best year in the world

bucky was 24 when he joined the army

steve was also 24 when he enlisted in the army and still 24 when he became their supersoldier

bucky was 27 when he died, 7 days before his 28th birthday

steve was 26 when he died

steve is 26 when he wakes up in 2011 and 26 during the battle of new york

steve is 29 when he finds out bucky survived and 29 during shields collapse

steve is 30 when he takes on leading the avengers full-time and, a few months later, he is 30 years old and standing in a flying city talking to natasha how that would be a good place to die

The Best Films of 2017 - Mid-Year List

There have already been many great films so far this year, so I felt it worth doing a run down of my favourite films of the year so far. These all reflect the cinema releases we’ve had so far in the UK in 2017 - for that reason this list includes some films that were released in the US in 2016. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best films of the year so far!

Honourable mentions: Their Finest, Colossal, Gifted

1. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele

This film really knocked me for six, to such an extent that I simply had to see it twice in the cinema. It got even better upon a re-watch, when I was able to watch it with full knowledge of the characters’ underlying motives and the things to come. It’s a terrifying concept (the racism of an all-white suburb is taken to a horrifying extreme) executed with incredible panache, and you feel every emotion that Chris goes through thanks to Daniel Kaluuya’s excellent performance. Get Out also represents one of the most brilliantly communal experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema - I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the audience erupted into spontaneous applause at a key moment in the climax. Simply fantastic. 

2. The Handmaiden, dir. Park Chan-wook

This film is exquisite - it’s first and foremost a beautiful boundary-smashing love story, and an absolutely marvellous tale of female defiance. It transplants Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith to 1930s Korea, and the story is effortlessly adapted to become intrinsically interwoven with its new setting. Sookee is a talented pickpocket plucked from a thieves den and sent as a handmaiden to trick a rich heiress into falling for a conman. To say any more would spoil the twists, but this film is just a masterwork of suspense, keeping you guessing throughout a series of interlocking pieces that take their time to reveal their secrets. I’ve seen the theatrical cut and the extended version, and they’re both great - you’re in for a treat with either.

3. Jackie, dir. Pablo Larrain

This is a film that soars on the strength of Natalie Portman’s incredible performance, which is complemented by Mica Levi’s haunting score. Portman’s performance is painfully vivid, with her agony and wretchedness coming through so intensely that it’s often uncomfortable to watch. Jackie is probably the best portrait of grief I’ve ever seen, and it sucks you into a famous historic event by providing an incredibly intimate perspective on it. This is great cinema, but be prepared for suffering.

4. A Cure for Wellness, dir. Gore Verbinski

This is a delightfully strange Gothic fairy tale of a film, and I’m amazed and impressed that a Hollywood studio gave Gore Verbinski a budget sufficient to pull it off with such beauty and style. I’ve seen this film attract love and hate in equal measure, but I adore it - the trailers set you up for a rehash of Shutter Island, but nothing could be further from the truth beyond the isolated setting. If I had to compare this to anything, I would compare it to Roger Corman’s Poe cycle of films from the 1960s - it has a similarly lurid sensibility and a deep-seated sense of fantastic romanticism at its core. Great if you’re after something uncompromisingly bonkers.

5. Wonder Woman, dir. Patty Jenkins

This film represented pure joy for me - I couldn’t have anticipated how emotional I was going to get at witnessing a (wonder!)woman crossing No Man’s Land and deflecting bullets with her bracelets. This simultaneously rejects the wry self-awareness of the Marvel films and the grim self-importance of the previous DC movies, instead unabashedly depicting a superhero who triumphs thanks to her overriding belief in love and compassion. Patty Jenkins adds endless little touches - from funny moments to quiet scenes where characters talk simply to learn about each other - that enrich the film and make it feel vivid and intimate in a very rare and special way.

6. Silence, dir. Martin Scorsese

This is truly the work of a master filmmaker, and it represents a stunning artistic achievement and a moving and intelligent investigation of the threshold of faith. Scorsese tried to get this made for decades before finally succeeding, and his passion for and belief in the project shine through in every painstakingly crafted frame. Silence is equal parts beauty and brutality, and it uses this contrast to illuminate the painful questions that the faithful must ask themselves when faced with the harsh reality of the present world. It’s heavy stuff, but well worth your time if you’re up for a film that raises more questions than it answers.

7. In This Corner of the World, dir. Sunao Katabuchi

I had no idea this film existed until a few days before I saw it, but I was really struck by its poetic treatment of the joys and tragedies of life. This film follows a young bride who moves to live with her husband’s family in WWII-era Japan, and while it deals unflinchingly with the trauma and horror of war - particularly the bombing of Hiroshima - it’s also surprisingly funny and ultimately hopeful. The power of this film comes through in the little moments of human connection and the way that the full potential of animation is exploited to maximum effect.

8. La La Land, dir. Damien Chazelle

A lovely ode to the classic Hollywood musical, La La Land is a technical marvel that sticks with me because of its heart and humanity (those words are recurring a lot, right?). It tells a very small story of a love affair between two dreamers in Hollywood, but it feels much bigger than them because of the way in which their story is told. La La Land draws from influences across the spectrum of cinema, and its homages to the classics are joyful and loving. The final ‘what might have been’ sequence represents the perfect marriage of raw emotion and filmmaking virtuosity. 

9. Okja, dir. Bong Joon-ho

Not many films can balance flatulence jokes with uncompromising critique of capitalist greed, but Okja pulls it off with aplomb. The core story hinges on the innocent and endearing friendship between a young girl named Mija and a bio-engineered super pig called Okja, and the film succeeds because you totally buy their connection and desperately want the two of them to have their wish and live together in the mountains. I’m delighted that Netflix gave Bong Joon-ho a platform to make such a weird beast.

10. Logan, dir. James Mangold

Logan may be bleak, but that isn’t what makes it great - Logan is fantastic cinema because it remembers that superheroes are still people who struggle with their own souls as much as super-villains. This film features the best character work managed in any of the X-Men films, and Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and - in particular - Dafne Keen give heart-rending performances that really ground the film and give it an emotional core. I hope we get more superhero films like this, and that the takeaway from it for the industry is the importance of stressing character rather than frantic spectacle.

Most anticipated films still to come: War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, The Beguiled, Mother!, Logan Lucky, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

My country is celebrating 100 years of independence this year and we are also achieving marriage equality on the 1st of March. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our achievements as a nation than celebrating equality and human rights. Congratulations, Finland, may there be many more victories such as this and may your freedom last a thousand years!

(yes, the Finnish flag appears backwards because she’s waving it around)

But that’s just how it is, that’s how life works. You don’t get to have the best of both worlds. You have to determine what’s important. You have to choose what takes priority in your life, and if you don’t then the decision is made for you.
—  Something I’m learning @amey-winehouse
4

Far over the Misty Mountains rise..

Happy Birthday, Selina! <3

  • what she says: i'm fine
  • what she means: in the flesh was one of the the best shows to come out in recent years and dealt with real world topics in a popular format that was breached in an original and intriguing way and i will never understand why it only got two seasons comprised of nine episodes in its entirety that ended with a cliffhanger that will haunt me to my dying days meanwhile some shows that have run their course ad nauseum are still being allowed to scrape the barrel for new material
Harry's interview on Quotidien
  • I: Can you hear me?
  • H: Yes
  • I: Welcome to Paris!
  • H: Thank you
  • I: How are you? Can you answer in French?
  • H: Good! A little bit. A tiny bit. Très bien et toi ?(very good and you?)
  • I: Very good, thank you. We start our interviews with “can you give us your five favourites words in English or French. Or a French sentence”. Someone told me you knew a French sentence.
  • H: Comment vous faites un café si délicieux? (How do you make such a delicious coffee?)
  • I: OK, that’s good.
  • H: That’s all I have.
  • I: Do you say it very often?
  • H: No... Yes
  • I: What does France mean to you? Is it something, someone etc...?
  • H: Best people I’ve known... I think her, *shows a fan* I guess. Fabien Barthez.
  • I: Yes, Fabien Barthez. Harry, you’re 23 years old and you’re one of the best known pop-star in the world. Everybody has expectations with your new album and single Sign Of The Times. Why did you choose that song? This is not what people were expecting.
  • H: I think I wanted to.. I've always liked music that made me feel something. You know I think writing it I could feet something I wanted to bring it out. I think it's a good indicator for me of what the album is to me. That's why I wanted to go with that first.
  • I: Billboard wrote that the single was "one of the more ambitious opening statements in pop this decade". Not bad, isn't it?
  • H: Thanks!
  • I: Do you have friends working at Billboard?
  • H: I don't know anyone at Billboard.
  • I: When we listen to the song we think of David Bowie, Queen, who else did you think of?
  • H: I mean, I think everyone, anything, any song you've ever listened to growing up or throughout your life or you've enjoyed, inspired you. There are a lot of different things. I wanted to just write and see what came out. I didn't know what I sounded like to make an album. So this process was as interesting for me as I think it will be for people listening to the album for the first time.
  • I: Do you know French singers other than Serge Gainsbourg? That's a tricky question.
  • H: I know Woodkid. He directed my music video.
  • I: Why him?
  • H: I think his videos are amazing, he's a really talented guy and I love French people so I worked with him.
  • I: When you're in Spain, do you say that you love Spanish people?
  • H: No!
  • I: It seems like everything has been easy...
  • H: Great tie.
  • I: You think so? It's French.
  • H: It's not a Spanish tie, isn't it?
  • I: Can I see your loafer? Oh yes! What is the brand? That's not French, isn't it? It's Italian.
  • H: No.
  • I: That's from the European Union!
  • H: Probably yeah.
  • I: It seems like everything has been easy for you, is it true?
  • H: Was what simple?
  • I: Your life, everybody wants a life like yours, with One Direction...
  • H: I mean, I feel very lucky to be able to make music, I feel very lucky to be able to make this, I feel very lucky today being in France and performing my song. I love this song. I can't complain.
  • I: What were the unpleasant things?
  • H: *thinking*
  • I: I don't know, say only one thing.
  • H: I think when you care so much about something, it's hard to get to the point where you feel like it's finished and it feels like you're adding and it never ends and it adds up. So I think the hardest part was getting into that point and be like "ok that's finished."
  • I: You said to the Rolling Stone magazine that most of the album was inspired by a woman. Really?
  • H: No I think, honestly, the album is much more about me than it is about anyone else. I think if I said the album is about a woman it kind of feels like, I don't know, I put a lot of work into this. I don't feel like it revolves around woman. It's a lot about me and things I've never said before. It's more about me.
  • I: How did you start with a boy band and end with a solo career? Is it complicated?
  • H: It's been a lot of fun. You know we were very lucky to get to do some amazing things and at the moment in our lives, we're in a time where everyone is trying their own thing and have a good time. It's been amazing to see everyone doing their own thing as well. If I can do as well as the others, it'd be amazing.
  • I: Do you call them everyday or text them? Do you use What's app?
  • H: I don't have that.
  • I: Why?
  • H: Yes we talk, absolutely. And everyone is bringing stuff out. It's been a lot going on. It's been a good time.
  • I: This is the album cover! Can you describe it? Why did you choose this picture?
  • H: Yeah. So, I don't know. I worked with photographer Harley Weir, I'm a massive fan of her work. And that's amazing and I was lucky enough to work with her. I felt like this was what I wanted.
  • I: Why is it pink? Why the water? Why your back? Why? It's beautiful but why is it pink?
  • H: I don't know, man!
  • I: Really? You don't know?
  • H: I don't know. I don't think I want...
  • I: Apparently pink is Rock'n'roll's colour.
  • H: Apparently so. I don't know. I think it means something to me and if it means anything to anyone else, I wouldn't want to take away from that by explaining it. I think the cool thing about stuff like photos and art is you can just leave it. You don't have to explain it.
  • I: Everybody sees what they want to see.
  • H: Yes exactly.
  • I: Have you seen this?
  • *video of people reacting to Harry's single*
  • I: Your fans record themselves while listening to the song for the first time. You can hear relevant analysis and apparently they all really liked it. Do you read what people say about you on social media? On Youtube, Twitter, Instagram? Do you use Instagram?
  • H: Yes I use it a little bit.
  • *The public disagrees with Harry*
  • H: Yes I use it a little bit. I mean I wish everyone was having as good time as the girl who was like that with her hands. That's what I do when I listen to the song.
  • I: Are you the one using your Instagram? Do you use your own fingers or someone else does it for you?
  • H: Yes, I do mine.
  • I: Do you still vote in Redditch?
  • H: In?
  • I: Redditch!
  • H: That's where I was born?
  • I: Yes.
  • H: I don't live in Redditch.
  • I: So you don't vote there. Where did you vote?
  • H: London, yeah.
  • I: What do you think of the Brexit? Welcome to Europe!
  • H: Thank you very much, thanks. I mean, I don't really comment on politics. To me, anything that brings people together is better than things that pull people apart. That's ... yeah.
  • I: Yet, you are in favour of equality of rights, men, women, gay people, straight people... That's politics.
  • H: I don't know. It doesn't feel like politics. I think stuff like equality feels much more fundamental. I feel like everyone is equal. That doesn't feel like politics to me.
  • I: Your fans are fetishists. They know all of your tattoos, piece of jewellery, they have heart attacks when you cut your hair. Right now you're playing with their feelings. Do you know that?
  • H: Oh ok.
  • I: Yes! What is your favourite tattoo?
  • H: I think... I have a.. probably. I don't know, actually.
  • I: Which one is the latest?
  • H: The latest is this one there. *shows Arlo* And this one. *shows Jackson*
  • I: Jackson? All of them?
  • H: Yes.
  • I: What's the story behind your haircut? How much did you spend on hair products with One Direction?
  • H: Yeah, like a lot. I used a lot, yeah.
  • I: You're in Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan's new movie.
  • H: Yes.
  • I: How did you do?
  • H: I auditioned.
  • I: Look at you there.
  • H: I am, that's me.
  • I: Yes.
  • H: I auditioned and it was great. It's going to be a really cool movie.
  • I: Harry, it feels like we know you since you're a baby. The whole world discovered you in 2010 on X Factor.
  • *video of Harry's X Factor audition*
  • I: You auditioned alone but Simon Cowell had an idea... he put you in a band with Zayn, Louis, Liam and Niall. You became One Direction. You found the name One Direction and you sold millions of albums. One Direction are soon considered as the new Beattles and you filled the biggest stadiums. The whole world was talking about you. When you go out we prayed for your eardrums. You became UK's pride. David Cameron is in one of your music videos, your sang for the Queen. But in 2015... bang! Zayn left the band, fans couldn't get over it. But don't worry, their favourite is now on the cover of the Rolling Stone magazine, he's in Christopher Nolan's new movie, he's Mick Jagger on SNL... What you don't know is that we've met in 2012. You were in France to promote an album and now I have questions. First one! When you're in a car and fans are all around you, do you see that?
  • *video of fans around a car*
  • H: I think I've actually lost my shoe there. When I got in the car... I got in the car and I was like "how many shoes do I have?" Yes I lost my shoe.
  • I: I have another question! Do you still do that before going on stage?
  • *video of Harry and Lou*
  • I: Can we do it?
  • H: No.
  • *does it anyway*
  • I: What is the weirdest question someone asked you?
  • H: I think it was actually a French interview. I got asked if I would pee in a sink... Yeah.
  • I: Ok, that's weird!
  • H: It was the first question, the first question.
  • I: It puts you in the mood.
  • H: Yeah.
  • I: What is the question you never want to be asked ever again? Did I asked you that question?
  • *Harry asks the public*
  • H: Which one? Oh crush.
  • I: What?
  • H: Crush.
  • I: Oh ok. I didn't ask it! Did you know that a French author wrote a novel about you. It's called "Styles", it's about his obsession with you. It's in French. You can translate it.
  • H: Oh! Is that true?
  • I: Yes it's true. He dedicated to you. It's called "Styles" and it's a really good book. Read it!
  • H: Thank you.
  • I: Thank you very much Harry Styles for coming tonight. His first eponymous album comes out on the 12th May. Thank you Harry Styles.
  • H: Thank you.
  • I: Have a safe journey home.
The Forgotten American Hero Of The Great War

Meet Alvin C. York, one of the most decorated American soldiers during the First World War. He received the Medal of Honor for one spectacular attack during the Battle of the Argonne. He was put in a group of 17 Americans soldiers who were ordered to infiltrate the German lines and take out one machine gun position. They were able to capture a number of German soldiers, but then small arms fire killed six and wounded three. Suddenly, York was the highest ranking remaining soldier.

He took command, and immediately ordered his men to guard the prisoners while he – by himself– went to attack that one machine gun position they had been ordered to take out. He attacked the German machine gun nest – again, by himself! – with just his rifle and his pistol. That’s right: he took a rifle to a machine gun fight. York ended up taking 35 machine guns, killing at least 25 enemy soldiers, and capturing 132 enemy soldiers.

York was lionized for decades, although he has largely been forgotten by newer generations. A 1941 film about him, Sergeant York, was that year’s highest-grossing film. And the man who played York, Gary Cooper, won the Academy Award for Best Actor that year.

What I wish I knew in High School:

Adult here. Write this down. If you have a weird hobby and your parents have said that you should quit because it’s not “marketable,” consider that there are real people, some of whom I know personally, with the following jobs that make real cash money:

Science writer (me)
Cosplay and prop maker
Stuffed animal designer
Dog artist
Political activist for LGBTQ rights
Political activist for affordable housing
Music licenser
Fan video mixer
Bone cleaner
Sports photographer
Digital hat maker

TIME FOR STRESSING ABOUT MY FUTURE WHEN I SHOULD BE DOING WORK FOR THE PRESENT