Saturday, August 05, 2006

Weekend Update

Weekend of Phoenix

After buying tickets for Phoenix's show at the Bowery Ballroom, I received an e-mail letting me know that I'm now on the guestlist for their show at Maxwell's. So, I'll be going to both, doing back to back concerts with the same band for the first time. I've heard Maxwell's is pretty small, so it'll be cool to get a chance to see them in a smaller setting, and then I'll catch the bigger show the next day. In other Phoenix news, I found out today that Thomas Mars was the vocalist on Air's 'Playground Love,' one of their best songs. I'll be reporting back on both these shows.

Love and Death

I was sad to see that another 60s musical legend died this week, Arthur Lee, the lead singer of Love. Forever Changes is one of my favorite albums, it's one of those albums that might not have a lot of really well known songs, but has been massively influential, sort of like The Velvet Underground. Belle and Sebastian have songs that sound like they could have been made by Love, 'Waking Up to Us' in particular. All their output still sounds fresh, not like something that's forty years old.

The Miami Vice Reaction

As I mentioned in my review, I loved Miami Vice and I'd consider it easily the best film of the year so far. So, it's been interesting talking to other people who've seen the film and hearing their criticisms. A lot of people are saying that it didn't have enough action, or that it was hard to follow, which seems to be completely missing the point. The plot is irrelevant, you don't need to know what is happening, it's more about the mood you settle into. In this respect, it's a lot like Domino, a film that got lambasted by critics and the public because it went so far into stylistic experimentation. People have a very limited idea of what an action film should be, and they're not prepared to accept these hybrids of art house and action. Vice has more in common with Wong Kar-Wai's Fallen Angels than it does with Mission Impossible III, but people just aren't geared to look at action films as artistic statements. Criticizing Miami Vice for not having enough action is like giving the same criticism to Ashes of Time. If you're looking for a generic action film, it's not going to satisfy, but if you want a really exciting, experimental film, it's the perfect choice.

In the Docket

I've got a bunch of films out of the library right now. Memoirs of a Geisha is something I was interested in seeing when it was out, but never got around to. IT's interesting on two levels, one is to see two of the world's best actresses, Zhang Ziyi and Gong Li, together and speaking English. The other interesting level is the visuals which I've heard were dazzling, even if the film didn't quite make it. I've also got In July, a film by Fatih Akin, who directed the pop masterpiece Head-On. I've got another Altman film, California Split, a Bertolucci, Stealing Beauty, Mike Figgis' Hotel and finally, R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet: Chapters 1-12. Reviews of the notable films were follow soon.

Tristram Shandy

Earlier this week I watched Michael Winterbottom's Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. Both this film and 24 Hour Party People were really entertaining, funny films, but they don't quite make it to greatness. Shandy suffered from the fact that there have been so many projects about making films recently, it's tough to come up with new material. Steve Coogan's funny, but his direct to the camera narration made the film a bit too reminiscent of Party People. I ended up wishing that Gillian Anderson had a bigger part and that the film was just a little bit better. Winterbottom's stuff is always entertaining, but he's never made a masterpiece.

Champagne Saturday

This Saturday, why not make it a Champagne Saturday by checking out my new music video. I think it turned out well, there's a lot of cool color correction and some nice quick cutting at the end. If you check it out, post your comments, I'd love to hear them. Next up for me is more work on my feature, All Good Things, and on Tuesday, I'm shooting a video for the song 'Yer Warpin' Me' by Nepo.

Upcoming Dates of Note

8/6 - Phoenix at Maxwelll's
8/7 - Phoenix at Bowery Ballroom
8/8 - Manderlay on DVD
8/17 - Gnarls Barkley at Summerstage
8/22 - Veronica Mars Season 2 on DVD
8/25 - Idlewild Released
8/29 - Arrested Development Season 3 on DVD
9/22 - Science of Sleep Releated
9/24 - The Flaming Lips at Hammerstein
10/20 - Marie Antoinette Released
11/22 - The Fountain Released

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