Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The best and worst of 2014

This blog has been quiet for a couple of weeks and is likely to stay that way for a couple of weeks more (lots of work, a little flu, lots of traveling), but in the meantime here's something. Looking at other people's lists of the top ten films and albums of the year, not to mention books, I realize that I haven't seen or heard (or read) as many as ten new movies/albums/books this year. So I won't even attempt a top ten, or top five, of anything. What I will do is make some negative comments and then end on a positive note.

The Guardian named Under the Skin the best movie of the year. It's not. People who like it talk about how haunting and visually stunning it is. It is memorable and visually striking. On the other hand, as the Rotten Tomatoes summary hints at ("Its message may prove elusive for some"), the whole thing seems pointless, despite very much appearing to want to have a serious point. The word for this kind of thing, I think, is pretentious. Another sci-fi disappointment was Snowpiercer. This is the kind of movie I really enjoy, just not a very good example of the kind. Maybe my expectations were too high, but any top ten list that includes it goes down in my estimation.

Now for the good news. I've mentioned some albums I've bought this year and I'm sure nobody cares, so I won't review them. But from other top ten lists I've recently discovered (a bit late) The New Pornographers (not really my cup of tea but sometimes very catchy indeed in a good way) and Allo Darlin' (presumably named after this). If I have an album of the year it's their We Come from the Same Place. Pitchfork calls them "bookish," which I suppose is my kind of thing.  

And I haven't seen enough new films to be sure, but my guess is that Locke was the best movie of last year. It's (even) better than Boyhood: a movie for grownups, and visually interesting too.


  1. http://themoth.org/posts/stories/fog-of-disbelief

    1. I can't get this to work, but thanks anyway.

    2. try this