One Movie a Day – part 2

The second half of my quest to get into the habit of watching high quality cinema again.

25th December – Twin Peaks : Fire Walk With Me (I just received a boxed set of David Lynch movies for Christmas. I thought I would start with this one as I’m a little full of food and wine and wanted to watch something with a vaguely linear narrative. It’s also Twin Peaks, which means I could pretty much watch it all day)

26th December – Dune (Something else from the David Lynch box set. It’s still one of my favourite movies of all time, and I thought it was quite suitable as a Boxing Day treat before diving into more challenging things tomorrow)

27th December (a.m.) – Eraserhead (Very strange and surreal, but I think it actually makes sense on several levels, and I do really like the music and think it adds so much to the narrative. I have seen it once before, but I think it is something that is worth coming back to every few years to encounter new perspectives on what it actually means)

27th December (p.m.) – Lynch: One (80 minute documentary that came with the Eraserhead blu-ray, and which was on my wish list in it’s own right. I like watching how creative people work, as I think it helps me understand the creative process itself)

27th December (and into 28th) – The Krays (This probably doesn’t count, because it is actually on TV, but is is very surreal seeing the Kemps playing the Krays)

28th December – Three Colours : Blue (A trilogy I have wanted to own for ages, this was my Christmas present to myself this year. I was utterly transfixed from beginning to end and may have to watch the other two in fairly short order)

28th December (later) – Three Colours : White (See above. I really enjoyed this one too)

29th December – Three Colours : Red (Absolutely perfect, and a very fitting ending. I need more movies like this in my life I think)

30th December – Wild at Heart (Something else from David Lynch, and one of the few that I’ve not already seen. I like it, but it doesn’t quite stand up to everything else I’ve watched this week)

(and a couple watched after I posted this)

31st December – Lost Highway (I saw this ages ago, but could remember nothing about it. I actually quite enjoyed it this time round)

1st January – Mulholland Drive (An old favourite, but every time I learn something new).

The experiment is now over, but it has taught me that I should certainly find time to watch more movies once I’m back at work.

Albums of the year – 2012

I think 30 choices is appropriate again this year. They are in vague order (certainly near the top), but I think some of them really depend so much on what sort of mood I’m in on a particular day.

  1. Shearwater – Animal Joy
  2. The Twilight Sad – No One Can Ever Know
  3. How to Dress Well – Total Loss
  4. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die
  5. Bill Fay – Life is People
  6. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
  7. Chromatics – Kill For Love
  8. Craig Finn – Clear Heart Full Eyes
  9. Metric – Synthetica
  10. Moonface – With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery
  11. The North Sea Scrolls – The North Sea Scrolls
  12. Paul Heaton – Paul Heaton Presents The 8th
  13. A.C. Newman – Shut Down The Streets
  14. Stars – The North
  15. The Indelicates – Diseases Of England
  16. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  17. Simon Joyner – Ghosts
  18. Swans – The Seer
  19. Paul Buchanan – Mid Air
  20. Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz – Abraxas: The Book of Angels Volume 19
  21. Pog – Between the Station and the Sea
  22. Tennis – Young & Old
  23. Lambchop – Mr. M
  24. Errors – Have Some Faith in Magic
  25. Tame Impala – Lonerism
  26. John Zorn – The Gnostic Preludes
  27. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
  28. Allo Darlin’ – Europe
  29. Yeasayer – Fragrant World
  30. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill

One Movie a Day – part 1

Over Christmas I set out to watch (on average) a movie a day. This is what I chose (and why) over the first few days.

19th December – Let Him Have It (the story that inspired the Elvis Costello song ‘Let Him Dangle’ which has always been one of my favourite songs)

20th December – Pollock (the artist Patti Smith named her son after. I listened to her new record this morning and it blew my mind. The music at the end of the movie is ‘World Keeps Turning’ by Tom Waits who I also adore)

21st December – Prozac Nation (I read the book ages ago, but somehow managed to miss the movie. Mental illness is a subject close to my heart right now, and Lou Reed playing Lou Reed is always worth watching in any movie)

22nd December – A Dangerous Method (I love David Cronenberg as a director, and thought I would round off my series of movies based on true stories with this. Despite only being made last year it does a very good job of looking significantly older, and it makes me really look forward to Cronenberg’s next movie which is an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis and which will feature music composed by Metric)

23rd December – Black White + Gray: A Portrait of Sam Wagstaff and Robert Mapplethorpe (I’ve just read Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’. This movie-length documentary covers roughly the same period of time, and adds new perspective to an already familiar story)

24th December (a.m.) – New York Stories (This is probably one of my favourite movies, and one I keep coming back to when I want something familiar and not too mentally challenging. It also reminds me a little of Paul Auster’s ‘New York Trilogy’ which is one of my favourite books)

24th December (p.m.) – The Last Waltz (I stumbled on a CD of ‘Music From the Big Pink’ in a bargain bin this year, and I keep coming back to these amazing songs that I couldn’t get enough of at University. I think this is a fitting way to see in Christmas)

There will be more over the next few days. Largely a lot of things I’m getting for Christmas with one or two old favourites thrown in. I may also start documenting some of my listening habits regarding records made before I was born, which I’ve not really touched on elsewhere.

Christmas projects

I have all sorts of things planned this Christmas, some of which may happen and some of which may take a little longer to reach fruition.

  • Albums of the year (which I always do), and which will be ready on or around 31st December.
  • One movie a day, where I will watch one decent movie a day, and list them all with a few notes on why I chose them and how they all fit together.
  • A writing project, which I’ve started, and which might end up being a “one poem a day” type exercise.

It is good to have some time to work on this sort of thing, and I’m hopeful it will redress the balance a little after a year of too much work, too much responsibility and not enough creativity.