Monday, December 17, 2007


Bardem as Anton Chigurh

My contribution to the end-of-year top-10 navel-gazing. With everything in one post for the sake of sheer laziness. Reserving the right to make adjustments between now and December 31st. The year ain't over yet! Not necessarily in order of preference (I have to be difficult), though the number ones are my favorite picks.


Anton Chigurh: What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss.
Gas Station Owner: Sir?
Anton Chigurh: The most. You ever lost. On a coin toss.
Gas Station Owner: I don't know. I couldn't say.

- No Country for Old Men
  1. No Country for Old Men - just when I thought maybe the Coen brothers were starting to flag, they come back with this astonishing piece of work
  2. No End in Sight & Taxi to the Dark Side - saw the latter at TriBeCa Film Festival, so its wide release is 2008; ideally both films would be shown back-to-back on primetime television
  3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - *added 12/27
  4. Michael Clayton - "I am Shiva, the god of death!"
  5. Red Road - which I almost forgot about, but which was excellent, if harrowing
  6. The Savages - alternately excruciating and hilarious
  7. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead - banner year for Phillip Seymour Hoffman
  8. After the Wedding
  9. This Is England - nobody went to see this - it was sensational
  10. Helvetica - forgot this gem of documentary - *added 12/27
Update: Knocked out of the top 10
  • Superbad - maybe Knocked Up if I'd seen it
  • Lars and the Real Girl - better than advertised
Plus these 5 special mentions:
  1. Lives of Others - actually an easy selection for near the top of the list, but, technically, I saw it last year
  2. Blade Runner - The Final Cut - one of my favorite movies of all time - a sci-fi Casablanca - seeing it in the theater for the first time was a real treat
  3. The Bourne Ultimatum - just because the trilogy is such a riot
  4. Zodiac - I loved it, but it just didn't stay with me
  5. The Wind That Shakes the Barley - as above
Plus these 5 I'm sure I'd love if I'd seen them:
  1. Persepolis - looks gorgeous and I enjoyed the book
  2. Rescue Dawn - Werner Herzog can do no wrong
  3. Eastern Promises - neither can Cronenberg
  4. Diving Bell & the Butterfly - nor Schnabel (Update: see above)
  5. Control - how did I not get around to seeing Anton Corbijn's debut as a director?
Make up something to believe in your heart of hearts
so you have something to wear on your sleeve of sleeves
so you swear you just saw a feathery woman
carry a blindfolded man through the trees
showered and blue-blazered, fill yourself with quarters
showered and blue-blazered, fill yourself with quarters

- The National, "Mistaken for Strangers" from Boxer
  1. The National - Boxer - sorry, but LCD Soundsystem's had a couple of actual groaners; Boxer only had a song or two that were simply less beautiful than the others
  2. Joan as Policewoman - Real Life (apparently, this came out last year; feel like this year to me); ravishingly good
  3. Cinematic Orchestra - Ma Fleur
  4. Radiohead - In Rainbows
  5. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha
  6. LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (well, it was really good)
  7. Feist - The Reminder
  8. Grinderman
  9. Blonde Redhead - 23
  10. Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
3 more definitely worth your time:
  1. Patrick Wolf - The Magic Position
  2. NIN - Year Zero (partly for it's amazing viral marketing campaign; trust me, I never thought I'd see NIN in any list of mine either)
  3. Atlas Sound - actually not out until next year; expect great things
5 I haven't gotten, but apparently need to:
  1. M.I.A.- Kala
  2. St. Vincent - Marry Me
  3. Spoon - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  4. Kanye West - Graduation
  5. Of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
Massively over-rated:
  • The Good, The Bad, & The Queen
Since I make no particular effort to read what's on current best seller lists, this is a list of the top 10 books I read this year, regardless of when they were published.
Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing direction. You change direction, but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you, something inside you. So all you can do is to give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand does not get in, and walk through it, step by step. There is no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverised bones.

- Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
  1. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
  2. The Road - Cormac McCarthy
  3. Remainder - Tom McCarthy
  4. Martin Amis - House of Meetings
  5. Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid
  6. Out - Natsuo Kirino
  7. Motherless Brooklyn - Jonathan Lethem
  8. The Swallows of Kabul - Yasmina Khadra
  9. Survivor - Chuck Palahniuk
  10. The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell - John Crawford
Tell me your favorites in the comments. I wouldn't want to miss anything.

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