in me have somehow grown weary of such undertakings, so I’ve decided to place them on the sidewalk and reflect the passing moments on my own without cataloging boring facts in another post.

The two leading events to be committed to memories are (1) I’ve reached 30 and (2) I managed to attain (with some honorable mentions) a design degree, and it comes as no surprise that I am now grappling with the study loan. But surge on I will, with some confidence at my seams and with right strategies to end it sooner than later. Cause work has been nothing short of dreary, perhaps mundane to a certain extend, I would possibly make another life-altering event before another year comes to past. A plan has to be mapped out. Or so, this man hopes.

The Melbourne study trip last May was a fantastic group event and stays up there in the recollection bank. Along the way, I’ve made a couple of friends with rather interesting attributes. I have seen an upheaval change in love’s momentum, and it stays baffling, in every sense of the word. I don't wish to input further views on this matter but I’m inclined to make better of situations.

I still stand at 170cm and experienced occasional heartburns, wishing to acquire more time to work things out and wanting this heart to procure the unattainable. But I am still that same person who is deprived of some good, sound sleep. The long weekends didn't help.

As always, I have thoughts about closing this blog or making it a portfolio-based site, while moving on to handle greater tasks (planning on penning a screenplay based on my late dad’s stage play), but it seems that play6round would have to stay a little longer than expected, with lesser posts, I reckon. Other things ended well and on a very gratifying note if not all-out glaring. And though it seems to be quite impossible at first (having to graze though the first half with projects and organizing a graduation show), I managed to watch 100 films in 2011 (failed in ‘10, but succeeded in ‘09). I scuttled on the last remaining days and concluded with Spielberg’s Warhorse, an outstanding master class of filmmaking.

Eight days ago, as the clock chimed 12 ushering ‘12, I sat and smiled to myself at having accomplished this little pursuit. No big celebrations, no countdowns, no noise, no bullshits. Just me and a cup of Cola, with some texts to and from loved ones. Boring? Perhaps. But that's the way it goes, and I have no misgivings about that. At 30, I'm reduced to simplicity.

So, it has been a hyperbolic journey on the cinematic tracks -- some good, some bad. There are solid dramas that mixed themes of science & fate (Another Earth, Melancholia, The Tree of Life) and intense thrillers featuring the who's who in the corporate and political private rooms (Margin Call, The Ides of March). Bits of obscure pieces propped in between indie & ingenious (Submarine, The Guard, Trust), while some action flicks really did what they do best: entertain (Hanna, Source Code, Sucker Punch). There are films that transported us back to the age of gold (The Artist, Midnight In Paris) and also a prankumetary that dazzles the wits out of me (Exit Through The Gift Shop). There are ready-made templates of alien invasions in which kids became unsung heroes (Super 8, Attack The Block), but in both instances the originality lies in the thrilling plots that clutched you in and flushed you out with some filmic gold dusts. One should also consider 2011 to be a moderate year littered with classic gems on the animated fronts Puss In Boots,Rango, The Adventures of Tintin), the latter being an excellent case study in performance-capture (do also watch the well-made Rise of The Planet of The Apes; that Andy Serkis guy is the poster boy for mocap and should already be honoured for perfectly characterizing Gollum, King Kong, Captain Haddock and Ceaser). Although some commercially successful sequels and prequels are able to flourish with prepossessing flairs (Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, X-Men First Class) I must proclaim with robust decency that foreign films really made the past year a remarkable one (A Separation, The Skin I Live In, The Kid With A Bike,
Crime D’Amour, 13 Assassins, Incendies).Good comedies are rare but a couple are creditworthy, especially the ones that do not resort to dumb or vapid sequences (Bridesmaids, Our Idiot Brother, 50/50,Crazy, Stupid, Love, Carnage). Amongst the best categories are flat-out dramas showcasing all the different emotional range in the spectrum of life (Everything Must Go, A Better Life, The Help, Moneyball, Certified Copy, Beginners, We Bought A Zoo). And finally, there are the stranger lots - the oddballs, the unique, the plain bizarres (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, The Future, Sound of Noise).

Listing is a tricky process, so why must I bother myself with such banal actions? Because I see movies as an escape route and the only way to recollect the paths is by jotting down what we have already experienced. (Serious???) No, maybe not.

But I insist with smiles. Below are my genuine choices on what could be the best films for 2011 as the voice in my mind expresses. The films, each self-described, should be seen with your own eyes so as to appreciate it's worth. Therefore, any overlong commentaries are not necessary for this column. You have all the rights to disagree with this list and I don’t mind a bit, because everybody’s standard of taste differs greatly when measured against a 1-to-whatever scale:

20 Best Films of 2011

Two passionate individuals battle impossible odds to unite in music and love.

A student and a composer cross paths during the discovery of another Earth.

A son is rocked by two news from his father: that he has cancer, and he’s gay.

Reporter Tintin & Captain Haddock set off on a mysterious treasure hunt.

An offbeat cop is teamed up with an uptight FBI agent in a drug-dealing case.

A young man learns of his cancer diagnosis and struggles to beat the disease.

A teenage gang in South London defend their block from an alien invasion.

A silent movie star is threatened by the advent of talking pictures.

A stuntman, moonlighting as a wheelman, is hunted after a heist gone wrong.

A woman struggles to reconnect with her family after fleeing an abusive cult.

A tone-deaf detective attempts to track down a group of guerilla percussionists.

A couple is forced to face the illusion that a life different from theirs is better.

A surgeon creates a synthetic skin on a woman who holds the key to his fetish.

A sibling find their relationship tested as a new planet collides with Earth.

A boy wishes to lose his virginity before turning 16 and to reunite his parents.

A journalist is aided in his search for a missing woman by a young hacker.

A couple has to choose between moving out or to look after a sickly parent.

A retired espionage veteran is forced to uncover a mole within MI6's echelons.

A mother gets even with those who were accountable for her daughter's death.

A mother deals with grief and guilt for her son who went on a killing spree.

The completed 100 films in alphabetical order:
• 127 Hours
• 13 Assassins (Jūsannin no Shikaku • Japanese)
• 50/50
• A Better Life
• A Separation (Jodái-e Náder az Simin • Persian)
• Abduction
• Another Earth
• Attack The Block
• Beginners
• Bridesmaids
• Captain America - The First Avenger
• Carnage
• Certified Copy (English, French, Italian)
• Chico & Rita (Spanish, English)
• Cold Weather
• Confessions (Kokuhaku • Japanese)
• Contagion
• Crazy, Stupid, Love
• Delicatessen
• Drive
• Everything Must Go
• Exit Through The Gift Shop
• Four Lions
• Green Lantern
• Hanna
• Happy Feet Two
• Happy, Happy (Sykt Iykkelig • Norwegian, Danish)
• Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows ~ Part 2
• Heartbeats (Les Amours Imaginaires • French)
• Hereafter
• Headhunters (Hodejegerne • Danish)
• Horrible Bosses
• I Am Love (Io Sono L'Amore • Italian)
• Immortals
• Incendies (French, Arabic)
• Johnny English: Reborn
• Kl Gangster (Malay)
• Kungfu Panda 2
• London Boulevard
• Love Crime (Crime D'amour • French)
• Map of The Sounds of Tokyo (Japanese / English)
• Margin Call
• Martha Marcy May Marlene
• Melancholia
• Memories of Murder (Salinui Chueok • Korean)
• Midnight In Paris
• Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
• Moneyball
• Moss (Iggi • Korean)
• One Day
• Our Idiot Brother
• Pirates Of The Caribbean - On Stranger Tides
• Point Blank (A Bout Portant • French)
• Puss In Boots
• Rabbit Hole
• Rango
• Real Steel
• Restless
• Revanche (German, Austrian, Russian)
• Rio
• Rise of The Planet of The Apes
• Setem (Malay)
• Shaolin (Cantonese, Mandarin)
• Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows
• Simple Simon (I Rymden Finns Inga Kanslor • Swedish)
• Some Boys Don't Leave
• Sound of Noise (Swedish)
• Source Code
• Submarine
• Sucker Punch
• Super 8
• Terri
• The Adventures Of Tintin
• The Artist
• The City of Lost Children (La Cité Des Enfants Perdus • French)
• The Fighter
• The Future
• The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
• The Green Hornet
• The Guard
• The Help
• The Housemaid (Ha-nyeo • Korean)
• The Ides of March
• The Kid With A Bike (Le Gamin Au Vélo • French)
• The Kids Are All Right
• The King's Speech
• The Skin I Live In (La Piel Que Habito • Spanish, Portugese)
• The Time That Remains (Hebrew, Arabic)
• The Tourist
• The Tree Of Life
• Thor
• Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
• Triangle
• Trust
• Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Thai)
• Unknown
• War Horse
• We Bought A Zoo
• We Need To Talk About Kevin
• X-Men: First Class

I have reserved spaces to view the films listed below, but they were unavailable on local showtimes and online. Too bad, cause they might changed my best-list tremendously seeing that 6 out of 10 films are hot favourites within the awards roundtables. They'll certainly make their way this season: A Dangerous Method • Hugo • La Guerre Est Déclarée • Margaret • My Week With Marilyn • Polisse • Take Shelter • The Descendants • Shame • Young Adult

2012 should be a year of ideas. There must be some plans for changes too. Not before sorting out this hard disc problems which are causing the iMac to reboot slower than the delayed east-bound train.