I remember over a decade ago thinking holy sh+t! it’s almost 2001! We’re living in Kubrics future!! And now? 2011 is grinding to a hault, and there’s still no sign of that obelix… But I have to say 2011 has been a busy year, including a few life-long/personal/career highlights for me, but it was a tough year for a lot of people as some major parts of reality completely went to hell…
Its too easy to be cynical – I always remember a good friend & producer saying in passing once ‘cynicism is not a particularly attractive character trait’ and he is right – it is too easy to find fault, and while the happy clappers are equally annoying, it is important to acknowledge & savour the good with the bad, the bitter & the sweet… How else would we get to have a window into such profound monents as these? (Reuters best photos of 2011)
So FWIW here are a few references to what made 2011 memorable for me….
MUSICofSOUND Best Films of 2011
Pina by Wim Wenders
The best use of 3D so far, this film is a must see – in a cinema, in 3D… A definite contender for the Oscar for best foreign film and/or best documentary!
The Future by Miranda July
Full of pathos and wry comedic moments this would be one of the best American films I saw all year
Melancholia by Lars Von Trier
Despite the vastly contrasting (& at times jarring) visual style and the constant dense of dread this is beautifully complex work by an auteur worth going out of your way to experience.
Beginners by Mike Mills
Other than TrainSpotting I’ve never been much of a fan of Ewan McGregor but he is excellent as the lead in this film, even if he is upstaged more than a few times by the comic relief of a four legged scene stealer.
The Turin Horse by Bela Tarr
Bleak, glacial pacing & beautiful cinemaotgraphy are all the key reasons I love Tarrs films and while its sad that he is retiring from film making what an influential legacy he has left!
MUSICofSOUND Favourite Music of 2011
Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakmoto – Summvs
Apparat – The Devil’s Walk
BVDub – Tribes at the Temple of Silence
Funki Porcini – One Day
Ghost Poet – Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam
Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie XX – We’re New Here
Kolortown – Sound Is Coming
Little Dragon – Ritual Union
Mimicof – Rundskipper
Mt Kimbie – Carbonated
Nils Frahm – Felt
Olafur Arnalds – Living Room Songs
Radiohead – King of Limbs
SBKTRKT – SBKTRKT
The Black Dog – Liber Dogma
The Weeknd – House of Balloons
TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light
And on a more sobering note spare a thought for those who lives ended in 2011…
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
As it is the holiday season its also very timely to think hard about safe travels – if you are driving any distances bear in mind you are surrounded by people in machines capable of killing you, all through no fault of your own… This article is very sobering and very worth a read before you head off on a road trip. Also related, I always remember one section of Burt Munros biography that I read before working on World’s Fastest Indian, where he explained how he never drove any long distances during holidays, because the roads were full of people who are not used to driving on the open road & are a danger, to themselves and to others…
Have a great holiday, but stay safe!!!