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Thursday, November 26, 2009

West Indies vs Australia - 1st test

At lunchtime on the second day West Indies are putting a better performance than may people expected. Most people, however, weren't expecting very much so conceding 400 plus runs in the first innings being a positive performance is a matter of perspective.

On the first day of the match Jerome Taylor is again injured. Not his back this time but a new hip injury, despite him being underbowled in the warm up match to prevent injuries from occurring. The person/ people who are responsible for the fitness and conditioning of Taylor need to be replaced very soon. Before his injury, he looked threatening sporadically but was guilty of being too wayward and expensive.

Ravi Rampaul made his test debut yesterday. At 25 years old he is still young but vastly experienced since we've all been hearing about him since the Under-15 level. There has been a lot of expectation placed on him and nervousness clearly showed yesterday. He was too short and too wide and was duly punished by the Australian batsmen. Bowled much better on the second morning as was rewarded with his first test wicket. Unlucky to have Darren Sammy drop his potetntial second.

Of the fast bowlers Kemar Roach looks the best so far. With a deceptively laid back run up ,he manages to generate real pace and has good control for it too. Hit the batsmen several times on the second morning. He has showed a willingness to bowl long spells, which will be called upon with Taylor's injury.

Suliemann Benn is unrecognizable from the player who made his debut for the West Indies last year. He has developed a full repertoire of deliveries and makes good use of his towering height to add extra bounce when he bowls. Showed yesterday and today that he isn't afraid to flight the ball and varied his pace well too. Probably the best West Indian bowler of the match so far.

Dwayne Bravo , as usual, is made things happen yesterday. Got the breakthrough West Indies needed to remove Simon Katich and got Clarke out when he was settling in for a long knock. Used his variations well to keep uncertainty in the minds of the batsmen and didn't let up through long spells. Never looked extremely threatening but still managed to be.

The fielding, unfortunately, has been the normal West Indian way. At times spectacular and at times poor.The West Indies need a full time fielding coach and must instill consistency if they are to be competitive in the field.

best comedians of the decade

criteria : must do stand-up comedy. only judged from stand up and sketch .

10.Demetri Martin

why: He likes constructing palindromes. That's reason enough. Uses all sorts of visual aids and sketches. Great with the one liners too. Most unconventional comedian since Gallagher.Maybe.

9. Russell Brand

why: Obnoxious, loud and very strange. Known as much for his off stage antics than his comedy. But one of the best young 'angry' comedians out there. Although there's a sneaking suspicion the accent makes him cool (er).

8. Robin Williams

why: Back in2002 with LIVE on Broadway, the show broke several records for a comedy show. Showed he's still funny, hasn't let success go to his head and can still make it all up on the spot.

7. Ricky Gervais

why: In the Office for the first part of the century, everywhere else for the last. Most people know him for his film roles, but he's great on the stage too. Doesn't shy away from the controversial topics. And it isn't everyone who can makes (good) comedy about Nazis, the Holocaust, AIDS and religion.

6. David Cross:

why: The man who brought out 'indie comedy'. Usually known for his satires on politics , he was one of the first comedians to start referencing 9/11 in his act.

5. Mitch Hedberg

why: Died halfway through the decade, but still managed to be influential in five years. With his surreal humour, non -sequiturs and deadpan deliver, Hedberg has become a cult classic. ( even more so because of his drug related demise)

4. Patton Oswalt

why: Convinced everything is ridiculous, and everything includes him too. Everything from pop culture to American foreign policy is in his stand -up routine, and no one ever made cuneiform script seem so funny. (and he was the rat in Ratatouille)

3.Russell Peters

why: Nobody else ever made the phrase " 34.50" funny before he did. Never spares anyone , once there's something funny he's observed he'll make fun of it. And he'll make fun of himself too - especially because he's an Indian guy with the name Russell Peters.

2. Dave Chappelle

why: Sketch comedy series of the decade with " Chapelle's show''. Man who gave us the line ' I'm Rick James bitch'. Every sketch he has is dead on, and even though he knows people sometimes won't get it, he won't compromise. And he did a six hour show that's funny from start to finish. (Dane Cook did a seven hour show that didn't even have a half hour of good material).

1. Chris Rock

why: Acting, screenwriting ,directing and producing. Doesn't have a lot of free time but still managed to release 'Never Scared' and "Kill the Messenger' and go on worldwide tours. Been around for a long time and his comedy has grown up too, without losing what made him so funny to start with.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

best books of the decade

30. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown - 2003

why: poorly written, plotline with several holes. pushing the limits of the so-called ' factuality' he stresses. Absorbing read though, once you don't take it too seriously. Shows that you don't need to write well to sell well, but if that a good thing or not remains to be seen.

29. Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi - 2003

why: A tale of the triumph and importance of literature during wartime. Shows how novels are an assertion of identity and the importance of the freedom of choice.

28. True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey - 2000

why: Retelling the story of Australian folk hero Ned Kelly where he writes the story for his daughter . Although set in Australia, you could say this is one of the best Westerns in a while.

27. The Enchantress of Florence - Salman Rushdie - 2008

why: Large scale epic set in Florence during the Renaissance. Machiavelli and Akhbar the Great are characters in this tale.

26. The Damned Utd - David Peace - 2006

why: One of the best novels written about sport in a long time. Peace uses the stream of consciousness technique to great effect, giving an believable portrait of Brian Clough.

25. The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, What I Saw Inside and Why I Left - Ed Husain - 2007

why: Insightful book that takes you into the psyche of fundamentalism and youth. If the older English ever needed a wakeup call about being out of touch, this is it.

24. .Experience - Martin Amis - 2000

why : The memoirs of Martin Amis dealing with the death of his father, Kingsley Amis . A behind the scenes look at two great writers.

23. The Corrections - Johnathan Franzen - 2001

why: Literary realism at it's best. Huge, sweeping novel about a family in Midwest America and each of their drives, desires and life choices. It's both a return to the 19th century great novels and a starting point.

22. Snow - Orhan Pamuk - 2004

why: All about the political tensions and cultural clashes of modern Turkey. The narrator returns to see the country wasting away. Full of humor while retaining sympathy with its main characters.

21. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz - 2007

why: Dominican immigrant who lives in New Jersey and wants to be a sci fi writer. Both tragic and comic but always a fresh look at the US immigrant experience.

20. Memories of My Melancholy Whores - Gabriel Gracia Marquez -2005

why: The best author out of Latin America has still got it. With a nod to Lolita, Gabo keeps talking about love and aging. Still writing that magical realism style, with an energy you never tire of.

19. Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi - 2003

why: Ignoring the standard tale of sadness and oppression, Satrapi gives funny and amiable side to this story. At times the tragedy is there, but it never envelops the book in despair.

18. The White Tiger - Arvind Adiga - 2008

why: Nowhere is culture and society rapidly changing as in India today. This book gives a look at living in India during the fast times and how to start at the bottom and get to the top.If you're willing to do what it takes.

17. Middlesex -Jeffrey Eugenides - 2002

why: A strange gender changing, time spanning complicated novel. Past and present combine to give this novel literary force

16. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold - 2002

why: A Bildungsroman told by a dead girl. Tale of coping with grief (or not coping as the case may be). Sebold manages to find the perfect mix for a story that could have been much darker.

15. District and Circle - Seamus Heaney - 2006

why: Heaney returns to his past themes to show us that while the subjects remain the same, the details surrounding them have evolved and been restructured.

14. .The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon-2003

why: First person narrative from a 15 year old autistic who is trying to find a dog murderer. A insightful look into the mindset of persons with autism and the difficulty they have with normal situations.

13. Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer -2002

why: A story of self discovery, one that resonates with every immigrant and every romantic. Switching between story arcs, the author gives an original (but realistic) use of English.

12. The Blind assassin - Margaret Atwood -2000

why: a story within a story, of science fiction pulp and events which span the twentieth century. Experimental style set against a backdrop of important Canadian historical events

11. Peeling the Onion - Gunter Grass- 2006

why: The Nobel Prize winner comes out with the truth that he was in the Waffen SS. Shocking for a man who set himself up as a moral voice but showed great bravery too.

10. Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami - 2005

why: talking cats ,UFOs and magic lands. very strange. Murakami gives us his usual mix of suspense , humor and magical realism. In a complex plot that insists you reread.

9. The Plot against America - Phillip Roth-2004

why: An alternative history , political novel. Extremely unlikely but Roth writes everything with such detail that you have no problem thinking it possibly could have happened just like he said

8. Never Let me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro - 2005

why: a superb Sci-Fi story , that subtly talks about how death is waiting on everyone. Is there any genre that this author can't dominate?

7. Life of Pi - Yann Martel - 2001

why: The bestselling of the Booker Prize winners. Strange and very eerie. Possibly allegorical, thoroughly entertaining.

6. Austerlitz - W.G. Sebald - 2001

why: A masterpiece about a man's search for his history. One of the best from postwar Germany, which tells about the current generation coming to terms with the aftereffects of World War II.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling - 2007

why: How often does a bestseller be a great literary work? Never until the Harry Potter series came out. A seamless blend of high and low culture, probably the first time anyone has ever wished for a 700 page book to be longer. And how often have you heard someone say " All I ever read is Harry Potter"?

4. White Teeth - Zadie Smith - 2000

why: The novel that launched Zadie Smith. A story about immigration in wartime London and a friendship of two boys despite cultural differences. A sympathetic and humorous look at how we're similar.

3. . Youth - J.M. Coetzee - 2003

why: Fictionalized memoirs that opened a new genre. A story about living in a different society where no one relates to you. Something every at some time or the other has experienced

2. Atonement - Ian McEwan - 2002

why: Imagination, multiple views, the nature of perception. A forceful story matched with tremendous prose to back it up.

1. The Road - Cormac McCarthy - 2006

why: Adventure book about a father and son traveling through an American wasteland. Heartbreaking , but in a throwback style to the classic epics.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best movies of the decade

Almost the end of the year. And the decade. So this list seems logical. Wanted to do it before Oscar season gets into full swing and late editing is required. Also, non- documentaries.

1. City of God – Fernando Meirelles – 2002 – Crime Drama

Why: The best crime movie of the decade. Probably the best ever that’s set outside of the US or Hong Kong. It’s hard out in the city of god- little children running around with guns killing people. And when there’s a gang war, everybody’s in trouble. But there the main narrative of Buscape, who makes it out while telling us what he saw.

2.Y tu mama tambien – Alfonso Cuaron -2001 – Drama/ Road movie

Why : One of the most natural film casts ever. This movie makes you feel like they’ve been spending time with each other their whole lives. Both a realistic portrayal of late teenage years as well as a road trip fantasy everyone’s thought about.

3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy - 2001, 2002, 2003 - Peter Jackson – Fantasy/epic/adventure

Why: the trilogy of this decade. Probably of this generation. Who doesn’t like Lord of the Rings after seeing these movies? Like nothing ever seen before, Jackson managed to transform what Tolkien himself said would be unsuitable for film representation. By recreating Middle Earth in the New Zealand countryside these films leave you just as awestruck as reading the books. Maybe even more so. (But you should already know this)

4. Million Dollar Baby – 2004 – Clint Eastwood – Drama

Why: a movie about taking chances and giving chances. About chasing dreams and redemption. And about euthanasia. Released at a time when euthanasia debates were at the forefront to the world news, this film helped to get a perspective on that topic. But not just that, it’s Clint Eastwood at his directorial (and acting) best.

5. Caché (Hidden) -2005- Michael Haneke- Suspense

Why: a complex open-ended thriller about a family with that doesn’t communicate well and who have trauma below the surface. Haneke isn’t committed to solving the mystery, just stating it’s there which leaves plenty of room for the viewer to try to work things out. a major theme is of paranoia about the loss of privacy, something all too real with around the clock surveillance being more widespread.

6. Spirited Away – Hayao Miyazaki – 2001- Animated/ Adventure

Why: you get drawn into this movie like the spirit world is the most natural thing in the world. Visually stunning like few animated before, this movie also tells a tale about adaptation and dealing with new situations.

7. Hable con Ella (Talk to her) – 2002 – Pedro Almodovar – Drama

Why : Two love stories interconnected by time spent in a hospital. An unlikely friendship between two men, who have very different outlooks on life. A crime, the repercussions. Almodovar draws from many different places in society. And makes them all fit seamlessly.

8. The Pianist -2002- Roman Polanski- War/drama

Why: Polanski with the comeback no one saw coming. Adrien Brody with a performance no one knew he was capable of (and has, frustratingly, never come close to again). A portrayal of life in Warsaw for a Jewish pianist and his family, from the time of Nazi occupation until the end of the war. With a realism that at times is difficult to watch, yet you still can’t look away.

9. Before Sunset – 2004 – Richard Linklater – Romance

Why: Two people meet in Paris after nine years. They spend the evening talking about how their lives were during that time. And how it could have been. That’s the entire movie plot. But those topics they talk about, each one is something you’ve thought about and can relate to. This one doesn’t give a lot of answers but it makes you want to go looking for them.

10. There Will be Blood – 2007 – Paul Thomas Anderson – Drama

Why: Daniel Day- Lewis as Daniel Plainview. An oilman. One of the most absorbing performances of the decade. A fascinating look at a man with no moral compass, who won’t let anything stand in his way of getting his oil. (and he references milkshakes.)

11. Le Voyage du Ballon Rouge ( The Voyage of the red Balloon)- Hou Hsao Hsien – 2007 –Drama

Why: A look at the life of a French single mother and her child as well as all their interactions and subtle daily differences. Shown from the view of the exchange student who works as a nanny and lives with them. The realism in this has you feeling like you’re looking through a window at times.

12. Pan’s Labyrinth – 2006 – Guillermo Del Toro – War/ Adventure/ Fantasy

Why: set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil war, this is a film about imagination. The mind of a little girl creates her own battles of good and evil. Anything to not think about reality. Complete with visuals that make the imaginary creatures seem real.

13. Vals im Bashir (Waltz with Bashir) – Ari Folman- 2008 - War/Documentary/ animated

Why: an animated documentary does all the things a real documentary can but gives scenes only possibly by animation (or a huge SFX budget). Folman gives an honest account of the war, while trying to recover memories which his brain is hiding from him.

14. Syndromes and a Century -Apichatpong Weerasethakul- 2006 - Drama

Why: a film in two parts that stretches across two eras. Based on the story of how Weerasethakul’s parents met he shows it as it was (more or less) in the 1970’s and then retells the story in modern times. He does this with the same actors and no warning, so it’s only after it’s finished you realize what happened. Very experimental and very original.

15. . Letters from Iwo Jima – 2006- Clint Eastwood– War

Why: The second part to Eastwood’s World War II series, this tells the battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective. A film that shows the mentality of the Japanese soldiers in the ranks as well as the officers. Also serves to show the war culture and attitude of the Japanese soldiers at the time. With battle scenes that are graphic and realistic enough to make you never want to go to war.

16. No Country for Old men – 2007 – Joel & Ethan Coen- Action/ Crime

Why: A very dark film. About a drug deal gone bad and everybody’s trying to find the cash. Which doesn’t look too promising for the man who found it. Cormac McCarthy’s source novel didn’t look adaptable but the Coen Brothers didn’t just pull it off, they made it unforgettable. (and there’s Javier Bardem as Chigurh)

17. 2046 – Wong Kar Wai – 2004 – Drama/ Romance /Sci Fi

Why: Visuals on a whole other level. Even for a Hong Kong film. There are side stories& flash backs. Even surreal futuristic dreams too. But the writer sitting in his room, reflecting on the past, watching the other occupants and talking to his lover. That’s what makes the movie.

18. The Departed – 2006- Martin Scorsese – Crime Drama/ Action

Why: Not Scorsese’s best film. He’s got too many high caliber for it to be that. But this shows why he’s the master of Crime movies. It’s a remake of a South Korean film, but Scorcsese’s own interpretation shows throughout. Nice to see Jack Nicholson as the villain again too.

19. The Lives of Others – 2006- Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck- spy/ drama

Why: Ulrich Muhe completely inhabits his character of a Stasi Surveillance officer. A movie that makes you wonder just who’s listening and how difficult life is when you aren’t sure what the government is capable of. But also a movie that shows even the Stasi are made up of real people with human emotions.

20. Punch Drunk Love – 2002 – Paul Thomas Anderson – Comedy/ Drama

Why: Adam Sandler as Barry Egan. This movie is strange. There’s a lot of side stories but the main one is a romance. How Barry has trouble fitting into a normal relationship is a prevalent theme. Hard to explain why this one is good. But it is.

21. Almost Famous – Cameron Crowe – 2000- Comedy/ Road movie

Why: working for Rolling Stone in the 1970’s. going on tour with a band. It’s what music lovers have always dreamt about. Crowe gives every detail of exactly how it is. Showing you how much it’s exactly like what you expect it to be and how much is a surprise. And every character in the movie is more like a real person than a character

22. Donnie Darko – 2001- Richard Kelly – Drama/Fantasy/Thriller

Why: a teenager gets instructions from a six foot tall rabbit on how to time travel. But he must go back in the past to allow an accident to occur. The movie leaves you wondering how much of this is real and how much is due to a psychological disorder. Definitely something to see more than once, if only to make sense of the story.


23. Wall-E - 2008 -Andrew Stanton- animated

Why: one of the best romance comedies of the decade isn’t even about a human couple. Pixar creates a garbage ridden earth and contrasts it with the beauty of space. With visuals that look more real than any cartoon before, the robots in this movie seem more human than real people. In fact , you might think that if more people were like Wall-e and Eve things might be better.

24 Amélie - 2001- Jean-Pierre Jeunet- Romance/Comedy

Why : with the face of an angel and the heart of a child, Audrey Tautou swept everyone away as Amelie Poulain. Essentially a love story, waitress Amelie has fantastic adventures while trying to help others around her. A view on life in Paris, it has more magical realism than a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. But it wouldn’t be a great French love story if it was any other way.

25. Dirty Pretty Things – Stephen Frears – 2002- Drama

Why: A Nigerian doctor in London works two jobs while uncovering an illegal trade in human organs. This movie shows you the reality of immigrants in big cities. How sometimes leaving for a better life isn’t all you think it would be. An important movie for anyone that’s ever thought about illegal migration

26. Persepolis – 2007- Vincent Paronnaud& Marjane Satrapi - animated

Why: one of the best graphic novels of the decade smoothly becomes one of the best animated movies of the decade. The Iranian revolution seen through the eyes of a young Satrapi, the movie remains comic and endearing while dealing with serious subjects. The animation retains the pleasing simplicity of the graphic novel

27. . Children of men – 2006 -Alfonso Cuarón – Drama/ Sci Fi/ Action

Why: set in the not too distant future, humans have become infertile. In this dystopian vision the story focuses on the people transporting the last pregnant woman. A dark but ultimately hopeful look at a possible future. undertones of political groups willing to use any means to gain power are also apparent.

28. . Oldboy -2003-Park Chan-wook- Thriller/suspense

Why: while calmly walking down the street, a man is captured and held prisoner in a room for years. No reason why, no one ever comes. Then one day he’s free and he decides to start a vendetta against whoever locked him up. A movie full of twists and turns, seething with raw emotion. The phrase ‘didn’t see that coming’ will be frequently used.

29. Traffic -2000- Steven Soderbergh – Crime/Drama

Why: several stories come together in this portrayal of the effects of the drugs trade. Makes you realize how unlikely it is that power will be relinquished from the drug cartels despite the best efforts of those in charge. Also shows how drugs hit home when least expected. Unforgettable performance from Benecio del Toro as the one good Mexican cop, Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez. (not a typo on the double last name)

30. Amores Perros -2000- Alejandro González Iñárritu- drama

Why : three separate stories. One about a model, one about a teenager with a dog who’s a dogfighting champ,one about a vagrant hitman. All connected by a car accident. One story tells you what caused the accident, the next on the repercussions. One of the first movies to showcase the new wave of talent of Mexican cinema

31. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Michael Gondry - 2004 – Sci Fi/Romance/drama

Why: Kate Winslet is unforgettable as Clementine. Jim Carrey gives a performance that makes you realize he has a huge acting range. This movie allows you to watch the deterioration of a romance, piece by piece. From a thoroughly original viewpoint. (more romance like this need to be made).

32. Irreversible - Gaspar Noe -2002 - Thriller

why: it’s all about revenge. You need an above average tolerance for violence for this one. From the opening mutilation scene to the vicious rape scene, this movie never calms down. But you’ll never forget it and before you write it off, most of the acts are based on newspaper reports.

33. Volver- 2006- Pedro Almodovar- Comedy/Drama

Why: Ghosts of the family. Bodies of the family. Opening a restaurant. Penelope Cruz sets the screen on fire as Raimunda in this story set in rural Spain. With scenes that sometimes look as though the overexposed setting was used, the colour and imagery of this movie would be overdone by anyone other than Almodovar who creates the perfect blend.

34. Little Miss Sunshine -2006- Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris – comedy/drama

Why: a road trip in an old VW bus across California to a pre-teen beauty pageant. A movie that never lets its serious subjects weigh it down, by the end of the film family bonding and the warmth that comes from it have affected every character. Every actor plays their part to perfection, especially Steve Carell as a gay, recently fired, Proust specializing college professor who recently attempted suicide.

35. Le scaphandre et le Papillion-(The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) -2007-Julian Schnabel- Biography

Why: the story Jean-Dominique Bauby who was left paralyzed and only able to communicate by blinking his left eye. Refusing to lie down and die, he communicated painstakingly letter by letter through blinking and managed to complete his autobiography. Surrealistic imagery and flashbacks make this an alluring film.

36. The Queen -2006- Stephen Frears – Drama

Why: Helen Mirren inhabits the role of Queen Elizabeth II perfectly, giving a human touch to her Majesty. A movie which gives a (maybe) fictional account of how the Royal family dealt with Princess Diana’s death. Very witty and intelligent in its portrayal of facts and events, it shows compassion too.

37. Whale Rider -2002-Niki Caro- Drama

Why: The story of Paikea, a young girl who needs to convince her stern grandfather that she is capable of inheriting the leadership of her Maori village, beside there being no precedent for a woman to be chief. Keisha Castle-Hughes (at age fourteen) brings grace and sincerity to her role as Paikea and this more than anything is the reason for the film’s success. The speech at the school program is one of the most moving of the decade.

38. Batman: The Dark Knight – Christopher Nolan – 2008- Action/Drama

Why: probably the most popular film of the latter half of the decade. Curiously absent from most of the best of the decade lists out so far. (Critics don’t like popular films). But any movie that gives rise to Heath Ledger as the new Joker can’t be left out.

39. Gosford Park -2001- Robert Altman – Mystery

Why: a throwback to the old Agatha Christie style murder mysteries set in a large British manor house. But not just a straight mystery story, there’s an exploration of how the classes interact in England. A class system which is begging to show signs of decay. Manages to show the strange cultural aspects of England during that era while creating intrigue.

40. Good Night, and Good Luck -2005- George Clooney – Drama

Why: a look back at TV journalism of the past, when journalists weren’t afraid to stand up and challenge. When Edward R. Morrow stood against Senator Joseph McCarthy on his policies, it represented the press willing to fight for the people. Clooney captures the feel of that era so authentically you can smell the cigarette smoke.

41. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan -2006- Larry Charles- comedy/(documentary?)

Why: you either love this movie or hate it. But everyone knows about it. Borat showed Americans at their intolerant worst, managing to get everyday people to reveal levels of hypocrisy and xenophobia they had buried deep down. One of the most original ideas about making a movie ever, easily the best (and most offensive) comedy in years.

42. Indigenes (Days of Glory)- 2006- Rachid Bouchareb – War

Why: this has been called the French “Saving Private Ryan”. It’s that good. The story of World War II battles in North Africa by the soldiers from the French colonies. Shows the two faced nature of the military, which allowed these soldiers to die for France while still treating them unjustly. The reaction to this movie caused the French Government to restructure their war pension scheme.

43. Let the Right one in- 2008 - Tomas Alfredson – Horror/Thriller/Romance

Why: Twilight fans need to see this before they can give any comments on a vampire movie. A movie about a pre teen vampire from the suburbs who begins a relationship with another vampire. A relationship which changes his mundane life. Full of the kind of scenes you would expect from vampires if they were real.

44. Lagaan -Ashutosh Gowariker- 2001 – epic drama/sports/ musical

why: not your average Indian film. While it does have a love story and musical numbers, this film is about triumph. Specifically the triumph of the Indian villagers over the British colonials. At cricket too, which was “their game”. ( and that match at the end, only cricket can give that drama

45. The Last King of Scotland -2006 - Kevin Macdonald- Drama/ Historical

Why: Forrest Whitaker plays Idi Amin and there’s nothing you won’t say he’s incapable of. But he’s not just dangerous, Whitaker captures Amin’s charisma and takes you a bit closer to realizing why so many people were swayed by the dictator. The brutality level of this film is high but so was the brutality of Amin’s Uganda.

46. Once - John Carney- 2007 – Musical/ Romance/Drama

Why: quiet film, shot with a handheld style. At times you feel like you right there next to the characters. A simple story about a street musician who meets a girl that likes his music, then spends time with her and records an album. This might be one of the best films about music in a long time.

47. Monsoon Wedding -2002- Mira Nair – Comedy /Drama

Why: a whirlwind of a film that accurately depicts the corresponding whirlwind that is an Indian wedding. There are tensions and anger, joy and romance – and just as in any wedding , not only the bride and groom are feeling theme. A vivid depiction of the social festival that a Punjabi wedding is.

48. . Billy Elliot -2000- Stephen Daldry – Musical/Drama

Why: in a coal mining town in England, a young boy dreams of being a ballet dancer. Something which doesn’t go down well with his family. A story about perseverance and following your dreams, this movie takes you into the story and for an emotional ride.

49. The Squid and the Whale -2005- Noah Baumbach – Comedy-Drama

Why: a film about two brothers whose parents (both professors in literature) are getting an ill-tempered divorce. Set in 1980’s New York, tells the classic tale of each child siding with a different parent. The script from Baumbach manages to be both realistic and witty and leaves you wishing the movie was longer.

50. 25th hour- 2002- Spike Lee - Drama

Why: Character driven drama, expected of Spike lee. Fast , engaging dialogue makes the character interactions seem closer to real life than a movie. The entire film’s events happen during the space of one day. A very eventful day. The closest resemblance Spike has ever done to ‘do the right thing’”

Monday, November 16, 2009

best singer songwiters .(1970s and foward).(more or less)

Criteria leans more towards mainstream than minority interest. More towards long periods of good output than occasional one off flashes of brilliance. And this list is more lyrically oriented than musically oriented.(& rap is a whole other list. so no rappers on this one). Only English songwriters too.

1. . Bob Dylan -Solo- USA
listen to : ("Like A Rolling Stone", "Blowin' In The Wind", "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", “Positively Fourth Street”)

2. John Lennon & Paul McCartney - The Beatles, Solo, - England
Listen to: ("A Day In The Life", "Hey Jude", "Yesterday", "Let It Be", "Imagine")

3. Bob Marley - The wailers- Jamaica

listen to: ("No Woman No Cry", "One Love/People Get Ready", "Redemption Song", "Exodus", "Johnny was a good man")

4. Bruce Springsteen -E street Band- USA

Listen to: ("Born To Run", "Thunder Road", "Born In The USA", Streets of Philadelphia)

5. Paul Simon - Simon & Garfunkel, Solo, - USA

Listen to: ("Bridge Over Troubled Water'", "The Sounds Of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson")

6. Pete Townshend - The Who - England
listen to: ("My Generation", "Won't Get Fooled Again", "Baba O'Riley")

7. Robert Plant, Jimmy Page & John Paul Jones - Led Zeppelin- England
listen to: ("Stairway To Heaven", "Whole Lotta Love", "Kashmir", "Black Dog")

8. .Kurt Cobain - Nirvana -USA

listen to: ("Smells Like Teen Spirit", "Come As You Are", "Heart-Shaped Box", "Lithium")

9. Tom Waits -solo- USA
listen to: ("Downtown Train", "Jersey Girl", "Ol' 55")

10. Cat Stevens - solo- England

listen to:( "Wild World", Father and Son", "the First Cut is the Deepest" ,"How Can I Tell You")

11. Sam Cooke -Solo - USA
Listen to: ("A Change Is Gonna Come", "You Send Me", "Chain Gang")

12. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards - The Rolling Stones- England
Listen to: ("(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Sympathy For The Devil", "Paint It, Black", "Ruby Tuesday")

13. Van Morrison - Them, Solo, - Ireland

listen to: ("Brown Eyed Girl", "Gloria", "Have I Told You Lately")

14. David Bowie - solo- England

listen to: ("Life On Mars", "Space Oddity", "Ziggy Stardust", "The Man Who Sold The World")

15. Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright & Nick Mason - Pink Floyd- England

listen to:("Another Brick In The Wall Part 2", "Comfortably Numb", "Wish you were here")

16. Marvin Gaye - solo- USA

listen to: ("What's Going On", "Let's Get It On", "Dancing In The Street")

17. Elton John & Bernie Taupin - Solo - England

Listen to: ("Candle In The Wind", "Your Song", "Tiny Dancer", "Rocket Man", )

18. . Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon & Roger Taylor - Queen,- England

listen to:("Bohemian Rhapsody", "We Are The Champions", "We Will Rock You")

19. Joni Mitchell -Solo- Canada
listen to: ("A Case Of You", "Both Sides Now", "Chelsea Morning", "Big Yellow Taxi")

20. Stevie Wonder - Solo- USA

Listen to: ("Superstition", "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life", "Living for the City")

21. . Neil Young -Solo-Canada

listen to: ("Heart of Gold", "Rockin' In The Free World", "Southern Man")

22. John Fogerty - Creedence Clearwater Revival, Solo- USA
listen to: ("Proud Mary", "Bad Moon Rising", "Fortunate Son", )

23. Thom Yorke & Johnny Greenwood - Radiohead- England

listen to: ("Karma Police", "Creep", "Paranoid Android")

24. Bill Withers - solo- USA
listen to: ("Ain't No Sunshine", "Lean On Me", "Use Me")

25. Don McLean -solo -USA
listen to: ("American Pie", "Vincent", "Castles in the Air", "Wonderful Baby")

26. Curtis Mayfield - The Impressions, Solo,- USA

Listen to: ("People Get Ready", "Superfly")

27. . Roy Orbison -solo- USa
listen to: ("Oh, Pretty Woman", "Crying", "Only The Lonely")

28. Noel Gallagher - Oasis - England

listen to: ("Wonderwall", "Dont look back in ANger" ,"All around the world",
"The Importance of Being Idle"")

29. James Brown -Solo- USA

:Listen to: ("Papa's Got A Brand New Bag", "I Got You (I Feel Good)", "Say It Loud - I'm Black And I'm Proud")

30. . Otis Redding & Steve Cropper - solo- USA
listen to: ("Respect", "Sitting On The Dock Of A Bay", "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)")

31. Geezer Butler & Tony Iommi - Black Sabbath - England

listen to: ("Black Sabbath", "War Pigs", "Paranoid", "NIB", "Children of the Grave")

32. . George Harrison - The Beatles, Solo, - England

listen to:("Something", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "My Sweet Lord")

33. Smokey Robinson - The Miracles, Solo, - USA

Listen to: ("Tracks Of My Tears", "My Girl", "You've Really Got A Hold On Me", "Shop Around")

34. Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek & Robby Krieger - The Doors- USA
listen to: ("Light My Fire", "Break On Through")

35. . Sting - The Police, Solo - England

listen to: ("Every Breath You Take", "Roxanne", "Fields Of Gold", "message in a bottle")

36. . Barry White -USA

listen to: ("Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe", "You're The First, The Last, My Everything")

37. Frank Zappa - solo -USA

listen to: ("Dancin' Fool", "Valley Girl", "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow", "Who Are The Brain Police?")

38. Bono & The Edge - U2- Ireland
listen to:("With Or Without You", "One", "Sunday Bloody Sunday", "Stuck in a Moment")

39. Sly Stone - Sly And The Family Stone - USA
listen to: ("Everyday People", "Family Affair", "Dance To The Music")

40. Isaac Hayes & David Porter -solo-USA
listen to: ("When Something Is Wrong With My Baby", "Soul Man", "Hold On, I'm Coming")

41. Billy Joel - solo - USA
listen to: ("Piano Man", "Just The Way You Are", "New York State of Mind", "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me")

42. .Elvis Costello -solo - England

listen to: ("Alison", "Oliver's Army", "Everyday I Write the Book", )

43. Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb & Maurice Gibb - The Bee Gees, Solo,- Australia
listen to: ("To Love Somebody", "Stayin' Alive", "Grease")

44. Jim Croce -solo- USA

listen to: ( "bad, bad, Leroy Brown; "Time in a Bottle;You Don't Mess Around with Jim

45. Al Green - solo- USA

listen to: ("Let's Stay Together", "Tired Of Being Alone", "Here I Am (Come And Take Me)")

46. Ronnie Van Zant - Lynyrd Skynyrd- USA
Listen to: ("Sweet Home Alabama", "Free Bird", "What's Your Name")

47. Jimi Hendrix - solo - USA

listen to ("Purple Haze", "Little Wing", "The Wind Cries Mary", "Machine Gun")

48. Morrissey - The Smiths, Solo - England

listen to:("This Charming Man", "The More You Ignore Me, the Closer I Get", "Irish Blood, English Heart")

49. Lars Ulrich & James Hetfield - Metallica - USA
listen to: ("Master of Puppets", "Enter Sandman", "One")

50. Neil Diamond -solo- USA

listen to: ("I'm A Believer", "Sweet Caroline", "Red Red Wine",, "Solitary Man")

51. .Steve Tyler & Joe Perry - Aerosmith - USA
listen to: ("Dream On", "Walk This Way", "Sweet Emotion")

52. Eric Clapton -Cream, Derek and The Dominoes, Solo- England

listen to: ("Layla", "Tears In Heaven", "Wonderful Tonight", )

53. Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails- USA

listen to: ("Hurt", "Closer", "Head Like A Hole")

54. . Lionel Richie - The Commodores, Solo- USA
listen to: ("We Are The World", "Brickhouse", "Endless Love", "All Night Long (All Night)", "Lady")

55. Maurice White - Earth, Wind & Fire- USA

listen to: ("Shining Star", "September", "Boogie Wonderland")

56. Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament & Stone Gossard - Pearl Jam - USA

listen to: ("Alive", "Jeremy", "Better Man", "Black")

57. Guy Berryman, Johnny Buckland, Will Champion& Chris Martin – C0ldplay - England

listen to : ( "Shiver" , "The Scientist"," A rush of Blood to the head", "Fix you")

58. . Ian Gillan & Ritchie Blackmore - Deep Purple- England
listen to:("Smoke On The Water", "Child In Time", "Highway Star")

59. Robert Smith - The Cure - England

listen to: ("Just Like Heaven", "Pictures Of You", "Lovesong")

60. Steve Harris & Adrian Harris & Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden - England

listen to: ("The Number Of The Beast", "Run To The Hills", "Hallowed Be Thy Name")

61. John Denver - solo -USA
listen to:("Leaving On A Jet Plane", "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Calypso")

62. Axl Rose, Izzy Straidlin & Slash-Guns N Roses - USA

listen to: ("Sweet Child O' Mine", "Welcome To The Jungle", "November Rain")

63. George Michael - Wham, Solo, - England
listen to:("Faith", "Father Figure", "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go",''Last Christmas")

64. Ray Charles -solo - USA
listen to: ("Hallelujah I Love Her So", "I Got A Woman", "This Little Girl of Mine",
"What'd I Say")

65. Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Bon Scott & Brian Johnson - AC/DC- Australia

listen to: ("Back In Black", "Highway To Hell", "You Shook Me All Night Long")

66. Grace Slick - Jefferson Airplane / Starship - USA
listen to: ("White Rabbit", "Somebody to Love", "Rejoyce",)

67. Deborah Harry, Chris Stein & Jimmy Destri - Blondie-USA
listen to: ("Heart Of Glass", "Call Me", "One way or another)

68. John Mellencamp - solo - USA

listen to( "small town", " Jack and Diane", )

69. Kerry KIng, Tom Araya & Jeff Hanneman - Slayer -USA

listen to: (Raining Blood","Seasons in the abyss","In the name of god")

70. Joey Ramone, Dee Dee Ramone, Tommy Ramone & Johnny Ramone - The Ramones- USA
listen to: ("Blitzkrieg Bop", "I Wanna Be Sedated", "Sheena Is A Punk Rocker")

71. Ian Curtis - Joy Division - England

listen to: ("Love Will Tear Us Apart")

72. Neil Peart - Rush - Canada

listen to ( "2112",
"the Spirit of Radio", "Tom Sawyer" , "New World Man")

73. Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull - England

listen to: ("Aqualung", "Thick As A Brick", "Locomotive Breath", "Bungle in the Jungle")

74. Billy Corgan - Smashing Pumpkins - USA
listen to: ("Tonight, Tonight", "Bullet With Butterfly Wings", "Cherub Rock")

75. Justin Hayward - The Moody Blues, solo - England
listen to: ("Nights In White Satin", "Tuesday Afternoon", "Question", "The Story In Your Eyes")

p.s. 1-15 are more or less solid & unchangeable. 15-75 are sorta more dependent on mood.