Favorite Films of 2013

In the past, I’d put up my list a day before the Oscar nominations were announced, but this year they’re doing that a week later than usual. So, because Best of 2013 lists are already old news (and so is mine), let’s just get on with it, shall we?

I enjoyed the bulk of the new movies I saw this year. Yes, there’s a lot of crass crap out there, but I didn’t see too much of it. Cinema ain’t dead yet. 

My 25 favorites of 2013, in alphabetical order:

(and in case you missed it: my favorite music of 2013 can be found HERE)

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THE ACT OF KILLING, Joshua Oppenheimer

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AMERICAN HUSTLE, David O. Russell

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APRÉS MAI, Olivier Assayas

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BASTARDS, Claire Denis

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BEFORE MIDNIGHT, Richard Linklater

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BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, Abdellatif Kechiche

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BORGMAN Alex van Warmerdam

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THE COUNSELOR, Ridley Scott

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DRUG WAR, Johnnie To

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FRANCES HA, Noah Baumbach

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GRAVITY, Alfonso Cuaron

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THE GREAT BEAUTY, Paolo Sorrentino

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HER, Spike Jonze

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THE HUNT, Thomas Vinterberg

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INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Joel & Ethan Coen

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LAURENCE ANYWAYS, Xavier Dolan

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LEVIATHANLucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

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PRISONERS, Denis Villeneuve

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SHORT TERM 12, Destin Cretton

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STORIES WE TELL, Sarah Polley

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TOM AT THE FARM, Xavier Dolan

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12 YEARS A SLAVE, Steve McQueen

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WE ARE THE BEST, Lukas Moodysson

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THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, Martin Scorsese

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THE WORLD’S END, Edgar Wright

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I also enjoyed:

After Tiller, The Angel’s Share, A Band Called Death, Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me, Blackfish, Blue Jasmine, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Call, Captain Phillips, Computer Chess, The Conjuring, Dallas Buyers Club, Fast & Furious 6, Free Range - Ballad on Approving of the World, The Grandmaster, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, In The House, Like Father, Like Son, Mud, Nebraska, Pacific Rim, Philomena, The Place Beyond The Pines, Prince Avalanche, R100, Rush, The Selfish Giant, Side Effects, Sightseers, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, The Wind Rises, World War Z, You’re Next

And…

  • Made in 2010, first released in the U.S. in 2013: The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen)
  • TV, but I’m counting it: Behind The Candelabra
  • Released in 2013, but included on my previous year’s list: Beyond The Hills, No

For thoughts on some older films I saw for the first time in 2013, including Wake In Fright, Star 80, and Life Is Sweet, check out my list over at Rupert Pupkin Speaks.

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Repeat viewings:

  • 3 times: Frances Ha — if forced to choose, I suppose this is my favorite movie of the year.
  • 2 times: The Act of Killing, The Call, Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, The Hunt, The World’s End

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Favorite filmmaker of the year:

  • Xavier Dolan — He’s only 24, but he made two of the most interesting movies I saw this year, Laurence Anyways and Tom At The Farm. Huge talent, still developing; I’m excited to see what’s next. 

Favorite performer of the year:

  • Matthew McConaughey for his dynamic work in Dallas Buyers Club, Mud, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Sub-genre of the year:

  • The slow burn art-thriller: Bastards, Borgman, The Counselor, Prisoners, Tom At The Farm

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Memorable performances of 2013:

  • Jan Bijvoet as Camiel Borgman in Borgman
  • Cate Blanchett as Jasmine in Blue Jasmine
  • Connor Chapman as Arbor in The Selfish Giant
  • Andrew Dice Clay as Augie in Blue Jasmine
  • Suzanne Clément as Fred Belair in Laurence Anyways
  • Anwar Congo as Anwar Congo in in The Act of Killing
  • Sharlto Copley as Agent C.M. Kruger in Elysium
  • Paul Dano as Alex Jones in Prisoners
  • Cameron Diaz as Malkina in The Counselor
  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Adam Driver as Al Cody in Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave
  • Michael Eklund as Michael Foster in The Call
  • Adèle Exarchopoulos as Adèle in Blue Is The Warmest Color
  • Greta Gerwig as Frances in Frances Ha
  • John Goodman as Roland Turner in Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki in Prisoners
  • Emile Hirsch as Lance in Prince Avalanche
  • Gaby Hoffman as Crystal Fairy in Crystal Fairy
  • Sun Honglei as Captain Zhang Lei in Drug War
  • Scarlett Johansson as Samantha in Her
  • Stacy Keach as Ed Pegram in Nebraska
  • Sir Ben Kingsley as Trevor Slattery in Iron Man 3
  • Brie Larson as Grace in Short Term 12
  • Vincent Lindon as Marco Silvestri in Bastards
  • Alice Lowe as Tina in Sightseers
  • Joanna Lumley as Aunt Emma in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Mads Mikkelsen as Lucas in The Hunt
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Patsey in 12 Years A Slave
  • Simon Pegg as Gary King in The World’s End
  • Melvil Poupaud as Laurence Alia in Laurence Anyways
  • Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella in The Great Beauty
  • Keith Stanfield as Marcus in Short Term 12
  • Ernst Umhauer as Claude Garcia in In The House

THE END

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2013 Music + Lists + Year-End Mix!

As the year draws to a close, I present my annual Maxx Mixx (each part fits on a CD if you’re into that sort of thing). For the uninitiated, these collect some of my favorite songs of the year. I’ve also included a handful of older tunes I had on repeat the last twelve months, some of which were featured in the films of 2013. Speaking of which, I’ll have my film list up in a few weeks. But for the time being…

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MAXX MIXX: HIP MANEUVERS OF 2013

PART ONE — CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

1. Gap Dream “Shine Your Love”
2. Coke Weed “Anklet”
3. Ballet School “Heartbeat Overdrive”
4. Pretty & Nice “New Czar”
5. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel “Make Me Smile” (1975)
6. Arp “High-Heeled Clouds”
7. Cate Le Bon “Are You With Me Now?”
8. Sparks “Sherlock Holmes” (1982)
9. Colleen Green “Time In The World”
10. Deerhunter “Sleepwalking”
11. Bill Callahan “The Sing”
12. King Drippa “Touch Down”
13. Johnny Paycheck “(It’s A Mighty Thin Line) Between Love And Hate” (1966)
14. Buke and Gase “Houdini Rush”
15. Chrome Sparks “Marijuana”
16. Los Vlamers “Se Lo Prohibio El Doctor” (1967)
17. FKA twigs “Water Me”
18. Roxy Music “Pyjamarama” (1973)
19. Kurt Vile “Shame Chamber”
20. Juliette Commagere “Rebel”
21. Dwight Twilley Band “Looking For The Magic” (1977, used in You’re Next)
22. Telekinesis “You Take It Slowly”
23. Scott Walker “The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzetti” (1972, used in Free Range)

PART TWO — CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

1. Divine Fits “Chained To Love”
2. Disclosure feat. AlunaGeorge “White Noise”
3. Hot Chocolate “Every 1’s A Winner” (1979, used in Frances Ha)
4. Speedy Ortiz “Hitch”
5. Poliça “Chain My Name”
6. Majical Cloudz “Childhood’s End”
7. Eleanor Friedberger “When I Knew”
8. Giorgio Moroder “Son Of My Father” (1972)
9. Clay Cole “Theme Song From Fight For Tomorrow”
10. Waxahatchee “Peace & Quiet”
11. Bleached “Dead In Your Head”
12. Palma Violets “Best of Friends”
13. Arcade Fire “Flashbulb Eyes”
14. Tirzah “I’m Not Dancing”
15. TV On The Radio “Million Miles”
16. Omega “Gyöngyhajú Lány” (1969)
17. Phantogram “Celebrate Nothing”
18. John Wizards “Iyongwe”
19. Disappears “Weird House”
20. Lykke Li “I Follow Rivers (The Magician Remix)” (2011, used in Blue Is The Warmest Color)
21. Fleetwood Mac “Did You Ever Love Me” (1973)
22. Angel Olsen “Forgiven/Forgotten”
23. Oscar Isaac “Fare Thee Well (Dink’s Song)” (from Inside Llewyn Davis)
24. The Men “Bird Song”

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//////15 Favorite Albums///////

  • Arcade Fire - Reflektor
  • Bill Callahan - Dream River
  • Deerhunter - Monomania
  • Disappears - Era
  • Gap Dream - Shine Your Light
  • Colleen Green - Sock It to Me
  • Inside Llewyn Davis Original Soundtrack Recording
  • Cate Le Bon - Mug Museum
  • Poliça - Shulamith
  • Polvo - Siberia
  • Pretty & Nice - Golden Rules for Golden People
  • ***Speedy Ortiz - Major Arcana*** (my favorite)
  • Telekinesis - Dormarion
  • Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin
  • Yo La Tengo - Fade

//////5 Favorite EPs///////

  • Ballet School - Boys Again EP
  • Chrome Sparks - Sparks EP
  • Courtney Barnett - The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
  • FKA twigs - EP2
  • Tirzah - I’m Not Dancing EP

//////Lou Reed///////

  • Lou Reed

//////Favorite Concerts///////

  • Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks at The Echo
  • The Both (Aimee Mann & Ted Leo) at Largo
  • Chrome Sparks at the Avalon
  • Coachella sets from Blur, Divine Fits, Grinderman, Johnny Marr, Palma Violets, and Sparks 
  • Juliette Commagere w/ Ry Cooder at The Hotel Café
  • Deradoorian at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles.
  • Dirty Projectors at Carnegie Hall, New York, NY
  • Disappears at The Echo
  • Sam Flax at The Echo
  • Fort Lean and IO Echo at The Visulite Theatre, Charlotte, NC
  • Goat at The Masquerade, Atlanta, GA
  • Colleen Green and Joel Jerome at some Vice thing in Culver City
  • Oscar Night Karaoke with the crew of Beasts Of The Southern Wild and members of Blood Orange, Dirty Projectors, and Tearist at Pattaya Bay Thai Restaurant
  • Speedy Ortiz at The Bootleg Bar

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///////Why Not… Favorite Restaurant Discoveries of 2013///////

  • Ajax Diner, Oxford, MS
  • Attari Sandwich Shop, Westwood, CA
  • Bennachin, New Orleans, LA
  • Bizarra Capital, Whittier, CA
  • East Side King, Austin, TX
  • Juice Served Here, Los Angeles, CA
  • Little Chinatown, Kenner, LA
  • Maurepas Foods, New Orleans, LA
  • Petty Cash Taqueria, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pho Tau Bay, New Orleans, LA
  • PINGTUNG Eat-In Market, Los Angeles, CA
  • Pizza Delicious, New Orleans, LA
  • ROC Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA
  • Second Bar + Kitchen, Austin, TX
  • Spicy BBQ Restaurant, East Hollywood, CA
  • Star Noodle, Maui, HI

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Okay. Stop it.

MY AFIFEST WRAP-UP

NUMBER OF AFI FEST SCREENINGS ATTENDED: 17 (2 each from Canada, Germany, Japan, Romania, US, and 1 each from France, Georgia, Israel, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden, UK)

I LOVED: Caucus, Her, Like Father Like Son, Pickpocket, R100, The Selfish Giant, Tom At The Farm, We Are The Best

I ENJOYED: Child’s Pose, Heli, In Bloom, Moebius, The Strange Little Cat, When Evening Falls On Bucharest or Metabolism

I HAD TROUBLE WITH: Big Bad Wolves, Nothing Bad Can Happen, Vic + Flow Saw A Bear

ADDITIONAl AFI FEST FILMS SEEN OUTSIDE THE FESTIVAL: Borgman, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, The Past

byow
Least creepy Halloween episode of a podcast ever.
byow:


Episode 140: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie BYOW!10/31/13
DOWNLOAD
Sky Ferreira “You’re Not The One”Arcade Fire “Afterlife”———Minor Alps “Buried Plans”The Lemonheads “It’s A Shame About Ray”Jenny Lewis “Black Sand”Graham Panther “Promises”Francis and the Lights “If They Don’t Come Tomorrow”———Bear Hands “Giants”Leverage Models feat. Sharon Van Etten “Sweep”Speedy Ortiz “Taylor Swift”Connan Mockasin “Caramel”The Velvet Underground “Beginning To See The Light”———Julianna Barwick “The Harbinger”True Widow “Fourth Teeth”Beck “Scarecrow”Claudio Simonetti “Suspiria”———Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

Least creepy Halloween episode of a podcast ever.

byow:

Episode 140: It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie BYOW!
10/31/13

DOWNLOAD

Sky Ferreira “You’re Not The One”
Arcade Fire “Afterlife”
———
Minor Alps “Buried Plans”
The Lemonheads “It’s A Shame About Ray”
Jenny Lewis “Black Sand”
Graham Panther “Promises”
Francis and the Lights “If They Don’t Come Tomorrow”
———
Bear Hands “Giants”
Leverage Models feat. Sharon Van Etten “Sweep”
Speedy Ortiz “Taylor Swift”
Connan Mockasin “Caramel”
The Velvet Underground “Beginning To See The Light”
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Julianna Barwick “The Harbinger”
True Widow “Fourth Teeth”
Beck “Scarecrow”
Claudio Simonetti “Suspiria”
———
Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry Be Happy”

byow
We in rare form on this one.
byow:


Episode 139: Ginger on Ginger10/16/13
DOWNLOAD
Poliça “Chain My Name”Queen “I Want To Break Free”———The Blow “Make It Up”Mates of State “Get Better”Pixies “What Goes Boom”The Dandy Warhols “Cool As Kim Deal”Guy Fantastico “All Your Shoes Talk”———Sébastien Tellier “L’amour naissant”Prefab Sprout “Faron Young”Yaz “Bad Connection”Martha & The Muffins “Danseparc (Every Day It’s Tomorrow)”Ratatat “Cherry”———Bom Bom “Woman”Beck “Que Onda Guerro”Ballet School “All Things Return At Night”Esquivel “Mucha Muchacha”———Olivia Newton-John “Magic”

We in rare form on this one.

byow:

Episode 139: Ginger on Ginger
10/16/13

DOWNLOAD

Poliça “Chain My Name”
Queen “I Want To Break Free”
———
The Blow “Make It Up”
Mates of State “Get Better”
Pixies “What Goes Boom”
The Dandy Warhols “Cool As Kim Deal”
Guy Fantastico “All Your Shoes Talk”
———
Sébastien Tellier “L’amour naissant”
Prefab Sprout “Faron Young”
Yaz “Bad Connection”
Martha & The Muffins “Danseparc (Every Day It’s Tomorrow)”
Ratatat “Cherry”
———
Bom Bom “Woman”
Beck “Que Onda Guerro”
Ballet School “All Things Return At Night”
Esquivel “Mucha Muchacha”
———
Olivia Newton-John “Magic”