Media Consumption 2015

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books / comics / film / sitting in the dark with strangers

Here’s a list of all the media I consumed in 2015. First off, Sitting in the Dark With Strangers, my yearly list of movies in order of how much I liked them. I saw most of these in theatres in regular release, but I’ll mark off ones that I saw on VOD or at a film festival. Some of these would be considered 2014 movies, but they didn’t make their way to Edmonton in time for the list last year.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road, dir. George Miller
  2. The Forbidden Room, dir. Guy Maddin
  3. Gangs of Wasseypur, dir. Anurag Kashyap (saw on VOD)
  4. The Duke of Burgundy, dir. Peter Strickland
  5. Bajirao Mastani, dir. Sanjay Leela Bhansali
  6. Green Room, dir. Jeremy Saulnier (saw at DedFest)
  7. The Big Short, dir. Adam McKay
  8. Dil Dhadakne Do, dir. Zoya Akhtar
  9. Creed, dir. Ryan Coogler
  10. The Hateful Eight, dir. Quentin Tarantino
  11. Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, dir. Dibakar Banerjee (saw on VOD)
  12. Jupiter Ascending, dir. Andy and Lana Wachowski
  13. The Martian, dir. Ridley Scott
  14. Furious 7, dir. James Wan
  15. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, dir. J.J. Abrams
  16. Bridge of Spies, dir. Steven Spielberg
  17. Bombay Velvet, dir. Anurag Kashyap (saw on VOD)
  18. Kingsman: The Secret Service, dir. Matthew Vaughn
  19. Paddington, dir. Paul King
  20. American Ultra, dir. Nima Nourizadeh
  21. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, dir. Christopher McQuarrie
  22. Spy, dir. Paul Feig
  23. Ant-Man, dir. Peyton Reed
  24. CHAPPiE, dir. Neill Blomkamp
  25. Ex Machina, dir. Alex Garland
  26. Tokyo Tribe, dir. Sion Sono (saw on VOD)
  27. Baahubali: The Beginning, dir. S.S. Rajamouli
  28. The Last Five Years, dir. Richard LaGravenese (saw on VOD)
  29. Sicario, dir. Denis Villeneuve
  30. Going Clear, dir. Alex Gibney (saw on VOD)
  31. Avengers: Age of Ultron, dir. Joss Whedon
  32. Tomorrowland, dir. Brad Bird
  33. Dilwale, dir. Rohit Shetty
  34. The Final Girls, dir. Todd Strauss-Schulson (saw on VOD)
  35. Tevar, dir. Amit Sharma (saw on VOD)

Two movies that I found really interesting that were re-released in 2015 were Crime Wave (1985) and Roar (1981). Both of those are worth seeking out, and I’ve linked to my reviews of each at The Pulp.

Movies I still need to see, in no particular order:

  • Mississippi Grind
  • NH10
  • Piku
  • Macbeth
  • Amy
  • Bhajrangi Bhaijaan
  • Straight Out of Compton
  • Clouds of Sils Maria
  • Crimson Peak
  • Spectre
  • Sisters
  • The Revenant
  • The World of Kanako
  • The Connection
  • Hard to Be a God
  • Dangerous Men
  • R100
  • Wild Tales
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
  • It Follows
  • Kumiko the Treasure Hunter
  • A Girl Walks Home at Night
  • In Country
  • When Marnie Was There
  • The Look of Silence
  • Turbo Kid
  • Queen of Earth
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Love 3D
  • Beasts of No Nation
  • Yakuza Apocalypse
  • Anomalisa
  • Best of Enemies
  • 99 Homes
  • The End of the Tour
  • The Tribe

Next, here are all the books I read this year, in chronological order. Links are for books I’ve reviewed on the blog, and stars are for exceptional quality.

  • *The Peripheral, by William Gibson
  • *Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray
  • Casino Royale, by Ian Fleming
  • The Rise of Ransom City, by Felix Gilman
  • The Hunter, by Richard Stark
  • *Mort(e), by Robert Repino (interview with the author)
  • Humans 3.0, by Peter Nowak
  • Both Flesh and Not, by David Foster Wallace
  • When Everything Feels Like the Movies, by Raziel Reid
  • Hothouse, by Boris Kachka
  • *Magic For Beginners, by Kelly Link
  • Artful, by Ali Smith
  • *Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, by Sara Gran
  • *The Inconvenient Indian, by Thomas King
  • Bollywood: Gods, Glamour, and Gossip, by Kush Varia
  • *The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan, by Robert Hough
  • Consumed, by David Cronenberg
  • Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks
  • The Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel
  • *The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
  • *The Unwinding, by George Packer
  • Flashman, by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Virtual Light, by William Gibson
  • Tenth of December, by George Saunders
  • Bollywood: A History, by Mihir Bose
  • *Last Friends, by Jane Gardam
  • The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes
  • Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, ed. Kier-la Janisse (interview with the editor)
  • A Kill in the Morning, by Graeme Shimmin
  • *Royal Flash, by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Black Butterfly, by Mark Gatiss
  • *The Power of the Dog, by Don Winslow
  • The Man in the Wooden Hat, by Jane Gardam
  • Soulless, by Gail Carriger
  • *Delicious Foods, by James Hannaham

For comics, I enjoyed Sex Criminals, The Fade Out, Fatale, Lazarus, The Wicked and Divine, SEXCASTLE, The Outside Circle, Hark! A Vagrant, Bitch Planet, Manhattan Projects, and Casanova. My comics reading has steadily decreased over the past few years.

For TV, my further-dwindling list of shows I can kind of keep up with/limited series is Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Master of None, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Archer, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, Silicon ValleyAnother Period, and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.

I still need to get around to Mr. Robot, Deutschland 83, The Man in the High Castle, The Jinx, Halt and Catch Fire, Sense8, Fargo, and a few more things. TV is hard, man.

For video games, I mostly screwed around with ones on my phone this year, like Fallout Shelter, Subterfuge, Neko Atsume, Star Wars Card Trader, and DomiNations, but I had some good times with Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and finishing up Dragon Age: Inquisition. I’m interested in a few more, like Transistor, Just Cause 3, Fallout 4, The Witcher 3, Sunless Sea, Vietnam ’65, Darkest Dungeon, Massive Chalice, and Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, but I’ll check back in with these after I get a new computer and maybe a console. There really hasn’t been anything yet worth the $400 for a new PS4, and I’m mostly just looking out for the next Persona game at the moment.

I had a much better time this year playing board games, which have almost completely eclipsed their digital counterparts for me. Fury of Dracula 3rd Edition, Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy, Viticulture, Abyss, A Few Acres of Snow, Orléans, Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective and Samurai Spirit were standouts. I’m looking forward to The Networks, Scythe and The Gallerist, once I get my hands on them in 2016.

Here’s a list of podcasts I enjoyed this year, and I would be remiss to not point out that my girlfriend and I started one of our own this year, Bollywood is for Lovers:

  • The Black Tapes/TANIS
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History
  • The Dollop
  • El Diabolik’s World of Psychotronic Soundtracks
  • Journey Into Misery
  • KCRW’s The Business
  • Limetown
  • NPR: Planet Money
  • Rachel and Miles X-Plain the X-Men
  • Revolutions
  • Shut Up & Sit Down
  • Split Screen Podcast
  • Trash, Art and the Movies
  • You Must Remember This

For Youtube/Vimeo channels, I enjoyed Bob Parker’s TV retrospectives, as well as the continued output of CGP Grey, Cool Ghosts, ETC News, Everything is Terrible!, Filmmaker IQ, Funhaus, Jim Sterling, JonGetsGames, JusReign, Los Angeles: The City in Cinema, Oliver Harper, Rahdo Runs Through, Regular Car Reviews, Shut Up and Sit Down, Super Bunnyhop, The Dice Tower, WatchMojo, and Willingdone.

I didn’t buy that much in the way of new music this year, but the new album by The Decemberists was decent. Their concert at Winspear in the summer was fantastic. We’ve mostly been picking up movie soundtracks on vinyl.

I continued to go outside occasionally this year.

The Author

Matt Bowes is a self-proclaimed cultural commentator/arbiter of good taste from Edmonton, Alberta. He enjoys movies and books, and writes about them sometimes at


  1. Cool! I wanna do this. I always say that I never watch TV or see movies, but i bet if I sat down and thought about it, I’ve seen a few.

    • With Goodreads it’s easy to keep track of books, and there are similar services for movies and TV, but what I do is just find the wikipedia list of things that came out this year and mark off all the ones I watched. Simple!

      • Oh by the way, I saw your tweet re. how many movies normal people go see in a year, and guessing 10. Hahaha. omg. no. I saw two in theater last year. Wild and Fifty Shades. I’m so ashamed 🙂

      • Two, dang. You probably see stuff on Netflix at home, right? You’ve got young kids so it makes sense you’d have a tough time getting out to theatres. At least you went to go see literary adaptations… 😉

      • Yes, literary… haha. No, I don’t watch much TV. I figured it out, I saw those two at the theatre, plus Whiplash and Far From the Madding Crowd (dvds from the library) and August: Osage County on demand. So five total. Plus, a ton of kid’s movies, of which Inside Out and Big Hero 6 actually captured my attention.

  2. Pingback: Edmonton blog roundup: Jan. 5, 2016 | Seen and Heard in Edmonton

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