Shrugging off television viewing and ranking has lifted a massive weight off of my shoulders, because
a) Television sucks, and
b) Writing about television sucks way, way more
Obviously I’m not above writing about TV now and again, but don’t anticipate that I’ll mix TV into my “best of” shenanigans again anytime soon.
I’m much too busy with movies, which > television, and music, which also > television; movies, as I’ve said many times before here and elsewhere, end*, and music can be absorbed on the go, whether in the car, walking, running, writing, eating, or napping. Bonuses all around. On top of that, the movies of 2019 that have been good, and not many of the ones I’ve seen have been that good, are really good, and the same goes for the music (though if I’m being honest, I’ve been more impressed by music I’ve listened to this year than movies I’ve seen).
Don’t go looking for threads connecting all of these selections together, or even individual selections; there’s a good arc about black identity woven through both lists, and some personal, real-life anecdotal filmmaking in the movies list, but beyond that, these don’t have much in common apart from being excellent.
9) High Life
8) Ash is Purest White
7) Fast Color
6) Homecoming: A Film By Beyonce
5) Her Smell
4) Black Mother
3) The Farewell
2) High Flying Bird
1) The Souvenir
Honorable mentions: In Fabric**, Under the Silver Lake, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
10) The Claypool Lennon Delirium, South of Reality
9) The Mountain Goats, In League With Dragons
8) Charly Bliss, Young Enough
7) Faye Webster, Atlanta Millionaires Club
6) Calexico and Iron & Wine, Years to Burn
5) Bedouine, Bird Songs of a Killjoy
4) Solange, When I Get Home
3) Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow
2) Kevin Morby, Oh My God
1) Vampire Weekend, Father of the Bride
Honorable mentions: Tyler, the Creator, Igor, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizards, Fishing For Fishies
*Contemporary franchising aside. But contemporary franchising is also mostly bad, with one clear exception noted in my honorables.
**This would rank at around #5, but unlike The Farewell, which comes out soon, In Fabric doesn’t even have a release date yet, so I’d feel like a cheater putting it on here.