It’s hard to fathom that Roman Polanski has been making films for 50 years now. His early output was a revelation, making a name for himself with a unique brand of taut claustrophobic thrillers (See Knife in the Water/Repulsion). Seething with a palpable sense of anxiety, Polanski pushed his subjects to psychological breaking point with the enclosed surroundings amplifying the tension to almost unbearable levels. In short, they were bad places to be, especially if you happened to advocate bourgeois values. Downton Abbey, had it been made in 1960′s Poland probably would have had the entire cast holed up, soiled knickers and all, in the study with wolves roaming the corridors. It was in its mockery of the Bourgeoisie that European cinema was in its element. While never overtly political, Polanski revelled in using them as fodder. Even through visions of the American dream in Rosemary’s Baby & Chinatown, widely considered all-time greats, many of the hallmarks of his previous work shine through.
The summer big noises speak for themselves;
Early glimpses of The Dark Knight Rises and Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe with Prometheus in IMAX & 3D respectively, look certain to be the years most complete cinematic experiences.
Elsewhere, you have a bumper fix of Marvel comic book action as the superhero equivalent of The Breakfast Club finally arrives in the form of The Avengers ,as well as a reboot of the oh so profitable Spider-Man franchise. Autumn/Winter will bring us Sam Mendes’ contribution to the Bond series in Skyfall, Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth in The Hobbit, ‘Tarantino does a western’ in Django Unchained and Baz Luhrmann’s intriguing 3D take on The Great Gatsby. There is plenty more to be excited about in 2012, but here are my ones to watch in the coming year:
Ok, it’s the start of another year and there seem to be a lot of these ‘what to watch in 2011’ lists banding about. So I thought everyone would appreciate another one. Picking my brains there seems to be a lot of disagreement between me and my inner child over which movies we’re going to spend our hard earned money and time watching over the coming 12 months.
The following list is the result of much debate, childish mudslinging & sanctimonious know-it-all rhetoric but thankfully we came to a hard fought compromise via a mutual loathing of Michael Bay.