“Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Story,” directed by Adam McKay

Movie, 2004 Daft comedy, very much in the Airplane mould, centring on a San Diego new team rocked to its foundation when a female reporter is recruited to it. Some great scenes and pinched bits from other genres, notably a jazz flute performance and street gang fight featuring warring news teams with an array of high status guest stars leading them. The pace is fast … Continue reading “Anchorman: The Ron Burgundy Story,” directed by Adam McKay

"The Amateur Marriage," by Anne Tyler

Novel, 2004 Excellent novel following a Baltimore marriage’s ups and downs and the intervening tales of the three children. The focus is on the couple itself and it both critical yet supportive of each side, with the narrative sympathetic to each. Similarly, the plot is eventful, yet has a pace and is written in a non-sensationalist way which moves the story along and pulls the … Continue reading "The Amateur Marriage," by Anne Tyler

"Primer", directed by Shane Carruth

Movie, 2004 Perplexing film in which a group of nerds spend a load of time building stuff in one of their garages. The most notable piece of stuff is a time machine, which is kept in a storage facility, where things go a bit wrong with doubles inadvertently created and all manner of gloomy consequences ensue. The problem with the film is that the whole … Continue reading "Primer", directed by Shane Carruth

"Four Souls" by Louise Erdrich

Novel, 2004 Family story of native American Indians and the dispossession and dissolution of their land and fortune. While this is a story which deals with gambling and drink, there’s a sense of legends in the making, awe and power, often magical, in the rituals and activities of the women and the savage buffoonery of the men. If the switching of the narrative between characters … Continue reading "Four Souls" by Louise Erdrich

"Sideways", directed by Alexander Payne

Movie, 2004 Effective buddy and road type movie, in which old friends at very different stages of their personal journeys seek out wine and women. This is an effective, gentle film which prods away at some pretty hefty themes around infidelity and loneliness, while fitting in a decent number of laughs and capers along the way. The warmth towards all the characters shines through, however, … Continue reading "Sideways", directed by Alexander Payne

"Chronicles: Volume One", by Bob Dylan

Non-fiction, 2004 Dylan picks a few key points in his career in producing this hybrid of memoir and autobiography in what, ultimately, is an engaging, entertaining and occasionally laugh-out-loud account. In telling his tale, the lyricism and atmosphere of his song writing is retained, although the detail is nonetheless present in hugely convincing observations and memories. And contained within are some interesting tidbits – the … Continue reading "Chronicles: Volume One", by Bob Dylan