My Year of Schlock

Introducing My Year of Schlock

When I first started this blog back in 2013, I was a horror obsessive. As a teenager, I consumed absolutely everything I could get my hands on: 70s giallo, 80s slashers, postmodern 90s comedies, or the torture films of the 00s. Starting with my very first blog post, an angry screed against The Cabin in the Woods (a film I haven’t seen since but would probably enjoy more now), I used this blog to talk about classics, underrated gems, and some of the worst films I’ve ever seen. It was an important few years for me, as I received a film education through The Horror Channel, Arrow Video, and Empire Magazine.

However, after I went off to university to study film, I began exploring canon classics and gained access to a terrific independent cinema. Over the last few years, I must admit that I went off horror. I still love the films I grew up with, but modern horror cinema didn’t inspire me, and the video nasties and gore fests I once loved left me feeling uninspired.

Until now…

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

Links to the Ford On Film Awards 2020

The Ford On Film Awards 2020 have come to an end. If you’d like to read any articles you missed or find all the awards in one convenient location, here they are:

Best Film – Uncut Gems

Best Supporting Actress – Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Supporting Actor – Malachi Kirby, Mangrove

Best Actress – Jessie Buckley, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Actor – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Best Director – Bong Joon-ho, Parasite

Best Scene – Returning to the airport, Tenet

Best TV Show – I May Destroy You

Best TV Episode – ‘The View From Halfway Down’, Bojack Horseman

Best Album – Yves Tumor, Heaven to a Tortured Mind

Best Song – Yves Tumor, ‘Kerosene’

Thanks for joining me. If all goes well, I hope you’ll return again at the end of 2021 for what will hopefully be a more straightforward, positive year for film, television and music. Join me again in a few days as I launch what is sure to be a year long project…

By Harry J. Ford

Follow Ford On Film on twitter: @Ford_On_Film

Like Ford On Film on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FordOnFilm/

Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Song

Sadly, dear readers, we have reached the end of the Ford On Film Awards 2020. I initially thought this would be the first time since starting the blog that I wouldn’t run these awards. I hadn’t seen many films, I didn’t feel like pitting contenders against one another, and I didn’t know if I had the energy to devote hundreds of words to my favourite pop culture of the year. However, these awards aren’t just a chance to reflect on the brilliant films, television, and music I’ve enjoyed this year, but a chance to spread the word with those who might not have experienced my favourite media the first time around. If even one reader goes away and watches Uncut Gems, binges I May Destroy You, or listens to Heaven to a Tortured Mind, it’s worth it.

Onto the final award then: Best Song. Last year, the titanic ‘Bad Guy’ by Billie Eilish won the award. I’m not saying her success at the Ford On Film Awards was directly responsible for her sweeping the Grammys… I’m not saying that. As you’ll know from my Best Album list, I thought 2020 was a phenomenal year for music, and I could have listed fifty contenders for this award. I’ve narrowed it down to just nine nominees and a winner, but if you want to listen to my ’50 Best Songs of 2020′, I’ll link a Spotify playlist down below.

Car Seat Headrest – ‘Can’t Cool Me Down

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Album

Hello, and welcome to the penultimate day of the Ford On Film Awards 2020! Today, I’m moving onto music by looking at my ten favourite albums of the year. Last year, the criminally underrated Ohtis won the top prize for their terrific debut Curve of Earth. Despite the world being ravaged by a pandemic, 2020 was an outstanding year for music; I could have listed a top 30 and still had honourable mentions. Painfully, I’ve allowed myself just ten albums and a handful of honourable mentions. It was tough , but I’m confident that all ten of my picks are absolute bangers. Here are my Best Albums of 2020:

Honourable Mentions

Bill Callahan’s Gold Record is exactly what you’d expect this deep into his career; gentle acoustic songs, witty lyrics, and baritone vocals. Another gorgeous acoustic album is The National frontman Matt Berninger’s debut solo album Serpentine Prison. If you want something faster and groovier, Jessie Ware’s What’s Your Pleasure? is my favourite dance record of 2020, sounding like a ‘Best of Disco and Funk’ compilation. Some find The Lemon Twigs’ pastiche of 70s rock too retro to take seriously, but I found Songs for the General Public to be a terrific rock n’ roll album. Finally, if you want an all-female band with attitude, energy, and a handful of catchy songs, check out Hinds’ The Prettiest Curse.

Damien Jurado – What’s New, Tomboy?

Damien Jurado has been releasing solid albums year after year for over a decade now. What’s New, Tomboy? isn’t reinventing the wheel, but it might be his finest collection yet. His delicate vocals, driving acoustic instrumentals, and evocative lyrics have never sounded more gorgeous.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best TV Episode

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the Ford On Film Awards 2020. After crowning the Best TV Show of 2020 yesterday, I’m now looking at the Best Episode of the year. Last year, hitman comedy Barry won the prize for the insane ‘ronny/lily’, a terrifically violent and funny episode. This year, we saw great shows come to an end, new favourites spark to life, and more terrific returning shows than ever before. It’s been competitive as always, but I’ve picked a fantastic winner. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order, and you can find the winner at the bottom of the page. Here are my picks for Best TV Episode of 2020:

Better Call Saul – ‘Bagman’

In perhaps the most intense hour of television this year, Saul Goodman finds himself stuck in the desert after his first experience with the cartel goes badly wrong. Tightening the noose with slow-burning ease, ‘Bagman’ puts Saul in an impossible situation, giving Bob Odenkirk some of his best silent acting to date, before ramping up the carnage with an unexpectedly badass return.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best TV Show

Hello readers, and welcome to the first TV-related category of the Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best TV Show! Given many of us have spent the year in lockdown, it goes without saying that we all saw some great television this year. Remember when Tiger King was the most popular thing in the world for a week? From BBC blockbusters that got the country talking to cult comedies with devoted fanbases, 2020 saw lots of incredible television being made. Last year’s winner was the flawless Fleabag, which somehow only came out in 2019 despite feeling like it was made a decade ago. Which show is going to join Fleabag in the list Ford Of Film Best TV Shows? You can find the unranked contenders and the prize winner below.

Better Call Saul

The Breaking Bad spin-off that just keeps getting better, Better Call Saul‘s fifth season is its strongest yet. As Slippin’ Jimmy continues to break bad and drag feisty lawyer Kim Wexler down with him, Bob Odenkirk’s performance has grown more complex and agitated, while the never-better Rhea Seehorn continues to prove herself a worthy adversary. With one more season to go, who knows whether Saul Goodman will achieve any sort of redemption, but it’s guaranteed that the road to get there will be thrilling.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Scene

Hello, and welcome to the final film-related instalment of the Ford On Film Awards 2020. From tomorrow, I’ll be moving onto the TV categories, but first, it’s the Best Scene award. Last year, Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood deservedly won the prize for the scene where stuntman Cliff Booth visits the Spahn Ranch. This year, we’ve seen everything from swoon-worthy romance to unexplainable horror to mindbending action ; despite far fewer big releases than usual, we’ve still been treated to an array of already-classic scenes. As always, films are eligible if they received a UK release in 2020, and nominees are listened in alphabetical order, with the winner below. Here are my picks for Best Scenes of 2020:

The Assistant – Meeting with HR

In a year of great horror, this might be the most chilling scene of the year. When Julia Garner’s naïve production office assistant tries to inform Matthew Macfayden’s uncaring HR man about her Weinstein-like boss’ criminal activity, she quickly learns how far he will go to protect his boss, in disturbing fashion.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Director

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the Ford On Film Awards 2020, where I’m crowning the Best Director of the year. Alejandro Landes took home the prize in 2019 for his Herzogian descent into the jungle Monos. In a year where lots of directors saw projects delayed, many of my favourite directors of the year first released their films in the US in 2019, before coronavirus killed the film industry. However, there have been a few trailblazers and heroes in the Covid-19 era. From creative newcomers directing over Zoom to old favourites returning with a bag of new tricks, 2020 has offered emerging and returning directors the chance to show their skills. As with every award this year, contenders are listed alphabetically and the winner is down below. Here are my picks for Best Director of 2020.

Honourable Mentions

2020 was an excellent year for horror . Brandon Cronenberg lives up to his father’s reputation with the haunting Possessor, while Leigh Whannell uses wide spaces and terrific visual FX to terrifying effect in the excellent The Invisible Man. Steve McQueen’s Small Axe series offers many bold, powerful stories of black history in the United Kingdom, but his most immersive and impressive effort is depicting the joyous, raucous reggae party of Lovers Rock. Perhaps the most visually striking film of the year is Hylnur Palmason’s desolate, eerie A White, White Day, which captures the misty, ominous surroundings of a small Icelandic town in slow-burning detail. Finally, Christopher Nolan would be a winner in any other year for his crazy blockbuster direction on Tenet, but given he’s also disappeared up his own arse, he’s only getting an honourable mention.

Celina Sciamma – Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Celina Sciamma has made great films before, but Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a titanic leap forward for the French filmmaker. Setting the film on a gorgeous remote landscape provides Sciamma with plenty of beautiful images, but it’s in the delicate, restrained performances of her two lead actresses that Sciamma creates fireworks. The final shot of the film, an unbroken take of Adele Hanael watching a classical performance, is among the greatest endings to any film this year.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Actor

Hello, and welcome to day 5 of the Ford On Film Awards 2020. Today, it’s another big one: Best Actor. Last year, two-time award winner Adam Driver picked up the prize for his heartbreaking performance in Marriage Story. This year, there were some outstanding male leads, at least one of which made my list of the greatest performances of the last decade. From disturbing horror performances to powerful portrayals of real life figures, there many worthy contenders for the top prize, and as long as the film was released in the UK in 2020, its eligible for the award. The nominees are listened in alphabetical order, while the winner is down below. Here are my picks for Best Actor of 2020.

Honourable Mentions

Enough has already been written about Parasite‘s terrific ensemble, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent work of Kang-Ho Song and Woo-sik Choi. While Possessor mostly mesmerises with its horrific body horror and buckets of gore, it is Christopher Abbott’s eerie, uncomfortable performance that has stuck with me since the credits rolled. Finlly, while he isn’t quite as memorable as his co-star Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons takes on an equally complex and impressive role in the weird I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

Delroy Lindo – Paul, Da 5 Bloods

Intensity is a theme of my favourite acting performances of 2020, none more so than Delroy Lindo’s traumatised Vietnam vet Paul . Though Lindo’s performance is great in the relatively sedate first half, it’s his eerie monologues to camera as he loses his mind in the jungle that really stays with you. In a career full of great performances, this may be Lindo’s greatest ever.

Continue reading
Standard
End of Year Review

The Ford On Film Awards 2020: Best Actress

Hello again, and welcome to the Ford On Film Awards 2020. Today’s category: Best Actress! Last year was a fiercely competitive year, but the top prize went to Lupita Nyong’o for her terrifying turn in Us. 2020 has seen some fantastic roles for actresses, from non-actors making astonishing debuts to rising stars proving their talents to previous nominees performing to their usual high standards. As with every award this year, the only criteria is that their respective films have to have been released in the UK in 2020. All contenders are in alphabetical order, and the winner is listed below. Here are my picks for Best Actress of 2020.

Honourable Mentions:

2020 was a great year for low budget British films. Disturbing refugee horror His House features an eerie, emotional performance from newcomer Wunmi Mosaku, while powerful council estate drama Lynn + Lucy has an uncomfortable, ambiguous performance from Nichola Burley (more on Lynn + Lucy later). Portrait of a Lady on Fire is notable for its all female cast, but no actress stands out like Adele Hanael as the repressed subject of the titular painting. Julie Garner has made a big splash on TV’s Ozark, so it’s nice to see her given an equally weighty film role in Kitty Green’s uncomfortable The Assistant. Finally, Miss Juneteenth‘s story of a black mother helping her daughter enter a beauty pageant flew under the radar this year. It’s worth checking out, not least for Nicole Beharie’s warm, charismatic performance.

Bukky Bakray – Rocks, Rocks

In a year where many unknowns and non-professionals impressed in starring roles, few stood out like the incredible Bukky Bakray in Sarah Gavron’s Rocks. Playing a teenager abandoned by her Mum and left to look after her younger brother, Bakray gives a performance of astonishing maturity and boundless energy, as capable at hilarious ensemble scenes as she is at stark displays of raw emotion. Add Bukray to your ‘Ones to Watch’ list.

Continue reading
Standard