Let’s hit the lists first. Time‘s Richard Corliss has not only placed Michael Haneke‘s Amour in the #1 spot of his top ten of 2012, he’s also got Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva sharing the same slot on his “Top 10 Movie Performances” list. Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winner is, of course, doing quite well during this lists and awards season, having already swept the European Film Awards and declared “Best Foreign Language Film” by the New York Film Critics’ Circle.
The accolades for the director and his two stars will surely keep coming, so the two-week, 19-film series devoted to Trintignant at New York’s Film Forum is, to state the obvious, timely. David Fear‘s overview in Time Out New York crescendos to the highlight: “And then there’s 1970’s The Conformist (Fri 7 and Sat 8), the actor’s personal favorite among his filmography. Bernardo Bertolucci said it was Trintignant’s ability to be ‘moving and sinister’ that made him think of Jean-Louis for the part of Marcello, the repressed Fascist flunky caught up in history’s machinations and his own Freudian hang-ups. It’s impossible to imagine a more perfect match of a performer’s strength, a filmmaker’s sensibility and rich, complex material; that Film Forum is showing this towering achievement of ’70s cinema on a 35mm print only sweetens the deal. The opportunity to see The Conformist on the big screen is always a calendar-clearer, but the chance to witness Trintignant’s career in toto—from frowning male ingenue to éminence grise—makes the series nearly as invaluable as the man himself.”
More from Matt: “Forget separating for male or female, lead or supporting,” he tells Criticwire contributors. “You can just pick one; so what is the best performance of the year?” Garnering the most mentions: Denis Lavant in Holy Motors and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master.
The New York Review of Books has indexed “some of the work on film and television reviewed in our pages in 2012.” On a related note, you can always check in on the “Film” index at the Los Angeles Review of Books.
The Millions presents its ninth annual “Year in Reading” series, with its all-star roster of contributors looking back on 2012.
And jazz historian Ted Gioia lists his “100 Best Albums of 2012.”
Awards. “David Cronenberg, Sarah Polley and Deepa Mehta were among the Canuck cinema luminaries whose recent work was feted Tuesday night at a packed industry event announcing the Toronto Film Festival’s 12th annual list of Canada’s Top 10 features,” announces Jennie Punter in Variety.
“The Turner Prize this year held surprisingly little controversy,” writes Kyle Chayka at Hyperallergic: “the artists nominated were recognizable names that made relatively sanguine work, from Paul Noble’s microscopic, hand-drawn imagined worlds to Luke Fowler’s biographical documentaries. The hippie, sometimes-bearded performance and theater artist Spartacus Chetwynd was perhaps the only outlier. This year’s winner, announced yesterday, is video artist Elizabeth Price, who contributed a video work based on an infamous department store fire to the annual exhibition.”
“It has been an absolutely incredible year for documentaries,” argues Nathaniel R, who’s got the list of the 15 that have made the Academy’s shortlist of docs still in the running for that coveted Oscar.
“Pixar’s Brave, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph and DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians were the top nominees for the 40th Annual Annie Awards, the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced on Monday,” reports TheWrap‘s Steve Pond.
In Contention‘s Guy Lodge has the Satellite Award nominations: “I confess I’ve never been sure entirely sure what these awards represent—they’re voted for by a group called the International Press Academy, but my knowledge ends there—but they’ve been cheerfully going their own way for 17 years now, annually coming up with one of the season’s more entertaining, eclectic nomination lists.”
“Kim Nguyen’s War Witch won the coveted Golden Frog at the Plus Camerimage festival, beating Leo Carax’s Holy Motors,” reports Screen‘s Michael Rosser.
Reading. Gina Telaroli presents “Movement B” in the terrific Notebook project Tony Scott: A Moving Target.
London and Paris. Jonas Mekas turns 90 on Christmas Eve, and the Serpentine Gallery “is proud to present an exhibition of the artist’s film, video and photographic works from throughout his remarkable and prolific sixty-year career. Coinciding with the Serpentine exhibition, BFI Southbank, London, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, are presenting a season of film and video work celebrating Mekas’s contribution to cinema.” Nowness presents a clip from Mekas’s Outtakes From the Life of a Happy Man, set to premiere at Serpentine; and AnOther Magazine interviews Mekas.
New York. Tom McCormack presents a “media-performance / talk” tonight at Spectacle in Brooklyn, “ANATOMY AND DESTINY: Sex in the Future // Sex in the Past.”
In the works. “I have a secret investor that has infinite money,” Francis Ford Coppola tells Entertainment Weekly‘s Solvej Schou. “I learned what I learned from my three smaller films, and wanted to write a bigger film. I’ve been writing it. It’s so ambitious so I decided to go to L.A. and make a film out of a studio that has all the costume rentals, and where all the actors are. My story is set in New York. I have a first draft. I’m really ready for a casting phase. Movies are big in proportion to the period. It starts in the middle of the ’20s, and there are sections in the ’30s and the late ’40s, and it goes until the late ’60s.”
“Guillermo del Toro has come on board to direct supernatural thriller Crimson Peak from his own script,” reports Dave McNary in Variety.
David O. Russell tells the Playlist‘s Rodrigo Perez about his next project, “the untitled 1970s, FBI/Abscam film, formerly known as American Bullshit, and starring [Bradley] Cooper, [Christian] Bale, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner.”
“Matt Damon is negotiating to join The Monuments Men, the period drama that George Clooney will direct in January in Europe,” reports Deadline‘s Mike Fleming Jr.