I’m really not a big fan of these “best of” lists, but of all the new arts entertainment (or edutainment as KRS-One would say) I consumed this past year, here’s what helped me most in wading through the muddied waters of 2021.
Power of the Dog, written and directed by Jane Campion.
C’mon C’mon, written and directed by Mike Mills
Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised), directed by Quest Love.
Petite Maman, directed by Céline Sciamma.
Judas and the Black Messiah, directed by Shaka King, written by Will Berson, Shaka King, Kenny Lucas, and Keith Lucas.
Val, directed by Ting Poo, Leo Scott.
North Hollywood, written and directed by Mickey Alfred.
The Alpinist, directed by Peter Mortimer.
Reservation Dogs, directed by Sydney Freeland and Sterlin Harjo, written by Sterlin Harjo, Taika Waititi, Bobby Wilson, Dallas Goldtooth.
Mare of Easttown, directed by Craig Zobel.
1971: The Year That Music Changed Everything, directed by Asif Kapadia.
Genera+ion, created by Zelda Barnz & Daniel Barnz.
The White Lotus, directed and written by Mike White.
The Beatles: Get Back, directed by Peter Jackson.
Hand Habits, Fun House (Saddle Creek)
Dean Wareham, I Have Nothing to Say to the Mayor of LA (Double Feature Records)
La Luz, La Luz (Hardly Art)
Tyler, the Creator, Call Me If You Get Lost (Columbia)
Bachelor, Doomin’ Sun (Polyvinyl)
Mapache, 3 (Innovative Leasure)
Whitney K, Two Years (Maple Death Records)
Not a Nation of Immigrants: Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and a History of Erasure and Exclusion by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press)
Palestine: A Socialist Introduction, edited by Sumaya Awad & Brian Bean (Haymarket Books)
The Last Man Takes LSD: Foucault and the End of Revolution, by Mitchell Dean & Daniel Zamora (Verso)
A People’s History of Europe: From World War I to Today, by Raquel Varela (Pluto Press)
The Border Crossed Us, by Justin Akers Chacón (Haymarket Books)
Checkpoint Zipolite: Quarantine in a Small Place, Belén Fernández, (OR Books)