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posted by: Ian on:
December 13, 2009 @ 11:20 pm
I am pretty crap at best-movie lists and end-of-decade summaries but if you got me in an armlock and forced an answer out of me, I would have to admit that Terrence Malick’s The New World is my favourite film of the last ten years; one of those transporting experiences which come around very rarely. None of the writeups I’ve read since have done it any justice, but John Patterson – one of our finest film writers – nailed it on Friday.
As we pack our bags for Green Man, here are my top 5 things for the month….
1) Moon (dir: Duncan Jones)
Saw it last night and was well impressed. Saturated in 70s sci-fi influences, but still its own film. Brummie-spotters should listen out for a nifty Clint Mansell score and adman Trevor Beattie also put some money in.
2) The Shape of Things to Come by Greil Marcus
Being a big fan of Lipstick Traces (which gets a 20th anniversary reissue this year) it was exciting to stumble on this in the library. Marcus can be quite dense and tangential but it’s worth hanging on for the ride with this one, a rollercoaster thesis on American prophets which goes from Lincoln and MLK to Laura Palmer and riot grrrl, finishing off with David Thomas of Pere Ubu. (Thomas is popping up in the lit tent at Green Man.)
3) It Felt Like a Kiss (dir: Adam Curtis)
Curtis has kindly posted the entire one-hour film from his recent Punchdrunk collaboration in Manchester. They’re touring it next year and it may not be online for long. Bit of a rehash of some of his other work, but some marvellous tunes and editing.
4) Ambivalence Avenue by Bibio
We already plugged this, but that was before we listened to it properly. It’s bloody gorgeous, a perfect summer album. Go get it!
5) We Love You So
If you’re going to plug a movie, why not add something to the world in the process? The trailers for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are have been getting grown men all squishy, and the WLYS blog has updates on the film, Sendak online and also a plethora of vaguely related tipoffs on design, film, childrens lit and all sorts. Thanks to them we looked up the work of John and Faith Hubley, Google’s archive of Village Voice back-issues, and this smart video for Sour:
The trailer for Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, on the other hand, does not look so hot.
Digging for good stuff is part of our job description, but we did so much of it in the run-up to Flatpack that I think we blew a fuse which left us good for nothing more than cake-consumption and slack-jawed channel-hopping. For some reason the hunger returned this week, so here’s my current top 5 by way of Friday afternoon distraction…
1) Buster Keaton shorts
Bloody superb box-set of all Keaton’s shorts between 1917 and 1923. Can be got here at the bargain price of £20.
2) Cambodian pop
This was actually flavour of the office last year, yesterday resurrected by our discovery of LA-based surf-rockers and Cambodian covers band Dengue Fever. They play the Scala in London next month, and look out for their road-trip documentary Sleepwalking Through the Mekong. If you want to hear the originals – and believe me, you do – then go download the Cambodian Rocks compilation from WFMU, or a home-made alternative at The Horse Drawn Zeppelin.
3) Birmingham super prix In anticipation of a guest-turn at the 24 Hour Scalextric being put together by Stans Cafe next month (on which, more next week), we have been delving into the history and hearsay surrounding Birmingham’s brief hey-day as the UK’s only legal city-centre street-race. This youtube clip from 1989 is nice and tense.
4) Glückskugel Discovered for £7 in Rise, Warwick Arts Centre’s great little record shop (it’s like Fopp never went bust). One of the earliest releases by Andy Votel’s Finders Keepers label, a half-hour assortment of proto-techno, quirky mood music and machine noises composed by Bruno Spoerri.
5) Roy Andersson Currently beating Lukas Moodysson hands-down for the title of Sweden’s Greatest Living Director. Finally I caught up with Songs from the Second Floor, and like pretty much everything else by Andersson it’s ideal viewing for anyone contemplating social meltdown. Strangely enough he has also made a good living out of directing adverts – here’s a selection: