Recent Posts in movies
April 9, 2014
by Bill Pearis
Swedish director Lucas Moodyson doesn't stick to one style or subject matter. His films include the funny/sweet Together, as well as the bleak/disturbing Lilya 4-Ever. His latest is We Are the Best! about an all-girl teenage punk band:
An affectionate, retro-fantastic time capsule of early-1980s Sweden, the film follows the spiky-haired trio as they fight the system one shambolic, three-chord anthem at a time, all building up to an exuberant, fist-pumping finale.You can watch the trailer below. The film is getting a limited US release starting May 30 but folks in NYC can catch an early screening at BAM's Rose Cinemas in Brooklyn on May 7. Moodyson will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A and tickets are on sale now.
In conjunction with the We Are the Best! screening, BAM is presenting a film series, "Punk Rock Girls," in May that is showing a lot of cool films, including... 1980's terrific Breaking Glass (starring new wave singer Hazel O'Connor and Quadrophenia's Phil Daniels) on May 14; 1982 Australian film Starstruck (by Gillian Armstrong who made My Brilliant Career) on May 15; 1980 cult classic Times Square on May 21; and Dennis Hopper's 1981 film Out of the Blue on May 22.
There's more: the highly subversive (and highly underrated, I'm serious) Josie & the Pussycats on May 29; a collection of punk shorts (by the likes of Beth B and Richard Kern) called "Popularity is Boring" on May 29; sci-fi new wave classic Liquid Sky on May 30; Derek Jarman's phantasmagoric dystopian fantasy Jubilee on May 30 & 31; Diane Lane, Laura Dern (plus The Clash's Paul Simonon and Sex Pistols' Steve Jones and Paul Cook) in Ladies & Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains on May 31; and Madonna's big screen debut, Desperately Seeking Susan, on June 1.
Tickets for all screenings in the "Punk Rock Girls" series are on sale via BAM's website. Trailers from all the films in the series are below...
Literary and postmodern icon William S Burroughs, who died in 1997, would have turned 100 this year and there are Centenary celebration events happening all over the world. In New York, WSB100 (which was [and still is] being funded by an Indiegogo campaign) is happening the entire month of April at various venues around the the city:
Help us celebrate 100 years of America's preeminent avant garde literary iconoclast: William S. Burroughs. As ferocious, provocative, disturbing, and exciting as the artist himself, NYC's month-long WSB100 features extraordinary original performances, films, readings, panels, and world premiere tributes in honor of the legendary mindbending troublemaker himself.You can buy a festival pass for $100 that gets you in to all the WSB events, or buy individual tickets.
On the musical side, the WSB100 takes over The Stone this month through April 20. Tonight is Kenny Wollesen at 8 PM and Ariana Reiens at 10 PM. Other notable nights include Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth played on WSB's 1990 album Dead City Radio) on April 17; John Zorn and Bill Laswell on April 19; Hal Willner, Bill Frisell, Eyvind Kang and Lenny Pickett on April 20. No advance tickets for these shows.
Then on April 21 at Issue Project Room, Elliot Sharp and Steve Buscemi will have a collaborative performance, creating "a collage of sound and words integrating texts by William S. Burroughs with Elliott Sharp's vast soundworlds." Buscemi spent a lot of time with Burroughs in the author's later years and currently has a screenplay of Burroughs' Queer in development. Tickets are on sale.
On April 22 at the Incubator Arts Project it's a collaborative performance by Lydia Lunch and Quintan Ana Wikswo. Tickets are on sale. Then on April 23 at Poetry Project, there is a "reading marathon" featuring Anne Waldman, Penny Arcade, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, JG Thirlwell, Lydia Lunch, Elliott Sharp, Sam Mickens, and many more. Full line-up and more info is here.
There are more events happening too. Details are at WSB100 but the full schedule is listed, along with a few Burroughs-related videos, below...
April 8, 2014
Back in 2007, Paris' Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain held a David Lynch retrospective titled The Air is on Fire, which was the first major exhibition avant-garde director's paintings, photographs and drawings. For it Lynch and collaborator Dean Hurley created an interactive soundscape that guided visitors through the exhibition. That soundscape is now getting a vinyl release for Record Store Day (4/19) via Sacred Bones (who have put out Lynch's recent albums). You can listen to an interview with Hurley about the project below.
Meanwhile, Lynch himself will appear at BAM's Howard Gilman Opera House on April 29 where he'll be in conversation with New York Public Library's Paul Holdengräber. Tickets for this event go on sale Friday (4/11) via BAM's website.
I don't patronize bunny rabbits!
Summerscreen is back for another season of free outdoor movies and live music for six Wednesdays in Williamsburg's McCarren Park. While the bands playing are still TBA, this year's line-up:
July 9 - Back to the FutureThe audience pick is between Kill Bill Vol. 1, Jawbreaker, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Warriors, Spice World, Big Trouble in Little China and Mean Girls. Vote for your favorite now.
July 16 - Zoolander
July 23 - Cry-Baby
July 30 - Heathers
August 6 - Big Lebowski
August 13 - Audience Pick!
April 7, 2014
Screen legend Mickey Rooney has died at age 93. Born in Brooklyn in 1920, Rooney grew up in show business. He was a child star in the silent era and transitioned successfully into talkies and musicals, becoming a huge star in the '30s and '40s with his "Andy Hardy" films, many of which co-starred Judy Garland. In the 1950s, he had his own television show while continuing to make movies, and kept on rolling through his autumn years -- he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in 1979's The Black Stallion -- and had projects lined up for this year. He was one of the greats.
Watch a CNN tribute, a few numbers from his Andy Hardy pictures and other videos, below. Rest in peace, Mickey.
April 4, 2014
by Bill Pearis
Wes Anderson's new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is in wider release across the country now. While whimsical and all that sort of thing you'd expect from the director who has a very distinct style, this is more of an adventure film than he's done before. For those who find him too precious, you might like this one.
This is also his first film not to have any modern pop in it -- though as most of the film is set in 1932 it makes sense -- but lontime collaborator / music supervisor Randall Poster has filled it with period music, and Alexandre Desplat's score fits the tone perfectly. If you've ever wanted to know more about Anderson's music choices, you're in luck. Randall Poster will be participating in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) today at 5 PM EST.
In other news, Poster has put together Spotify playlists for some of The Grand Budapest Hotel's side characters: Dmitri (Adrien Brody), Madame D. (Tilda Swinton), Jopling (Willem Dafoe), Clotilde (Léa Seydoux), Serge X. (Mathieu Amalric) which make for nice listening indeed.
Poster and Anderson are planning a box set of all their soundtracks. Start saving.
April 1, 2014
Deafheaven at one of 285 Kent's last shows (more by PSquared)
As you probably know by now, Brooklyn DIY venue 285 Kent is closed for good. As the venue was hosting its final shows, Pitchfork filmed a documentary about the venue called "RIP 285 Kent." The description reads:
The film features interviews with the personalities that pushed 285 forward, including founder Todd P., booker/manager Ric Leichtung, and managers Kaitlin Browne and Siobhan McDonald, among others. It also includes discussion with local bookers Edan Wilbur, John Jacobson, John Barclay, and Pitchfork photographer Erez Avissar, plus interview and performance footage from Deafheaven, Fucked Up, DIIV, Dan Deacon, Pictureplane, Lodro, Wolf Eyes, DUST, and more.Check it out below...
March 27, 2014
From a mind unlike any other, Biophilia Live chronicles the multidimensional concert centered on the eighth studio album of avant-garde Icelandic artist, Björk. Directors Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland, unique voices in their own right, film Björk live in performance, and punctuate her music with evocative animation from apps created by the world's top 10 designers combined with science and nature archive and found footage. This is inspired by the themes of the album which explore the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena--atomic, cellular and cosmic. The infinitely creative journey presents a culmination of work that represents one of the most original musical endeavors of a generation.The Tribeca Film Festival runs April 16-27 in NYC, and will kick off at Beacon Theatre with a documentary about and a performance by Nas.
The film will screen at TFF on April 26th.
If you're of a certain age, Zach Braff's Garden State, and most specifically its soundtrack which features Coldplay, The Shins, Iron Wine covering The Postal Service, and more, is probably a little generation-defining (love it or hate it). Ten years later, he's going for it again with Wish I Was Here, the first film he'll be directing since Garden State. Zach tells Entertainment Weekly that the very Zach Braff-sounding soundtrack will feature a song by Cat Power (written by Coldplay's Chris Martin), plus original music from Bon Iver, The Shins and more. Will this be be the new sappy soundtrack to a generation of indie-discovering teens?
The film hits theaters on July 18 in NYC and LA, and July 25 everywhere else. You can check out the Kickstarter video for Wish I Was Here below.
Speaking of Garden State being generation-defining, it's one of the things namedropped in former SPIN editor (and NY Times writer) Mark Spitz's new book Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film. The description reads:
Marc Spitz explores the first great cultural movement since Hip Hop: an old-fashioned and yet highly modern aesthetic that's embraced internationally by teens, twenty and thirty-somethings and even some Baby Boomers; creating hybrid generation known as Twee. Via exclusive interviews and years of research, Spitz traces Generation Twee's roots from the Post War 50s to its dominance in popular culture today.That book will be out on June 3.
Vampire Weekend, Garden State, Miranda July, Belle and Sebastian, Wes Anderson, Mumblecore, McSweeney's, Morrissey, beards, artisanal pickles, food trucks, crocheted owls on Etsy, ukuleles, kittens and Zooey Deschanel--all are examples of a cultural aesthetic of calculated precocity known as Twee.
In Twee, journalist and cultural observer Marc Spitz surveys the rising Twee movement in music, art, film, fashion, food and politics and examines the cross-pollinated generation that embodies it--from aging hipsters to nerd girls, indie snobs to idealistic industrialists. Spitz outlines the history of twee--the first strong, diverse, and wildly influential youth movement since Punk in the '70s and Hip Hop in the '80s--showing how awkward glamour and fierce independence has become part of the zeitgeist.
Wish I Was Here trailer below...
The new documentary about The National (and kinda about singer Matt Berninger's brother Tom, who directed), Mistaken for Strangers, already premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and made its theatrical premiere in LA earlier this week (3/25), and it officially hits theaters, on demand, and iTunes this Friday (3/28). In NYC, you can catch a showing of the film at the IFC Center, and the first chances you'll get are actually sneak preview shows tonight (3/27) at 7 PM and 9 PM with filmmakers and members of the band in attendance (both sold out). Head to IFC Center's site for all available tickets for upcoming screenings. Check out the full list of theaters showing the film below.
As previously mentioned, The National also have many tour dates including Brooklyn shows on June 17 at Prospect Park with Phosphorescent (sold out) and June 18 at Prospect Park with Lord Huron (tickets). Phosphorescent also play their own NYC show (and other dates).
List of Mistaken for Strangers screenings, with the trailer, below...