Peace Officer

I’m really proud of the people associated with Peace Officer, an upcoming documentary that, among other things, focuses on the police-shooting death of someone I knew back in Utah. Needless to say, this horrific incident still sits heavily with everyone involved and I witnessed first-hand my friend’s and her family’s frustration with the officers responsible for their loved one’s death. Even more terrible was the dismissive way it was treated by law enforcement, elected officials and the local community at large.

My friend told me this about how she feels about the film:
“I have very mixed emotions about putting Brian’s story out in the public eye again. It brings back a lot of pain. But my hope is that something good will come from it—that changes can be made to our law enforcement policies so that other families won’t have to experience what mine did.”

I was also thrilled to learn that Peace Officer recently won the top jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival. Way to go!!

Best Movies of 2014

With the announcement of Oscar nominations this morning, I figured it’d be an appropriate time to post my favorite movies of 2014. Overall, I thought it was a great year for movies. Most years I struggle to find enough movies for my list, but this year fifteen felt like too few. I could have easily made this a Top 20/25 and included more films that I loved such as Locke, Stranger by the Lake, Edge of Tomorrow, Frank and Blue Ruin, but this will have to do. There’s also a lot of movies on my to-see list such as Selma, Interstellar, Foxcatcher, Birdman and The Imitation Game, all of which I’m sure I will see soon.

I picked up a copy of Under the Skin from the library and it sat on my kitchen counter for a few weeks. In all honesty, I only watched it because they would have charged me a quarter if I didn’t return it the next day. It wasn’t until I put it in my DVD player that I made the “directed-by-Jonathan-Glazer” connection between Under the Skin and his two other underrated movies, Birth and Sexy Beast, both of which I also enjoyed. Needless to say, I loved Under the Skin. Rarely do I see a movie (let alone a sci-fi movie) with such strangeness, beauty, confusion, tragedy, hope, sexiness, shock, and artistry boiled into one beautiful package. I understand if this movie polarizes audiences; it’s definitely not a film I’d recommend to anyone’s mother, but to me Under the Skin is as unique and beautiful as anything I’ve ever seen.

I also wanted to note that since the Academy Awards people decided to snub Nightcrawler, it makes me wish I’d placed it higher on my list because it is a well-acted, beautifully directed, tight thriller. Check it out.

Enjoy the list! Until next year!

1. Under the Skin
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Boyhood
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Gone Girl
6. X-Men: Days of Future Past
7. Into the Woods
8. Nightcrawler
9. The LEGO Movie
10. The Theory of Everything
11. How to Train Your Dragon 2
12. Snowpiercer
13. The Skeleton Twins
14. The Raid 2
15. Lucy

JFUN-Best-Movies-2014

Best Albums of 2014

As I look over this list I think two things: 1) It’s a pretty girly list, and 2) There’s definitely a vibe of “Music I Can Listen To While Zoning Out At Work.” I love Tycho’s Awake a lot for that very reason. In fact, I’m sure I listened to it more than any of the other albums on this list.

However, FKA twigs not only released my favorite album of the year, she also killed it in one of the most fun concerts I’ve ever been to. (Almost as amazing Yoncé/Jay-Z’s epic throw down at the Safeco Field and Lady Gaga’s Artpop tour at Key Arena. They were both out-of-this-world fun and insane.)

Many albums should/could have been included on my list, but I didn’t have room. Shout-outs to Highasakite’s Silent Treatment, Banks’ Goddess, Kishi Bashi’s Lighght, Keisza’s Sound of a Woman, and self-titled albums by Owl John and Alvvays. All great albums.

Here’s my complete list:

1. FKA twigs, LP1
2. Tycho, Awake
3. Röyksopp, The Inevitable End
4. Perfume Genius, Too Bright
5. Jessie Ware, Tough Love
6. Luluc, Passerby
7. Jenny Lewis, The Voyager
10. alt-J, This Is All Yours
9. St. Vincent, St. Vincent
10. Sia, 1000 Forms of Fear
11. Lana Del Rey, Ultraviolence
12. First Aid Kit, Stay Gold
13. The Antlers, Familiars
14. Sohn, Tremors
15. How to Dress Well, What Is This Heart?

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Cebeste!

For the past 10 years, Cebeste’s birthday has kicked-off what we call The Best Three Weeks of Our Lives! (I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S BEEN TEN YEARS! GAH!) During this time Celeste has been one of my dearest friends in the world and she’s a constant source of love and laughter. She’s also one of the most talented artists I know. She’s amazing.

Happy Birthday Cebeste! I love you so much! And I look forward to celebrating our birthdays FOREVER!

Cebeste
photo by Bob Suh

Angela

Happy Birthday to Angela, one of the most creative, beautiful, fun, tough, cool gehls I’ve ever known. She’s amazing. Angela is also one of those automatic friends that one meets in life. I like to call them my “Chapter 20” friends. No need to read the first 19 chapters; you already get what it’s all about. Some people are like bad books, you read the first page and you know that book is going to be a big bore. Well Angela is the exact opposite. She’s a page-turner if ever there was one and I love her through and through for it.

Happy Birthday Angela! I miss you and love you every day!

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Kennedy

The day I got home from a 2-Year mission in Recife, Brazil, I weighed a little less than 130 lbs and my eyes looked like they were sunken into my skull. I looked like Mormon Ally McBeal. Waiting at the gate in the Salt Lake City Airport (in a time when one could do that) stood my family which now happened to include a 1-month old pile of puddin’ named Kennedy. I can’t believe 16 years have flown by and now this young woman will be honking at me from her car while running me off the road. And as the youngest certified black belt I know, I won’t ever be able to get mad at her because she will kick me.

Actually, Kennedy is proof that I’m capable of loving young people because she also happens to be super fun, easy-going and sweet, especially to her younger cousins who annoy the crap out of me. haha. JK. I love them too.

I love you Kennedy! Hope today is the best!

Kennedy

Andreea

I wanted to start up my B-Day posts again by wishing one of the coolest gals around town the happiest birthday in the world. Andreea is one of the smartest and most ambitious people I know and she is always down for anything/everything fun. I can’t imagine my life without her.

Looking forward to a Policia-Free Puerta Vallarta Pt. 2 trip in February! #pertaverta14

I love you so much, Andreea! Happy Birthday!

Andreea2