Monday, June 2, 2014

Criticwire Survey: Half Time Top 5

Q: What are your five favorite cultural experiences of 2014? They can be movies (or screenings), TV shows (or episodes), music: You name it. (A tally of the most popular responses can be found at the end of this post.)
I’ve probably missed quite a bit this year so far – with the new baby and all – and will spend much of the summer catching up. But in terms of movies, my top 5 would be 5) Enemy (Denis Villenueve), 4) Stranger by the Lake (Alain Guiraudie), 3) Locke (Steven Knight), 2) Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer) and 1) The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson). Now, technically, I saw both Stranger by the Lake and Under the Skin at TIFF in 2013, so throw in Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch) and Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier) if you want to get what I saw only in 2014 so far. Two other TIFF 2013 films – Joe (David Gordon Green) and Blue Ruin (Jeremy Saulnier) – and one I just saw this weekend – We Are the Best (Lukas Moodysson) – would most likely round out the top 10.

I don’t write about music at all, and TV only a little – because I’m always so far behind in TV (and I won’t go on here about older shows – just two new ones I liked) I only got to see the first two episodes of True Detective – what I saw struck me as something that could develop into something great or something utterly pretentious – and the verdict seems to be split about which way that went. I am (mostly) loving Fargo so far – with great performances, and a look and feel that is close to the Coen brothers masterpiece, but not an exact copy. Some episodes have dragged just a little, and sometimes they overdo it a little on the Coen references, but for the most part, I love the show.

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