Saturday, December 27, 2008

best of 2008 in movies

technically some of these movies are 2007 releases but actually didnt arrive at Irish cinemas until 2008. Ive watched plenty of movies this year , but not nearly enough. Some of these movies i caught on the cinema screen, others on dvd and in the case of one choice on tv. Of course this list is entirely subjective and i'm probably totally off the mark but i am being honest. So the fact that The Dark Knight gets no mention is because in all honesty i found it a boring , overlong, semi- coherent piece of filmmaking.

So heres my top 5...

1) In The Shadow Of The Moon

- visually poetic, beautifully scored , intelligent measured filmaking..

2) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

- graceful, elegiac , magic piece of moviemaking + the best movie score ive heard in a long time.

3) Paranoid Park

- as visually pure and beautiful as moviemaking gets..

4) The Mist

- a "horror movie for grown ups". An "allegory for the current post-911 culture of fear". Both of these and maybe the best Frank Darabont film since Shawshank.

5) The English Surgeon

- a gem of movie. Funny , sad , deeply touching.

Monday, December 22, 2008

best of 2008 in music

Its probably a fools errand to try and come up with a definitive list of the best albums of any year, but lists are fun and i wont be doing anything better tonight so why not..Heres my top 5.

1) Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

Ive listened to this album every week since i bought it last March/April. Ive told everyone to go out and buy it , its the best record of 2008 is what i say. Of Course thats just my opinion, but ive yet to hear a better album this year and with 2008 coming to its conclusion its unlikely that In Ghost Colours will be knocked off its perch. Its an unmitigated joy , pure synth pop bliss from start to finish. I actually feel sorry for those who havent listened to this record yet. There is much going for this new wave of hipster associated dance music ( Hercules and Love Affair, Hot Chip, Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, The Presets etc) but nobody in that current bracket can touch the shimmering triumph that is Cut Copys In Ghost Colours.

2) M83 - Saturdays = Youth

The 1980s is my favourite decade for music. No irony intended. There is also nothing ironic about Anthony Gonzalez/M83 relationship with the 80s. This man is sincere in his love for the decade of my birth. The decade of New Order, Tears for Fears, The Cure , Cocteau Twins, Kate Bush and the cinematic output of John Hughes. All of which act as touchstones for Saturdays = Youth , which is no bad thing in my book.

3)Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes

Fleet Foxes share a coastline with Brian Wilson. But further up the coast where its colder and theres more wooded areas. Beach Boys plus forest? That sounds a bit glib. Its a lovely record.

4)Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend

Catchy as hell.

5) Bon Iver - For Emma , Forever Ago

A musical accompaniment to Walden or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau ?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

more song o the day ( song o the night?)

Miracle Fortress - Hold Your Secrets to Your Heart

song o' the day

Bronski Beat - Smalltown Boy (12 extended)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not much of a post this. Just poppping in to blow the dust off the blog seeing as its been some time since any activity here..

It has become considerabley colder of late, the weather that is , not the blog ( thats just dusty).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Reclaiming Palin

Now with the election done and dusted and herself heading back to Alaska , Michael can set about reclaiming his good name after that brief case of identity theft..After all there is only one Palin!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Audacity of That!

Momentous that's the word isn't it. A victory for passion over cynicism , the hopeful over the sceptics. What will it really mean? For today at least i dont really care...

Damn i wish i was in America right now!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Old people and placards...

Angry public protests are surely the domain of the young people arent they? Of course not. However the sight of so many elderly people looking so angry can be a little jarring at first glance.

Yesterdays pensioner protest threw up some interesting images. There were some choice pictures in todays paper. I was especially impressed by the placards on display.


Bullet holes and blood. Nice..

But surely the best of the bunch...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

picture of the day #245

in a desperate bid to revive his foundering campaign McCain busted some moves post- debate....

Monday, October 13, 2008

im trying to not post political stuff, i really am...

"Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States. As a representative of our political system, she's a new low in reptilian villainy, the ultimate cynical masterwork of puppeteers like Karl Rove. But more than that, she is a horrifying symbol of how little we ask for in return for the total surrender of our political power. Not only is Sarah Palin a fraud, she's the tawdriest, most half-assed fraud imaginable, 20 floors below the lowest common denominator, a character too dumb even for daytime TV — and this country is going to eat her up, cheering her every step of the way. All because most Americans no longer have the energy to do anything but lie back and allow ourselves to be jacked off by the calculating thieves who run this grasping consumer paradise we call a nation."

This article from Rolling Stone magazine is just too damn good..

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

After deBATES...

Two debates since my last post and as it stands now im pretty sure the Obama/Biden ticket is going to win the election. My fears about the Biden /Palin debate proved unfounded thankfully and last nights debate saw Obama come off calm, poised and presidential. In fact its theres to lose at this point. There it is, ive said it, ive declared it no going back now.

Obama 08!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sarah Palin..Be very afraid

The whole Sarah Palin fiasco is deeply disappointing and quite scary . Other than her star turn as the new poster girl for Republicans at that party's convention she hasn't done much to prove her detractors wrong, and how could she for those detractors are right. Clearly unqualified, not at all fit for the post and beholden to strange fundamentalist views her appearance on the biggest political stage of all boggles the mind. Even more mind boggling however is the thought that none of this will matter in the end, because in the end she could very well be the VP and one step away from the leadership of the most powerful nation on the planet.

But surely she will come unstuck? And hasn't she already done so in the few interviews the press have being granted with her? Indeed those interviews are cringe worthy and she has being exposed (steady now) but I've got this ill feeling that the women is sort of invincible and not in a good way. You would like to assume that Joe Biden, that seasoned Washington old boy and foreign policy expert, would go to town on Palin in the upcoming Vice-Presidential debate and this seems likely. Though in a culture of reduced attention spans which gorges on info-tainment and glib soundbites its likely that this debate could be a lot closer, or at least that's the impression American television audiences will get. And i know who that's going to benefit the most..

This story from the BBC News website is quite depressing and outlines why i fear for Biden.

"It wasn't about how much she knew about the issues. People didn't care about her experience, they just thought, 'This is the drink of water we need'." WTF!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I knew that Arts degree would stand to me...

link for larger image

"the sorts of people we think will be good for the job are:

Arts, Architecture and Humanities students : No real reason, well actually i suppose there is, Its just were going to be working with somebody for hours on end its quite nice to talk about stuff were interested in as well."

If only all job advertisements were like the above.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ear to the sounds...

Yesterday i discovered the "music" of Quinn Kiesow. National Public Radio asked musicians to send in the their " musical takes on the California dream" so obviously enough they received lots of songs which mentioned California and dreams and whatnot. The eventual winner of the competition was Kiesow whose "song" ( that's the last of the commas) is unique in that it was composed entirely of sounds of urban Los Angeles, from squeaking bus brakes and clicking skateboards to clacking shoes. Sound montage as musical tune. Theres some spoken word thrown in also as Kiesow gives us a running commentary over the sounds, truth be told i found this a little irritating but i guess it does play a part in the overall experience.

The track is titled Los Angeles and apparently Kiesow spent 80 hours in the studio putting it together. After the Los Angeles track he decided to point his microphone toward Europe and has since made tracks called " Madrid" and "Barcelona" . You can have a listen to the track here..

If he ever decided to make an Irish song I'm pretty sure it would only really have one sound, that sound being rain.

It seems like we in Ireland have been living under a perpetual rain cloud. Irish people are quite familiar with rain but there has been a hell a lot of it over these last few months. And yet we still complain. Though i do wonder whether i really dislike the bad weather as much as all that.

Have we just been conditioned to dislike it or is abhorrence of bad weather inherent in humans.?

I'm not about to lose myself in some philosophical discourse but as weather goes bad weather ain't all that bad in my books. I have trouble with choices and decision making from time to time. I find myself getting flustered if confronted with too many choices and possibilities. I'm not overly fond of buffets and self service i prefer menus and table service. I like things being simplified a little. I find all you can eat buffets a bitter sweet experience. When it rains it simplifies things a little. Theres is no choice i will have to wear a jacket. Its to windy outside i cannot go surf or go jog, two choices have been eliminated thanks to the help of unsavoury weather. I can now read a book or watch a film or do whatever else indoors without worrying that I'm missing out on some better experiences and opportunities outside. And everybody else is indoors also for it is far too nasty outside .

Isn't that nice ,isn't that comforting.

So all in all I'm not a basher of bad weather . It has its uses and i haven't even talked of the actual aesthetic beauty of a dark grey rain laden cloud hovering over above us in the sky. I think that the climate here in North West Ireland seems similar to that of the Pacific Northwest in America. Rain and mist feature prominently in both places. Gus Van Sants latest film Paranoid Park is set in Portland, Oregon. I really like the movie , its one of the best I've seen in the last year. Its got rain in there too, quite a bit actually and when its not raining it looks like it just has or is just about too. The movie looks greats, just like bad weather. I love the opening credits, a minute or so into these and i knew i was going to enjoy the film. So for your viewing pleasure...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is this REALLY the end of the blog?.
Of course not you little worry warts.
Is it just a regular blog then?
NO it is not!
Could it hasten the end of the blog?
Yes that is extremely likely.
If so then how exactly?
If i was to tell you that then that would actually hasten the whole process even more.
Are you talking nonsense?
Yes i think i am.
So have we wasted our time in coming here?
I should hope not for that is not the aim of EotB.
So what is your aim?

My aim is to entertain your brain!