Eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed that 2010 was the only year without either a list with the best 99 tracks of said year or a quick mention of who would’ve won had there be a full list. In 2010 the Kurtodrome site launched Radio Kurtodrome (°31 July 2010 – +31 Jan 2016) and was too busy trying to work out the kinks and buttons of a radio station to compile a list. Which didn’t mean there was no favourite…
Intros may be long, but we’re not fooling anyone. You will have noticed the link below before you’ve read this sentence. You know it’s Amatorski‘s Come Home. You just don’t know why. Well, for one, it’s a Belgian band and, contrary to public opinion, we were never against a bit of sticking it up for the motherland. Also, this was the first single by Amatorski and we can all name millions of bands who had a poorer launch. Furthermore, there’s this nostalgic flair of a couple during a war sending each other letters and the choir-like ending to the track which kicks in just after two minutes. In 2016 we may wonder whether we like Come Home more than Soldier, but don’t let afterthoughts spoil a party. After all, Come Home must have struck a nerve or else it wouldn’t have been used in countless TV shows, several commercials and received an update when becoming the soundtrack of the BBC series The Missing.
Ladies and gentlemen, without regrets, our best track of 2010 was:
Which brings us to some honourable mentions (in alphabetical order):
BALTHAZAR – Fifteen floors
BEACH HOUSE – Norway
CRYSTAL CASTLES FEAT. ROBERT SMITH – Not in love
DEERHUNTER – He would have laughed
DUM DUM GIRLS – Jail la la
AGNES OBEL – Riverside
WARPAINT – Untertow
No list this year for an obvious reason (same as why this blog went on immediate hiatus for 25 months and I’m sure I’ll write about it one day, but this is not that day), but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any good songs. So, in anticipation of this year’s Best of list, here’s the top 3 of 2012.
1. TEEN – Electric
2. JESCA HOOP – Born To
3. CRYSTAL CASTLES – Kerosene
(Check out that site for more excellent combinations of Crystal Castles with cult videos)
And the winner was… CULTS
2. AUSTRA – The Beat and the Pulse
Austra The Beat & The Pulse from The Glitoris on Vimeo.
3. PJ HARVEY – In these dark places
LYKKE LI – I Follow Rivers
After a night out you wake up in a strange bed and have no recollection of what happened or indeed the name of the person you spent the night with. You find out her name is Julia (Michelle Jenner) and you introduce yourself as Julio (Julian Villagran). Oh, what a funny coincidence. Anyway, it’s been fun and you’re about to bid farewell when you notice there’s nobody in the streets. Oh, and there’s a UFO on top of a nearby apartment block. Turns out you’ve both missed the invasion of extraterrestrials.
Is the Spanish film Extraterrestre a movie about extraterrestrials? Well, yes and no. While the invasion is part of the story, the plot seems to be around Julio and more importantly Julia. It turns out Julia’s neighbour has an unhealthy obsession with her and Julia seems to have a boyfriend too. Excuses have to be made and stories have to invented to cover up their nightly affair. How that happens and the consequences of all those stories is the core of this film by Nacho Vigalondo. Don’t expect a lot of sci-fi or you’ll be bitterly disappointed. Expect a quirky comedy about people whose lives are being taken over by lies (and some flying saucers that inspire them). The fun thing is that none of the characters may be exceptionally likable, but because of the situation you sit there and wonder how their futures will develop. Because I wasn’t expecting anything, I can’t say I was disappointed and indeed, I genuinely liked Extraterrestre.
That’s also why I offer you this trailer with the biggest reservations. A lot of the developments are already hinted at or indeed shown. But if you want to see how the film is visually made, then feel free to check out the trailer or at least a couple of seconds. Hovering between 7.5 and 8 out of 10, Extreterrestre will probably find itself in my Top 10 of 2012. Of course, it’s already 2013 but because of the recent events in my personal life there’s a handful of movies I still need to review before the list can be compiled, so expect the list in approximately two weeks. Which leaves you for now with the trailer of Extraterrestre or, if you don’t like any form of spoilers, the end of this article. Happy New Year!
TRAILER EXTRATERRESTRE (English subtitles) from Arsenico / Sayaka Producciones on Vimeo.
Shehnaz Begum directed The Cat-Beast (Da Khwar Lasme Spogmay in its original title) and cast herself as the catlike avenger. Her feline tongue movements are unlike any other you’ve ever seen in a movie before and are so eerily mimicked even David Attenborough could be fooled into thinking we’re dealing with a genuine animal. Well, at least the sponsor of this film was subtle…
Let’s celebrate the Avenue’s return with something topical and what is more topical on Boxing Day than a movie that takes place on Christmas? Christmas Eve, to be precise, but we’ll gloss over that for now.
Lady on a Train is a movie from 1945 that combines a whodunit with comedy and musical. Sounds like more than you can handle? Well, you’re not entirely wrong: it is more than a handful of elements for one movie and the scenes don’t always fit perfectly, but none of it bothers too much to spoil your viewing. The movie is built around Deanna Durbin, the classic actress who was cast throughout the late 30s and 40s for her good looks and dito voice. Say what you want about Deanna, but she was versatile enough to appear in any sort of movie, from film noir (Christmas Holiday) to musical western (Can’t Help Singing). In almost all of her 22 movies, Durbin performed at least one song and Lady on a Train is no exception, but we’ll return to that later.
The poster on the left is not from the movie, but from the mystery book it was based on. The author is Leslie Charteris, whom you might know from his books about The Saint. This movie starts with Nicki Collins (Durbin) reading a thriller on the train, when suddenly she sees a real murder being committed. The police don’t believe because she’s still carrying around Wayne Morgan’s book The Case of the Headless Bride and suggest she’d better go and bother the author (David Bruce) with her alleged murder story… which she promptly does, much to the dismay of Morgan’s fiancee. At first, Morgan doesn’t want to believe her and Nicki starts to investigate things herself, bumping into the family of the deceased (a cast including Dan Duryea and Ralph Bellamy). The family mistake her for a nightclub singer the deceased had an affair with, which doesn’t make the plot convincing, but is a handy step-up to have Durbin sing more than one song.
Overall, Durbin’s character is quite a sassy young lady. The poor man her father hired to look after her (played by Edward Everett Horton, a comedy legend from the 30s) definitely has his hands full and certainly can’t seem to go home unscathed after a hard day’s work. All in all, the character of Nicki Collins looks like a barely legal version of Nancy Drew. By then, Durbin had become such a darling of the silver screen that the seductive scenes in the nightclub songs might not appear too risqué, but I don’t think a genuine nightclub artist would’ve gotten away with sitting on someone’s lap and stroking his head in such a way the man’s girlfriend leaves the place with slamming doors.
Something contemporary this 1945 movie seems to be a distinct relative of is the series Castle: not only is there lots more “will they won’t they” atmosphere around than what’s actually being shown, it’s also one of the few shows that managed to find itself a niche where it doesn’t really matter if the story is believable or not. The twists and quirkiness suffice you keep you hanging until the end. And if that’s not enough, there’s a scene where Deanna Durbin is on the phone to her father (while she’s unaware there’s someone in the house who’s trying to get some evidence back). It’s a scene that is completely different from the rest of the film, but it’s Deanna Durbin and you’ll forgive her anything. Especially on Christmas Eve.
Due to tragic events in the non-virtual world, there hasn’t been an update in ages. The idea is to start posting again in just over a week, but that is not a promise (due to possible circumstances beyond our control). Thanks for checking this site regularly. This is not farewell, far from…