Wednesday, 28 December 2011

5 Rare Gems You Cannot Miss

And the lists continue. As always, every year brings at least a few movies that become instant favourites seemingly out of the blue, and, for me at least, every year follows a certain trend in these favourites. 2010 was my year for South Korean film, whereas 2011 has been a year for the horror genre and, somewhat surprisingly, Australian movies. I have therefore decided to do this little list of 5 (+1) films that really stood out for me this year, but which did not make my Best of 2011 list because they are not 2011 films. I should also mention that this list is restricted to those movies you probably haven't seen. I'm not going to waste my time and yours listing all the good movies I've seen this year. So, hit the jump for a list of films (in alphabetical order) which you probably haven't seen, but which you need to get your hands on if at all possible.

Animal Kingdom
Probably the least unkown in this list of relative unknowns, David Michod's Animal Kingdom is everything you would want in a hardcore realist crime film. The cast includes an established name (Guy Pearce), an up-and-comer (Joel Edgerton, who was in Warrior this year and will be in The Great Gatsby next year) and an Oscar nominee (Jackie Weaver). Testament to the greatness of the movie is the fact that Showtime is planning to turn it into a TV Series.

The Loved Ones

I don't know what I was expecting when I sat down to watch this little prom night movie, but I got a whole lot more than I bargained for. Four re-watches later and I still have a roaring time every time. With a hero who, for once, won't frustrate the crap out of you, this film is bizarre, sick, and twisted, and just when you think it can't go any further, it does. I won't say another word on the plot. On the performance side, Xavier Samuel (the lead) is an actor we should be seeing and hearing more and more of, and Jessica McNamee is an actress who I so smoking hot I hope we will be seeing more of.


After a vicious attack leaves him brain-damaged and broke, Mark Hogancamp seeks recovery in "Marwencol", a 1/6th scale World War II-era town he creates in his backyard. The only documentary in this list, Marwencol is perhaps impossible to adequately describe. Yet, together with Exit Through The Gift Shop, it is the best documentary I have ever seen.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
Quite simply, the best Christmas movie ever. If I have kids some day, they are watching Inglourious Basterds to learn about WWII and Rare Exports to learn about Santa Claus.
Snowtown is another ultra-realistic Australian crime movie, and the third Aussie entry on the list (the second was The Loved Ones). Instead of the world of Melbourne organised crime, this one tackles John Bunting, Australia's most notorious serial killer. With deeply disturbing content that never gets exploitative, performances so riveting one wonders where the hell they find the actors, and probably the best final shot of the year, Snowtown is a must see.

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