Recent Posts in movies

February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut "Star Trek," died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced last year that he had the disease, which he attributed to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits -- poetry, photography and music in addition to acting -- ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: "Live long and prosper" (from the Vulcan "Dif-tor heh smusma"). [NY Times]

Well that is sad news for Trekkies, Trekkers, Federation members, Klingons, Romulans and just about everyone else. In addition to his role on Star Trek (which he reprised for JJ Abrams' reboot), Leonard Nimoy was also a castmember of Mission: Impossible, and was a memorable murderer on the 1973 Columbo episode, "A Stitch in Crime." He was also a director, having helmed Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, as well as 3 Men and a Baby. He also, like his pal William Shatner, made a few albums in the late '60s, like 1967's groovy Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space, which you can stream -- along with a few other songs and the "video" for his song "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins," below.

He lived long and prospered. Leonard Nimoy, you will be missed. RIP.

Continue reading "Leonard Nimoy, RIP"

February 25, 2015

Empire Records

The 20th anniversary of Empire Records is being celebrated this year with a high-concept tribute to the movie at Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg. Two nights (April 8 & 9) were already announced and quickly sold out, and now they've added a third for April 10. Tickets for night 3 go on sale Friday (2/27) at noon with a Ticketmaster presale starting today (2/25) at 10 AM.

In case you missed it the first time, event description below...

Continue reading "third Empire Records anniversary at Rough Trade added"

February 24, 2015

by Bill Pearis

Judd Apatow & Pee-wee
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Pee-wee Herman's long-discussed return to feature film is finally happening, with a new movie, Pee-wee's Big Holiday, to start filming in March. It will premiere not in theaters but on Netflix. Here's the gist: "a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-Wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday in this epic story of friendship and destiny." The film was cowritten by Paul Reubens (Pw's alter-ego) and Paul Rust, and is being produced by Judd Apatow who says:

As a fan of Pee-wee Herman since he first appeared on The Dating Game, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the brilliant Paul Reubens on this film. It is a dream come true.
Directing the film is Wonder Showzen co-creator John Lee who we interviewed last year and who lately has directed episodes of Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer. The idea of the guy behind Wonder Showzen (one of the most twisted things to ever air on commercial television) making the new Pee-wee Herman movie, on paper at least, sounds like a very good thing.

February 22, 2015

Everything is Awesome

One of the most fun moments of the 2015 Oscars was the live performance of Best Song nominee "Everything is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie. Tegan and Sara and The Lonely Island performed with cameos from Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh (who produced the song), Questlove, and Will Arnett as Batman. There were also LEGO Oscars handed out, confetti and general mayhem (on an Oscar level, at least). They lost to John Legend and Common's "Glory" from Selma, but watch "Everything is Awesome" below.

Continue reading "watch Tegan and Sara & The Lonely Island perform "Everything is Awesome" (which lost to "Glory") on the 2015 Oscars"

Bruce Sinofsky

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky, whose series on the "West Memphis Three" cast doubt on the murder convictions of three Arkansas teenagers, catalyzing a movement that led to their release, died Saturday, longtime collaborator Joe Berlinger said. [CNN]
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Metallica recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of their groundbreaking documentary Some Kind of Monster and sadly, not long after, they are now mourning the death of one of the movie's directors -- Bruce Sinofsky. [LoudWire]
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Bruce Sinofsky, the Montclair-based filmmaker, died at home on Saturday from complications of diabates. He was 58.

He was a very good filmmaker. He was also, much more importantly, a good guy, one I interviewed a number of times over the last 20 years or so, and - although I can't pretend to close friendship - one I am still very sad to lose.

Sinofsky, who was born in Boston, studied filmmaking at NYU, then got a job working for the revered documentarians Albert and David Maysles. [NJ.com}

Rest in Peace Bruce.

Watch/listen to some interviews with Bruce, below...

Continue reading "RIP Bruce Sinofsky, documentarian of Metallica, West Memphis Three, Sun Records"

February 19, 2015

by Bill Pearis

photo: Told Slant @ Studio at Webster Hall (more by Mimi Hong)
told slant

The Film Society of Lincoln Center's 'Sound and Vision' festival is keeping busy the rest of the year with a monthly called "Staring at Sound" that mixes film and live music. Tonight (2/19) at the Film Center Amphitheatre is the February edition and features the Brooklyn music collective The Epoch, which includes bands Eskimeaux, Bellows, Told Slant, Small Wonder, and Sharpless. The "entire collective" will be there tonight to "perform live and present visual works in various forms." Tickets are available.

In other FSLC news, Friday (2/20) at the Walter Reade Theatre, they're showing Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films, a documentary about the studio that, in the late '70s and early '80s, gave us such classics as Breakin', Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo, The Apple, The Last American Virgin, American Ninja, Over the Top, the many Death Wish films and more. (The film also focuses on Cannon's infamous studio heads, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus.) The screening includes a Q&A featuring the director, The Apple star Catherine Mary Stewart, and others, and there's a cocktail party beforehand. Tickets are still available. Trailer for the film is below.

Meanwhile over at MoMA on Tuesday (2/24) they're screening a new music-related Scottish documentary, Tomorrow Is Always Too Long which is from director Phil Collins (not the Genesis singer) and features original songs by Cate Le Bon:

Over the last year Collins has been meeting people in maternity hospitals, schools, community groups, and social clubs for the elderly, asking them to sing songs, make predictions for the future, debate the status of freedom in today's society, guide us through the city's most famous prison, and dance like there's no tomorrow. These sequences are framed through an imaginary public-access network, one which, high on bad attitude and with just a hint of mayhem, makes an appeal to the epic pleasures of channel surfing and the potential for low-budget television to reinvent itself through its viewers and their take on life as we somehow still live it.
In addition to Cate Le Bon's songs, the film also features music from Mogwai's Barry Burns, electronic act Golden Teacher, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Tickets are on sale now.

Continue reading "The Epoch bands playing at 'Staring at Sound' film event at Lincoln Center tonight ++ other music movie screenings"

February 14, 2015

by Bill Pearis

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For romantics in need of a little BDSM on the big screen, there is really only one choice: Peter Strickland's The Duke of Burgundy, which tells the tale of entomologist lovers who struggle to maintain their relationship though varying degrees of enthusiasm for being locked in a chest. It's funny, smart, romantic, kinda sweet, absolutely gorgeous to look at and -- while there is maybe another bondage-themed film out this weekend -- surely The Duke of Burgundy is the only one to have a closing credit for "Human Toilet consultants." It's in theaters, on-demand and through the streaming service of your choice, now.

It's also got a sumptuous oboe/harpsichord/flute-filed score by Cat's Eyes (Faris of The Horrors and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira) that recalls the early '70s heyday of Ennio Morricone, John Barry, and Paul Giovanni and Magnet. You can check out the video for the main theme, which is basically the film's opening credits, and stream the whole soundtrack (via Dazed Digital), below...

Continue reading "stream Cat's Eyes' soundtrack to 'The Duke of Burgundy'"

February 13, 2015

by Andrew Sacher

Empire Records

You may remember that last year for Record Store Day, Father/Daughter Records put out Faux Real, a compilation of punk and indie bands covering fictional TV and movie bands. RSD rejected the idea of putting out a sequel, but Father/Daughter are going ahead with it anyway and will release Faux Real II on April 28. It features Chumped, Krill, Allison Crutchfield, LVL UP and more taking on songs from Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Billy Madison, Doug, Almost Famous and more. Listen to LVL UP's take on "Somebody Kll Me Please" from The Wedding Singer, with the full tracklist, below.

There's also a release show happening in NYC on April 28 at Palisades with Bellows, Small Wonder, Rivergazer and Sharpless. Tickets are on sale now.

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In other music movie news, Empire Records turns 20 this year, and Rough Trade NYC in Williamsburg will be hosting a high-concept anniversary celebration on April 8. Presented by BBQ Films, they're even calling it Rex Manning Day and will have the whole place turned into the actual Empire Records store from the movie. Here's the event description:

Twenty years - to the day! - since the original Rex Manning Day, BBQ Films invites you to "Say No More, Mon Amour," damn the man, and save The Empire. For one night only, Williamsburg's Rough Trade is transformed into the legendary Empire Records, with all the staff and characters you've come to love (and hate).

On April 8, 2015, join Lucas and his couch cushion, boss Joe (but don't touch his drums!), Gina and her "Sugar High," and, of course, Corey and her crush, Rex Manning... Immerse yourself in the world of Empire Records with a screening of the film, live music, a Rex Manning autograph, and, if you're brave enough, a chance to shave your head for Debra's funeral. Music-veto power available, pending Mark's approval.

Tickets include:
• 1 free drink and free BBQ Films gourmet popcorn
• A Rex Manning autograph
• 1 custom button at the DIY Button Station
• A fabulous Rex Manning Photobooth
• Screening of Empire Records (1995)
• A live set from the Empire house band, and potential additional sets TBA
• A head shaving station (first five folks who shave their heads drink free)
• A limited-edition event poster by Todd Ian Goldstein
• ...and all the theatrical immersion BBQ Films guests have come to expect...

Limited edition! For brave souls, special secret experiences will be auctioned off the night of. Think: A Warren shopping spree. A Gina Sugar High. An Oh Rexy You're So Sexy one-on-one with Rex himself... Come with a few extra bucks if you're game!

Tickets are on Internet presale now (anyone know the password?) and the general on-sale begins Friday, 2/20, at noon. A portion of proceeds will go to a TBA charity.

Empire Records is filled with memorable music moments, like when Eddie eats a special brownie and watches a GWAR video (only to hallucinate that GWAR attacks him on stage), when Joe gets behind the kit for AC/DC's "If You Want Blood (You Got It)," when most of the cast dances on the rooftop to The The's "This Is The Day," and of course when Gina joins Berko (played by actual rock musician Coyote Shivers) to sing "Sugarhigh." (By the way, if Faux Real III happens, someone should really do "Sugarhigh.") And for the real nerds, the post-credits scene when Eddie and Mark argue over whether Primus or the Pixies have better bass lines.

Revisit some of those moments below...

Continue reading "Rough Trade NYC turning into Empire Records for film's 20th anniversary; real bands covering movie bands for Faux Real II"

February 11, 2015

Wu-Tang

Coolio's PornHub collaboration is so last year. This week, the worlds of music and porn can't stop finding new ways to collide:

Wu-Tang Clan member, and no stranger to acting, RZA will be appearing in the upcoming biopic on the "World's First Latina adult film star" Vanessa del Rio (titled Vanessa del Rio). It also stars Zulay Henao as the lead, with Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos), Taryn Manning (Orange is the New Black), and others. In the director's chair is metal music video guy Thomas Mignone (Type O Negative, Megadeth), and Datari Turner produced. RZA "portrays a character who works the doors at the burlesque club Vanessa dances at. After hours, he secretly uses the club's audio gear to pursue his true passion of music, laying down tracks and rhymes in the new hip hop and rap genres being explored at the time."

In other news, though it was initially announced that Miley Cyrus would be showing her "Tongue Tied" video (made with filmmaker Quentin Jones) at the previously-mentioned, upcoming NYC Porn Festival at Secret Project Robot, the video will not actually be part of it. Why not? NY Post says "The festival's organizer lied when he said Cyrus had personally submitted the film." Huh.

Luckily for those who still want to see the video, you can watch it below. It might not be the safest thing for work, but it's not really any more risqué than her "Wrecking Ball" video that's all over cable TV. Unlike her participation in the "Free the Nipple" campaign, there's no actual nudity.

Meanwhile, the fest otherwise goes down as planned at Brooklyn's Secret Project Robot from February 27 through March 1 and tickets for individual screenings can be purchased at the festival's website. Unlike Miley, musician James Franco will be there, and like Miley, he was nominated for but did not win a Grammy this past weekend.

Azealia Banks almost nude
Azealia Banks

In still more music/porn news, it's been announced that rapper Azealia Banks will pose nude for Playboy. The editors say it's "sure to break the Internet." Kim Kardashian's palms are already sweating. This may be Azealia's first nude photo shoot for mainstream media, but it's not like she hasn't come close before.

And in one last bit of news related (but not to porn) to RZA, his fellow Wu-Tang Clan member GZA is saying he's finally going to release that new album Dark Matter this fall. Ahead of that, he's released a non-album single, "The Mexican" (based on Babe Ruth's 1972 song of the same name) which features Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello on guitar, Hanni El Khatib, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Ruban Nielson (whose band just announced a tour). Listen below.

Continue reading "This week in music/porn: RZA in Vanessa del Rio biopic; Miley no longer in NYC Porn Fest; Azealia Banks posing for Playboy"

February 6, 2015

'Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton'
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The Lincoln Center Festival celebrates it's 20th anniversary this year, running from July 6 - August 2, featuring 58 performances by artists and groups from Germany, China, England, Ireland, Russia, the United States and Japan. Festival packages are on sale now, and tickets to individual performances go on sale March 31.

The festival kicks off with "Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton" which will have eight performances from July 6 - 12 at Avery Fisher Hall. The onetime Oingo Boingo frontman and the filmmaker's relationship goes all the way back to Burton's first film, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, and also includes Beetlejuice, Batman, Edward Scissorhands and many more. The event description notes that "the concert is enhanced by the stunning visuals of Burton's original sketches, drawings, story boards, and film clips rendered in exquisite detail on the big screen." Elfman will appear at each performance, though he is not the conductor. The show received raves in Los Angeles when it ran in 2013. Note: audience members are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character from a Tim Burton film. It's that kind of night.

Other Lincoln Center Festival highlights include a performance by Sufjan Stevens collaborators Yarn/Wire on July 15, and the National Ballet of China and its Symphony Orchestra will perform two separate story ballets: The Peony Pavilion (July 8 - 10), a romance based on a 400-year-old epic masterpiece of Kunqu opera; and The Red Detachment of Women (July 11 & 12) which is best known as the ballet performed for President Nixon on his barrier-breaking 1972 trip to China.

Full Lincoln Center Festival 2015 schedule is here.

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