Favorite Foreign Films of 2012

Top 15 Films:
15. Barbara (Christian Petzold)
Slow burn drama with great rewards. A work of elegance & restraint.
14. The Raid: Redemption (Gareth Evans)
The year's most action-packed film. No pretense, unadulterated violence.
13. V/H/S (Various)
Found footage anthology directed by six independent horror directors. Scary shit.
12. The Cabin in the Woods (Drew Goddard)
A horror film made by horror fans for horror fans. If you think you're getting a typical slasher flick, think again. Try not to read spoilers. It's best enjoyed if you know nothing about the plot.
11. Wreck It Ralph (Rich Moore)
Touching story. Adorable characters. Comedy gold! Numerous video game references. Multiple geekgasms guaranteed!
10. The Imposter (Bart Layton)
As they say, some real life stories are just stranger than fiction.
9. Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin)
Squalor with a little bit of whimsy. Tale of magical realism that hasn't been told before.
8. Sound of My Voice (Zal Batmanglij)
Indie cult-infiltration thriller that doesn't offer easy answers. Thought-provoking and mesmerizing.
7. Pitch Perfect (Jason Moore)
Glee meets Mean Girls. Pitch Perfect delivers both the laughs and the music. Rebel Wilson is the breakout star of the year.
6. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson)
A work of a true cinematic master. Hypnotic and unforgettable.
5. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)
We're all aware how this ends, but we still watch with bated breath & clenched jaws. This is elevated by Kathryn Bigelow's deft direction, Mark Boal's absorbing screenplay, & Jessica Chastain's quiet intensity as Maya. One of the most important films of the year.
4. Life of Pi (Ang Lee)
Best 3D film of all time. Way better than Avatar. A meditation on life and one's belief system.
3. The Perks Of Being A Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)
Small indie film that will go down in history as one of the best coming-of-age films. Hold on to your hankies.
2. Amour (Michael Haneke)
True to its title, this film shows us what love really is - in all its tenderness and brutality.
1. Looper (Rian Johnson)
Friggin' awesome! Effectively mixes action, time travel, and superpowers with devastating results. Rian Johnson is the next Christopher Nolan.
Best Short:
Paperman (John Kahrs)
Best Performance by an Actor:
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
 Honorable Mentions:
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Denis Levant, Holy Motors
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi
Best Performance by an Actress:
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Honorable Mentions:
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
AnnaLynne McCord, Excision
Ann Dowd, Compliance
Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Favorite Foreign Films (2007-2011)


Top 15 Films:
1. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay)
2. Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols)
3. Confessions (Tetsuya Nakashima)
4. Another Earth (Mike Cahill)
5. Another Year (Mike Leigh)
6. The Kid With A Bike (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne)
7. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
8. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
9. Like Crazy (Drake Doremus)
10. Melancholia (Lars Von Trier)
11. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn)
12. We Are What We Are (Jorge Michel Grau)
13. Shame (Steve McQueen)
14. Heartbeats (Xavier Dolan)
15. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher)
Best Short:         
I'm Here (Spike Jonze)  

Best Performance by an Actor:
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter

Honorable Mentions:
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ezra Miller, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Mel Gibson, The Beaver
Choi Min Sik, I Saw The Devil
Thomas Doret, The Kid With A Bike
Best Performance by an Actress:
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin

Honorable Mentions:
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Sareh Bayat, A Separation
Meryll Streep, The Iron Lady
Jessica Chastain, Take Shelter
Robin McLeavy, The Loved Ones

Top 15 Films:    
1. The Social Network (David Fincher)
2. Inception (Christopher Nolan)
3. Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky)
4. Blue Valentine (Derek Cianfrance)
5. Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos)
6. Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese)
7. Never Let Me Go (Mark Romanek)
8. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Edgar Wright)
9. Rabbit Hole (John Cameron Mitchell)
10. White Material (Claire Denis)
11. Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe)
12. Animal Kingdom (David Michod)
13. Exit Through the Gift Shop (Bansky)
14. 127 Hours (Danny Boyle)
15. Amer (Helene Cantet & Bruno Forzani)
Best Performance by an Actor: 
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network      
Honorable Mentions:    
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine     
Leonardo Dicaprio, Shutter Island            
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network    
Christian Bale, The Fighter          
James Franco, 127 Hours             
Best Performance by an Actress:             
Natalie Portman, Black Swan     
Honorable Mentions:    
Aggeliki Papoulia, Dogtooth       
Barbara Hershey, Black Swan     
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole        
Emma Stone, Easy A      
Melissa Leo, The Fighter              
Top 15 Films:    
1. Samson & Delilah (Warwick Thornton)
2. The Secret in their Eyes (Juan Jose Campanella)
3. Julia (Erick Zonca)
4. Thirst (Park Chan Wook)
5. District 9 (Neil Blomkamp)
6. Mother (Bong Joon-ho)
7. Up in the Air (Jason Reitman)
8. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)
9. 500 Days of Summer (Marc Webb)
10. Bad Lieutenant (Werner Herzog)
11. Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze)
12. Tulpan (Sergei Dvortsevoy)
13. In Search of a Midnight Kiss (Alex Holdridge)
14. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold)
15. [Rec] 2 (Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza)
Best Performance by an Actor: 
Sharlto Copley, District 9              
Honorable Mentions:    
Nicolas Cage, Bad Lieutenant     
Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds      
Ben Foster, The Messenger       
Sam Rockwell, Moon     
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker              
Best Performance by an Actress:             
Tilda Swinton, Julia         
Honorable Mentions:    
Mo'nique, Precious        
Kim Ok-bin, Thirst           
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air      
Katie Jarvis, Fish Tank
Zoe Saldana, Avatar       
Top 15 Films:     
1. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (David Fincher)
3. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)
4. Revolutionary Road (Sam Mendes)
5. Wanted (Timur Bekmambetov)
6. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)
7. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson)
8. I'm A Cyborg, But That's Ok (Park Chan-wook)
9. Vicky Christina Barcelona (Woody Allen)
10. The Class (Laurent Cantet)
11. Martyrs (Pascal Laugier)
12. Hunger (Steve McQueen)
13. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
14. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves)
15. The Chaser (Hong-jin Na)

Top 15 Films:     
1. Atonement (Joe Wright)
2. Into the Wild (Sean Penn)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
4. The Lookout (Scott Frank)
5. Love Songs (Christophe Honore)
6. Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck)
7. The Band's Visit (Eran Kolirin)
8. [Rec] (Jaume Balaguero & Paco Plaza)
9. Before the Fall (F. Javier Gutierrez)
10. Timecrimes (Nacho Vigalondo)
11. The Orphanage (Juan Antonio Bayona)
12. Meet The Robinsons (Stephen Anderson)
13. Juno (Jason Reitman)
14. The Mist (Frank Darabont)
15. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud)

Little Children (Todd Field, 2006)              
The Devil Wears Prada (David Frankel, 2006)      
The Host (Bong Joon-ho, 2006) 
Transamerica (Duncan Tucker, 2005)      
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)    
Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004) 
Bad Education (Pedro Almodovar, 2004)               
Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)       
Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004)               
Dogville (Lars Von Trier, 2003)   
Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, 2003)    
Kill Bill Volume 1 (Quentin Tarantino, 2003)         
Reconstruction (Christoffer Boe, 2003) 
Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2002)     
Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002)               
Irreversible (Gaspar Noe, 2002)
The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)         
Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)      
The Others (Alejandro Amenabar, 2001)              
Dancer in the Dark (Lars Von Trier, 2000)              
In the Mood For Love (Wong Kar Wai, 2000)       
Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)     
Requiem For A Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)              
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999)
Run Lola Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998)            
Happy Together (Wong Kar Wai, 1997)  
Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997)              
Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)           
Before Sunrise (Richard Linklater, 1995)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)  

Favorite Filipino Films (2009-2012)


Top 10 Films:
1. Aparisyon (Vincent Sandoval)
2. Kalayaan (Adolf Alix)
3. Thy Womb (Brillante Ma Mendoza)
4. Graceland (Ron Morales)
5. Pascalina (Pam Miras)
6. Bwakaw (Jun Lana)
7. REquime! (Loy Arcenas)
8. Ang Nawawala (Marie Jamora)
9. Mga Mumunting Lihim (Jose Javier Reyes)
10. I Do Bidoo (Chris Martinez)

Best Performance by an Actor:
Arnold Reyes, Graceland

Honorable Mentions:
Eddie Garcia, Bwakaw
Nico Antonio, Posas
Anthony Falcon, REquieme!
Buboy Carino, Alagwa
Arnel Ignacio, Melodrama Negra

Best Performance by an Actress:
Nora Aunor, Thy Womb

Honorable Mentions:
Mylene Dizon, Aparisyon
Shamaine Buencamino, REquieme!
Bea Alonzo, The Mistress
Janice de Belen, Mga Mumunting Tinig
Raquel Villavicencio, Aparisyon


Top 10 Films:
1. Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa (Alvin Yapan)
2. Isda (Adolf Alix)
3. Six Degrees of Separation From Lilia Cuntapay (Antoinette Jadaone)
4. Zombadings (Jade Castro)
5. Busong (Auraeus Solito)
6. Nino (Loy Arcenas)
7. Amok (Lawrence Fajardo)
8. My Paranormal Romance (Victor Villanueva)
9. Senior Year (Jerrold Tarog)
10. Bahay Bata (Eduardo Roy)

Best Performance by an Actor:
Mart Escudero, Zombadings

Honorable Mentions:
Ronnie Lazaro, Boundary
Raymond Bagatsing, Boundary
Publio Briones, My Paranormal Romance
Art Acuna, Nino
Dido dela Paz, Amok

Best Performance by an Actress:
Cherry Pie Picache, Isda

Honorable Mentions:
Lilia Cuntapay, Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay
Shamaine Buencamino, Nino
Raquel Villavicencio, Nino
Jean Garcia, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa
Sheen Gener, Walang Katapusang Kwarto


Top 10 Films:
1. The Arrival (Erik Matti)
2. Sheika (Arnel Mardoquio)
3. Ang Damgo ni Eleuteria (Remton Siega Zuasola)
4. The Red Shoes (Raul Jorolan)
5. Kano (Monster Jimenez)
6. Emir (Chito Rono)
7. Here Comes the Bride (Chris Martinez)
8. RPG: Metanoia (Luis Suarez)
9. Ang Mundo sa Panahon ng Bato (Mes de Guzman)
10. Ishmael (Richard Somes)

Best Performance by an Actor:
Dwight Gaston, The Arrival

Honorable Mentions:
John Lloyd Cruz, Miss You Like Crazy
Ronnie Lazaro, Ishmael
Pen Medina, Layang Bilanggo
Marc Abaya, Dagim
Marvin Agustin, Sigwa

Best Performance by an Actress:
Fe Hyde, Sheika

Honorable Mentions:
Angelica Panganiban, Here Comes the Bride
Jodi Sta. Maria, Third World Happy
Bea Alonzo, Sa'yo Lamang
Irma Adlawan, Vox Populi
Dulce, Emir


Top 10 Films:
1. Yanggaw (Richard Somes)
2. Jay (Francis Xavier Pasion)
3. Kinatay (Brillante Mendoza)
4. Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe (Alvin Yapan)
5. Dinig Sana Kita (Mike Sandejas)
6. Kimmy Dora (Joyce Bernal)
7. Wanted: Border (Ray Gibraltar)
8. Engkwentro (Pepe Diokno)
9. Bakal Boys (Ralston Jover)
10. Himpapawid (Raymond Red)

Best Performance by an Actor:
Baron Geisler, Jay/Padyak

Honorable Mentions:
Romalito Mallari, Dinig Sana Kita
John Lloyd Cruz, In My Life
Coco Martin, Kinatay
Ronnie Lazaro, Yanggaw
Joey Paras, Last Supper No. 3

Best Performance by an Actress:
Irma Adlawan, Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe

Honorable Mentions:
Eugene Domingo, Kimmy Dora
Che Ramos, Mangatyanan
Rosanna Roces, Wanted: Border
Dimples Romana, In My Life
Flor Salanga, Jay

100 (Chris Martinez, 2008)
Foster Child (Brillante Mendoza, 2007)
Endo (Jade Castro, 2007)
Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (Auraeus Solito, 2005)
Magnifico (Maryo delos Reyes, 2003)
Jologs (Gilbert Perez, 2002)
Himala (Ishmael Bernal, 1982)

Goodbye, 2011!

At the onset of 2011, I set three goals for myself: (1) watch 211 films in 2011, (2) watch more pre-2000 films, and (3) blog more often. #1 was a piece of cake. When October came, I was already on my 218th film. And so, I end the year with 253 films – 67 are local films and the rest are foreign films.

However, most of these are still post-2000 films. God knows how I tried to watch Bicycle Thieves and Rashomon, but I just can’t do it. My eyes instantly become heavy at the sight of sepia and black & white. Luckily, I was able to slip in a few Hitchcocks and Miyazakis. Hopefully, more pre-2000 films will be added to my list.

#3 is the hardest. In my four years of blogging, I have the least number of posts this year. I also stopped writing film reviews for PEP. I hope my writing mojo comes back soon.

Despite all odds, I’ll continue watching films and continue to share them in this site. Here is a rundown of the films I’ve seen in 2011.

1 White Material

2 Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

3 Somewhere

4 Rabbit Hole

5 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

6 127 Hours

7 I Am Love

8 My Amnesia Girl

9 Never Let Me Go

10 True Grit

11 Devil

12 Exit Through the Gift Shop

13 Cairo Time

14 Applause

15 Hereafter

16 Presa

17 The King's Speech

18 Blue Valentine

19 Temple Grandin

20 Let Me In

21 Love & Other Drugs

22 Frankie & Alice

23 Handumanan

24 Hospital Boat

25 Burlesque

26 For Colored Girls

27 Accident

28 The Disappearance of Alice Creed

29 Symbol

30 Amer

31 Tangled

32 The Ghost Writer

33 Certified Copy

34 Greenberg

35 The Dreamers

36 Sugar

37 Food, Inc.

38 Mysterious Skin

39 The Departed

40 Kung Fu Panda

41 The Illusionist

42 My Neighbor Totoro

43 Ghost in the Shell

44 Perfect Blue

45 Fantastic Mr. Fox

46 The Adjustment Bureau

47 I'm Here

48 Senior Year

49 Country Strong

50 Kaboom

51 The Princess and the Frog

52 The Triplets of Belleville

53 Princess Mononoke

54 Grave of the Fireflies

55 Ratatouille

56 Mary and Max

57 The Secret of Kells

58 Rango

59 Monsters, Inc.

60 The Rescuers

61 The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

62 Howl's Moving Castle

63 The Last Exorcism

64 Shaun of the Dead

65 I Saw the Devil

66 A Single Man

67 Brick

68 The Sleeping Beauty

69 Latter Days

70 Sucker Punch

71 Pinoy Sunday

72 We Are What We Are

73 High Tension

74 Whip It

75 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

76 Deadline

77 Triangle (AKA Ghost Ship)

78 Heartbeats

79 Hedwig & the Angry Inch

80 Pulp Fiction

81 Once

82 Sunshine

83 The Crush

84 Plastic Bag

85 Bedevilled

86 The Troll Hunter

87 4 3 2 1

88 Volver

89 Rubber

90 Cloverfield

91 Smiley Face

92 Keka

93 Selda

94 Everyone Says I Love You

95 Circuit

96 Rain Town

97 Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

98 Let the Love Begin

99 The Loved Ones

100 Tropic Thunder

101 Magnifico

102 Millions

103 Psycho

104 The Roommate

105 Strapped

106 All Good Things

107 Ang Ninanais

108 Dark City

109 Bully

110 Vertigo

111 Cube

112 Thor

113 What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

114 Who's That Girl?

115 The Hours

116 Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

117 The Thing

118 Martyrs

119 Grease

120 Funny Games US

121 Leaving Las Vegas

122 Trick 'R Treat

123 Dazed and Confused

124 Pisay

125 The Class

126 Kinse

127 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

128 The Prestige

129 Julia's Eyes

130 Paalam Aking Bulalakaw

131 Hobo With A Shotgun

132 Elephant

133 Billy Elliot

134 Confessions

135 Kasambuhay, Habambuhay

136 Super 8

137 X-Men: First Class

138 The Lost Thing

139 Paul

140 The Tunnel

141 Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

142 The Tree of Life

143 Hanna

144 Source Code

145 Kooky

146 Quarantine 2: The Terminal

147 An American Crime

148 Summer Days with Coo

149 Insidious

150 The Murderer (The Yellow Sea)

151 17 Again

152 Memories of Murder

153 Love in a Puff

154 Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2

155 Bahay Bata

156 Isda

157 Cuchera

158 Paglipad ng Anghel

159 Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

160 Hanapbuhay

161 Oliver's Apartment

162 Immanuel

163 Debut

164 Hazard

165 Un Diutay Mundo

166 Samarito

167 Walang Katapusang Kwarto

168 Every Other Time

169 Nino Bonito

170 Liberacion

171 Ang Babae sa Septic Tank

172 Nino

173 Amok

174 Bisperas

175 Ligo Na U. Lapit Na Me

176 Patikul

177 Busong

178 Gayuma

179 Zombadings

180 Freakonomics

181 Rise of the Planet of the Apes

182 Winnie the Pooh

183 The Broken Hearts Club

184 Shallow Grave

185 Leap Year

186 The Way Back

187 The Beaver

188 Submarine

189 Mother's Day

190 Prom

191 Another Year

192 Crazy, Stupid, Love.

193 Super

194 I Am Number Four

195 The Last Circus

196 Win Win

197 The Myth of the American Sleepover

198 School of Rock

199 Hesher

200 I Spit On Your Grave

201 Temptation Island

202 The Woman

203 The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

204 Bleak Night

205 Attack the Block

206 Contagion

207 Bad Teacher

208 Attenberg

209 Rakenrol

210 Bridesmaids

211 Crossbow

212 Melancholia

213 Drive

214 Everything Must Go

215 The Secret In Their Eyes

216 Bad Day To Go Fishing

217 No Other Woman

218 Buenas Noches, Espana

219 Horrible Bosses

220 The Adventures of Pureza

221 Midnight in Paris

222 In Time

223 Monte Carlo

224 Retreat

225 The Kid With A Bike

226 The Silent House

227 The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence)

228 Another Earth

229 Quattro Hongkong 2

230 Pina

231 Toomelah

232 Ka Oryang

233 My Paranormal Romance

234 Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay

235 Big Boy

236 Boundary

237 Friends With Benefits

238 Life In A Day

239 The Help

240 50/50

241 Like Crazy

242 Anatomiya ng Korupsiyon

243 Incendies

244 The Road

245 Fright Night

246 Margin Call

247 Immortals

248 We Need to Talk About Kevin

249 The Skin I Live In

250 Shake, Rattle, & Roll 13

251 Moneyball

252 Sky High

253 Bellflower

Film Logs: December

243. Incendies

Rating: 2/5

244. The Road

Rating: 3/5

245. Fright Night

Rating: 3/5

246. Margin Call

Rating: 3.5/5

247. Immortals

Rating: 2/5

248. We Need To Talk About Kevin

Rating: 5/5

249. The Skin I Live In

Rating: 3/5

250. Shake, Rattle, & Roll 13

Rating: 3.5/5

251. Moneyball

Rating: 4/5

252. Sky High

Rating: 3.5/5

253. Bellflower

Rating: 3.5/5


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