It’s Time For Your Annual Review
Posted December 23, 2006on:
Hello. Last night I had a bit of trouble getting to sleep so I wrote this blog post in my head. I thought I’d type it up and hope it hasn’t lost all the goodness in the intervening 14 hours.
Here are my favourite works of art this year, presented in the grand tradition of Penny Arcade’s We’re Right Awards.
Best Electro-Alternative Band With A Hot Japanese-Brazilian Singer:
The best thing to come out of .br since City of God, CSS are one of those bands that make you cooler just for knowing about them. If you want to join the club you can download MP3s of their singles for free from their label. That’s quite remarkable, I think; I guess they figure that no one makes any money from singles, and they don’t need to worry about making the charts, so why not give them away. Smart.
Most Likeable Person:
Anyone that knows me will know that I gibber on about Lily Allen on an almost-daily basis (sorry Dan!) Not only did she come out with a wonderful debut album this year, but her “media ubiquity” meant I could listen to, watch, and read dozens of interviews and blog posts, which all served to make it feel like she was an old friend who’d just made it and I liked her more and more with each one. I went to see her live four times this year, which is ridiculously often by my standards. I can’t wait for her to finish promoting her album and take some time off, just so that I can get a breather and think about something else for a few months.
Most Annoyingly-Talented Youngsters:
Predictable, but I reckon they deserve every ounce of acclaim that they’ve gotten. The other day I was standing in line at the supermarket, and I honestly had trouble remembering how old I am. I knew it was either 22 or 23, but I couldn’t remember which and literally had to do the math to figure it out. Turns out I’m 23 already, which makes me feel sickeningly unaccomplished compared with these guys, or any of the artists in this list, come to think of it.
Best Restoration of Dignity:
It’s hard to believe that this film was written by the same people who wrote Die Another Day, but it’s true. Far from the uber-Hollywood superficiality of recent Bond, in Casino Royale the violence is violent, the sex is sexy and the emotions are emotional. The only criticism I can think of is that they hired a beautiful French actress (no complaints so far), and then cast her as English girl. To her credit, she pulls it off well for the most part, but it’s a pet peeve of mine to watch actors having to act in their non-native language (The Dancer Upstairs was ruined for me by this, and I’ll bet it would have ruined Crouching Tiger if I spoke Mandarin).
Best Film (hands down, without a shadow of a hint of a doubt):
Children of Men
From the trailer, I was expecting this to be good, but it was absolutely brilliant. The near-future world which is portrayed in Children of Men is wonderfully realised and so full of cool, realistic little touches that it draws you in and suspends your disbelief from the first scene. It probably helped from my perspective that it’s set in London and thereabouts, so I’m eager to see how it’s received when it comes out in the States next week, and comes up for the awards in the next couple of months.
Best New Game In My Favourite Series Of All Time:
New Super Mario Bros.
I played an embarrassingly small number of games this year (mostly due to economic factors), but I’d still like to give a shout-out to New Super Mario Bros. When I heard about a new 2D Mario game coming out on the DS, I didn’t dare to dream to it would be this good. It’s a beautiful mixture of SMB 1, 3 and 4 (Super Mario World), and it’s been crafted with great respect and affection for all of them.