The Hearsay blog » Review of the year 2011

| Back to Blog Written on 19-Dec-2011 by neil_p

Things I liked of late... (this is incredibly piecemeal at the moment; I'll probably tweak and knead it a bit by January)

The Story of Film: An Odyssey [1]
The Killing
Holy Flying Circus
The Shadow Line [2]
Wonders of the Universe [3]
The Slap [4]

1. Mark Cousins used to be a funny old stick on Moviedrome and whatnot. I think he was even immortalised in one of Adam & Joe's toy movies, but perhaps I'm thinking of Tom Paulin. He seemed to have vanished from the screens for a decade, but his return in the 15-part Story of Film was cheering. It's hard not to want to see every single film touched on in his epic, partisan survey, and harder still to resist narrative observations of the calibre of: 'Like Ronald Reagan, David Lynch was also afraid of the outside world...'
2. People really hated this, didn't they?
3. Mixed feelings about including this, and mixed feelings about the presenter and his peculiar habit of addressing all his comments to someone slightly to the right of the camera, but Chris Holt's script had astonishing moments. I was haunted by the representation of entropy for days afterwards. Fact: Chris Holt is also a wonderful portrait painter, who popped up in this year's excellent BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery.
4. I have it on good authority that the book is awful, but this adaptation took me quite by surprise. I sometimes think the best any art can do is to make us understand difficult and sometimes horrible people slightly better.

Gerhard Richter: Panorama (Tate Modern)
Gabriel Orozco (Tate Modern)
Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer / Hoppe: Street Portraits (National Portrait Gallery)
The Cult of Beauty (V&A)
Shape of Things to Come: New Sculpture (Saatchi Gallery)
Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography (Royal Academy)
Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven (Dulwich Picture Gallery)

David Lowery - The Palace Guards
Emmy the Great - Virtue
Snakefarm - My Halo at Half-Light
P J Harvey - Let England Shake
Kate Bush - 50 Words for Snow

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
I Wish

John Grant & Midlake (Royal Festival Hall, September)
John Grant (100 Club, July)
Pink Martini & BBC Concert Orchestra (Royal Albert Hall, October)
Teddy Thompson (Barbican, March)
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings (Hammersmith Odeon)

Reading [1]
Don Patterson - Reading Shakespeare's Sonnets
Stewart Lee - How I Escaped My Certain Fate
1. Not really many novels. I've become the typical 40something who abandons fiction overnight, as recently described by Zoe Williams in the Guardian. And I'm not even 40.

Arkham City

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