Best of 2007!

A lot of stuff passed through my fingers, my ears, my eyes, superficially, but don't feel like I read/saw/heard that much this year. A lot of this stuff (most) didn't come out in 2007 but it's all work I only just discovered. That said, here is my best of the year list:

Wer ist Carl Barks
This is a hefty art book from Germany on the great duck cartoonist that came out some years ago. Nothing like it exists in english and though I don't read German and some of the reproduction is shitty, it's still fantastic for all kinds of ephemeral material and isolated drawings to make it pretty essential and inspiring.

Fuzzy felt Folk
Trunk Records
yeah, I did listen to this 2006 release more than anything else. Up yours.

Directed Ronnie Brownstein
Watching it the first time, I didn't know really what to think. Sure it reminded me of Basket Case and Martin in its visual style, and in part Lodge Kerrigan and Mike Leigh in it's thematic approach, and I could see the worth in it's literally tight focus on a truly disturbed ingratiating character but it was hard to deal with (and hard to decipher how much of that was intentional). It's not a movie that helps the viewer along at all. And as you find the film's rhythm, it gets even harder. But I haven't stopped thinking about the movie since I saw it earlier this year and rewatching it with an audience the other day I was struck by how much better it was on repeat viewing and how funny it is-the audience was laughing throughout. If it shows up at a festival near you or on dvd, its definitely worth a look.

No Age
The band I saw the most this year, but also the best I saw this year. The release of five records simultaniously on five different labels this past April was the kind of joyful expression of the love of objects and act of making things rarely seen in music publishing. Also: their belief in the Los angeles community and their involvement there, after years of everyone saying the contrary is just awesome to see. They are touring in January, so if they come by your house, open the door.

Royal stable Words vol. 1
I feel bad even putting this on the list. A limited edition hardcover (300 copies) of lyrics and writing by Will Oldham accompanied with letterpressed etchings by Diane Radford tipped in throughout. Holy Shit. I don't know how one gets one of these. If they show up for sale anywhere, I'll let you know. But if there was ever a book that captures, in physical form, the aesthetic of early Palace music, this is it.

Psychic Soviet
Ian Svenonius
This book is ridiculous in its scope and mind bendingly informative. Like The Talmud. And totally ridiculous (I guess like The Talmud...). By the way, have you been watching season two of Soft Focus?

Two-Lane Blacktop
Finally. Don't like the cover design much, but still. There's a lot to say about this movie, and want to write more about it, but for now here are some minor things I put down when we started this blog and I was a non-stop blogging blabber mouth (scroll down to the September 2nd post).

Things Just Get Away From You
Walt Holcombe
Again, for more on this incredible book, go here.

Knut Hamsun
A super short novel about two people who are obsessed with each other since childhood and don't know what do with that. An unabashedly romantic book, but harsh!

Directed by Andrzej Zulawski
When I started working with Cinefamily head programmer Hadrian Belove, one of the first movies he was excited about showing was Possession, which I had never even heard of. Watching it was one of the most intense movie watching experiences of my life. A true cinematic freak out-it somehow starts out hysterical in performance, music, photography, and and just gets more nuts from there. Zulawski builds his own film language here and through its own fractured logic says more about the heartache of love and commitment than almost anything else I have seen. truly an undiscovered classic.

posted by sammy at 9:42 AM

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