Tag: 2011

2011, Movies

Carnage (2011, Roman Polanski)

This is the first time I’ve seen a Roman Polanski film I haven’t seen previously prior to what you might call my “maturity” regarding the crimes Polanski has fled the United States for. I have known about these crimes since I don’t know when – probably since I discovered who he was (so 20-something years …

2011, Movies

Cafe de Flore (2011, Jean-Marc Vallee

This is one of those maddening movies that eschew conventional narratives but lack the visuals, editing or other techniques to make the lack of story compelling. That’s not to say there isn’t a narrative here – there are two – but it’s fractured to bits and the hooks the audience are given are character development …

2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, Music

The Bob’s Burgers Music Album (2017)

Much like The Simpsons (at least back when I watched it) music plays a very significant role in Bob’s Burgers. In fact, it plays an even more significant role, given the singing propensities of multiple characters in the Belcher family. This album collects the featured songs from the show, as well as a few covers …

2011, Movies

Cowboys and Indians (2011, Jon Favreau)

Many years ago, in my teens, I had a habit of writing down every movie idea I had, as I dreamed I would one day be a filmmaker. One such idea was a western film in which aliens showed up part way through. However, a key part of the idea – perhaps the key part …

2011, Movies

BloodRayne: The Third Reich (2011, Uwe Boll)

This is a pretty awful film that seems intent on reviving the Naziploitation films of the ’70s that everyone fondly remembers. (Oh, you don’t fondly remember them? You think they’re offensive? That’s weird.) I can’t say whether or not this is a fond tribute to those films, as I’ve only ever seen one of them, …

1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 2011

The Best of RPM and Kent Recordings (2011) by BB King

This disc compiles some of King’s A-sides for both the RPM and Kent labels throughout the 1950s and into the 1960s.

2011, Baseball, Books, Fiction, Sports

The Art of Fielding (2011) by Chad Harbach

This is an excellent debut novel, featuring a richly constructed world and (mostly) believable characters. It works as both a baseball novel and a college novel. It has been a long time since I cared about characters this much.

2010, 2011, 2013

Borgen (2010)

Borgen is a remarkable, unique Danish television show that may have established it’s own genre. Every other TV show to focus on politics that I have ever seen has added elements of fantasy; normally these shows and movies are “political thrillers” where someone always dies; occasionally they’re comedies. Either way, there is a balance between …

2011, Books, Non-Fiction

The Violence of Financial Capitalism (2011) by Christian Marazzi

It has been a long time since I’ve read a book this dense. A long time. Maybe grad school, maybe in the years after grad school when I tried to re-read or finish lots of books that I felt I hadn’t spent enough time with in school. Either way, I don’t think my brain is …

2011, Movies, Politics, Society

Better This World (2011, Kelly Duane, Katie Galloway)

This is an important film that is really, really worth your time. What starts off seemingly as a portrait of some well-intentioned youths that got into some bad shit – and feels, perhaps, like an apology for such behaviour – soon reveals itself to be the story of something so much worse. Though it’s weird …

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 …

2011, Movies

Bellflower (2011, Evan Glodell)

First of all, it’s really, really hard to like a movie when you don’t like any of the characters. (And I mean any.) And it’s hard to like a movie when you don’t understand why anyone does anything. These people drink all day and spend money. (And do some drugs too.) One of them appears …

2011, Movies

Bernie (2011, Richard Linklater)

This is one of those films that is played so straight you aren’t sure whether or not it’s a comedy. It’s also rather unique in the sense that, though it is a fictionalized version of a true story, it’s not only partially told as if it was a documentary, but it features interviews with numerous …

2011, Movies

Battle for Brooklyn (2011 Michael Galinsky, Suki Hawley)

I have always had problems with the concept of eminent domain, or at least ever since I flirted with anarchism in my early 20s and developed my civil libertarianism. I don’t like the idea that government can decide to take the property of individuals because of some vague concept of “greater good.” But, that being …

2011, Movies

The Artist (2011, Michel Hazanavicius)

The hype around this movie was ridiculous and only increased with the Oscar wins (which are meaningless, but anyway…). I just want to address that before I actually tell you what I think of the movie. It’s not novel to take inspiration from silent films. Canada’s own Guy Maddin has been taking inspiration from silent …

2011, Music

Symphonies 3-5 (2011) by H.W. Henze, performed by Rundfunk-Sinfoniorchester Berlin, conducted by Marek Janowski

This is an excellent set of three of Henze’s symphonies, showing him at perhaps his most radical stage. This is the kind of modernist “classical” that I just love; bonkers writing and bonkers arrangements.

2011, Music

Do the Work (2011) by Steven Pressfield

If you struggle with completing things on time, or completing things at all, this is a book for you. (When I say things, I mean creative endeavours.) However, you really only need to read Pressfield’s The War of Art, as this book repeats many of the themes discussed there. This book is helpful to me, …

2011, Music

Joseph Haydn: String Quartets Op. 20 ‘Sun’ (2011) by the London Haydn Quartet

As with his symphonies and some of his other works, Haydn wrote a ton of String Quartets. Just an absolute ton. This set collects the 23rd through 28th, all of which were written at the same time, as one cycle or collection. They are considered by most people to be the birth of the modern …

2011, Music

Symphonies Nos. 104, 88, 101 by Joseph Haydn (2011) performed by Philharmonia Baroque conducted by Nicholas McGegan

The so-called “London” symphony starts off with such a modern opening I almost thought I was listening to the wrong work – it’s practically Romantic. But the music soon settles in to what we would expect. Still, as first experiences with “The Father of the Symphony” go, it was quite shocking. Otherwise I guess it’s …

2011, Movies

The Eagle (2011, Kevin Macdonald)

This movie tries really hard. It’s clear a lot of effort went into the film, including the costumes and, particularly, the use of Gaelic – even though, with a few minutes research, it turns out it likely wasn’t Gaelic they would have been speaking.