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As we go shuttling in an anti-gravity half-awake surreal dream known as “2016: the year we’d all like to forget” music mags have all rushed to assemble a list of the best music releases of the past year. What we find strange about this is that many of them have been out there for a good month already. Publishing deadlines/vacation shutdowns are foregrounded, while on the ground news and late releases are dismissed out of hand. We don’t play that way.

We, along with our contributors, are working on music lists for the year in review. These will be carefully considered and published at the end of the year or in early January when we’ve had time to consider, since we care a lot about the results and have many eyes and ears on the ground on two continents in grimy, promising venues where important emerging Indie bands still yet play as we write this; for announcements and big news coming out for 2017 (I’m sure the announcement of Ride’s return to the studio was missed by those who dwell in the November as year end realm; and as we write, The Jesus and Mary Chain’s new, incredible single has hit. Saving Christmas.) Unfortunately, there’s major sad news from the world of the music we love like the tragic passing of Inspiral Carpets‘ longtime drummer Craig Gill, who died suddenly aged just 44, shortly before his December birthday. This loss has caused a rally of support among the music community of friends and Gilly’s many fans, and a worthy end of the year push to take the Inspirals single “Saturn 5” to the historic place & significant place of the annual Christmas Number One, boosted by notable Manchester & Liverpool music figures (including Rowetta, Northside’s Dermo, and more) and launched by Gill’s childhood best friend. Odds-makers have taken notice. We think it’s already a massive success of love and musical unity in a terrible time, in a rough year when so many are reeling from this loss and many troubling news stories and developments that we must ingest with our daily coffee lately. But the Inspirals record push and outpouring of support shows us that beauty & love exists despite the worst tragedy and adversity, and travels on harmonic sounds around the world. News indeed, this worthy campaign.

 

Click here to read about the Saturn 5 Christmas Number One Campaign and to get involved.

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One of us loves this film. The other had naught to say about it! Guess who?

So as we work on our special year-end edition and our lists in celebration and recognition of great releases, news, gigs, festivals and moments in music (that happened over the past year both on the front pages at times and often in great hidden corner music bars or in discoveries online, too) we’re going to offer again our first big list at midpoint of the year (August), where we took a good look at all the best films as deemed by our editors that have been made in this century. We were baffled by a BBC list that attempted this job that only looked at American films and also bungled the timing of when the century started, that nonetheless received a wide readership and interesting discussion points on various online sites and social media.

Propelled by the fuel of irritation that sometimes leads to creativity and even production round here, we threw our own list together. It was a fun project that was also part of our first podcast together that was enjoyed by people, to our great surprise. Thank you, Paul! We hope that all our readers, listeners, contributors, patient subjects and friends, AKA you, all get some down time over the end of the year/holidays/Christmas and the best way we know to do that when hibernation temptation takes over is to watch some great films.

And, as with music, if there are few great new films coming your way, the reminder of many great films to rewatch is a balm for the soul and the spirit. We are still haunted by what we might have forgotten on the list. That’s how seriously we take such attempts at authoritative claims. Including, probably, Inception, a film we didn’t love before but now firmly DO. It will change the way you experience and reflect on your dreams. Christopher Nolan can get inside your skin, your heart, your head, your grief, your fantasies, and your love of the art form like no one else living today, and much of his non-Hollywood-ish/Superhero work deserves a good long revisit.

Check out our podcast it’s a fairly quick listen, as well as the list which you can peruse here. Let us know via comments or social media what we missed, if you agree/disagree, or anything you discover in films old or new when you emerge from your pillow pile if only to search for the remote or order an emergency pizza. Stay safe and take care and remember to disconnect from any media/news/”entertainment” that makes you feel needlessly bad. Pet and hug a cat or a dog even if you have to borrow one from a friend, and be good to yourself as well. And thanks for reading, visiting and sharing. In spite of this year from hell, we’re feeling a lot less Grinchy and Scroogelike than usual. And it’s all thanks to you.

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A smattering of our 117 best films of the 21st Century List Curated by US: The Gift- Directed, written and co-starring Joel Edgerton, a wonderful film that subverts expectations of the genre it seems to be in, moving and thoughtful. What a wonderful first filmic creation from a great actor. Frozen River, a compelling indie starring Melissa Leo which will make you forget, and then appreciate, your life. Doubt, the prestige Broadway book turned iconic film about religion, bias, power plays and institutions, and Under The Skin, a moody non-technical (and wonderfully indie) soft-sci-fi piece that offers the rarest of things: staying power and true surprises throughout. Will haunt your dreams. 

Here’s the list that came out to 117 films: THE BEST FILMS OF THE 21st CENTURY

Here’s the podcast where we discuss our list of The Best Films of the 21st Century. We call it TRASH not because we trash talk or trash films (much) but because we randomly wanted to interject one of our major anthems from one of our most treasured musical artists, Suede, into what we are doing, somewhere, someway, somehow. 

They are not ranked, for goodness sake. They are all among the best. 

  • Thanks to Yogi Shoegazer Duncan for the link to The Mary Chain single.

Dave and Jacquie/ The Editors

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