In this week’s podcast, we finish indulging our year-end listing proclivities by running down the best movies of 2011. Chad is absent (poor guy’s never seen a movie), but, not to worry, your comfortingly consistent host Tom Roberge is joined by Nathan Furl (of Open Letter) to set the record straight about whether you should make a silent film these days, if Nicolas Cage movies are totes the best, why no one bothered to mention Tree of Life over the course of the hour, and more.
Tom and I (Nate) each picked our top five, and, as you can see, it turned out to be quite the diverse list of movies. The rundown, with handy previous, is below.
-Best Popcorn Movie: Drive Angry, directed by Patrick Lussier
-Best Adaptation: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, directed by Tomas Alfredson
-Best Movie That I Feel Foolish for Not Having Seen Earlier: Night Watch, directed by Timur Bekmambetov (Russia, 2004)
-Best Foreign Film: Animal Kingdom, directed by David Michôd (Australia)
-Best Foreign/Action Film: 13 Assassins, directed by Takashi Miike (Japan)
-Best Popcorn Flick That’s Surprisingly Impressive and Recommendable: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, directed by Rupert Wyatt
-Best Movie That I’m Cocksure Is One of the Best of the Year (but we’re doing this podcast before the movie has played anywhere near me, so, honestly, I haven’t seen it): The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius (France)
-Best Documentary Film, a.k.a., the Best Movie Made by Errol Morris This Year: Tabloid, Directed by Errol Morris
-Second Best Movie of 2011 (or, maybe, the first): Drive, directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
-First Best Movie of 2011 (or, maybe, the second): Melancholia, directed by Lars von Trier
Oh, and this week’s intro/outro song is “A Real Hero (feat. Electric Youth)” by College, off the Drive soundtrack.
If you enjoy this podcast, please pass this along to your podcast-listening friends and rate us on iTunes. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to email me at chad.post[at]rochester.edu.
At 30, the Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is already gathering her rosebuds. Faces in the Crowd, her poised debut novel, was published by Coffee House Press, along with her Brodsky-infused essay collection, Sidewalks. The essays stand as a theoretical map. . .
Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires: An Attainable Utopia (narrated by Julio Cortázar) is, not disappointingly, as wild a book as its title suggests. It is a half-novella half-graphic novel story about . . . what, exactly? A European tribunal, Latin. . .
Marie NDiaye has created a tiny, psychological masterpiece with her Self-Portrait in Green. In it she explores how our private fears and insecurities can distort what we believe to be real and can cause us to sabotage our intimate relationships.. . .
Reading a genre book—whether fantasy, science fiction, crime, thriller, etc.—which begins to seem excessively, stereotypically bad, I have to make sure to ask myself: is this parodying the flaws of the genre? Usually, this questioning takes its time coming. In. . .
The Sicilian Mafia has always been a rich subject for sensational crime fiction. The Godfather, Goodfellas, and The Sopranos worked the mob’s bloody corpses and family feuds to both entertainment and artistic value. Giuseppe di Piazza’s debut novel attempts this,. . .
Antoine Volodine’s vast project (40 plus novels) of what he calls the post-exotic remains mostly untranslated, so for many of us, understanding it remains touched with mystery, whispers from those “who know,” and guesswork. That’s not to say that, were. . .
It hasn’t quite neared the pitch of the waiting-in-line-at-midnight Harry Potter days, but in small bookstores and reading circles of New York City, an aura has attended the novelist Elena Ferrante and her works. One part curiosity (Who is she?),. . .
From the late 1940s to the early 1950s, Egypt was going through a period of transition. The country’s people were growing unhappy with the corruption of power in the government, which had been under British rule for decades. The Egyptians’. . .
Miruna is a novella written in the voice of an adult who remembers the summer he (then, seven) and his sister, Miruna (then, six) spent in the Evil Vale with their grandfather (sometimes referred to as “Grandfather,” other times as. . .
Kamal Jann by the Lebanese born author Dominique Eddé is a tale of familial and political intrigue, a murky stew of byzantine alliances, betrayals, and hostilities. It is a well-told story of revenge and, what’s more, a serious novel that. . .