Recent Posts in movies

December 19, 2014

by Bill Pearis

Under The Skin

I finally watched Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin last night. It stars Scarlett Johansson as an alien who spends her time picking up men in Scotland, bringing them back to her place and... well, you should just watch it. You can stream it for free on Amazon if you have Amazon Prime.

Based on Michel Faber's novel of the same name, the film directed and co-written by Jonathan Glazer who made Birth and Sexy Beast, not to mention the videos for Radiohead's "Karma Police" and UNKLE's "Rabbit in the Headlights", among others. Species this is not, owing more to '70s experimentalists and, as you might expect from his CV, Glazer has delivered a gorgeously-shot film that is also thought provoking and unsettling. ScarJo even does a credible London accent. I already want to see it again.

After hearing my movie-minded friends rave about it all year, I finally pulled the trigger after it showed up in a few of the band/artist Top 10s we've been running. Here's what Protomartyr, said:

a visually stunning film with a really great soundtrack that defies easy explanation. Actually the real 'best' thing we saw all year. Sure, it didn't have people getting repeatedly kicked in the face or RZA trying on a Jamaican accent sporadically, but not everything can be 'Brick Mansions'.
The minimal, eerie score, which appeared on Travis from Grooms' end of year list, was done by Mica Levi (aka Micachu). It definitely enhances the off-kilter vibe of the film, and you can stream it via Rdio below.

Check it out if you haven't already, and check out nine more recommended movies from streaming sites, courtesy of Sub Pop-signed musician Daughn Gibson, below...

Continue reading "Under the Skin (scored by Micachu), and other movies streaming now (that Daughn Gibson loved in 2014) "

December 17, 2014

protomartyr

Protomartyr's second album, Under Color of Official Right, is one of the year's most acclaimed albums, matching witty if bleak observations to snarling postpunk backing. The band spent most of the year on the road, out on tours with Spray Paint, Whatever Brains and Parquet Courts, making space for both SXSW, CMJ and one of DbA's final shows, too. Which leads to Protomartyr's Top 10 of 2014 list they sent us, which could have only been sent by them. Here's the setup:

As is often the case with touring, all you have is time and it must be killed. Going to see a movie, any movie, is our default band activity. We go to the theater and whatever is showing next is what we see. We'd like to think this is the reason why we saw so much shit, but honestly, seeing something awful became an addiction. Other than that, the only criteria was that the theater had to sell booze. That became an addiction as well.
You won't find Boyhood or Birdman or Grand Budapest Hotel on this list, but it's a funny read and works as a travelogue as well. Protomartyr's "Ten Movies We Saw This Year" are listed with commentary below.

In other news, Protomartyr are part of a Joyful Noise Recordings' new subscription record club, the 2015 Flexidisc Series where "some of our favorite artists to release never-before-heard recordings on a fleeting analog format." Other artists contributing to the series include Cloud Nothings, Wye Oak, Deerhoof & Celestial Shore, Sonny & the Sunsets, and King Buzzo.

If you you're going to be in Detroit around Christmas, Protomartyr are playing on December 26 at Jumbos, a place they wrote a song about on their first album. Flyer for that is below as well...

Continue reading "Protomartyr tell us about 10 movies they saw on tour this year, part of new flexi series w/ Cloud Nothings, Wye Oak & more"

December 16, 2014

IMAGE

As mentioned, sci-fi/horror master and composer John Carpenter will be releasing Lost Themes via Sacred Bones on February 3.  (Pre-order.) There will be a deluxe edition of the record available too, with remixes by Zola Jesus & Dean Hurley, Blanck Mass, Bill Kouligas, Silent Servant, Ohgr (Skinny Puppy), and J.G Thirlwell. None of the remixes have been shared yet, but you can listen to "Vortex" from the album below.

In conjunction with this, BAM will be presenting a monthlong retrospective featuring all of the director's work titled "John Carpenter: Master of Fear" from February 5 - 22. The series kicks off on February 5 at the BAM Howard Gillman Opera House with a conversation between Carpenter and NPR's Brooke Gladstone. Tickets for that event are on sale now for BAM Cinema Club members, and go on sale to the general public on Thursday (12/18).

The film series includes Carpenter's best-known films (Halloween, The Thing, Escape from New York, Starman) as well as lesser-known gems like Assault on Precinct 13 and They Live. The retrospective also features "Carpenter Selects," a sidebar showcasing three films with exceptional scores that the director has cited as influences on his work: William Friedkin's Sorcerer, Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, and sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet. Tickets for the screenings are on sale now for BAM Cinema Club members and will go on sale to the general public on Thursday. Full schedule of screenings, most of which are being shown in 35mm, below.

Continue reading "John Carpenter talking 'Lost Themes' at BAM film retrospective, gets remixed by Zola Jesus, Thirlwell, Silent Servant & more"

December 15, 2014

OST

As mentioned, the Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood did the score for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice which is in theaters now. It includes "Spooks," which was originally to be a Radiohead song and never finished, here performed by Greenwood and Supergrass' Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey with some of Joanna Newsom's narration laid overtop. The rest of Greenwood's score is more traditional orchestration, with lots of strings and wind instruments. The official soundtrack mixes Greenwood's contribution with songs used in the movie, like Can's "Vitamin C," Minnie Ripperton's "Les Fleur" and Neil Young's "Journey Through the Past." You can stream the whole Inherent Vice soundtrack, via Spotify, below...

Continue reading "stream Jonny Greenwood's 'Inherent Vice' soundtrack"

December 11, 2014

golden-globesgolden-globes

It's awards season and this morning the 2015 The Golden Globes nominations were released and there are a few familiar names in the two music categories:

Lana Del Rey: "Big Eyes" (Big Eyes)
John Legend, Common: "Glory" (Selma)
Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye: "Mercy Is" (Noah)
Greg Kurstin, Sia Furler, Will Gluck: "Opportunity" (Annie)
Lorde: "Yellow Flicker Beat" (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1)
And Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, working again with David Fincher this time for Gone Girl, is among the nominees in the Best Original Score category:
Alexandre Desplat: The Imitation Game
Jóhann Jóhannsson: The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross: Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez: Birdman
Hans Zimmer: Interstellar
Among the non-music nominees, Iñárritu's Birdman led with seven nominations, and HBO's True Detective and FX's Fargo (both in the mini-series category) led in television with four and five nominations, respectively. The enigmatic Hollywood Foreign Press Association will hand out the Golden Globes to winners on January 11 at the televised ceremony hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

Stream all five Golden Globe nominees for Best Original Song Motion Picture and check out the full list of 2015 nominations, below...

Continue reading "Patti Smith, Trent Reznor, Lana Del Rey, Lorde & more nominated for 2015 Golden Globe Awards"

December 9, 2014

film review by PSquared

inherent vice

Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, Inherent Vice, is out in limited release this Friday (12/12) and goes into wide release on January 19. Here in NYC, it opens Friday at the Angelica and Loews Lincoln Square. It's the first feature adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Here's the synopsis:

When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin...well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble.
BV's own PSquared caught the film during the NY Film Festival premiere and liked it a lot:
The landscape is littered with corrupt cops, an undercover stoner sax player, neo nazi gangs, what could be a possible Asian drug running organization or just simple cocaine obsessed dentist tax cheats. It is Anderson's most hilarious film. The benchmarks here are late 40's noir, slapstick comedies, 70's masterworks The Long Goodbye and Chinatown and hippie drug comics like The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. The all star acting troupe, as you would expect is uniformly superb headed by Joaquin Phoenix as Doc and Josh Brolin eating up scenes as the nasty but "you can't hate him" cop Bigfoot Bjornsen.
You can read his whole review below.

Also appearing is Joanna Newsom who plays Sortilege, the film's narrator. You can hear her in action in the brand new trailer for Inherent Vice that also uses Can's "Vitamin C" as part of its soundtrack. This was the first acting role for the indie harpist, who's married to comedian Andy Samberg, apart from an episode of Portlandia. She told Billboard about her first day on the set:

I had a very strong sense that I didn't know what I was doing/ Afterward, Paul came up to me and said, 'You're going to go home and start freaking out and think that you did a terrible job, and I'm just going to tell you now that you didn't, and that it will be easier the next time.' And he was right.
Joanna also mentions to Billboard that she's busy working on the follow-up to 2010's Have One On Me but the film did not impact her writing. "I'm so slow anyway with music. [Inherent Vice] did take up some of my creative energy and time, but it was completely worth it." She's not Inherent Vice's only indie music tie-in: the score was written by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (also also scored PTA's There Will Be Blood and The Master) and it features a never-recorded Radiohead song, "Spooks," as performed by two thirds of Supergrass.

If you'd like to see Inherent Vice for free, Videology in Williamsburg is giving away a bunch of pairs of tickets tonight (12/9) at their weekly Movie Trivia night. It starts at 8:30 PM as is free to attend (get there early if you want a table).

Psquared's Inherent Vice review and the film's trailer featuring Joanna Newsom's narration, below...

Continue reading "Joanna Newsom working on new music, appears in Paul Thomas Anderson's new film 'Inherent Vice' (review)"

December 2, 2014

Greenwood Cemetery

Brooklyn actor John Turturro discusses my favorite park and tourist attraction's past, present and future in an entertaining 11-minute video you can watch below.

Upcoming events at the amazing Brooklyn cemetery include historic trolley tours and a members-only movie night ("classic movies in a Gothic setting").

Continue reading "watch John Turturro talk about Green-Wood Cemetery"

November 20, 2014

Saunier / Chippendale LP art
DBA

There's just three shows left at Death by Audio. Last night's "Top Secret!" headliners were Thee Oh Sees and main man John Dwyer said onstage, "We're here for two nights." He didn't say "in a row" but seeing how they play Warsaw with Jack Name on Friday (tickets) and are at M for Montreal on Saturday (snowstorms permitting), the other night in question seems to only be one option. But who knows? As for the rest of the lineup, DbA has posted up today's clues:

Well shucks! looks like i forgot to mention one of the players last night, slipped my mind! Well tonight i wont try and pull the Wool over your eyes, and jack you all around with this name game, ive been actin like a kid! Anyway i apologize for all the tomfoolery, and ill sees ya tonight!
Ok, sleuths, what does it all mean?

If you're going to go to one of these last three nights, do make sure to spend some time in the Death by Art installation which has a lot of cool stuff to see. You may have seen a monitor in the hallway showing a documentary about drummers Greg Saunier and Brian Chippendale titled Checking in at 20. It was directed by Matt Conboy who runs the DbA showspace (with Edan Wilber) and features interviews with Wayne Coyne, Tim Harrington, John Dwyer, Steven Drozd, Kid Millions, and rock journalist Michael Azerrad. You can watch the whole thing (via Pitchfork) below. Both Saunier (with Deerhoof) and Lightning Bolt's Chippendale (as Black Pus) played Death by Audio in the last few weeks.

Meanwhile, Saunier and Chippendale also have an album out via Famous Class. The self-titled LP features two side-long improvisations, and is limited to 500 copies. Order yours now.

Documentary stream below...

Continue reading "Greg Saunier & Brian Chippendale release LP & documentary; three shows left at DbA (tonight's lineup clues are posted)"

Mike NicholsHollywood and Broadway lost one of its most talented directors and best wits. Mike Nichols, who directed The Graduate, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Working Girl and many more, died Wednesday (11/19), at age 83:

Dryly urbane, Mr. Nichols had a gift for communicating with actors and a keen comic timing, which he honed early in his career as half of the popular sketch-comedy team Nichols and May. He accomplished what Orson Welles and Elia Kazan, but few if any other directors have: He achieved popular and artistic success in both theater and film. He was among the most decorated people in the history of show business, one of only a handful to have won an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy.

His career encompassed an entire era of screen and stage entertainment. On Broadway, where he won an astonishing nine Tonys (including two as a producer), he once had four shows running simultaneously. He directed Neil Simon's early comedies "Barefoot in the Park" and "The Odd Couple" in the 1960s, the zany Monty Python musical, "Spamalot," four decades later, and nearly another decade after that, an acclaimed revival of Arthur Miller's bruising masterpiece, "Death of a Salesman."

Rest in peace, Mike. Your work lives on. Watch a couple classic Nichols/May sketches (and a documentary about them), below...

Continue reading "Mike Nichols, RIP"

November 17, 2014

PULP

As mentioned, PULP: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets is being released on Wednesday (11/19) in theaters and then on iTunes/VOD on Friday (11/19). But you can watch it for free online for the next 24 hours, courtesy Pitchfork. It's a great film, and recommended even if you are not the biggest Pulp fan. Productivity be damned, stream it below...

Continue reading "stream the Pulp documentary for free (24 hours only)"

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