Saturday, January 01, 2005

Aaron's List of Happiness,
End-2004 Edition

That's The Way (Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh): As promised, a quick look over my sunny shoulder at six movies you should not miss, and five albums that could delight your brain and your heart, and increase your enthusiasm for music in general....

Movies Not To Miss, and Why:

1. Napoleon Dynamite: Hilarious nerdiness and dysfunction, with a rosy, rhythmic ending.
2. Garden State: Engaging characters, unpredictable plot, great soundtrack, and the lead actor looks like me at 25!
3. Bad Education: Brilliant story, acting, directing, and set design, even by Almodovar's high standards. I could eat lunch off any portion of Gael Garcia Bernal.
4. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind: Smart mix of romance, satire, and science fiction carried off with wit, another indelible transformation by Kate Winslett, and a Jim Carrey that is unrecognizably substantial, talented, and downright likeable.
5. Sideways: Life-sized character movie that's beautifully written, acted, and directed. Crazy little thing called 'emotional honesty.'
6. Meet The Fockers: Pop culture, shmop culture. I laughed my head off, and they deserve the gazillion dollars this will earn - I can't resist the collision of uptight WASP and let-it-all-hang-out Jew. Hoffman and Streisand walk away with it, though Stiller holds his own. (but you must see Meet The Parents first)

Music To Bring Light In:

1. Shins - Chutes Too Narrow. Rare and captivating, utterly new: unusual and lovely melodies, intelligent lyrics, vocals that soar...
2. Scissor Sisters - Debut. The kaleidoscope that was the 70s, reconstructed with an ironic, contemporary gay eye. And what a stage show! Can't wait for the DVD..
3. Franz Ferdinand - Debut. Art students from Scotland revive New Wave and make it exciting and fresh. Hooks galore, and an anthemic romp about the pleasure of dancing with another man. Awesome. (There's lots of great CDs in this genre if you like it).
4. Delgados - Universal Audio. Quirky Scottish melodicists break through with mid-60s pop clarity and a light touch missing from their previous masterpieces.
5. High Dials - A New Devotion. A festival of mid-60s mod-rock, psychedlia, and garage all served as delicious three-minute pop nuggets.

Hope the above brings some of you enormous pleasure in 2005.

Love, Aaron

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