Let’s get a head start on all the end of the year retrospective lists. What five artistic experiences were tops for you in '05? By “artistic experiences,” I’m trying to cast the net as widely as possilble – I’m guessing a lot of people are going to be listing books and movies, but CDs and TV shows are eligible, as are live performances, art exhibits, magazine articles, etc. – anything you partook of this year that made you giddy with delight.
Let’s not get too anal about this – '05 copyrights aren’t required, so if it’s a movie that came out in December of 2004 but you didn’t see it till January – or, hell, if it’s a book that was written in 1804 or 1904, but you didn’t read it till this year – go ahead and list it.
Here’s my five, in no particular order:
Best live musical performance: blues-rock guitarist Billy Hector, back last summer. A friend of mine has been a fan of his for years, and he finally took me along, to a show in a local bar in south Jersey. God bless America, the guy can play. If you have a chance to check him out, definitely do so.
Best book: I’ve touted this in several reading threads, but I loved The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa. It tells the story of Gauguin and his socialist rabble-rousing grandmother in alternating chapters. Fascinating and really well done – it got me looking long and hard at Gauguin’s work, which I’ve never been particularly enamored of.
Movies – I saw a whole lot of really excellent movies this year (just off the top of my head: House of Flying Daggers, Million Dollar Baby, Constant Gardener, Grizzly Man, Pride and Prejudice, Brokeback Mountain, etc. etc. etc.), so I’m going to pick two movies for my list:
Best movie of serious quality: Capote. I’m not sure why this won a spot on my list – excellent acting, serious examination of the role of the artist, etc. – it just had a resonance that other movies I saw didn’t.
Best movie that was just plain fun: Bride and Prejudice. Sue me. I enjoyed the hell out of it.
Best TV show – okay, if you had any respect for me left after the Bride and Prejudice confession, you’ll lose it now: Dancin’ with the Stars. Cheesy fun that didn’t pretend to be about anything but cheesy fun. As I said a moment ago – Sue me. I enjoyed the hell out of it. Perfect summer entertainment.
So – what’s on your Top Five list for '05?