I'll go on record and call 2012 The Belcourt's best year of movies ever. I challenge you to find better a 2012 programming lineup anywhere else in the country. Yet even with all the superlative series, retrospectives and sold out first-runs, a few important films managed to slip through the theater's fingers.
Enter “Movies We Missed in 2012,” a program of eight must-see films that eluded us in 2012, which The Belcourt has programmed Jan. 18-24. I nearly jumped out of my chair when I read the selection. The list includes three docs on art visionaries (including Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present above, screening Jan. 19-21), a concert film trilogy's denouement (Jonathan Demme's Neil Young: Journeys, Jan. 23-24), a meditation on digital film-making (Side by Side, Jan. 20 & 22), a Brazilian director's promising debut (Neighboring Sounds, Jan. 21-22), and a controversial reenactment of a real-life Milgram obedience experiment (Compliance, Jan. 19 & 21-22).
There's not a mediocre film in the bunch. If anything sparks your interest, plan well. Each film screens a handful of times over the course of one week.
Full schedule (with trailers) after the jump.
The Flat — Arnon Goldfinger — France / Brazil — Jan 18, 20-22
A documentarian sifts through his recently-departed grandmother's mountain of correspondence, pictures, and keepsakes at her Tel Aviv apartment and slowly unravels a dark and troubling family history dating back to Nazi-occupied Germany.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel — Lisa Immordino Vreeland — USA — Jan 19-22
This documentary profiles Diana Vreeland, the legendary “Vogue” editor who set trends, launched careers, and defined fashion for 50 years.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present — Matthew Akers — USA — Jan 19-21
One of highlights of the series, this film documents groundbreaking performance artist Marina Abramovic during her MoMA retrospective “The Artist is Present,” where she sat in a chair for 736 hours while museum visitors took turns sitting opposite. The film also explores her past works, including her final collaboration with Ulay in which they walked from opposite ends of the Great Wall of China and met in the middle, thus ending their relationship.
Compliance — Craig Zobel — USA — Jan 19, 21-22
I was supremely bummed when Compliance passed us by during its original run. Craig Zobel's controversial second feature explores blind obedience to authority when a fast food manager gets a call from an alleged police officer who tells her to detain an employee for stealing money from a customer. The phoned-in instructions get increasingly invasive, culminating in violence. Based on a true event.
Side by Side — Keanu Reeves — USA — Jan 20, 22
Keanu Reeves' much-discussed rumination on digital film-making seemed to play everywhere but Nashville. Now's your chance to hear directors like Scorsese, Cameron, Lucas, and Dunham philosophize over cinema's game changer.
Neighboring Sounds — Kleber Mendonca Filho — Brazil — Jan 21-22
This Brazilian director's feature debut on disparity in an affluent seaside community has all the markings of contemporary contemplative cinema: slowness, atmospheric cinematography, lack of a defined plot and arms-length distance from its large cast of characters.
Neil Young: Journeys — Jonathan Demme — USA — Jan 23-24
If you liked Demme's Neil Young: Heart of Gold and Neil Young Trunk Show, you know what you're getting with this concert film trilogy capper centered on Young's 2011 Toronto performance.
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye — Marie Losier — USA — Jan 23-24
“We both got breast implants together and woke up next to each other holding hands.” — Genesis P-Orridge.
The film I'm most excited about documents the love story between Lady Jaye and Genesis P-Orridge, founder of the seminal experimental bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV, as they undergo a series of plastic surgeries to more closely resemble each other.