My 2018 Favourites

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Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

Thinking back to the beginning of this year, I’m trying to remember all of the things I really enjoyed. All the things, experiences, and events that stuck out as being truly special and one-of-a-kind. Since this has turned out to be quite a long list, let’s just dig right in, shall we?

Books

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman Just like the film did, the book absolutely destroyed me. It made me feel things that I hadn’t felt in eons and once the tears started rolling, they didn’t stop for half an hour. I swear I must have gone through half a box of tissues during the final chapter alone!

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell This was a great little novel to read in the lead-up to Autumn and Halloween. It was spooky, dark, eerie, and disturbing in all the right places and it had me guessing all the way to the end! After reading this, Laura Purcell became an auto-buy author for me. From now on I’ll be reading all of the books she releases (spoiler: The Corset, which came out shortly after The Silent Companions, was a bit of a disappointment).

Reel Art: Great Posters from the Golden Age of the Silver Screen by Stephen Rebello Hands down, this is the most gorgeous book I purchased this year. It’s big, it’s got thick glossy pages, it weighs as much as an elephant does and good Lord I love it to bits! If you’re a classic film fan – or just a film fan in general – you should seriously consider getting your hands on this. It’s currently out of print, but I ended up finding my secondhand copy on Amazon for a decent price. Highly recommended!

Movies

Call Me By Your Name (2017) Folks, this was the movie that absolutely destroyed me in twenty-eighteen. Yes, I know it came out in 2017, but I only got ’round to watching it in March 2018 and boy did I kick myself for missing it in theatres. It was recommended to me by my good friend Raquel and I will be forever grateful to her for giving me the heads-up about this film. Call Me By Your Name spoke to me in so many ways – it awakened in me feelings I had only ever kept closeted before. No other film impacted me the way this one did and it kick-started a pronounced obsession with everything CMBYN-related and with queer cinema in general.

Shanghai Express (1932) This is one of the most beautifully-shot movies I’ve ever seen and every single frame of this film is hands-upon-heart earth-crushingly gorgeous. In 2018, I watched Shanghai Express for the first time as an adult (the first time I had seen it was back in my high school days when I was a little too young and immature to fully appreciate it). If you’re a classic film fan and you haven’t seen this one yet, I urge you to check it out – especially if you can get your hands on the Criterion edition!

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Okay, I know this isn’t a perfect biopic by any means, but my God did it ever knock me out of my seat! Thanks to the glory of IMAX, my Dad and I got to experience this film in a very unique way; BIG screen, BIG sound, BIG experience. During the musical scenes (Live Aid especially), everyone in that theatre felt as if we were right there with the band. The sheer size and scale of the film in IMAX brought on such overwhelming feelings, both my Dad and I wept openly during the entire last half hour of the movie.

Music

Florence + the Machine High As Hope Admittedly, not as strong as the band’s first two albums were (those ones are my personal favourites), but High As Hope will do for now. My favourite track on the album is “Big God” and if you haven’t already seen the music video, I urge you to check it out. Definite Suspiria vibes there.

Queen Bohemian Rhapsody (The Original Soundtrack) What an absolute whopper of a soundtrack! I haven’t stopped listening to this one since I purchased it (in both digital and CD) in mid-November. I play it at home, at work, and in the car and it’s the kind of album that’ll pump you up and make you feel invincible like nothing else ever could.

Metric Art of Doubt This one was tricky and took me a few listens to fully appreciate. My all-time favourite Metric albums are Fantasies (2009) and Synthetica (2012), and because the sounds of Art of Doubt are much different, I didn’t fall in love with its tracks right away. But now? I’m obsessed and when I’m not listening to the Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack, I’m listening to this album. “Seven Rules” is my personal favourite track off the album.

Experiences

Seeing Bohemian Rhapsody in IMAX with Pops Hands down, this was the BEST DAY EVER. Typically, I like to plan ahead when it comes to purchasing tickets for shows, concerts, and movies but for Bohemian Rhapsody, I bought the tickets for Pops and I on a total whim one afternoon while I was bored at work. Queen has always been one of our favourite bands, so going to see this movie together (in IMAX, no less) was a total no-brainer.

Celebrating 1 YR of living alone Guys, it’s already officially been ONE WHOLE YEAR that I’ve been living on my own! How wild is that?! I didn’t do anything “special” to mark my one year anniversary, but I still acknowledged it privately to myself. I reflected on everything I had accomplished and gave thanks for everyone who had given their time (and money) to help me get settled all those months ago.

Playing my Dad’s record collection from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s I finally invested in a turntable and speakers late this year and got the chance to listen to all of my Dad’s records that he’d collected throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. My favourite albums were all the Elvis ones he had accumulated over the years (Pops is a huge Elvis fan), as well as all the ’80s vinyl I remember listening to in the house as a child (WHAM!, Bananarama, Glass Tiger, Gowan, Queen, Culture Club, Madonna, The Police, Toto, etc).

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