This is one of my favorite articles to write every year. I love looking up all the Original Song contenders and listening to them.
Here’s how I do this: I go through all the songs, one by one — this year, there are 79 songs eligible — listen to them, rate them out of five, talk about their likelihood of being nominated, and then when I’m done, guess which are most likely to make the final list.
And usually we’re never right. Something crazy happens. Like that bizarre song that got nominated last year but got disqualified.
Here are the 79 songs eligible for Best Original Song this year: (more…)
I was trying to think of a way to create a list that wasn’t quite hidden gems and also not quite “underseen” films. Since both of those imply a certain level of quality and/or a certain level of regard on my account. Or even a certain level of awareness of product.
The idea was to make a list of movies that I feel need to be seen by people that, on the whole, are movies that most people would go, “What the hell is that?” Now, of course, if you pay attention to the things I write (and I assume that’s a hard pass, most of the time), or if you follow certain filmmakers or websites or whatever, they might ring a bell. I honestly don’t even know. At this point, I’m so deep into this, I can’t gauge what anyone’s heard of. My only concern is that you do hear about them. And if I’m the gatekeeper, so be it. (I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.)
The point is, poll the average filmgoer, and I bet that they have not heard of at least 80% of these movies. Poll the above average filmgoer, and maybe you get half. (I’m talking a solid, “Oh yeah, that movie.” Not, “Yeah, that sounds familiar.” You should be able to tell me about it the way you could just talk if I said, “What’s this movie Boyhood?”) I’m trying to increase that number.
These aren’t the movies you need to like so you can show them to your friends and spread the word. These are the films that YOU need to see, in order to decide if you want to show them to your friends. Stop watching that Marvel movie for the fourth time, and try out some of these. Because they all deserve an audience, and you didn’t even know they existed before now.
Here is my list of great films of 2014 that you’ve never even heard of. You’re welcome. (more…)