For me, one of the great pleasures of this year has been reading Clayton Dillard‘s book reviews at the House Next Door. Now he’s posted an annotated list of “10 Best Film-Studies Books of 2013.” And none of them “are for academics only, since their authors have clearly written them with a larger audience in mind—an encouraging trend that understands intelligent writing need not be impossible to decipher.” His #1: Cinema of Actuality: Japanese Avant-Garde Filmmaking in the Season of Image Politics. “Yuriko Furuhata hasn’t merely proffered a history of the Japanese avant-garde here; she’s re-conceptualized the very nature of Japanese documentary and avant-garde practices over roughly a two-decade span to reveal early examples of converging media cultures.”
The Observer‘s Mark Kermode surveys the year and posts an alphabetical top ten.
Film.com‘s got a gallery of 50 of the best of this year’s fan-made movie posters.
Listening (29’43”). Erik Davis and Sean O’Connell discuss the year’s best films at Movies.com.
The Academy has trimmed the list of films running for the foreign language Oscar down from 76 to nine: Hany Abu-Assad’s Omar (Palestine), Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium), Georg Maas’s Two Lives (Germany), Rithy Panh’s The Missing Picture (Cambodia), Paolo Sorrentino‘s The Great Beauty (Italy), Janos Szasz’s The Notebook (Hungary), Danis Tanovic’s An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (Denmark), and Wong Kar-wai‘s The Grandmaster (Hong Kong).
“Focus Features co-founder James Schamus has been selected by the Writers Guild of America East as the recipient of its Evelyn F. Burkey award.” Dave McNary reports for Variety.
“The Nevada Film Critics Society has hopped on the 12 Years a Slave bandwagon,” reports Kristopher Tapley at In Contention, where Guy Lodge has the winners of the Dublin Film Critics’ Circle‘s awards.
Diego Lerer looks ahead to around 140 films set to open in 2014 (in Spanish).
The Los Angeles Review of Books has posted a special section on the year in television. Los Angeles Times book critic David L. Ulin has made his selections. And Creative Review looks back on the top stories in design.