Recent Posts in movies
March 7, 2014
Wes Anderson's new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, opens today in limited release -- in NYC it's at the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 and the Lincoln Square 13. With eight films under his belt, Anderson's whimsical style is as distinctive as anyone in the industry. One of his signatures is his use of music, and that goes from the harpsichord-laden scores to the soundtracks filled with impeccably curated pop songs.
While The Grand Budapest Hotel is his first not to use modern pop (frequent collaborator Alexandre Desplat did the score which can be streamed at Rdio), his other films are jam-packed with it. Indiewire reports that ABCKO will release a box set with the soundtracks to all eight of his film. This could include songs featured in movies that didn't make the cut for their official soundtracks. Details, beyond that's its happening, haven't surfaced yet, but we're going to assume the packaging will be exquisite.
Further reading: Rolling Stone cornered longtime Anderson film music supervisor Randal Poster to talk about his favorite music moments in his filmography. What's your favorite Wes Anderson movie music moment?
Watch the trailer for Grand Budapest Hotel below..
March 3, 2014
Video of that Brooklyn indie musical Oscar moment below...
March 1, 2014
One of last year's coolest reissues was Who Is William Onyeabor? which collected many of the cult Nigerian funk singer and synthesizer pioneer William Onyeabor's best tracks. For more on who he is, this past week a new Onyeabor documentary, titled Fantastic Man, premiered online, featuring interviews with Damon Albarn, Dan Snaith of Caribou, the Human League's, Martyn Ware (The Human League), Femi Kuti and many more. It's well worth watching and you can do so in this post.
There is also a remix album, titled What?, that was commissioned by Moog and will be released on Record Store Day (April 19) featuring reworkings by Hot Chip, The Vaccines, Justin Strauss & Bryan Mette, Joakim ft. Akwetey (Dragons of Zynth), JD Twitch (Optimo), Daphni, Javelin, David Terranova, Policy and Scientist.
And last but not least there will be a series of tribute concerts happening in cities around the world this spring, including two in NYC on May 2 & 3. Details have not been announced yet, so stay tuned.
You can listen to Who is William Onyeabor? via Rdio, and watch the Fantastic Man documentary below...
February 26, 2014
by Bill Pearis
"yes, this is Gruff Rhys..."
You may remember that Gruff Rhys's American Interior is coming out as an album, book, film and interactive mobile app in May. Gruff just released the title track to this multifaceted project and you can stream it below.
The film version of American Interior will make its U.S. debut at the SXSW with screenings, appropriately, during the film and music portion of the fest, and there's a panel discussion about it too if you've got a badge. SXSW screening dates and showtimes here and the film's trailer is below. Gruff will also be playing shows during SXSW too -- including the official Turnstile Showcase with Cate Le Bon and more -- , so look out for him if you're going to be in Austin that week.
Trailer for American Interior and the stream of its title track below...
February 24, 2014
by Bill Pearis
When I moved to New York in the '90s, among all the obvious cool things associated with the city, I was amazed with cable access... and, uh, Moviefone. The idea you could just call this number and get showtimes ("and even tickets" the ads used to say) via a very enthusiastic announcer (Moviefone founder Russ Leatherman, who left the company last year.) fascinated me. (They were more innocent times and I was easily impressed.) At one point Moviefone was even so popular it became a plot point in a memorable episode of Seinfeld. It was a part of most NYers' lives.
I can't remember the last time I actually called 777-FILM (probably right before I got a cellphone), but the service has remained... but not for much longer. The New York Times reports that over the weekend, callers to the number were greeted with an announcement saying the number "will no longer be in service in the near future." Moviefone, which is owned by AOL, will live on, however, via the web and mobile app.
Video from the Seinfeld episode below...
Harold Ramis (L) and the rest of the 'Ghostbusters'
The comedy and film world lost a huge talent today:
Harold Ramis, a longtime North Shore resident, was surrounded by family when he died at 12:53 a.m. from complications of autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, a rare disease that involves swelling of the blood vessels, his wife Erica Mann Ramis said. He was 69.Harold Ramis was a member of storied Chicago comedy troup Second City where he worked with John Belushi, Bill Murray, and others. He's been a part of -- either as writer, director or both -- some of the biggest comedy hits of the last 40 years, including National Lampoon's Animal House, Caddyshack, Stripes, Meatballs, National Lampoon's Vacation, Back to School, Groundhog Day and, of course, Ghostbusters in which he also co-stared as Egon. He was 69.
Ramis' serious health struggles began in May 2010 with an infection that led to complications related to the autoimmune disease, his wife said. Ramis had to relearn to walk but suffered a relapse of the vasculitis in late 2011, said Laurel Ward, vice president of development at Ramis' Ocean Pictures production company. - [The Chicago Tribune]
Rest in peace, Harold. We'll miss ya.
February 14, 2014
by Bill Pearis
Jim Jarmusch's new film, Only Lovers Left Alive, stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as two vampires whose relationship spans centuries. (Twilight or Vampire Academy, it ain't.) The film made its US debut at the 2013 New York Film Festival and will see actual release on April 11 in select cities. You can check out the trailer below.
The soundtrack to the film is unsurprisingly pretty interesting and is orchestrated by Jarmusch's frequent musical collaborator, Jozef van Wissem. It features collaborations with SQÜRL (Carter Logan, Jim Jarmusch, and Shane Stoneback), Zola Jesus, Lebanese singer/actress Yasmine Hamdan (who is in the film), and Cults singer Madeline Follin, the latter of whom provides vocals on a heavy, trippy cover of Wanda Jackson's classic "Funnel of Love." You can stream the whole soundtrack (via Dazed Digital) below.
Speaking of, Cults have a few dates lined up over the next few weeks, including NYC at Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 6. Shoe company Steve Madden is sponsoring and it's FREE but you do need to get your no-charge tickets through Ticketmaster and are available starting at noon today (2/14). No openers have been announced for the MHOW show, but most of the other dates are with their old tourmates Mood Rings. All Cults tour dates are listed below...
February 5, 2014
OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON (This Is Stones Throw Records) is a feature-length documentary about avant-garde Los Angeles-based record label Stones Throw Records. Under the direction of founder and world-renowned DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw has consistently released critically acclaimed, left-of-center albums since its inception in 1996. Catalog highlights include hip-hop classics like Madvillain's Madvillainy, Dilla's Donuts and Quasimoto's The Unseen; retro-soul hits such as Mayer Hawthorne's A Strange Arrangement and Aloe Blacc's Good Things, Dam-Funk's boogie-funk masterpiece Toeachizown, and the oddball works of James Pants and Gary Wilson. Drawing on live concert footage, never-before-seen archival material, inner-circle home video and photographs and in-depth interviews with the folks that put Stones Throw on the map, OUR VINYL WEIGHS A TON will delve into the label's enigmatic history, culture and global following.Mostly-hip-hop label Stones Throw is subject of a new documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton, which hits theaters this March following screenings in select cities, including Austin for SXSW. There will also be a sneak preview screening and Q&A at Brooklyn's Indie Screen on March 2 and the official NYC opening is March 19 at Village East Cinemas (also with a Q&A). Ticket info for those screenings coming soon. Full list of upcoming screenings here. Trailer below.
To celebrate the release of the new film, Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf is going on an 'Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton' tour with J Rocc, Jonwayne and Knxwledge. That tour hits Brooklyn the same day as the sneak preview screening on March 2 at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/7) at noon with an AmEx presale starting today (2/5) at noon. The full tour
hasn't been announced yet, but all currently known dates are listed below...
February 2, 2014
Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest actors of our time - known for many great films like Boogie Nights, The Big Lebowski, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, Almost Famous, Capote and many more, has sadly passed away at age 46.
The Academy Award winner was found in his Manhattan apartment at 35 Bethune St. in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan this morning morning, according to the New York Police Department, which is investigating. [ABC News]The NY Times says...
Investigators found a syringe in his left forearm, at least two plastic envelopes with what appeared to be heroin nearby, and five empty plastic envelopes in a trash bin, the official said.Rest in peace, Philip. Your contributions will never be forgotten
"It's pretty apparent that it was an overdose," the official said. "The syringe was in his arm."
On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Hoffman's family released a statement saying: "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone. This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers."
Watch a clip of Philip as Lester Bangs in "Almost Famous", below...
January 16, 2014
The 2014 Academy Awards nominations were announced this morning, with American Hustle and Gravity leading the way with 10 each. On the musical tip, The Arcade Fire's Will Butler and Owen Pallett were nominated for the score to Spike Jonze's Her, and Karen O got nominated for "Moon Song" from Her which she co-wrote with Jonze. Also: Pharrell Williams got a nomination for "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 as did U2's "Ordinary Love" from Mandella: Long Walk to Freedom (which won the Golden Globe on Sunday).
One movie that might seem missing from the Best Original Song category is the Coen Brothers Inside Llewyn Davis but almost all the songs from the film were traditional folk, which is why its novelty song "Hey Mr. Kennedy" got a Golden Globe nomination. The Oscars will be given out Sunday, March 2. Full list of 2014 Oscar Nominations and a stream of Karen O's "Moon Song" below...