Even as frequent soundtrack-listeners, it’s only at the end of the year when we come to take stock of the various scores that have passed through our ear canals over the previous twelve months that it’s possible to get a measure of the state of composition for film. Which is to say that, having spent the last few days relistening to some of the major scores of 2013, it’s been a fantastic year.
Waxed poetic about the score of Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Every year, film buffs get themselves in a lather over the latest from their favorite experienced directors. The calendar is marked for the next Spielberg, I’ll be there opening day for Scorsese’s latest, I am all about Spike Lee, etc. But the real pleasure in being a film fan is stumbling upon the undiscovered, lifting a rock and uncovering a new talent, a new voice, with a brand new vocabulary for us to learn. The Scorsese films will be there for us to discover and rediscover whenever we want. In 2013, however, there was only one Shaka King picture, there was only one Lake Bell joint.
Also in The Playlist’s Best of 2013: Breakout Directors. I wrote about Lake Bell.
One of the great pleasures of being a movie fan is the discovery of new performers. Faces that, months earlier, you’d have passed by in the street, suddenly gifted the role of a lifetime, and whose lives will never be the same again. It feels to us that 2013 was an especially strong year for new faces: festivals like Sundance, SXSW and Cannes, not to mention films that went straight to wide release, unleashed a veritable hurricane of talent that we’ll be seeing for years to come.
Best of the Year on The Playlist has started! I wrote about Brie Larson and Nick Robinson.
Feb. 3, 1954: Though Mr. Chuckles, a spotted cat native to Central and South America known as a margay, was terrifying to 2-year-old William J. Clarke III — to clarify, he is the one in the cage — at the Empire Cat Club’s Annual Championship Show at the Hotel Belmont Plaza, it was the shorthair Ginger, “an unimpressed individualist from the alleys,” who sent Mr. Chuckles to an “undignified retreat” behind a chair, The Times reported. Wu Oedipus, a Siamese kitten, watched the scene from inside the brandy snifter he had gotten stuck in. Photo: Ernie Sisto/The New York Times
April 8, 1966: A lion named Ludwig mauled 21-year-old Nell Theobald during a preview of the BMW auto show at the Coliseum, after being poked and prodded and brought out for members of the press. About 150 people, including the Times photographer Neal Boenzi, witnessed the attack. “He could understand the potential of a situation,” said Librado Romero, a friend and colleague at The Times of Mr. Boenzi. “He said ‘This is never a good idea,’ so he hung around for a while,” Mr. Romero recalled on the Lens Blog. “Sure enough, the lion attacked the girl.” Photo: Neal Boenzi/The New York Times