2018 Updates

2018 in Review: December

This month: Luigi, video essays, gastronomy, interactive films, and the best movies and comics of the year.

Best of 2018: The Top 10 Graphic Novels

Comics writers and artists are often better equipped to tackle contemporary events and issues before anyone working in any other medium, and many graphic novels that came out this year demonstrate this perfectly. Both the anxiety and tentative sense of possibility that comes from living in deteriorating liberal democracies, climate change, and changing paradigms around sex and gender are all on display in everything from superhero series to indie comics. All these ideas and much more are explored in these titles, which represent some of the most innovative art and sharpest writing to be found in 2018.

Best of 2018: A Year in Film

Infinity War isn’t on this list of some of the best films of the year, and it won’t be on many others either. But several of the chosen movies also grapple with seemingly implacable destructive forces, or with living in a world of all-encompassing disjointedness, where so few feel assured of what they’re supposed to do anymore. With that in mind, here are 10 very different movies from this year that impressed me significantly.


Dark post-apocalyptic reimaginings of kid-friendly entertainment are nothing new, but no fan or official work in that vein works quite like Ennuigi. Set in a desolate, ruined Mushroom Kingdom, this browser game from Josh Millard features a solitary Luigi meditating on the nature of the Mario franchise.

In Roma, Alfonso Cuarón Reimagines His Childhood Through the Eyes of His Maid

Cuarón based the script on his own childhood experiences. The title is a reference both to Italian Neorealist director Federico Fellini’s own 1972 autobiographical film Roma and to Colonia Roma, a historic Mexico City neighborhood that experienced a decline starting around 1970, when the film’s story begins. Filtering the era’s events through a character based on his own family’s maid is an unusual choice for a memoirist work — he’s called it a tribute to the women who raised him.

A Delectable Collection of Illustrated Gastronomy Books

Over the course of 40 years, world-renowned culinary expert Anne Willan and her husband, Mark Cherniavsky, collected hundreds of historical materials documenting various cooking practices: books of recipes and instructions on food preparation and presentation, books on dining etiquette, a manual on monastic fasting and feasting, records of famed celebrations, even drawings and paintings incorporating food as a theme. Their library continued to grow in its breadth and scope until Cherniavsky’s death last year. Now, Willan has donated their gastronomy collection to the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Center’s expansive library of historical materials related to art. The donation opens up exciting opportunities for learning about people’s relationships to food throughout history.

A Highly Anticipated Los Angeles Museum of Film Promises Thought-Provoking Exhibitions

After a lengthy and difficult journey, America’s first major museum dedicated to movies is nearly here. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures — currently under construction in Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles — is officially set to open in late 2019, and it has just announced its inaugural exhibitions. Housed in the overhauled May Company Building (renamed the Saban Building) with its iconic Streamline Moderne facade, as well as a new spherical structure incorporating a thousand-seat theater and a glass-domed terrace, the Academy has announced its ambition, for the museum to become a focal point of film culture.

The best video essays of 2018

Video essays have flourished in recent times, and the best ones can even eclipse a lot of traditional documentaries in their production and intelligence. On top of recommending Polygon’s own staff of video craftspeople, here are 10 of the best video essays of 2018, a shortcut down the rabbit hole of intriguing work on YouTube.


Interactive films are nothing new – this isn’t even Netflix’s first foray into the form. But what’s first is a distant second in importance to what actually catches on in the public consciousness. The success of Bandersnatch will likely spur a new wave of interactive movies and shows, ones that will have a higher profile than any that have come before.

By Dan Schindel

Born and raised in Maryland and currently based in New York, Dan Schindel is an associate editor at Hyperallergic, freelance culture writer, and available for any copy-editing/proofreading needs you may have. This website was originally a blog called Days of Docs, and chronicled his attempt to watch and review a documentary every single day for a whole year. He was mostly successful at this, and now he knows everything. He puts this knowledge to use by writing about movies, TV, games, books, comics, art, and more.