Category: 2007

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 …

2007, Movies

Body of War (2007, Phil Donahue, Ellen Spiro)

This is a clunky, made-for-TV quality “documentary” (more of an advocate film for reform of the Veterans Affairs administration, among other things) with some good ideas and powerful moments, but which doesn’t work super well as a feature film.

2007, Movies

Bliss aka Mutluluk (2007, Abdullah Oguz)

This is an affecting film that unfortunately follows a few too many film conventions, including some Hollywood ones that don’t make a whole lot of sense given a) the size of Turkey and b) that they’re on a yacht… But I understand the appeal of a film like this, which tells probably a relatively rare …

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, Movies

Big Man Japan (2007, Hitoshi Matsumoto)

This mockumentary has an ingenious conceit – the everyday life of a superhero. It combines a satire of Japanese monster movies with a satire of reality TV/slice of life documentaries. This is a ridiculously silly movie – which gets sillier at the end, something I’ve always admired – but its points are still worth taking, …

1902, 1983, 2007

Jenůfa (1983, 2007) by Leoš Janáček, performed by Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras featuring Elisabeth Söderström, Wiesław Ochman, Peter Dvorsky, Eva Randová, Lucia Popp

This is an opera where it’s probably for the best I can’t understand the words, given that it’s about infanticide. The music is high Romantic, but infused with Janacek’s usual folk inspirations, including some idiosyncratic vocalizations and relative realism (realism is always relative in operas) – ‘realism’ such as the knocking on the door and …

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, Movies

Beowulf (2007, Robert Zemeckis)

Of the two films I’ve seen about Beowulf, this is definitely the better one. I haven’t read the legend myself (beyond a version for children, many years ago) but this definitely feels like it is more true to the original story – the story is definitely less blatantly revisionist than the other version I saw. …

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 …