Yesterday, Dec. 10, The American Film Institute released its list of the ten top films for the year 2012. The AFI is a non-profit organization that has the mission to preserve the history of motion pictures and provide an education to new filmmakers. AFI voters include: AFI trustees, film scholars, film and TV artists, and critics.
The AFI list of top films can be an indication of the top films that will vie for Best Picture at the Oscars in February. “The Dark Knight Rises” was a happy surprise for me. I think it is Christopher Nolan’s best film to date and it is nice to see it recognized. “Beast of the Southern Wild” is an amazing film written by first-time screenwriters Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin and also directed by first-time director Benh Zeitlin. This film was the only American film to bring home a prize from the Cannes Film Festival last May. “Moonrise Kingdom” was also a nice addition to the list. I just loved this film and was happy that it was not forgotten at awards time. It is a sweet and yet comic story that has a flavor all of its own.
Missing from the list is Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” It was runner-up for best film by the LA Film Critics, but I agree with AFI. “The Master” has a devastatingly bad ending that makes the film incomplete in my eyes.
AFI will honor the creative ensembles for each of the noted movie and TV programs at an invitation-only luncheon on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 in Los Angeles.
This year the ten top films according to the AFI are (in alphabetical order):
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”
“The Dark Knight Rises”
“Life of Pi”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
The AFI also votes on the ten best shows on television. For a full list of honorees, see here at the AFI Website: http://www.afi.com/afiawards/
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com