Paprika (2006, dir. Satoshi Kon): This fine director’s last film as usual demonstrates his metaphysical insights, this time on the nature of dreams and reality, and uses the potential of animation to create art that really wouldn’t be possible in any other medium. Vastly superior to that other dreams-within-dreams movie that came out earlier this year, give this a chance and be prepared to just go along with the ride… understanding everything isn’t absolutely crucial. Recommended.
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black: I don’t know exactly why I never gave this a go before; probably my distrust of anything too popular. Well, it’s tragic, artful, beguiling and flat-out incredible. Her songwriting is raw but very poetic, and she has this incredibly captivating swagger and charisma. There are a couple of more filler-ish tracks, but they’re still good, and the highlights – like ‘Rehab’, ‘You Know I’m No Good’ and ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ – just have me sitting and shaking my head in astonishment. Jools Holland said she has one of the best voices of anyone of all time, and he knows what he’s talking about. Essential.