Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 in the rear view mirror

Somebody has been stealing days while my back was turned. I swear that 2014 was the shortest year ever ... It had barely kicked off before it was October and all my books came out at once, and now it's over. Who the hell is it running away with time like that?!

So I'd better get this post up, I guess, before it turns out it's July again all of a sudden. Every year I nominate my cultural highpoints. The Ashys for 2014 go to ...

Best Book:

The best book I read in 2014 was a graphic fantasy novel translated from the French. Beautiful Darkness is a truly horrific story depicted in the prettiest Golden-Age-of-fairy-illustrations manner ... which just makes it more emotionally devastating. A powerful and chilling book reminder that neither Beauty nor Innocence equates to Good. "Borrowers meets Lord of the Flies" is the best summation I've come across.

Best Movie:

I watched 29 movies this year, slightly more than last year. I think it's been a good year for fantasy films (in the broadest sense), and its been terrific to see some really strong female roles and heroes for a change.  Here are my top five, in order of personal enjoyment at the time of watching, not artistic merit or anything:

1) Locke
2) Frozen
3) The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
4) Maleficent
5) The Railway Man.

And the movie I hated most was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Best Music:

I've been listening to two CDs overandoverandover whilst driving, and both are from artists you'll probably have never heard of.

Freddie Stevenson:

and Frank Turner:

Best TV:

I know I'm miles behind the rest of the world, but I spent a lot of 2014 catching up on Deadwood ... and enjoying it thoroughly. Cocksusckers.

Best Entertainment Act:

I went to see illusionist Derren Brown live in the show in which he discusses his coming out. He's awesome :-)
"The process of coming out is normally very disappointing," he said. "It’s not that people react badly to it - they really don’t care. You walk around with something for years that you build into this huge secret but it isn’t reflected to how it is in other people’s eyes. It’s so important to defuse that because it becomes a huge misery needlessly. There’s a nice quote by David Foster Wallace: 'We’d worry a lot less about what other people think about us if we realised how seldom they do.'"

Best Picture:

This has to be picture of the year!! - one of the pictures sent back from the Philae lander from the surface of Comet 67P. It made me teary with awe :-)

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