At the end of a monstrous year, here is a personal inventory of some things that were in fact good and life-affirming and precious in 2017 …
3 Favorite New Films:
Western (Valeska Grisebach, Germany)
Strong Island (Yance Ford, USA)
The Future Perfect (Nele Wohlatz, Argentina)
3 Favorite Older Films Seen for the First Time:
Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, UK, 2009)
Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, USA, 1982)
Falbalas (Jacques Becker, 1946, France)
Publication of the Year:
Sophie Mayer’s PDF collection From Rape to Resistance: Taking Back the Screen (it can be ordered at the link for £5).
If You Read Only One Film Studies Essay This Year, Make it This One:
Erika Balsom’s “The Reality-Based Community” at e-flux.
So Glad I Discovered These 3 Online Film Critics:
3 New Film Books:
Rashna Wadia Richards and David T. Johnson (editors), For the Love of Cinema: Teaching Our Passion In and Outside the Classroom
Erika Balsom and Hila Peleg (editors), Documentary Across Disciplines
Annette Michelson, On the Eve of the Future: Selected Writings on Film
3 Older Film Books I Returned To Often:
B. Ruby Rich, New Queer Cinema: The Director’s Cut
Sophie Mayer, Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema
Antonia Lant (editor), Red Velvet Seat: Women’s Writings on the First Fifty Years of Cinema
If You Randomly Opened My Bag, Chances Are You Would Find a Book By:
3 Online Film Journals I Love:
Shout-out to Friends with Websites that are Treasures:
These Writers are Wonderful and More People Should Read Them:
3 Heavy End-of-Year Lists:
Roger Koza has gathered nominations of best films of the year from 135 programmers and critics from 36 countries; Sight & Sound has rounded up the best video essays of 2017; and David Davidson has collected top 10 lists from a wide range of cinephiles, critics and filmmakers.
3 New Non-Film Books:
Sara Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life
McKenzie Wark, General Intellects
Simon Reynolds, Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century
3 Memorable Trips:
Washington DC (for the Women’s March)
Bologna (for Il Ritrovato)
Chicago (for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference)
3 Memorable Concerts:
The xx (with Kelela opening)
Earth, Wind & Fire (with Chic opening)
Finally, because I’m terrible at keeping track of things I do, I want to plunk down here a record of a few things I wrote: James Gray A-Z lexicon for LOLA; on 100 years of immigration cinema for Film Comment; on teen films and Olivier Assayas for TIFF; on doggies in Aki Kaurismäki films for TIFF; on Marlon Riggs’ Black Is … Black Ain’t for Film Comment (not online); and on Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake for Criterion.
Any favorites of yours in these categories? Please feel free to share in the comments.