Wednesday, 19 May 2010

How is 2010 Shaping Up For You?

So with our country cautiously exiting political limbo (does anyone still play limbo?!), crazy Cannes in full swing and the football World Cup upon us, I ask what is your favourite film and album released in 2010 so far?


I readily admit to having seen very little of what the cinematic world has to offer lately but this small British gem set on a London council estate has an excellent energy mostly driven by lead actress and film debutant Katie Jarvis and current critical favourite Michael Fassbender. Whilst the film does occasionally lose it's essence and stray close to the borders of cliche, strong characters and performances ensure a memorable experience. Director Andrea Arnold is hopefully part of a British film revival along with Steve McQueen (Hunger) and the ever reliable Mike Leigh and Shane Meadows. Leigh is currently receiving mostly high praise for his latest work, Another Year, currently playing in the Palme d'Or field at Cannes. We should all take that cinematic Mecca to Cannes one day, right?!


Whilst I can't even predict Fish Tank will stay afloat in my end of year top ten, this dreamy album is an instant modern classic. The third album from the Baltimore duo is a distinctive progression from their previous two - easier to digest, yes but the clarity of writing, splendid production and a new level of confidence ensures a richly textured and deeply rewarding listen. Musically, this year is developing nicely - excellent new albums from Swedish shoegazers, The Radio Dept., American kings, The National and experimental Canadian duo Crystal Castles are all currently pleasing my ears - not at the same time, that would be a scary mashup.

And yours? Recommendations are always handy.


  1. Hey, good to see you posting again. For a film in 2010, well there aren't a lot of great ones yet are there? I'll tell you the one I want to see most which never came to a theatre near me: Greenberg.

    As for album, the best I've heard is HIM's Screamworks. Man it's catchy.

  2. Tis been a plentiful year, certainly.

    Might I suggest The Ghost(Writer, depending on where you're from)? Taut thriller, and you can totally ignore the Roman Polanksi factor.

  3. Thanks Mike. I am also anticipating Baumbauch's latest. How did you respond to Margot compared to Squid and the Whale?

    I was planning to see that one Simon but, alas...

    The 'Polanski factor' does not bother me personally - I care about his art not his personal life.

  4. Of course people still play limbo! "How low can you go?"

    Movies this year, I've only just seen "Alice in Wonderland." Shame. But I want to see "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Undead" set for limited release this June. That or Entre Nos..looks sad but interesting. Movie that is from 10 years ago, would suggest Malena, that was a good film.

    Music? Heard a few tracks from Vampire Weekend's Contra. Really like Lady Antebellum's album Need You Now. (It's country.) The Nationals remind me of Bruce Springsteen (good thing).

    And I'm sure Mike and Simon would agree that everyone who enjoys films should make the trek to Cannes one day.

  5. How was Alice? General consensus doesn't seem too favourable.

    Malena was ok from what I remember but not much more.

    Still taking in High Violet but The National's previous two albums are definitely for the all time list...

  6. I tend to agree with the general consensus. It was merely okay. The visual aspect was fascinating (makeup, sets, clothing). The performances by Depp and Carter were very good for the parameters they were given. Wasikowska was beautiful but too quiet in the role..too timid and mildly forgettable. I was disappointed, given it's a wonderful story and all the excitement it generated.

    I really wanted it to be a great movie but it wasn't. Which is really too may now scare off someone else from doing it again in the future. The 1985 TV version of it I remember the most. It was pretty good.

    Any other 2010 films that you recommend we see?

  7. Well I haven't seen much so I am far from the best person to ask but fellow British films, Nowhere Boy (about the young life of John Lennon) and Ken Loache's Looking for Eric are worth a watch.

    My co-founder was also a fan of Kick-Ass but I know little more than he liked it - hopefully he will share some more details in due course.

  8. Sorry for taking so long to get back here. My initial response to Margot was that it wasn't as good a Squid but it had stayed with me more, grown in my mind more, and is more emotionally savage in a more subtle way. Plus Jack Black proves that he is a very good actor. I think Baumbach was getting into Bergman territory and he nailed it. I also like that the title is like old European art flicks, all you need to know about the plot is in the title, the rest is all human drama.

    You know, I never realized it, but when I saw the trailer for Greenburg before Crazy Heart within seconds I said to myself this looks like a Noah Baumbach movie and it was. At that moment I realized just how far he has come over the course of two films at creating a distinct style.

    Also, I saw Just Wright this week and I hope people search it out because it's the kind of romantic comedy we need more of.

  9. Agreed on Margot. He definitely has a skill for depth, without being showy or 'difficult'.

    Still unsure regarding the casting of Stiller but the reviews seem to be kind (although I haven't read them properly - don't like spoiling such films).

    How is Just Wright Right?:)

  10. I believer Stiller will be good. He began his career with roles like this in stuff like Your Friends and Neighbours, Permanent Midnight, Zero Effect.

  11. Film: "Southern District" and "Lebanon"(really hope they make it beyond festivals though)

    Album: Groove Armada's "Black Light"