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Showing posts from January, 2014

Favorite Movies of 2013

Lots of folks have been asking me what films I loved in 2013.  Here are my favorites in no particular order.  I've limited myself to ten words or less reviews.  Titles link to the trailers.

Mud.  Rural people shown with dignity. Best movie of the year.

American Hustle.  That cast.  That director.

Blue Jasmine.  Because: Cate Blanchett.

12 Years A Slave.  Powerful, devastating, visceral, beautiful.

Catching Fire.  Loved the book, loved the movie.  Plus:  Jennifer Lawrence, duh.

Captain Phillips.  Complex, gripping, human.  Tom Hanks disappears into the character.

Prisoners.  Realistic portrayals of working class people and great twist.

Inside Llewyn Davis.  The Cohen Brothers made it.

Shadow Dancer.  Ireland's Troubles with great performances and a taunt script.  

The Conjuring.  Great scary movies are rare.  Hands clapping on the stairs.

The Bling Ring.  Terrifying, stylish, funny without ever glorifying the crimes.

Stoker.  Not perfect but interesting.  Plus:  Matthew Goode and …

Addendum-Favorite Music of 2013

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I jumped the gun on my favorite albums of the year because I hadn't heard these gems when I composed my list.  These were released in 2013 and are among my favorites, too.  

Ben Sollee's The Hollow Sessions is a beauty that finds Sollee covering artists like Tom Waits, Otis Redding, Paul Simon, Fiona Apple, Gillian Welch, Harry Belafonte, and others.  The album was recorded in a little house situated in a Kentucky holler and conjure up the rural summertime with birds, wind, crickets, even water wending their way into the music.  Sollee's cello and vocals are in top form and this piece of land brings out the best in him.  In the press kit he says:  “It’s a place to recharge and be still between the manic pace of the road. Over the years I’ve written songs, ballets, and film scores while visiting and thought it would be a special palce to share, at least sonically. We really featured its voice on the recordings. It is a magical place and I tried to let it conduct me.”

The album…