Elana’s End of the Year list

Elana Katz Courier Staff

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One of my favorite parts of each year ending is the dozens of “best-of” lists that come out to wrap up the year. I thought it would only be fitting to wrap up my first year writing for The Edge with my favorite pop culture of 2011.


Favorite Movie

“Midnight in Paris:” Walking out of the theater for Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” this summer, I felt complete bliss.


It was the happiest I had been after seeing a new movie in a very long time, and I never would have expected that from an Allen film made after the 1980’s. The film is a magical one of whimsy and nostalgia.


Owen Wilson stars as Gil, an American writer who, while exploring Paris, stumbles upon a car that takes him to the ’20s where he mingles with the likes of Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, Salvatore Dali and others.


Not only is it sweet and funny, but the cast (including Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, Adrian Brody, Kathy Bates and more) is fantastic. The message of the dangers of nostalgia is a thought-provoking plotline that is instantly captivating.


Favorite Album

“Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes: Although it pains me not to discuss the genius of Bon Iver’s self-titled album or Feist’s “Metals,” “Helplessness Blues” is one of the albums that I formed an emotional connection to.


Fleet Foxes’s sophomore album is entrancing, with not a weak song in the mix. From start to finish, the album’s reflective aesthetic is inspiring in how optimistic it is, making each listen feel like a special experience.


The emotional pull of the band gives off retro vibes, drawing comparisons to ‘60s artists such as Simon & Garfunkel, which is a feat in itself.


And while I’ve heard it since it dropped in May, I still listen to it with the same passionate enjoyment that I did the first time. (Note: The Black Key’s new album, “El Camino,” will be released this week and may change everything)


Favorite TV Show

“Breaking Bad:” I’ll admit, I didn’t start watching this until after the fourth season ended this summer, but even watching it after it premiered was enough to have a strong impact on me.


I cannot think of another show that is as consistently well done and smart as “Breaking Bad.”


The constant moral struggle of Walter White is one that had me on the edge of my seat the entire way through. Season 4 was gripping, starting with slow-moving plotlines but ending with a brilliant payoff.


The way it’s shot, the phenomenal acting, the carefully constructed script, it’s all on par with that of a film.


Bryan Cranston and the show have been successful at the Emmy’s every year of its existence, and season 4 deserves all of it and more.


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