Tag Archives: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Recap: Best Of 2007

If you haven’t noticed, it’s unlikely we will post any more detailed, comprehensive, elaborate posts about the media that appeared in 2007. But there’s this post. Which is slightly comprehensive (at least on the music side of things).

Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters by the Twilight Sad is the best album of 2007. Original, new, brilliant, meaningful, emotional, real, great. Great live performers, as well.

UPDATE: Curses by Future Of The Left is the second best album of 2007. It is a great record.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is probably the best 2007 film I have seen. It is the most enjoyable film of the year. UPDATE: Hot Fuzz is a pretty fantastic film.

Some of my favorite tracks of 2007 include (there are some covers here):

  • “Furwinked The Lion/Bear Song” by Tereu Tereu, from Feline Ambition
  • “Ed Is A Portal” by Akron/Family, from Love Is Simple
  • “City Of Echoes” by Pelican, from City Of Echoes
  • “The Opposite of Hallelujah” by Jens Lekman, from Night Falls Over Kortedala
  • “We’re All From Barcelona” by I’m From Barcelona, from Let Me Introduce My Friends
  • “I Love The Unknown” by Eef Barzelay, from the Rocket Science motion picture soundtrack
  • “Grizzly Jive” by Georgie James, from Play
  • “Pretty in Pink” by The National, from their Daytrotter Session
  • “Pinklon” and “Ethiopians” by the Mountain Goats, from their Daytrotter Session at SXSW
  • “Pom Pom” by Matthew Dear, from Asa Breed
  • “Daughter” by Loudon Wainwright III, from Strange Weirdos…
  • “Conqueror” by Jesu, from Conqueror
  • “Skinny Love” by Bon Iver, from For Emma, Forever Ago
  • “Brand New Kind Of Actress” by Jason Isbell, from Sirens Of The Ditch
  • “Statues” by Foo Fighters, from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
  • “I Was Zapped By The Lucky Super Rainbow” by The Flaming Lips, from Good Luck Chuck Soundtrack
  • “In Our Talons” by Bowerbirds, from Hymns For A Dark Horse
  • “Not A Problem” by Black Lips, from Los Valientes del Mundo Nuevo

And of course, the standard indie rock singles were all nice and fine:

  • “The Underdog” by Spoon, from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  • “Keep The Car Running” and “Neon Bible” by Arcade Fire, from Neon Bible
  • “Thrash Unreal” by Against Me!, from New Wave
  • “Dashboard” by Modest Mouse, from We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
  • “D.A.N.C.E.” by Justice, from † (yes, it’s a catchy song)

Some of my favorite albums of 2007 include (key track/s. If no key tracks that means the album is really, really good.):

  • Let’s Stay Friends by Les Savy Fav
  • A Place To Bury Strangers by A Place To Bury Strangers
  • In Rainbows by Radiohead
  • Armchair Apocrypha by Andrew Bird
  • Challengers by The New Pornographers ( “My Rights Versus Yours,” “Myriad Harbour”)
  • Sing the Greys (2006) by Frightened Rabbit ( “Be Less Rude,” “The Greys”)
  • Era Vulgaris by Queens of the Stone Age ( “Turnin’ On The Screw,” “I’m Designer,” “Misfit Love,” “3’s & 7’s”)
  • Places by Georgie James ( “Cake Parade,” “Need Your Needs”)
  • Casually Smashed To Pieces by the Six Parts Seven ( “Falling Over Evening” <great, great song)
  • From Beale Street To Oblivion by Clutch ( “You Can’t Stop Progress,” “When Vegans Attack”)
  • Graduation by Kanye West ( “Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” “Stronger”)
  • Mirrored by Battles
  • It’s Not How Far You Fall, It’s The Way You Land by Soulsavers ( “Revival,” “Paper Money,” “Kingdoms Of Rain”)
  • In Our Nature by José González

Notable Albums of 2007 include (they range from good/okay to excellent):

  • Friend Opportunity by Deerhoof ( “+81,” “Believe E.S.P.”)
  • Holy F**k by Holy F**k
  • Nothing Is Underrated by Joe Lally
  • Myth Takes by !!! ( “Must Be The Moon,” “Heart Of Hearts”)
  • HEALTH by HEALTH
  • U.F.O.s At The Zoo – The Legendary Concert In Oklahoma City by The Flaming Lips
  • VI by The F**king Champs
  • All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone by Explosions In The Sky
  • Legendary Demo by Clouds
  • Play Drums + Bass by C.O.C.O.
  • Here Come The Waterworks by Big Business
  • Adrian Orange & Her Friends by Adrian Orange & Her Friends
  • Good Bad Not Evil by Black Lips
  • The Last Days of Rome by Snog
  • Harmonic Tremors by Zozobra
  • Tears of the Valedictorian by Frog Eyes

– R.H.

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The Oscars are Tonight…

“It’s interesting to be nominated for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Screenplay, but not Best Picture. I don’t know what else you have to do to make a picture.”

– Julian Schnabel, director of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. (In good humor he followed with, “But it’s all good . . .”)

_________________________________

And some thoughts about the nominations…

Initially, I thought the Best Picture race might be confusing. (as in: tight race) But it looks like No Country For Old Men will have no problem winning that award. Was it the best film of 2007? No.

My thoughts initially: Tom Wilkinson over Javier Bardem. Now it looks like Bardem has this race locked. There are some Holbrook hopes, which are nice to see, but it’s unlikely anyone but Bardem will take home the award for best actor in a supporting role.

Initially and beyond: Honoring Elizabeth: The Golden Age? Are they crazy? At least slightly?

Initially: I am shocked that Schnabel got the nod for best director (good for him), but why did The Diving Bell & the Butterfly get no nod in the foreign film department? Now: I still believe the film should have received a nod for best foreign film (and how about 4 Months, 3 Weeks, & 2 Days?!?! Really! That is quite a tragedy. It actually has been confirmed for some time, but this year it is clear to see that the Academy is truly crazy.) and I can see why Schnabel was nominated (I did not think he did not deserve it. I just thought the Academy liked more obvious directors). It’s good to see the screenplay was nominated as well, because that definitely helped in the direction of this film.

Surf’s Up is one of the greatest accomplishments in animation for the year 2007? What?!

Daniel Day-Lewis needs to win Best Actor. He is a craftsman and the best part of There Will Be Blood. Why is In the Valley of Elah being honored here? The Darjeeling Limited was better than that (but that’s not even saying much because Limited was one of the brightest spots in the year 2007. Need I go more in depth…).

Initially: Best Director is tight as well. Now: Well, I guess it still is. In a way. At least between two films. Michael Clayton is not stylish or creative enough (in the directing department) to win and Juno is just…kind of a surprise (although both are good films). Diving Bell is worthy of the award, but it doesn’t look like it stands much of a chance. So it’s between No Country and Blood. Which is prettier to look at? Probably Blood. Which is better made? It’s probably about even. The industry folks say the Coen Brothers will win for No Country. Between the two, I like the feel Paul Thomas Anderson gave Blood. Even though it’s more likely his cinematographer and Day-Lewis gave it that feel. Oh well. Blood‘s visuals are a little more creative than those of No Country. But between them, it is still close.

That’s all.

– R.H.

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Review: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

That was beautiful.

That was the resonating thought I had while the credits began to roll after Julian Schnabel’s French film, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly;” based on Jean-Dominique Bauby’s memoir, Le Scaphandre et le papillon.

That was beautiful, as a beautiful metaphor and images are shown behind the French credits.

That was beautiful, as Joe Strummer’s (& The Mescaleros’) great, uplifting anthem of “Ramshackle Day Parade” plays. “Loving life…that is paradise.” So true, my man. So true. (R.I.P.)

And those beautiful French people…

The best foreign language film I have seen all year, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” excels at showing the human, and the inhuman (which is, after all, human).

About the paralysis and resulting hospital stay of Elle magazine editor Bauby, the film is just…splendid. To describe the story would be insufficient. The way “Diving Bell” is filmed is magnificent. To save you the surprise, I will not reveal the techniques screenwriter Ronald Harwood and Schnabel incorporate in the film to make it all the more real and mesmerizing (possibly head-ache inducing, but you’ll get it over it).

Some notes about the production of the film… Direction? Check. Script? Double-check. Acting? Oh, yes. The acting really is great. Visuals and scenery? Oh my goodness, yes. Usage of music? Triple-times-one-hundred check. The use of music in “Diving Bell” is quite amazing. The shattering guitars of the Edge set one convertible scene’s fast tone as U2 plays along. Tom Waits croons his type of croon during a revealing Father’s Day-on-the-beach scene. The last song of the credits also goes to Waits. As well: This film has opened my eyes to the major talents of the former leader of the legendary Clash. Joe Strummer: we really, really hardly knew ye. Let’s change that somehow. Listen to the man’s last records with his band the Mescaleros. So far, they have not disappointed. And I don’t expect them to. (Thank you Mr. Schanbel (or whoever picked out the music). But thanks for the terrific film as well.)

Astounding and beautiful film-making? An assured check.

This wonderful film is about living life and being human. Go see it.

– R.H.

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