Thursday, May 28, 2009

Coming Distractions June 2nd, 2009

These new releases are dedicated to the Tom Tom Club:

He's Just Not That Into You
Revolutionary Road
Weeds - 4th Season
Spring Breakdown

You are most likely aware that David Byrne is coming to Shelburne Museum June 1st, to play not only songs from the David Byrne/Brian Eno album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, but also songs from any of the Eno-produced Talking Heads albums (More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light).

So today, we take a little stroll through some related video forays. That way, if you're going to the show you can get pumped here, or if you're not, (like me) you can get an internet fix instead. (But don't feel too bad for me - I did get to see him in Boston back in October...)

Of course, we have the (best ever!) concert DVD Stop Making Sense (directed by Jonathan Demme, of Rachel Getting Married, and also Silence of the Lambs). Here's Byrne interviewing Byrne as a bunch of not-Byrnes.

We also have 2 David Byrne concert DVDS, Live at Union Chapel and Live from Austin. Each contains a rousing (and unironic) rendition Whitney Houston's "Wanna Dance With Somebody".

We will happily rent to you, True Stories, written/directed/scored/narrated by Byrne, about a fictional, and very plucky, small-town in Texas.

Or the documentary Îlé Aiyé (The House of Life), about a spirit cult of Brazil.

He also did the scores for Big Love, The Last Emperor, Young Adam, and Married to the Mob.

In the next video clip, if you can sit through 5-minutes of Patton Oswalt making faces (or you could just fast-forward, I suppose...) you will be treated to Byrne's version of my favorite ode to liquor, "There Stands the Glass" (originally by Webb Pierce).

We also have Brian Eno's DVD 14 Video Paintings. Though it's got pretty static imagery, you do get to select whether you want the images vertical or horizontal.

After the show, I'll be sure to check Byrne's online journal to see what he's got to say about our little village. Here is the man next to one of the bike racks he designed. If you go, enjoy the dancers, and especially the office chairs!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Coming Distractions May 26th, 2009

New in Town
The Sky Crawlers
Powder Blue
The Devil's Tomb
24 - 7th Season
The Princess of Nebraska/a Thousand Years of Good Prayers

As Tolstoy begins Anna Karenina, "Happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." After browsing and watching The Ross Sisters' amazing feats of dexterity I felt the need to gather a list of all the absorbingly awkward family movies. The list was so long, and so uncomfortable, I had to break it up into three rough categories.

What fresh hell is this?: Awkward Couples
War of the Roses
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
The Staircase
The Squid & The Whale
Breaking the Waves

Families that are too close for comfort
The Celebration
Savage Grace
Cement Garden
Twin Peaks
Spanking the Monkey
Hotel New Hampshire
The War Zone

Sometimes it's just easier to give a kid away: General Dysfunction
Arrested Development
American Beauty
What Have I Done to Deserve This?
Home for the Holidays
The Lion in Winter
Capturing the Friedmans
The Ice Storm
The Ref
Any Tennessee Williams Adaptation

It's so interesting how we humans are so often wont to treat those closest to us the worst. Either these movies can help us steer clear of that particular tendency, or just make us feel better that we're not that dysfunctional (I hope...)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Coming Distractions May 19th, 2009

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Crips and Bloods: Made in America

True Blood - 1st Season
Friday Night Lights - 3rd Season
Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts
Russell Brand in New York
My Bloody Valentine

What's up the similarities between the poster for Alan Ball's new show (see above) and the upcoming Diable Cody/Megan Fox (that lil genius) film Jennifer's Body?

Next, and most urgently: Fridgewatcher!

We finally have Helvetica (and yeah, that's arial, but it's blogspot and a pc and all, plus I didn't want to contribute to the conflict in Iraq). It's amazing that an 80 minute film can be made on a font and still really work. It's also amazing the level of quality of digital film these days. (I'm assuming this was shot on a digital camera) I really wish David Lynch had been aware of these amazing technological advances.

An interesting side effect of watching the film is that afterwards you can't stop noticing the fonts that are everywhere. A little Sans-serif here, a little serif there. Burlington does not seem to be as Helvetica-ized as many larger cities. In an effort to start noticing the words again, and not just the typeface in which they are written, I recommend indulging in some other word-related documentaries. Such as:

Word Wars: Highly overlooked documentary on scrabble, with some bizarre characters/real people that rival any other film on unusual obsessions (such as King of Kong.) Really, really recommend it.

Wordplay: about crosswords, with such interviewees as Will Shortz, John Stewart, and Bill Clinton.

Spellbound: widely beloved doc about the drama of spelling bees.

Then there are some single word documentaries, such as Fuck or The N Word. Am I missing others?

Now please enjoy this trailer for Debbie Gibson's new film, Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus or some Romanian pop music.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Coming Distractions May 12th, 2009

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Personal Effects
MI-5 - 3rd Season
S. Darko

Firstly, I just want to warn you that though Taken is rated PG-13, it certainly shouldn't be. What's up with our concept of ratings? It's OK to show 13-year-olds copious violence (as long as there isn't any blood) in movies about girls being kidnapped and sold into prostitution, but you can't have a character just casually mention that they would really love to f**k someone else (and of their own free will!) ??

Secondly, S. Darko. A sequel that never should have been made? At least they replaced all those excellent actors in Donnie Darko with Elizabeth Berkley and that guy from Gossip Girl. This new release got a couple of us at the video store pondering other possibly unnecessary sequels. Do you lovely readers agree with this list?

American Psycho II - All-American Girl: Mila Kunis stars as a young woman inspired to purge the world of evil serial killers after her babysitter has an unfortunate run-in with Patrick Bateman, until she finds she just can't stop herself... Angrier. Deadlier. Sexier.

Speed 2 - Cruise Control: Who wants Bullock without Reeves? Psssshawww...

Basic Instinct 2 - Ten years later, and no one is really lining up to see Sharon Stone's lady bits anymore. Hollywood needs to understand the small window of time in which these things are viable.

All the Saw movies.

2nd Matrix movie, though I do, of course, love my gratuitous mud dance orgies.

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers - Despite recruiting Pamela Springsteen (Bruce's sister), the gender-bending original really couldn't be topped. Though this sequel does have an especially gag-worthy death-by-outhouse scene...

War, Inc.

Cruel Intentions 2: does it count as a sequel if you duplicate scenes from the original exactly, but slap on a few extra naked boobies for variety? I guess I shouldn't question that #2 in the title. Come, see Amy Adams attempt to live up to Sarah Michelle Gellar's legacy! Or just go watch Dangerous Liaisons. It's really a very personal decision.

I won't even start talking about unfortunate remakes, such as The Story of Bonnie and Clyde due out next year with Hilary Duff replacing Faye Dunaway and Kevin Zegers (of Its a Boy/Girl Thing!) as Clyde...

Got any to add, or have I just worn you out with all my kvetching?