Song of the Day #3,864: ‘Tarantula’ – Beck

Today the countdown of my favorite films of 2018 comes to a close with my #2 and #1 picks. First, a recap of the list so far:

10. First Reformed
9. Black Panther
8. Support the Girls
7. Crazy Rich Asians
6. The Favourite
5. Isle of Dogs
4. Minding the Gap
3. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

There isn’t much suspense over my top two films, as I’ve written pretty extensively about both of them on the blog already. So I won’t go into a lot of detail here.

Interestingly, these two movies were both released by NetFlix. I’m not sure what to make of that, other than the theatrical experience clearly isn’t key to my enjoyment. In fact, I believe the ready access which allowed me to revisit these films right away contributed to my admiration.

2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

I dedicated a whole week’s worth of posts to the Coen Brothers’ Western anthology, which explores themes of fate and mortality with the Coens’ usual dark humor and quiet grace. While I’m pleased the film earned a trio of Oscar nominations last week, I still think it failed to earn the praise it deserves. That’s nothing new for the Coens — see The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou?, for starters — and I expect, like those films, Buster Scruggs will be revisited and better appreciated years from now.

1. Roma

I wrote an initial review of Roma shortly after seeing it, then followed up with a lengthy exploration of its themes and symbolism after watching it twice more. The latter post has quickly become the most-visited entry on my blog, which is heartening. A whole lot of people out there are Googling “symbolism in Roma” and similar phrases.

The same spirit driving those viewers to seek out more information drove me to write that post in the first place, and drives me back to the film over and over again. Roma is so rich in so many ways. It’s a gift, from Cuaron to his longtime housekeeper, but also from Cuaron to us.

In summary…

What I love about my top ten of 2018 is how wide-ranging it is in terms of genre. No two titles are remotely alike.

I’ve featured an austere art film, a superhero movie, a slice-of-life dramedy, a romantic comedy, a costume drama, an animated film, a documentary, a musical, a western, and a foreign film.

How wonderful that today’s filmmakers are releasing compelling work in all of those very different lanes.

Please post your own top ten below, if you are so moved. And thank you for reading about mine.

[Verse 1]
I’m living but I’m feeling numb
Can see it in my stare
I wear a mask so falsely numb
And I don’t know who I am
Despite the worlds inside of me
Cruising me away
I’ve noticed in others’ eyes
The time’s closing in

And when the thunder breaks
It breaks for you and me


[Verse 2]
The future’s looking rather grim
The strange black tide
Decisions lie with foolish man
Alone with my life
That choking and holding me
Expecting me to fall
But only if I threaten
Will see the tables turn

And when the thunder breaks
It breaks for you and me


Our world is under a sentence of death
I was born underground
But when the pressure gets too much for me
I bite

Tarantula (Tarantula)
Tarantula (Tarantula)
Tarantula (Tarantula)
Tarantula (Tarantula)

12 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,864: ‘Tarantula’ – Beck

  1. Amy says:

    I have an 11th grade student current writing a comparison essay on the female characters in Roma, and I couldn’t help but notice the recent activity on your blog post. I was curious if she wound up stumbling upon your blog as she worked on her essay. :).

    Much like yours, my top 20 (30?) could easily switch around and if I were writing about them, I, too, would make the adjustments that allowed me to write about the most diverse ten among them. Here, then, is my current top 20:

    The Oath
    Black Panther
    Green Book
    Mission Impossible Fallout
    Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
    Creed II
    If Beale Street Coud Talk
    Hearts Beat Loud
    Paddington 2
    Boy Erased
    Love, Simon
    Can You Ever Forgive Me?
    Juliet, Naked
    Sorry to Bother You
    Game Night

    The movies among the list that most surprised me by their originality, wit, and humanity would be Searching, Blindspotting, The Oath and Spider-Man into the Spider-Verse, so those would all make my final hypothetical commentary for sure. Thanks for sharing and giving us the opportunity to do the same.

    • Amy says:

      As for the question about where you first saw them… I think it has much more to do with discovery than screen size. The fact that we were among the first to seek out and discover Searching, Blindspotting, and The Oath certainly adds to my love for those films. Nobody yet knew how wonderful they were, and we were among the early fans who “got” them. Had my discovery been online, I expect I would have felt the same way about them, though watching each on big screens definitely added to that impact. Meanwhile, you came to each of those films quite late, where you were among the very first viewers of your top two films. As we’ve surmised in the past, I still think our expectations wLking into the theater/plopping down on our couch are the single biggest factor to influence our subsequent appreciation of the film.

    • Clay says:

      I enjoyed everything on your list, minus the two I haven’t seen (Boy Erased and Can You Ever Forgive Me?). The one I really wanted to fit into my top ten was Searching, which did such a great job of telling an effective, emotional story in a very creative and constricting format.

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Well it will come as no surprise that neither of these movies will be in my top 10, nor will several others on your list, but, since you asked:

    1. Hearts Beat Loud
    2. Green Book
    3. Game Night
    4. Bohemian Rhapsody
    5. Black Panther
    6. Searching
    7. A Quite Place
    8. The Oath
    9. Mission Impossible Fallout
    10. BlacKKKlansmen

  3. Peg says:

    My top 10 in no special order except for number one 😊
    The Green Book
    Can you ever forgive me
    The Oath
    The Wife
    Mission Impossible Fallout
    Bad Times at El Royals
    Black Panther
    Black KKKlansman
    Buster Scruggs
    I have not seen several movies that could be on my list but don’t think it would change my mind

    • Amy says:

      I’m eager to see The Wife, Bad Tiimes at Rl Royale and Minding the Gap, as those are the films I most suspect could crack my top 20.

      • Clay says:

        I’ve seen more movies from 2018 than any year in recent memory, but I still have a ton I want to catch up with, starting with these: Burning, Shoplifters, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Bad Times at the El Royale, The Death of Stalin, Cold War, Widows and Wildlife. That could be a top ten list (minus two) right there.

  4. Maddie says:

    Roma is the biggest gap in my film viewing this year (and Minding the Gap haha). I’ve been holding out to see it in a theater, so hopefully I will be able to do that this weekend and finally chime in. My top 10 (as it stands without seeing those two yet) is:

    1. Blindspotting
    2. Paddington 2
    3. Into the Spider-Verse
    4. Searching
    5. Wildlife
    6. American Animals
    7. The Oath
    8. Annihilation
    9. Bad Times at the El Royale
    10. Free Solo

    Which means we have no overlap just yet in our very top list, but First Reformed is sitting pretty at #11 and Black Panther at #13. It’s been a really stellar movie year.

  5. Peg says:

    We saw Death of Stalin quite some time ago and loved it. It’s on HBO now

  6. Peg says:

    I want to see Wildlife too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.