Marjorie Baumgarten's Top 10 of 2020

"An eye toward 2020 hindsight"

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

With all due respect to the many, many movies I missed this year – hindsight will have to be my 2020. I'm sorry. I promise to catch up. I've been distracted ... you know. Back in the Before Times, my life was governed by when each day I had to be at a movie and where. This included the driving time and arranging for meals before or after (or during). Morning and/or evening, almost every day. Then SXSW-interruptus struck, and, for me, that's when the movies skidded to a stop. Soon after, all the theatres closed. And though none of this was an OK thing for movie culture and business, truth be told, all I wanted to watch anyway was the news. Constantly. Film fictions seemed a luxury, not an escape. Time was irrelevant. Streaming and virtual cinema filled some of the expanse. Plus, I attended three film festivals virtually this fall, but found it hard to keep up my usual pace from the couch. It's a mystery to me why getting to a specific theatre at a certain time with undivided attention is so much easier than streaming something directly into my living room where there are a multitude of distractions and technical challenges. More than ever, the pandemic has made me feel like an analog girl in a digital world. But I'm starting to feel less stressed out now with the arrival of 2021, vaccines, and a new presidential administration. For the first time in a while, I feel liberated from 24/7 news-watching and eager to plunge back into the world of movies. I'm confident theatres and group gatherings eventually will come back. Until then, I vow to stream with an eye toward 2020 hindsight.

1) Never Rarely Sometimes Always

2) First Cow

3) Lovers Rock ("Small Axe" anthology)

4) Mangrove ("Small Axe" anthology)

5) David Byrne's American Utopia

6) Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

7) City Hall

8) Da 5 Bloods

9) One Night in Miami

10) Nomadland

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More by Marjorie Baumgarten
Joy Ride
Raunchy road trip goes all the way to China for filthy fun

July 7, 2023

All That Breathes
The struggle by three men to save the endangered black kite

March 31, 2023


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