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Why I Love Joker

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"He who makes a beast of himself relieves himself the pain of being a man." - Hunter S. Thompson

Joker is a provocative film. It is truly one of the strangest major releases of the last many years. It is challenging, dark as all hell and never once flinches from its examination of an isolated and severely damaged soul. That this film was made at all in 2019 is a miracle. That it is a comic book movie is doubly strange. There has legitimately never been a comic book movie that has even approached the depth and complexity of emotion to be found here. That it was to arrive in cinemas with a fair deal of controversy is a sign, not of the film's immorality and irresponsibility, but of its fearless and courageous heart. Joker has made people uncomfortable, and that is a very good thing, for it is through this discomfort that we can examine ourselves in stark reality.

Joker was directed and co-written by Todd Phillips, whose previous work did not exactly mark him out as a key pl…

Why I Love Mandy

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“Under the crimson, primordial sky surrounded by the jagged rocks of the ancient volcanic mountain, the wretched Warlock reached into the dark embrace of the fissure until his hand touched a smooth glassy surface. Cold as ice. His fist closed around The Serpent’s Eye. Slowly he withdrew it and held it before him in the fading light of the blood-red suns. It glowed from within. A ghostly emerald light. Strange and eternal.”

Mandy, released last year, was my second favourite movie of 2018. A blistering, surreal, intensely violent masterpiece, directed by Panos Cosmatos and starring the best actor of his generation, Nicolas Cage, Mandy is a revenge movie with ideas and style for days. Nicolas Cage plays Red Miller who loses his girlfriend Mandy Bloom - played brilliantly by Andrea Riseborough - to a psychotic cult led by Jeremiah Sand, played with supreme sleaze and evil by Linus Roache. Mandy needs no further explanation, as the real joy in the movie is how the mind and soul are transfor…

Why I Love Billy Joel

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"Come out Virginia Don't make me wait. You Catholic girls start much too late. Aw but sooner or later it comes down to fate. Oh I might as well be the one. 
Well they showed you a statue And told you to pray They built you a temple And locked you away.  But they never told you The price that you'd pay  For things that you might have done. Oh only the good die young."
Billy Joel is someone whom I was introduced to through my mother Mary and my father Noel. I can't really remember a time when I wasn't aware of his music. Now, at 32 years of age, I am proud to say that my love of his work is not just inherited but something I have considered and doubled down on. Billy Joel hasn't released an album of new material since 2001's Fantasies & Delusions, which was a commercial disappointment, probably owing to its nature as a Classical album. It is a terrible shame that an artist the caliber of Joel is not releasing new material, given the ridiculous quality of his cat…

Why I Love Red Dead Redemption 2

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"I was born here and I'll die here, against my will. I know it looks like I'm moving, but I'm standing still. Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb. I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from. Don't even hear the murmur of a prayer. It's not dark yet, but it's getting there."

I was waiting for Red Dead Redemption 2 for nearly eight years. It did not disappoint. Rockstar are The Beatles, Hulk Hogan and Steven Spielberg of video games: they may not be the last word in their medium but underestimate their talent and capacity for beauty at your peril. I did not play that many new games in 2018, so I cannot rightly compare it to all of the new games released this year. I can however compare it to other Westerns, and it is, no fooling, one of the greatest Westerns ever made in any medium. The standard that Rockstar had to reach to compare with the original Red Dead Redemption was a formidable challenge. Yet they reached t…

Why I Love 2018 in Created Things

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2018 was an exceptional year for art and created things. From amazing music to powerful films and epic and thrilling video games, this was one of the best years I have ever experienced. Please find below my favourite artworks of the year. 



MUSIC



 1) My Dear Melancholy, by The Weeknd. The return of the Trilogy/Kiss Land Abel and I couldn't be happier to hear him. All six tracks are incredible but I particularly love "Try Me" - that last chorus when the synth line comes in... kills me - and "Wasted Times" - What they got that I ain't got? Cause I got a lot. A beautiful, bleak, brilliant thing.

2) Scorpion by Drake. Half Rap and half R&B and I couldn't be happier to hear Drake finally pulling the trigger on his promise to finally do something purely in the latter's genre. Maybe too long, but who cares? If less is sometimes more, more is even MORE than that. "Nice For What" is a killer track. "Summer Games," "God…

Why I Love The Anticipation of Something Great Pt 1

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"We're more ghosts than people."

Some people think that I like too many things, too passionately and with too much optimism. I happen to know however that it is not that I lack critical faculties, it is just that I much prefer talking about what I love than what I hate. This is why The City is Blinking is dedicated to cataloguing and discussing things that I love. There is way too much cynicism on the internet already, and I don't need to add to it. My birthdays and Christmas time were always incredible growing up, thanks to my father but especially my mother who always made sure that we had a special time and got things that would help in our happiness and artistic senses. I hold those times dearly in my heart and I try to bring the wonderful sense of anticipation for great artistic things into my life whenever I can. I am currently in the grip of a deep and inspiring sense of anticipation for a few works of art that are very likely to be defining experiences in my…

Why I Love Prince 1995-2016

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"Heard about the party now
Just east of Harlem
Doug E's going to be there
But you got to call him
Even the soldiers
Need a break sometimes
Listen to the groove you'll
Let it unwind our mind
No intoxication
Unless you see what I see
Dancing hot and sweaty
Right in front of me
Call it what you like
I'm going to call it how it be
This is just another one
Of God's gifts
Musicology."

A lot of people think that Prince lost it some time in the mid 90s. His increasingly strange behaviour towards his record company, namely his changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and penchant for writing SLAVE across his face, alienated a lot of fans who had followed Prince since the late 70s. What these people singularly fail to understand however is that, a couple of lackluster albums aside, Prince never lost it. He kept recording and releasing brilliant, dazzling and altogether innovative and beautiful work. The story of Prince's underappreciated and unacknowledged work starts wit…