Posts Tagged ‘2009’

Late Entry

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Although it is very near to the end of the year, today I added another entry to the top films I saw in 2009.

Waltz With Bashir is one of the best films I have ever seen. The art, animation and direction is beautiful. It is accompanied by a gorgeous soundtrack and perfectly suited and accurate sound design. It follows an amazing story.

This is horrific and traumatic to watch and shows better than most films and books the truth behind war. “In order to survive war you have to go to irony and dark humour to go on with every day life”

It is very easy to sit here and preach about the horrors of war and about the injustices by the ‘powers that be’ without ever having any direct experience of it. This film examines from a first person soldier’s account (and other individual soldiers’ accounts) the truth of war.

The interview with the filmmaker, which is an extra feature on the DVD, highlights the impact the film has made on his own life and on others who have seen the film. He tells of since the film release, how he now goes to parties or events and ends up sitting alone in the corner of the room and one by one people come to him to relay their own terrible war stories and experiences. He has opened other people’s memories up to them.

Thousands of lives would have been saved if someone, anyone in power stopped the massacre at Sabra and Shatila happening. It could have been stopped at any point. As with the conflicts around the world that continue today.

Ari Folman is a hero, not for his actions in war as a 19 year old novice soldier, but for his actions afterwards as a 40 year old filmmaker.

5 Best Albums of 2009

Monday, December 21st, 2009

very difficult list to write (this is the final draft of many):

1.  A Woman A Man Walked By (PJ Harvey & John Parish)

2.  Omega Sanction (Akira the Don)

3.  Nonsense in the Dark (Filthy Dukes)

4.  Fight My Battles For Me (Pagan Wanderer Lu)

5.  XX (The xx)

special mentions for other favourite artists of the year: Jim Bob, Something Beginning with L, Martin Carr, Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, 30lbs of Bone, The Leano

…go buy them all

And The Winners Are…

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

Top 5 gigs of 2009:

  1. PJ Harvey & John Parish at Brighton Corn Exchange
  2. Something Beginning with L at Buffalo Bar (Overcoat single launch)
  3. Akira the Don at the Natural History Museum
  4. (joint place) Carter USM at Brixton Academy/all of the afterparty at Jamm
  5. Filthy Dukes at Dingwalls

This doesn’t take into account everything I saw at Swn Festival which was the best thing I went to all year or Lexapalooza Lite which would definitely have made the list had I not played

Top 5 TV shows (of 2009):

  1. The Wire
  2. True Blood
  3. Fringe
  4. Torchwood – Children of Earth
  5. Bones

Special mention for Misfits which I haven’t seen yet but am DEFINITELY GONNA LOVE

Best films I saw for the first time in 2009:

Waltz With Bashir, District 9, Kung Fu Hustle, Gran Turino, He’s Just Not That Into You, Star Trek, Push, The Hangover, The September Issue, Don’t Look Now, A Serious Man, Milk, A Streetcar Named Desire, Shaolin Soccer, Role Models, The Good The Bad The Weird, Cronos, Wolverine

(I haven’t yet seen Moon, Up, WTWTA, Coco Before Chanel, Avatar, LTROI, Nine or 500 Days of Summer)

Most Disappointing films I saw in 2009:

Watchmen, Blood the last Vampire (live action), Fast and Furious, Party Monster, Bound, Wolverine (yes, that’s right)

The best 5 Welsh people of 2009:

  1. Hannah Humphreys
  2. Akira the Don
  3. Huw Stephens
  4. James Anthony
  5. Eirian Rees

Top 5 websites of 2009:


Top 5 bars of 2009:

  1. the Flowerpot, Kentish Town
  2. KU Bar, Soho
  3. all of the Swn venues, Cardiff
  4. Biddle Bros, Hackney
  5. Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch