Favorite films seen in 2013

Gravity, Philomena, Metropolis, A Room With a View…. These are a few films and TV shows from my list of 2013 films (released in Louisville) or the list of older films that I had never seen before (14 of which are streaming on Netflix). Last year, I summarized my IMDb films of 2012. This year, in October, I created my own custom spreadsheet of movies.

Films I've seen, released in 2013

TitleTypeMyAvg.#Ratings
42Feat.107.640140
47 RoninFeat.86.620906
A Good Day to Die HardFeat.85.4117907
American Hustle *Feat.87.784115
Amour *Feat.107.848394
Bettie Page Reveals AllDocu.87124
Birdemic 2: The ResurrectionFeat.42.4733
Blue Is the Warmest Color *Feat.98.119519
Blue Jasmine *Feat.77.545292
Charles Bradley: Soul of AmericaFeat.107.6260
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (S2)Series88.3840
¡Cuatro!Docu.88.855
Craig Ferguson: I'm Here to HelpFeat.87.1163
Drinking BuddiesFeat.86.222027
ElysiumFeat.76.7172790
EpicFeat.76.748706
Frances Ha *Feat.97.616883
Fruitvale StationFeat.97.619434
Gravity *Feat.108.3252724
History of the Eagles Part OneDocu.97.8485
Louis C.K.: Oh My God TV Special78.2002284
Much Ado About NothingFeat.77.48153
MudFeat.77.560915
Only God ForgivesFeat.85.849964
Oz the Great and PowerfulFeat.86.5130601
Phil Spector TV Movie86.33016
Philomena *Feat.107.98090
Picasso Baby: A Performance Art FilmDocu.97.740
Prisoners Feat.78.1147084
QuartetFeat.96.89748
Red Bull Stratos - Mission to the Edge of SpaceDocu.8n/an/a
Room 237Docu.76.49200
Secret Project RevolutionShort98.344
Side by SideDocu.97.77346
Star Trek Into DarknessFeat.97.9253676
The ConjuringFeat.107.6151753
The Grandmaster Feat.76.613019
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Feat.88.2199498
The Hunt *Feat.98.365737
The Impossible *Feat.97.6100341
The Last Ice MerchantDoc. Short87.525
The Place Beyond the PinesFeat.87.4115809
This Is the EndFeat.96.9172296
Top of the Lake *Series97.67068
TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from KeyboardDocu.97.78516
Upstream ColorFeat.76.9010284
We're the MillersFeat.87.1150504
Whatever This Is.Series88.625
World War ZFeat.97.1261490
Zero Dark Thirty *Feat.87.5153985
Films released in the Louisville area in 2013 that I've seen. IMDb ratings ("Avg." column) based on Jan. 27, 2014 numbers. * Nominated for Golden Globe
Nominated for Academy Award
Nominated for Emmy Award

Films I’ve seen, pre-2013 release

Of the older films I’ve seen this year, here are the highlights. I’ve notated the ones that are streaming (at time of publication) on Netflix. I was motivated to watch a lot of these after reviewing the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, particularly if they passed the Bechdel Test.

  • 49 Up (2005, docu., Netflix)
  • A Room with a View (1985, Netflix)
  • A Trip to the Moon (Watched both the original 1902 b&w version, and newly restored 2012 Blu-ray hand-colored version with Air soundtrack)
  • Amreeka (2009)
  • Blue (2012, new YouTube series)
  • Breaking the Waves (1996)
  • Carrington (1995)
  • Children of Paradise (1945)
  • Chimpanzee (2012, docu.)
  • Coldplay Live 2012 (Netflix)
  • Control Room (2004, docu., Netflix)
  • Cosmic Voyage (1996)
  • Crumb (1994, docu.)
  • Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  • Electric Shadows (2004, Netflix)
  • Enter the Void (2009, Netflix)
  • Forks Over Knives (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
  • Kick-Ass (2010)
  • Leonie (2010)
  • M (1931)
  • Man With a Movie Camera (1929, docu., Netflix)
  • Metropolis (1927, purchased 2010 “complete” Blu-ray with newly found footage; also streaming Netflix)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears (1980)
  • My Brilliant Career (1979, Netflix)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
  • Night and Fog (1955, docu.)
  • Nostalgia for the Light (2010, docu.)
  • Pearl Jam Twenty (2011, docu., Netflix)
  • Porco Rosso (1992)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Senna (2010, docu., Netflix)
  • Seven Chances (1925, Netflix)
  • The General (1926, Netflix)
  • The Holy Mountain (1973)
  • The House Is Black (1963, docu.)
  • The Killer (1989)
  • The Pixar Story (2007, docu.)

Best Albums of 2013

My second annual list. This is mostly personal preference, but with an ear to recommend both popular and obscure (mostly rock and jazz) albums to other music lovers.

9-best-albums-2013

Top Picks

  • Bombino – Nomad (Tishoumaren, blues rock; April)
  • Charles Bradley – Victim of Love (Soul, April)
  • Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (Nu-disco, May)
  • Gregory Porter – Liquid Spirit (Vocal jazz, September)
  • Janelle Monáe – The Electric Lady (R&B funk, September)
  • Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (Neo-psychedelia, February)
  • Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork (Hard rock, June)
  • Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob (Electropop, January)

Second Billing

Most of these are artists I had never heard of or given a second listen before 2013. Good music is alive and well. Read more Best Albums of 2013

BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

The official Beyoncé YouTube page has posted these 30-second preview tracks (released Friday, December 13, 2013). Here they are in the order they appear on the DVD; the director(s) are listed after each song title. It’s also worth checking out the “Self-Titled” mini art features that followed the release of the album.

beyonce-sm
Read more BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

A few album ratings – Part 7

********** 10
James Brown – Love Power Peace, Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971 (June 1992, soul)

********* 9
Motor City Drum Ensemble – DJ-Kicks (July 2011, house, soul)

********* 9
Young Galaxy – Ultramarine (April 2013, dream pop)

********* 9
Stars of the Lid – And Their Refinement of the Decline (April 2007, ambient)

********* 9
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction (July 1987, hard rock)

********* 9
Lil Hardin Armstrong – Chicago: The Living Legends (1961, jazz vocal)

******** 8
Haim – Days Are Gone (September 2013, indie pop)

******** 8
Mazzy Star – Seasons of Your Day (September 2013, neo-psychedelia)

******** 8
Mayer Hawthorne – Where Does This Door Go (July 2013, blue eyed soul)

******** 8
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa – Seesaw (May 2013, blues rock)

******** 8
Bombino – Nomad (April 2013, Tishoumaren, blues rock)

******** 8
Jim James – Regions of Light and Sound of God (February 2013, neo-psychedelia)

******** 8
J.D. McPherson – Signs & Signifiers (October 2010, rockabilly)

******** 8
Balmorhea – All Is Wild, All Is Silent (March 2009, post-rock, modern classical)

******** 8
Tracy Thorn – Out of the Woods (March 2007, synthpop)

******** 8
Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I May See (September 1993, neo-psychedelia)

******* 7
Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu (October 2012, blues rock)

******* 7
Sun Glitters – Cosmic Oceans (April 2011, chillwave)
Read more A few album ratings – Part 7

Collecting Images of Liberation (Befrielsesbilleder, 1982)

It is a challenge* to find commentary online about Lars von Trier’s film school graduation piece, Befrielsesbilleder (translated as Image of Relief / Liberation Pictures/Photos or variants of these words). Without giving away too much of the plot—is there one?—I’ve attempted to collect as much information about the film that I could dig up. Take 57 minutes to go watch it on YouTube and then come back here to see if you can piece together this “film noir.”

“A film should be like a stone in your shoe.” – Lars von Trier (Source)

Befrielsesbilleder - Kirsten Olesen

Synopsis: In this thought-provoking graduate film of student Lars von Trier, the behavior of Danish resistance fighters at the end of World War II is called into question by documentary footage of them making street arrests and by fictional enactments of crimes. In one sequence, a captive German officer escapes prison and is led into a trap in the forest by a Danish woman — she believes he was responsible for blinding a teenager, and she stabs his eyes through with a wooden blade. He is left to crawl in the very woods where as a child, he had tried to converse with the birds. Using both color and black-and-white to good advantage, the cinematography adds to the dramatic impact. – By Eleanor Mannikka on AllMovie
Read more Collecting Images of Liberation (Befrielsesbilleder, 1982)