Archive for January 20th, 2015

by Jaime Grijalba.

Well, ain’t that one chubby beaver.

And with that tasty note, I want to inaugurate my official top 20 list of the best films of 2014 that I’ve managed to see before the announcement of the Oscar nominations, which is my own personal cut-off for this lists year after year. Now, be reminded that even if I go the extra mile to have more films on my plate, I still missed quite a few of the most interesting ones, specially regarding the awards, I haven’t seen the likes of Birdman, American Sniper, Inherent Vice, The Hobbit, Mr. Turner, among many others that have certain looks and likes that they might’ve gone in my list. Anyway, if you want any update on what I end up seeing and rating, I think that reading my 10 Days of Oscar, as well as having some attention to my Muriels ballot should be enough.

So, as many of you already know, and for those who don’t I tell you now, the criteria for my list is that any movie, Tv miniseries, short film, anything, released in 2014 counts for my list; no 2013 films that had a 2014 major release will count here, only 2014 ‘pure’ choices. Many of these films were seen in film festivals and won’t be available for some time, but count these as if they were preemptive recommendations on movies to look out for. On the rest, not much to say, just let’s start with the number 20 and then we shall go up, up and away to number 1, which this year, was the only masterpiece I managed to rate and see. (more…)

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by Sam Juliano

Suppressed emotions are at the center of the profoundly moving The Girl and the Bicycle, a riveting wordless book that holds its own with any other of its kind released in 2014, bar none.  As a complement to the provocative The Boy and the Airplane from the year before, Mark Pett’s latest builds to a tearfully blissful conclusion, but is preceded by pangs of disappointment.  Indeed The Girl and the Bicycle paints a thematic picture as autumnal as the leaves the girl picks up during a fall season work assignment.  Recalling Vera Williams’ austere Caldecott Honor winning A Chair For My Mother and the more irreverent Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens, Pett’s retro age book teaches a valuable lesson to kids who hanker for something, but don’t possess the funds for it.  It also confirms the famous adage Good things happen for those who wait, or perhaps more pointedly in this book to those who perform a measure of selflessness. (more…)

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