Sunday, December 26, 2004

"The worst of times? No way, it was the best of times, dog"

Having almost finished this year up, I thought I'd jump into the fray and, like every other publication, offer a look back at some of the best in current media. Yet, rather than just limit myself to favourite movies, albums or book, I've decided to limit myself even further and highlight only the best movie moments, the most moving song lyrics or musical parts, and the best passages/articles from some reading. (I chose this over a worst-of list, which would have been too easy to write. Van Helsuck anyone?) Without further ado, the best in:

The difference between what Bill Murray says in his "mutiny" speech and what Willem Dafoe hears, in The Life Aquatic. Priceless.

Kip and Napoleon forgetting the power crystals in Napoleon Dynamite.

Simon Pegg slipping on the "wet" grocery store floor in Shaun of the Dead.

Natalie Portman tugging her ear after the doomed archery game in Garden State.

Bob and Patrick feeling each others' mustaches in Spongebob Squarepants.

The following exchange from an episode of Arrested Development:

Gob Bluth: Michael, do you still have that publicist? Because I need her to spin something.
Michael Bluth: Why, what do you need her to spin?

The extended treatment of the word "blue" in Bright Eyes' "True Blue," navigating it past the realm of annoying to actually quite brilliant.

The sustain when Jeff Tweedy of Wilco sings, "When the devil came / He was not red / He was chrooooooooooome / And he said / Come with me" on "Hell is Chrome." (I feel like Nigel Tufnel here: "Listen to the sustain on this one. You can go and 'ave a bite and, waaaaaaah, you'll still be 'earin' that one!")

The drunk guy yelling, "it sounds so GOOD!" at the 0:27 mark in Pearl Jam's "Black" on Live at Benaroya Hall.

The drunken swagger of the last verse on Kings of Leon's "So Long, Slow Nights":
"Rise and shine / All you gold diggin' mothers / Aw, you too good to tangle / With the poor, poor boys."

The guitar solo on Elliott Smith's "Pretty (Ugly Before)."

The French verse on "Haiti" by the Arcade Fire. Beautiful, just beautiful.

Howlin' Pelle Almqvist's gloriously superfluous scream at the 2:25 mark of "A Little More for Little You" by the Hives.

And my favourite, incomprehensible lyric of the year: "Combat salacious removal," from Interpol's "Length of Love." Whatever, Paul.

Dave Eggers' novel, You Shall Know Our Velocity. The whole, damn, confounding, self-aware, brilliant thing.

Most anything on McSweeney's, but special props to "Develop Your Lateral Thinking," and "Maxim Does the Classics."

Reading about the hell and triumph Elliott Smith went through before he died in the December issue of Spin magazine. He was impervious to the damn drugs.

Samantha Bee's recurring column, "Would You Mind if I Told You How We Do It it Canada?" in America: The Book.

Reconciling my hatred for Pitchfork magazine and actually learning to accept their critiques from a disinterested perspective.

Finally, to toot my own horn and say the moment when I read over a scene from my own teleplay (a comedy) and actually laughed. This sounds conceited, but it is absolutely important for a writer to achieve this. If you don't laugh, chances are no one else will. If you think this is still conceited, recall a favourite filmic moment from 1998's Rushmore:

"I wrote a hit play, what did you do?"

1 comment:

Thomas said...

YSKOV is shite. Self-aggrandizing, congratulatory, see how clever I can be shite. But the other stuff is aight.

Dave Chappelle:

Look at him eating that chicken. He LOVES it. Just like in the encyclopedia.