31 December 2010

Books Read [2010]

16 Books Read in 2010

01 Jan: Her Fearful Symmetry by, Audrey Niffenegger
07 Jan: The Host by, Stephenie Meyer
22 Jan: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1) by, Stieg Larsson
25 Jan: Keeper of Light and Dust by, Natasha Mostert
04 Mar: John Dies at the End by, David Wong
10 Mar: Angel Time (The Songs of the Seraphim, #1) by, Anne Rice
01 May: The Library of Shadows by, Mikkel Birkegaard
10 May: Shutter Island by, Dennis Lehane
19 Jun: The Summer Psychic by, Jessica Adams
07 Jul: The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, #2) by, Stieg Larsson
08 Aug: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3) by, Stieg Larsson
24 Nov: The Villa in Italy by, Elizabeth Edmondson
25 Nov: Harry Potter #1 by, JK Rowling (again)
27 Nov: Harry Potter #2 by, JK Rowling (again)
15 Dec: Harry Potter #3 by, JK Rowling (again)
31 Dec: Harry Potter #4 by, JK Rowling (again)

24 December 2010

Happy Holidays

Love the Google 'Happy Holidays' icon today!

18 December 2010

Best of Lists: Top Music Videos of 2010

Pitchfork have compiled their top picks for best music videos of the year. There are a heap of great songs on this list... and I have NEVER seen the videos!

Challenge accepted (I will watch them all!).

Here is the complete list over at Pitchfork (with links to the clips themselves for your viewing pleasure)

I've simply listed them song/artist/director here, and my comments in italics. It looks like they've used alphabetical order (no preferential sorting):

Arcade Fire, Suburbs (Director: Spike Jonze) - loved the story telling of this clip; scary mix of innocence & sinister.

Baths, Lovely Bloodflow (D: Alex Takacs & Joe Nankin) - hauntingly beautiful.

Best Coast, When I'm With You (Director: Pete Ohs)  - too cute!

The Black Keys, Tighten Up (D: Chris Marrs Piliero) - adorable kids & Black Keys. Love sucks hehe.

The Books, I Didn't Know That (D: Nick Zammuto) - cheesy fun, but not really a fan of the 'song'.

Caribou, Odessa (D: Video Marsh)  - weird video. Shot really cool though, & I like the track.

ceo, Come With Me (D: Marcus Söderlund)  - not bad. Concept not that original, but a nice watch.

Das Racist, Who's That? Brooown! (Thomas De Napoli)  - again, not a fan of the song (rap), but the video was awesome - I used to play old school platform video games :) Fun to watch.

Die Antwoord, Zef Side (D: Seem Metelerkamp) - LOL

Duck Sauce, Barbra Streisand (D: So Me) - fun; amusing clip.

El Guincho, Bombay (D: Nicolas Mendez [NSFW]) - so much going on in this one; interesting to watch. I couldn't help but wondering why a topless girl would dance with sparklers so close to her nipples - but, hey, what the hell hehe

Fang Island, Daisy (D: Carlos Charlie Perez) - so much *fun*. Loved this - looks like it's all one shot too. There aren't enough capes in the world.

The Flaming Lips, Powerless (D: Wayne Coyne, George Salisbury) - visually done well, but a little boring I found.

Flying Lotus [ft. Thundercat], MmmHmm (D: Special Problems) - extremely trippy!!

Grinderman, Heathen Child (D: John Hillcoat [NSFW]) - wow... so crazy to watch. Cool bananas.

HEALTH, We Are Water (D: Eric Wareheim [NSFW])

Hot Chip, I Feel Better (D: Peter Serafinowicz)

How to Destroy Angels, The Space in Between (D: Rupert Sanders)

How to Dress Well, Decisions (D: Jamie Harley)

The Hundred in the Hands, Pigeons (D: DANIELS)

Insane Clown Posse, Miracles (D: Paul Andresen)

James Blake, Limit to Your Love (D: Martin de Thurah)

Janelle Monáe [ft. Big Boi], Tightrope (D: Wendy Morgan)

Jonna Lee, iamamiwhoami (D: Viktor Kumlin)

Kanye West, Runaway (D: Kanye West)
.
Klaxons, Twin Flames (D: Saam Farahmand [NSFW])

Lady Gaga [ft. Beyoncé], Telephone (D: Jonas Åkerlund)

LCD Soundsystem, Drunk Girls (D: Spike Jonze, James Murphy)

Liars, Scissor (D: Andy Bruntel)

Male Bonding, Year's Not Long (D: Vice Cooler)

Massive Attack, Splitting the Atom (D: Edouard Salier)

The Morning Benders, Promises (D: Aaron Brown, Ben Chappell)

Rihanna, Rude Boy (D: Melina Matsoukas)

Röyksopp, Senior Living (D: Noel Paul, Stefan Moore)

She & Him, In the Sun (D: Peyton Reed)

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Bottled in Cork (D: Tom Scharpling)

Vampire Weekend, Giving Up the Gun (D: The Malloys)

Wavves, Post Acid (D: Patrick O'Dell)

Yeasayer, Madder Red (D: Andreas Nilsson)

Zola Jesus, Sea Talk (D: Jacqueline Castel)

My Favs of 2010

I've spent time sharing others opinions on 2010's music etc, so I thought it was about time I weighed in. I hate ranking, but I will give a list in no particular order.

Albums
Yeasayer - Odd Blood
Beach House - Teen Dream
Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Sufjan Stevens - Age of Adz
The National - High Violet
Glasser - Ring
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
The Black Keys - Brothers
Broken Bells - Broken Bells
Surfer Blood - Astro Coast

Movies
The Fantastic Mr Fox
Kick Ass
How to Train Your Dragon
Inception
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
The Social Network

TV Shows (not necessarly new to 2010, but what I think have been the best this year)
Sons of Anarchy - well and truly growing; S02 was great, S03 was awesome!
Boardwalk Empire - intriguing and dirty. Love it.
The Walking Dead - I'm not a zombie fan (vamps all the way!), but this show is about more than the undead.
Modern Family
Party Down
Weeds
Entourage
30 Rock
Bored to Death
How I Met Your Mother
(Dexter, Fringe - I am cheating with these ones, as we have yet to watch the latest season. I've been saving them up and I *know* they will be awesome!)
Special mention: Pillars of the Earth (mini-series)

I watch way too many TV shows; ones I didn't list here that I still watch religiously (like Gossip Girl, Cougar Town, Castle...), and ones that were a little disappointing (like True Blood, Lie to Me...). And people keep the recommendations coming (I've yet to watch The Good Wife, Mad Men...)

Flicks - Top 20 Films of 2010

Flicks.co.nz's movie critics name their 20 favourite films of 2010:

1. Animal Kingdom
2. The Social Network
3. A Prophet
4. Fantastic Mr Fox
5. Toy Story 3
6. Boy
7. Inception
8. Shutter Island
9. The Ghost Writer
10. Winter's Bone
11. The Hurt Locker
12. Kick-Ass
13. The Secret in Their Eyes
14. A Single Man
15. Exit Through the Gift Shop
16. Monsters
17. Up in the Air
18. The Disappearance of Alice Creed
19. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
20. How to Train Your Dragon

(Updated: 27 Dec 10) I've still got to see: 1,3,5,13,15,16,18. I don't agree with: 8,9,17

The list, with comments is posted here.

16 December 2010

Happy 235th Bday Jane Austen

I used to swoon over igoggle, but I've been darn slack for the last couple of years. Today's igoogle icon made me post though. It's preeety!

15 December 2010

Chicken Dance

I heart 'Arrested Development'

Golden Globes 2011!

All the nominations are out for the 68th Annual Golden Globes Awards! 'The King's Speech', starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, and Geoffrey Rush, leads the way with seven nominations. 'The Figher' and 'Social Network' sit just behind with six a piece.

The Awards will be held January 16. UPDATED: winners in *bold

Here is the complete list, with my comments in brackets:

Motion Pictures
Drama:
Black Swan (I am *dying* to see this)
The Fighter
Inception (I'm not surprised this was nominated, but I don't think it should win)
The King's Speech (Saw the preview for this and will definitely be going to see it)
*The Social Network (I did really enjoy this film)

Musical or Comedy:
Alice in Wonderland
Burlesque (WTF?! Well, it did pique my curiosity...)
*The Kids Are All Right (My vote would be for this to win - it was a very good film)
Red (Seriously?! I mean, sure, it was enjoyable...)
The Tourist

Actor, Drama:
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network (He was pretty impressive)
*Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

Actress, Drama:
Halle Berry, Frankie and Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
*Natalie Portman, Black Swan (I haven't even seen this yet, but would love for her to win!)
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Director:
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
*David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David O Russell, The Fighter

Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Johnny Depp, Alice in Wonderland
Johnny Depp, The Tourist
*Paul Giamatti, Barney's Version
Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs
Kevin Spacey, Casino Jack

Actress, Musical or Comedy:
*Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right (I don't know how they could pick Annette over Julianne or vice versa in this category!!)
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Anne Hathaway, Love & Other Drugs
Angelina Jolie, The Tourist
Emma Stone, Easy A

Supporting Actor:
*Christian Bale, The Fighter
Michael Douglas, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
Jeremy Renner, The Town (I still haven't managed to see this film)
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Supporting Actress:
*Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Mila Kunis, Black Swan
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (Wow, nice nod to Australian cinema!!)

Foreign Language:
Biutiful (Mexico and Spain)
The Concert (France) (Want to see this...)
The Edge (Russia)
I Am Love (Italy) (...and this - both The Concert and I Am Love were on at the NZFF, but I missed them)
*In a Better World (Denmark)

Animated Film:
*Toy Story 3
The Illusionist
How to Train Your Dragon (I loved this! It's the only one I've seen from this category)
Despicable Me
Tangled

Screenplay:
Danny Boyle, Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
Christopher Nolan, Inception
David Seidler, The King's Speech
*Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Original Score:
Alexandre Desplat, The King's Speech
Danny Elfman, Alice in Wonderland
A.R. Rahman, 127 Hours
*Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, The Social Network (I'd love to see Trent win! I did love the score)
Hans Zimmer, Inception

Original Song:
"Bound to You" (written by Samuel Dixon, Christina Aguilera, Sia Furler), Burlesque
"Coming Home" (written by Bob DiPiero, Tom Douglas, Hillary Lindsey, Troy Verges), Country Strong
"I See the Light" (written by Alan Menken, Glenn Slater), Tangled
"There's a Place for Us" (written by Carrie Underwood, David Hodges, Hillary Lindsey), The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
*"You Haven't Seen the Last of Me," (written by Diane Warren), Burlesque


Television
Series, Drama:
*Boardwalk Empire, HBO (Adore!)
Dexter, Showtime (Also adore)
The Good Wife, CBS
Mad Men, AMC
The Walking Dead, AMC (I am watching this at the moment - very good!)

Actor, Drama:
*Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire (Adore!)
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (He is sooo bloody brilliant in this role)
Michael C. Hall, Dexter (Brilliant)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House

Actress, Drama:
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Piper Perabo, Covert Affairs
*Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy (Please please please!!! She is incredible in this)
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer

Series, Musical or Comedy:
30 Rock, NBC (Love)
The Big Bang Theory, CBS
The Big C, Showtime
*Glee, Fox (Enjoy watching this, but would rather see Modern Family win)
Modern Family, ABC (Love)
Nurse Jackie, Showtime

Actress, Musical or Comedy:
Toni Collette, The United States of Tara
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (For the win!)
*Laura Linney, The Big C
Lea Michele, Glee

Actor, Musical or Comedy:
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (For the win!)
Steve Carell, The Office
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matthew Morrison, Glee
*Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Miniseries or Movie:
*Carlos, Sundance Channel
The Pacific, HBO
Pillars of the Earth, Starz (Only one I've seen in this category - was very good!)
Temple Grandin, HBO
You Don't Know Jack, HBO

Actress, Miniseries or Movie:
Hayley Atwell, Pillars of the Earth
*Claire Danes, Temple Grandin
Judi Dench, Return to Cranford
Romola Garai, Emma
Jennifer Love Hewitt, The Client List

Actor, Miniseries or Movie:
Idris Elba, Luther
Ian McShane, Pillars of the Earth
*Al Pacino, You Don't Know Jack
Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos

Supporting Actress, Series, Miniseries or Movie:
Hope Davis, The Special Relationship
*Jane Lynch, Glee (Adore!)
Kelly Macdonald, Broadwalk Empire (She is very good in this)
Julia Stiles, Dexter
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (Love the show, but I don't think Gloria can beat Sue!)

Supporting Actor, Series, Miniseries or Movie:
Scott Caan, Hawaii Five-0
*Chris Colfer, Glee
Chris Noth, The Good Wife
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family (Wow, Cam over the other cast - he is funny.. But, what about Phil!)
David Strathairn, Temple Grandin


Honorary
Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award: Robert De Niro

Salad Days: Top 40 Albums of 2010

Salad Days is another blog I read (when I have the time!). Here is their opinion on which 40 albums are top for 2010.

Their full list is posted over 3 posts (40-21, 20-11, 10-1), with an mp3 off each album!

40. Spoon | Transference
39. Blitzen Trapper | Destroyer of the Void
38. Harlem | Hippies
37. Paul Cary | Ghost of a Man
36. Perfume Genius | Learning
35. Twin Shadow | Forget
34. Janelle Monáe | The ArchAndroid
33. Toro Y Moi | Causers of This
32. Sleigh Bells | Treats
31. Local Natives | Gorilla Manor
30. Suckers | Wild Smile
29. Broken Social Scene | Forgiveness Rock Record
28. Big Boi | Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
27. The Black Keys | BrothersFoot: The Son of Chico Dusty
26. Tame Impala | Innerspeaker
25. Yeasayer | Odd Blood
24. Surfer Blood |Astro Coast
23. Los Campesinos! Romance Is Boring
22. Matthew Dear | Black City
21. Frightened Rabbit | The Winter of Mixed Drinks
20. CEO | White Magic
19. Flying Lotus | Cosmogramma
18. Beach Fossils | Beach Fossils
17. Nobunny | First Blood
16. Phosphorescent | Here’s to Taking It Easy
15. Vampire Weekend | Contra
14. Beach House | Teen Dream
13. No Age | Everything In Between
12. Gorillaz | Plastic Beach
11. The Walkmen | Lisbon
10. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti| Before Today
09. Titus Andronicus | The Monitor
08. The Radio Dept. | Clinging to a Scheme
07. The Tallest Man on Earth | The Wild Hunt
06. Arcade Fire | The Suburbs
05. Sufjan Stevens | Age of Adz
04. The National | High Violet
03. LCD Soundsystem | This Is Happening
02. Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest
01. Kanye West | My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

10 December 2010

Best of... TV drama

More lists! Eonline have posted their 'Top 10 TV Dramas of 2010' list, and here it is:

10. Mad Men (AMC)
09. The Walking Dead (AMC)
08. Fringe (Fox)
07. Grey's Anatomy (AMC)
06. Sons of Anarchy (FX)
05. True Blood (HBO)
04. Dexter (Showtime)
03. The Vampire Diaries (CW)
02. Friday Night Lights (DirecTV 101)
01. Lost (ABC)

I'm totally down with 9, 8, 6, 5, and 4. I *adore* Sons of Anarchy! Now, I watched Vampire Diaries, but I don't believe it should be at number 3 - that's just crazy talk.

I never got into 'Lost' - but one day I will start the process of watching the complete series. Maybe then I will understand what all the fuss is about.

The list is posted here, with photos and comments.

09 December 2010

The Kids Are All Right

I went and saw 'The Kids Are All Right' (IMDB) last night at the Rialto. I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it (hence taking the time to note so here!). It stars Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, with Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson.

Brief synopsis: Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) are born via artificial insemination to lesbian couple Nic (Annette Bening as the doctor workaholic, wine-drinking "Gorilla" of the family) and Jules (Julianne Moore as new age hippy-esque landscape gardner Mum) respectively. Their donor dad is Paul (Mark Ruffalo as an easy going, serial flirter Restaurateur), making them half-siblings. After turning 18, Joni tracks down their Dad for her brother (who is clearly craving a male role model). After a nervy initial encounter, they grow to like each other. However, everything changes when Paul is introduced to Nic and Jules...

This is a small quote from a review at salon.com (by Andrew O'Hehir), that I agree with 100% about the film: 

"This is one of the most compelling and rewarding portraits of a middle-class American marriage in cinema history, as well as one of the funniest. The fact that the people in this particular marriage are both women is important to the story, of course. But perhaps, Cholodenko suggests, it isn't all that important to the universe." Read the full review here

If you like family dramas, mixed with witty comedy, when you'll like this.

Stereogum’s Top 50 Albums Of 2010

More music lists! I am a fan of the Stereogum blog, and those of you that are reading this who are also lucky enough (:P) to receive my mixed-tapes have their blog to thank for a few of "my" (aka their) finds.

I'm keeping the same comment colour code as previously (red: I'm there; green: maybe I should be there - although saying that, I trust Stereogum enough that I probably should probably give all the albums/artists I am unfamiliar with a try!)

I've summarised the list below, but if you check out their list at Stereogum there are mp3 downloads!

50 Emeralds – Does It Look Like I Am Here?
49 Small Black – New Chain
48 Sharon Van Etten – Epic
47 Baths – Cerulean
46 Frank (Just Frank) – The Brutal Wave
45 Perfume Genius – Learning
44 Field Music – Field Music (Measure)
43 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
42 Lower Dens – Twin-Hand Movement
41 Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
40 Glasser – Ring
39 Gold Panda – Lucky Shiner
38 Avey Tare – Down There (I have heard a single that I liked, and I do love Animal Collective, of which Avey Tare is a founding member of)
37 jj – jj nº3
36 the morning benders – Big Echo
35 Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (I keep hearing their name! I must listen!)
34 Titus Andronicus – The Monitor
33 MGMT – Congratulations
32 Twin Shadow – Forget
31 Warpaint – The Fool
30 Das Racist – Shut Up, Dude
29 Matthew Dear – Black City
28 Delorean – Subiza
27 Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
26 Tame Impala – Innerspeaker
25 ceo – White Magic
24 Tamaryn – The Waves
23 SALEM – King Night
22 Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern
21 Liars – Sisterworld
20 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
19 Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
18 Abe Vigoda – Crush
17 Owen Pallett – Heartland
16 The National – High Violet
15 The-Dream – Love King
14 Yeasayer – Odd Blood
13 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
12 Crystal Castles – II
11 Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
10 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
09 Wild Nothing – Gemini
08 Antony & The Johnsons – Swanlights (I have other albums, but not this new one! Must buy!)
07 Vampire Weekend – Contra
06 Sleigh Bells – Treats
05 Robyn – Body Talk
04 Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz
03 Beach House – Teen Dream
02 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
01 Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

BFI Top 12 Films of 2010

The first end of year film list I have stumbled across so far: BFI (British Film Institute), Sight & Sound, Top 12 Films of 2010. I've only seen number one on this list - it always makes me feel bad when I haven't seen more, of what others consider to be, great films! I have heard of most of the others though and I will certainly be renting them.

"...What the most important films of the last year were depends on what you want from cinema in a time of austerity. That’s the conclusion we’ve drawn after canvassing 85 of our contributors for the top five new films they saw in the course of 2010, and their other highlights of the year. Some will argue that the phenomenal success of James Cameron’s Avatar (released worldwide in December 2009) shows that a big spectacle can be an effective antidote to hard times. Some will even reduce Kathryn Bigelow’s 2010 Best Picture Oscar win for The Hurt Locker (released earlier in 2009) to a mere snub to Avatar. But in this magazine, Avatar doesn’t feature in anyone’s list (our critics’ antipathy towards CGI spectacles is just as pointed in regard to that other huge box-office phenomenon, Christopher Nolan’s Inception, which gained just one vote). The Hurt Locker, by contrast, came joint second last year. The sort of cinema the wider public flocks to see, then, bears little relationship to what our 85 contributors want to celebrate..."

I've summarised the list below, but full details and introduction can be found at the BFI site here

1 The Social Network, David Fincher, USA
"Like Fincher’s most exacting film Zodiac, this is a forensic study of an enigmatic outcast remaking the world according to his own desires and specifications – and of the people left behind him to clear up or make sense of the mess." — Ryan Gilbey

2 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Boonmee raluek chat), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand / UK / France / Germany / Spain / Netherlands / USA
"Weerasethakul’s breakthrough smash has the uncommon virtue of trusting its audience to furnish its own commentary and explanations – a virtue made possible by its magical realism." — Jonathan Rosenbaum

3 Another Year, Mike Leigh, UK
"The latest of Leigh’s studies of happiness and the lack of it. Generous yet not indulgent to its characters, it’s a film during which one can find oneself changing one’s mind about which characters are most to be pitied and most to be admired." — Edward Buscombe

4 Carlos, Olivier Assayas, France / Germany / Belgium
"Assayas skipped the psychology of terrorism in favour of depicting the Marxist assassin-hijacker as the star of his own 21-year action movie – a man whose need for sex and liposuction confounds the notion of revolutionary asceticism." — Graham Fuller

5 The Arbor, Clio Barnard, UK
"A brilliantly inventive escape from the dead end of British social realism, Barnard’s film tells the tragic story of Northern playwright Andrea Dunbar and her children. Fortuitously, alas, it has also turned out to be the first real British film of the Cameron era." — Jonathan Romney

=6 Winter’s Bone, Debra Granik, USA
"Not least because of Jennifer Lawrence’s riveting lead performance, this was one of the best quest movies I’ve seen in years, its dark fairytale tests all the more compelling because they are faced by a 17-year-old girl in a dirtily real Ozark mountains setting." — Lee Marshall

=6 I Am Love (Io sono l’amore), Luca Guadagnino, Italy
"Guadagnino’s Tilda Swinton vehicle is the best portrait of crumbling aristocracy since Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard – and also has a delirious homage to D.H. Lawrence as the cherry on the cake." — Naman Ramachandran

=8 The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu), Andrei Ujica, Romania
"Ujica’s reconfiguration of archival propaganda material, quietly needling out its intrinsic irony and the seeds of its own unravelling, is stunningly innovative in the realm of documentary." — Carmen Gray

=8 Film socialisme, Jean-Luc Godard, Switzerland / France
"Like many friends, I’m still figuring this one out – and the effort has already been well worth the trouble. Even when Godard’s pet notions are unduly solipsistic, the work (and play) with sound and image are too dazzling to ignore." — Jonathan Rosenbaum

=8 Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la luz), Patricio Guzmán, France / Germany / Chile
"In Chile’s Atacama desert, astronomers examine the origins of the universe. Close to the observatory, families of the disappeared search for vestiges of their loved ones, victims of Pinochet’s regime. An extraordinary film about the unknown and the unknowable." — Maria Delgado

=8 Poetry (Si), Lee Changdong, South Korea
"The title tells all, evoking both the story (a woman takes to writing verse as her grandson is implicated in a girl’s suicide) and tone of Lee’s exquisite film. Seamlessly conjoining many themes, it benefits from one of the year’s best performances, from Yun Junghee." — Geoff Andrew

=8 A Prophet (Un Prophète), Jacques Audiard, France / Italy
"A Prophet has some of the virtues of the prison dramas Hollywood made in its heyday, like Riot in Cell Block 11, but updated to the present where the prison’s racial mix generates a particularly pungent aggression and tension. Tahar Rahim is brilliant as the young criminal who, through intelligence and grit, works his way up the criminal pecking order." — Edward Buscombe

The Tempest

Across the Universe/Frida director Julie Taymor's movie version of the Shakespeare play The Tempest hits USA cinema's December 10, and the movie's digital soundtrack album, from composer Elliot Goldenthal, is out now via Zarathustra Music.

The soundtrack features contributions from the Secret Machines' Benjamin Curtis and Helmet's Page Hamilton, and final track 'Prospera's Coda' is a long, sprawling orchestral work with a haunted vocal from Portishead singer Beth Gibbons.

Across the Universe pleasantly surprised me - enough that I did get the soundtrack. Yes, the original Beatles songs will always be better, but I enjoyed his film as the musical it was. So it's not just that fact that grabs me about The Tempest - it was also the mention Beth Gibbons that grabbed me. I've been a Portishead fan for years.

And, to top it all off, you can stream the entire Tempest soundtrack, including Gibbons' appearance, at Goldenthal's Facebook page! Take a listen here

08 December 2010

Rolling Stone mag - 2010 Singles & Albums

Rolling Stone have posted their Top 30 Albums of 2010, and Top 50 Singles of 2010. I think the list is a bit 'meh'; I'd say: they've given us what they THINK we want... (My comments: red: the albums/singles I like too)


Rolling Stone: Top 30 Albums of 2010
30 Rick Ross – Teflon Don
29 The Roots – How I Got Over
28 My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
27 Peter Wolf – Midnight Souvenirs
26 Yeasayer – Odd Blood
25 Superchunk – Majesty Shredding
24 Maximum Balloon – Maximum Balloon
23 Elizabeth Cook – Welder
22 Spoon – Transference
21 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
20 Neil Young – Le Noise
19 M.I.A. – Maya
18 Kings of Leon – Come Around Sundown
17 Beach House – Teen Dream
16 Kid Rock – Born Free
15 The National – High Violet
14 Robyn – Body Talk
13 Taylor Swift – Speak Now
12 John Mellencamp – No Better Than This
11 The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
10 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
09 Eminem – Recovery
08 Robert Plant – Band Of Joy
07 Drake – Thank Me Later
06 Vampire Weekend – Contra
05 Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song
04 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
03 Elton John and Leon Russell – The Union
02 The Black Keys – Brothers
01 Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Rolling Stone: Top 50 Singles of 2010
50 Ke$ha – "We R Who We R"
49 Elizabeth Cook – "El Camino"
48 Das Racist – "hahahaha jk?"
47 Kid Rock – "Born Free"
46 MGMT – "Congratulations"
45 The Rolling Stones – "Plundered My Soul"
44 Neil Young – "Love and War"
43 B.o.B. (Feat. Bruno Mars) – "Nothing on You"
42 Surfer Blood – "Floating Vibes"
41 Junip – "In Every Direction"
40 Kanye West -"Power"
39 The Gaslight Anthem – "The Diamond Church Street Choir"
38 Spoon – "The Mystery Zone"
37 Lloyd Banks (Feat. Juelz Santana) – "Beamer, Benz, or Bentley"
36 Drake (Feat. Nicki Minaj) – "Up All Night"
35 Massive Attack (Feat. Hope Sandoval) – "Paradise Circus"
34 Gorillaz (Feat. Mos Def and Bobby Womack) – "Stylo"
33 Wavves – "Post Acid"
32 Die Antwoord – "Enter the Ninja"
31 Gil Scott-Heron – "I’m New Here"
30 Jakob Dylan – "Nothing but the Whole Wide World"
29 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – "The Trip to Pirate’s Cove"
28 Band of Horses – "Laredo"
27 The National – "Bloodbuzz Ohio"
26 Robyn – "Dancing on My Own"
25 Nicki Minaj – "Did It On’em"
24 Eminem – "Not Afraid"
23 Jamey Johnson – "Macon"
22 Rick Ross (Feat. Styles P) – "B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)"
21 Sleigh Bells – "Infinity Guitars"
20 Best Coast – "Boyfriend"
19 The New Pornographers – "Your Hands (Together)"
18 Jenny and Johnny – "Scissor Runner"
17 LCD Soundsystem – "I Can Change"
16 Cold War Kids – "Coffee Spoon"
15 Drake – "Over"
14 Big Boi (Feat. Cutty) – "Shutterbugg"
13 The Dead Weather – "Hustle and Cuss"
12 Mark Ronson and the Business International (Feat. Q-Tip & MNDR) – "Bang Bang Bang"
11 The Black Keys – "Everlasting Light"
10 Kanye West (Feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and Bon Iver) – "Monster"
09 Broken Bells – "The Ghost Inside"
08 Janelle Monáe (Feat. Big Boi) – "Tightrope"
07 Vampire Weekend – "White Sky"
06 Mavis Staples -"You Are Not Alone"
05 Arcade Fire – "We Used to Wait"
04 Katy Perry – "Teenage Dream"
03 Sade – "Soldier of Love"
02 Cee Lo Green – "Fuck You"
01 Kanye West (Feat. Pusha T) -"Runaway"

All and all quite an average list. There are a couple of entries I didn't highlight - good songs or bands I like, but I'm just not sure they really should've made it into the list...

02 December 2010

Coldplay do Xmas too!

Coldplay have called their's 'Christmas Lights'.

Stereogum comment: "The video is directed by Mat Whitecross and filmed in London on Thursday November 25th, 2010, a working day because British people don’t believe in Thanksgiving. Coldplay wrote the better song, made the better video (those violinist Elvises are delightful), but the Killers had the good sense to go the charitable route."

Yeah, I dig the Elvises too :) (And the popping fireworks at the end!)

Watch the video on YouTube

The Killers do Xmas again

For the fifth year running The Killers have released an Xmas song :)

The clip for this year's, 'Boots', is directed by none other than, Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre). Starbucks will donate 5¢ for every time the video is viewed via the Starbucks Share program.

I think the song is actually really good! And the clip, sweet. Enjoy (and donate at the same time).

New The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

A new single by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – “The One”! Listen to it online here:

http://stereogum.com/589952/the-pains-of-being-pure-at-heart-the-one/mp3s/

I've really enjoyed their EP and LP. This new single is lovely :)

01 December 2010

Best of Lists: Albums

The first of the 'Best of...' lists - NME's. I've made some comments/highlights (red: I'm there; green: maybe I should be there; blue: really??!!!)

Top 75 Albums Of 2010 according to NME

75 The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Blood & Fire
74 Sufjan Stevens – The Age Of Adz (Love this album - can't wait to see him live next year!)
73 Interpol – Interpol (I've not got my hands on this yet - must do!)
72 Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
71 Field Music – Field Music (Measure)
70 Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record (I have a few albums, but never really got into them - will try this album...)
69 Happy Birthday – Happy Birthday
68 Edwyn Collins – Losing Sleep
67 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Option Paralysis
66 Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
65 Robyn – Body Talk Pt 1
64 Walls – Walls
63 Perfume Genius – Learning
62 Gil Scott-Heron – I’m New Here
61 Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
60 Belle And Sebastian – Write About Love (I have always liked them - another album to seek out)
59 Errors – Come Down With Me
58 Crocodiles – Sleep Forever
57 Joanna Newsom – Have One On Me
56 Mount Kimbie – Crooks & Lovers
55 Ikonika – Contact, Love, Want, Have
54 First Aid Kit – The Big Black and The Blue
53 Kelis – Flesh Tone
52 Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be
51 Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM
50 Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks (I did start to get into them; must put back on rotation!)
49 Surfer Blood – Astro Coast (I've listened to this a few times & enjoyed it. Must put it back on rotation)
48 My Chemical Romance – Danger Days
47 Pulled Apart By Horses – Pulled Apart By Horses
46 Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation
45 Four Tet – There Is Love In You
44 Manic Street Preachers – Postcards From A Young Man
43 Everything Everything – Man Alive
42 Mystery Jets – Serotonin
41 Steve Mason – Boys Outside
40 Sleigh Bells – Treats (<3)
39 Magnetic Man – Magnetic Man
38 Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son Of Chico Dusty
37 Lonelady – Nerve Up
36 Hurts – Happiness (My brother actually got me onto this album; it's pretty epic; reminds me of a soundtrack)
35 Glasser – Ring
34 Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
33 Marina And The Diamonds – The Family Jewels
32 Islet – Wimmy
31 Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles (I've not given them much of a listen, but heard a track the other day that I love)
30 Klaxons – Surfing The Void (Yeeees... though I still feel the single/first track is the strongest... time for a relisten maybe)
29 No Age – Everything In Between
28 New Young Pony Club – The Optimist
27 Best Coast – Crazy For You
26 Les Savy Fav – Root For Ruin
25 Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo
24 Vampire Weekend – Contra (<3)
23 Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Before Today
22 Swans – My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope To The Sky (Curious to check out the Swans)
21 Janelle Monae – The ArchAndroid
20 Deerhunter – Halcyon Digest
19 MGMT – Congratulations (??!! Do I need to have this album another chance?)
18 Warpaint – The Fool
17 Factory Floor – Untitled
16 Grinderman – Grinderman 2
15 Yeasayer – Odd Blood (<3 - can't wait to see them at Laneways festival!)
14 The Fall – Your Future, Our Clutter
13 Gayngs – Relayted
12 Caribou – Swim
11 The National – High Violet (<3 <3)
10 The Drums – The Drums
09 Liars – Sisterworld
08 Salem – King Night
07 Zola Jesus – Stridulum II
06 Foals – Total Life Forever (I've been getting into them more in prep for the Laneways fest - surprised it made #6 though)
05 Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
04 LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening
03 Beach House – Teen Dream (<3 dreamy; adore Beach House - again, seeing at Laneways fest next year!)
02 Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (<3 <3)
01 These New Puritans – Hidden