Thursday, February 15, 2007

I am finally getting around to posting my top ten movies/albums list for the year of 2006. Although no 2005, this year has been fairly good for movies thanks in part to Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodovar, Clint Eastwood and all the others film makers that helped to bring quality cinema to the big screen.

This year has also been good for music. Some old faces returned to make great records, meanwhile a few new faces came out with equally great records.

Hopefully this list will shed some light on a few of the many great movies/albums of the year. I may have forgotten a few films or albums that were also very good; if this happens, which I am sure it will, feel free to leave a comment saying so. Here it is, the best films/albums of 2006 (#8-10).


Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola

-My choice for the number ten best film of 2006 is Marie Antoinette, the new film by Sofia Coppola. No other film of last year matched Marie Antoinette for visual beauty, due to the fact that it was shot on location at the palace of Versailles. The film tells the story of the young Antoinette and how she was married of at a young age. The film doesn't try to be as historically accurate as possible (case in point, New Order and The Strokes highlight the soundtrack), rather it tells a story that happens to be set in the past. Also, this film features one of the year's finest soundtracks. As I mentioned earlier, it features songs by everyone from New Order and The Strokes to Adam and the Ants and Aphex Twin. This film was a very enjoyable work from one of today's great directors.

The Strokes First Impressions of Earth
-Many will argue that this album wasn't as good as it's predecessors, and I would agree, but this was still a good album from one of my favourite bands. The first single, "Juicebox," didn't do much to catch my attention, but after listening to the album in it's entirety, I realized that, although not as good as Room on Fire or Is This It, it was still a good album. Tracks such as "You Only Live Once" really highlight how good the band is. This album may have been a slight disappointment, but it was still good enough to warrant a spot on this list.


Gnarls Barkley St. Elsewhere
-This was an album that, judging from the success of "Crazy," everyone can agree to liking. This album proved to be one of the most infectious albums of the year; no matter how hard one tried to avoid listening to it, it was inevitable. Why someone would want to avoid this album is beyond me; it was fun to listen to and impossible to categorize. Thanks to Danger Mouse's production and Cee-lo's vocals, this turned out to be one of my favourite albums of last year.


The Prestige directed by Christopher Nolan

-The title refers to the last stage of a magic act; knowledge of this prior to the film's release is unnecessary. Even if it hadn't been explained to the viewer at the start of the film, there is too much happening, leaving no room for contemplation. This is Nolan's way: he throws events at the viewer to distract them from figuring out the end. Having seen Nolan's past work, I was anticipating this film quite a bit and it certainly wasn't a let down; everything in this film was perfect. The performances were top notch, the mood was perfect, the pacing was correct and the scenery was magnificent. Nolan's puts so much care into his films that they inevitably turn out to be great. It will be great to see what a fine director like Nolan is able to do with the upcoming Batman sequel: The Dark Night.

Thom Yorke The Eraser

-Being the Radiohead fan that I am, I was anticipating this album quite a bit. Although I had only heard vague details of the album prior to it's release, I was still expecting a great album from one of the most innovative figures in modern day music. I wasn't disappointed at all; the album is filled with a sound reminiscent of Kid A. The album which features songs that appeared in A Scanner Darkly, is a great solo debut album. Although I like this album and think that Thom Yorke could possibly have created the roots of a strong solo career, I still prefer Radiohead and hope that they will be making music for a long time to come.


A Scanner Darkly directed by Richard Linklater

-After watching Waking Life, the one thought that went through my mind was that Rotoscoping, the process of applying animation on top of previously filmed elements, was the coolest technique ever invented. Although Waking Life lacked the unity of A Scanner Darkly, it was still a good film. A Scanner Darkly has the before-mentioned unity, making it a great film. It is based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, who's novel was supposedly based on his own experiences. The film may change certain details but it stays true to the meaning of the novel. The performances are great in this film. Keanu Reeves perfectly embodies his character, Robert Downey, Jr. provides great comedic relief as an undertone to his fantastic performance, even Winona Ryder, who has starred in some questionable films in the past few years, is perfect for the role she plays. Rory Cochrane and Woody Harrelson both provide great supporting performances that only add to the film's flare. This is a film that combines the best qualities of both Linklater and Dick, resulting in a great movie that is able to be enjoyed by lovers of the novel and people who've never read it.

Goldfrapp Supernature
-Whoever thought that dance-pop was dead needs to listen to this album. Goldfrapp are able to combine great melodies with all sorts of computer beats to create records that are enjoyable throughout. Allison Goldfrapp's sexy vocals ignite every song and give them a certain vibe that is impossible to resist. Supernature gives everything that an album should give and more. It goes beyond expectations and into the realm of dance-pop greatness. It works as the perfect soundtrack for all occasions; whether it be relaxing at home alone or using it as the music for a party, Supernature works in every way.

So there you have it, my top ten list of movies and albums from number ten to number eight. I will post again in the next few days to finish off the list.



At 2:37 PM, Blogger Aren said...

I agree that it is basically impossible to not enjoy Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" but I am not a fan really. My favourite album of the year has to be either The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers, The Killers' Sam's Town or Jay-Z's Kingdom Come. I know, rap but it rocks.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Alex said...

Not to give away my top album choice, but it should be no surprise who I've chosen. With such an immense body of work to his/her name, it would be hard to give the top spot to anyone else. If you think you know who I'm talking about, try to keep it somewhat of a secret if possible.


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