Monday, December 31, 2007

Best of 2007

Here's my idiosyncratic "Best of 2007" list. Most of the entries here are not things that were originally published or premiered in 2007, since I'm always behind the times, reading books and seeing movies that are a year or more old. This is my own, personal year in review, with links to older blog posts when relevant.

Best book read for the first time: The Virgin in the Garden or Babel Tower. Objectively speaking, Babel is the greater achievement, but I just adore Virgin.

Best book rediscovered: Jane Eyre. I first read it when I was 12 and it didn't do a lot for me. But it was a godsend when I read it again last spring.

Best time in the theatre: Hard to choose. Seeing excellent productions of The Taming of the Shrew, The Cherry Orchard, and Rabbit Hole in the span of three days? The perfect first act of Passion Play in Chicago? Hearing the roars and applause for Cyrano de Bergerac at the Comédie Française and knowing I'd just seen a national treasure? Or, if "in the theatre" can mean working backstage, helping out with Marie Antoinette this summer?
Favorite recent movie seen: The Lives of Others (Does this count as a 2006 or a 2007 release? I don't know. All I know is, I loved it.)

Favorite old movie rediscovered: Vertigo or Strangers on a Train.
New favorite female singers: Amy Winehouse and Natalie Dessay (eclectic enough for you?)

New passions discovered: cooking, photography, opera

Best meal: My theater-themed dinner party when I was in France. Well, the party itself was a bit of a disaster, but the food--especially the pear, chocolate, and almond tart--somewhat redeemed it. Someday I'll post the menu...

Best recipes: I probably made Easy Tarte Tatin (it uses pre-bought pastry) more than anything else, and I'm awfully proud of inventing a Clafoutis recipe all by myself, in my lousy kitchen at school.

Favorite photograph taken: This was at St. Peter's Basilica, Rome. I balanced the camera against the base of a statue--and got an almost divine clarity.

Places visited for the first time: Bordeaux, Rouen, Reims, the Loire chateaux, Prague, Pisa, Florence, Siena, Rome, Cape May, Joseph (Oregon), Chicago

My first experience as an urbanite: Paris (what a way to begin, huh?)

Proudest achievement: Writing a 4,300-word essay on special effects in the films of Alfred Hitchcock--entirely in French

My motto: "It could've been a lot worse."

1 comment:

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

Do you have a version of that Hitchcock special effects essay in English -- and if so, can I read it?