Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Year in Review: Best of Miscellania

I can't stop making lists! I've always been fond of them but the last time the desire grabbed me so forcibly I had to abstain for months afterwards to regain normalcy. The real "Year in Review" (cinematically speaking) will begin in one weeks time with the 'Cinematic Shame' Dishonors (12/28), Top Ten of the Year (12/29), and the 'Film Bitch' Awards (from 12/29 until it's finished. You know how this goes...)

But until then, another 'brain vomit'

Favorite Things (Not Related to 2005 Cinema) in 2005
Food Discovery That I Didn't Know I Liked: Parsnips.
Network Television Show: Veronica Mars (Though I'm not as crazy about it as other fans. I know it's a mystery but it's a little incoherent about non-mysteries as well)
Best TV Show Period: Project Runway. I'm so relieved that the second season has begun. It's like a drug to me. From Thursday through Tuesday I'm needing a fix. I'm only OK on Wednesday nights.

Ancient Board Game Unexpectedly Played Incessantly in my Apartment with Friends: Clue
Favorite Touristy Thing To Do in NYC Even Though I am Local: Water Taxi Tours (cheap, memorable, and i love being on the water with excessive wind blowing me about.)
Best Broadway Show Still Playing From Last Season: The Light in the Piazza
" " From Current Season: Sweeney Todd
Best Old Movie Seen For First Time in 2005: toss up. But the following come to mind: Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), Sunrise (FW Murnau, silent period), McCabe & Mrs Miller (Altman, 1971) and I think I saw Trouble in Paradise by Lubitsch this year (from 1932) which is also awesome --but maybe that was 2004.

Food Thing That I Thought Would Be Gross But Isn't At All: Eating sandwiches without bread. Lettuce does double duty pretending it's the bread slices. Voila low carb sandwiches.
Best Shallow Achievement of the Year: Lost 20 lbs to become my former svelte self and kept it off (well until right now but it's the holidays, I'll recover).
Best Teaser for a 2006 Movie: Sofia Coppolla's Marie Antoinette
Favorite Performance in TV Show I Don't Like But All My Friends Watch So I Occassionally Sit Through It Anyway: Sandra Oh, "Grey's Anatomy"
TV thing I miss most: HBO. Don't subscribe anymore... But with S&tC and 6FU gone anyways, probably no great loss.
Movie Star I Miss the Most You Know Who

Previous Year in Review Entries if You're a List Junkie Like Me and Just Joining Us... Stocking Stuffers, Singles, CD of the year, The Year in Hair Part 1, The Year in Hair Part 2


Anonymous said...

There are not many things in life that are as fun as lists. Here are just a few opinions I'd like to throw out (as if mine are equally as important than yours):

Trivial Pursuit > Scattegories > Clue (you cannot deny this)

"The Magnificent Ambersons," despite having some shining monets and strong themes, was disappointingly clunky. Aside from "The Lady From Shanghai" (which, aside from the ultimate mirror scene, feels like a lame vanity/studio project Welles was forced into), Ambersons might be Welles' weakest. Have you seen "The Trial"?

The best "classic" film I saw for the first time in 2005: "The Conformist" (on the big screen at the Film Forum, no less -- did you happen to catch it?). I also saw Murnau's "Sunrise" on the big screen for the first time; plus, it was presented with live piano accompaniment. It was a fantastic cinematic experience indeed.

The bread is the BEST part of a sandwich -- I couldn't imagine eating a "sandwich" without my baguette, ciabatta, or foccacia (unless I just eat a plate full of fresh mozzarella, which I do freqeuntly anyway). Yumm. Now I'm hungry, damnit.

Anonymous said...

apropos of nothing, have you seen Peter Travers' top 10 list? it's like he was trying not to offend any of the critics' faves... it consists of #'s 1-9 on Engin's list and #11 (Constant Gardener). His only wrinkle is that he gave Wedding Crashers a 10th place tie with Kong.

Peter Travers is the BFCA of critics...boooooring

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited that another person has even seen The Trial, much less liked it. I think it's easily Welles' most underrated - I mean, based on the photography alone, it's a masterpiece.

I did love The Magnificent Ambersons (apart from the ending of course) but I do need to watch it again. I saw it long before Orson Welles became my personal Jesus.

By the way Nathaniel, since you loved Trouble in Paradise (which, to be honest, I was slightly disappointed with), you should check out Lubitsch's other pictures - you can't go wrong with Ninotchka (1939) with Greta Garbo in her best performance, and To Be or Not to Be (1942) with Jack Benny and the great great Carole Lombard (which I watched again this week, and I still say it's my favorite comedy ever made).

Also, yeah, My Man Godfrey is fantastic, I'm glad you liked it.

And speaking of (the great great) Carole Lombard, also check out Nothing Sacred (1937) if you haven't already, it's surprisingly cynical for its time.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Oh, I love love love "To Be or Not to Be". Carole Lombard is heavenly in that movie. But my favorite comedy ever = Heavenly Creatures.

Anonymous said...

"Heavenly Creatures"?! That's hardly a comedy. It is actually quite devastating.

Perhaps you mean "Fierce Creatures" (even thouhg I've heard that "Fierce Creatures" is pretty horrid).

Goran, I'm really glad that you cite "The Trial" as Welles' most underrated, because it undoubtedly is. I think Criterion should pick it up sometime...

Glenn Dunks said...

Magnificent Ambersons is one of my faves! Way better than Citizen Kane.

LOVE Veronica Mars. It's only been on in Australia for 5 weeks but it's taken over from Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives as my fave new show of 2005.

Best classic movie I saw this year? Rebel Without A Cause - 7 viewings later I feel safe calling it one of my top 3 of all time.


nick m -sorry but Clue > Scattegories

right -travers = blurb whore. good writer...but blurb whore. When you love 85% of the movies that come out it's easy to publish such a top ten list. Because you've given 300 movies raves and then you know what films are going to be the top tenners critically speaking by the time you publish your year in review.

goran -love Ninotchka too. but not quite as much as TiP. And Nothing Sacred it incredible as well for more Lombard.

kamikaze -7 viewings in one year of Rebel? Whoa nelly. that's some fierce instant loving. But yeah, it's hard to beat that triangle of teen angst. All 3 of them are dreamy/fantastic.

Yaseen Ali said...

Balderdash > Clue > Scattergories > Trivial Pursuit

Javier Aldabalde said...

I have strange (read: creepy) notions of what makes a comedy. "Heavenly Creatures" is frightening and devastating, but in my world it's also the best comedy ever ("Jesus loves you!")

Anonymous said...

Damnit, Ali, you're right -- Balderdash is a brilliant game. I cannot fathom how it slipped my mind. I still believe, however, that Trivial Pursuit and Scattgories are fantastic board games.

In true Nathaniel fasion, here is a list:
-Game which makes me feel elated that I can actually put my vast trivial knowledge to use: Trivial Pursuit
-The game which I rule, yet frustrates me terribly when the first letter is 'K' (I always end up writing words that begin with 'C,' due to the similar first syllable):
The game which exposes my strength of imagination, but weakness in having a distinct writing style:

Movies, board games, it's all relative.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for linking to the "Marie Antoinette" teaser, which looks very promising indeed. Can't wait to see what Sofia Coppola does for an encore (to "Lost in Translation"). it me or does Kirsten Dunst look like she's channeling Mira Sorvino when the latter won an Oscar for "Mighty Aphrodite." Same hair and everything. Spooky!



Glenn Dunks said...

Balderdash is brilliant. You just can't play it with anyone who can't keep a straight face for longer than 5 seconds.

And, yes my love for Rebel was confirmed by the second viewing (the very day after watching it for the first time. I had to send it back in the mail on Monday so I figured why not) and then I watched it when it was on TV for James Dean's death aniversary and then I got the Ultimate James Dean dvd box set for my birthday in Oct and have watched it 4 times since. Loves it.

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