It’s favorites time again!
Since our September list, we’ve accumulated an avalanche of new fascinations and fandom obsessions. So without further ado: the best of the best of our loves from this past winter season.
Blade Runner 2049, What we do in the Shadows, Black Panther
Depending on time, current life experiences and mental state, these can endlessly vary but the ones I kept coming back to over the past couple months – or the ones I can’t stop raving about – are: Blade Runner 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve is not only a visual masterpiece, the music and acting and story telling are simply next level. What we do in the Shadows by Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement is a movie I have watched 3 times in a row because it is so unbelievably hilarious and made me want to pick up my shattered screenwriting dreams off the floor. Black Panther by Jordan Peele is a very recent one and an immediate contender for my Top 5 movies of the year. Watch it. Watch it again. And again.
Going through a pretty busy period in my life, I didn’t have a lot of time for shows but the ones I managed to watch and that stood out to me: 2 Netflix originals that really kicked some butt are Mindhunter and Dark. Both very different from each other but sharing the same hook of wanting to know what happens next, supreme binge-watch material! And I can’t believe I’m praising Netflix this much but quick fixes for low moments are perfectly achieved through all the stand up specials – I’m on a quest to see them all. And in really, really low moments I am catching up with the occasional Real Houswife or Kardashian ’cause they for sure are entertaining as hell.
The End of the F***ing World, Revolutionary Love
Keeping with the theme of Netflix originals, this show had me scream in laughter. It is witty, disturbing and charming all at once. Both Alyssa and James, the stories protagonists, start out as people who shouldn’t be released into the wild of England unsupervised. But through getting to know eachother and figuring out life on their own, they undergo some serious character development and soul-searching. The show’s soundrack has become a staple of my playlist and I’m very intrigued to purchase the graphic novel it is based on. Here’s hoping and waiting for season 2.
Revolutionary Love, on the other hand is pretty much the opposite of dark, disturbed and sarcastic coming-of-age show. On the contrary, it is a heart-warming, hilarious Kdrama starring Choi Siwon, Gong Myeong and Kang Sora – all of which are adorable, falling-in-love-worthy characters that are dropped into a few seriously cringey and awkward situations. And for it supposedly being a fluffy rom-com, it has quite a bit of social criticism sprinkled throughout. Plus the ending won’t break your heart no matter whom you shipped.
Mardock Scramble, Seven Deadly Sins, Castlevania
Mardock Scramble is a book trilogy by Tow Ubukata and you can find the film version of them on Amazon Prime. This anime is engaging, interesting, weird, atmospheric, brutal and confusing but that’s exactly what fascinates me about it. A show that I have been re-watching and am highly anticipating the second season (on Netflix) is called Seven Deadly Sins – a really funny, mythology-heavy show that I have thoroughly enjoyed so far. Inspired by the video game with the same name, Castlevania by Sam Deats delivered a kind of sneek peak on Netflix with only four episodes airing and boy am I excited to see the rest of it. Beautiful artistry combined with an intriguing vampire story – sign me up!
Born a Crime, Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Sleeping Giants
Sadly, I didn’t have a whole lot of time to read as much as I would’ve liked but there are 3 books that are definitely worth putting on our favorites list and cover the ground for several genres: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is an autobiography that is funny, sad and sometimes hard to read but so worth it. His life story will also be made into a film starring Lupito Nyong’o- very excited for it! Astrophysics for people in a hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson helped me out when I was thirsty for some knowledge about the universe, which is so weird and fascinating, it hurts not to understand it. NDT manages to give a crash course that will give you enough info without overwhelming your brain and a good base to start further research. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel is in the sci-fi lane and a really entertaining experience. The writing is simplistic and experimental but very engaging, I couldn’t stop turning the pages.
Believe it or not but the only thing that kept me sane despite the incredibly low temperatures and lack of sunlight were scores and soundtracks. Just browsing through some playlists and recognizing the movie or even the specific moment gives me a mellow, nostalgic kind of feeling. And of course I can’t let it go: Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch composed the perfect score for Blade Runner 2049. It is superb.
However, the clear winner is Kendrick Lamar with his Black Panther album. Dear T’Challa, it is GOOD. How often can you listen to an album before hating it?
Neutral Milk Hotel, EXO
If you haven’t listened to Aeroplane Over the Sky can you truly call yourself a hipster? The album, that many call essential to the development of what Indie music is today, just had its 20 year anniversary this month. Personally, I am quite partial to the title song but every one of them has a sound that makes you want to sway along and the lyrics are so beautifully magical and create such vivid surrealist images, you can’t help but feel like you’re being guided through a fairytale.
One of the world’s favorite Kpop acts, EXO, has also made it onto this list, naturally. Their songs are a lot more radio-like, for a lack of a better word, than BTS who was the only kpop group I listened to for a while. But the EXO members are just as quirky, lovely and bromantic as BTS’s and it is frankly impossible to choose a favorite. So far I keep listening to Growl, Universe and Hey Mama! on a loop but there are several albums packed to the brim with as of yet unexplored songs, so I am just praying for Hermione’s time-turner to appear in my back pocket so I can finally dedicate the appropriate amount of time to listening and fangirling. And by “appropriate” I mean 45 consecutive days – five for each active member.
Speaking of surrealist art, this entry fits right in. Hailey Wait, the artist, also known as pigss on IG, graces my screen daily with her unique ‘pop surrealist’ images, as she categorizes them herself. Slightly odd but no less wonderfully crafted pieces and enticing themes are the most representative of her artistic endeavours. They are by far not the only ones, though. Make up, modeling and fotography are just as much part of the 1940s vintage aesthetic of her platform and she is currently working on her very first music album. Just another point on the long list of things to look forward to from this wickedly talented lady.
There is a narrow line we fangirls walk between chosing a favorite and completely collapsing into obsession. For quite a few weeks I visited the Lush shop on the Mariahilfestraße in Vienna before work, after work, between classes and just any moment I could fit in. From face masks, body lotions to conditioners and bath bombs, I want it all and I got it all. During these cold winter months when the wind eats away on your skin, these pampering products are like a saving grace. My absolute, Sinead-O’Connor-nothing-compares favorite is “The rough with the smooth” body scrub. It’s a blessing from the gods.
bilou Vanilla Cake Pop scented shower foam
At least 50% of readers just went “EWWW”. And that’s because you don’t know what you’re talking about. Because, by god’s infinite glory (if you believe in that sorta stuff), it smells amazing. How could you ever NOT want to smell like a fluffy unicorn walzing out of a bakery on top of a rainbow everyime you’re in the shower? Plus the thick foamy texture feels incredible on the skin. Not a fan of vanilla? Fear not! The German brand bilou has created a whole plethora of products in scents such as lemon, coconut, cherry blossom, cotton candy, apple and many many more. Another plus: the products are 100% vegan!