Thursday, January 03, 2013

Catching Up on Promoting Myself

BROOKLYN, N.Y.—Oh man, I've got a lot of catching up to do in regard to self-promotion on this blog!

For much of my November and December, I found myself consumed by balancing my Wall Street Journal day job with my In Review Online editor-in-chief duties, which in December including trying to organize an end-of-year cinema wrap-up. Now 2013 is finally here, all of that is done, and I can finally focus on other things. Behold the end result of all my duties here! (Thank you to all my writers at InRO for helping me pull this off!)

As a contributor to Slant Magazine, I also contributed to that site's end-of-year movies feature with a short blurb about my favorite film of 2012, Moonrise Kingdom. Click here to check out the whole shebang (Wes Anderson's film placed at No. 10). Oh, and speaking of Moonrise Kingdom, listen to me basically re-read my Slant blurb for Peter Labuza's Cinephiliacs podcast at some point during this most recent two-part end-of-year wrap-up episode.

Amidst all this, I still somehow managed to write some film reviews! Let's start with a couple of negligible items, both of them for Slant Magazine: that of Darragh Byrne's completely forgettable Irish drama starring Colm Meaney named Parked (review here) and Antonino D'Ambrosio's marginally more engaging documentary about the rise of punk entitled Let Fury Have the Hour (see here).

Over at Slant's sister blog The House Next Door, I penned this review of Brad Bernstein's Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, which screened during the DOC NYC festival here in New York in early November. I didn't love the film, but I wouldn't necessarily discourage anyone from seeing it whenever it receives a proper theatrical release; its interview subject—a cartoonist who pushed the boundaries of taste with his illustrations in the '60s and eventually got ostracized for his fidelity to his vision—is, if nothing else, an endlessly fascinating personality to witness onscreen.

Speaking of documentaries, I made my first proper review at In Review Online that of The Central Park Five, Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon's often scalding chronicle of the institutional and personal injustices that befell five black New York City youths as they were sentenced for a horrific gang rape in 1989 in Central Park that they did not commit. It's an entirely honorable and sometimes incisive picture and definitely worth seeing, though I would hesitate to call it a great one (if only Spike Lee had handled this material instead of the ever-respectable Ken Burns...).

For my second review to date at InRO, however, I took on one of the biggest films of 2012: Kathryn Bigelow's much-lauded search-for-Bin Laden chronicle Zero Dark Thirty. Let's just say, I'm not entirely on board with the near-universal praise this film has been getting. You can read my ambivalent take on it here.

And I think that's it for catching up. Here's to more great films and film writing in the new year!

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