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Another year draws to a close, the cold touch of mortality’s hand hastening decomposition and morbid reflection. But enough of all that Gothic guff, as is customary it is time to coral a list of favourite cultural thingamebobs, stuff, yokes, items, junk, trash, treasures gathered, consumed, analyzed and regurgitated by this fleshy lump of a man in the period betwixt January the Firstus and today.

Without further guff and ado, friends, readers, travellers, seekers, muppets and mice and in no particular list of preference thus a random miscellany of my personal taste in 2013……

Cinema Buffery

Ah, yes to be a critic is too easy nowadays and yet one must offer an opinion in this life lest one sink into the a black hole of anonymity and indifference. It’s a tough oul world at time though attending the cinematheque for pleasure or work is hardly on a par with being a doctor, nurse, hole digger or cement mixer. Never the less, these are the movie shows I tooketh most delight or curiosity in viewing.

Warning! No star rating or grading systems here boys and girls. Consider these, flaws and all.

The below were released in Ireland and UK in 2013 and one from 2012. Oops.

1) Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)

Stranded Bullock Ditched by Clooney in Space Drama Thrillride Captained by Mexican Cuaron!

2) Love Is All You Need (Sussane Bier)

Ex Bond and Great Dane in grown-up Adult romantic comedy drama in Sorrento shocker!

3) Captain Phillips(Paul Greengrass)

True Life Hanks high sea hijack hijinks!

4) Iron Man 3 (Shane Black)

Downey endorsed screen scribe revives ailing Marvel hero through witty bon mots and post modern chutzpah!

5) The Impossible (Juan Antonio Bayona)

Grieving family in grueling Tsunami saga!

6) Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow)

Hunting Bin Laden: Behind the Mission

7) The Counsellor (Ridley Scott)

Caddish Counsellors Complacency Causes Chaos!

8) Stoker (Chan Wook-Park)

No one believes me! Claims Weird Teenage Girl in The Strange Case of Uncle Charlie!

9)The Paperboy (Lee Daniels)

Retro Sleazy Murder Mystery Unravels in Florida Swamps!

10) Oblivion (Joseph Kosinski)

Cruise controls Puzzling Nordic Sci-Fi Stunner!

11) Behind the Candelebra (Steven Soderbergh)

Sensational Tales of Liberaces Lurid Love & Lifestyle!

12) The World’s End (Edgar Wright)

Merry Drunk Men Witness a Sci-Fi Apocalypse in Local Boozer!

13) Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (Declan Lowney)

Alan’s PearTree Produces a Comedy Peach!

14) Prisoners (Denis Villeneuve)

Families React to Small Town Child Abduction Horror!

15) Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)

Rich Girl, Poor Girl.

16) Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)

Greek Island Paradise Nearly Destroyed Our Marriage!

17) The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg)

Liar! Liar! This drama’s on fire!

18) Holy Motors (Leos Carax)

Holy F**k!!!!?#%?

Music Hall Madness

The below musical items were released this year and in other years existing before that but what they all share is that I discovered them at various points of my existence this year; Songs, albums, box sets, compilations etc

1) God Speed You Black Emperor – Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

For The Dark Days Ahead.

2) Haim – Days Are Gone

For the 80’s Kids.

3) Out Come The Freaks – Island Records Post-Punk Box Set

For the Adventuresome.

4) British Sea Power – Machineries of Joy

For the sensitive anoraks.

5) Nick Cave & The Bad SeedsPush The Sky Away

For the Gloomy Dishevelled Sex God.

6) The Knife – Shaking The Habitual

For the Angular Club Kid.

7) Album Leaf w/sun kil moon- Caroline

For the aching hearts.

8) David Bowie – Where are we now?

For the Grand Dames.

9) The Flaming Lips – The Terror

For the Noise Freaks.

10) Bats for Lashes – The Haunted Man

For the Wilful Artistes.

11) The Horrors – Skying

For the Fashionably Moody Marks & Marys.

12) Suede – For the Strangers

For the Pleasantly Familiar.

13) Scott Walker – Epizootics!

For the Mad Scientists.

14) My Bloody Valentine – MBV

For the extremely patient Noiseniks.

Telly Annex

On the increasingly impressive televisual end of things, well there was quite a bit that took my fancy.

1) Southcliffe

The Great Telly Misery Mystery.

2) Breaking Bad

Suburban Dads Drug Fantasia.

3) Eastbound & Down

The American Dream of Assholes.

4) Black Mirror

A reflection of our Ugly Selves Brooker style.

5) Masters of Sex

Foreplay impressive, follow up needs work.

6) Les Revenants (The Returned)

French horror, literal and existential.

7) Charlie Brooker : Video Games Changed The World

Anti-Computer games bias destroyed by Telly Space Invader Charlie.

8) Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Silly Samberg vs Stoic Braugher = Amusing Cop Show Nonsense.

9) Charlie Brooker’s 2013 Wipe

Pus pie and piss gravy!

10) Comedy Bang!Bang!

Inspired Trans Atlantic Chat Show Absurdity.

Book Worm Guilt

As far as literature or books go, well I do plan on reading the Viz christmas annual as soon as I will have you know. Seriously. In that, I will read the juvenile, absurdist, crude, hilarious comic strip japery with a Freudian professorial scowl, a puckered sphincter, an academic notepad in which to record disapproving comments and a bamboo cane to whip myself with should a hint of a smile cross my miserable visage.

Oh, I did read these…

1) Electric Eden By Rob Young

2) The White Hotel by DM Thomas

3) Big Bosoms & Square Jaws by Jimmy Mc Donough

4) I, Partridge by Alan Partridge