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In Sydney!

It’s utterly and completely wicked so far.
We went for a walk yesterday in the Rocks which is the district right by the harbour, in the middle of the city centre.
The city is huuuge, public transport is cheap and effective, food is great, shops are massive… Good times!
(The pics are a bit wobbly ’cause I’m a shitty photographer)

Elsewhere, the Monkeys are on the cover of NME for their Christmas special dressed up as evil elves! Yeah, I know! Bloody brillant.

You can see the photoshoot at this link.

Also, the Kaiser Chiefs have updated their Tour Photo Diary, and some amazing pics from their last gigs of the year in the UK have been uploaded, my favourite one being this priceless pic of Nick brushing his teeth

That’s it for now 🙂

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Obsessed much?

Not at all.

Haha, yeah. How the hell did that happen? Worst thing is, I’m actually proud of this! I used to be on the Strokes’ front page too. Anyhow. I’m sad I won’t be able to listen to my music as much as I do now -am leaving for Australia tomorrow.
What? Yeah, of course I have a real life.
Not that I won’t spend the entire holidays thinking of a certain Kaiser Chief my family and friends back home. It’s Christmas, y’all! Have some heart!
In any case, I’ll blog from there. I’m bringing my laptop (whee!), so I’ll try to update it as much as possible.

And yes, just in case you’re wondering what’s up with the daily posts: writing here is fun! I dunno why, I seemed to have forgotten about it. Of course, my life is absolutely uninteresting when movies are not involved, so maybe I won’t be posting that much. But still, I’d like to try. That was a very random post, by the way.

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Why so serious?

Trailer for Christopher Nolan’s sequel to Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, has hit the web today. Watch it here!

I don’t even know where to start. First three things that came to my mind is that: Wally Pfister’s photography is brillant as always, Christopher Nolan really is a genius, and the Joker seems to be nuts (all is well, then). I simply cannot, cannot wait for this, and I’m not afraid to get my expectations high as I trust Chris Nolan with the same fervour some people believe in God. Yeah. In any case, the trailer is bloody AMAZING, really. My heart is still pounding, and it’s been ten minutes since I first watched it…

Oh, and just in case you haven’t been following, the folks at Warner Bros. have been exceptionally good in marketing this film. First, there was the unveiling of several teaser posters, alongside with a bunch of viral websites which revealed tidbits about the film; then the infamous Empire cover, and a press kit that was both funny and original (apparently, lucky people received a birthday cake in which a phone was hidden, which had instructions leading to a screening of a preview of the film -phew!). Funny people…

The Dark Knight is set to be released on the 18th of July for lucky Americans; a week later in the UK on the 25th; and the 20th of August in France.

(See the posters in their full glory at the following link)

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New layout…

…just in case you hadn’t noticed!

I think I was getting really sick of the old one. Now that it’s new and shiny, I’ll try to post more often (yeah, riiiight)

Hope you vampires people like it (whoever gets the joke wins a lolly)!

Oh, I’ve also updated the little page about me and added mucho, mucho fanlistings. No FL for Simon Amstell though 🙁

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2007 review…

Hey, it’s that time of the year again!
Now, I totally missed half of the movie year because I moved out to the other side of the world did not have the time to go to the movies anymore, and neither could I afford going as much as I used to (ah, sad times we live in). But I expect things will resume to normal once I’ll be back in France with my beloved cinema card. Plus, all the “Oscar-worthy” films, which usually end up on the critics’ top lists, haven’t been released here yet. There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, American Gangster, Sweeney Todd, Juno etc. will thus probably qualify for next year’s list, which I’m pretty sure will be topped by The Dark Knight, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here…
Also, I haven’t seen Gus Van Sant’s latest, Paranoid Park. Rest assured, it would have made it to this list had I had the opportunity to see it.

And without further ado, here are the best films of 2007 according to yours truly…
1. The Bourne Ultimatum, directed by Paul Greengrass
2. Sunshine, directed by Danny Boyle
3. Ratatouille, directed by Brad Bird
4. Les Chansons d’Amour, directed by Christophe HonorĂŠ
5. Zodiac, directed by David Fincher
6. Das Leben der Anderen, directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
7. Hot Fuzz, directed by Edgar Wright
8. Atonement, directed by Joe Wright
9. Eagle vs. Shark, directed by Taika Cohen
10. Little Children, directed by Todd Field
11. The Last King of Scotland, directed by Kevin Macdonald
12. Letters from Iwo Jima, directed by Clint Eastwood
13. Spider-Man 3, directed by Sam Raimi
14. Starter for Ten, directed by Tom Vaughan
15. 300, directed by Zach Snyder

+ Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, Lucky You, A Mighty Heart, Superbad, Knocked Up, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Bridge to Terabithia

Well, there you go. I think there’s a fair balance of mainstream and independent in there –oooh okay, there are three massive blockbusters, but what can I say, I’m a sucker for these. The Bourne trilogy is possibly one of my favourites of all time, Spidey 3 was just too well done to be ignored, and 300 -despite having a plotline simpler than your typical Hollyoaks episode- was a hell of a ride. Sunshine, in addition to its amazing visuals and atmosphere, had a complex and engaging story, which touched upon broad themes and constanty played with the viewers’ nerves; and Ratatouille was beyond brillance (I’m running out of compliments for Pixar, really).
Oh, and the performances:

Top 5 – Actors
1. Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
2. James McAvoy, Atonement / Starter for Ten / The Last King of Scotland (what an outstanding year for young James, such a promising actor and brillant choices… couldn’t praise him highly enough)
3. Matt Damon, The Bourne Ultimatum
4. Ulrich MĂźhe, Das Leben der Anderen
5. Mathieu Amalric, Le Scaphandre et le Papillon

Top 5 – Actresses
1. Marion Cotillard, La MĂ´me
2. Kate Winslet, Little Children
3. Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
4. Naomi Watts, The Painted Veil
5. Saoirse Ronan, Atonement

Well, these are my picks, but as I said, I haven’t seen Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: the Golden Age or Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages, or Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, or Michael Clayton which is said to contain three of the finest performances of its actors etc.

Also, if I may, I’ve discovered quite a lot of new artists and this year, and all in all, I’ve listened to some really fine CDs. I’m not good at all at writing music reviews, but I will however disclose my favourite five albums this year (I’ve barely listened to ten CDs this year, because I just keep listening to the good ol’ same ones!), with links to reviews which sum it all up… Oh, and before you ask, I’ve only listened to Radiohead’s In Rainbows once, and while I liked it instantaneously, I don’t think it’s enough to put it in my faves yet.

1. Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare

Although the album sounds more polished it’s not been smoothed enough to dampen the intensity. It’s not quite as exciting as its predecessor as the element of surprise has been lost but it’s certainly a more accomplished record musically. The Monkeys aren’t really about breaking new ground or musical innovation but they make up for it with a genuine sense of honesty. […] Overall, Favourite Worst Nightmare shows progression from the debut and hints at a few directions in which the band could go, suggesting a longevity that few people predicted. It’s an eclectic record but still seems like a cohesive whole and they haven’t fallen into the trap of over-stretching themselves by trying to do too much. A less immediate album than its predecessor then, but more satisfying with repeat listening’s… Read more

2. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Neither a timid repeat nor a knee-jerk departure, the bigger, bolder Neon Bible better captures what Arcade Fire achieve live: that sense of exhilarated careening born from the realization that cynicism’s opposite isn’t unremitting cheer, but stirring recognition and defiance. Funeral provided context and impetus for the congregational experience; Neon Bible actually matches the live show’s scope and emotion… Read more

3. Kaiser Chiefs – Yours Truly, Angry Mob

The question was always going to be could [the Kaiser Chiefs] fill out their sound and mature with their sophomore effort? With Yours Truly, Angry Mob the answer is a firm “yes”. The album doesn’t try and be too ambitious. It’s still rooted in Kaiser Chiefs territory and is packed with instantly catchy chart hits (lead single Ruby being primary among them). But there are also moments of plaintive beauty that catch you off guard. […] It’s both an album full of big choruses and even bigger guitars, as well as a serious coming of age… Read more

4. Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City

A Weekend In The City is tender and reflective, edgy and embittered; a difficult and emotional beast that jolts with nervous electricity. Musically denser than its predecessor, with a distinct electronic edge courtesy of producer Jacknife Lee, it’s crammed with looped rhythms, shimmering guitar ambience and sudden solos that spew white-hot sparks… Read more

5. The Shins – Wincing the Night Away

It’s catchy, literary, lushly produced, and every banjo pluck is in the right place, as if [singer James] Mercer diagrammed the sweetly off-kilter arrangements on a blackboard during morning band briefings. Aiming for a more luxe and orchestral sound, the Shins experiment with shoegazer guitars, organs, swelling strings, distorted vocals and dramatic, Smiths-style choruses they’ve clearly been dying to unleash… Read more

4 sophomore albums, eh! Oh, as you might have noticed, I’m a bit limited musically, I totally recognise that fact. I do tend to listen to the same kind of music over and over again –but I refuse to believe that Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party and Kaiser Chiefs are fad bands or flashes in the pan. Let me vent here. Yes, they’re overhyped, they all landed on the musical scene at the same moment, they’re all part of the same ‘movement’ (an unexpected revival in alternative rock, or whatever you’d like to call it) and yes, who knows where they’ll be in ten years; but in the meantime, I can tell you they just epitomise what I feel living in our times is like. And while it may seem overfabricated, it’s actually genuine music, which I really enjoy. I’ve tried not liking them, because I thought I was really above all the hype, but turns out their music is devastatingly good. It’s kind of turned my life upside down (even though in reality it’s not as dramatic as it sounds). The Monkeys are downright irresistible and unlike nothing I’ve heard before, Bloc Party has that incredibly melodic sound to it mixed with some hardrocking shit and Kaiser Chiefs can pretty much put a smile on anyone’s face because their music is so easily likeable and upbeaty, with an underlying simplicity and sincerity that’s quite disarming. I’ve been reading quite a lot about them and it seems like it’s pretty popular to slag these bands off lately, which is absolutely uncalled for in my opinion. I can totally picture music snobs dying to write about how those bratty twats from Arctic Monkeys are victim of their own success and such. Well, in the wake of Favourite Worst Nightmare, A Weekend in the City and Yours Truely, Angry Mob, it’s not quite going to happen yet. Rant over.
Also, Alex Turner is fuckin’ cool, which makes him the Official Voice of Our Generation. He doesn’t give a fuck about being famous or the incredible speed at which his band seems to have reach success -he just works steadily and seriously, and very much keeps to himself. Top marks for not trying…

Sooooo, that was 2007 in cinema and music. If I didn’t read as much classics as I do, I would have put book recommendations in as well. In any case, it was yet another eventful year! Of course, I didn’t adopt a gazillion kids or shaved my head, but to each their own dramas, I’d say.

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