Listmania month continues with two more categories: 2007’s best movie soundtracks and documentary films. Enjoy!
Top Five Movie Soundtracks
5) Southland Tales – Moby’s new songs for this trippy film are perfect digi-age homages to the thick sonic layering of Angelo Badalamenti (who scores David Lynch’s films). This eclectic soundtrack also features great songs from The Pixies, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Elbow.
4) Juno – Music is integral to this film, especially the lovely kid-folk tunes of Kimya Dawson (formerly of The Moldy Peaches). The heartwarming duet “Anyone Else But You” features prominently in the film, as do songs by The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, and Sonic Youth.
3) Once – The modern musical hit of the year produced one of the most enchanting soundtrack albums, featuring the low-key acoustic duets of Glen Hansard (frontman of Dublin band The Frames) and Markéta Irglová (classically trained Czech vocalist and pianist).
2) Into the Wild – Eddie Vedder is the musical voice of early-90s Gen X angst in this wonderful film adaptation of the Jon Kracauer novel. Even if you never liked Pearl Jam you should check out this rich collection of original songs that perfectly compliment the film’s themes of wanderlust and alienation.
1) I’m Not There – Not only the best film soundtrack of the year, but one of the year’s most satisfying albums period. A great two-disc collection of Dylan songs as interpreted by a diverse array of folkophiles like Calexico, Cat Power, Mason Jennings, and Yo La Tengo.
Honorable Mention: There Will Be Blood – Johnny Greenwood’s instrumental soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s film is full of paranoia and foreboding… and some gorgeously creepy buzzing noises.
Top Five Documentaries
5) Unborn in the U.S.A. – This is the film Lake of Fire touted itself to be: a remarkably objective documentary about the abortion debate. Unborn examines various aspects of the pro-life movement without indulging in editorial embellishment or cheap-shot exploitation.
4) My Kid Could Paint That – An utterly fascinating film for anyone who’s ever wondered what makes something “art” or who decides what abstract painting is more worthy than another. Whatever you think of the contemporary art world, this is a film sure to provoke.
3) The Devil Came on Horseback – A compelling look at the crisis in Darfur from the perspective of someone (Marine Capt. Brian Steidle) who lived and worked in the midst of the genocide. A truly moving, frustrating look at Sudan’s troubles and the lackluster response by the rest of the world.
2) Into Great Silence – Three hours of near silent meditation may not be entertaining, but it is certainly beautiful and sometimes utterly spellbinding. It really gets you into the otherworldly rhythm of life in a secluded monastery.
1) The King of Kong – This is a fun documentary about nerdy middle-aged “gamers” and their obsession with world records, but it is also one of the most profound cinematic microcosms of Americana to hit the screen all year. Really a must-see.
Honorable Mention: Heima (Home) – This Sigur Ros concert film was never released in theaters, but it’s definitely worth checking out on DVD. A beautiful film about Iceland, the power of live music, and the joy of coming home after a long absence.