Tag: 2009

2009, Movies

Cellule 211 (2009, Daniel Monzon)

The “good guy in a bad place” (i.e. a hero stuck in a prison) is a tired story for many reasons, but perhaps the most annoying aspect is that, usually, Our Hero is recently arrived (in this case, in the prison) and yet, somehow, manages to befriend the/a leader immediately. It’s so dumb and such …

2009, Movies

Carmel (2009, Amos Gitai)

This is one impressionistic film. Impressionistic films deserve your attention and concentration, they should not be watched while you empty the dishwasher and work on your podcast. Alas, that’s how I watched this film, so my appreciation of it, or lack thereof, is coloured by my wavering attention.

2009, Movies

Carcasses (2009, Denis Côté)

Carcasses is part of that trend in Canadian independent film in the early years of the 20th century to mix documentary style with fictional or plots, sometimes with people playing themselves. (I say Canadian trend because most of the films I have seen that do this are Canadian films from this time, or thereabouts.  I …

2009, Movies

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (2009, Anders Ostergaard)

Burma VJ is one of those journalism-as-documentary films that is out of date pretty quickly after it is made – the military regime that is depicted in this film has fallen and a new, less repressive and supposedly democratic regime has taken its place. But just because things have happened since this film was made, …

2009, Movies

Budrus (2009, Julia Bach)

This should be an inspiring documentary a village banding together to stop an oppressive foreign government from building a wall through their land. I say “should” because between when this film was released and when I watched it, 8 years later, the Israeli government did indeed succeed in building the wall around Budrus, though maybe …

2009, Movies

2012 (2009, Roland Emmerich)

It’s a testament to the endless credulity of human beings that this film got made as a blockbuster, with the budget that entails and the all-star cast. The Mayan Apocalypse thing was some the worst horse shit I’ve heard the intelligent people I know spew, and it drove me crazy that I knew people who …

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.

1963, 1993, 2009

Kagel: String Quartet No. 4; Keuris: String Quartet No. 1 (2009) by Lagos Ensemble

This disc collects Kagel’s final quartet and the first quartet by Tristan Keuris, a Dutch composer I have never hear of before. The works were composed 30 years apart.

2009, Books, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Psychology, Society

The Peep Diaries (2009) by Hal Niedzviecki

This book is a relatively interesting and amusing book about how modern technology and modern culture have created a brave new world that we don’t really understand how to navigate – and which could have all sorts of unintended consequences for us. However, the book suffers from a number of problems which make it not …

1931, 1994, 2009

The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James (1994, 2009)

This is one of the numerous discs to collect all nine of Skip James 1931 78 records that he recorded before he abandoned his music career – or whatever happened – until being “rediscovered” in the ’60s. This music is essential listening for fan of the blues or people interested in music history. James among …

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 …

1990, 2009, Movies

Best Worst Movie (2009, Michael Stephenson)

This documentary is ostensibly about Troll 2, which some consider the worst movie ever made – at one point Troll 2 had a 0% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes  and was once the worst movie on IMDB. At this point I should mention I have never seen Troll 2. Surprised, aren’t you? I should. But I …

2009, Movies

Bananas!* (2009, Fredrik Gertten)

This is a maddening, frustrating and outrage-sparking documentary about Dole’s (nee Standard Fruit Company) use of a banned pesticide in Nicaragua (and Costa Rica and Honduras) and how it deeply affected the lives of workers on plantations. There are great things about this movie, including the depiction of actual courtroom arguments, and the clear evidence …

2009, Movies

Bakjwi aka Thirst (2009, Chan-woo Park)

The idea of vampires being used as some kind of metaphor for sex has probably been around for as long as vampires have been in literature. It’s not a new thing. And so, initially, this film feels like yet another in the endless line of erotic vampire films. However, the film has enough twists and …

2009, Movies

Antichrist (2009, Lars von Trier)

I struggle with Von Trier’s movies – and megalomania – for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the ridiculous Dogme 95 statement that he has gone back on so thoroughly in his later films. (It’s not that I object to Dogme 95 in itself but it’s the brashness of youth I …

1919, 1922, 1939, 2009, Music

Hindemith: The Complete Viola Music 1 (2009) by Lawrence Power, Simon Crawford-Phillips

This disc collects Hindemith’s three viola sonatas with piano accompaniment, and it also includes a transcription for viola and piano of one of the dances from Hindemith’s ballet, Nobilissima Visione. The sequencing is odd: it starts with the final one, then goes to the first, then to the second, then back to the late ‘30s …

1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 2009, Movies

Georges Melies: First Wizard of Cinema 1896-1913 (2009)

This is a collection of many – but hardly a majority or all – of George Melies’ short films from when he got into cinema shortly after the invention of the medium until 1913, when his various personal problems consumed him and he stopped making films. (Note that many of Melies’ films have been lost …

2009, Music

Symphonies Nos. 7-8 (2009) by H.W. Henze, performed by Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, conducted by Marek Janowski

This set pairs two of Henze’s later symphonies from a time which he had embarked on a more conservative path. Though the performances are excellent (as far as I know), I find these symphonies to be less interesting than his earlier work.

2009, Movies

Watchmen (2009, Zack Snyder)

This is an admirable, ambitious attempt to adapt what is, for many people, The Greatest Comic of All Time. (I know others prefer some other comics, but I know that this was the first comic given serious treatment as literature by non-comic book fans.) I was mostly impressed by the attempts at fidelity and the …

2009, Movies

The Age of Stupid (2009, Franny Armstrong)

Somewhere in this movie there are the makings of a great “message” documentary about climate change. With some more money and a different “director” – if it was indeed directed by one person – maybe this could be the movie they wanted it to be, the movie some critics apparently thought they saw. But this …

2009, Movies

Pandorum (2009, Chrstian Alvart)

Pandorum has a neat concept to start, but unfortunately it is undercut by overly explanatory title cards – better the movie open with Bower coming out of his chamber, I think. But, that being said, otherwise the movie seems quite strong at first. The reveal is way too early, but otherwise it’s good. There are …

2009, Music

White Lies for Dark Times (2009) by Ben Harper and Relentless7

I have long struggled with Harper. When I arrived at University at the beginning of this century, I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I found was that there was a remarkable amount of commonality in the “underground” music that was cool. In fact, looking back it seems really odd to me that …

2009, 2010, 2011, TV

Bored to Death (2009)

I can’t really tell you how much I love this show, a playful send up / take down of tired noir / hard boiled detective cliches mixed with a celebration / attack on the writer’s role in contemporary society, specifically, and the role of Brooklyn as cultural epicentre, more broadly. I get that it’s a …

2009, Music

Dvorak; Poulenc; Grieg (2009) by Marie-Josee Simard, Marie Fabi

This is an interesting recording that takes three well known sonatas (two violin sonatas, one of which at least is among the greatest of the twentieth century, and one flute) adapted for vibraphone. I am really open to this kind of stuff and I must say that I think this really works and I am …