Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Movies & Things 2014

This marks my third installment of this 'Best of' series. Thank you for reading.

Top Ten Movies - 2014 (in alphabetical order)
A is for AlexThe Battered Bastards of BaseballForce MajeureIdaThe Immigrant, Night MovesNightcrawlerSomething, AnythingUnder the Skin, Whiplash.

Top Ten Movies - Not from 2014
Los Angeles Plays ItselfThe Mirror (Panahi), Belfast, MaineDear ZacharyMinnie and MoskowitzRuggles of Red Gap12:08 East of BucharestCold MountainThe Lovers on the BridgeStranger Than Paradise.

Top Ten Favorite Things of 2014
1. #arbalestmovie
Another chapter of Fake Wood Wallpaper began in October of 2014.  This one was written by us all, but mostly by our friend Adam Pinney, who sat in the writer/director chair.  It marked the first time the original FWW quartet had worked on a film together since...well, kinda Blood Car, but mostly our ancient 48 Hour Film Festival movies.  The Arbalest is one of those projects you wait for, you live for, you die (not literally) for.  It's a movie that belongs in the universe of cinema and I can't wait for it to come hurtling like a meteor to movie screens around the world.

2. The Kansas City Royals
With the Atlanta Braves suffering yet another late season collapse, it was high-time to transfer my postseason allegiance to another team gunning for the Fall Classic.  It became apparent who I would choose during the winner-take-all Wild Card playoff game between the aforementioned Royals and the ostensibly mightier Oakland Athletics.  In, by far, one of the best games of the 2014 postseason, the Royals beat the A's in extra innings and emerged as the underdog to rule all underdogs.  After that game, I quietly said, "The Royals winning the World Series is preordained by God."  A week after they swept the owner of the AL's best regular season record, I said it a bit louder, "A Royals ring: preordained by God."  A week after that, it was the Baltimore Orioles who fell in four straight games and I proclaimed even louder, "Royals-preordained by G-O-D to win it all."

Well, we all know how the World Series turned out.  It almost had the makings of a really memorable game seven win for KC.  If only Tim Hudson hadn't beaned Salvador Perez early the game, resulting in him being injured for the final at-bat of the 2014 baseball season. If only...

Nonetheless, it was a great post-season and a great World Series thanks to Kansas City.

3. Future Islands @ Bottletree (Birmingham, AL)
You had to be there.

4. Playing Tennis

5. The UNCSA Film Archive & The RiverRun Film Festival
My film Congratulations! played at the RiverRun FF this past April and thanks to the kind programmer Christopher, I got a chance to tour the North Carolina School of the Arts film archive, one of the largest in the country.  It was incredible.  This is important work.  My eyes were opened to how vital film is to cinema history and the sheer quantity of films that have and will go largely unseen.  That is awesome and tragic.  This year, I plan on sending one of my copies of The Adventure on 35mm to the archive.

6. Hot Doug's (R.I.P) & hot dogs
My last meal at my favorite restaurant ever was as follows:

7. Frederick Wiseman
This year I watched Belfast, Maine, Aspen, Deaf, and Law and Order.

8. This American Life #492, "Dr. Gilmer and Mr. Hyde"
Listen to it.

9.  Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: Season 2
This year I had the distinct pleasure to work on the first Fake Wood Wallpaper-produced TV series, all for Adult Swim.  It was a challenging show, but also very rewarding.  I don't think I've ever laughed so hard on a set before.  Here's hoping for a third season.

10. Treme
What a brilliant and beautiful show.  Everyone who got this show made deserves a hearty salute.  It is more than mere entertainment.  It contributes to American culture in the greatest possible way.