Thursday, September 13
And there's music.
If there is an argument for the "perfectionized medium" -- and film is it -- then where does music rank? Well, firstly, I'm not going to really answer that question (yet) or concede that it is inevitably inferior to film -- or books -- simply because I'm still attempting to rid myself of dogmas that have risen from not keeping up with music for the last 1-2 years. It seems harmless, sure, but I've been sort of conditioned by the recent output to be a cliched naysayer despite the distinct fact that when I was in a "music phase"...I really liked modern music. Part of it was the fact that the intricate syncopations, Neptunesque hyper-production, and synthesized^78 vocals actually are being readily appreciated by the mainstream. There's always a quick write-off about contemporary music by simply saying, "Well, I just miss the great music of the 60s...heck, the 90s" without actually perceiving that a lot of that really great stuff was properly retrospected over time instead of actually being appreciated--for its inherent worth. In other words, the numerous deconstructions of Beatles song structures or Morrison lyrical composites weren't as quickly congested, dialed up, and matter-of-factly recognized by the general public of its time. They understood that something great was going on, but they didn't know what. Flash forward to 2007, and you've got a sense of incapability from scrutiny, an exponentially observed sense of not only "now" but "what's next". Listening to something like "Sexy Back" amidst all the hoopla, you've got to really give it to Timberlake's collaboration team for actually pushing the envelope on how dense everything is -- even if you really hate "Sexy Back" (like me). And its not only the internal properties of music, but how it is externally distributed. Living in a city like Austin has allowed me to observe a few tragic/impressive principles/concepts about the state of modern music:
1. The past is both unfairly worshiped and misguidedly underrepresented.
2. Modern indie rock is not objectively better than popular music. In fact, I bet more individuals can make a case for its inferiority. We're in a state of post-scene, which makes us actually "behind the times" instead of in front of it like we want to be. (Rehashed Gang of Four melodies (see Britian's post-punk scene catching up to the U.S.) and New Wave grooves/ philosophies only prove this)
3. The massive access of music through the internet tragically has led two music scenes (independent/pop) in two directions instead of working as one. But ultimately (and paradoxically) they ultimately will coincide.
These are fairly vague and will be further explored through further posts on this blog as time permits. I'm going to start out my next entry by listing my favorite songs/artists of this decade and all time.
"Play It As It Lays ironically supports conservative values by showing their utter absence in the characters' lives. We see a Hollywood society with no sense of history, of the links between then and now, and we watch this world disintegrate into suicide, abortion, sexual promiscuity, divorce, and neurotic lethargy: into nada....Maria and the other characters are cut loose from the bonds and values associated with the family, and by extension, from any sense of continuity with the past." (Brady 53)8/10 (2nd viewing)
Tuesday, September 11
Shindler’s List (Steven Spielberg)
Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam)
Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola)
Shichinin no samurai (Akira Kurosawa)
Buono, il brutto, il cattivo (Sergio Leone)
Eternal Sunshinge of the Spotless Mind (Micel Gondry)
Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese)
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson)
Everything Is Illuminated (Lieve Schreiber)
Russikiy kovcheg (Aleksandr Sokurov)
Sjunde inseglet, Det (Ingmar Bergman)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron)
Spaceballs (Mel Brooks)
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (Sam Jones)
Cidade de Deus (Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund)
Lord of The Rings: The
The Truman Show (Peter Weir)
Un long dimanche de fiancailles (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)
Saturday, September 1
Great article about the debasement/ascension (?) of modern film--> Here
David Bordwell proving once again that he is one of the least pretentious individuals in film criticism--> Here
That guy who has the coolest last name discussing Roger Ebert, monsters with eyes in their hands, and the underrated nature of Ebert's pre-I-own-the-AMPAS film enthusiasm--> Here
Fairly straightforward look at the general theories of Artaud--> Here
Overview of Renoir Boudu and how he really perfectionized the long-take--up to that point. Cool site, too--> Here
I'm sort of at a stalemate with my Inland Empire analysis, but I've got a good one on the way comparing My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies, discussing how each film takes a "quiet" approach to spirituality/wonderment and how tragedy evolves in each.
Just for fun:
Album of the Week: Animal Collective "Sung Tongs"
Movie of the Week: Tokyo Ga
Song of the Week: "Message of Love" - The Pretenders
Book of the Week: Pledged - Alexandra Robbins
Obsessions of the Week - 'The Office', Amy Adams, and college football
Quote of the Week: "A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Groucho Marx