I've listened to a few new albums this week. One is The Cocteau Twins' Victorialand. The Twins are a band I've heard mentioned a lot and have always been meaning to get around to listening to them. I finally did and I really enjoyed the album. It's very ethereal, a less rocky predecessor of Sigur Ros. It's one of those bands with a really unique sound, perfect for a film soundtrack. I also listened to Justin Timberlake's Future Sex/Love Sounds, an album that's really successful, if a bit long on the first listen. The album is so now, with a great dirty electronic vibe. Timbaland's production is fantastic and I think he and Justin succeed in pushing him beyond the territory of Justified. A lot of rock bands never get beyond making the same album over and over again, and I'm glad to see Justin experimenting and pushing things a bit.
Not Yet Rated
Last week saw the release of the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated, which has drawn a lot of attention to the MPAA ratings system. I actually don't have a major problem with the ratings system, the issue I've got, that isn't mentioned in any of these articles, is the fact that the NC-17 rating just isn't commerically viable. The whole point of the rating was to try to separate artistic films with explicit content from pornography, yet, because so many people won't advertise/show the films, the NC-17 just isn't commercially viable. Rather than trying to change the MPAA, I think the best idea would be to force theaters to show NC-17s, and make it like the X originally was, back when Midnight Cowboy, an X rated film, was able to win the best picture Oscar. How can this be done? Well, a lot of it goes back to America's puritanical morality, and there's an implication that you shouldn't be watching NC-17s. But, if a studio put out a legitimately good film, that also had popular appeal, with an NC-17, perhaps an audience would show up. Personally, I'd love for the rating to catch on so I don't have to deal with kids at screenings. A major issue is the fact that studios always target kids, so the NC-17 can be market death.
Grant Morrison Quote
I was reading this fairly recent interview with Grant Morrison, fascinating as always. Anyway, the interview has a quote that I love:
And think about the emotional experience of reading comics. Nothing but ink on paper , right ? Yet people fall in love with Jean Grey and threaten to commit murder in her name! People cry when Ted Kord gets shot dead! As we all know, inert drawings and words on a page can produce an absorbing, often addictive, unfolding illusion of life, movement and even personality but surely the reader's 'experience' of the 'story' in a comic is actually a hologram - a virtual reality generated by the overlapping of multiple human consciousnesses - 'creator' consciousness interfacing with 'audience' consciousness through the medium of print.
This touches on a lot of the themes that I got out of his work back in 2003 after I read The Invisibles, the idea that fiction is just as real, if not more so, than our so called reality, because it can create actual emotional responses in people. I love that Morrison is thinking so much about the very nature of the medium, you just don't see this sort of examination in film, and where it is, it's bogged down in Academic babble. Morrison has ruined college for me in some respects because his pop! philosophy puts academic writing to shame. The Invisibles not only tells you about the nature of the universe, it also tells a great story. You're not going to get that from a traditional philosophical text.
Rome and Rescue Me
I recently watched the first episode of these two series. Rome was pretty good, certainly the production values were amazing, but it suffered from the same problems as a lot of period pieces, namely a lack of relatability to the characters. There was a lot of potential though and I could see this being quite good once they get the cast sorted out. Rescue Me felt very much like a typical 00s cable show pilot. It was really well made and easy to watch with strong character drive right from the start. My major issue was the too cliche dead cousin talking to the main character and the fact that I just don't usually like stuff set in those really macho all male environments. But, I'll give this one some more episodes too. Neither completely grabbed me, but they both feel totally watchable.
Upcoming Dates of Note
9/22 - Science of Sleep Releated
9/24 - The Flaming Lips at Hammerstein
10/8 - Inland Empire at NYFF
10/20 - Marie Antoinette Released
10/25 - Seven Soldiers #1 Released
11/22 - The Fountain Released