Climax


Viewed – 31 July 2019. Online rental

French director Gaspar Noe made ‘Irreversible’, arguably the most disturbing and unpleasant movie I’ve ever seen. So sitting down to this generally well-received drama, I was understandably cautious. Yet I’m also someone who likes to challenge one’s boundaries and I do have a love for French cinema. So thought I’d give this a go.

What story there is focuses on a group of free-spirited dancers who all seem part of a group who hang out and dance in a club that blasts rave music where they can feel free to let themselves go. Only thing is as the night progresses people start feeling ill and begin acting crazy as if their drinks have been spiked. I’ll admit it was at this stage I began to get interested as up until then this fairly plodding, about nothing in particular movie was doing nothing for me.

Gaspar Noe, his direction like an observer of the mayhem that unfolds, however ruins a potentially provocative, unhinged idea by lingering way too long on various moments. His long-takes whilst initially impressive in style quickly out stayed their welcome – a longer than necessary series of talking heads as the opening, various moments of chatter and banter that go on far too long, all culminating in contorting and convulsing bodies on a dance floor that’s like something out of a nightmare – which goes on and on and on. I get it, its a decent into drug-fuelled hell, and is performed convincingly but even with this it doesn’t go far enough to achieve much of anything. Noe’s-weak attempts to comment on birth, sex or death. just come off pretentious also.

Incredibly arty, self-indulgent, good camera work, impressive dance moves, but ultimately … rather boring.

Verdict: 2 /5

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My music memories


I have thought this might be a good idea for a post for a while.  It’s very much off topic for this Blog but then this is MY blog and I guess I can write about whatever I want … so let’s take a look back at the singers and bands / artists who have meant the most to me throughout my life.  My tastes have varied wildly and I see I have never been just into one type of music, but many genres and styles.  Hardcore music fans may cringe at some of my choices here but rest assured I’m being honest and every name mentioned still means something to me even if my interest in them in some cases has lessened over the years for whatever reason.

Michael Jackson

michael jackson

I grew up loving his music, his dancing and his music videos.  He was as a kid to me, the epitome of cool and although his standing was wilted over the years due to the controversies and accusations, I still can’t skip a song of his when it appears of the radio or my brother throws one of his on the stereo system.  I have his greatest hits on my i-pod and although with his death I’ve sometimes found it difficult to listen to his music, I still find myself going back to the greats like ‘Smooth Criminal’, ‘Thriller’ and ‘Billy Jean’ from time to time.

John Lennon / The Beatles

john lennonI’m an admirer of The Beatles but more of John Lennon both as a cultural icon and for his solo music.  I have found his songs incredibly thought-provoking and meaningful and also find much of The Beatles back catalogue as iconic as everyone has said them to be.  They are as a band a bit before my time, but during my early years Lennon’s solo songs like ‘Imagine’ or ‘Woman’ seemed to strike a cord and still do.

Abba

abbaI loved and still love Abba … the writing talents of Benny and Bjorn and the incredible vocal performances of Anni-fred and Agnetha.  Timeless songs with a lot of meaning and well, their stuff is legendary and incredibly enjoyable.  They were fantastic performers, icons and their music deserves to last forever.  I think songs like ‘Super Trooper’. ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ and ‘Chiquitita’ will remain firm favourites of mine forever.

Bananarama

bananaramaForget The Spice Girls, this was the first really popular girl group if you don’t count The Supremes.  I loved this band and enjoyed a lot of their music over the years even following several line up changes.  Catchy pop songs like ‘Venus’, ‘Cruel Summer’ and the powerful ‘Robert DeNiro’s Waiting’ are firm recommendations.  What can I say I’m a sucker for a catchy pop song and not many had as many as this band.

Belinda Carlisle

belinda carlisleI love a strong female vocalist and I think in the 80s Belinda Carlisle was one of the best, and doesn’t really get the appreciation she deserves beyond the universal love for ‘Heaven Is A Place On Earth’.  She had some great songs and her best of is very enjoyable and packed with solid tracks and good song writing.  My favourites would be ‘Circle In The Sand’, ‘Summer Rain’ and ‘Leave A Light On’.

Kylie Minogue

kylie monogueI can’t say I have loved her entire career, but there was a time in the nineties and some of her early 2000 stuff where she had some amazing songs.  She’s a bit of a early boyhood crush of mine too and when she transformed from pop-princess into pop-vixen, I was sold.  Favourites are ‘What Do I Have To Do’, ‘Better The Devil You Know’ and ‘I can’t Get You Out Of My Head’.

The KLF

the klfThis short lived band in my opinion were my first real obsession.  A creative and unique duo of music producers who had their own style and experimented with sound and music like nothing else around at the time.  They only had one album and a handful of chart songs but tracks like ‘3am Eternal’, ‘Last Train To Transcentral’ and ‘What Time Is Love’ still for me, pack a hell of a punch.

Britney Spears

britney spearsYep, I love pop music and some of Britney’s stuff is still some of the best I’ve ever heard.  Dancey and catchy and with tons of sex appeal.  Spears for me was sort of a guilty pleasure but I don’t care and still love songs like ‘Oops I did It Again’, ‘Baby One More Time’ and ‘Toxic’.  I think it’s a real shame she’s never quite got back that midas touch she once seemed to have.


I think as the nineties came around and such eras as Brit Pop became all the rage I think I discovered music on a more serious basis.  Looking back I would never put music as high as movies or video games in my interests, but at this particular time and as I matured and life became more involved and about responsibilities and work etc. … music hit home more personally than ever before.

Radiohead

radiohead

One of the most acclaimed and influential British bands of all time and multi-award winning for especially their albums ‘OK Computer’ and ‘The Bends’.  There are songs on these albums that have struck a cord both emotionally and sonically.  Thom York’s vocals are at times heart-breaking, even if I can’t say I always understand what he is singing about.  But something about this band went deeper than maybe any other band ever has.  Sad then that they’ve never really seemed to hit the highs of these two albums since.  Favourite songs are: ‘Fake Plastic Trees’, ‘High and Dry’ and of course their industry defining ‘Creep’.

The Manic Street Preachers

manic street preachers

Guitar rock at it’s finest.  Catchy, rebellious and iconic.  Songs such as ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and ‘A Design For Life’ are genuine classics and rock the house down, and with a troubled history such as Guitarist Richey Edwards’ disappearance their legacy and stamp on British music should not go ignored.  Still making music today and I’d love to see them live.

Oasis

oasis

Who wasn’t into Oasis at this time?  Liam Gallagher’s swagger, their don’t give a shit attitude, their slightly misjudged belief they were the next Beatles, the squabbles but most importantly – the music.  For a brief period Oasis could do no wrong and although I feel I have moved on from their style, tracks like ‘Live Forever’, ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ and ‘Roll With It’ will always be favourites.  They did a lot for British music at the time and seemed to really put us on the map back in the day, and Noel Gallagher continues to still be an icon.

Garbage

garbage

What Can I say that I haven’t already said about this band?  At the time I was searching for a band that I could follow and for twenty years (off and on), I have never looked back.  I wouldn’t say they quite made a mark on the industry like some of the other artists I’ve mentioned here, but for me personally with my love of dance beats, guitar rock and female vocalists, Garbage brought all my tastes together in one perfect combination.  They still manage to surprise and excite me even five albums later…and I can’t say that about any other band.    Favourite tracks are ‘Why Do You Love Me?’, ‘Only Happy When It Rains’ and ‘Queer’ among many more.

Avril Lavigne

avril lavigne

Never before has an artist so let me down when I loved her so much.  Her first and second albums were ahead of her years, angst-filled classics with stand out tracks like ‘Sk8terboy’, ‘My Happy Ending’ and ‘Nobody’s Home’ but then she just seemed to turn into a silly teenybopper, which she never really was.  People once compared her to Alanis Morrisette and that was justified, but hasn’t been for many years.  Like Britney Spears she once could do no wrong.  A real shame in my opinion.

Pink

pink

I think there was a time when Pink’s style of attitude driven pop was all the rage and her brand of two finger salute female sass seemed to work fantastically in a way similar artist alike Katy Perry haven’t quite managed to do justice.  Songs like ’Don’t let Me Get Me’, ‘Just Like A Pill’ and ‘U + Ur Hand’ will liven up any party.  I think she’s failed to really re-capture that sound and attitude since which is a shame, but for a moment there she kicked all sorts of ass.

Kelly Clarkson

kelly clarkson

One of the best female vocalists I have ever heard who can effortlessly jump genres and is equally suited to rock, pop and love songs.  Her latest album ‘Piece By Piece’ may have been a bit of a let down but for a while and hopefully for a long time to come she has been my favourite female solo singer.  Favourites include ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’, ‘Because Of You’ and ‘Stronger’.


Today, I can’t say I’m as strongly into music as I was during the nineties and early 2000’s, and my focus is less diverse as I try and fail to seek out new bands I can get into.  I still find myself listening to a variety of bands like R.E.M. The Foo Fighters, Green Day, Placebo and singers like Lenka and James Morrison, but can’t say I really listen to them all that much.  As much as I feel the need to branch out from my obsession with Garbage, they currently fill a musical gap in my hobbies meaning I’ll probably remain fixed on them … for now.  The above however should give readers here a clear idea of my tastes and where I’m coming from when I say I like a certain song or band.  As I said I don’t focus on a particular type of music but a catchy song, a great beat or guitar riff will sell me every time.