With the end of every calendar year comes the customary influx of “Best Of” lists, definitively ranking the créme de la cultural créme of the last 365 days. But sometimes “best” doesn’t accurately describe the things that stick with us most, or that we irrationally love out of personal preference. So to cap off 2013, Flavorwire staffers listed their favorite cultural items of the year — the books, movies, and experiences we’ll be taking into 2014. Click through for Flavorwire’s favorite comedies, dramas, dramedies, and docudramas of the year.
20 Feet From Stardom (dir. Morgan Neville)
In order to avoid repeating too much of my own year-end round-up, I’m going to seize on semantics and insist that my “favorite” film and the “best” film of 2013 are very different entities — my favorite being the film I simply enjoyed the most, and am most likely to revisit in the years to come. And that film is 20 Feet From Stardom, Morgan Neville’s raucous, joyous history/celebration of that invaluable but underappreciated element of modern pop music, the back-up singer. It’s a picture overflowing with thrilling music and terrific stories; it is also, along with this year’s Muscle Shoals and the Kent Hartman book The Wrecking Crew, part of a welcome new tradition of reappraising iconic music through the lens of the musical journeymen and women whose names weren’t on the labels. —Jason Bailey, Film Editor