3 Years in Film is a collection of critical essays on films released between 2012 and 2014.
Each essay takes on a single film, ranging from critical darlings like Birdman to the dismissed and forgotten likes of Silent House. Whether they fit into the history of film as a whole or just illuminate certain trends in recent years, each film covered has something worthwhile to contribute, and 3 Years in Film attempts to speak to it.
3 Years in Film asks questions like: How do critical and lay conversations around issues like genre and craft intersect with the work that any individual film does? What are the shared politics of a Stallone and Schwarzenegger vehicle and a Haruki Murakami adaptation? The relationship between the games industry and film's own is often opined upon as being one-sided, but how does it play out in practice? And, looming above all of it, how does interpretation work, and why do it?
The answers aren't always quite so clear, of course. And for all the theoretical questions, there is a grounding in the personal. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters can't be fit into the history of action films by way of Howard Hawks without a little detour through the Sanrio character My Melody, and reading The Purge and You're Next as haunted house films requires some background. Even more than that, though, 3 Years in Film attempts to attend to the particular joys of watching films, and to do so without ignoring their material structures and histories.
Whether you're interested in why Silent Hill: Revelation 3D is the best possible videogame adaptation, or why Pain & Gain is a better, bolder version of Spring Breakers; or whether you are care more about the history of American film from Hitchcock to the Coen Brothers or just that specific period, post-2008 and pre-Occupy's subsumption into culture, 3 Years in Film has the questions.
Films discussed (by section):
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; I, Frankenstein; Maleficent; Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Silent Hill: Revelation 3D; Wreck-It Ralph; The Croods; Riddick; Crows : Explode
Pain & Gain; Godzilla; Escape Plan; From Up on Poppy Hill; Norwegian Wood
After Earth; Birdman; Under the Skin; The Babadook; Silent House
The Tale of Princess Kaguya; Stoker; Rise of the Guardians; The Purge; You’re Next