#Bestof2018 : Top 100 Tracks (25-1)

… And the fourth and last instalment of 2018’s best tracks begins with one of the three songs by Janelle Monáe featured in our list, Pynk, a collaboration with Grimes which marked her public coming out as queer.

Among our favourites this year also featured more LGBT anthems; indie kiwis; female songwriter supergroups; country stars; flamenco trap; nordic pop; rap latino and a controversial indictment about the state of the (US) union.

Check out our songs of the year here:
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#Bestof2018 : Top 100 Tracks (50-26)

The third part of our Top 100 favourite songs of the year begins with SOPHIE, the Glaswegian electronic artist who has shaped the sound of Today’s most adventurous pop.

In this block we will also find British icons; Spanish trap; astonishing soundtracks; gay idols; French songwriters; jazz renovators and the year’s most publicised pop break-up.. Check it all out here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#Bestof2018 : Top 100 Tracks (75-51)

We continue our countdown of 2018’s best songs with Reggaeton’s biggest star, Colombian J Balvin, who teamed up with the artist responsible for our album of the year, ROSALíA, on his standout track, ‘Brillo.’

In the second quarter of our tracks of the year you will find Canadian hardcore punks; Spanish garage rockers; conscious rappers; Aussie bubblegum starlettes and Colombia’s biggest pop star since Shakira. All of this and more here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#Bestof2018: Top 100 Tracks (100-76)


101-LADY GAGA & BRADLEY COOPER
Shallow
(Interscope)

After our favourite albums of the year, it’s the turn to look back at the songs that made an impact on us during the last few months, headed as the tradition mandates by the symbolic number 101; a guilty pleasure of sorts that also represents the state of mainstream music in 2018. This time the honour falls in Lady Gaga, who is back on a high, aiming at the Oscars, thanks to Bradley Cooper’s fourth take on the classic story of ‘A Star Is Born.’ A film that, albeit not quite deserving of those masterpiece-like reviews, surprises for not being half as terrible as the audacious idea may have suggested. Musically, it panders to traditionally earnest rock and roll values against the soul-destroying ones in Today’s pop music with a soundtrack that rescues the most terrible brand of anthemic, old-fashioned AOR whose standout ‘Shallow’ is both one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head forever and a good single-word description for the current state of popular music.

Inescapable stadium-rock aside, the year was packed with excellent pop, even if -or perhaps because- the genre’s shiniest stars were on hiatus or not on top form, that reached far into other genres (country, jazz, flamenco…) and brought diversity and surprise into its tried and tested formats. In a year where genre equality and representation was still at the top of the cultural agenda, female vocalist reigned supreme. Subject-wise, politics seem to be making a welcome way back into pop in the wake of the right-wing populism that is conquering the globe, as some of the best songs of the year tend to prove.

In the first quarter of our Top 100 tracks of the year recap you’ll find new jazz and old soul legends;a hip-hop street collective; R&B’s most renowned powercouple; Flamenco dance and female rockers. Check The Top 100-76 here: Read the rest of this entry »

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#Bestof2018 : Top 50 Albums

We begin our annual end of the year music review with our favourite albums. In the coming days we will be also checking the Top 100 singles, making a brief analysis of what’s been going on during the last twelve month and will finish with the announcement of our 2018 Rober Awards nominees. Stay tuned!

The Rober Awards Best albums of 2018 are… Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 : Interview With Celia Rico Clavellino, Director of ‘Journey To A Mother’s Room’

One of the many standouts from this year’s LFF First Feature Competition was ‘Journey to A Mother’s Room,’ an accomplished mother-daughter relationship drama, anchored by two remarkable performances by Spanish actresses Lola Dueñas, known for her roles in Almodovar films such as “Volver” (2006) or “Broken Embraces” (2009) and recently seen in Lucrecia Martel’s “Zama”(2017), and Anna Castillo, a popular star from many Spanish TV series which jumped into the big screen with Icíar Bollaín’s ‘”The Olive Tree” (2016). This finely observed debut, next to Carla Simon’s excellent “Summer 1993,” confirms that there is plenty of room for very personal and intimists female filmmakers in Spanish cinema, beyond the new wave of horror and genre renovators that characterises the majority of country’s most recent cinematic output.

We caught the film’s lively director Celia Rico Clavellino for a chat about the gestation of her first feature; her working methods; artistic preoccupations and her interest in exploring small everyday details and familiar love gestures.

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#LFF2018 Ray And Liz – Vignettes Of Family Poverty From The Thatcher’s Era

One of the strongest works in the London Film Festival’s excellent selection for the first feature competition, Ray and Liz marks the arrival of an interesting new auteur to British cinema. Like Steve McQueen did a decade ago, Turner-prize nominated artist Richard Billingham bridges the gap between art gallery and art house with this long gestating debut which offers a very personal recollection of his childhood memories as part of a dysfunctional family devastated by the socially damaging policies of the Thatcher era. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Recommended: Too Late To Die Young and Happy Birthday, Colin Burstead

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The theme of New Year’s Eve celebrations is instrumental in two of this year’s official competition films. Diametrically opposed in tone, location and intention, they both explore the dramatic possibilities the traditional annual gatherings offer. The first one is Chilean filmmaker Dominga Sotomayor’s evocative coming of age memoir, Too Late To Die Young, in the midst of the summer holidays as it is set in the southern hemisphere. The second, Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, is a BBC commission to be aired as one of the specials in the channels’ festive programming. It gives Ben Wheatley a new chance to flaunt his corrosive sense of humour by putting together a dramedy about a rather traumatic extended family’s gathering. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF2018 Recommended: The Plan That Came From The Bottom Up and Wildlife.

After Steve McQueen’s Widows kick-started the London Film Festival in style, here’s our reviews of two of the best films we have watched from this year’s programme so far. Two very different works dealing with personal and financial struggles: a socio-political essay offering proof about the ravages caused by modern capitalism and its neoliberal doctrines (The Plan) and a faithful literary adaptation of one of Richard Ford’s short stories about family hardship (Wildlife). Read the rest of this entry »

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#LLF2018 Recommended: Two Debuts Boasting Strong Political Satires

Among the most thought-provoking and boundary pushing films that we have seen this year, two completely different works: the debut feature of a young Scottish multimedia artist Rachel McLean, Make Me Up, exploring through a hyper-real, technology-ridden fantasy world the ways our society imposes ideals of beauty and perfection on women and their damaging consequences. The second is by former African-American rapper Boots Riley who uses a peculiar blend of comedy, social commentary and science-fiction to criticise the corporate-inducing precarization of the job market in Sorry To Bother You. Read the rest of this entry »

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Widows: Steve McQueen’s Triumphant Venture Into Genre

L-R: Michelle Rodriguez, Viola Davis, and Elizabeth Debicki star in Twentieth Century Fox’s WIDOWS. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

The Opening Gala for this year’s London Film Festival will be remembered as one of the best in recent memory. There were enormous expectations about the follow up to Steve McQueen’s Oscar winning ’12 Years A Slave,’ which the iconoclast British filmmaker have defied by venturing into genre with a slick heist movie adapting Lynda La Plante’s 1983 page-turner ‘Widows.’ La Plante’s bestseller was promptly made into a six-part ITV series the director was impressed by in his youth.

Another best selling writer, Gillian Flynn, was recruited to update the story to our times. Since Flynn’s successful adaptation of her own novel, ‘Gone Girl,’ earned an Oscar nomination, the American author’s body of work has been in great demand – this year we also saw ‘Sharp Objects’ made into an HBO miniseries. And she does not disappoint, with a compact screenplay that brilliantly transplants the many pulp charms, characters and situations of the original novel to contemporary Chicago, being faithful the storyline’s surprising twists and thrills. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sounds Of #LFF2018 Mixtape

Joan Jett

One more year the London Film Festival’s arrival marks a peak in the calendar of every London cinephile. 2018 is being a vintage year for cinema as the diversity and quality of the programme amply proves. Roberawards will be covering the event, so do check our blog daily for the latest news, reviews and chronicles of everything that happens from the 10th to the 21st of October.

As it is our custom, we begin our coverage previewing the offerings for those who love both music and films. We have put together a Spotify playlist featuring the tracks from the soundtracks (when available) or the artistic subjects on these pictures. This is a particularly rich year for music related films, with a wealth of rock documentaries; pop stars jumping into acting and stunning soundtracks. With a couple of exceptions we couldn’t find tracks for (namely Vs., a drama set in Southend’s rap scene, and the Netflix musical about Camden, Been So Long, which also count among the highlights for music lovers) here’s our track by track preview of the Sounds of the LFF 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Rider: Extraordinary Drama Set in the World of Rodeo

Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, Chloé Zhao won the best picture prize at Cannes’ Director’s Fortnight last year with ‘The Rider,’ a hard-hitting look at the world of rodeo exploring its tough realities free of stereotypes. The Chinese born, California based filmmaker has crafted one of the films of the year mirroring the real life experience of young cowboy Brady Jandreau in a work which boast both moving intimacy and stunning beauty. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cold War: The Classic Taste of an Impossible Romance

Pawel Pawlikowski’s follow-up to his Academy Award winner Ida is a masterful, impossible love story, inspired by the relationship of the director’s own parents, which blends the tropes of film noir, romance and musical in an astonishingly well crafted work that leaves the genuine aftertaste of classic cinema. Cold War took Cannes by storm earning the Polish auteur the best director prize and, judging by the record numbers it has already earned in a series of preview screenings, is ready to become one of the year’s biggest arthouse successes.
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