I haven’t been especially rampacious* in my consumption of books, films and music over the past twelve months, but there’s a few choice highlights worth mentioning.
Best album – undoubtedly Mr Beast by Mogwai. I love Mogwai’s sound – dark, brooding and sullen one minute, then exploding into angry, unfettered rage the next, through a usually lyric-less combination of guitars, piano and drums. Mr Beast is very much like Mogwai’s previous servings, but one or two songs have the most gorgeous, emotive, catchy melodies, and my favourite track “Friend of the Night” is simply sublime.
Best film – a straight tie between the outrageously magnificent Snakes On A Plane and the jaw-dropping science fiction drama Children Of Men. Snakes, as I blogged before, is a tongue in cheek B-movie action film about well, snakes on a plane. It’s got wonderfully gratuitous comedy violence, humour, ridiculous dialogue, and Samuel L Jackson. It’s a magnificent piece of cinema.
As is Children Of Men, for completely different reasons. It’s a heart-wrenching, edge of the seat story about a disintegrating society in the near future which has, due to mass infertility, seen no births for eighteen years. The portrayal of the paranoid, hopeless and violent, police state in Britain is chillingly believable, and the plot revolves around an inept, alcoholic civil servant who finds himself unwittingly at the centre of an attempt to protect a miraculously pregnant girl. The direction is beautiful and brutal, the dialogue very British, and the storyline absolutely nailbiting. I’d say this is easily one of the best British films I’ve ever seen.
Best television – Lost. Simply no contest.
Best opera – just kidding, I’m not that cultured.
* I have no idea if rampacious is a real word, but it sounds like it should be.