Category: 2006

2006, Books, Non-Fiction

Children of the Sun (2006) by Alfred W. Crosby

This is a brief but informative and fascinating history of human use of energy. It is so brief that it’s hard not to recommend it because my experience with “big history” books of this ilk is that they are normally gigantic, with a forbidding page count that turns most people off. So, before I get …

2006, Movies

Silent Hill (2006, Christopher Gans)

This is a video game adaptation which, like so many video game adaptations, does not translate very well to the screen. I played a Silent Hill game years ago and remember being pretty creeped out. (I didn’t get very far, and I honestly don’t remember anything except that it was creepy.) So if you think it’s …

2006, Movies

Il caimano (2006, Nanni Moretti)

This is an amusing and clever satire about a hacky low-budget producer attempting to make a film that he initially doesn’t realize is about Silvio Berlusconi. But, for me, the film is somewhat weakened by its farcical nature and particularly the ridiculous behaviour of its central character, who rubs me the wrong way like so many …

2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, TV

The Wire (2002)

It’s been about 10 years since The Wire finished and 16 years since it started. In that time, I have managed to watch the first three seasons four times (I think), the fourth season three times and the notorious fifth season twice. (The only other dramatic show I have ever watched more than once is Deadwood.) I …

2006, Movies

Den brysomme mannen (2006, Jens Lien)

Imagine a dryer, less quirky, less fantastic Brazil and you get some faint idea of what this Norwegian film is like, a dystopian fantasy dark comedy which acts either as a critique of materialism/consumerism or as a horrible vision of the afterlife. (I’m not 100% sure which.) SPOILERS (I realize I already spoiled something for you. …

2006, Movies

Cocaine Cowboys (2006, Billy Corben)

I have heard about this film from a number of people and wonder if we watched the same movie. This is a poorly made film that absolutely reeks of early digital technology (even if 2006 would suggest it wasn’t made with early digital technology). Why is it that so many people are okay with watching …

2006, Movies

Meltdown: Days of Destruction (2006, JP Howell)

This is one of those terrible TV movies which are competently made at some level – the sound is fine, the lighting is okay, I never saw a boom mic in a shot – but are so unbelievably preposterous and poorly plotted that you wonder how they get made. (The answer is likely that many …

2006, Movies

Brand Upon the Brain (2006, Guy Maddin)

I didn’t go see this in theatres, with its live orchestra, and that is now to my eternal regret. Because I feel like that experience might have made this the greatest of all Maddin experiences. On the small screen, it’s just not quite as immersive as I assume it would have been in a theatre …

1984, 2006, Music

Elgar: Violin Concerto; Introduction and Allegro (1984, 2006)

This disc is a reissue of a famous performance of the Elgar violin concerto with his Introduction and Allegro, presumably recorded at the same time. (I say presumably because it was not on the initial LP and I am listening to it from the library’s stream, and so I don’t have the liner notes to confirm …

2006, Books, Non-Fiction

Thomas Paine (2006) by Craig Nelson

I have only ever read The Rights of Man many years ago. I loved Paine’s wit – there are many classic one-liners, including my favourite anti-monarchist barb of all time: “a hereditary monarch makes as much sense as a hereditary poet laureate” – but found his philosophy superficial, probably because I had just left grad …

1921, 1925, 1926, 1977, 2006, Music

Káťa Kabanová; Cappriccio; Concertino (1977, 2006) by Leos Janacek, performed by Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Charles Mackerras featuring Elisabeth Söderström, Peter Dvorský, Naděžda Kniplová

This set pairs a Janacek opera with two of his chamber music pieces. It’s an odd pairing, but in the era of the CD it was a regular thing when an opera failed to fill out two discs.

1902, 1910, 1911, 1913, 2006, Music

Ives: Symphonies Nos 2 and 3 (2006) by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Litton

This set pairs Ives’ middle symphonies with the “song” he orchestrated. The second symphony opens with a movement that is, for Ives, startlingly traditional but it soon brings the zaniness he’s known for.

2006, Movies

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006, Jonathan Levine)

I watched the first 30-35 minutes of this maybe a year ago (in pieces) while someone else was watching it. I figured I should watch it all the way through, even given my reservations. My reservations were a few: I didn’t go to a school like this. I guess there were one or two girls …

2006, Books, Non-Fiction

Your Movie Sucks (2006) by Roger Ebert

I used to read Ebert a lot while he was still alive. It’s not that I necessarily agreed with him all the time – I find that he both overrates some well-made children’s movies, and falls into that typical critic’s cliche of thinking the values of his generation are universal (more on that in a …

1886, 1890, 1978, 1980, 1995, 2006, Music

Franck: String Quartet; Violin Sonata (1978, 1995, 2006) by Fitzwilliam Quartet; Pierre Amoyal, Pascal Roge

I am a sucker for a good string quartet and I like to think that this is a very good string quartet. It’s certainly interesting for its era and, though not as ballsy as so many of the great quartets of the early 20th century, I think it would probably bear comparison with other notable …

2006, TV

30 Rock (2006)

When Seinfeld ended, I was done with the sit-com. I honestly didn’t see what it could possibly offer me any more. Television was getting smarter – and would get significantly smarter over the next decade – and I just couldn’t handle being told when to laugh or having to suspend my disbelief to laugh at …

2006, Movies

Shortbus (2006, John Cameron Mitchell)

So I think Mitchell is attempting to make some kind of grand statement that our society-imposed anxiety about sex and relationships is unimportant in the scheme of things, and really just gets in the way of our having a good time. And so he creates this fantasy sex club – maybe it isn’t so fantastic, …

2006, Books, Fiction

The Poe Shadow (2006) by Matthew Pearl

This is a novel about a fictional lawyer investigating the death of Edgar Alan Poe. I appreciate the effort that went into this to make it historically accurate. And I appreciate that, instead of writing a work of scholarship, he tried to make it exciting by writing a novel.

1863, 1875, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889, 1893, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1902, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1913, 1915, 1919, 1921, 2006, Music

Faure: Complete Piano Works (2006 compilation) performed by Jean-Philippe Collard

Faure’s music seems to my uneducated ears to be the missing link between composers like Chopin and Liszt and composers like Debussy and Satie. That’s really the best way I can size it up: this music often possesses the technical demands of Chopin, Debussy or Liszt, but it also often possesses the sense of momentness, …

2006, Music

Songs (2006) by Frederick Delius, performed by Yvonne Kenny and Piers Lane

This somewhat arbitrary collection of songs is decent enough. It would be nicer to hear complete sets. I can’t say that I hear enough of what I love about impressionism to really rave about it. On the other hand it is clear that these songs mark a departure from much of what was standard at …

2006, Movies

Scott Walker: 30th Century Man (2006, Stephen Kijak)

I am not familiar with Walker’s early work but I think The Drift if one of the great and essential recordings of our young century so this was a treat for me. Unfortunately, it is a pretty oddly made film, jumping back and forth between interviews and parts of Walker’s career. Worse, there are multiple …

2006, Movies

The Tripper (2006, David Arquette)

This isn’t scary – and I’m not sure its really supposed to be – but the problem is that it isn’t funny either. I laughed maybe twice. The political commentary is obvious and heavy handed and not in any way insightful. The best part about it is the spot-the-famous-people aspect, and that’s not all that …

2006, Movies

Ten Canoes (2006, Rolf de Heer, Peter Djigirr)

Well this is an interesting little piece of history. It certainly is important, since it’s probably the first true film documentation of this particular story. As film it is a little too meta for what it is doing, but then that appears to be the nature of this story (and perhaps many Abo stories). I …

2006, Music

No Heroes by Converge (Deathwish 2006)

Metalcore appeals to me because it combines things I like about metal and punk together, and skips on the excesses of metal (for the most part). This is a pretty good example. The lyrics are shit (when you can decipher them), but the music grabs you and doesn’t really let you go, even when they …

2006, Music

Four Guitars Live at Luxx by Lee Ranaldo, Carlos Giffoni, Thurston Moore and Nels Cline (Important 2006)

Pretty directionless. And there are many times where I can’t really distinguish all four players. This is the kind of thing I would gladly waste 45 minutes on if it was live, but as a home listening experience it just doesn’t work. Still better than top 40 though. 5/10