2009 on Forget The Box

It’s been quite a year for us here at Forget The Box. In fact, 2009 has, without a doubt, been FTB’s best year this decade! It’s also been our only year to date, so I guess that also technically makes it our worst year so far, but who’s counting.

It hasn’t even been a full year, though at times it feels like three or four of them. Our first official post appeared on March 29th, followed a few days later by a post properly introducing the site and promising new content three times a week. Our first column, Friday Film Review, appeared May 8th and we launched FTBTV on May 16th with the season 1 finale of JC Sunshine’s Fireside Chat and a fundraiser party featuring local musicians.

This is post number 173, not counting the 16 unofficial posts imported from this writer’s old blog to get things going. Today we have seven weekly columns, six full-time writers, four part-time writers and (for the most part) daily updates.

Meanwhile JC Sunshine just wrapped up its second season with a third scheduled to begin mid-Februrary and the FTBTV lineup includes three other shows: The Long House with Irkar Beljaars, Fashion Ambush (which will soon be replaced by Aimee Davidson’s new show 100 Jobs) and Joe Two-Four featuring live commentary on Habs games which just premiered. More shows and stand-alone videos such as short films are planned for 2010.

While our writers have already filed their reports talking about the year (and in some cases the decade) in news, film, theatre, environmental issues, video games and rants, we have asked them to pick their favorite posts by themselves and by others on the site from 2009. So here, in no particular order (think pulled out of a hat), are some of the popular ones:

Innu canoe can do: Environmental columnist Mel Lefebvre goes on a canoe trip with Innu elder and activist Elizabeth Penashue and writes about it for Green Bean Tuesdays.

Good beer outdoors (photo Cindy Lopez)

Drinking outdoors. Good times.: Aaah, drinking, in the summertime. Forget the Box had people at the Beer Fest and our correspondent Jerry Gabriel managed to remember enough to file this report.

No one mourns the critic: A theatre critic who focuses on underground and unconventional theatre reviews a big-budget Broadway musical and actually kinda likes it. Part of Jason C. McLean’s Sunday Theatrics column.

Underground arts or quartier des bureaux: No one actually picked this post in particular, but there were several votes for other posts dealing with the conflict between the artists of Café Cleopatre and Angus, a developer with Tremblay-administration backing. From Christian Yaccarini’s criminal past to a secret letter he wrote to supporters to an attempt by the artists to appeal to Prince Charles, this story has generated quite a bit of reporting from us and this post is as good a place to start as any.

Why so serial killer: A review of the TV series Dexter and analysis of the popularity of the serial killer aesthetic in our culture by Mike Gwilliam in his Forum M column.

I Know No One Listens To Talk Radio But…: Ever hear one of those ads that make you wonder just how it got on the radio in the first place? FTB writer Chris Zacchia did.

Wind in a scene from Hunting Down Memory

FFR interview Wind: An interview with Wind, the focus of the documentary Hunting Down Memory, by Friday Film Review’s Stephanie Laughlin.

I hate this city because I love it: Laurence Tenenbaum rants about Montreal and what it means to him.

Montreal Nights: An evening that starts with friends in a park and ends with a great show from two local bands. Music writer Eve gives the We Heart Music column a review that is so very Montreal.

Against “fixing” pets that aren’t broken: Probably our most controversial post this year, from Laurence Tenenbaum’s Laurence Rants column. In it, the author talks of why he feels we shouldn’t fix our pets. Agree or disagree, it’s an interesting point of view.

Correcting Corrections Canada: The story of one man’s wrongful conviction and his efforts to change our prison system as a result written by Irkar Beljaars for his The Long House column.

Don’t let the sun come up on me – a review of Dracula in a Time of Climate Change: A Sunday Theatrics review of a play dealing with the implications climate change have for the planet’s vampires. Theatre columnist Jason C. McLean found it funny and smart while making a point.

A project whose time has come: In our very first political endorsement, we urged Montrealers elect Projet Montreal candidates as city and borough councilors and borough mayors and party leader Richard Bergeron as the mayor of Montreal.

The official Forum M Holiday and Boxing Day Gift Guide: Video game columnist Mike Gwilliam gives readers his wish list for the holidays.

Two strangers find friendship in Sofia Coppola’s fantastic Lost in Translation: A Friday Film Review of one of columnist Stephanie Laughlin’s all-time favorite films.

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