A question about Knausgaard

51TfzLcO3BL._AC_SY400_ML2_So in the middle section of The End, the sixth and final volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle, are we supposed to notice all the parallels between Hitler’s youth and his own early years, even though he never draws explicit attention to them, and thus be grateful he is merely making hilariously lofty claims for the significance of his work by subjecting us to 450 interminable pages of poorly argued and banal literary-philosophical-historical-aesthetic-theological exegesis, rather than, say, invading Poland or committing genocide?

Asking for a friend.

My top 31 films of 2019

1100This year I watched 320 movies, 214 for the first time – and of those, these are my top 31, in some kind of order:

Bait (Mark Jenkins 2019)
In Fabric (Peter Strickland 2018)
The Million Ryô Pot (Sadao Yamanaka 1935)
Happiness (Aleksandr Medvedkin 1934)
One Cut of the Dead (Shin’ichiro Ueda 2017)
Nitrate Kisses (Barbara Hammer 1992)
Us (Jordan Peele 2019)
Revenge (Coralie Fargeat 2017)
The Murder of Mr Devil (Ester Krumbachová 1970)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley 2018)
Knives Out (Rian Johnson 2019)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler 2013)
The Wind-of-Youth Group Crosses the Mountain Pass (Seijun Suzuki 1961)
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (Robert D Krzykowski 2018)
Death of a Cyclist (Juan Antonio Bardem 1955)
The Mad Miss Manton (Leigh Jason 1938)
Deadpool 2 (David Leitch 2018)
A New Leaf (Elaine May 1971)
Turbo Kid (François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yohan-Karl Whissell 2015)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman 2018)
Eight Hours of Terror (Suzuki Seijun 1957)
Burning (Chang-dong Lee 2018)
The Big Short (Adam McKay 2015)
Eggshells (Tobe Hooper 1969)
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (Miguel Llansó 2019)
Liebelei (Max Ophüls 1933)
Fruit of Paradise (Vera Chytilová 1970)
Sometimes a Great Notion (Paul Newman 1971)
Possum (Matthew Holness 2018)
The Guilty (Gustav Möller 2018)
Arctic (Joe Penna 2018)

The full list of 320 is below, but first this year’s awards

Best title
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2018), although some tough competition from 2 Lava 2 Lantula! (2016), The Wind-of-Youth Group Crosses the Mountain Pass (1961), Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (2019), The Phantom Museum: Random Forays Into the Vaults of Sir Henry Wellcome’s Medical Collection (2003) and Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum) (2011)

Best high concept utterly screwed up
Downsizing (2017)

Most delightful penis reveal
Border (2018)

Best escalation of violence in a pub
Bait (2019)

Most terrifying rabbits
A draw between The Favourite (2018) and Us (2019)

Best drowning
Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

Best use of Inception fart horn in a hilariously inept conclusion
Annihilation (2018)

Best gorilla/sandwich routine
Son of Ingagi (1940)

Most pointless Gerard Butler film
A draw between Geostorm (2017) and anything else I might have seen this year that he was in

Film Andrea most regretted coming to see with me in a cinema
Inland Empire (2006) – though in retrospect, she liked having seen it much more than she liked the actual process of seeing it

The Gee thanks for the recommendation Nick award
A draw between the two films Nick recommended: 6 Underground (2019) and Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

Most brilliantly unexpected end credits
Assassination Nation (2018)

The 320
2 Lava 2 Lantula! (Nick Simon 2016)
6 Underground (Michael Bay 2019)
13 Tzameti (Géla Babluani 2005)
21 Jump Street (Phil Lord and Chris Miller 2012)
22 Jump Street (Phil Lord and Chris Miller 2014)
28 Days Later… (Danny Boyle 2002)
28 Weeks Later (Juan Carlos Fresnadillo 2007) 

Abwege (GW Pabst 1928)
The Agony and the Ecstasy (Carol Reed 1965)
Akutarô/The Incorrigible (Seijun Suzuki 1963)
Akutarô-den: Warui hoshi no shita demo/Born Under Crossed Stars (Seijun Suzuki 1965)
The Alcohol Years (Carol Morley 2000)
Alice in Not So Wonderland (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2007)
Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott 2017)
American Animals (Bart Layton 2018)
Anna and the Apocalypse (John McPhail 2017)
Annie Oakley (George Stevens 1935)
Annihilation (Alex Garland 2018)
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Jennifer Baichwall, Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier 2018)
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed 2018)
Aquaman (James Wan 2018)
Arctic (Joe Penna 2018)
Ariel (Aki Kaurismäki 1988)
De Artificiali Perspectiva, or Anamorphosis (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1991)
The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston 1950)
Assassination Nation (Sam Levinson 2018)
L’assassin habite…au 21/The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (Henri-Georges Clouzot 1942)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Joss Whedon 2015)
Avengers: Endgame (Anthony and Joe Russo 2019)
Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony and Joe Russo 2018) 

Badlands (Terrence Malick 1973)
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (Werner Herzog 2009)
Bait (Mark Jenkins 2019)
Beast (Michael Pearce 2017)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin 2012)
Beoning/Burning (Chang-dong Lee 2018)
The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen 1998)
The Big Short (Adam McKay 2015)
Bing feng: Chong sheng shi men/Iceman (Wing-Cheong Law 2014)
Black Rainbow (Mike Hodges 1989)
Black Rainbow (Mike Hodges 1989)
The Blair Witch Project (Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez 1999)
Blue Story (Andrew Onwubolu 2019)
Bokeh (Geoffrey Orthwein and Andrew Sullivan 2017)
Bush Mama (Haile Gerima 1975) 

The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1984)
Callan (Don Sharp 1974)
The Calligrapher (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1991)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Marielle Heller 2018)
Capharnaüm/Capernaum (Nadine Labaki 2018)
Captain Fantastic (Matt Ross 2016)
Captain Marvel (Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck 2019)
Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey 1962)
Carry on Screaming! (Gerald Thomas 1966)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942)
Claudine (John Berry 1974)
The Comb (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1991)
The Congress (Ari Folman 2013)
Crash! (Charles Band 1976)
Croupier (Mike Hodges 1998) 

The Dark Mirror (Robert Siodmak 1946)
The Day After Tomorrow (Roland Emmerich 2004)
The Day Shall Come (Chris Morris 2019)
The Dead Don’t Die (Jim Jarmusch 2019)
Deadpool 2 (David Leitch 2018)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Death Race 2000 (Paul Bartel 1975)
Decasia: The State of Decay (Bill Morrison 2002)
Deliverance (John Boorman 1972)
Dellamorte Dellamore/Cemetery Man (Michele Soavi 1994)
Destroyer (Karyn Kusama 2018)
Les deux timides (René Clair 1928)
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee 1989)
Dou foh sin/Flash Point (Wilson Yip 2007)
Downsizing (Alexander Payne 2017)
Dreams of a Life (Carol Morley 2011)
Driving Miss Daisy (Bruce Beresford 1989)
Dune (David Lynch 1984)

Edge (Carol Morley 2010)
Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman 2014)
Eggshells (Tobe Hooper 1969)
Emil and the Detectives (Milton Rosmer 1935)
Emil und die Detektive/Emil and the Detectives (Gerhard Lamprecht 1931)
The End (Burt Reynolds 1978)
The Endless (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead 2017)
The Equalizer (Antoine Fuqua 2014)
Eurydice: She, So Beloved (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2007)
Everyday Something (Carol Morley 2001)
Evolution (Lucile Hadzihalilovic 2015)
eXistenZ (David Cronenberg 1999)
Ex Voto (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1989)

Face/Off (John Woo 1997)
Fast and Furious (Justin Lin 2009)
Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw (David Leitch 2019)
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos 2018)
Une femme douce (Robert Bresson 1969)
First Man (Damien Chazelle 2018)
Forbidden Planet (Fred McLeod Wilcox 1956)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell 1994)
The Front Page (Lewis Milestone 1931)
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler 2013)
Fumihazushita haru/The Boy Who Came Back (Suzuki Seijun 1958)

Gamer (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor 2009)
Geostorm (Dean Devlin 2017)
Girl (Lukas Dhont 2018)
Gojira/Godzilla (Ishiro Honda 1954)
Gojira no gyakushû/Godzilla Raids Again (Motoyoshi Oda 1955)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (Michael Dougherty 2019)
Goldstone (Ivan Sen 2016)
La grande illusion (Jean Renoir 1937)
Gräns/Border (Ali Abbasi 2018)
The Great Escape (John Sturges 1963)
Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn 2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy volume 2 (James Gunn 2017)

Hachijikan no kyôfu/Eight Hours of Terror (Suzuki Seijun 1957)
Hadaka no shima/The Naked Island (Kaneto Shindo 1960)
Hai tiin yakuza/Teenage Yakuza (Suzuki Seijun 1962)
Halloween (David Gordon Green 2018)
Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon 2017)
Happy Death Day 2U (Christopher Landon 2019)
The Happytime Murders (Brian Henson 2018)
The Heat (Paul Feig 2013)
High Life (Claire Denis 2018)
His Kind of Woman (John Farrow 1951)
The Hole in the Ground (Lee Cronin 2019)
Homo Sapiens (Nikolaus Geyrhalter 2016)
The Hurricane Heist (Rob Cohen 2018)

Iceman (Fred Schepisi 1984)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins 2018)
In Absentia (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2000)
In Fabric (Peter Strickland 2018)
Inland Empire (David Lynch 2006)
Institute Benjamenta, or This Dream People Call Human Life (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1995)
Inventorium of Traces (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2009)
It’s Alive (Larry Cohen 1974) 

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (Edward Zwick 2016)
Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway (Miguel Llansó 2019)
Jiang hu er nü/Ash is Purest White (Jia Zhangke 2018)
Jigsaw (Michael and Peter Spierig 2017)
Jin yi wei/14 Blades (Daniel Lee 2010)
John Wick (Chad Stahelski and David Leitch 2014)
Joker (Todd Phillips 2019)
Jurassic World (Colin Trevorrow 2015) 

Kamera o tomeru na!/One Cut of the Dead (Shin’ichiro Ueda 2017)
Kemono no nemuri/The Sleeping Beast Within (Seijun Suzuki 1960)
Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn 2010)
Kick-Ass 2 (Jeff Wadlow 2013)
Kimi no wa wa/Your Name (Makoto Shinkai 2016)
The Kindergarten Teacher (Sara Colangelo 2018)
Kinoteka: Ident (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2008)
Knives Out (Rian Johnson 2019)
Kokoa (Moustapha Alassane 1985)
Koroshi no rakuin/Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki 1967)
Kozure Ôkami: Ko wo kashi ude kashi tsukamatsuru/Sword of Vengeance (Kenji Misumi 1972)
Kurôn wa kokyô mezasu/The Clone Returns Home (Kanji Nakajima 2008) 

The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time (Anthony C Ferrante 2018)
Lavalantula (Mike Mendez 2015)
Lazzaro felice/Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher 2018)
The Learning Tree (Gordon Parks 1969)
The Legend of Hell House (John Hough 1973)
The Lego Ninjago Movie (Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan 2017)
Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Aki Kaurismäki 1989)
Liebelei (Max Ophüls 1933)
The Limehouse Golem (Juan Carlos Medina 2016)
Lone Star (John Sayles 1996)
Lost River (Ryan Gosling 2014)
The Love Witch (Anna Biller 2016)

Ma (Tate Taylor 2019)
The Mad Miss Manton (Leigh Jason 1938)
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos 2018)
Mansfield Park (Patricia Rozema 1999)
Man-Thing (Brett Leonard 2005)
The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (Robert D Krzykowski 2018)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford 1962)
Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov 1929)
The Man with the Iron Fists (RZA 2012)
Maska (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2010)
Maska (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2010)
The Meg (Jon Turteltaub 2018)
Menschen am Sonntag/People on Sunday (Robert Siodmak, Edgar G Ulmer 1930)
Mikkô zero rain/Smashing the O-Line (Suzuki Seijun 1960)
Mile 22 (Peter Berg 2018)
Miracle on 34th Street (George Seaton 1947)
Monsters and Men (Reinaldo Marcus Green 2018)
Mr Nobody (Jaco Van Dormael 2009)
Muerte de un ciclista/Death of a Cyclist (Juan Antonio Bardem 1955)
My Fair Lady (George Cukor 1964)
Mystery Road (Ivan Sen 2013) 

National Treasure: Book of Secrets (Jon Turteltaub 2007)
Near Dark (Kathryn Bigelow 1987)
A New Leaf (Elaine May 1971)
New Towns, Our Town: Stories on Screen (various 2019)
Night of the Demon (Jacques Tourneur 1957)
The Nile Hilton Incident (Tarik Saleh 2017)
Ninjô kami fûsen/Humanity and Paper Balloons (Sadao Yamanaka 1937)
Nitrate Kisses (Barbara Hammer 1992)
Nocturna Artificiala (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1979)
Noisy Licking, Dribbling and Spitting (Vicky Smith 2014)
Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock 1946) 

Ocean’s Eight (Gary Ross 2018)
The Old Dark House (James Whale 1932)
Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino 2019)
Onibaba (Kaneto Shindo 1964)
Opium (Robert Reinert 1919)
Örökbefogadás/Adoption (Márta Mészáros 1975)
Otesánek/Little Otik (Jan Svankmajer 2000)
Out of Blue (Carol Morley 2018)
Out of the Furnace (Scott Cooper 2013)
Overlord (Justin Wyatt 2018)
Ovove stromu rajskych jime/Fruit of Paradise (Vera Chytilová 1970)

Pacific Rim Uprising (Steven S DeKnight 2018)
Paris, Texas (Win Wenders 1984)
The Phantom Museum: Random Forays Into the Vaults of Sir Henry Wellcome’s Medical Collection (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2003)
La piel que habito/The Skin I Live In (Pedro Almodóvar 2011)
Pit Stop (Jack Hill 1969)
Possum (Matthew Holness 2018)
Prospect (Zeek Earl and Christopher Caldwell 2018) 

Qi jian/Seven Swords (Tsui Hark 2005)

Rabid (Jen and Sylvia Soska 2019)
Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa 1950)
Ready Player One (Steven Spielberg 2018)
Red Sparrow (Francis Lawrence 2018)
Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1988)
Resolution (Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead 2012)
Le retour d’un aventurier (Moustapha Alassane 1966)
The Return of Swamp Thing (Jim Wynorski 1989)
Revenge (Coralie Fargeat 2017)
The Ritual (David Bruckner 2018)
The Ruins (Carter Smith 2008)
Saat po long/SPL Kill Zone (Wilson Yip 2005)
Samba le grand (Moustapha Alassane 1977)
Sandanju no otoko/The Man with a Shotgun (Suzuki Seijun 1961)
San xia hao ren (Jia Zhanke 2006)
Saw (James Wan 2004)
Saw II (Darren Lynn Bousman 2005)
Saw III (Darren Lynn Bousman 2006)
Saw IV (Darren Lynn Bousman 2007)
Saw V (David Hackl 2008)
Saw VI (Kevin Greutert 2009)
Saw 3D (Kevin Greutert 2010)
Schaste/Happiness (Aleksandr Medvedkin 1934)
The Seventh Victim (Mark Robson 1943)
Sharknado (Anthony C Ferrante 2013)
Sharknado 2: The Second One (Anthony C Ferrante 2014)
Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (Anthony C Ferrante 2015)
Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens (Anthony C Ferrante 2016)
Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (Anthony C Ferrante 2017)
The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch 1940)
A Simple Favor (Paul Feig 2008)
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly 1952)
Skjelvet/The Quake (John Andrea Andersen 2018)
Den skyldige/The Guilty (Gustav Möller 2018)
Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber 2018)
Sleuth (Joseph L. Mankiewicz 1972)
Sometimes a Great Notion (Paul Newman 1971)
Songs for Dead Children (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2003)
Son of Ingagi (Richard C Kahn 1940)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley 2018)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley 2018)
Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley 2018)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman 2018)
Split Second (Tony Maylam 1992)
The Spy Who Dumped Me (Susanna Fogel 2018)
Stalin My Neighbour (Carol Morley 2004)
A Star Is Born (George Cukor 1954)
Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson 2017)
Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (JJ Abrams 2019)
Stella Dallas (King Vidor 1937)
Stille Nacht: Dramolet (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1988)
Stille Nacht II: Are We Still Married (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1992)
Stille Nacht III: Tales from Vienna Woods (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1993)
Stille Nacht IV: Can’t Go Wrong Without You (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1993)
Street of Crocodiles (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1986)
Streets of Fire (Walter Hill 1984)
Swamp Thing (Wes Craven 1982)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles 1971) 

Tange Sazen yowa: Hyakuman ryô no tsubo /The Million Ryô Pot (Sadao Yamanaka 1935)
Tarzan and His Mate (Cedric Gibbons 1934)
Tarzan Finds a Son! (Richard Thorpe 1939)
Terminator Genisys (Alan Taylor 2015)
Te shu sen fen/Special ID (Clarence Yiu-leung Fok 2103)
Test pilota Pirx/Pilot Pirx’s Inquest (Marek Piestrak 1979)
La tête d’un homme (Julien Duvivier 1933)
Thale (Aleksander Nordaas 2012)
Thelma (Joachim Trier 2017)
The Thing (John Carpenter 1982)
The Third Man (Carol Reed 1949)
This Unnameable Little Broom (Stephen and Timothy Quay 1985)
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh 2017)
Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum) (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2011)
Tintin et le mystère de la Toisin D’or/Tintin and the Golden Fleece (Jean-Jacques Vierne 1961)
Tôge o wataru wakaikaze/The Wind-of-Youth Group Crosses the Mountain Pass (Seijun Suzuki 1961)
Tokyo naito/Tokyo Knights (Seijun Suzuki 1961)
Tokyo Tribe (Sion Sono 2014)
Tomb Raider (Roar Uthuag 2018)
Transamerica (Duncan Tucker 2005)
Triple Threat (Jesse V Johnson 2019)
Trudno byt bogom/Hard to Be a God (Aleksey German 2o13)
Turbo Kid (François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yohan-Karl Whissell 2015)

Unmistaken Hands: Ex Voto F.H. (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2013)
Us (Jordan Peele 2019)
Us (Jordan Peele 2019) 

A Vigilante (Sarah Daggar-Nickson 2018)
Vrazda ing. Certa/The Murder of Mr Devil (Ester Krumbachová 1970)

W. (Oliver Stone 2008)
Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff 1971)
Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg 1971)
Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg 1971)
Watermark (Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky 2013)
Wet Job (Shaun O’Riordan 1981)
Wonderwood: Comme des garçons (Stephen and Timothy Quay 2010)
Wong Fei Hung/Once Upon a Time in China (Tsui Hark 1991)
Wong Fei Hung II: Nam yee tung chi keung/Once Upon a Time in China II (Tsui Hark 1992)
World War Z (Marc Forster 2013)

xXx (Rob Cohen 2002) 

Yi dai zong shi/The Grandmaster (Wong Kar-Wai 2013)
Yi ge rende wu lin/Kung Fu Killer (Teddy Chan 2014)
Yip Man 3/Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip 2015) 

Zama (Lucrecia Martel 2017)
Zatôichi abare-himatsuri/Zato-ichi Goes to the Fire Festival (Kenji Mitsumi 1970)



My top 23 (or 34) books of 2019

01Evaristo2-superJumboOf the 260 books I read this year (245 for the first time), these are my top 23 (or 34, depending on how you count them)

Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019)
Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt trilogy (1984–89)
Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport (2019)
Annie Proulx, Barkskins (2013)
Richard Powers, Orfeo (2014)
Marlon James, The Book of Night Women (2009)
Leni Zumas, Red Clocks (2018)
Paul Auster, 4321 (2017)
Amitav Ghosh, The Glass Palace (2000)
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels (2016)
Francis Spufford, Red Plenty (2010)
Chester Himes, The Third Generation (1954)
Larissa Lai, The Tiger Flu (2018)
Wu Ming, Altai (2009)

Richard McGuire, Here (2014)
Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, volume one (2017)
Yeon-Sik Hong, Uncomfortably Happily (2012)
Laura Redniss, Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout (2011)
G. Willow Wilson, et al, Ms. Marvel, volumes 1–10 (2013–15)
Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä and Jason Wordie, Abbott (2018)

Critical works
Jennifer Fay, Inhospitable World: Cinema in the Time of the Anthropocene (2018)
Mark Fisher, k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004–2016) (2018)
Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe, eds, The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2015

The full list of titles is below, but first the stats:
all of the world except 112… (but only 47 women)
…straight white men writing in English 82
multi-authored or otherwise don’t fit 66

The full 260
Basma Abdel Aziz, The Queue (2013)
Dan Abnet, Andy Lanning et al, Guardians of the Galaxy: Legacy (2008)
–. Guardians of the Galaxy: War of Kings, Book 1 (2009)
–. Guardians of the Galaxy: War of Kings, Book 2 (2009)
–. Guardians of the Galaxy: Realm of Kings (2010)
Saladin Ahmed, Sami Kivelä and Jason Wordie, Abbott (2018)
Naomi Alderman, The Power (2016)
Martin Amis, Night Train (1997)
Steven Amsterdam, Things We Didn’t See Coming (2009)
Charlie Jane Anders, The City in the Middle of the Night (2019)
Edward Anderson, Thieves Like Us (1937)
Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves (1972
Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814)
–. Northanger Abbey (1818)
Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2009)
Paul Auster, 4321 (2017)

Paolo Pacigalupi and Tobias S Buckell, The Tangled Lands (2018)
Aimee Bahng, Migrant Futures: Decolonizing Speculation in Financial Times (2018)
James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk (1974)
James Baldwin and Raoul Peck, I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
JG Ballard, The Drowned World (1962)
Gary Barker and Michael Kaufman, The Afghan Vampires Book Club (2015)
Aaron Bastani, Fully Automated Luxury Communism (2019)
Samit Basu, Turbulence (2012)
–. Resistance (2014)
Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility (2017)
Sebastian Berger, The Social Costs of Neoliberalism: Essays on the Economics of K. William Kapp (2017)
Hassan Blasim, The Madman of Freedom Square (2009)
Olivier Bocquet and Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer 3: Terminus (2016)
Christophe Bonneuil and Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History and Us (2013)
Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (2006)
Eric Brown, Penumbra (1999)
Ken Bruen, Purgatory (2013)
Kenneth Bulmer, ed., New Writing in SF 29 (1976)
Daisy Butcher, ed., Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic (2019)
Octavia Butler, Kindred (1979)

Pedro Cabiya, Wicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel (2016)
Bill Campbell, David Brame and Damian Duffy, Baaaaad Muthaz, volume one (2019)
Ramsey Campbell, The Influence (1988)
–. Obsession (1985)
John Carnell, ed., New Writings in SF 3 (1964)
–. New Writings in SF 4 (1965)
–. New Writings in SF 5 (1965)
–. New Writings in SF 6 (1965)
–. New Writings in SF 7 (1966)
Arthur C. Clarke, The Deep Range (1957)
Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman (2015)
Stanley Cohen, States of Denial: Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering (2001)
Carlo Collodi, The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883)
James S.A. Corey, Cibola Burn (2014)
–. Nemesis Games (2015)
Clive and Dirk Cussler, Arctic Drift (2008)

Didier Daeninckx, Murder in Memoriam (1984)
William Davies, ed., Economic Science Fictions (2018)
Anthony Del Col, Jahnoy Lindsay and Ian Herring, Luke Cage: Everyman (2018)
Damian Duffy and John Jennings, Octavia Butler’s Kindred (2017)
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers (1844)

Esi Edugyan, Washington Black (2018)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871-72)
Erle C. Ellis, Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction (2018)
Lucy Ellmann, Ducks, Newburyport (2019)
Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, This is How You Lose the Tie War (2019)
Frederik Engels, Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880)
Bernadine Evaristo, Girl, Woman, Other (2019)

Michel Fabre and Robert F Skinner, eds, Conversations with Chester Himes (1995)
Brian Fagan, The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present and Future of Rising Sea Levels (2013)
Christa Faust, Gary Phillips and Andrea Camerini, Peepland (2017)
Jennifer Fay, Inhospitable World: Cinema in the Time of the Anthropocene (2018)
Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, volume one (2017)
Mark Fisher, k-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher (2004–2016) (2018)
–. The Weird and the Eerie (2016)
Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon, 1636: The Vatican Sanction (2017)
Eric Flint and Alistair Kimble, Iron Angels (2017)
Eric Flint, Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett, The Alexander Inheritance (2017)
Philip S. Foner and Alexis Buss, eds, The Letters of Joe Hill (2015)
Seshu Foster, Atomik Aztex (2005)
Carl Freedman, ed., Conversations with Isaac Asimov (2005)
–., ed., Conversations with Ursula K. Le Guin (2008)
Max Frisch, Man in the Holocene (1979)

Jostein Gaarder, The World According to Anna (2013)
Maggie Gee, The Flood (2004)
Steve Gerber et al., The Man-Thing: The Complete Collection, volume 1 (1970–74)
–. The Man-Thing: The Complete Collection, volume 2 (1974)
Amitav Ghosh, The Circle of Reason (1986)
–. The Calcutta Chromosome (1996)
–. The Glass Palace (2000)
–. The Hungry Tide (2004)
–. Sea of Poppies (2008)
–. River of Smoke (2011)
–. Flood of Fire (2015)
–. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016)
–. Gun Island (2019)
Axel Goodbody and Adeline Johns-Putra, eds, Cli-Fi: A Companion (2019)
Greg Grandin, The Empire of Necessity: The Untold History of a Slave Rebellion in the Age of Liberty (2014)
Boris Groys, ed., Russian Cosmism (2018)

Paul Hawken, Amory B. Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism: The Next Industrial Revolution (1999)
Arthur Herzog, Heat (1977)
Elina Hirvonen, When Time Runs Out (2015)
Jack Halberstam, Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability (2018)
Clive Hamilton, Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth about Climate Change (2010)
Frances Hardinge, The Lie Tree (2015)
Thomas Hardy, The Woodlanders (1877)
Aleksander Hemon, The Making of Zombie Wars (2015)
Chester Himes, The Third Generation (1954)
Philip Hoare, Leviathan or, The Whale (2008)
Mike Hodges, Bait, Grist and Security (2018)
Yeon-Sik Hong, Uncomfortably Happily (2012)
Saad Z. Hossain, Escape from Baghdad! (2012)

Rita Indiana, Tentacle (2015)
Simon Ings, The Weight of Numbers (2006)
Emmi Itäranta, Memory of Water (2012)

Marlon James, The Book of Night Women (2009)
Daisy Johnson, Fen (2016)
Stephen Graham Jones, Mongrels (2016)

William Melvin Kelley, A Different Drummer (1962)
Caitlín R. Kiernan, The Red Tree (2009)
Paul Kingsnorth, Beast (2016)
–. Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist (2017)
–. One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance Movement (2003)
–. Real England: The Battle Against the Bland (2008)
Barbara Kingsolver, Flight Behaviour (2012)
Andrzej Klimowski and Danusia Schejbal, Robot… (2011)
Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle 1: A Death in the Family (2009)
–. My Struggle 2: A Man in Love (2009)
–. My Struggle 3: Boyhood Island (2010)
–. My Struggle 4: Dancing in the Dark (2010)
Eduardo Kohn, How Forests Think: Toward an Anthropology Beyond the Human (2013)
Mary Robinette Kowal, The Calculating Stars (2018)

Larissa Lai, The Tiger Flu (2018)
Joe R. Lansdale, The Elephant in the Room (2019)
Bruno Latour, Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climate Regime (2017)
Victor LaValle and John Joseph Adams, eds, The People’s Future of the United States (2019)
Ann Leckie, Provenance (2017)
Dennis Lee, Civil Elegies and Other Poems (1972)
Benjamin LeGrand and Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer 2: The Explorers (1999–2000)
Jacques Lob and Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer 1: The Escape (1982)
Jeff Loveness and Brian Kessinger, Groot (2015)
Roger Luckhurst, Alien (2014)

Gregory McDonald, Snatched (1980)
–. Safekeeping (1985)
Richard McGuire, Here (2014)
Kristi McKim, Cinema as Weather: Stylistic Screens and Atmospheric Change (2013)
Pierre Macherey, A Theory of Literary Production (1966)
Sophie Mackintosh, The Water Cure (2018)
Ken MacLeod, Newton’s Wake (2004)
Nick Mamatas, I Am Providence (2016)
Bill Mantlo, Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, et al., Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Complete Collection (1959–2013)
James Vance Marshall, Walkabout (1959)
Richard Matheson, Someone is Bleeding (1953)
–. Fury on Sunday (1953)
–. Ride the Nightmare (1959)
Farah Mendlesohn, The Pleasant Profession of Robert A. Heinlein (2019)
Tobias Menely and Jesse Oak Taylor, eds, Anthropocene Readings: Literary History in Geologic Times (2017)
Jim Miller, Flash: A Novel (2010)
Wu Ming, Altai (2009)
Philip Mirowski and Dieter Plehwe, eds, The Road from Mont Pelerin: The Making of the Neoliberal Thought Collective (2015)
Pankaj Mishra, Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017)
Rosa Montero, Tears in Rain (2011)
Alan Moore, Stephen Bisette and John Totleben, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book one (1983–84)
Alan Moore, Stephen Bisette and John Totleben, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book two (1984–85)
Alan Moore, Stephen Bisette and John Totleben, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book three (1985)
Alan Moore, Stephen Bisette, John Totleben and Stan Woch, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book four (1985–86)
Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, John Totleben and Alfredo Alcala, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book five (1986–87)
Alan Moore, Rick Veitch, John Totleben and Alfredo Alcala, Saga of the Swamp Thing, book six (1987)
Jason W. Moore, ed., Anthropocene or Capitalocene?Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism (2016)
James Morrow, The Asylum of Dr Caligari (2017)
Oli Mould, Against Creativity (2018)
Fiona Mozley, Elmet (2017)
Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt (1984)
–. The Trench (1986)
–. Variations on Night and Day (1989)
Haruki Murakami, The Elephant Vanishes (1993)

Fred Nadis, The Man from Mars: Ray Palmer’s Amazing Pulp Journey (2013)
Kim Newman, An English Ghost Story (2014)

Craig Oldham, ed., They Live (2018)

Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence (2011)
Adrian Parr, The Wrath of Capital: Neoliberalism and Climate Change (2013)
Raj Patel and Jason W. Moore, A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things (2018)
Jamie Peck, Constructions of Neoliberal Reason (2010)
Petrocultures Research Group, After Oil (2016)
Leigh Phillips, Austerity Ecology and the Collapse-Porn Addicts: A Defence of Growth, Progress, Industry and Stuff (2014)
Leigh Phillips and Michael Rozwarski, People’s Republic of Walmart: How the World’s Biggest Corporations are Laying the Foundation for Socialism (2019)
Karen Pinkus, Fuel: A Speculative Dictionary (2016)
J Posadas, Flying Saucers, the Process of Matter and Energy, Science, the Revolutionary and Working-Class Struggle and the Socialist Future of Mankind (1968)
Richard Powers, Orfeo (2014)
Vijay Prashed, Red Star Over the Third World (2019)
Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schienbinger, eds, Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance (2008)
Annie Proulx, Barkskins (2013)
Annie Proulx, Barkskins (2013)

Chen Qiufan, Waste Tide (2013)

Laura Redniss, Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout (2011)
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997)
–. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (2017)
Nicholas Royle, The Uncanny (2003)

Hiroshi Sakurazaka, All You Need Is Kill (2004)
George Saunders, Fox 8 (2013)
–. Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)
James C. Scott, Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest State (2017)
Michel Serres, Malfeasance: Appropriation through Pollution (2008)
Andrew Shaffer (with Fin Shepard and April Wexler), How to Survive a Sharknado and other Unnatural Disasters (2014)
Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf (1976)
–. For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf (1976)
Ali Shaw, The Trees (2016)
Sue Short, Darkness Calls: A Critical Investigation of Neo-Noir (2019)
Georges Simenon, The Stain on the Snow (1948)
–. Maigret and the Dead Girl (1954)
Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King (1937)
Johanna Sinisalo, The Blood of Angels (2011)
Nihad Sirees, The Silence and the Roar (2004)
Quinn Slobodian, Globalists: The End of Empire and the Birth of Neoliberalism (2018)
Ben Smith, Doggerland (2019)
Scott Smith, The Ruins (2006)
Zadie Smith, Swing Time (2016)
Francis Spufford, Red Plenty (2010)
Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. (2017)

J.P. Telotte, Animating the Science Fiction Imagination (2018)
Rupert Thomson, Divided Kingdom (2005)
Tade Thompson, The Rosewater Insurrection (2019)
Lavie Tidhar, The Vanishing Kind (2018)
Samo Tomšič, The Capitalist Unconscious: Marx and Lacan (2015)
Duncan Tonatiuh, Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight (2018)
Ilija Trojanow, The Lamentations of Zeno (2011)
Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan and Nils Bubandt, eds, Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghost and Monsters (2017)
Antti Tuomainen, The Healer (2010)

John Updike, Rabbit, Run (1960)

Catherynne M. Valente, The Refrigerator Monologues (2017)
Juan Gabriel Vásquez, The Sound of Things Falling (2011)
Jules Verne, Backwards to Britain (1989)
–. Robur the Conqueror (1886)
Sherryl Vint, Science Fiction: The Essential Knowledge (2020)
William T. Vollmann, No Immediate Danger: Volume One of Carbon Ideologies (2018)

Howard Waldrop, Horse of a Different Color: Stories (2013)
David F. Walker, Guillermo Sanna and Marcio Menyz, Luke Cage: Caged! (2018)
Edgar Wallace, The Green Rust (1919)
Rosie Warren, ed., Salvage 7: Towards the Proletarocene (2019)
Mike Wayne, Marxism Goes to the Movies (2020)
Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, Nestor Redondo, The Bronze Age Swamp Thing, volume one (1973–74)
Andy Weir, Artemis (2017)
Harald Welzer, Climate Wars: Why People Will Be Killed in the 21st Century (2008)
Tommy Wieringa, These Are the Names (2012)
G. Willow Wilson, The Bird King (2019)
G. Willow Wilson, et al, Ms. Marvel, volume one: No Normal (2013–14)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume two: Generation Why (2014)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume three; Crushed (2014)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume four: Last Days (2014)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume five: Super Famous (2015)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume six: Civil War II (2015)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume seven: Damage Per Second (2015)
–. Ms. Marvel, volume eight: Mecca (2015)
Ariel S. Winter, The Twenty-Year Death: Malniveau Prison (2014)
–. The Twenty-Year Death: The Falling Star (2014)
–. The Twenty-Year Death: Police at the Funeral (2014)
Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World (2015)
Matthew J Wolf-Meyer, Theory for the World to Come: Speculative Fiction and Apocalyptic Anthropology (2019)

George M Young, The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Fedorov and His Followers (2012)
Lidia Yuknavitch, The Book of Joan (2017)
Kathryn Yusoff, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (2018)

Jan Zalasiewicz, The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks? (2008)
Leni Zumas, Red Clocks (2018)

The stuff what I done in 2019

As I continue this Xmas to struggle with The Anthropocene Unconscious, this fucking recalcitrant book that refuses to be written, it is nice to look back over the year to see what else has happened – though that warm sensation might just be procrastination…

The biggest thing this year was receiving the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Distinguished Scholarship Award, and being the Scholar Guest of Honour at the 40th International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, 2019. It was lovely to be back at the conference, and to catch up with so many people, after a seven year hiatus.

My GoH speech  received the not-so-rare distinction of being mocked in Private Eye‘s ‘Pseuds Corner’, between Charlotte Church and Grimes – ‘Our Frightful Hobgoblin, or, Notes Towards Full-On Fully-Automated Luxury Green Interspecies Feminist Queer Space Communism of Colour’. (A longer version of it, with a longer title, is forthcoming in Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts some time.)

Private Eye

I also appeared on a panel with Sarah Pinsker, John Rieder, Nisi Shawl, Joan Slonczewski, Fran Wilde, and did an opening plenary with Sherryl Vint and author GoH G. Willow Wilson (!), whose work I’ve loved since first reading Cairo. And as a special bonus, Willow is just lovely to hang out with.

While I’m namedropping, this year I also got to drink way too much wine with:

  • the Quay brothers, before and after but not actually (and surprisingly) during a panel I did with them (and Andrzej Klimowski, Danusia Stok and Simon Ings) on Stanislaw Lem for the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival/Polish Cultural Institute at The Barbican in April
  • Mike Hodges (again), before and during a screening of his Black Rainbow, which I introduced for Cinema Rediscovered in Bristol in July
  • Andrea, Karolina and Claudia before and – from a shared bottle classily passed back and forth along the row – during a screening of Mauro Herce’s Dead Slow Ahead I introduced at Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw in December

There was, however, no wine consumed before, during or after the screening of Robert Siodmak and Edgar G. Ulmer’s Menschen am Sonntag I introduced for Bristol Festival of Ideas’ Festival of the City/Southwest Silents in Bristol in October. (In my very slight defence it was a Sunday at noon, and I had neglected to bring any bad influences with me.)

I gave one other keynote this year

  • ‘Revenant, Repetition, Road Block: Foreclosed Futures in Late-Anthropocene SF’, Striking Back? On Imperial Fantasies and Fantasies of Empire, Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany in September

but after the absurd number I’ve done in the last few years, I figured it’s about time to get back into the discipline of giving 20 minute papers, so I did these two (though the first one was pulled out of the hat when someone had to withdraw at the last minute from a conference I organised):

  • ‘The Great Derangement and the Anthropocene Unconscious’, Imag(in)ing the Anthropocene, UWE/Watershed in June
  • ‘Other Affect in Slow SF: The Clone Returns Home and Dead Slow Ahead’, Senses of Science Fiction: Visions, Sounds, Spaces, University of Warsaw, Poland in December

Oh, and I organised a conference, Imag(in)ing the Anthropocene, mainly as an excuse to hang out with Karolina and Dan over a rainy Bristol weekend in June

Publications-wise, Global Studies in Science Fiction, which I co-edit with Anindita Banerjee and Rachel Haywood Ferreira, published a couple more volumes:

  • Amy Ransom and Dominick Grace, eds, Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror: Bridging the Solitudes
  • Simone Brioni and Daniele Comberiati, Italian Science Fiction

The collection I co-edited with Rhys Williams finally appeared:

  • M John Harrison: Critical Essays


I published my first journal article for a couple of years, but it has a long and complicated history, and was written ages ago:

  • ‘Afrofuturism and the Archive: Robots of Brixton and Crumbs’, Science Fiction Film and Television 12.1 (2019): 171–193

It was uncommissioned and is actually the first article I have ever cold-submitted to a journal. Which felt like an accomplishment of some sort until Gerry Canavan kindly pointed out that since I founded the journal what else could they do…

I published a couple of book chapters and my first review in a couple of years:

  • ‘Afrofuturism in the New Wave Era’ in Eric Carl Link and Gerry Canavan, eds, The Cambridge History of Science Fiction (Cambridge UP 2019), 396–414
  • ‘Science Fiction and Cult Cinema’ in Ernest Mathijs and Jamie Sexton, eds, The Routledge Companion to Cult Cinema (Routledge 2019), 59–68
  • ‘Bradley Schauer, Escape Velocity: American Science Fiction Film, 1950–1982’, Science Fiction Studies 137 (2019): 200–203

I also contributed to the ‘Extrapolation­ at Sixty’ symposium, and wrote screening notes for the first time

  • ‘Ice Ice Baby’, screening notes on Iceman (Schepisi 1984) for Science Fiction Theatre/Castle Cinema in London in April

And I finished my three-year stint as a jury member for the SFRA’s Pilgrim Award – John Rieder received it his year – and I examined a couple of pretty impressive PhDs:

  • Sinéad Murphy, Present Futures and Present Pasts: Speculative Aesthetics in Contemporary Arab Literature (King’s College, London 2019)
  • Evdokia Stefanopoulou, The American Science Fiction Film in the 21st Century: Between Bodies and Worlds (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece 2019)

Now if only The Anthropocene Unconscious was as easy to write as this post…

Some unexpected praise for Martin Amis

51E21ChU8mL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_I am no fan of Martin Amis, but kudos for the truly incredible piece of confessional writing that is his 2011 intro to Ballard’s THE DROWNED WORLD, which goes: I don’t understand sf, I don’t understand Ballard, I don’t understand this novel, I don’t understand climate science, I don’t understand DeLillo (but I do have a crush on him), I don’t understand introductions, and I’m less than 100% on the placement of commas, but I do understand I get paid the same if I pad this out with long quotes, and I do understand spoilers – and to prove it I’ll end with a really big one:

Alien: Covenant (Ridley Scott 2017)

michael-fassbenderand so anyway it turns out that the best thing about Sir Diddley Squat’s latest xenomorph instalment is that after the prologue – and if you overlook the clunky dialogue, indistinguishability of the ‘characters’, poor grasp of physics, idiot plotting and general boring-ness of it all – most of the first hour is nowhere near as bad as Prometheus (Scott 2012) or, indeed, as the second half of Alien: Covenant, even if the second half is the half in which we get to see Michael Fassbender in a dopey hat, Michael Fassbender play Kurtz as Hannibal Lecter, Michael “you blow into it and I’ll do the fingering” Fassbender finally have a queer romance with Michael Fassbender, and, in the very final shot, Michael Fassbender show off his enormous feet in clown shoes…

Overlord (Justin Wyatt 2018)

hero_overlord-image-2018and so anyway it turns out the best thing about Overlord (2018) is, as any sane person would expect, the always awesome Bokeem Woodbine, though the second best thing about this very silly film featuring a mission behind German lines in Normandy in the early hours of 6 June 1944 discovering mad scientists manufacturing a Nazi zombie army is the way it poses a mystery every bit as big as how Bokeem “Okay I’ll Be In It, And The Best Thing In It, But Only For 5 minutes” Woodbine makes a living, namely, how in the hell was this film not called D-Day of the Dead


The Tower of Babel: a guide for wall-builders, border-champions and their ilk

91blanq0xbl“You must know that the houses of Constantinople were built by mixed teams of workers. The reason is clear to see. Turkish carpenters are very good at working and sawing wood, but they can’t carve stone. And a house without a stone foundation is an unstable house. That’s why we turn to Armenian, Greek, and Arab stonecutters. So some of the people dig the foundation: the others build the upper stories and the roof. … Of course, you know the Bible story of the Tower of Babel. Well, many people think the Lord scattered the tongues of men to punish them, but it’s exactly the opposite. He saw that uniformity made them proud, dedicated to enterprises as excessive as they were useless. Then he realized that humanity needed a corrective ad he made us the gift of differences. So the masons, of different customs and faiths, have to find a modus vivendi that allows them to conclude their construction of the building. And for that you need not a conceded, flaunted tolerance, like the tolerance of the powerful, but an experienced tolerance, lived out every day, lived with the awareness that if it is lost, the house will fall down and you will be left without shelter.”

from Wu Ming, Altai (London: Verso, 2103), p.73.

My top 32 films of 2018

_640x480_104b513154b6396826936bb1fc0f5eade56e1c56a6f1cd6812dd0b302c6129c7In 2018, I watched 357 films; of the 219 I saw for the first time, here are my top 32 films of the year:

  1. A Fábrica de Nada/The Nothing Factory (Pedro Pinho 2017)
  2. Mandy (Panos Cosmatos 2018)
  3. Marlina Si Pembunuh Dalam Empat Babak/Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Mouly Surya 2017)
  4. La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda 1955)
  5. Hrútar/Rams (Grímur Hákonarson 2015)
  6. Keanu (Peter Atencio 2016)

with the next 26 in alphabetical order
The Angels’ Share (Ken Loach 2012)
Arcadia (Paul Wright 2017)
L’aveu/The Confession (Costa-Gavras 1970)
Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako 2006)
Behind the Door (Irvin Willat 1919)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler 2018)
Blackkklansman (Spike Lee 2018)
Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S Craig Zahler 2017)
Le couperet/The Ax (Costa-Gavras 2005)
Hausa/House (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi 1977)
Le jeune Karl Marx/The Young Karl Marx (Raoul Peck 2017)
Jupiter’s Moon (Kornél Mundruczó 2017)
The Mafu Cage (Karen Arthur 1978)
Nobi/Fires on the Plain (Tsukamoto Shinya 2014)
Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1955)
Populaire (Régis Roinsard 2012)
Le silence est d’or/Silence is Golden (René Clair 1947)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro 2017)
Shin Godzilla (Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi 2016)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley 2012)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton 2017)
Talk to Me (Kasi Lemmons 2007)
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh 2017)
Le Trou (Jacques Becker 1960)
Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes 2017)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay 2017)

For anyone interested, here is the complete list:
12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen 2013)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick 1968)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Alfred Werker 1939)
The Adventures of Tintin (Steven Spielberg 2011)
Ae Fond Kiss… (Ken Loach 2004)
A Fábrica de Nada/The Nothing Factory (Pedro Pinho 2017)
After Earth (M. Night Shyamalan 2013)
All the President’s Men (Alan J Pakula 1976)
American Mary (Jen and Sylvia Soska 2012)
American Sniper (Clint Eastwood 2015)
Amintiri din epoca de aur/Tales from the Golden Age (Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu and Ioana Uricaru 2009)
Amistad (Steven Spielberg 1997)
The Angels’ Share (Ken Loach 2012)
Animal Factory (Steve Buscemi 2000)
The Apartment (Billy Wilder 1960)
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola 1979)
Arcadia (Paul Wright 2017)
The Assignment aka Tomboy (Walter Hill 2016)
Atomic Blonde (David Leitch 2017)
Atomic Rulers of the World (Koreyoshi Akasaki, Teruo Ishii, Akira Mitsuwa 1965)
L’aveu/The Confession (Costa-Gavras 1970)
Away from Her (Sarah Polley 2006)

Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako 2006)
Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick 1975)
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Zack Snyder 2016)
Baywatch (Seth Gordon 2017)
Beau Travail (Claire Denis 1999)
Beauty and the Beast (Bill Condon 2017)
Behind the Candelabra (Steven Soderbergh 2013)
Behind the Door (Irvin Willat 1919)
Beloved (Jonathan Demme 1998)
Betrayed (Costa-Gavras 1988)
Beyond Skyline (Liam O’Donnell 2017)
Beyond the Black Rainbow (Panos Cosmatos 2010)
The BFG (Steven Spielberg 2016)
The Big Sick (Michael Showalter 2017)
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento 1970)
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (Dario Argento 1970)
Black Dynamite (Scott Sanders 2009)
Blackkklansman (Spike Lee 2018)
Blackkklansman (Spike Lee 2018)
Black Panther (Ryan Coogler 2018)
Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (Ridley Scott 1991)
Body and Soul (Micheaux 1925)
The Body Snatcher (Robert Wise 1945)
Brawl in Cell Block 99 (S Craig Zahler 2017)
Bridge of Spies (Steven Spielberg 2015)
Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks 1938)
Bush Mama (Haile Gerima 1979)

Calamity Jane (David Butler 1953)
Le capital (Costa-Gavras 2012)
Il capitale umano/Human Capital (Paolo Virzí 2013)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz 1942)
Chelovek s kino-apparatom/Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov 1929)
Classe tous risques (Claude Sautet 1960)
Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (Chuck Bail 1975)
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (Madeleine Olnek 2011)
Colossal (Nacho Vigalondon 2016)
Come on George! (Anthony Kimmins 1939)
Con Air (Simon West 1997)
A Corner in Wheat (DW Griffith 1909)
Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg 2012)
Le couperet/The Ax (Costa-Gavras 2005)
Cowboys & Aliens (Jon Favreau 2011)
Creed (Ryan Coogler 2015)
The Creeping Garden (Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp 2014)
Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir 1936)
Cronos (Guillermo del Toro 1993)

A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg 2011)
A Dark Song (Liam Gavin 2016)
Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel 1971)
Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel 1971)
Daughters of the Dust (Dash 1991)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Dead Slow Ahead (Mauro Herce 2015)
Derrida (Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman 2002)
Dersu Uzala (Akira Kurosawa 1975)
Destry Rides Again (George Marshall 1939)
Deux jours, une nuit/Two Days, One Night (Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne 2014)
Dinoshark (Kevin O’Neill 2010)
Doctor Strange (Scott Derickson 2016)
Domino (Tony Scott 2005)
Don’t Breathe (Fede Alvarez 2016)
Dope (Rick Famuyiwa 2015)
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee 1989)
Double Indemnity (Wilder 1944)
Dressed to Kill (Roy William Neill 1946)
Drive Angry (Patrick Lussier 2011)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian 1931)
The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland 2015)
Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan 2017)
Dünyayi Kurtaran Adam (Çetin Inanç 1982)

Eden à l’Ouest/Eden is West (Costa-Gavras 2009)
Efter brylluppet/After the Wedding (Susanne Bier 2006)
Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev 2011)
The Emperor Jones (Murphy 1933)
Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse 1973)
Exit (Peter Lindmark 2006)

Fae yeung nin wa/In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai 2000)
Fae yeung nin wa/In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai 2000)
Die Fälscher/The Counterfeiters (Stefan Ruzowitzky 2007)
Family Life (Ken Loach 1971)
Fast & Furious (Justin Lin 2009)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam 1998)
The First Purge (Gerard McMurray 2018)
The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer 2015)
Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges 1980)
Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund 2014)
For Colored Girls (Tyler Perry 2010)
Friday Foster (Arthur Marks 1975)

Gamer (Neveldine/Taylor 2009)
The General (Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton 1926)
Get Carter (Mike Hodges 1971)
Ghost in the Shell (Rupert Sanders 2017)
Ghost Stories (Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman 2018)
The Girl Can’t Help It (Frank Tashlin 1956)
The Girl with All the Gifts (Colm McCarthy 2016)
Gloria (Sebastián Lelio 2013)
The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola 1972)
The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola 1974)
Godzilla (Gareth Edwards 2014)
The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin 1925)
Going in Style (Zach Braff 2017)
Gojira (Honda 1954)
Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding 1932)
The Great Dictator (Charles Chaplin 1940)
The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter 1903)
The Guard (John Michael McDonagh 2011)

Halloween (Carpenter 1978)
Hands Across the Table (Mitchell Leisen 1935)
Hard Times (Walter Hill 1975)
Hausa/House (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi 1977)
Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (Eleanor Coppola, Fax Bahr and George Hickenlooper 1991)
Hellboy (Guillermo del Toro 2004)
Hell is a City (Val Guest 1960)
Hereditary (Ari Aster 2018)
Hidden Figures (Thedore Melfi 2016)
His Wooden Wedding (Leo McCarey 1925)
His Wooden Wedding (Leo McCarey 1925)
Hostiles (Scott Cooper 2017)
The House of Fear (Roy William Neill 1945)
House on Bare Mountain (Lee Frost 1962)
Huo yuanjia/Fearless (Ronny Yu 2006)
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi 2016)
Hrútar/Rams (Grímur Hákonarson 2015)

I Am Legend (Francis Lawrence 2007)
I Am Not a Witch (Rungano Nyoni 2017)
In Bruges (Martin McDonagh 2008)
Independence Day: Resurgence (Roland Emmerich 2016)
The Iron Giant (Brad Bird 1999)
I See Ice (Anthony Kimmins 1938)
It (Andy Muschietti 2017)
It Comes at Night (Trey Edward Shults 2017)
It’s in the Air (Anthony Kimmins 1938)
I Walked with a Zombie (Jacques Tourneur 1943)

Jane Got a Gun (Gavin O’Connor 2015)
Le jeune Karl Marx/The Young Karl Marx (Raoul Peck 2017)
Jägarna 2/False Trail (Kjell Sundvall 2011)
Jigokumon/Gate of Hell (Teinosuke Kinugasa 1953)
Jimmy’s Hall (Ken Loach 2014)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski 2017)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Jake Kasdan 2017)
Jupiter’s Moon (Kornél Mundruczó 2017)
Just Another Girl on the IRT (Leslie Harries 1992)
Justice League (Zack Snyder 2017)

Katalin Varga (Peter Strickland 2009)
Keanu (Peter Atencio 2016)
Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett 1978)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Matthew Vaughn 2017)

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig 2017)
The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges 1941)
Låt den rätte komma in/Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson 2008)
Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean 1962)
The League of Gentlemen (Basil Dearden 1960)
The Lego Movie (Phil Lord and Chris Miller 2014)
Let George Do It! (Marcel Varnel 1940)
Leviafan/Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev 2014)
Limbo (John Sayles 1999)
Lincoln (Steven Spielberg 2012)
Logan (James Mangold 2017)
Logan Lucky (Steven Soderbergh 2017)
Long men kezhan/Dragon Inn (King Hu 1967)
Looking for Eric (Ken Loach 2009)
Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins 1982)
Louise-Michel (Benoît Délepine and Gustacve Keverne 2008)
Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman 2016)
Love Before Breakfast (Walter Lang 1936)

The Mafu Cage (Karen Arthur 1978)
The Magnificent Seven (Antoine Fuqua 2016)
Ma Loute/Slack Bay (Bruno Dumont 2016)
Mad City (Costa-Gavras 1997)
Mandingo (Richard Fleischer 1975)
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos 2018)
The Man in Grey (Leslie Arliss 1943)
Man of Steel (Zack Snyder 2013)
Man of the World (Richard Wallace and Edward Goodman 1931)
Maps to the Stars (David Cronenberg 2014)
Marlina Si Pembunuh Dalam Empat Babak/Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Mouly Surya 2017)
Maurice (James Ivory 1988)
The Meg (Jon Turteltaub 2018)
Memento (Christopher Nolan 2000)
Miami Vice (Michael Mann 2006)
Michael Kohlhaas/Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud des Pallières 2013)
Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz 1945)
Missing (Costa-Gavras 1982)
The Missing Person (Noah Buschel 2009)
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie 2015)
Mom and Dad (Brian Taylor 2017)
Monsters: Dark Continent (Tom Green 2014)
Monsters, Inc. (Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich 2001)
Monsters vs. Aliens (Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon 2009)
Moonlight (Barry Jenkins 2016)
A Moving Image (Shola Amoo 2016)
Mugen no jûnin/Blade of the Immortal (Takashi Miike 2017)
Una Mujer Fantástica/A Fantastic Woman (Sebastián Lelio 2017)
The Mummy (Alex Kurtzman 2017)
Munich (Steven Spielberg 2005)
Music Box (Costa-Gavras 1989)
My Darling Clementine (Ford 1946)
My Life Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn (Liv Corfixen 2014)

National Treasure (Jon Turteltaub 2004)
Nelyubov/Loveless (Andrei Zvyagintsev 2017)
Nelyubov/Loveless (Andrei Zvyagintsev 2017)
New Town Utopia (Christopher Ian Smith 2017)
Night Catches Us (Tanya Hamilton 2010)
Night of the Comet (Thom Eberhardt 1984)
Nina (Cynthia Mort 2016)
Nobi/Fires on the Plain (Tsukamoto Shinya 2014)
Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford 2016)
Nosferatu the Vampyre (Herzog 1979)

Oblivion (Joseph Kosinski 2013)
One Week (Edward F Cline, Buster Keaton 1920)
Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer 1955)

Pacific Rim: Uprising (Steven S DeKnight 2018)
The Pearl of Death (Roy William Neill )
Peterloo (Mike Leigh 2018)
Phantom Thread (Paul Thomas Anderson 2017)
Pierrot le fou (Jean-Luc Godard 1965)
Pillow Talk (Michael Gordon 1959)
Pitch Perfect 3 (Trish Sie 2017)
Pitfall (André De Toth 1948)
La Pointe Courte (Agnès Varda 1955)
Populaire (Régis Roinsard 2012)
The Post (Steven Spielberg 2017)
Prevenge (Alice Lowe 2016)
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (Angela Robinson 2017)
Proud Mary (Babak Najafi 2018)
The Purge (James DeMonaco 2013)
The Purge (James DeMonaco 2013)
The Purge: Anarchy (James DeMonaco 2014)
The Purge: Election Year (James DeMonaco 2016)
Pursuit to Algiers (Roy William Neill 1945)

A Quiet Place (Jon Krasinski 2018)

A Raisin in the Sun (Petrie 1961)
Raising Arizona (Joel and Ethan Coen 1987)
Rampage (Brad Peyton 2018)
Relatos salvajes/Wild Tales (Damián Szifron 2014)
Requiem for a Village (David Gladwell 1976)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul W.S. Anderson 2016)
River’s Edge (Tim Hunter 1986)
Robots (Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha 2005)
Rosa Luxemburg (Margarethe von Trotta 1986)
Route Irish (Ken Loach 2010)

Sabita naifu/Rusty Knife (Toshio Masuda 1958)
The Salvation (Kristian Levring 2014)
Sankofa (Haile Gerima 1993)
Save the Green Planet! (Joon Hwan-Jang 2003)
The Scarlet Claw (Roy William Neill 1944)
The Sealed Room (DW Griffith 1909)
Serbuan maut/The Raid (Gareth Huw Evans 2011)
Shanty Tramp (José Prieto 1967)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro 2017)
The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro 2017)
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (Roy William Neill 1942)
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (John Rawlins 1942)
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (Roy William Neill 1943)
Sherlock Holmes in Washington (Roy William Neill 1943)
Shin Godzilla (Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi 2016)
Shiraz: A Romance of India (Franz Osten 1928)
Le silence est d’or/Silence is Golden (René Clair 1947)
The Silence of the Lambs (Demme 1991)
Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen 1952)
Skyline (Colin and Greg Strause 2010)
Skyscraper (Rawson Marshall Thurber 2018)
Solo: A Stars Wars Story (Ron Howard 2018)
Sono otoko, kyôbô ni tsuki/Violent Cop (Takeshi Kitano 1989)
Spare a Copper (John Paddy Carstairs 1940)
Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts 2017)
The Spider Woman (Roy William Neill 1943)
The Spook Who Sat By the Door (Ivan Dixon 1973)
The Square (Ruben Östlund 2017)
Stand By Me (Rob Reiner 1986)
Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin 2016)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams 2015)
Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley 2012)
Straight Outta Compton (F Gary Gray 2015)
Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock 1951)
Suburbicon (George Clooney 2017)
Suffragette (Sarah Gavron 2015)
The Sugarland Express (Steven Spielberg 1974)
Super 8 (JJ Abrams 2011)
Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock 1941)
Suspiria (Dario Argento 1977)
Suspiria (Dario Argento 1977)
Suspiria (Luca Guadagnino 2018)
Sweet Country (Warwick Thornton 2017)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baad Asssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles 1971)

Talk to Me (Kasi Lemmons 2007)
Tarzan Escapes (Richard Thorpe 1936)
Tarzan the Ape Man (W.S. Van Dyke 1932)
The Terminal (Steven Spielberg 2004)
The Terminal Man (Mike Hodges 1974)
Terror By Night (Roy William Neill 1946)
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Tobe Hooper 1974)
They Live (John Carpenter 1988)
The Thing (John Carpenter 1982)
Thoroughbreds (Cory Finley 2017)
Those Awful Hats (DW Griffith 1909)
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh 2017)
T Men (Anthony Mann 1947)
Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa 2008)
To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (Beeban Kidron 1995)
Toy Story (John Lasseter 1995)
Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter, Ash Brannon and Lee Unkrich 1999)
Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich 2010)
Le Trou (Jacques Becker 1960)
Turned Out Nice Again (Marcel Varnel 1941)

The Unchanging Sea (DW Griffith 1910)
Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer 2013)
Unleashed (Louis Leterrier 2005)

Vestern/Western (Valeska Grisebach 2017)
Vivacious Lady (George Stevens 1938)
The Visit: An Alien Encounter (Michael Madsen 2015)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves 2017)
War Horse (Steven Spielberg 2011)
War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg 2005)
The Watermelon Woman (Dunye 1996)
We’re Not Dressing (Norman Taurog 1934)
The Wicked Lady (Leslie Arliss 1945)
The Wicker Man (Hardy 1973)
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders 1988)
Witchfinder General (Michael Reeves 1968)
The Woman in Green (Roy William Neill 1945)
The Women (George Cukor 1939)
Wonderstruck (Todd Haynes 2017)
Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins 2017)
The Wrong Man (Alfred Hitchcock 1956)
Wuxia/Dragon (Peter Ho-Sun Chan 2011)

X-Men: Apocalypse (Bryan Singer 2015)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (DJ Caruso 2017)

Yip Man/Ip Man (Wilson Yip 2008)
Yip Man 2/Ip Man 2 (Wilson Yip 2010)
You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsay 2017)

Z (Costa-Gavras 1969)
Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow 2012)
Zouzou (Marc Allégret 1934)
Zwartboek/Black Book (Paul Verhoeven 2006)