The second month of the year is predominantly given over to feelings of resolution-themed failure/denial. Your intentions, once bolstered by a full 12 months of positive action, sobriety and good will to all humanoids, were sadly delusional. But thank goodness for awards season – those shiny, shiny teeth/sequins could reflect sunshine into the desiccated souls of any one-time user, lifetime member of the gym.
The King’s Speech made a tidy mess of its competitors at the Oscars – Colin Firth hi-lariously said he was “experiencing stirrings” (see this scathingly good assassination of the running of the awards here) – the Brits hailed Adele as their new High Priestess and the Grammy’s… happened. At INT HQ, we packed up our tiny old studio, preparing for the new team members who would shortly be joining us…
The online content, of course, did not cease. Amsterdamians, Roel Wouters and Jonathan Puckey garnered creative community spirit with their flitser project, our collective mind boggled at Holton Rower’s brilliantly-conceived video piece, and top-of-the-stats goes to this great alternative to Valentine’s Day flowers from Itunube.
My 2011 – Garth Jennings
To take us through 2011 from a Feb-tastic point of view is director, screenplay-writer, sometimes radio presenter, Bookshelf contributor and delightful man, Garth Jennings. February saw him release the music video for Radiohead’s Lotus Flower (which we screened at our cinema at Somerset House’s Pick Me Up) – and as all triumphant music videos before it, it has since received the highest honour YouTube can bestow – a Lady Gaga-dubbed parody.
What was the best thing you saw in 2011?
Adventure Time with Finn & Jake. It’s a cartoon series that I watch with the kids (we don’t have Sky but we downloaded it from iTunes.) It’s so funny and clever and beautifully done that I honestly look forward to getting home so we can all watch the next episode. The best one so far had Finn (the human) saving Jake (the dog) from being sucked up the bottom of a tree witch. It’s hard to explain why it’s so good, but trust me, you’re in for a treat.
Who would you give a Best Person of 2011 award to?
Patrick Ness for his book A Monster Calls. I can’t even tell people about the story without my eyes filling with tears. It’s perfect in every way – including Jim Kay’s phenomenal illustrations.
What was the most memorable thing that happened to you?
A friend and I formed a ukulele group called The Ukes of Hazard two years back. We’ve been playing in his kitchen every Wednesday night since then and last month made our first live performance at a friend’s anniversary party. We only played two songs but we were awesome!*
*a bit drunk
Were you in any (metaphorical/not metaphorical) fights this year? Did you win?
I was attacked by a scary dude in the street who threw me up against a car and told me to fight him. I refused on account I was pushing my 18-month-old son in a buggy at the time. It seems Zammo was right – drugs can make people do strange things. He was nuts and scared the daylights out of me so I guess he won the fight. I have never had a fight with anyone else – even at school it ended before it began on account of me running away.
But I have lots of imaginary fights with people in my head. In my head I am a cool and calculating assassin. I know exactly what you’re going to do next so I have this wry smile – don’t even try it buddy. You do not want to mess with ‘The Jennings.’ I have imagined shooting my attacker with a special creation of my own – a sucker-dart harpoon – right between the eyes, and reeling him in like a whale. POW!
What would you take from 2011 and give to 2012?
I’m just going to take my new “only-one-cup-of-coffee-a-day” policy with me. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s made the difference between not being able to get out of bed to leaping out from under the duvet like a naked ninja.
What were you doing in February?
I was on holiday. It was awful. Did my usual trick of thinking I could make everything perfect for everyone (I know, perfection does not exist but for some reason I keep thinking I can whizz it out of thin air.) The cottage we had rented fell to bits, the ex-pats barking derogatory remarks at the locals made me feel ashamed to be British and to top it all off, my extraordinary Grandma Joanie died.
She was a tremendous Grandma. Her chips would blow your mind and Christmas won’t be the same without her wicked remarks and genius presents. The only good thing about the crappy February holiday was coming home to find my video for Radiohead’s Lotus Flower had been released and gone down well.
(Top image from Sherif Elhage: Topsy Turvy)