698/ ILO ILO, Favorite Film of the Year 2013
ILO ILO / 2013
As a huge filmgoer myself, year 2013 was a year of good achievement in local filmmaking. Congratulations to Anthony Chen and his team. IloIlo was great in accomplishing a simple plot with a soft and delicate color over the storytelling which made effective outdoing itself in the guerrilla filmmaking scene. Personally, I love the cinematography of the film and the storytelling was effective for me. (I generally love depth) Ilo Ilo was introduced to me by my dad almost a couple months before I actually caught it in the theatres. I was looking forward not because of the story but rather the style of the film. A lot of local films had lost it's character in the phase of earning recognition and the hunger to stand out. As well, Ilo Ilo was a great depiction of not quite a local picture garnering references from indie film from the west. Influences is crucial and the taste and direction from the influences of filmmaking is necessary to establish a distinct identity from altering or sustaining the illusion for long.
The Place Beyond the Pines / Favorite Film of the Year 2013
Needless to repeat my infatuation for Derek Cianfrance, his picture The Place Beyond the Pines outweigh my choices of the year of films and won the spot as the best film of the year (You can argue the film was release in 2012 but the release date for Singapore was slightly over the year 2013). I was heavily anticipating this film in the local theatre early this year due to 'Blue Valentine' which showcase the capacity of Derek's direction in filmmaking. I manage to catch an early screening of this film and without disappointments, my expectation of the film was reached, Ryan Gosling as usual was great in his role (even though I have a slight issue with his overwhelming tattoos) and watching Bradley Cooper tackling emotions in the film was far most exhilarating moment of the year, I would say his performance was arguably his best by far in 'Pines' (apart American Hustle I've yet caught and Silver Lining Playbook).
As someone who creates picture myself, I am very particular in the cinematography of the film as well the color and movements of the film and 'Pines' was great in the interpretation of the mood set in the film as well the desperation, honesty and reality shown in the film. I love the dedication of the film set on the backdrop of an underlying love for his lover and as well the 3 part sequence that assembles and prevails the ambition from the opening sequence. As well, the daring plot from the writing inevitably creates an unsafe curiosity that kept me overwhelm by the visual and sound elements. Applause to Derek Cianfrance for a great film.
Honorable Mentions - 'Mud' by Jeff Nichols, 'The Iceman' by Ariel Vromen, 'The Way Way Back' by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon, 'Before Midnight' by Richard Linklater, 'Gravity' by Alfonso Cuarón and '12 Years a Slave' by Steve McQueen.