It’s January, so that means MMC! is playing catch-up with the best films that 2020 had to offer. Those screenings can be a bit of a slog, as inevitably that catch-up process can be a bit of a misery parade involving a lot of “important” films with “powerful” performances that quickly become dispiriting when strung together. For this reason, MMC! is particularly thankful to discover Jon Bois’s The History of the Seattle Mariners compliments of the CriterionCast website and Joshua Brunsting’s list of his top 25 films of 2020. Running nearly four-hours long and free to view on YouTube, Bois’ survey of the strangest team in professional sports is the anti-The Last Dance, using little archival footage, no direct interviews, and relying instead on amateur-sounding voice over and a collection of computer-generated charts and graphs that would have looked out-of-date 20 years ago. Still the document is weirdly compelling, managing to capture baseball’s obsessive compulsion for statistical analysis, its general boredom, and the strange absurdities that end up filling the void where active play should exist. Expect it to find a place on MMC!’s own list of the best films of 2020. Thanks again, Joshua!
- Time (Garrett Bradley, 2020)
- The History of the Seattle Mariners (Jon Bois, 2020)
- Host (Rob Savage, 2020)
- Mangrove (Steve McQueen, 2020)
- Eureka (Shinji Aoyama, 2000)
- Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy, 2018)
- Vitalina Varela (Pedro Costa, 2019)
- Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Jason Woliner, 2020)
- Roaring Fire (Noribumi Suzuki, 1982)
- Samurai Cop (Amir Shervan, 1991)
January is also the time of year that MMC! catches up with best music of last year and so the mothership has been roaming with RTJ4 by Run the Jewels, En Español by The Mavericks, Set My on Heart on Fire Immediately by Perfume Genius, and Lianne La Havas’ self-titled album on heavy rotation. I may keep track of my favourite non-cinematic discoveries of 2021 and share them at the end of 2021. If so, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang’s Paper Girls (2015-2019) may make that list. Eighties nostalgia, time-travel, tweenage self-discovery, and generational conflict make for an easily likeable story, with Chiang’s clean art being beautifully supported by colorist Matt Wilson and color flatter Dee Cunniffe who provide the series with a distinctive aesthetic and palette. Paper Girls is supposedly being adapted into a series by Amazon and so MMC! recommends getting that background work done now (assuming you’re a latecomer like me)!