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Top Films of 2018: 20-14

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20. All Through the Night (1942), Vincent Sherman, Warner Bros.

A fun Humphrey Bogart romp with a plot that often seems to be coming apart at the seams. It is held together by great performances from Peter Lorre and Kaaren Verne. Humphrey plays a gambler that becomes a detective.
19. The Square (2017), Ruben Ostlund, TriArt

The Square is difficult to describe, and beneath the oddness there is an interesting satirical film. A curator with many personal and professional issues struggles to clean up the damage that has been done to his museum after a controversial video for one of the installations almost ruins his reputation. The cinematography and color palette, as well as a few disturbing performances, lend the film a vibe that is at times humorous and at other times shocking. I recommend this one if you like art films that also provoke discussion.
18. Black Girl (1966), Ousmane Sembene, New Yorker

Black Girl, one of the first sub-Saharan African films,addresses the effect…

The Beastie Boys Book and How Music Shapes Us

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I've been reading the Beastie Boys Book, and Luc Sante's introductory, "Beastie Revolution," gave me chills. He describes New York City in the 1980s in terms that bring the city to life. He explores the intersections of different culture, and how each defined the city, as background to The Beastie Boys' journey. His essay is a loving exploration of hip hop and the city that recalls Ed Piskor's graphic history, Hip Hop Family Tree. This passage resonates strongly; particularly, because it captures the impact of music on many of our lives:

     "Even if music isn't your gift or your strong suit you are obsessed with music, and even if you are
     completely incapable of making music yourself, you want to live inside it. It's the primary
     language of your time, the major medium of exchange, the principal commodity . . . it rules and
     shapes every moment of your life . . . and all the music around you is in the process of becoming
     one m…

Films I Watched in 2018

This year's viewing was a mixed bag. I ended up watching a ton of exploitation because I am trying to catch up on the DVD collections I own. Then I moved to Arkansas and did not have internet for a couple of months.

1. The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017), Yorgos Lanthimos, A24
2.John Wick (2014), Chad Stahelski, Thunder Road
3.The Lure (2015), Agnieszka Smoczynska, Kino Swiat
4. Stage Door (1937), Gregory La Cava, RKO
5. The Milky Way (1936), Leo McCarey, Paramount
6. Adam's Rib (1949), George Cukor, MGM
7. Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Ishiro Honda, Toho
8. Madhouse (1974), Jim Clark, AIP
9. The Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Otto Preminger, Columbia
10. Get Out (2017), Jordan Peele, Universal
11. Logan (2017), James Mangold, 20th Century Fox
12. John Wick 2 (2017), Chad Stahelski, Summit
13. Bulldog Drummond at Bay (1947), Sidney Salkow, Columbia
14. Dr Detroit (1983), Michael Pressman, Universal
15. High and Dizzy (1920), Hal Roach, Pathe Exchange
16. Ask Father (…

Top Records of 2018

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In no particular order this year.


Dawn Landes- Meet Me At The River (Yep Roc)


Austin Lucas- Immortal Americans (Cornelius Chapel)


Pig Destroyer-Head Cage (Relapse)


Fucked Up-Dose Your Dreams (Merge)


Sleep-The Sciences (Third Man)


Ken Mode-Loved (Season of Mist)


Grant Lee Phillips-Widdershins (Yep Roc)


Damien Jurado-The Horizon Just Laughed (Secretly Canadian)


Superchunk-What a Time To Be Alive (Merge)


Nothing-Dance on the Blacktop (Relapse)


War on Women-Capture the Flag (Bridge 9)


Neko Case-Hell-On (ANTI-)


Jeff Rosenstock-POST- (Polyvinyl)


Lucero-Among the Ghosts (Liberator)


Bettye Lavette-Things Have Changed (Verve)