the best things I watched / cooked this year

2020 in lists

Lists, the thing you’ve been waiting for.

In this disrupted year of cinematic viewing, I managed to watch at least 176 movies but only fraction of them were new releases. 2020 was also the year I learned to make sweet things along with the rest of the country. Here’s what stuck with me the most.

THE BEST NEW MOVIES I WATCHED IN 2020

  1. Martin Eden (Pietro Marcello, Italy)

  2. Da 5 Bloods (Spike Lee)

  3. The 40-Year-Old Version (Radha Blank)

  4. Big Time Adolescence (Jason Orley) / The Half of It (Alice Wu)

  5. Atarrabi & Mikelats (Eugene Green, France) / Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili, Georgia)

  6. Beanpole (Kantemir Balagov, Russia)

  7. She Dies Tomorrow (Amy Seimetz)

THE BEST OLD MOVIES I SAW FOR THE FIRST TIME

  1. Henry Fool and many others by Hal Hartley

  2. You Can Count On Me (Kenneth Lonergan, 2000)

  3. Marie Antoinette (Coppola, 2006)

  4. Save the Green Planet (Jang Joon Hwan, 2003)

  5. Uski Roti (Mani Kaul, 1969)

  6. Six in Paris (multiple directors, France)

  7. Sleepwalk (Sara Driver, 1986)

THE BEST THINGS I BAKED

  1. Classic yellow cake (The Gourmet Cookbook)

  2. Chocolate mousse — a bit of a cheat, as no oven’s involved (Gourmet)

  3. Lemon tea cakes (The Kitchn)

  4. Pumpkin fudge torte (NYT)

  5. Pecan sandwich cookies* (NYT)

  6. Ricotta chocolate chip pound cake (A Good Bake)

*fucked up the filling though; felt vindicated when the comments started popping up.

THE BEST THINGS FROM A RESTAURANT ENJOYED OUTSIDE OF THE RESTAURANT

  1. Numerous sandwiches from the West Taghkanic Diner

  2. Tachin joojeh, Persian baked chicken and rice from Nasrin’s Kitchen

  3. Cozy Royale burger


ELSEWHERE

My fantasy double features for MUBI.


Why is this on your list and not that?

  • I wasn’t able to see Kajillionaire.

  • I did not go risk my life to see Tenet.

  • I have a soft spot for coming of age movies.

  • On the Rocks is Coppola’s worst, a paint-by-number made for quick millions or whatever Apple TV+ pays.

  • Palm Springs was barely serviceable.

  • I am sorting through my thoughts on Minari.

  • This is how I feel about Nomadland:

happy new year xx