Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year memo

Happy new year, everyone. Hope your holiday season was a good one and for all the best in the coming year. Around here it's been a pretty good year.

Anyone following along is aware that my countdown of 100 Hit Songs is approaching its endgame. It's been a fun project, so much so that I'm now planning a sort of companion piece—100 Other Songs, drawn from the much larger pool of songs that did not make the U.S. Billboard Top 40, 1955-present. That will start in a few months, probably late April, as I gather up the titles and spend time massaging a list into shape. You can't know the pleasures of useless list-making unless you have indulged it yourself, and of course I highly recommend that you do so beginning immediately.

Another project for this upcoming year, actually already begun: Friday considerations of critical-consensus movies drawn from the massive major list at They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?—now with paragraphing, even! According to the website, that list is actually due for another updating shortly, but I don't anticipate major changes at the top and will continue with the first couple dozen or so, before going off on random choices again for awhile (as always, stamina allowing). But I think I will probably be returning to that list—at the very least it's a terrific programming guide, generally a good exercise, and a project that promises to go on forever (just under 20 years, by my calculations).

As always, on this blog comments are welcome and invited. Please don't be shy.

Last, here's a few little movies lists drawn up from the past year. Seeing movies is what seems to most reliably preoccupy me nowadays, for better or worse. I couldn't begin to address books of any type or TV shows (certainly beyond the ID channel) or even pop music of the year. And note that there are gaps aplenty anyway in the 2010 movies list as it is (iceberg tip of still not seen, for example: Inside Job, Carlos, Dogtooth, Splice, How to Train Your Dragon, Enter the Void, The Runaways, Greenberg, Mother, Tiny Furniture). Educate me further in the comments if you like.

Favorite movies of 2010: The Ghost Writer, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, The Social Network, Let Me In, Cyrus, The Kids Are All Right, Toy Story 3, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Despicable Me
Favorite movies first seen in 2010: Au hasard Balthazar; Tokyo Story; 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days; I'm Not There; The White Ribbon; Avatar; talhotblond; Death Proof; To Be or Not to Be; A Serious Man
Favorite movies seen again in 2010: Mulholland Dr., Jackie Brown, Berlin Alexanderplatz, Fanny and Alexander, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Rachel Getting Married, Modern Times, M*A*S*H, Streetwise, Friends with Money

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