2019 highlights reel

I’m late to the list party, and that perturbs me because I’m never late.

But I read this manifesto on Another Gaze about how the list is a capitalist concept that “colonises the mind and impoverishes the imagination” and basically shits on all things filmmaking and suddenly I felt swayed and decided not to publish one in protest of bad and pernicious and arbitrary things.

But then it felt disingenuous, because I bloody love a list. So here it is: the films and books and TV that I consumed in 2019 and now consecrate with these lists.

Favourite Films of 2019

  1. Portrait of a Lady On Fire (Céline Sciamma)
  2. Uncut Gems (The Safdie brothers)
  3. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho)
  4. Little Women (Greta Gerwig)
  5. Saint Maud (Rose Glass)
  6. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot)
  7. Matthias & Maxime (Xavier Dolan)
  8. Waves (Trey Edward Shults)
  9. Beats (Brian Welsh)
  10. The Hottest August (Brett Story)
  11. The Souvenir (Joanna Hogg)
  12. Hale County This Morning This Evening (RaMell Ross)
  13. Babyteeth (Shannon Murphy)

Favourite ‘New-to-Me’ Films of 2019

I loved this Tweet from Durga Chew-Bose (a brilliant writer on film) about films you discover long after their release. It does seem more interesting to consider why and how they surfaced to you that particular year. What compelled you to watch it? What enabled its excavation? Whatever the reason, there’s something somehow more enjoyable about finally getting round to a film you’ve been meaning to watch and having it match up or surpass your expectations, or even better watching something with no expectations whatsoever and finding yourself spectacularly surprised and wondering how you’d never managed to see it until now, but then finding yourself glad you hadn’t because it meant you got to see it just then and what a perfect two-or-so hours you just had because of that.

Here are the gems – hidden, or obscured to me – that I finally made time for in 2019, in order of when I saw them rather than adored them.

  • River of Grass (1994, Kelly Reichardt)
  • Still Walking (2008, Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • Girlfriends (1978, Claudia Weil)
  • Hard Eight (1996, Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick)
  • Broadcast News (1987, James L. Brooks)
  • Maborosi (1995, Hirokazu Kore-eda)
  • Don’t Look Now (1973, Nicolas Roeg)
  • Punchline (1988, David Seltzer)
  • The Master (2012, Paul Thomas Anderson)

Favourite Books I Read In 2019

  1. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
  2. Notes to Self by Emilie Pine
  3. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  4. Severance by Ling Ma
  5. Florida by Lauren Groff
  6. This Really Isn’t About You by Jean Hannah Edelstein
  7. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
  8. She Wants It by Jill Soloway

Favourite TV Shows of 2019

  1. Chernobyl
  2. Succession (Season 2)
  3. Fleabag (Season 2)
  4. State of the Union
  5. When They See Us
  6. Barry (Season 2)
  7. Giri/Haji
  8. This Way Up
  9. Unbelievable
  10. Catch-22
  11. The Virtues

Favourite Albums of 2019

  1. Salt by Angie McMahon
  2. Ventura by Anderson .Paak
  3. Chasing Summer by SiR
  4. All Mirrors by Angel Olsen
  5. i,i by Bon Iver
  6. Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka
  7. Wasteland, Baby! by Hozier
  8. Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
  9. Late Night Feelings by Mark Ronson
  10. Assume Form by James Blake

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