Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

My Kultchural Adventures In 2005

2005 was the year I finally caught up with my good intentions and started re-reading Dickens. I tackled Bleak House on a coach travelling through France and followed it up, at home, with Little Dorrit. Right now I am about two thirds of the way through Our Mutual Friend. These are the big three. Sometime early in the new year, once Silas Wegg has been flung onto the dust cart, I shall progress to the unsolved and unsolvable Mystery of Edwin Drood.

We saw a lot of art in Catalonia. The highlight was the Picasso museum in Barcelona, with its extraordinary series of 1950s paintings- inspired by Las Meninas- in which our man Pablo goes into the ring with Velasquez. It's a damn close thing, but I'd give it to Pablo on points. The Dali museum in Figueres was fun. Back home we saw the exhibition of Caravaggio's late painings at the National Gallery- stupendous.

Martin Scorsese's two-part documentary on Dylan prompted me to get to grips with good ol' Bob. I read Dylan's own Autobiography and listened to the music a lot. I was never a fan and now I am. Though "fan" seems the wrong word when you're dealing with an artist as important as this. Does Dickens have "fans"? Does Picasso? Dylan, I'm now finally convinced, is a figure of that magnitude.

I loved the new Dr Who. And I loved Casanova- which, sharing as it does the same writer and now the same lead actor- seems like an adjunct to the Whovian universe. I was disappointed in the second season of Deadwood and am currently hooked on Rome. Ricky Gervais's Extras wasn't as good as The Office, but it was still better than almost everything else.

The best new film of 2005 was Ingmar Bergman's Sarabande. I don't expect anyone to agree. Otherwise I did some catching up with Kurosawa and Miyazaki. The film I was happiest to see again- after a gap of several decades- was Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits, newly issued on DVD and even more gorgeous than I remembered.
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