Archives for category: Politics

december 2012

So this is how it ends. I think my December is a fairly good reflection of all the movies I like – classics, documentaries, heavy dramas, smart comedies and those movies I just never got around to before. I thought about coming up with something insightful and clever about my movie habits. But I don’t feel like it. I’m feeling very optimistic for 2013 and dwelling on 2012 seems antithetical to that purpose.

I will say this – I’ve never kept track of how many or which movies I watch. I always knew I saw more than most but even I am surprised to find that I watched 134 movies. That’s 11.16 movies a month, 2.58 movies a week. I’m surprised I’ve managed to do anything else. Because I know I also watch an awful lot of television and I’d like to think I read a fair amount. As a holiday bonus, I’m listing the books I read this year too. So here it goes – the last list for 2012.

120 – Street Fight – politics + race = scariness
121 – Trespass – Schumacher must stop
122 – 50/50 – not too goofy
123 – Waltz with Bashir – harrowing, frightening, gobsmacked
124 – Mulan (Disney) – cute little dragon
125 – Hitchcock – fun, light, entertaining
126 – Looking for Richard – Pacino’s gross ponytail
127 – The Killers – Lancaster is foxy
128 – Shaun of the Dead – smart, funny z-story
129 – State and Main – so that happened
130 – Lincoln – DDL is god
131 – Skyfall – best Bond cinematography
132 – This is 40 – it kinda is
133 – Life of Pi – reading the book
134 – Central Park Five – depressing power abuse

My Books – 2012 – Don’t Judge, It’s Just a List

1 – My Lucky Star/Joe Keenan
2 – E-Myth/Michael E. Gerber
3 – James and the Giant Peach/Roald Dahl
4 – Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?/Mindy Kaling
5 – The Graveyard Book/Neil Gaiman
6 – Spain/Rick Steves
7 – Tale of Sand/Jim Henson
8 – Shenzhen/Guy Delisle
9 – The Hunger Games/Suzanne Collins
10 – Moneyball/Michael Lewis
11 – Neverwhere/Neil Gaiman
12 – Divergent/Veronica Roth
13 – The Book Thief/Marcus Zusak
14 – Matched/Ally Condie
15 – Insurgent/Veronica Roth
16 – Eat, Pray, Love/Elizabeth Gilbert
17 – American Gods/Neil Gaiman
18 – A Discovery of Witches/Deborah Harkness
19 – Act Like a Man, Think Like a Woman/Steve Harvey
20 – World War Z/Max Brooks
21 – Shadow of Night/Deborah Harkness
22 – Fifty Shades of Grey/EL James
23 – I Feel Bad About My Neck/Nora Ephron

So about 2 books a month. Again, I don’t really know how much other people read but I feel pretty good about that number.

Overall I think 2012 was a better year for movies than 2011 and I generally liked the books I read this year. There are always some stinkers but I finished them all and liked more than I disliked. You can’t really complain about that.

2013 – bring it.

 

At Mr. Lousy’s behest, I finally watched the Weijun Chen documentary Please Vote for Me, which chronicles the campaigns of three eight-year-old children running for Class Monitor in the first democratic election at their middle-class school in Wuhan, China.

It’s one of the more compelling and revealing political films of the decade, with so much about kids, political persuasion, political personality, children’s motivations, adult ambitions, boys and girls in competition, China, Chinese children, Chinese parents, transitioning to democracy, raw democracy in action, and how much gritty effort and how little actual thought it takes to win.

The kids? Could Xiaofei’s face have possibly been any more transparently, painfully expressive? Cheng Cheng, the portly, magnetic, manipulative, verbose, bullying, underwear-lounging, brilliant bon vivant – who manages to be sympathetic even when he’s at his worst, and is heartbreaking at his defeat? And the seemingly upright Lu Lei – who shows us in the end that the more things change, the more they really can stay the same?

One might ask for better candidates, but not better characters.