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- The film was two and a half hours long, which is roughly the time it took me to get through the source material, Jon Krakaeur's book.
- Emile Hirsch is great in this film. Also, it was nice to see Zach Galifianakis say "vuh-jiiiii-na" in a funny voice.
- The guy who has a brief appearance, talking about how love is so great when Tracy and Chris go for a walk - he completely reminded me of Blaise Bailey Finnegan III, only the complete opposite. I hope that makes sense to anyone.
- I could've done with less Eddie Vedder.
- The cinematography was great - so many breathtaking nature shots.
- The primary problem I had with the film was that it was really long and at times really slow moving.
- Sean Penn's screenplay veered away from the original [see how] and his interpretation was, as you'd expect, a lot more idealistic and sympathetic toward the main character. I didn't feel a lot of warmness toward him in the book, and the film tended to gloss over a lot of his pretty annoying and unattractive habits.
- Verdict: Maybe I'd have liked it more without having read the book. The pacing and the tone didn't sit too well with me, but the views and the great performances made up for it. Definitely worth a Netflixin'.
- Playing a gig in London? Why not invite The Queen? Good enough for Mr. E. [NME Blog]
- Still very excited for 'Searching for the Hows and Whys', and to that end, Sam has gotten all 21st century, with a video podcast. [Get Cape Wear Cape Fly @ YouTube]
- I usually don't care for novelty covers, but Final Fantasy's take on Celine Dion's 'Power of Love' is better than you'd think. [iGiF]
- Finally! An chance to get into The Kinks. [AV Club]
- British Sea Power are coming to Florida! Three whole dates! Here's a brief review of their new album 'Do You Like Rock Music?': It's ace. Here's a slightly longer review: It's not as manic as they used to be, and some people are turned off by this. But I really dig the dynamics and the anthemics, particularly on the album's first half. The video for 'No Lucifer' is puppetry genius. I'll see you at Jack Rabbits. [Pitchfork]
- Steve Coogan's new film is apparently very good. [AiCN - contains spoilers?]
- Guillemots did 'Get Over It' on Jonathan Ross. It's not as mental as 'Kriss Kross', but they get points for use of the word "dram". [Youtube]
- Apparently, we're guilty of over-analyzing Girls Aloud. Wait, what? [Guardian Unlimited]
- It's President's Day here in the U.S. Make your Chester A. Arthritis jokes... now.
- I'd love to see Janusz Kaminski win on Sunday for the incredible cinematography in 'The Diving Bell and the Butterfly', but he probably won't. [Oscar.com]
- I meant to post this earlier, but how's this for a newspaper headline? [Why That's Delightful!]
- Q Magazine and HMV combine to determine the best British albums of all time and of course it's rubbish. Menswe@r are nowhere to be found! [Telegraph]
- Finally, here's my new purchase that's going to make Biology exams a lot easier. [Shirt Woot!]
I call it "the big music" and that encapsulates it pretty well. Songs that just sound huge - witness Black Dollar Bills or Sister Sneaker Soul or No Danger or the recently mentioned BlindBlindBlind or anything by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Music where a finite number of people are making an immense wall of sound that sounds like it's a hundred people playing for their lives.
Edinburgh's Broken Records aren't necessarily in such illustrious company just yet, but judging last year's self titled EP, it won't be long. 'A Good Reason' races through about ten minutes' worth of directions in four minutes, while 'Slow Parade' is more gentle and has plinky-plinky (it's a musical term) pianos and important sounding strings. Listen at their myspace. It's always nice to see Edinburgh pull one back in the battle with Glasgow, and hopefully in the future you'll hear Broken Records again and again.
(Again and again? Broken records? Because they keep... oh, forget it).
[download Broken Records - Slow Parade]
I was in a bad mood for much of this past week. It was my birthday last weekend and as someone to whom friendship means an awful lot, I was really saddened that only ONE of my close friends bothered to give me a call. Don't get me wrong, I spent most of the day with my family and core gang of law schoolers, so I wasn't exactly sitting at home moping. But having spent four years establishing a pretty tight network of friends at college, and then being forgotten by just about all of them certainly stung, especially since I'm always the loser that calls to wish everyone on their birthdays.
Then the weekend came by and I did two things which really cheered me up. Firstly, we hired a room at a karaoke bar for two hours, drank a whole of soju and sang like mothers. My particular moments of glory? Gangster's Paradise, Cum on Feel the Noize, 2+2=5 (bad idea, it's fucked up my throat), and our rousing finale, Gay Bar. [Incidentally, they had 'Monday Morning 5:19' by Rialto as a programmed song there - how weird is that?]
More importantly, on Sunday, I saw The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, a film which was pretty much sensational and left me floored and dizzy. Not literally, of course, that would be bad. For a film about a man with "locked-in syndrome", a form of complete bodily paralysis, it wasn't ever depressing, but instead had an incredible sense of beauty, optimism, hope and love. Not getting some phone calls suddenly didn't matter one bit. There was no sugar coating anything, from the early shot of an eye getting stitched shut, to the wrenching scene later on when the main character's elderly father talks to his son over the phone, it was intense. But incredibly there are some moments that are actually pretty funny. Schnabel's background as an artist came through with his presentation, which was dazzling, disorienting (especially the first scene) and featured some gorgeous angles, colours and close-ups. The score didn't get in the way, and even the brief appearance of Lenny Kravitz didn't tarnish anything. If I'm struggling to get this across coherently, it's really because I can't.
No film has moved me this much all year. It's made me think of 'Blindblindblind', the final song on the new record from A Silver Mt. Zion. The song ends with a huge singalong of the phrase "Some! Hearts! Are! True!" over and over again, and it's a work of real purity, honesty and beauty that in my mind, makes it a good companion piece for the year's most powerful film. Go and see 'Diving Bell' today.
[download A Silver Mt. Zion - BlindBlindBlind (live)]
No, I wasn't kidnapped, but thanks for asking, Jim.
To be honest, I've spent most of the last week or so in a cave, listening to this new Guillemots song repeatedly. I've gotta say, I can't wait for their new record, 'Red', to be released, because apparently it's simpler and yet more mental than the much-loved by me 'Through the Windowpane'.
'Kriss Kross' is absolutely fucking immense. Pounding violin plucking plus electric bass excess into shouting and a power-chorus, all before a final third that's blissful and pretty yet about people dying.
To help get me fired up for big 'Red', DiS has both an interview with the band, and a track-by-track discussion from the band. The fact that one track is described as "The Bollywood discotheque that [drummer] Greig visits each night when he's asleep" makes me want to get into my time machine and fly.
[download Guillemots - Kriss Kross]
[Guillemots - official site / myspace]
- "Cut down in their prime,
- In silence, on that day,
- February 58, they got what they need,
- From Belgrade and back home to sleep"
[download The Futureheads - News and Tributes]
[download Morrissey - Munich Air Disaster, 1958]
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