by pieces of moments

It’s that list time of year where we take a look back and, if you’re like me, suddenly realize how quickly time has gone by with the 5th or 6th time you say, “that album was released this year???” Like the writing on my Interlochen cabin wall said one year: time flies like the wind/fruit flies like bananas.

( (. . . ? . . .) )

Currently I’m feeling a bit apathetic towards the lists. Maybe it’s because I feel like I’m on opinion overload these days. I’m on vacation which means I’ve actually had access to a television, which also means I’ve been watching some reality shows (because, what else do the networks offer us these days? answer: not much), which means I’ve been hearing a lot of judgment calls in “competitions,” which means I’m tired of the “experts,” which means I just don’t feel like uttering anything that could be interpreted as platitudes like all those other yahoos. So, I’m not going to make one myself…at least not a formal version…at least not right now. But for now I will say that Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” and Deerhunter’s “Halcyon Digest” were pure magic in my headphones. Maybe that’s why I’m so immensely excited to see Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” because she does impressionism so perfectly.

I’m tired of opinions. I want impressions.

And now I’m going to somewhat contradict what I just wrote.

Did you read Jeremy Eichler’s review of A Far Cry’s recent Boston concerts? Fantastic! And yes, they really are that good. His description of crowds exiting into the “nonexistent sunlight” is right on…they transport you. And, as the person behind their program annotations – and thus, being in enviable the position of absorbing their creative vision – I was doubly delighted to see Mr. Eichler weaving the impression [word of the day, kids!] of galaxies, gravity, orbits, etc., into his review. Oh, and if you are going to be in NYC this coming January 11th, you m.u.s.t stop by Merkin Hall to brighten up your Tuesday afternoon (2PM) with A Far Cry. Trust me…you’re Tuesday will evolve into something magical.

Conversely, I’ve been a bit surprised at all the negative reviews floating around out there for Black Swan. I saw the film recently and was stunned by seeing something that good at my local movie theater fo a change. Why are people so freakin’ literal? Let’s say this word together, people: IMPRESSION. I thought the film was a tremendous work of art portraying an impressionistic, visual translation of some very dark and possessive emotions. Is everyone really so out of touch with their emotions that they can only connect literally? “No ballet master is like that!” “She wouldn’t have made it that far with such a controlling mother!” “Not all ballet dancers are deranged!” Good grief. I mean, I get it. It’s a much misunderstood art form by the masses. I totally get that sense of “not again!” when what you love and have dedicated your life to is, in your view, disingenuously portrayed to the world multiple times. But (and I’m contradicting here again…sigh), in my opinion Darren Aronofsky is an impressionist like S. Coppola. His priorities are portraying the facets of obsessions – what prongs hold in place those nagging little fears that pile up in a mind until (in extreme cases) the light of reality can no longer penetrate the dark recesses. He sits comfortably in that gray land between reason and madness. If you can’t stand the gray, honey, don’t go into an Aronofsky kitchen. Again, no formal “Best Of” lists, but if I were to make one for 2010 films, this one would be on it.

…this would, too: