January and February Recap

Books read, movies watched, songs listened to and cultural happenings attended in January and February 2016. Click on the links to see the respective blog posts about the experience.

Recap

Books read:
John Steinbeck – Grapes of Wrath
James Joyce – Dubliners
Fyodor Dostoyevsky – The Double
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein

Films watched at the movies:
The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu
Room – Lenny Abrahamson

Plays attended:
Tenk om (If/Then)

Most listened to songs:
Blackstar – David Bowie
Lazarus – David Bowie

On the literary front, the first two months of the year turned out to be all about the classics. It wasn’t planned at all, but quite fun to see that the authors read turned out to be Steinbeck, Joyce, Dostoyevsky and Shelley. After Shelley’s Frankenstein I started reading John Irving’s Avenue of Mysteries and the popular science book Galileo’s Finger by Peter Atkins, which are both quite big, and the latter very complicated (for me at least), so they are sure to take a while. I’m also following a book challenge on Instagram for March; #tuvalusbookchallenge so if you’re looking for some Instagram inspiration I recommend that you check out the tag 🙂

I’ve watched A LOT of films these two months to prepare for the Oscars, and of course keeping up with my general “film education”. I managed to see all the Best Picture nominees, and almost all the other big categories except for Joy and Creed. There were quite a lot of strong nominees in all categories this year, and I’m really happy with most of the awards. Spotlight for best picture was well deserved, and I’m of course very glad for Leonardo DiCaprio. One of the best surprises was Ex Machina winning for visual effects and Mark Rylance for Supporting Actor. A brilliant film and a brilliant actor! It’s no secret that I quite disliked The Big Short, and would have liked to see another film take home Best Adapted Screenplay, like for instance Carol. But all in all, happy with the ceremony!

New favourites:
Frankenstein (book)
Grapes of Wrath (book)
The Revenant (film)
Spotlight (film)
Blackstar (album)

Here’s to another two good months with many good things to explore!

Films watched in 2015: Part 3

September, October, November and December.

A collage of some of the films watched in 2015

A period defined by lots of school work, lots of job hours, exams, traveling to Prague and of course Christmas. Compared to the two previous periods this is the one where I’ve checked the least films, but still managed to get up to the count of 35. Not too bad! In early autumn my boyfriend and I started our “B-movie”-period, which I’ve blogged about previously. Later in the year I also saw more Chaplin films for the first time, having only seen “The Kid” before. My boyfriend came home one day with the complete box-set of Charlie Chaplin films, so even though we watched quite a few already there will be plenty more to explore!

At the movies I saw the Norwegian film “The Wave”, “The Martian” and of course, this year’s most anticipated film: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. “The Martian” was quite entertaining, although how it is nominated for 7 Oscars I will never understand. Now “Star Wars” I absolutely loved. I came in with mixed anticipations, but ended up very pleased, despite its flaws it was a very good film, and absolutely worthy of the Star Wars universe.

I also FINALLY watched some great classics, both old and not quite that old, such as “The Shawshank Redemption”, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Hamlet” (1948), all great films.

Films watched: 35
Most watched director: Charlie Chaplin (4)
Favourites: The Great Dictator, Star Wars – The Force Awakens, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Watched at the movies: The Wave, The Martian, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The following is a list of the films I watched in September, October, November and December 2015. The list does not include films I’ve seen before. To keep track of the films I watch I use ICheckMovies, which is highly recommended 🙂

  1. Inside Llewyn Davis – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
  2. Bølgen (The Wave) – Roar Uthaug
  3. Dallas Buyers Club – Jean Marc Vallée
  4. Annabelle – John R. Leonetti
  5. The Conjuring – James Wan
  6. Army of Darkness – Sam Raimi
  7. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick
  8. Young Frankenstein – Mel Brooks
  9. Robinson Crusoe on Mars – Byron Haskin
  10. The War of the Worlds – Byron Haskin
  11. Barbarella – Roger Vadim
  12. Dracula – Terence Fisher
  13. The Beast from 20.000 Fathoms – Eugène Lourié
  14. Killer Klowns from Outer Space – Stephen Chiodo
  15. Forbidden Planet – Fred M. Wilcox
  16. The Hound of the Baskervilles – Terence Fisher
  17. Leprechaun – Mark Jones
  18. Inside Out – Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen
  19. My Neighbour Totoro – Hayao Miyazaki
  20. Reprise – Joachim Trier
  21. Howl’s Moving Castle – Hayao Miyazaki
  22. Hamlet – Laurence Olivier
  23. The Martian – Ridley Scott
  24. The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover – Peter Greenaway
  25. Star Trek: Into Darkness – J.J. Abrams
  26. The Great Dictator – Charlie Chaplin
  27. The Gold Rush – Charlie Chaplin
  28. City Lights – Charlie Chaplin
  29. Limelight – Charlie Chaplin
  30. The Aviator – Martin Scorsese
  31. Sherlock Jr. – Buster Keaton
  32. Black Christmas – Bob Clark
  33. Silent Night, Deadly Night – Charles E. Sellier Jr.
  34. The Shawshank Redemption – Frank Darabont
  35. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – J.J. Abrams

Films watched in 2015: Part 2

 

The Evil Dead, Moonrise Kingdom, Lawrence of Arabia and Ex Machina

The Evil Dead, Moonrise Kingdom, Lawrence of Arabia and Ex Machina

May, June, July and August.

This period was a wonderful mix of old classics, horror movies, older and new. Though very few films from the year 2015, I think only Jurassic World and Ex-Machina if I remember correctly. Jurassic World was unfortunately quite forgettable and tame, but Ex-Machina was absolutely wonderful, one of the best films of the year. Such an original story, ad it is a beautiful film to look at, it’s just absurd how it hasn’t been nominated for best cinematography in this year’s Academy Awards. It is an especially impressive film considering that this was Alex Garland’s directorial debut!

May of 2015 also introduced me to the Evil Dead-series, which I’m now a big fan of! I love cheesy comedy horror, if it’s properly tongue-in-cheek. We also watched the the French-Polish “Three Colours trilogy” by director Krzysztof Kieślowski, which was very good, especially the first one, “Blue” with Juliette Binoche.

Hitchcock continues to dominate among the directors of films watched in the May – August time span, though the period also introduced me to other greats such as Woody Allen who I (shockingly) have not watched anything by previously.

Films watched: 40
Most watched director: Alfred Hitchcock (5), Krzysztof Kieslowski (3), Woody Allen (3)
Favourites: Ex Machina, The Evil Dead & II, Moonrise Kingdom, Lawrence of Arabia
Watched at the movies: Jurassic World

The following is a list of the films I watched in May, June, July and August 2015. The list does not include films I’ve seen before. To keep track of the films I watch I use ICheckMovies, which is highly recommended 🙂

  1. The Cabin in the Woods – Drew Goddard
  2. The Evil Dead- Sam Raimi
  3. Evil Dead II – Sam Raimi
  4. Singin’ in the Rain – Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
  5. Skyfall – Sam Mendes
  6. Match Point – Woody Allen
  7. Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson
  8. The Trial – Orson Welles
  9. The Searchers – John Ford
  10. Heavenly Creatures – Peter Jackson
  11. Picnic at Hanging Rock – Peter Weir
  12. Ex Machina – Alex Garland
  13. Vicky Christina Barcelona – Woody Allen
  14. Poltergeist – Tobe Hooper
  15. Annie Hall – Woody Allen
  16. The Apartment – Billy Wilder
  17. Lawrence of Arabia – David Lean
  18. All Quiet on the Western Front – Lewis Milestone
  19. Dial M for Murder – Alfred Hitchcock
  20. Rear Window – Alfred Hitchcock
  21. Jurassic World – Colin Trevorrow
  22. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – David Lych
  23. The Killing – Stanley Kubrick
  24. Fargo – Joel Coen and Ethan Coel
  25. Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky
  26. Brief Encounter – David Lean
  27. Vertigo – Alfred Hitchcock
  28. Blade Runner – Ridley Scott
  29. Trois couleurs: Bleu – Krzysztof Kieslowski
  30. Trois couleurs: Blanc – Krzysztof Kieslowski
  31. Trois couleurs: Rouge – Krzysztof Kieslowski
  32. Se7en – David Fincher
  33. The Birds – Hitchcock
  34. Kind Hearts and Coronets – Robert Hamer
  35. Intouchables –     Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano
  36. If…. – Lindsay Anderson
  37. The 39 Steps – Alfred Hitchcock
  38. Sweet Smell of Success – Alexander Mackendrick
  39. Fantastic Mr. Fox – Wes Anderson
  40. Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón

Films watched in 2015: Part 1

When I started putting this list together, I quickly realised I had to divide this in to more parts. I watch quite a lot of films, and at the end of the year it’s fun to look back and see what type of films I’ve watched, has there been a theme, are certain directors more present than others, and so on. Reviewing my “I-checks” for January, February, March and April, I clearly started the year by catching up on as many Oscar-nomitated films as possible, as is the situation this year.

Further out in February and March my boyfriend and I had our “great film period”, before we moved in together we were catsitting my aunt’s cats and living in her house for a month, and took advantage of the huge HD-TV to watch a lot of films. The theme is quite clear, I was being introduced to a lot of old classics, most of which I loved. You can cleary see some directors being listed several times..

We ended the first third of 2015 by going to the movies and seeing It Follows, which I truly think is one of the best modern horror films, and truly recommend!

Stats:
Films watched: 44
Most watched director: Alfred Hitchcock (6) and Billy Wilder (5).
Favourites: Sunset Blvd, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Psycho, 12 Angry Men and It Follows.
Watched at the movies: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Adieu au langage, Into the Woods, It Follows.

The following is a list of the films I watched in January, February, March and April 2015. The list does not include films I’ve seen before. To keep track of the films I watch I use ICheckMovies, which is highly recommended 🙂

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared – Felix Herngren
Big Hero 6 – Chris Williams, Don Hall
The Princess Bride – Rob Reiner
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro G. Iñárritu
To Kill A Mockingbird – Robert Mulligan
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Dean DeBlois
The Theory of Everything – James Marsh
Serenity – Joss Whedon
Adieu au langage – Jean-Luc Godard
Slither – James Gunn
Groundhog Day – Harold Ramis
Sunset Blvd. – Billy Wilder
Roman Holiday – William Wyler
The Other Boleyn Girl – Justin Chadwick
Sabrina – Billy Wilder
Charade – Stanley Donen
Some Like It Hot – Billy Wilder
Psycho – Alfred Hitchcock
The Grapes of Wrath –John Ford
Rebecca – Alfred Hitchcock
Witness for the Prosecution – Billy Wilder
North by Northwest – Alfred Hitchcock
The Lost Weekend – Billy Wilder
The Innocents – Jack Clayton
The Princess and the Frog – Ron Clements and John Musker
Prisoners – Denis Villeneuve
In the Heat of the Night – Norman Jewison
Into to the Woods – Rob Marshall
Big Fish – Tim Burton
Prometheus – Ridley Scott
Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese
Star Trek – J. J Abrams
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht – Werner Herzog
To Catch a Thief – Alfred Hitchcock
Spellbound – Alfred Hitchcock
Peeping Tom – Michael Powell
Shadow of the Vampire – E. Elias Merhige
Barton Fink – Ethan Coen and Joel Cohen
Paths of Glory – Stanley Kubrick
Frenzy – Alfred Hitchcock
12 Angry Men – Sidney Lumet
It Follows – David Robert Mitchell

 

What I read in 2015

East of Eden

Steinbeck’s East of Eden – A new favourite!

Okey, so.. ages since my last post. Let’s just ignore that!

2016 is here! Alright, 2016 was here 19 days ago, but it’s still January, so I feel I can justify making a “what was 2015 like”-blog post. Starting off with books read in 2015! I thought I’d also make a similar list concerning films I’ve watched the last, which will be up this week as well.

I think two authors really defined my book year of 2015: John Steinbeck and Norwegian author Jon Michelet with his currently four books in the series A Hero of the Sea (title translated freely by me, En sjøens helt in Norwegian). Michelet’s story revolves around the Norwegian war sailors, concerning both cargo and military ships. Unfortunately they have not been translated to English (yet?), so you’d have to be able to understand Norwegian to read them.

Steinbeck is, among Michelet, my most read author this year, with 4 titles. As I’ve read more of his works he has become one of my favourite writers, and I actually started 2016 by reading one of his greatest works, Grapes of Wrath. One of his works actually became the topic for one of my semester assignments; The Moon is Down from 1942. Always fun when you can write about something you like for school!

Stats:
New books read: 36
Most read author: John Steinbeck and Jon Michelet
Most disappointing
: Funny Girl – Nick Hornby and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
New Favourites: The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway, East of Eden – John Steinbeck, The Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson and Apology by Plato.
Best non-fiction: The Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson and Apology – Plato.
Least memorable (but not necessarily bad): Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healy, Mobile Library – David Whitehouse and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Best Children’s Book: Tonje Glimmerdal by Maria Parr.

All in all I read 36 books in 2015, not counting rereads of titles I’ve read before. The following is a list of all 36 sorted by reading date, and with the rating I gave it on Goodreads. For the works that only have a Norwegian title I’ve included my own translations.

Jon Michelet – Skogsmatrosen (The forest sea man) 5/5 stars
Nick Hornby – Funny Girl 2/5 stars
Kjell Askildsen Thomas F’s siste nedtegnelser til almenheten (Thomas F’s last records for the public – short stories) 4/5 stars
Amy Poehler – Yes Please 3/5 stars
David Whitehouse – Mobile Library 3/5 stars
Jon Michelet – Skytteren (The marksman) 4/5 stars
Hugh Howey – Wool (Silo #1) 3/5 stars
Carl Frode Tiller – Innsirkling (Circling) 4/5 stars
Author unknown – Lazarillo de Tormes 4/5 stars
Muriel Barbery – The Elegance of the Hedgehog 4/5 stars
H.G. Wells – The War of the Worlds 4/5 stars
Rainbow Rowell – Eleanor and Park 3/5 stars
J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye 4/5 stars
Jon Michelet – Gullgutten (The Golden Boy) 4/5 stars
Emma Healey – Elizabeth is Missing 3/5 stars
Gabrielle Zevin – The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 3/5 stars
Jamie Ford – Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 2/5 stars
Harper Lee – Go Set A Watchman 4/5 stars
Ernest Hemingway – The Old Man and the Sea 5/5 stars
John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pajamas 3/5 stars
John Steinbeck – East of Eden 5/5 stars
John Steinbeck – The Pearl 4/5 stars
Edgar Allan Poe – The Murders in the Rue Morgue 3/5 stars
Edgar Allan Poe – The Tell-Tale Heart 5/5 stars
Bjørn Ousland – Sydover – Kappløpet mot Sydpolen (Southbound – The Race to the South Pole) 3/5 stars
Plato – Apology 5/5 stars
Bill Bryson – A Short History of Nearly Everything 5/5 stars
Maria Parr – Tonje Glimmerdal 4/5 stars
Hanne Ørstavik – The Blue Room 4/5 stars
Jojo Moyes – After You 4/5 stars
Gunnar Tjomlid – Placebodefekten (The Placebo Defect) 4/5 stars
John Steinbeck – The Red Pony 4/5 stars
Neil Gaiman – American Gods 4/5 stars
John Steinbeck – The Moon is Down 5/5 stars
Jon Michelet – Blodige strender (Bloodstained Beaches) 4/5 stars
Caitlin Moran – How To Be A Woman 3/5 stars

Looking back it’s been quite a varied book year with a lot of highlights, but also a few disappointments. Unfortunately one of the latter was the work of one of my favourite authors; Nick Hornby. Funny Girl turned out to be boring girl.. Sorry Nick, but I’m still looking forward to your next one!