2020, spring

A snapshot list of what I’d recommend, or warn against, from mostly a mixture of material from the past, but with at least a handful of new material out during this season.


books

recommend
3 / ? / ? | When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit | Judith Kerr, 1971

ignore: 4 / 2 / 2 | Annihilation | Jeff VanderMeer, 2014 //


film & tv

best
3 / 4 / 5 | Carol | Haynes, 2015
5 / 5 / 5 | Killing Eve: 1 | Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 2018
5 / 5 / 5 | Fleabag: 2 | Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 2019
3 / 4 / 5 | Manchester by the Sea | Lonergan, 2016

recommend
4 / 4 / 4 | Personal Shopper | Olivier Assayas, 2016
4 / 5 / 5 | Paddington 2 | King, 2017
4 / 3 / 3 | Good Omens: 1 | Douglas Mackinnon, 2019
4 / 5 / 4 | Fleabag: 1 | Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 2016
4 / 3 / 3 | Vikings: 1 | Renck, Donnelly & Girotti, 2013
5 / 4 / 4 | Train to Busan | Yeon Sang-ho, 2016
3 / 4 / 4 | Toni Erdmann | Ade, 2016
4 / 3 / 4 | Under the Skin | Glazer, 2013

ignore: ? / ? / ? |


music

I keep Spotify playlists defined by the year of an album’s release. I’d guess I listen to ten new full albums per week at the moment, which I really cannot be bothered to list in their entirety here, but you’ll find the playlists on my account as they slowly accrue, and a handful of my favourites, new and old, here.


journalism & podcasts

In an effort to avoid the punctuated drama of everyday news cycles, particularly during a pandemic that has locked us all up, I made the decision to take the reigns of my consumption. The vast majority of accounts I followed on social media were unfollowed, and I took an approach of listening through podcasts and trialling a handful of quality journalism weekly updates. While there are plenty of sources I would have listed as ‘avoid’ here, understandably I would like to focus on those I thought were particularly worth sharing. This season, and most likely for the duration of next,

recommend
Dolly Parton’s America | Abumrad & WNYC Studios, 2019

ignore: Wind of Change | Patrick Radden Keefe, 2020

best films of the 10s

The Little White Lies: 100 Best Films of the Decade list saw ‘more than 300 films nominated by some 70 writers’ – a delicious place for any critic to fill some decade-defining cultural reference gaps.


100. We Need to Talk About Kevin | Ramsay, 2011
99. The Nine Muses | Akomfrah, 2010
98. Bastards | Denis, 2013
97. Eighth Grade | Burnham, 2018
4 / 2 / 2 | 96. The Work | McLeary & Aldous, 2017
3 / 4 / 4 | 95. Manchester by the Sea | Lonergan, 2016
94. Two Days, One Night | Dardenne brothers, 2014
93. Paradise: trilogy ( Love / Faith / Hope ) | Seidl, 2012-13
92. Popstar: … | Taccone & Schaffer, 2016
91. Embrace of the Serpent | Guerra, 2015
90. Goodbye First Love | Hansen-Løve, 2011
89. Blue Valentine | Cianfrance, 2010 – mubi
88. Goodbye to Language | Godard, 2014
87. Silence | Scorsese, 2016
86. Good Time | Safdie brothers, 2017
85. Ex Machina | Garland, 2014
84. House of Tolerance | Bonello, 2011
83. Enemy | Villeneuve, 2013
82. Mysteries of Lisbon | Ruiz, 2010
81. Nocturama | Bonello, 2016
80. Horse Money | Costa, 2014
79. Pariah | Rees, 2011
78. Kill List | Wheatley, 2011
77. Certain Women | Reichardt, 2016
76. Girlhood | Sciamma, 2014
75. The Day He Arrives | Sang-soo, 2011
74. Like Someone in Love | Kiarostami & Modaressi, 2012
73. Vitalina Varela | Costa, 2019 – mubi
4 / 4 / 4 | 72. Personal Shopper | Assayas, 2016
71. Star Wars: The Last Jedi | Johnson, 2017
70. The Assassin | Hsiao-Hsien, 2015
69. Knight of Cups | Malick, 2015
4 / 4 / ? | 68. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood | Tarantino, 2019
67. No Home Movie | Akerman, 2015
66. Zero Dark Thirty | Bigelow, 2012
65. Meek’s Cutoff | Reichardt, 2010
64. The Wolf of Wall Street | Scorsese, 2013
63. The Grand Budapest Hotel | Anderson, 2014
62. OJ: Made in America | Edelman, 2016
61. This Is Not a Film | Panahi, 2011
60. The Duke of Burgundy | Strickland, 2014
59. Weekend | Haigh, 2011
58. The Wind Rises | Miyazaki, 2013
57. Arrival | Villeneuve, 2016
56. Raw | Ducournau, 2016
55. Inherent Vice | Anderson, 2014
54. American Honey | Arnold, 2016
53. Leviathan | Castaing-Taylor & Paravel, 2012
52. Paterson | Jarmusch, 2016 – mubi
51. 20th Century Women | Mills, 2016
50. Stories We Tell | Polley, 2012
49. Cameraperson | Johnson, 2016
48. The Other Side of the Wind | Welles, 2018
47. Call Me by Your Name | Guadagnino, 2017
46. L for Leisure | Horn & Kalman, 2014
4 / 2 / ? | 45. Hereditary | Aster, 2018
44. Elle | Verhoeven, 2016
43. Gone Girl | Fincher, 2014
42. Uncle Boonmee… | Weerasethakul, 2010
41. High Life| Denis, 2018 – mubi
40. Zama | Martel, 2017
39. 120 Beats Per Minute | Campillo, 2017
38. Leviathan | Zvyagintsev, 2014
37. Burning | Chang-dong, 2018
36. The Turin Horse | Tarr & Hranitzky, 2011
35. Magic Mike XXL | Jacobs, 2015
34. Portrait of a Lady on Fire | Sciamma, 2019 – mubi
4 / 4 / 4 | 33. Parasite | Joon-ho, 2019
32. The Act of Killing | Oppenheimer, 2012
31. Holy Motors | Carax, 2012
30. Phoenix | Petzold, 2014
29. Poetry | Chang-dong, 2010
28. First Reformed | Schrader, 2017
27. Inception | Nolan, 2010
26. The Irishman | Scorsese, 2019
25. Boyhood | Linklater, 2014
4 / 5 / 5 | 24. Paddington 2 | King, 2017
23. Certified Copy | Kiarostami, 2010
22. Song to Song | Malick, 2017
21. Frances Ha | Baumbach, 2012
20. The Souvenir | Hogg, 2019 – mubi
19. Eden | Hansen-Løve, 2014
18. Lady Bird | Gerwig, 2017
17. Stray Dogs | Ming-liang, 2013
16. Roma | Cuarón, 2018
15. You Were Never Really Here | Ramsay, 2017
14. The Tree of Life | Malick, 2011
13. The Social Network | Fincher, 2010
12. The Master | Anderson, 2012
11. Get Out | Peele, 2017
10. Tabu | Gomes, 2012
9. Margaret | Lonergan, 2011
8. It’s Such a Beautiful Day | Hertzfeldt, 2012
3 / 4 / 4 | 7. Toni Erdmann | Ade, 2016
3 / 4 / 5 | 6. Carol | Haynes, 2015
5. Mad Max: Fury Road | Miller, 2015
4. Phantom Thread | Anderson, 2017
3. Inside Llewyn Davis | Coen brothers, 2013
2. Moonlight | Jenkins, 2016
4 / 3 / 4 | 1. Under the Skin | Glazer, 2013