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The Crummy.com Review Of Things 2019, Part Two: Film: Well-covered throughout the year as always; what you're here for (assuming you're here at all) is the top ten!

Most of the movies in this year's top ten come from the 1980s, due in large part to Bill Forsyth's dominance of the scoreboard. Sorry to be the person in the Youtube comments on a rock video saying "Wish I had a time machine! I'd go back to the 80s and relive the same ten-year span over and over until I died! Who's with me? haha!"

  1. Wings of Desire (1987)
  2. Knives Out (2019)
  3. Breaking In (1989)
  4. Comfort and Joy (1984)
  5. Face/Off (1997)
  6. Gregory’s Girl (1980)
  7. Working Girl (1988)
  8. Puppy Love (1985)
  9. Booksmart (2019)
  10. Sweet Charity (1969)

On a meta level, I love how almost every year my top film of the year has been one I went into without any particular expectations. Keep the surprises coming, I say.

If you only care about recent movies, here's my top list from 2019:

  1. Knives Out (2019)
  2. Apollo 11 (2019)
  3. Booksmart (2019)
  4. Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019)
  5. Born Bone Born (2018)

I snuck Apollo 11 in there even though I saw it on January 5th, because it's just that good. As always, I've updated Film Roundup Roundup to include about thirty recommended films that in I either first saw or first reviewed in 2019.

Leonard's Excursions 2019: Just a memorandum of some of the unusual travel and fun things I did in 2019.

Early in the year I took my first trip to Chicago, for DPLAFest. I stayed with Beth and we did some fun tourist things, like the Chicago Architecture Center boat tour! Accept no substitutes! Or do, it's probably okay. But the CAC tour was great.

We also hit the Chicago Art Institute, which was a real highlight, since Beth is a fine artist who went there all the time as a kid and talked about her favorite pieces. A few of my favorites which I'll share with you, via the medium of website links rather than my own awkward photos.

Leonard standing at a podium on the floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange.

They've also got the old floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange off in a corner! A corner I guess they use for events, since I don't think the Chicago Stock Exchange originally had a grand piano on the floor. Some live music would have really classed up the joint, though, I tell you what.

In May, my sisters came to New York and surprised me with a weekend of tourist activities and a fancy dinner!

Susanna and Rachel on the Staten Island Ferry. Susanna, Leonard and Rachel in front of the Unisphere Rachel in Fish's Eddy, standing next to a gigantic mug that says 'Cat Person'.

For my birthday we planned a getaway in upstate New York at a rented house with a few friends. Allison and I did some stargazing and saw a little bit of a meteor shower. Shout out to Rodgers Book Barn, the perfect mix of "peaceful rural atmosphere" and "huge used bookstore". Thanks to Zack and Pam for driving.

A fire pit surrounded by wooden chairs, with a small pond in the backgroundThe main building of Rodger's Book Barn

Allison and I went to a Manfred Mohr retrospective at a gallery. Never heard of him before but it was definitely art the two of us can agree on. I really liked his plotter-esque pictures from the 70s and 80s, such as P2400-297d_5225__black. The names of the artworks feel like program filenames; I was expecting a bunch of _final_FINAL.

PS: in June, Sumana and I randomly ate dinner at Copinette, a French restaurant on the former site of Copain, the much fancier French restaurant that Gene Hackman stakes out in The French Connection. You live in New York for a while and these odd coincidences become smaller and less common, but they still happen!


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