It is weird to think that we are halfway through 2018 already; but this week is officially the middle of the year. So in the spirit of reflection, I want to share with you what we here at Narrative consider to be the very BEST of 2018...So Far!
(9) Flint Town
First up we have Flint Town, which is a Netflix documentary series directed by Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, and Jessica Dimmock. There is a very small amount of police presence in Flint; and this lack of police presence combined with its large population, has this city finding itself with the highest crime rates in America. This series looks at the personal side of the stories of the police and people in Flint. It doesn’t try to share some agenda, but instead it looks at how people are being affected by this issue on both sides.
(8) Bible of Love - Snoop Dogg
I never thought I would write this in my entire life; but Snoop Dogg came out with his gospel album titled Bible of Love on March 16th and it is actually quite good. Not only is it great music, but it brings gospel music to the mainstream. It allows for people who may have listened to the gangsta rap style of Snoop Dogg to be exposed a 32 track gospel album.
(7) Seven Seconds
Seven Seconds is a Netflix series that premiered on February 23rd. It tells the story of a hit-and-run, but in a way unlike anything seen before. Instead of following the police in the investigation that entailed, this series followed the investigation, but from the perspective of all of the people involved. So yes, it followed the detective; but also the attorney, the family members, and anyone who is affected by this tragedy. It is a new look at this storym providing a fresh perspective.
(6) Raw - Sigrid
Sigrid came out with her single Raw on March 14; and it is hopefully the beginning of a revolution in the pop genre. This single featured a very stripped-down pop song, highlighting mostly her own voice, with very simple backing instrumentation. This is what I think is going to be the future of pop music. Raw
(5) Black Panther Album
The Black Panther album came out on February 9 by Kendrick Lamar, The Weekend, and SZA; also featuring even more stars such as Khalid, Travis Scott, and Future. What made this album so good was not even the content, and not necessarily the writing; it was the unity that it brought us to the music industry abroad. It has been a long time since we saw an album with headliners of high caliber, like Kendrick Lamar. In addition to the introduction of high quality music to the film world, many of the tracks in this song were featured in the movie. This album unified high quality music with high quality film.
4) Come Sunday
Come Sunday is not only one of the best movies of 2018 but is arguably the greatest movie to discuss issues within the Christian church of all times. Written by Marcus Hinchy and directed by Joshua Marston, this movie talks about a megachurch pastor who believes he heard God tell him that there is no Hell. It goes much further than the issue and looks at the impact of this man’s statements regarding this issue on the modern day church and community around him.
3) This is America - Childish Gambino
With expert cinematography and choreography so complex and flawless the viewer can watch This is America multiple times over and still discover a plethora of new details and activity. There is truly no denying that the video is a masterpiece. Regardless of what the public thinks of it, America could not have come at a more appropriate time. Yes, it is controversial, but it is one of the most thought provoking pieces of media this year.
2) Next To Me - Music Film
On February 21st the music group Imagine Dragons came out with the song Next to Me, and on March 13th, they released what they called a “Music Film.” The reason this is on our list at all, is not because it is just a good music video; but because it is not a music video at all, it really is a “Music Film.” It has its own narrative and story that is being told, and it talks about the deeper meaning of the sound visually. Hopefully this is the beginning of the Music Film revolution.
(1) Black Panther Movie
Black Panther, written by Ryan Coogler, Jack Kirby, and Joe Robert Cole; and directed by Ryan Coogler, came out of February 16th. It is not only the best Marvel Movie of all time, but it is our best movie of 2018 so far. It combines the best of the action-adventure that Marvel is known for; but it also takes the superhero genre to whole new level; discussing real issues of racism, isolationism, and poverty in America.