To be honest, none of the new music I listened to in 2011 has much staying power, I might not be listening to any of these albums in 2 or 3 years.
5. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Departing
The voice may end up grating on me in time, but for now The Rural Alberta Advantage is my perfect mix of The Avett Brothers and The Shins (or some other more accurately twangy, foot-tapping-causing band comparison).
4. Justice - Audio, Video, Disco
In a lot of ways this album was not was I was expecting at all, but when put against the image Justice gives themselves the arena rock sound that this album has makes sense.
3. Kakkmaddafakka - Hest
Poppy indie rock from Norway. I love too many tracks on this album.
2. M83 - Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Stereotypically M83 by now and so easy to make fun of, but it’s just so wonderful to listen to!
1. Bomb the Music Industry - Vacation
In some ways I can’t really tell you why this is my favorite album of the year, but there are a couple of tracks on here that are perfect. I also just realized that BTMI is the only proper punk band I still follow/find interesting.
Okay, fine, I’ll indulge myself in some end of year lists. I still have yet to see Hugo, Tin TIn, Submarine, A Separation, Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, The Artist, The Descendants, or Another Earth though.
Tied for 11. Cedar Rapids, Harry Potter and the Very Last Movie, The Muppets, Take Shelter
10. 13 Assasins
The story is extremely interesting, during the twilight of the samurai era, a few remaining band together to take down an evil, drunk-on-power feudal lord at any cost. There’s a great build up to the battle final scene, which reminded me of the Lone Wolf and Cub movies.
9. Win Win
While Win Win could absolutely feel comfortable on the Lifetime channel, it still works because the characters and acting are just great. Also, Amy Ryan is extra super.
8. Super 8
While it certainly loses much of its charm by the third act, those first two were fun enough to keep me going and enjoying the rest.
7. Attack the Block
There were so many comparisons drawn between Super 8 and Attack the Block, but really there were only two similarities, middle school kids and aliens. Attack the Block has such great twists and turns, I imagine it only gets better with repeat viewings (maybe in no small part to Edgar Wright’s involvement as executive producer?) One of the most remarkable things about the movie was the soundtrack making me able to stand something dubsteb-ish.
(British) Steve McQueen’s movies remind me so much of Jean-Pierre Melville’s minimalism approach to filmmaking and I love it. The build up of small actions by the characters that tell so much by the end is fantastic. So many scenes with little to no dialog are carried by the acting, the damn good acting. Shame is great.
Consider it a video essay on urban design and planning. Not much of the history or current state of urban design is delved into, instead Urbanized goes more into the ideology behind it. There were a good number of moments throughout the movie that got me really damn excited about urban planning and also thinking about its application.
4. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Fun as hell.
I love the idea of a cancer comedy and 50/50 pretty much nailed it. It also pretty much made me cry.
2. Bill Cunningham New York
There is so much to Bill Cunningham, he is fascinating. Documentary biopics always try to get to the emotional core of their subject and when they actually succeed in doing so it rarely becomes more than just another bullet point in the story. When we get those moments with Bill Cunningham he unravels, each time a little more and they are all so pivotal to his life’s story and show how much his whole world makes so much sense. This documentary just does it all amazingly well and it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites.
The hype is real. The music, the acting, the pace, the opening sequence, everything.