Five (things of interest to me and maybe to you)
1) The Squirrelly Awards for Film, 2015
Film - Mad Max: Fury Road
Director - George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Screenplay - Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight
Cinematography - Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
Editing - Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
Sound - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
VFX - Mad Max: Fury Road
Score - Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Song - none
Actor - Jacob Tremblay, Room
Actress - Daisy Ridley, Star Wars, The Force Awakens
Supporting Actor - Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Supporting Actress - Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight (and Anomalisa)
Ensemble Cast - Spotlight
Animated Feature - Shaun The Sheep, Mark Burton & Richard Starzak
Animated Short - If I Was God, Cordell Barker
Documentary Feature - Don't Think I've Forgotten-Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll, John Pirozzi
Documentary & Live Action Shorts - didn’t see many (theatrical) in 2015
(Yes, no Revenant)
2) We Stand On Guard, Brian K. Vaughan & Steve Skroce, 2015
Set in 2124, the USA is at war with Canada. Over six issues Vaughan and Skroce tell the story of war between the USA and Canada. The Canadian Resistance - the Two Four - have been driven to the far North finding themselves battling Giant American Robots. The art is fantastic, my one quibble is with the story - with only six issues the story seems truncated.
3) Hail, Caesar!, Joel & Ethan Coen, 2016
Maybe saying that Hail, Caesar! is just a fun piece of entertainment doesn’t do the film justice but it is 106 minutes of fun (Coen fun) - I came out of the screening with a big grin. All Hail the Coen Brothers!
4) John Sayles at Cinefamily, February 1016
Cinefamily launched their two month tribute to 80’s American Independent Cinema with a three day salute to filmmaker John Sayles. Each screening included a discussion with John Sayles (often with Sayles collaborators - Ernest Dickerson, David Strathairn). Unlike many filmmaker discussions these were detailed, informative and interesting (it helps that Sayles likes to talk) - some of the best film discussions I’ve heard.
5) Christians Catch Hell, Various Artists, 2015
Along with Numero Group’s “Ork Records: New York-New York”, “Christians Catch Hell” are my two favourite music reissues from 2015.
In the later part of the 1970’s, record label Gospel Roots, a subsidiary of TK Records (home to KC and the Sunshine Band), licensed masters from regional churches, artists and labels - 50 releases over a three year period (it was cheaper to license existing material then record from scratch). The label was run by Henry Stone and Timmy Thomas (Thomas, who had a hit record with Why Can’t We Live Together, is another of my favourite artists).
Many of the songs easily fit into an easy listening Soul of the 70’s playlist.
For the past few years I’ve been picking up Gospel 45s, LPs and compilations when ever I find them. A number of folks/labels have issued some great collections (Mississippi Records, Dust To Digital, Tompkins Square, Mike McGonigal), Christians Catch Hell is up there with the very best.
If you want to go deeper down the Gospel Music rabbit hole start with Dust to Digital’s Goodbye Babylon.
After The Rain, Pastor T.L. Barrett
Baby It’s You, The Shirelles
Com’e Il Cafe, Ennio Morricone
Hail Caesar, AC/DC
O Canada, William Shatner
Still haven't seen any Hillary bumper stickers, just Bernie (and no Trump either). Have seen one Hillary lawn sign (seen in one of Hollywood canyons).