Read my review on "Her" here.
Onwards 2014 film year was good, not exceptionally well but mediocre. Of course we see a lot of high in a couple films and not forgetting out-doing the past and history is always ambitious. My favorite film of the year is usually (like past years) categorize into indie film and hollywood film.
Here are my four favorite film of the year.
Hollywood Film: Godzilla
Director - Gareth Edwards
Writer - Max Borenstein (Screenplay)
Gareth Edwards is a genius. A little background on him. Gareth did a film, "Monsters" back in 2010 where he wrote, directed, DP-ed and did all the CGIs. Should you have not watch the film "Monsters", go watch it now. I was more than thrilled when the studios announce Gareth as the filmmaker. I've seen the potential he had as a Sci-fi filmmaker and 4 years later, we see the overwhelming results in "Godzilla". The direction on "Godzilla" was clear-do not make 'gojira' the villain. Clearly, the film paid homage to the original film, its intention and approach was conceivably honest and ingenuous. It was my favorite film of the year largely because of the visual story-telling and coming from a director who knows clearly what he wants. It was a visual pleasure with extensive focus on character development and albeit all negative review, this made it on my list of the favorites.
Needless to applaud the brilliance of Wes Anderson's creation. This charming piece of art had developed into a phenomenon addiction. We have been brought into the fun land of meticulous art direction and production design. The attention to details, the tracking shots, the symmetry, every single shot, set and colors are coherently controlled with the right amount of sound design and music that brought it to perfection. I specially enjoyed the aspect of boldness in this film with compliments from the witty writing. Through complex narrative we follow a concierge and a lobby boy through the tough rough of humanity and also the likely friendship established between them. The rhythm of the film with the surrealism done wholly with the CGI made this film very well crafted and structurally effective. In my opinion, this might be the best film Wes Anderson has made.
Indie Film: Frank
Image courtesy of - http://www.magpictures.com/frank/
Director - Liao Jiekai
Writer - Liao Jiekai, Gladys Ng
In year 2010, I sat alone in the theatre watching my first film experience by Liao Jiekai with "Red Dragonflies". It was hardly conventional and I felt a little uncomfortable watching the film. It wasn't any technical affair or anything close to the tangible aspect of his debut feature. I felt the imminent connection after the first 10 minutes and right after, it grew on me and that a little part of me wants to take away a bit of something from the experience. The experience was albeit unnecessary but like picking up a book based on the cover art, this short story was a consternation. It felt like an unexpected discourse on reminiscences and connection.
Year 2014, I was lucky to be able to catch "As You Were" at SGIFF. The intimacy from the screenplay assembled with the picture stirs an unlikely memory from my younger days where I loathed regimental camps ruled by bureaucrats. The progression of the film was honest and the reconnaissance on love and lost made a very mellow experience in favour of the moving picture. I hope this film gets more local theatrical (or DVD) release.
Heres to another great year of filmmaking.