Category: 2007

2007, Movies

Cassandra’s Dream (2007, Woody Allen)

Obligatory mention: This movie was written and directed by Woody Allen. Woody Allen married his step-daughter (who was adopted by his then wife). Woody Allen has been accused by his adopted daughter of child abuse. For too long fans and critics have ignored or dismissed these aspects of Allen’s life when discussing his films. On …

2007, Movies

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007, Yves Simoneau)

My country was founded in genocide, as was our neighbour to the south. This is a fact that we still haven’t dealt with as evidenced by how many Canadians and Americans would find my initial statement controversial – even offensive – despite its truth. I was born in the last fifth of the 20th century …

1995, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014

Augusta Read Thomas: Selected Works for Orchestra (2014) by Various Artists

This is a compilation of performances of some of Thomas’ writing for orchestra. I got this from the library by accident but decided to listen to it anyway.

2007, Books, Fiction

A Thousand Splendid Suns (2007) by Khaled Hosseini

This is, for the most part, a compelling, affecting and, at times, devastating novel of what it was like to live as a woman in Afghanistan for the last quarter century or so of the 20th century. It is particularly effective of giving insight into men who hate women – into a whole society that …

1956, 1979, 2007

Khachaturian: Spartacus (1979, 2007) by The Bolshoi National Orchestra

As far as I can tell, this is the orchestral music from a 1979 performance of Khachaturian’s Spartacus. It is the complete four suites, I believe (or, rather, all the music). I definitely prefer listening to it all at once, instead of hearing one suite or something like that.

2007, Books, Non-Fiction

Younger Next Year (2007) by Chris Crowley, Henry S. Lodge

This is a book about exercise, nutrition and mental health, geared towards retired American men. I did not actually finish the book; I read it until it was due back at the library. I made it most of the way through, though, and I don’t fee like I missed much.

2007, Books, Fiction

Attack of the Unsinkable Rubber Ducks (2007) by Christopher Brookmyre

This is not only  a well-done mystery but it is also a fine indictment of a certain kind of chicanery, one that drives me particularly crazy. SPOILERS

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, TV

Mad Men (2007)

I watched Mad Men over an even longer period than most of you, so my memory of the individual episodes is not perfect. I know there were some weaker ones in there, and there even parts of seasons – perhaps even whole seasons – that I didn’t enjoy on the level of the best parts …

1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 2007, Music

Epitaph by Charles Mingus, conducted by Gunther Schuller, Live at Walt Disney Concert Hall, May 16, 2007

What the hell do we do with Epitaph?

2007, Movies

Battle in Seattle (2007, Stuart Townsend)

This film is an attempt to produce an alternative version of the infamous Seattle WTO protests than the one produced by the mainstream media at the time, a version that was decidedly anti-protester and pro-WTO, pro-State of Washington, pro-Seattle. There’s an all-star cast – I mean, seriously, look at that cast – and the film …

2007, Movies

Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who (2007, Paul Crowder, Murray Lerner, Parris Patton)

This is a fawning, awkward fluff piece of one of the greatest bands to come out of the British Invasion. I love The Who – there was probably a time in my life when they were my favourite band – but this film feels like the Official Version, something vetted by Daltrey and Townshend so …

2007, Music

The Alchemy Index: Volume III and Volume IV – Air and Earth (2007) by Thrice

Unfortunately “Volume III” takes the brief moments of Volume II that alluded to a sort of Post Grunge / “Modern” rock style and takes them to the logical conclusion. I guess some people would consider these songs “stronger” – they’re certainly catchier – but why neuter what your band does well? At least the rhythm …

2007, Music

Concerto funebre; Sonatas and Suites for Solo Violin (2007) by Karl Amadeus Hartmann, peformed by Alina Ibragimova

This is an excellent collection of Hartmann’s violin music.

2007, Music

The Glenn Gould Collection Vol. 3: Johannes Sebastian Bach: The English Suites, the French Suites (2007 Compilation)

This is a compilation of Gould’s performances of many of Bach’s keyboard suites (originally intended for harpsichord but, as always, Gould plays them on piano). I am not sure of the original recording date because there is no booklet. I think he recorded them in the ’70s but I’m not sure. I believe I have …

1913, 1919, 1931, 1932, 2007, Music

Sir Edward Elgar Conducts Elgar: Falstaffl Cello Concerto; Nursery Suite (2007)

Though the sound isn’t ideal – though it certainly is better than I expected – this is the most interesting Elgar I have heard so far.Fastaff is fantastic; it feels like half of the first wave of film score composers adored it. And unlike so much programmic music, it actually sounds out the action, which …

1899, 1904, 2007, Music

Elgar: Enigma Variations; In the South; Serenade (2007) by Andrew Davis, Philharmonia Orchestra

The so-called “Enigma Variations” are disappointing if only because one thinks that maybe they will be weird (or at least mysterious). They are not weird. They are tuneful and crowd-pleasing. “In the South” is one of those weird things that composers write where it feels like there should have been more (and they acknowledge that …

2007, Movies

Gone Baby Gone (2007, Ben Affleck)

Someone whose name I cannot remember once formulated a concept of “Male Morality” and “Female Morality.” Now, this is a little too much of a generalization, but the idea is that “Male” morality is what is Right, what is Moral, the principle of the thing – i.e. strict adherence to moral codes and law whereas …

2007, Music

Children’s Corner: Debussy Orchestrations (2007 Atma) by Claude Debussy, performed by Orchestre symphonique de Quebec conducted by Yoav Talmi

The more I listen to so-called “classical” / “high art” music the more of a snob I become about it. And I guess that’s not surprising, after all I am a gigantic music snob (though I would argue that I am much less of a music snob – having let hooks into my life at …

2007, Movies

Vexille (2007, Fumihiko Sori)

Just because it’s animated, doesn’t mean it’s not an incoherent action flick. This is a big nonsense Hollywood blockbuster with too much CGI posing as an anime flick. I really don’t understand why people think they are allowed to throw common sense and physics out the window just because they are using animation. The viewer …

2007, Movies

Stuck (2007, Stuart Gordon)

This is, essentially, the American Black Comedy version of the Death of Mr. Lazarescu. It has some of the same social comment themes, though they disappear as the comedy heightens, and it is far less poignant, because it’s a comedy. On the whole it is entertaining if less effective than its foreign inspiration. 7/10

2007, Music

My Name is Buddy by Ry Cooder (Nonesuch 2007)

Cooder is trying to do the same thing here he did with Chavez Ravine only with new (but related) subject matter and this time his main sources are American folk-based (though like with Chavez there are loads of genres at play). I find this slightly less effective if only because of the cat conceit. I …

2007, Music

Invisible Paths: First Scattering (Tzadik 2007) by Steve Coleman

I like to think of these as sax sonatas but not in sonata form but since Coleman isn’t of that tradition. I guess that’s sort of a silly thing to do. The thing that’s pretty amazing about this is that this music sounds forward, but the vast majority of it isn’t particularly out there, it’s …

2007, Music

The Autumn Defense (2007)

Where do I begin? I had really high expectations because this is a Wilco side project. Even though I dislike Sansone’s on-stage arena rock posturing, I appreciate what he contributes to the group in studio. And Stirratt has always played a part in the band; his one song I really like. So I figured I would find …

2007, Music

Eat Me, Drink Me by Marilyn Manson (2007 Interscope)

So I guess this is sort of a solo album since apparently there is no band any more. The guitarist is actually pretty good. It’s too bad he writes music that sounds like HIM gone new new wave. This is one of the more crass attempts I have seen to change up a sound to …

2007, Music

Invitation Songs by the Cave Singers (Matador 2007)

So it took me a while to get into this. The lead singer sounds a little bit like he is trying to be a country-ish young Lou Reed (you know, the guy you hear on those early Velvets demos). And the affectation (can I really believe he sound like this when he speaks?) is fucking …