Best of 2007

Okay, so we’re already a couple of days into this new year, but we haven’t put up a list of my favourites of 2007. (Not that anyone would lose some sleep over that if I wouldn’t post them.)

* F * I * L * M *

As it’s a film site after all, let’s find out who made it to my top 10 there. 2007 wasn’t the most inspiring of years, I’ve noticed. A lot of the films I watched didn’t get more than 5 out of 10. Maybe I missed out on some movies. Like The Assassination of Jesse James By The Rest of That Very Long Movie Title I Can Never Remember: that one got quite some praise, but sadly just didn’t play long enough for me to go and see it. But I did have time to go and watch Notes of a Scandal (oh, the horror).

Anyway, enough chit chat: here’s the list.


(I chose a picture of Water Lilies to accompany because that’s the only movie in my list that didn’t get a single mention on DV. The full list, albeit in Dutch, can be viewed here.)

* B * O * O * K * S *

Before we get to the music, I want to remind you that my book of the year was Paul Merton’s Silent Comedy. I did get time to read lots of other books and one I never had gotten round to before but that I was manage to crawl through in 2007 was Mark L. Danielewski‘s House of Leaves. I beg your pardon, House of Leaves.
If you aren’t an avid reader, I’d advise you to stay away from this. But if you like to read and don’t mind a gigantic challenge: try that one out.

And if you’d like some music with that, here’s my 10 favourite tracks of the year.

* M * U * S * I * C *

Tunng (image: Tunng's website)1. TUNNG – Bullets
2. COCOROSIE – Japan / Rainbowarriors
5. LOW – Breaker
6. BEIRUT – Cliquot
7. FEIST – Sealion
8. THE RAVEONETTES – Aly, Walk With Me
9. LCD SOUNDSYSTEM – Get Innocuous
10. ARCADE FIRE – Black Mirror

Please visit the special Democratische 99 page on my website to find the entire list (all 99 tracks) plus lots of MP3s and YouTube links.

6 thoughts on “Best of 2007

  1. deeopey June 22, 2008 / 06:41

    Persepolis is now at the top of my to watch list (As is one from last year’s list Black Book, maybe this weekend I’ll get some time).

    But it’s not the only one on your list I’ve not seen yet. Oh no wait just looking at the IMDBs I have indeed seen Das Leben der Anderen (Lives of Others). I really liked it but something kept it from my list, (I didn’t just forget about it).

    Naissance des pieuvres and Ober have completely slipped me by just wondering if they can be found in the UK.

    My Blueberry Nights on the other hand I thought was supposed to be quite weak for WKW, I shall redouble my efforts to find it.

  2. Avenue Kurtodrome June 22, 2008 / 06:42

    Water Lilies (Naissance) has only been released in France and Belgium. The only other place it was shown this year was at a Canadian film festival. However, it’s scheduled for release in the Netherlands and the UK in March 2008.
    Sadly, Ober (Waiter) is not going to be released in the UK, it seems.

    Normally, in a better movie year “My Blueberry Nights” wouldn’t have made the Top 10. It’s the best of the movies I gave 7/10 and therefore it just made it (or else “Interview” would’ve been the n°10). If I look at my archive, I notice that the best 7/10 was on n°12 in 2006, n°16 in 2005, n°15 in 2003 (no list in 2004), n°14 in 2002, n°14 in 2001 and in 2000 it wouldn’t have even gotten in the top 20. So it is only there because a) 2007 was not a very strong movie year and b) I did miss out on a couple of good movies.

    All in all, I do find the criticism of “My Blueberry Nights” unfairly harsh: whereas it is a weaker WKW movie, it’s mainly being attacked for having Jude Law and Norah Jones instead of Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung, new tracks by Norah and Cat Power rather than classics like “In The Mood for Love” and because it loses a bit of mystery now that you can understand the dialogue without having to read the subtitles.
    Some claimed Norah Jones didn’t lay enough mystery in her character, but her character isn’t supposed to be mysterious. Rachel Weisz is absolutely dreadful and apparently gets away with it (I didn’t find the same amount of criticism, but hey, Rachel is a respected actress and Norah a singer in her movie debut). Rachel Weisz pretending to be sexy made me wish Lindsay Lohan who would’ve excelled in that part. That Ms Lohan was given the prize of Worst Actress of 2007, mainly shows not enough people say Rachel Weisz’s fiasco.

  3. deeopey June 22, 2008 / 06:43

    No it’s wasn’t a brilliant year for films really. I had a few enjoyable but average films on my list, looking back on it there definitely should have been space for Lives of Others on there 🙂 But only maybe 3 of my films will be well remembered in 2 years time.

    I’ll keep an eye out for the future releases or appearances of Ober and Water Lilies even if the odds aren’t so good.

    Subtitles are a funny thing, they do entirely change the perception of a film, like you said there’s an air of mystery but on a technical front unless the actor is atrocious bad performances are easily hidden. I wonder what English films I would’ve liked more had they not been tainted by bad acting 🙂

    As for My Blueberry Nights, I’ll have to hold back on judgement there’s no sign of it at any Edinburgh cinema yet.

  4. Avenue Kurtodrome June 22, 2008 / 06:44

    I did mention my book of the year (Silent Comedy), but I didn’t mention the runner-up: another non-fiction book (apparently 2007 wasn’t the best year for fiction: I didn’t buy a lot of new fiction). The author is one Alan Weisman, the book is called “The World Without Us” and the book is about what the world would look like if there’d suddenly be no human beings left.

    I’m sure you don’t want me to discuss the entire book, so I’ll give you the link to The Daily Show’s interview with the author:

  5. deeopey June 22, 2008 / 06:44

    Less than current but by far the best book I read last year was Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene. I got to it after rereading The Quiet American (which I had previously attempted when I was far too young to understand).

    Non-Fiction I really enjoyed the unofficial Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods. Entertaining and interesting, there really is a different world out there for some.

  6. Avenue Kurtodrome June 22, 2008 / 06:45

    A special prize should go out to the midprice re-issue of “Alles Is Verlicht” (Everything Is Illuminated) by Jonathan Safran Foer. Why? I think J.K. Rowling has already said it: of all her books, the Dutch translations are her favourite because of the artwork. Yes, while some covers are incredibly ugly, some books you just want to buy in translation because of the cover.

    Foer’s book has a gimmick: it is illuminated, a.k.a. it glows in the dark.

    And yes, I’ve bought it just for the gimmick. Aren’t I sad?

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