Libby Hill –
Former president Barack Obama weighed in on the best pop culture of 2018 on Friday, posting his favourite books, movies and music of the year on his official Facebook page Sorry, television. Better luck next year. “As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favourite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists,” Obama wrote. “It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved.”
“It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists and storytellers,” he continued, “some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before.”
First up on Obama’s list? “Becoming,” written by one of those”household names” he mentioned earlier, wife and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
“Obviously my favourite,” he added.
Obama then went on to recap the books he name-checked earlier in the year, including books from his summer recommendations list:”Educated” by Tara Westover, “Warlight” by Michael Ondaatje, “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones and “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling, among others.
New books not before praised by the former president included “Feel Free” by Zadie Smith, “Florida” by Lauren Groff and “There There” by Tommy Orange.
Meanwhile, Obama’s list of top 2018 films would rival the year-end list of any of your favourite film critics. In fact, eight of Obama’s15 favourite films of the year show up on Times’ film critic Justin Chang’s top 20 of 2018.
Obama’s list included “Annihilation,” “Black Panther,””BlacKk Klansman,” “Blindspotting,” “Burning,” “The Death of Stalin,””Eighth Grade,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “Leave No Trace,””Minding the Gap,” “The Rider,” “Roma,” “Shoplifters,” “Support the Girls” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Delving into the world of film is a relatively new move for Obama, as previous years allowed him only enough time to list his favourite music and books of the year.
The former president’s music preferences are as diverse as ever, spanning indie, pop, rock, soul, R&B and hip-hop and spans new releases, including Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” and Courtney Barnett’s “Need a Little Time,” music standards including “The Great American Songbook” by Nancy Wilson, and newly-released, posthumous songs such as Prince’s “Mary Don’t You Weep,” the “Piano & a Microphone 1983” version.
And yet, for all those pop culture picks, the former president still couldn’t spare a mention for peak TV. For those who demand to know what Obama thought about television this year, let us hazard a few guesses. — dpa