I think the title says it all. Here’s one list with ten items on it. All you have to do is read away (and tell me what you think…)
1. 2007 – Helsinki, Finland
Why they’re #1: I think the Finnish show is up there, not quite with, but only a fuchsia feather’s length behind, Moscow’s, in terms of presentation and staging and all that jazz (plus, both had some very irritating co-hosts). But for me, the cutesy, quirky and oh-so-Finnish postcards of 07 completely overshadow those of 09. Every one is different and every one tells its own little story. My picks are the bride with the veggie bouquet, the Goth and his unlikely romance on a rollercoaster (see below) and the woman who manages to ride to work on a jetski, in a pencil skirt, without mussing a single hair. If that’s not talent, then I don’t know what is.
2. 2008 – Belgrade, Serbia
Why they’re #2: Beautifully shot and very original, these throw a whole bunch of elements together to produce some stunning and memorable visuals. Each one is centred around the creation of the flag of the country it introduces, and whether the end result is by paint, handkerchiefs or fruit salad, it’s always fun to watch. Extra points are awarded for the postcard scrawlings in native languages.
3. 2011 – Düsseldorf, Germany
Why they’re #3: That ‘making real places look miniature’ thing never gets old! The most recent ESC postcards raised the bar yet again, by simultaneously showing off Germany’s best bits, and telling the tales of real (allegedly) people from all 43 participating nations. Like their Belgrade counterparts, they also incorporated native languages, but all had the same message…feel your heart beat!
4. 2009 – Moscow, Russia
Why they’re #4: The Russians get douze points from me for just about everything related to their staging of the contest. Here, it’s more like seven – but a high seven. These make great use of CGI (or whatever it is), Miss World, and a lot of tank tops.
5. 2003 – Riga, Latvia
Why they’re #5: I do love postcards that feature the artists gallivanting around the host country, although after the 90s the concept was a bit stale. The Latvians put a nice spin on it by putting Jemini and Sertab etc in stop motion.
6. 2010 – Oslo, Norway
Why they’re #6: Now we’re on the lower half of the list, and as reluctant as I am to trash the hard work of a bunch of strangers (as if I could do better), I have to be truthful. Last year’s postcards weren’t bad. They just didn’t capture my attention, and they didn’t show anything of Norway. I did like the flags flying through the air (on our screens, at least) and the glimpses of the artists pre-performance…but that wasn’t enough for me.
7. 2006 – Athens, Greece
Why they’re #7: Greece is a beautiful country, no doubt about it. But there are only so many panning shots of beaches and temples and ruins a girl can take before she starts to press the skip button on her remote. I also wonder if Apple picked up on the rather familiar ‘dancing silhouette, coloured background’ slotted into these.
8. 2002 – Tallinn, Estonia
Why they’re #8: I like the idea of using fairytales, but I think these postcards in general were a messed-up mish-mash. Some were live action, some were animated (in different ways); some made sense, others did not; and all were concluded with a true but seemingly irrelevant remark about Estonia’s internet connections – just as an example.
9. 2004 – Istanbul, Turkey
Why they’re #9: Go back to number seven. Remove ‘Greece’ and insert ‘Turkey’, then remove ‘ruins’ and insert ‘whirling dervishes’ and you’ve pretty much got it. I love your country and culture, Turkey– but when I get a snapshot of it nearly forty times over in the collective space of a few hours? Not so much.
10. 2005 – Kyiv, Ukraine
Why they’re #10: Go back to number seven/nine. Remove ‘Greece’ or ‘Turkey’, and ins…okay. I’m not doing that again. Anyway, these postcards don’t just resemble those of 2004 and 2006. There’s a little bit of Estonia in them too. I stress – they aren’t bad. They just aren’t, well…good. In my opinion.
I hope you enjoyed agreeing/vehemently disagreeing with my picks. Drop by again this week for another Time-Warp Tuesday, another news roundup, and something brand new….