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Cinema of 2012


By Dane McDonald



I’ve never found it very productive to dwell on the past.

But this year, my cinematic experiences have forced me to put a caveat in that sentiment.

It breaks my heart to admit, but 2012’s cinematic fare has me longing enormously for 2011.

2011 was a phenomenal year for film. By September, most of what I considered the year’s best work had already been theatrically released.

J.J. Abrams’ sci-fi wunderkind “Super 8”, David Yate’s epic and thrilling “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II”, Paul Feig’s side-splitting “Bridesmaids”, Nicolas Refn’s pulse-pounding “Drive”, Terrence Malick’s meditative “The Tree of Life” and Andrew Haigh’s tender “Weekend”, all great films, were released by this time last year.
 
It’s unfortunate that studios wait until November and December to bloat theaters with traditional Academy Award fodder. I want to watch great films year round, not be forced to drive to the movies every day for three weeks when I’m home on Christmas break just to see half the stuff that’s will be nominated.

GoldDerby.com, a website that predicts a film’s odds for award season, says seven of its 10 potential Best Picture nominees will released between September and December of 2012.

That means American audiences have to wait eight months of the year to see what the best filmmakers have to offer.

To be fair, in 2012 I have seen some good films. But I’ve only seen a few great films.
You’d have to be blind not to appreciate the fan-boy adoration director Joss Whedon brought to “The Avengers.”

Steven Soderbergh crafted “Magic Mike” into much more than a cheesy stripper flick, which may or may not be a good thing, depending who you ask.

Rising filmmaker Benh Zeitlin directed the finest film of the year thus far, his affectingly haunting and powerful “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” It’s the only film from this year that I’ve experienced rather than watched.

Sure, I’ve liked plenty of movies I saw this summer.

“The Dark Knight Rises” was good, but it didn’t hold a candle to its predecessor.
“Moonrise Kingdom” had its charms, but was I the only one who thought I was watching a 93-minute, moving Instagram picture?

“Brave” was delightful.

But I wasn’t moved by any of them.

I implore you, Hollywood executives, release great work throughout the year.

We’ll all be more grateful for it.

­— wdmcdona@indiana.edu

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