The Best Films of 2014

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

 

Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked them. That’s it.

 

 

 

The Best

 

Computer Chess (2013, dir: Andrew Bujalski)

Andrew Bujalski, inventor of mumblecore, proved there’s life in the old beast yet with this retro-verité drama about geeks meeting in the 1980s to pit their programs against a chess-playing computer. Shooting on original video cameras in fuzzy-edged boxellated black and white, Bujalski catches the moment when the let-it-all-hang-out era died and our brighter, geekier world was born.

 

In a World… (2013, dir: Lake Bell)

A comedy of modern manners strung onto a plot about voice artists vying for the throne of the newly dead king of the hill. The savviest, screwballiest Hollywood comedy in years came from left-field, from writer/director/star Lake Bell, playing the daughter of a famous voiceover artist trying to get out from under dad’s reputation. It’s sentimental in all the right ways too.

 

The Canyons (2013, dir: Paul Schrader)

The sensational Lindsay Lohan’s “right, I’m back” movie is also Paul Schrader’s best for decades, a turning over of the paving slab to see what low-lifes slither about beneath. It’s The Canyons, not The Hills, so don’t expect Hollywood to come out smelling of anything but bad drugs, mercenary sex and broken dreams.

 

Stranger by the Lake (2013, Alain Guiraudie)

Don’t watch if you can’t take the sight of gay male sex. If you can you get a remarkable French drama about a killer at large on a nudist beach where homosexual omerta guarantees him a free ride, in any way he fancies. It’s beautifully composed, dramatically as taut as you like and even the soundscape is a thing of wonder.

 

Under the Skin (2013, dir: Jonathan Glazer)

How odd that Scarlett Johansson suddenly cornered the female sci-fi market (with this, the Avengers movies, Her and Lucy). This is the best of the bunch, with ScarJo playing a killer (in every sense) alien who cruises round Glasgow, Scotland, enticing men into her white van and then taking them back to her lair. Shot painstakingly with real, unsuspecting Glaswegians picked up off the street playing the dupes, it’s a triumphant return to movies for writer/director Jonathan (Sexy Beast) Glazer.

 

Of Horses and Men (2013, dir: Benedikt Erlingsson)

There are scenes in this elemental Icelandic movie that you will never have seen before, some hilarious, others just jaw-droppingly wha? It’s a unique rural drama that seems to suggest that people are at their happiest and least stressed when they behave most like animals. Watch that young woman swish her tail when the visiting Spaniard shakes his mane. Brilliant.

 

Norte, The End of History (2013, dir: Lav Diaz)

A four hour epic shot in long continuous beautifully framed takes, about a rich young law student and the poor street-pedlar woman whose life he affects maximally without even realising what he’s done. Wait two hours for the first “what the hell just happened” moment, and then another 90 minutes for the second, while a new (to me) master Lav Diaz casts his spell.

 

 

Only Lovers Left Alive (2013, dir: Jim Jarmusch)

If you were going to cast the supercoolest vampire film ever, you’d want Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston in it. And you’d want Jim Jarmusch to direct it, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly what you get with this aching paean to immortal hipsterism shot in crumbling Detroit and labyrinthine old Tangier. No one ever says “I feel so very very tired,” as they do in cornier movies, but that’s the spirit. Plus jokes, hipster jokes.

 

 

Goodbye to Language (2014, dir: Jean-Luc Godard)

At one level Jean-Luc Godard’s boy-meets-girl drama of collaged visual styles and overlapping dialogue looks like the result of using every preset on Final Cut Pro software; at another it’s a brilliant exercise in trying to reformulate film syntax. Genius.

 

Edge of Tomorrow (2014, dir: Doug Liman)

Tom Cruise as a soldier repeatedly being killed, each time back to life a little bit tougher, sharper, wiser in Doug Liman’s sci-fi extravaganza that looks, feels, smells like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would have graced in the 1980s.

 

Welcome to New York (2014, dir: Abel Ferrara)

Abel Ferrara’s drama about/not about Dominic Strauss Khan and his sexual escapades in New York looks like it was shot entirely on one camera, stars Gérard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset and suggests obliquely that the people who run the planet are sociopaths.

 

 

 

 

 

Honourable mentions

 

Gary Bond sinks a beer in Wake in Fright
Gary Bond sinks a beer in Wake in Fright

 

Wake in Fright (1971, dir: Ted Kotcheff)

A restored 1971 Australian classic about a nice schoolteacher having a wild weekend of up-close Ocker masculinity out in the Outback of the Outback.

 

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013, dir: Abdellatif Kechiche)

Lesbian sex was its big sell but it’s the acting that’s the thing in this slow (as in Slow Food slow) French drama about a young girl’s sentimental education.

 

Klown (2010, dir: Mikkel Nørgaard)

The Danes do comedy in this road movie about two inadequate blokes and a ten-year-old boy on a “tour de pussy”. Inappropriate comedy fans, this is for you.

 

All Is Lost (2013, dir: JC Chandor)

Robert Redford is all at sea on a sinking yacht in the virtually wordless thriller from JC Chandor, who made the banking business sexy with Margin Call and proves lightning does strike twice here.

 

Fossil (2014, dir: Alex Walker)

A British couple in trouble are befriended by a lovey-dovey twosome in this four-hander that looks good, hits a few deep notes and goes as badly whacked-out as outsider-couple dramas generally do.

 

Back to the Garden (2013, dir: Jon Sanders)

Really? A film set in Kent (the “Garden of England”) and made for nothing? Yes, and you won’t find a better recent film about confronting that moment when you realise your parents’ generation are dead and your lot are next.

 

Dallas Buyers Club (2013, Jean-Marc Vallée)

Part of the McConaissance, with Matthew McC as the homo-hating cowpuncher who discovers he’s HIV+ and breaks the law to fix himself. A brilliant exercise in Hollywood storytelling economy.

 

The Past (2013, dir: Asghar Farhadi)

Asghar Farhadi casts The Artist’s Bérénice Bejo as the woman about to marry for the third time, to a man with a wife in coma. How the wife ended up in the coma is what this subversive, complexly plotted drama is all about.

 

The Lunchbox (2013, dir: Ritesh Batra)

A Mumbai desk jockey gets the wrong lunchbox at work and starts up a relationship with the neglected wife who prepared it. Life-changes all round in this lovely romance made with a very light touch.

 

An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013, dir: Danis Tanovic)

A dirt-poor Roma man tries to get medical help for his pregnant wife in this immensely sweet drama that comes with this seal of authenticity – it really happened, and to this lovely couple.

 

The Lego Movie (2014, dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

The incredibly smart Lego people got Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of 21 Jump Street to script/direct their movie, a fast-moving Star Wars-y affair with Liam Neeson and Will Ferrell its standout voices. Four viewings necessary.

 

Starred Up (2013, dir: David Mackenzie)

The best British jail drama since Scum, all those years ago, with a starry turn by Jack O’Connell as the new lag running into all the usual bad stuff inside. Spectacular.

 

Locke (2013, dir: Steven Knight)

Tom Hardy sitting inside a car for 90 minutes and making phone calls. That’s all there is to this super-high-concept drama that screws more tension out of the situation than you could imagine possible.

 

Blue Ruin (2013, dir: Jeremy Saulnier)

A hillbilly milquetoast is forced into an unlikely revenge-driven killing spree in a drama that grips from the first second and holds you there till the grisly end.

 

The Counselor (2013, dir: Ridley Scott)

Ridley Scott and Cormac McCarthy’s loquacious drama about a high-flying lawyer who hasn’t realised he’s swimming with the sharks (Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt). A sleek, ratchet-like thriller of pitiless inevitability.

 

Sofia’s Last Ambulance (2012, dir: Ilian Metev)

So simple, so effective, a documentary that follows a Bulgarian ambulance team and focuses entirely on them, never the people they’re treating. Tight, unusual, very humane.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, dir: Bryan Singer)

The best of the X-Men movies gains a position in this list because of director Bryan Singer’s sheer ability to keep so many stories, characters and settings constantly in play. And his observation that the 1970s might as well now be an alien universe is interesting too.

 

 

 

 

The Underrated

 

Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris in Kelly + Victor
Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Julian Morris in Kelly + Victor

 

Kelly + Victor (2012, dir: Kieran Evans)

A nice lad falls for a totally fucked up girl in this brilliantly acted, nicely observed Liverpool drama about a boy, a girl and a lot of bondage gear. No “ferry across the fucking Mersey” (the director’s words) visible. Hoo-fucking-ray.

 

Seduced and Abandoned (2013, dir: James Toback)

An exquisite and slyly clever documentary that’s not really a documentary at all, about old mates Alec Baldwin and James Toback talking to the movie world’s money men at Cannes. Fascinating, proper inside-Hollywood reveals.

 

Bad Grandpa (2013, dir: Jeff Tremaine)

Johnny Knoxville deserves the Sacha Baron Cohen award for bravery for the audacious stunts he pulls off as the titular grandpa, and Jackson Nicoll – what, 10-years-old maybe? – even more for his turn as the grandson. Yes, it’s a Jackass movie and that ship has sailed, but it’s also a very funny, one-of-a-kind affair.

 

Metro Manila (2013, dir: Sean Ellis)

A poor Filipino family moves to the big bad city and what looks like a drama about the innocent getting monstered turns into one of the best heist films of the year. Brilliantly made, brilliantly acted.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012, dir: Colin Trevorrow)

Aubrey Plaza, one of those girls who can go from hot to not in the blink of an acting eye, dominates this no-budget smartly written mumblecore sci-fi about a rookie journalist chasing down a pudgy middle age guy who claims to have built a time machine. Fabulous.

 

Oldboy (2013, dir: Spike Lee)

Hated because a) it’s not as good as the original and b) people like to kick Spike Lee, who proves here he’s an intelligent, accomplished gun for hire, while Josh Brolin excels as the asshole incarcerated by person(s) unknown for 20 years and now wanting payback.

 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013, dir: Ben Stiller)

Ben Stiller’s brilliantly crafted reworking of the story that Danny Kaye made a hit film with in 1947 – about a geek whose rich fantasy life starts to invade his real one – is too unclassifiable to hit the “best of” lists.

 

8 Minutes Idle (2012, dir: Mark Simon Hewis)

A simple British comedy about a Bristol call centre that’s clearly been written by someone who’s worked in one – the cameraderie of the drones is palpable, their maddened boredom too. And star Tom Hughes is great as a post-Uni slacker working out what to do next.

 

The Monuments Men (2014, dir: George Clooney)

OK, so it’s not a Tarantino movie. But George Clooney’s amiable comedy about a crack team saving art before the Nazis destroy it isn’t meant to be. It’s meant to be Von Ryan’s Express/Hogan Heroes reimagined. Job very much achieved.

 

The Invisible Woman (2013, dir: Ralph Fiennes)

Felicity Jones is surely going to get an Oscar one day, but this film actually belongs to Ralph Fiennes (who also directs) playing her lover, Charles Dickens, as the world’s first media celeb. It’s a sweet film about love, in the end, with intelligent digressions.

 

Felony (2013, dir: Matthew Saville)

A gritty Oz cop melodrama written by its star, Joel Edgerton, the supercop who fucks up one night and spends the rest of the film getting further and further in the shit as he tries to wriggle free. Tom Wilkinson contributes another of his sneakily intelligent peformances as Edgerton’s superior.

 

All This Mayhem (2014, dir: Eddie Martin)

If you’ve never heard of the Pappas brothers, Ben and Tas, this excellent and shocking documentary about their 1990s rise and fall is well worth the ride, even if you’ve no interest whatsoever in skateboarding.

 

God Help the Girl (2014, dir: Stuart Murdoch)

A strangely 1960s-ish and intensely cute love letter by Belle and Sebastian frontman/director Stuart Murdoch to his star, Emily Browning, here fetishised in a boy-meets-girl Scottish musical recalling – if you’re fanciful – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

 

Chef (2014, dir: Jon Favreau)

Jon Favreau is one of the great under-revered directors of our era, and Chef – a road movie about a celebrity chef getting his mojo back – is exactly the sort of easy-looking, effortlessly digestible charmer he seems to be able to knock out at will.

 

Mystery Road (2013, dir: Ivan Sen)

An Aborigine cop tries to find out who killed an Aborigine girl – with stone-faced resistance from his white co-workers – in a beautifully shot Down Under cowboy thriller with one of the best shootout finales ever committed to film.

 

The Congress (2013, dir: Ari Folman)

Waltz with Bashir director Ari Folman pushes animation even further this time, with a psychedelic meditation on fantasy and reality starring Robin Wright as an actress who is digitised and inserted into any set-up the imagineers fancy. Highly highly unusual.

 

 

 

The Overrated

 

Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd in Prince Avalanche
Emile Hirsch and Paul Rudd in Prince Avalanche

 

Prince Avalanche (2013, dir: David Gordon Green)

Two guys paint a road and David Gordon Green swerves back into George Washington territory in a film that’s Waiting for Godot with Girl Trouble. Tim Orr’s camera is lovely, 1970s and sun-dappled, but there’s a hole where the meaning should be.

 

Blue Jasmine (2013, dir: Woody Allen)

Another of Woody Allen’s overhyped “returns to form”, this time featuring a relentlessly over-acting Cate Blanchett as a super-entitled bitch whose ship has sailed. Watch instead Sally Hawkins.

 

Thor: The Dark World (2013, dir: Alan Taylor)

Everything that’s wrong with bad superhero films in one film – too many characters, too much gobbledegook, a lack of humour, though Tom Hiddleston’s Loki remains a fun watch. More to come (sigh).

 

The Butler (2013, dir: Lee Daniels)

Lee Daniels’s epic about the black butler (Forest Whitaker) to a whole bunch of POTUSes attempts to square the radical tradition with the gradualist conservative move towards black civil rights. Proficient, nothing more.

 

Saving Mr Banks (2013, dir: John Lee Hancock)

How Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) strongarmed PL Travers (Emma Thompson) into letting him film her Mary Poppins. The leads are genuinely fabulous and brilliant, but all that Travers backstory? Really?

 

Frozen (2013, dir: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee)

On my own here, I know, a triumph for lovers of adenoidal singing of the sort of Broadway songs that Eric Idle spoofed so brilliantly with his Song That Goes Like This. The snowman and reindeer are funny but the central characters, what utter drips.

 

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014, dir: Wes Anderson)

It still hasn’t sunk into Wes Anderson’s head that a) a little whimsy goes a long way and b) it has to be in the service of something, if only a good story. Here, though Ralph Fiennes is joyously funny as a devious owner of an old Mitteleuropean hotel, as a film it’s Sachertorte with cream, then more cream.

 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014, dir: Marc Webb)

Marc Webb’s second pop at Spider-Man is immeasurably worse than the first, fails to weld live-action into increasingly cartoonish set-ups, has too many villains, and feels like little more than a franchise placeholder or a sop to fanboys who will buy any old crap.

 

22 Jump Street (2014, dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

The jokes were all done in 21 Jump Street – and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s extensive running gag in the closing credits, in which they trail the franchise’s development all the way to 34 Jump Street: Return of the Ghost – shows they know it. Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum remain a hot combo though.

 

And if you want to watch or buy any of the films, this Amazon link will allow you to do just that – enjoy!

 

© Steve Morrissey 2014

 

 

 

12 May 2014-05-12

James Deen and Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons

Out in the UK This Week

 

 

 

 

12 Years a Slave (E One, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)

After Hunger and Shame, Steve McQueen advances into Hollywood properly with this very Spielbergian film following free black man Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) into slavery down in the antebellum South, where he is passed from one slave owner to another – this one bad, the next one worse – until a deus ex machina rescues him. This year’s Best Oscar gong went to this film which looks the real deal, disports itself like the real deal, has all the necessary support acting (Pitt, Fassbender, Giamatti) that you’d expect. But there’s a strange emotional lack at its core. This could partly be a problem in general for films about slaves – films are about people with agency, and Northup has none at all, from beginning to end. He’s a victim, not a victor. And it could have something to do with the fact that John Ridley’s screenplay is less interested in how this particular man found his way through the horror, more concerned in showing how the modern African American was forged in the crucible of the slave experience. Or, to put it another way – how the white man made the black man. So that’s a double lack of agency. This is not a hateful film, it’s not torture porn posing as slave narrative, as the critic Armond White has suggested. It is this year’s “film it’s impossible to admit you don’t really dig”, like a beautifully made Holocaust movie whose agenda is in the way of its storytelling

12 Years a Slave – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

The Canyons (Lionsgate, cert 18, Blu-ray/DVD)

Starring Lindsay Lohan, the car crash. Co-starring James Deen, the porn star. Written by Bret Easton Ellis, the Less Than Zero one-trick pony. Directed by Paul Schrader, a busted flush decades past his Taxi Driver pomp. There’s four reasons right there why The Canyons should be approached with extreme caution. And what is the director Gus Van Sant doing acting? Why is Lohan billed as a producer? Even the tagline – “It’s not the hills” – is kind of odd. Well, it’s an odd movie too, but a very good one, with a sensational performance by Lohan as the strung-out girlfriend of a douchebag Hollywood trustafarian (Deen) rekindling an old affair (with Glee‘s Nolan Funk) much to her controlling sex-obsessed boyfriend’s ire. There’s more than a touch of Raymond Chandler in both the plot and the feel of this modern-day noir whose real purpose is to portray the emptiness of people who don’t so much work in the movies as suck like parasites at its scabs. Though Schrader does make the Hollywood lifestyle look as attractive as it is repellent – there’s cocktails on the sunloungers one minute, before cock and cocaine the next, with Lohan regularly getting naked in furtherance of her role as the girl who’s given up almost every shred of decency in return for the security offered by a rich man. Except she’s really chosen the wrong guy. No matter what you’ve heard about this film, ignore it. Ignore also the ludicrous imdb rating it’s currently getting. In terms of what it’s trying to do and what it’s achieving, as well as Lohan’s sobbingly brilliant and possibly autobiographical turn, it’s almost a perfect sleazy classic.

The Canyons – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Back to the Garden (Drakes Avenue, cert 12, DVD)

Old friends, mostly actor buddies, meet to scatter the ashes of one of their gang in British Big Chill kind of affair, a film that does something you don’t see very often – it looks death right in the face. Starring a bunch of homely looking thespians who you probably won’t know, filmed in long single takes, shot mostly in someone’s back garden (director Jon Sanders’s, probably) in Kent, the “garden of England”, it’s largely improvised, and watching it feels like being dropped into the middle of a long running soap opera – everyone seems to know everyone else very well. In the case of Jack (Bob Goody) and Stella (Tanya Myers) probably better than Jack’s wife, Julia (Anna Mottram) would like. Mottram is the axle around which the film revolves, and gets a co-writing credit thanks to her catalytic turn as the member of the group whose slightly busybody-ish lines of enquiry force each person in turn to open up, starting with the widow of the man they’re seeing off. If I’m making this sound flat as warm beer, in fact Back to the Garden gets its grim hooks in very early and very well, catching exactly that moment in life when you realise that your parents’ generation are all dead, you’re not going to live forever and it’s your turn next.

Back to the Garden – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

47 Ronin (Universal, cert 12, Blu-ray/DVD)

Much panned but actually not too bad, 47 Ronin stars Keanu Reeves as the half-breed Japanese struggling to make his way in samurai Japan. This involves much fighting, much talking in heavily accented English, a lot of elegant clothes and a plot that’s about 50 per cent Crouching Tiger, 40 per cent Robin Hood and about 10 per cent helicopter shots lifted from what looks like New Zealand Tourism’s Lord of the Rings brochure – oh those mountains. The plot is complicated but can be stripped back to – Keanu and crew become outlaws, then fight back against evil King John, or whatever the guy’s name is. Part of the film’s problem is that Keanu plays a sidekick, not the main man (that’s a rather excellent Hiroyuki Sanada). Rivalling this problem is the fact that first-time director Carl Rinsch wastes all the good work done by his production design team – the bare bones of a spectacular looking film are in here somewhere – with some lousy camera set-ups, poor framing and weak direction of crowds. However, “not too bad” is what I said. And once it finally gets going – towards the end, admittedly – there’s a surge of pace, some good fights, the set design and direction start to mesh, even the FX start to look credible. There was even, I thought, a joke in there somewhere. I kind of liked it. I’m not a bad person.

47 Ronin – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

An Inspector Calls (StudioCanal, cert PG, Blu-ray/DVD)

An Inspector Calls is a 1954 adaptation of a stage play, by JB Priestley, about a well-to-do family who are each in turn grilled by a twinkling/glowering inspector, who accuses them individually and collectively of killing a poor young working-class woman. It’s set in 1912, just before the First World War changed life for ever, and our miscreant toffs mostly speak with the sort of accents that even the Queen would nowadays find de trop. It’s amazing to note that this was directed by Guy Hamilton, whose static camera gives The Importance of Being Earnest a run for its money, years before he’d get his hands on a quartet of Bond movies in the Connery/Moore era. Whether the play is a plea for a more socialist world or simply a more charitable one is arguable, but Priestley’s observation about the way the rich disregard the poor, except to endlessly moralise about them, seems as fresh now as when the play debuted in the Soviet Union in 1945. This 60th anniversary restoration is a handsome, affair, a touch soft here and there where the film has degraded beyond the skills of even the most accomplished digital prestidigitator but otherwise it sparkles – as do the performances by Alastair Sim as the inspector and the almost uniformly excellent cast.

An Inspector Calls – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (Paramount, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD)

Though there’s an official Paranormal Activity 5 in the works, The Marked Ones is in fact the fifth in the series. I think the idea is to spin off a whole new franchise. Surely not? How far can  the “found footage” thing be pushed? The answer is: just a bit further than might be expected, The Marked Ones being a proficient demon-possession shocker with a lively and likeable, mostly Latino cast, who make the whole thing seem fairly fresh again. We hook up with Hector (Jorge Diaz), Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) and crew as they are about to graduate – hence the camera being on hand – and follow them in the immediate aftermath as a murder is committed in their block. And being spunky kids, they decide to enter the crime scene, where there are more pentagrams and “medieval looking shit” than you expect in the average blue-collar household. No, there’s no way anyone would keep the camera running through the events that follow – as Jesse is possessed by a spirit and his friends try to banish it – but by now we’re all pretty ok with the idea that found footage is just another genre and to keep pointing out that “no way would you do that” has become the refuge of pedants. Instead enjoy the style’s pluses – the intense, often panicked, first-person point of view, the concentration on simple backstory-free storytelling and the way no-budget FX look entirely credible thanks to the lo-fi image quality. The Marked Ones understands all of these advantages; it’s not just doing it this way because it’s cheap.

Paranormal Activity: the Marked Ones – at Amazon

 

 

 

 

Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton (Stones Throw, cert E, Blu-ray/DVD)

Being hip is hard work but it’s also good fun. That’s why hipsters rarely smile. They don’t want to let on. This profile of LA-based Stones Throw Records, the independent label that put more hip into hip hop, before shifting its focus elsewhere, tells the story of how the gnomic Peanut Butter Wolf, aka Chris Manak, founded Stones Throw with his partner, Charles Hicks aka Charizma, becoming its sole proprietor after Charizma got killed in a carjacking in 1993. It’s the story of a record label that is for musicians who want to make music, rather than become famous – though the famous (Kanye West, Common, Snoop Dogg) do all line up to sing the praises of the porkpie-hat-wearing (of course) Wolf and his outfit. If artists such as Vex Ruffian, Homeboy Sandman, the Stepkids or James Pants mean nothing to you, join my club of oldsters who can spot a throughline back to Zappa, Beefheart or George Clinton in the way stylistic experimentation meets jazz and the established avant garde. A real plus in Jeff Broadway’s doc is that he includes enough music for it to be possible to come to some sort of conclusion about what these musicians actually produce – I have since checked out J Dilla and am looking forward to Madlib – and it makes some interesting points about the increasingly “post-racial” state of music culture too. “I’m so glad I’m with a label that’s putting out this nutty stuff that’s never going to sell,” says James Pants (surely not his real name). And I’m glad too that I watched a documentary that seemed to be about people doing the right thing for the right reason.

Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This Is Stones Throw Records – at Amazon

 

 

 

© 2014 Steve Morrissey