Being asked to compile a few notable qualities from 2011 is actually a really refreshing thing, it certainly makes for a nice contrast to the bland, borish and frankly cliché, ’2011 was faeces, bring on the new year’ quotes you get floating around the internet this time of year.
The best world wide 2011 moment for me? Has to be the moment Matt Baker (The former Blue Peter presenter) asked David Cameron ‘How on earth do you sleep at night,’ after what could only be described as a cushy interview. It’s this kind of verbal attack that makes me feel hope for mankind once more. Thank you Matt Baker, you truly are the 007 of interviewing, and there for my hero.
On a personal note, I recently learned that my late Great Aunt ‘Jennifer Larche,’ told my mum that a short story I wrote moved her to the extent of receiving shivers down her spine. This was particularly momentous for me, because for one I always know when a piece of work has really moved me when i get a good sharp shiver, and secondly she happened to say it in the last few weeks of her life, and so left me that with font memory of her kind words. Jennifer was an avid race relations worker and former journalist, during which time she worked with the likes of Sir Terry Pratchett.
Best Of 2011
I was going to say that these lists won’t be in any particular order, because I don’t think you can categorise media in descending / ascending lists according to their quality, especially when the subjects or genres aren’t the same. But i’ll try my best to list them in order of ‘how much they moved me.’ Soppy I know, but that’s part of the fun. Unless you’re a sociopath, then emotions are no fun… Because you don’t have any.
1. Sigur Rós – ‘Inni’ (Live)
A recording of the bands final London show before Jonsi launches is solo career. Something I find to be, frankly selfish. How dare he starve the world of incredible music to further his slightly more euro-pop alternative solo career.
2. M83 – ‘Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming’
I first heard the song ‘We Own The Sky’ in the back of my friends car on the way up to kingston. At the time due to the volcanic eruption in iceland, no planes where taking off or landing, and driving under the heathrow flightpath with nothing but clouds in the sky was one of the more surreal experiences. Yes, made in Chelsea have selfishly used ‘Midnight City’ recently in their diabolical show, but it still remains an amazing song, from an amazing album of 2011.
3. Radiohead – ‘The King Of Limbs’
The King of Limbs is not my favourite Radiohead album, The Bends is, but It could be my favourite Thom Yorke album. Yes that is effectively what it is, since the 2006′ ‘The Eraser’ album, it seems like Thom decided ‘why have a solo career doing electro when I have an whole band to work with.’ Radiohead have effectively become the backing band for Thom Yorkes weird electro. But I like it, a lot, and it was released in 2011. So, yeah.
4. Ben Howard – ‘Every Kingdom’
Yes he’s going to become a global sensation, and will then inevitably be labeled as ‘uncool,’ but ‘keep your head up’ is one of the most uplifting songs i’ve ever heard, and he is frankly an incredible singer song writer.
5. Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘A Different Kind Of Fix’
I’m not going to lie, I’ve only just heard this album on writing this. So theres a good chance it would be placed higher on this list if I had written it after some more listening time, but already I love it.
Best Films I’ve watched in 2011
I’ve decided that I have watched so many films in 2011 that it would only be fair to list them regardless of release date.
This list is in no order.
1. The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940)
Charlie Chaplin created this film after it had come to light that he was a target of the Nazi Party for being a ‘Jew of high power?’ Something along those lines away. So to piss them off further, he made this incredible film, that is effectively slapstick with a very powerful message. The speech at the end of this film is timeless, and in its entirety the film really is worth a watch.
2. Equilibrium (Kurt Wimmer, 2002)
This film is set in a futuristic world, where for the safety of mankind emotions have been banned, and are continuously suppressed by a compulsory drug produced by the government. Christian Bale plays one of the government agents, assigned to detect people not taking there drug, and put them away.
3. Everything Must Go (Dan Rush, 2010)
This is the story of an alcoholic named nick (Will Ferrel) whose life slowly turns to shit. That’s the film in a nutshell. This film exhibits Ferrel’s capabilities as an actor, and shows he can do far more than ridiculous comedy’s, which is frankly, what I hoped the film would be when I watched it. Regardless, i’m glad I did.
4. Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller, 2008)
A few days ago I asked someone how Jack Black keeps getting work. I remembered why when I relived the experience of watching Tropic Thunder, which is hilarious – and anyone who says otherwise has no soul. I know that having any film starring Ben Stiller in a lift of mind blowing films sounds ridiculous, but this film honestly is brilliant. For one it shows that Robert Downey Jr is one of the greatest actors in the world, but also has an insanely star studded cast. Which makes it all the funnier when seeing Tom Cruise in a bald cap playing a corporate head case.
5. Horrible Bosses (Seth Gordon, 2011)
I was going to list loads of really deep films, but I think that’s best left to the people that like to watch depressing cinema, personally I find life depressing enough as it is, without adding the stress of an alternative depressing reality I can get my head stuck into. Horrible Bosses is far better than it looks, and is incredibly well written, to the point you can actually see how you yourself could get into the ridiculous situation this trio find themselves in. Also, Collin Farrel in a bald cap? Hilarious.
And so on an ending note, I would just like to say stop moaning about the previous year, and tuck into some good media.