JORDAN HOROWITZ(@jehorowitz) - As a producer at the Los Angeles based film production and finance company Gilbert Films, alongside Gary Gilbert, Jordan produced the Academy Award nominated film THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, and Mark Ruffalo. Other recent credits include Michael Mohan's SAVE THE DATE, starring Lizzy Caplan, Alison Brie, and Martin Starr; upcoming is YOU ARE HERE, the feature debut from Matthew Weiner (Creator of MAD MEN) and starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poeler, and THE KEEPING ROOM, written by Julia Hart, to be directed by Daniel Barber (HARRY BROWN), and starring Olivia Wilde, Hailee Steinfeld, and Nicole Beharie.
JULIA HART(@juliahartowitz) - Formerly a high school teacher, Julia is now a full-time screenwriter. Her 2012 Blacklist script THE KEEPING ROOM begins production in April 2013, with Daniel Barber (HARRY BROWN) directing and Olivia Wilde, Hailee Steinfeld, and Nicole Beharie set to star. She is also currently adapting the young adult novel BEAUTIFUL DISASTER for Warner Brothers.
1- A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH(1946) - Neither of us are British, so we didn't see this one growing up. We are massive fans of Powell + Pressburger, but someohow this one escaped us until this year. Many people call it the British WIZARD OF OZ; that's a good comparison. Massive, important, and fucking magical. We would actually argue that it is THE WIZARD OF OZ for grown-ups -- it's funny that British children see this because it is ultimately a far more grown-up film, with far more grown-up themes. A tornado is replaced with bomber planes and getting back to your childhood home is replaced with being able to spend the rest of your life with a partner and a best-friend.
2- THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE(1962) - We love this late John Ford film; Wayne and Stewart are so good in it. And there are few films that do story this well and this effortlessly; it's a clinic. Side note: while on location shooting Jordan's last movie, we got to watch a 35mm print of this at North Carolina School of the Arts, with an intro by Peter Bogdonovich. It was awesome.
3- PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET(1953) - We got into Sam Fuller on what would have been his 100th birthday, and we never looked back. We saw a screening of this at the Aero; among many, many positive things we can say about this film, Thelma Ritter's performance here is seriously incredible.
4- ARMY OF SHADOWS(1969) - One of the only Melville films we hadn't seen; not sure why it took this long. Exceptional. Don't be alarmed when nothing happens because in the French Resistance, nothing ever did.
5- THE BROOD(1979) - This is a bit more Jordan, but we definitely both dug this one. We got WAY into early Cronenberg this year, and this is the standout. Surreal and awesome concept that makes for a strange and oddly emotional film with some killer (and uncomfortable) practical effects.
And here are some others movies we liked this year, in alphabetical order:
ACE IN THE HOLE(1951) - The way this film grows and grows and grows is just staggering.
CHRISTINE(1983) - Behind THE THING, this might be Jordan's favorite Carpenter (Julia still likes ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 more). A tight and smart and fun little genre film. Also: more movies need a flaming car.
I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE(1978) - Brutal, exploitative, and incredibly well made. It is simultaneously impossible to watch and impossible not to watch -- how many films can you genuinely say that about?
JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY(1959) - If you are into jazz, this one is for you. An awesome doc featuring amazing performances from Anita O'Day, Gerry Mulligan, and Louis Armstrong, among others. And the clothing in this movie is incredible, to boot.
THE LANDLORD(1970) - Ashby's first film. He directs for the cutting room, and it's a sight to behold. Also this might be one of the most important American films on race ever made.
MACHINE GUN MCCAIN(1969) - Cassavetes in an Italian gangster film. Plus an absolutely amazing scene with him and Gena Rowlands. Also, he was writing HUSBANDS (one of Jordan's favorite films) as he was making this. Enough said.
MODERN ROMANCE(1981) - Saw it for the first time this year, amazingly. Wish more romantic comedies could be like this. We could watch Brooks mumble to himself for hours.
MY DARLING CLEMENTINE(1946) - More terrific Ford.
TOKYO DRIFTER(1966) - Incredibly cool Japanese new wave.
WAKE IN FRIGHT(1971) - Saw this at the Nuart, loved it, wanted to see it again immediately. Meditative and strange, featuring the best Kangaroo scene we've ever witnessed. If Jordan didn't freak out so much over THE BROOD this might have been in the top 5.