Sunday, January 13, 2008

That was 2007, this is 2008

I'm still trying to figure out if 2007 was a good year. It wasn't a bad year. First year of Marriage, yeah, was good; finished some projects around the house (retaining walled lawn, cellar) and started planning the next (deck, fire pit, wood oven, gazebo) and work was alright. But it wasn't great, which is fair enough, it can't always be good times.

Best Movie:
2 Days in Paris
Runner up:

Nothing overly dramatic or hard hitting, but smart and entertaining.

Worst Movie:
Pirates of the Caribean; End of the World
Over long and over complicated. Disappointing since i really liked the first two. Rescue Dawn was shit as well.

Best Dvd
Stanger than Fiction
Runner Up
Branded to Kill
At one point in the middle of the year I watched a really bad Michael Douglas movie and pretty much declared i'd stop watching rubbish. So I started hitting Bergman, Godard and De Sica and haven't regretted it since. The post modern rom com of Stranger than Fiction faltered at the end but was still a joy to watch. Branded to Kill is just crazy film making that is still tangible and satisfying.

Best book
Keep Off the Skyline: The Story of Ron Cashman and the Diggers in Korea / Peter Thompson and Robert Macklin

I don't read enough regular books, but amongst the non-fiction war books i read this was easily the best of them. Enough pathos to keep you interested mixed with the background information to give a better idea of why.

Worst book
Terror or love?: Bommi Baumann's own story of his life as a West German urban guerrilla

Essentially the story of a brat just trying to find a reason to fuck shit up.

Best "Graphic novel"
The Arrival by Shaun Tan.
Just wonderful. Deserves even more accolades.

Worst "graphic novel"
Black Dossier
I liked the first two because the fan-fiction elements didn't really drive the narrative, i didn't need to be familar with ever piece of genre fiction since, i dunno, 1812 for it to make sense.

Best Australian comic
DeeVee Whatever the latest one was
Wrong by Jing

As a whole there was some disappointing Australian Comics released this year. Some with beautiful art but disappointing writing (CAB), decent writing but poor art (Local Act books). There weren't many book that hard a true spark of excitement or creativity(like 2006), a lot of releases seem so calculated and most of the time I expected better (Character Sketches). If it wasn't for Comics Rehab (Various), Guh (Jase Harper), Wrong and Deevee, it would have been a very disappointing year.

Best Comic
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad

Worst comic
Everything I read by Tony Bedard
He wrote a couple of issues of Birds of Prey (with great art by Nicola Scott) and Legion of Superheroes after Simone and Waid, respectively, and they were shit.

Best Music
Spring a leak, The Lucksmiths
Luckmsiths can do no wrong, this album has some great covers and bsides. And 2007 was officially the year i lost touch with new music. A lot of 2nd albums (Interpol, Bloc party, jens lekman) graced the ipod but not a lot really got me excited, besides maybe Gogol Bordello. The two most played albums were probably Dean Martin's All the hits and Jonathan Richman's The Berkeley Years.

Worst Music
Prince's Plant Earth

I probably played the Fergie album more often then the latest album from my favourite preformer, which means it was pretty shit.

Best Purchase
Deconstructed Country Road peacoat
I'd been looking for one for at least 2 years and while i'm not keen on Country Road quality, they're high end stuff seems to be ok and i got this for a bargin.
Runner up
Australian daybill for the 1956 re-release of the Marx Brother's Day at the Races
I just have to find a frame that fits it, but even though there is some double lines from a displaced registration during printing (i think that's the term) its still beautiful.

Best TV
The Unit
Lost, Heroes, etc didn't really grab me as much this year, not like this David Mamet and Shawn Ryans tv series. Its not high art but its incredibly consistent.

Worst TV
I turned off most shit, except for 24 which just plunged from being my favourite show ever to right-wing torture-porn.

Worst Purchase
56K modem
Not so much the modem, i bought it when i was updating my dad's computer to Vista and his current modem may not have been compatible. I bought the modem ahead of time because my dad lives 2 hours away and didn't want to have to make an extra trip back. I was told that i wouldn't get my cash back but credit back if i returned the modem. that was cool. When i didn't need the modem and went to get my credit the retailer A & R reneged because it was two weeks old. Asshats who won't get my business again.
Runner up
Probably the second hand mulcher that can't handle big stuff like leaves.

Best Wine
Heartland Pinot gris/Viognior

Best Quote
"Is the seafood fresh?"
"Chef assures me the seafood was freshly defrosted 2 days ago."

Best Person
My tailor. Emma

Worst Person
Me. I've learnt there are two sides to every story and subsequently I have to remember that people are inherently good. But in this instance the worst person would be me.


Anonymous said...

I only watched "Stranger than fiction" a couple weeks ago - I really really liked it as well. I've been meaning to watch Superbad but haven't had the time.

I am VERY surprised you didn't like "CAB", I think it's the best thing Stikman's done to date.

And dude I can't believe you like "The Unit", oh man.

Believe in yourself!


Mark Selan said...

I didn't say I didn't like CAB, just that i was disappointed by it. The art is great, but without blowing smoke your ass yours is probably the best written piece in there because you are a writer who knows how to structure an interesting story. The only other story which was decent was the one about the shop owned by the writer's parents. The rest just seemed half formed and either inconsequential or lacking an element of charisma. The art though is wonderful, the writing needed editing.

The Unit is classic genre entertainment, down well. Like the A-Team but better written and doesn't require me to watch ever week which I'm getting tired of nor is it made reference too much in pop-culture so it doesn't feel as manipulative.

And I WILL believe in myself!