Euro Beat: Cahiers Du Cinema Releases the Boldest Top 10 List of the Year, Plus Turin Considers Suing Ken Loach

Brian Clark, European Editor
As we roll into December, there will certainly be many more lists of the top movies of 2012 from major entertainment publications, but I'll bet that none are as interesting as the one that legendary French film journal Cahiers du Cinema just put out. Granted, their list is usually pretty audacious (last year's found Philippe Garrel and Bruno Dumont sharing space with J.J. Abrams), but -- actually, if anyone can find evidence that there is another year-end list in existence with two Abel Ferrara movies on it, I'll pull a Werner Herzog and eat my own shoe.

1. Holy Motors - Leos Carax
2. Cosmopolis - David Cronenberg
3. Twixt - Francis Ford Coppola
4. 4:44 Last Day on Earth - Abel Ferrara
4. In Another Country - Hong Sang-Soo
4. Take Shelter - Jeff Nichols
7. Go Go Tales - Abel Ferrara
8. Tabu - Miguel Gomes
9. Faust - Aleksandr Sokurov
10. Keep the Lights On - Ira Sachs

Now, there are several things to keep in mind with this list. First, yes, Go-Go Tales did not make it to France until this year, though it was produced in 2007. And indeed, Take Shelter also took its time getting here. On the flip side though, France got Tabu and In Another Country first, and Twixt still has no U.S. release date (probably because it is completely insane). Anyway, there's a lot that could be said about this list -- I feel like The Paperboy would fit pretty well on it -- but I'll leave that to the readers. In any case, kudos to French critics for making a list so full of audacious films and nearly completely devoid of the usual Oscar hopefuls.

Ken Loach Declines an Achievement Award at Turin Film Festival

Director Ken Loach, best known for making socially and politically conscious dramas like The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Sweet Sixteen, has chosen to decline a lifetime achievement award from the Turin Film Festival on ethical grounds. More specifically, he said his decision was a demonstration of solidarity with the security guards and cleaners at the National Museum of Cinema in Turin, which runs the festival. According to a statement released by Loach, these workers are fighting a labor battle after outsourcing had led to cut-salaries, and in some cases, firings. Said Loach:

"It is with great regret that I am compelled to refuse the prize... The lowest-paid workers, the most vulnerable, thus lost their jobs for their opposition to a pay cut. In this situation, the organization that procures the services cannot close it eyes, but must assume responsibility for the people it employs, even if they are employed by an outside firm... We made a film dedicated to this topic [Bread and Roses]. How could I not respond to a request for solidarity from workers who were fired for fighting for their rights? Accepting the award and confining myself to a few critical comments would be weak and hypocritical."

Sounds like his heart's at least in the right place, but according to the National Museum of Cinema, his rage is misplaced as they said their outsourcing of cleaning and security had been carried out as legally prescribed. The Museum fired back with a statement saying,

"It displeases us that a great film director, someone we have always admired, has been badly informed ... [in a way] that does not reflect in any way the reality... The museum cannot be held responsible for the actions of third parties, either directly or indirectly."

Now, according to the Italian media, the city of Turin is considering a lawsuit against Loach to recoup the damages that the festival suffered after he canceled his appearance at the event just two days before its started. Though, actually, ticket sales for the first three days are up 12.3% from what they were last year.

Box Office

Twilight: Breaking Dawn: Part 2 hasn't made it all over Europe yet, so the last weekend of reported box office results again belonged to Skyfall. Except in Spain. There, The Impossible continues to reign, with a total that now stands at a whopping $46.1 million. That means Juan Antonio Bayona's Spain-produced chronicle of a family's struggle to survive and reunite during the 2004 Thailand Tsunami has actually made back its entire reported €30 million budget in Spain alone. Also, in Turkey, the locally produced fantasy/romance Evim Sensin held strong at the top, taking in another $1.8 million, bringing its cumulative gross to to nearly twice that of Skyfall.

Around the Internet:
  • mightyjoeyoung

    "but -- actually, if anyone can find evidence that there is another year-end list in existence with two Abel Ferrara movies on it, I'll pull a Werner Herzog and eat my own shoe."

    I always liked Ferrara, so I´m glad for him, and no, Mr Clark, I don´t think I can find such list.

    "Director Ken Loach, best known for making socially and politically conscious dramas like The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Sweet Sixteen, has chosen to decline a lifetime achievement award from the Turin Film Festival on ethical grounds."
    Sticking to his idelas, not surprised.
    Thanks, for the wrap up , Mr Clark.

  • agitator

    Twixt...really... ?

  • Michael Benton

    Cheers to that amazing top ten list that I will now pursue till I have seen them all, but even more, to the great director Ken Loach for his stand of solidarity with the workers ... and a big razzie to the ridiculous response from the Museum denying that they have any responsibility for the conditions of workers that work on their premises.

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