For what it’s worth: Top 10 albums of 2009

In particular order: 1. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic (Warner): My car stereo is broken at the moment. It still plays albums, but there is no skipping of tracks, and the volume can’t be changed. This means that the default volume for Embryonic in particular is “piercing.” After two albums of bliss and one (underrated) … Continue reading

The Godfather

You know how something embarrasing can eventually become a point of pride? That’s what my relationship has been to The Godfather. As someone who makes his living discussing movies, it’s almost unforgivable that I wouldn’t have seen a film that, along with Citizen Kane and Casablanca, is widely considered the top acheivement in American moviemaking. … Continue reading

An interview with Terry Gilliam

When Tideland came out, you mentioned that it felt a lot like another take on Time Bandits. The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, on the other hand, explores a lot of the same ground as Munchhausen. Is that from collaborating with Charles MacEown again, or is there more to it than that? No, it’s just that … Continue reading

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

It’s only taken 26 years, but I’ve finally reached the point where I can watch an honest-to-God John Ford western. My whole life, I’ve associated John Wayne with my dad, my grandpa, and traditional ideals of masculinity that on some level I’ve always rejected. From pudgy, monster-obsessed elementary schooler to scrawny, music-obsessed hipster-about-town, I’ve never … Continue reading

The Consumption: Reflections in a Golden Eye

FILM: Reflections in a Golden Eye: John Huston’s sepia-tinged tale of sexual tension and murder on a military base has some stunning elements, not least of which is the gorgeous cinematography and a cast that includes Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor. Unfortunately, burdened with an overbearing soundtrack and some particularly clunky scenes, the movie settles … Continue reading

Transcript: John Hillcoat interview, The Road

I guess it’s a good enough time to publish the rest of my interview with The Road director John Hillcoat. I had the good fortune to speak with him back in September at the Toronto film fest, which led to a cover feature in Fast Forward in November, but here’s the raw transcript, where Mr. … Continue reading

The Consumption: December 12

December has been conspiring against me. Illness, funerals and car-related frustrations have abounded, but I’m currently rebounding, and set to continue my quest to document all the media I consume. All I need now is willpower. PS: Coming next week — a full transcription of my interview with Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus director Terry Gilliam. … Continue reading

Charlotte Gainsbourg – IRM (Because Music)

A recent post on the Fast Forward Weekly blog talked about the pointlessness of discussing an artist’s authenticity, and Charlotte Gainsbourg’s latest, IRM, is a perfect example. For the less than charitable, it’d be easy to dwell on Gainsbourg’s seemingly minimal contribution to the third album to bear her name, co-writing one of the songs … Continue reading

Catching up: More consumption

Personal life made it tricky to post in the last week or so, so here’s a bit of catch-up: CONCERT: Billy Bragg with Ron Hawkins and Kris Demeanor at Jack Singer: Uptown (Winnipeg’s alt.weekly) called Ron Hawkins one of the most underappreciated singer-songwriters in Canada, and if his opening set’s any indication, chalk me up … Continue reading

Desolation Road — Interview with John Hillcoat + post-apocalypse sidebar

 Even within the pantheon of post-apocalyptic fiction, Cormac McCarthy’s 2006 novel, The Road, is bleak. The book’s heroes are an unnamed father and son, both perpetually verging on death in an inhospitable America. An unexplained disaster has drained the colour from the sky and left a coating of ash over the ground, transforming the landscape … Continue reading