Sandrine’s Favorite LA Film Fest 2012 Film and Recap
The 2012 LA Film Fest has come to an end and it was a fun ride. This year and last year have been my favorite at the LAFF and it just keeps getting better. If you are a movie lover and live in LA, I highly recommend you check out the festival next year if you didn’t get a chance to go this year. As for me, I’m looking forward to LAFF 2013.
For those of you who have been following us here on Film Equals, or on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, you already know of some of the movies we saw and liked, but I wanted to give you a quick ranking of the films I saw.
And in case you’re wondering, you can find the list of winners for the festival here. Funny enough, I only saw two films that won (one long form and one short form) and they were both audience awards, so I can’t comment on the others.
Anyway, here are my favorite films of LAFF 2012 (the titles link to the review for the films if we wrote one):
1) It’s a Disaster – My favorite of the festival. It was such a smart and funny film. It surpassed all my expectation to become not only my favorite at the festival but one of my favorite films this year. Highly recommended.
2) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – I expected this to be a typical romantic comedy with an end of the world backdrop, but it was a lot more than that. It was a very touching movie that also made me think about my life. And Steve Carell was brilliant.
3) Teddy Bear – I knew I wanted to see Teddy Bear after watching the trailer. It was probably the film I was looking forward to the most and it didn’t disappoint. A really sweet story about a bodybuilder trying to find love.
4) Ruby Sparks – Another sweet film that explores the relationship between a writer and his creation who has come to life. I really enjoyed the way the story was structured, it didn’t take the easy way out and explored some of the dark parts of the characters.
5) Juan of the Dead – For all Shaun of the Dead fans, a new comedy about zombies set in Cuba. Funny and all around entertaining and original in its own way. Also the first Cuban zombie movie.
6) The Iran Job – A great documentary about an african-american man, Kevin Sheppard, going to Iran to play basketball for a year. If you like people stories and discovering new cultures and places, you will love The Iran Job. I also find the documentary to be very uplifting.
7) Call Me Kuchu – Very powerful documentary about the struggle of the gay community in Uganda. This documentary will stay with you long after you watch it.
8 ) The Queen of Versailles – A fascinating look at a rich family who was building the biggest house in America, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles and how the real-estate crash affected them. I was really surprised by the fact that I was able to relate to these people. A great documentary if you like people stories.
9) Robot & Frank – Frank, a retired cat burglar, is given a walking, talking humanoid robot to help him with daily life. An interesting film that explores a very likely future for us. I loved that robot and wish I could get one of my own.
10) Beasts of the Southern Wild – Winner of the audience award, I had mixed feelings about this one. It started out a bit slow for me but then picked up and by the end of it I was in tears and felt such a wave of emotion that it took me most of the credit sequence to get over it. So I guess I would say it definitely had an impact and is definitely not like other movies I have seen this year. I definitely recommend checking it out.
11) Reportero – A look at reporters/photojournalist in Mexico whose lives are constantly at risk because of their reporting on the narco-traffickers. Great documentary about the power of passion and how far some people are willing to go to expose the truth.
12) Neighboring Sounds – Interesting film that focuses on an upscale neighborhood in the seaside town of Recife, Brazil. While it’s a slow burning movie, I enjoyed the exploration of the different people inhabiting the neighborhood.
13) P-047 – This one is not for everyone, but I enjoyed most of it. The film focuses on Lek and Kong who breaking into other people’s homes, not to steal anything but to temporarily experience the lives of others. It had some slow parts and non-linear storytelling, but overall I found it engaging.
14) Dead Man’s Burden – An indie Western, this is probably the only film that didn’t work for me at the festival. That said it seemed to gather positive responses at the festival, so you might want to check it out for yourself especially if you are a fan of westerns.
Bear – I mentioned this short with one of my other reviews. It was brilliant and so original. I ended up checking out director Nash Edgerton’s other short film Spider (you can watch it here on YouTube) which is the prequel to Bear. I can’t wait to watch more films from Edgerton.
Voice Over – Another great short at the festival and so original. The short relies on the narrator (hence the voice over title) telling the story of a man in three different situations. The short looked beautiful and I almost wish it had been longer. You can watch the trailer here.
Asad – The short which won the audience award. I had mentioned it in one of my reviews. The film is about a young boy in a Somalian village and features only Somalian refugees as the cast. It’s beautiful!
And that’s it for 2012! Thanks for jointing us, hope you get to catch up on a few of the films I mentioned and hopefully you’ll join us again in 2013.
In the meantime, you can always follow me on Twitter @sosandrine