Posts Tagged ‘Killing Them Softly’


2012 in Review

January 2, 2013


Number of films seen, excluding shorts: 305
Number of films seen for the first time, excluding shorts: 238

Pre-1920s: 0
1920s: 4 (4 first time viewings)
1930s: 5 (3)
1940s: 15 (8)
1950s: 13 (6)
1960s: 13 (9)
1970s: 16 (8)
1980s: 28 (21)
1990s: 24 (11)
2000s: 32 (17)
2010s: 155 (149) Read the rest of this entry ?


The Skinny’s ‘Films of 2012’

December 3, 2012


I was invited to submit a list of my favourite releases of 2012 for The Skinny’s annual contributor’s poll, going by UK theatrical release dates but not including festival showings. You can read my list, other individual lists and the consensus top 10 here.

My list there is not necessarily a concrete representation of what I would select now, nor does it account for films like Amour, The Master and ‘Turkey of the Year’ contender Gambit that I saw after the submission deadline.


Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012)

November 30, 2012

Set against the backdrop of the 2008 US election, chunks of both major parties’ campaign rhetoric, as well as that of former President Bush, permeate select scenes of Killing Them Softly via background radios and televisions, entering like tumbleweeds rolling across a set. The film’s jarringly edited opening credits even cut between the title cards and Scoot McNairy’s slow passing through windswept garbage in a decayed, unnamed suburbia, looking cold and in pain as a cigarette hangs from his mouth, as his walk is scored by the mangled audio mix of an Obama speech about the “American promise of life”: “to make of our own lives what we will.” Later music use also veers far from subtlety, with songs like “Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries” chosen for blatant irony, and a scene of substance abuse accompanied by the sounds of The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin”. In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, Killing Them Softly’s furious avoidance of coyness might prove disastrous, though the bluntness, despite its aesthetically enthralling execution, is still likely to frustrate many. Look beyond the louder elements of the economic and political threading, though, and one has a crackling dialogue-heavy thriller that revels in palpable atmospherics and great performances…

Full review at Sound on Sight


My Month in Films: September 2012

October 1, 2012

27 films, 23 first time viewings

Best first time viewings
1. About Elly (Asghar Farhadi, 2009, Iran/France)
2. Woman in a Dressing Gown (J. Lee Thompson, 1957, UK)
3. Looper (Rian Johnson, 2012, USA/China)
4. Killing Them Softly (Andrew Dominik, 2012, USA)
5. The Woman in the Septic Tank (Marlon Rivera, 2011, Philippines)
6. Samsara (Ron Fricke, 2011, USA)
7. Something Wild (Jonathan Demme, 1986, USA)
8. A Little Princess (Alfonso Cuarón, 1995, USA)
9. 5 Broken Cameras (Emad Burnat/Guy Davidi, 2011, Occupied Palestinian Territory/Israel/France/Netherlands)
10. Barbara (Christian Petzold, 2012, Germany)

11. Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, 2012, Japan)
12. Anna Karenina (Joe Wright, 2012, UK)
13. Monsieur Lazhar (Philippe Falardeau, 2011, Canada)
14. To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962, USA)
15. Dredd (Pete Travis, 2012, USA/UK/India)

Best rewatches
Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012, Portugal/Germany/Brazil/France)
Berberian Sound Studio (Peter Strickland, 2012, UK)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Adam McKay, 2004, USA)

Pieces (Juan Piquer Simón, 1982, Spain/USA/Puerto Rico/Italy)
Commando (Mark L. Lester, 1985, USA)