Malajube – Labyrinthes (2009)


Malajube are an indie rock band from Montréal, Québec. They sing in French and have two albums out on Dare to Care Records. Their song “Montreal -40° C” was featured in a Rogers Wireless commercial, and Ton Plat Favori was in a Zellers commercial. The group made itself known in 2004 with the release of its first album, “Le Compte Complet.” Critics welcomed the disc with positive reviews, which allowed the group to become instantly famous in the Québécois music scene. Several of its songs, such as “Le Métronome” and “La Valérie,” were prominent mainstays on several Québec radio stations. For the production of the album, the group turned to Martin Pelland from fellow Montreal band The Dears.

In the months that followed the release of their first album, Malajube launched a tour across Québec, participating in several major festivals, such as Les FrancoFolies de Montréal.

In February 2006, the quartet released its sophomore album, Trompe-l’œil, which also received a warm welcome on the part of Québec media. Collaborations with singer Pierre Lapointe, Québecois rap group Loco Locass, and the use of a wide variety of instruments has contributed to the album’s success. Trompe-l’œil also began to attract attention in English Canada in July, when it was shortlisted for the inaugural Polaris Music Prize, and in the United States in October, when it was a featured review on Pitchfork Media. In 2006, they won three Félix Award at the 28th edition of the Gala de l’ADISQ: two for Trompe-l’œil, “Best alternative album” and “Best cover art” while they were proclaimed “Revelation of the year 2006”.

This is their 3rd album and will be released on February 17, 2009

The Rock Laureate (The New York Times)

February 1, 2009


AT 9 o’clock on a recent morning Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band were already half an hour into a rehearsal at the rock club Terminal 5 in Manhattan. As N.F.L. executives and a television production team watched, they were tightening their miniset of four songs — dropping verses, streamlining segues — to fit their 12-minute slot as the halftime entertainment Sunday at Super Bowl XLIII, expected to reach tens of millions of viewers.

“My take on the Super Bowl?” Mr. Springsteen said after rehearsal. “Fundamentally it’s a 12-minute party.”

Few musicians anywhere consummate symbolic occasions and mass events better than Mr. Springsteen. He’s used to working on a stadium scale, and for decades his concerts have been nonstop singalongs that perfectly embody the yearning for community in his lyrics. In an era when pop hits can be as ephemeral as a deleted MP3 file, Mr. Springsteen has spent much of his career laboring to write durable songs about American dreams, from “Born to Run” to “Promised Land.”

While his latest seven-album contract with Columbia Records is worth a reported $110 million, he still comes across as a working-class guy from New Jersey, invoking a compassionate populism as he sings about jobs, families and everyday life and savors the company of his longtime buddies in the E Street Band. He has the gravitas to lead off an inaugural concert and the gusto to rock the Super Bowl. In between he released a new studio album, “Working on a Dream.”

Mr. Springsteen still reaches for big, symbolic statements and gets called on to make them. “Those moments are opportunities for a very heightened kind of communication,” he said.

Two weeks ago, in another nationwide telecast, he took up his longtime role as a voice of America at “We Are One,” the all-star opening ceremony and concert for President Obama’s inauguration, before hundreds of thousands of people at the Lincoln Memorial and millions on television and online. Mr. Springsteen and a choir sang “The Rising,” a song about sacrifice and redemption on Sept. 11.

At a New York City Obama fund-raiser in October that Mr. Springsteen attended, Mr. Obama said, “The reason I’m running for president is because I can’t be Bruce Springsteen.” Mr. Springsteen played “The Rising” at campaign events in battleground states, including a rally in Cleveland two days before the election.

“Once you start doing that kind of writing, it feeds off itself,” Mr. Springsteen said. “You write ‘The Rising’ for this, it gets picked up and used for that, so you end up here. If someone had told me in 2001 that ‘you’re going to sing this song at the inaugural concert for the first African-American president,’ I’d have said, ‘Huh?’ ” He laughed.

“But eight years go by, and that’s where you find yourself. You’re in there, you’re swimming in the current of history and your music is doing the same thing.”

He continued: “A lot of the core of our songs is the American idea: What is it? What does it mean? ‘Promised Land,’ ‘Badlands,’ I’ve seen people singing those songs back to me all over the world. I’d seen that country on a grass-roots level through the ’80s, since I was a teenager. And I met people who were always working toward the country being that kind of place. But on a national level it always seemed very far away.

“And so on election night it showed its face, for maybe, probably, one of the first times in my adult life,” he said. “I sat there on the couch, and my jaw dropped, and I went, ‘Oh my God, it exists.’ Not just dreaming it. It exists, it’s there, and if this much of it is there, the rest of it’s there. Let’s go get that. Let’s go get it. Just that is enough to keep you going for the rest of your life. All the songs you wrote are a little truer today than they were a month or two ago.”

Charles Coplin, vice president for programming at N.F.L. Television, said Mr. Springsteen had been “at the very top of our list” ever since the N.F.L. began programming its own halftime shows after the 2004 Janet Jackson brouhaha.

“Why were we so persistent?” he said. “Because we felt that his music, and just as important his performance, was everything we were looking for. He has the ability to perform on a grand stage, to be improvisational, and he has a tremendous catalog of music that is appreciated by so many people.”

Party or not, Mr. Springsteen has thought through his Super Bowl set meticulously. “It was very challenging to try and get that exact 12 minutes. I found that in a funny way it was very freeing. O.K., these are your boundaries, so put everything that you have into just this box,” he said. “If you do it right, you should feel the tension of it wanting to spread beyond that time frame. But it can’t.”

The Super Bowl performance follows the release of “Working on a Dream” on Tuesday, less than 14 months after “Magic” in 2007. Mr. Springsteen hasn’t made studio albums so quickly since he released both of his first two albums during 1973.

Even more than “Magic,” the new album represents a sea change in Mr. Springsteen’s music. After the elaborate, tortured production of “Born to Run,” back in 1975, Mr. Springsteen went through a “reactive” phase that lasted more than two decades, building his songs on the basics of country, blues and folk music, with utilitarian melodies and straightforward, near-live production. He and the producer Brendan O’Brien, who first produced Mr. Springsteen with “The Rising” in 2002, brought some pop embellishments to “Magic.” And “Working on a Dream” follows through.

Encouraged by Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Springsteen wrote five new songs during the week before he did the final mixes of “Magic,” he said. “I realized, I do love those big sweeping melodies and the romanticism, and I haven’t allowed myself much of it in the past,” Mr. Springsteen said. “When you have a little vein you haven’t touched, it’s full.”

“Working on a Dream” often plays like a 1960s anthology: Creedence Clearwater Revival in the title song, the Beach Boys in “This Life,” the Byrds in “Life Itself,” Ben E. King in “Queen of the Supermarket,” psychedelic blues-rock in “Good Eye” and spaghetti-western soundtracks in the eight-minute “Outlaw Pete.” As lush as the music gets, few of the lyrics are fluff; Mr. Springsteen is pondering love and death. The celebratory affection of “My Lucky Day” gives way to songs that recognize the inexorable passage of time. In “Kingdom of Days,” he sings:

With you I don’t hear the minutes ticking by

I don’t feel the hours as they fly

I don’t feel the summer as it wanes

Just a subtle change of light upon your face.

“Pop always brings with it the intimations of forever and immortality,” he said. “There was something so in tune with the universe in their math, and in the way that math was imbued with someone’s hopes, dreams, love, despair, immortal feelings, feelings of death coming around the corner, and then you try to put it all in three minutes. It was very exciting for me, being in this place of my life, to go back to those forms which are filled with that sense of forever and put finiteness in it.”

At 59 Mr. Springsteen is indefatigable. His next American tour starts in April, followed by a summer of European dates. He still regularly plays vigorous three-hour sets. “Onstage I can’t noticeably say I feel any different than I did in 1985,” he said.

The album ends with “The Wrestler,” the somber title track for the Mickey Rourke movie. It won a Golden Globe award for best song but, surprisingly, was not nominated for an Academy Award. The album also includes “The Last Carnival,” an elegy to the founding E Street Band keyboardist, Danny Federici, that Mr. Springsteen wrote for his funeral; Jason Federici plays his father’s accordion. “We’ll be riding the train without you tonight/The train that keeps on moving,” Mr. Springsteen sings.

Yet most of the album strives for the elation of pop. “I wanted hooks, hooks, hooks — things for people to sing, and sound that was going to lift you up,” he said. “I wanted to capture the intensity and the immediacy of passionate love, and then its resonance in and beyond your life. And I wanted it to sound, like, classic: verse, huge chorus, sky-opening-up strings.”

Steve Van Zandt, an E Street Band guitarist, said he was thrilled Mr. Springsteen’s newer songs evoke 1960s pop. “In the past he just ignored that part of his talent, and he’s the most talented pop songwriter,” he said. “In a different era he would have been in the Brill Building.”

With a new album on the way Mr. Springsteen finally accepted the Super Bowl offer. “It was sort of, well, if we don’t do it now, what are we waiting for?” he said. “I want to do it while I’m alive.”

There were other pragmatic considerations. “At my age it is tough to get word of your music out,” Mr. Springsteen said. He has the strange choice, he says, of performing at gigantic events like the Super Bowl or none. “If we weren’t doing these big things, there’s no middle things,” he said. Not that he’s doing too badly; even in a tottering recording business, “Magic” has sold a million copies, while his 2008 world tour grossed $204 million.

He made another promotional deal he now bluntly calls a mistake. On Jan. 13 a $10 collection of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Greatest Hits” — 11 songs from a 1995 hits anthology, as well as “Radio Nowhere” from “Magic” — went on sale exclusively at Wal-Mart. Since Wal-Mart has been accused of anti-union practices by Human Rights Watch, among others, and has paid large fines for violating labor laws, the announcement prompted online criticisms like the one from asroma on the fan site backstreets.com: “Bruce is doing biz with Wal-Mart? Kind of goes against everything he stands for.”

In an interview with Billboard, Mr. Springsteen’s manager, Jon Landau, defended the release, saying Mr. Springsteen’s albums were already in Wal-Mart, which accounts for 15 percent of his sales. He also said: “We’re not doing any advertising for Wal-Mart. We haven’t endorsed Wal-Mart or anybody else. We’re letting Sony do its job.”

But Mr. Springsteen said the decision was made too hastily. “We were in the middle of doing a lot of things, it kind of came down and, really, we didn’t vet it the way we usually do,” he said. “We just dropped the ball on it.” Instead of offering the exclusive collection to Wal-Mart, “given its labor history, it was something that if we’d thought about it a little longer, we’d have done something different.” He added, “It was a mistake. Our batting average is usually very good, but we missed that one. Fans will call you on that stuff, as it should be.”

After more than three decades of shaping American archetypes, Mr. Springsteen sees his career as its own community in the making, shared and constructed with his listeners. “It’s not just my creation at this point, and it hasn’t been really for a long time,” he said. “I wanted it to be our creation. Once you set that in motion, it’s a large community of people gathered around a core set of values.

“Within that there’s a wide range of beliefs, but still you do gather in one tent at a particular moment to have some common experience, and that’s why I go there too.”

At rehearsal he strutted across the stage: testing banter, brandishing his guitar, belting lyrics and jiving with Mr. Van Zandt. As the band finished a run-through, someone holding a timer called out the length of the set. “We’ve got one-sixteenth of a second left,” Mr. Springsteen exulted. “And we plan to use it.”

Pete Doherty - "Last of the English Roses" (mp3)


Everyone’s favorite London bad boy troubadour, Pete Doherty, is planning to release “Last of the English Roses” as the first single from his upcoming Grace/Wasteland solo album. This album, recorded during a month-long session in London’s Olympic Studios with famed producer Stephen Street (who also produced the 2007 UK top 5 Babyshambles album Shotter’s Nation), is set to hit stores on March 24, 2009, courtesy of Astralwerks.

The disc boasts a bevy of English talent, including guitarist Graham Coxon (formerly of Blur), who plays throughout the album; Scottish singer Dot Allison, who co-wrote the duet “Sheepskin Tearaway,” which was also featured on Babyshambles’ live DVD Up the Shambles; and poet Peter “Wolfman” Wolfe, co-writer and guitarist on “Broken Love Song”. Doherty had previously made a guest appearance on Wolfe’s U.K. No. 7 single and Ivor Novello Award-nominated song “For Lovers”. Babyshambles members Mick Whitnall (guitar), Drew McConnell (bass) and Adam Ficek (drums) also collaborate.

A few choice tracks include “Arcadie,” “Through the Looking Glass,” “Salome,” and “1839 Returning.”

Polly Scattergood - s/t (2009)

Polly Scattergood
is a singer songwriter from Essex, England. She has been described as ethereal, dark, intense and quirky.

Her stage name was chosen by her because it means "here today, gone tomorrow" or "spendthrift waster".

Scattergood attended the famed Brit School where she wrote 800 songs. After graduation she caught the attention Daniel Miller the label boss at Mute Records. He led her to her current producer Simon Fisher Turner.

Scattergood describes herself as a storyteller. "I write about emotions and moments, not all are biographical." Scattergood's debut single entitled Glory Hallelujah was released in 2005. Her September 2007 single Nitrogen Pink is about the fragility of life and how quickly things come and go and was written about "a friend of a friend who was really sick from cancer, this young guy who was only 30 and had a great, happy life but was slowly deteriorating"

The single I Hate the Way which was written on a toy keyboard was released on 22 September 2008 on both limited edition 10 inch vinyl and ITunes. The song has been described as documenting her emotional instability and penchant of going to bed with unsuitable men.

On 10 November Scattergood was a guest on the Rob Da Bank show where three of her songs were played. Da Bank called her "The Kate Bush of the 21st century". Later that month she played an acoustic set on the Janice Long show.

February 2009 will see Scattergood playing several clubs and hosting her own club night.

Her debut album will be released 9 March, 2009.

A single from the album Other Too Endless will be released 23 February, 2009. The CD version is backed by Crystal Break. The download version features a remix by Vince Clarke who was a member of Erasure,Yazoo,and Depeche Mode.

On her MySpace Page she lists as influences Cocorosie, David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, Leonard Cohen, Antony & The Johnsons, Portishead, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Dolly Parton, Calexico, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elton John, Björk, Band of Horses, Vampire Weekend, Joni Mitchell and Prince.


Premios del Festival de Rotterdam

During the IFFR 2009 Awards Ceremony on Friday, January 30, 2009 in the Rotterdamse Schouwburg, the winning films of the 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam were announced. The three VPRO Tiger Awards were granted to the Hubert Bals Fund supported film Be Calm and Count to Seven (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar) by Ramtin Lavafipour (Iran), to Breathless (Ddongpari) by Yang Ik-June (South Korea), and to Wrong Rosary (Uzak ihtimal) by Mahmut Fazil Coskun (Turkey). On Saturday January 31st, 2009 the KPN Audience Award and the Dioraphte Award for Best Hubert Bals Fund Supported Film 2009 will be announced.

VPRO Tiger Awards
Fourteen films by first or second filmmakers competed in the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition 2009. The Jury consists visual artist Marlene Dumas (South Africa/The Netherlands), Turkish writer, filmmaker and Jury Chair Yesim Ustaoglu (her Journey To The Sun (1999) and recent Pandora’s Box, both supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, screen in the festival), Mr Park Ki-Yong, Director of the Korean Academy of Arts and Co-Director of the Cinema Digital Seoul Film Festival, Hungarian writer, director and actor Kornél Mundruczó (his Delta screens in the festival) and Kent Jones, Associate Director of Programming Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York.

The jury statements on the VPRO Tiger Award winning films:

Be Calm and Count to Seven (Aram bash va ta haft beshmar) by Ramtin Lavafipour ( Iran , 2008)
(Supported by Hubert Bals Fund)
‘We were extremely impressed by the artistry and vigor of the first film – the level of craft and cinematic intelligence on the one hand, the dedication to rendering the reality of a particular way of life on the other. For us, this film did what all films strive to do: it represented and dramatized a way of life in terms that were at once specific and universal, not to mention unfailingly vivid.’

Be Calm and Count to Seven is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

Breathless (Ddongpari) by Yang Ik-June ( South Korea , 2008)
‘A powerfully rendered and acted film with a keen sense of reality in its portrayal of a situation that has been seldom seen in cinema. We were also surprised to see an extremely troubling subject matter treated with a welcome sense of warmth and humor.’

Wrong Rosary (Uzak ihtimal) by Mahmut Fazil Coskun ( Turkey , 2008)
‘A uniquely creative film of the most eloquent simplicity, a film built from a feeling of immediacy, moment by moment, breath by breath; a film that builds an absolutely unique form of suspense; a film that stays true to itself from beginning to end.’

Each VPRO Tiger Award comes with a prize of Euro 15,000 and guaranteed broadcast by Dutch public television network VPRO.

The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury, consisting of Film producer Shan Donbing ( China ), film journalist Okubo Ken’ichi ( Japan ), and filmmaker Sun Koh ( Singapore ), presented the NETPAC Award to:

The Land (Dadi) by He Jia (China, 2008)
"The jury awards The Land for achieving in cinema what is impossible through any other art form by showing its subjects and the viewers how humanity remains unchanged with the passage of time."

A Special Mention was awarded to:

Agrarian Utopia by Uruphong Raksasad (Thailand, 2009)
"The jury would like to commend the maker of Agrarian Utopia for his bravery, his folly and his determination in showing us his little piece of heaven."

Agrarian Utopia is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

The jury of the international association of film critics FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique), consisted of Leo Soesanto (France, ‘Les Inrockuptibles’, Jury Chair), Dana Linssen ( Netherlands , ‘Filmkrant’), Maya McKechneay ( Austria , ‘Blickpunkt:Film’), Firat Yücel ( Turkey , ‘Altyazi’), Ashok Rane ( India , ‘Sakal’).

The FIPRESCI decided to award the International Critics’ Prize to Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (Babi buta yang ingin terbang) by Edwin (Indonesia, 2008), selected for the the VPRO Tiger Awards Competition of the 2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam.

The Jury statement:
"A brave film, fragmented in a way that each bit is very sharp as an edgy, personal and political statement. As critics, we were most challenged on many levels by this work which kept coming back again and again in our discussions as the song "I Just Called to Say I love You" did infectiously in the film".

Blind Pig Who Wants to Fly (Babi buta yang ingin terbang), supported by the Hubert Bals Fund, was selected for CineMart 2008.

KNF Award
The jury of the KNF, the Association of Dutch film critics, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam consisting of jury president Ronald Rovers (‘Filmkrant’, The Netherlands), Jann Ruyters (‘Trouw’, The Netherlands), Leo Bankersen (‘Filmkrant’, The Netherlands), Berend-Jan Bockting (‘VPRO Gids’, The Netherlands), and Sven Gerrets (‘Oor’, The Netherlands).

The KNF Jury has chosen its winner among films in Rotterdam 2009 official selection that have not yet been acquired for Dutch distribution. To the KNF Award, a grant is attached for subtitling the film, sponsored by Holland Subtitling. The Award of the KNF is meant to promote the acquisition for distribution within The Netherlands.

The winner of the KNF Award is Tony Manero by Pablo Larraín (Chile/Brazil, 2008). The Jury stated:
The young director of this film dared to take one of cinema's most beloved icons to tell a grim and subversive story about the nature of dictatorship. He delivers his message with a beautiful deadpan expression in the form of a middle aged psychopath on his quest to become the leading John Travolta impersonator on a nineteen seventies tv-show, thereby providing a mirror for ruthless authoritarianism.

Tony Manero is supported by the Hubert Bals Fund.

Earlier in the festival, the following awards were announced:

Tiger Awards Competition for short film
The three Tiger Awards for Short Film were granted to A Necessary Music by Beatrice Gibson (UK), Despair (Otchajanie) by Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorov ( Russia ) and Bernadette by Duncan Campbell (UK).

The jury for Tiger Awards for Short Film comprised Malaysian writer and director Tan Chui Mui (her seven recent short films screen in the festival), Maria Pallier, buyer and programme maker for the Spanish broadcasting company TVE, and the British journalist, curator and artist George Clark.

MovieSquad Award
The Rotterdam young people’s jury, consisting of Ms. Charlotte Eskens (16), Ms. Katinka Nauta (17), Mr. Alain Tjiong (17), Mr. David Hofland (15) and Ms. Thecla Baas (18) chose the winner out of twenty films in official Rotterdam 2009 selection. The award comprises Dutch distribution within the MovieZone educational film programme for young people and 2,000 Euro to be spent on its promotion among young people in The Netherlands.

The jury presented the MovieSquad Award to Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan ( United Kingdom , 2008).

MovieSquad is an initiative of the Nederlands Instituut voor Filmeducatie (Dutch Institute for Film Education) in collaboration with the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Arte France Cinéma Awards
The Arte France Cinema Award (10,000 Euro) for the best CineMart 2009 Projects was given given to Him by Lance Weiler, a production of Seize The Media (USA).

The Arte France Cinema Awards Jury 2008 consisted of Michel Reilhac (France, General Manager Arte France Cinéma).

The Arte France Cinéma Awards are in cash, given to the producers towards financing the development of the awarded projects. By introducing the Award, Arte France Cinéma and CineMart aim to further support and promote the development and production of independent filmmaking.

Prince Claus Fund Film Grant
The ninth Prince Claus Fund Film Grant of 15,000 Euro has been awarded to the CineMart 2009 Project Birdie (Shuvuukhai) by Byamba Sakhya ( Mongolia ). The Grant was announced during the CineMart Closing Night Party on January 28, 2009.

The Jury of the 2009 Prince Claus Fund Film Grant consisted of: jury chair Karim Traïdia (Algeria / Netherlands), filmmaker and a member of the Prince Claus Fund Board and jury members Harutyun Khachatryan (Armenia), filmmaker and Prince Claus Laureate 2007; Alicia Scherson (Chile), filmmaker; Monique Hendrickx (Netherlands), actress; and René Mioch (Netherlands), film critic and producer.

The Prince Claus Fund Film Grant is annually awarded in cooperation with CineMart to support the very first creative phase of the development of a film production. Every year, the Film Grant is presented to a CineMart project by a filmmaker from Africa, Asia, Latin America or the Caribbean , and selected for its excellent concept and innovative quality by an international expert jury.

N.A.S.A. - Spirit Of Apollo (2009)

N.A.S.A is an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados, Squeak E. Clean ad DJ Zegon, and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes. While N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America and contains a number of superstar artists from both coasts of the US, it is about as far from a tension-building geographical showdown as a record can get. Rather, their Anti debut The Spirit of Apollo was born with the righteous goal of bringing people together through music and art, and that is exactly what masterminds Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) and Ze Gonzales (DJ Zegon) have done. Brazilian funk provides the roots of the songs and binds them together into a cohesive whole, but from there, the imagination behind The Spirit of Apollo ranges far and wide. Unexpected collaborations abound on the eighteen track release. Tom Waits growls over Kool Keith, Karen O taunts while Ol’ Dirty Bastard gives shout-outs to Wu Tang and N.A.S.A from the grave, and David Byrne, Chuck D and others expound on the evils of “Money.” In spite of the range of performers, the pairings seem organic, inspired and make perfect sense on the first listen, never coming off as ironic or impulsive..

Laura Marling - The London Town EP (2008)

The Curious Case of Forrest Gump


I Was A King - I Was A King (2009)


The man who would be king is Rudyard Kipling’s story of a man who is brought down by his megalomania. From Norway comes an opposite story: I was a king is a band that demonstrates just how brilliant music can be made if one is a little easygoing about it. The band’s eponymous long-play debut is this winter’s most anticipated and hyped release. Judging by the critics the album is no less than a pop miracle. Out now (12. Jan) the record is already characterised as one of 2009’s milestones.


Actualidad del cine japonés: Tres films inéditos en Argentina

El Complejo Teatral de Buenos Aires y la Fundación Cinemateca Argentina , en colaboración con el Centro Cultural e Informativo de la Embajada del Japón, han organizado un ciclo denominado Actualidad del cine japonés, tres films inéditos en Argentina, que se llevará a cabo del jueves 29 de enero al lunes 2 de febrero en la Sala Leopoldo Lugones del Teatro San Martín (Avda. Corrientes 1530)

La muestra estará integrada por tres films de la más reciente producción nipona, grandes éxitos de público en su país de origen que nunca han sido exhibidos en nuestro país. Entre ellos, se destaca el último largometraje de Yoji Yamada, director de la extensa saga de Tora-san (muy popular en Japón ), quien cierra su reciente trilogía de films de samurais con El amor y el honor. Se verán copias nuevas en fílmico, enviadas especialmente desde Tokio por The Japan Foundation.

La agenda completa del ciclo es la siguiente:

Jueves 29

Always – Atardecer en la Calle 3 (2005)

Dirección: Takashi Yamazaki.

A las 14.30, 18 y 21 horas ( 133’ ; 16mm.)

Viernes 30

La chica que saltaba en el tiempo (2006)

Dirección: Mamoru Hosoda.

A las 14.30, 17, 19.30 y 22 horas
( 98’ ; 16mm.)

Sábado 31 y domingo 1

El amor y el honor (2006)

Dirección: Yoji Yamada

A las 14.30, 18 y 21 horas (121'; 16mm)

Lunes 2

El amor y el honor (2006)

A las 14.30 y 18 horas (121'; 16mm)

Boozoo Bajou - Grains (2009)


Nuernberg based DJ Producer duo Boozoo Bajou is famous for his dubby soul and jazz influenced sound. However, his latest album ‘Grains’ is pretty different to his previous work. It is more of a consequential development, as it detaches from the familiar lounge music and moves more towards acid-folk / singer songwriting.

While tracks like 'Kinder Ohne Strom' remind me of a godforsaken landscape from an old western movie, 'Tonschraube'’s and 'Big Nicks'’ setting could be in a smoky bar somewhere in New York. The highlight on Grains is definitively the fragile, but at the same time hopeful voice on ‘Same Sun‘ and ‘Messengers‘ which belongs to the upcoming British singer songwriter Rumer.

All in all the album creates a slightly melancholic atmosphere, by combining acoustic folk and classic songwriting with modern elecronica, blues, jazz and dub elements. A nice piece to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea and a novel.

Grains appears on February 22, 2009 on !K7 Records

Singer-songwriter John Martyn dies, aged 60 (The Guardian)

The singer-songwriter John Martyn has died aged 60.

Known for musical marriage of folk and jazz, Martyn was one of the most distinctive and prolific artists of his generation. His most successful album was 1973's Solid Air, the title song of which was said to be in tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake, with whom Martyn was often compared.

His career spanned four decades and he worked with numerous high-profile musicians, including Eric Clapton, David Gilmour and Phil Collins. He also worked extensively with his former wife Beverley Martyn.

For much of his career, Martyn enjoyed a lifestyle of typical rock'n'roll excess and later struggled with alcoholism. He once told Q Magazine: "If I could control myself more, I think the music would be much less interesting. I'd probably be a great deal richer but I'd have had far less fun and I'd be making really dull music." In 2003 his right leg was partially amputated after a large cyst under his knee burst, leading him to spend his latter years in a wheelchair.

Martyn was awarded an OBE in the 2009 New Year honours list.

A statement posted on his website today reads: "With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning." The cause of death has not yet been confirmed.


MALBA: Programación de febrero

"Aniceto", de Leonardo Favio (2008)

  1. Humor en la tarde

Durante todo el mes.


  1. Caja cerrada (Argentina, España, 2008), de Martín Solá

Jueves y viernes a las 20:00.


  1. Cine bizarro y fantástico hispano-argentino: entre dos siglos

Jueves 12 a las 20:00.

Programa de trasnoche: Jueves 12, viernes 13 y sábado 14 a las 00:00.


  1. Música en la noche

Jueves, viernes y sábados a las 00:00.


  1. Historias extraordinarias (Argentina, 2008), de Mariano Llinás

Domingos a las 19:00.

El film tiene una duración de cuatro horas y se proyecta con dos intervalos de 10 minutos.


  1. Süden (Argentina, 2008), de Gastón Solnicki

Viernes y sábados a las 22:00.


  1. Norma Arrostito, la Gaby (Argentina, 2008), de Cesar D’Angiolillo

Sábados a las 18:00 y domingos a las 17:00.


  1. Aniceto (Argentina, 2008), de Leonardo Favio

Sábados a las 20:00.

9. Grilla de programación


14:00 Woody Allen: ¿Qué pasa Tiger Lily?, de Woody Allen

16:00 Woody Allen: Annie Hall, de Woody Allen

18:00 Woody Allen: Días de radio, de Woody Allen

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Ladrones de medio pelo, de Woody Allen

00:00 Anochecer de un día agitado, de Richard Lester


14:00 Enrique Serrano: Los martes, orquídeas, de Francisco Mujica

16:00 Enrique Serrano: Novio, marido y amante, de Mario C. Lugones

18:00 Enrique Serrano: Don Fulgencio, de Enrique Cahen Salaberry

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Submarino amarillo, de George Dunning


14:00 Charles Chaplin: Cortos

16:00 Charles Chaplin: El pibe, de Charles Chaplin + MV

18:00 Norma Arrostito, La Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

20:00 Aniceto, de Leonardo Favio

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Quadrophenia, de Frank Roddam


14:30 Max Linder: Cortos

16:00 Max Linder: Los tres mosquiteros, de Max Linder

17:00 Norma Arrostito, La Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

19:00 Historias extraordinarias, de Mariano Llinás


14:00 Howard Hawks: Ayuno de amor, de Howard Hawks

16:00 Howard Hawks: La novia era él, de Howard Hawks

18:00 Howard Hawks: Vitaminas para el amor, de Howard Hawks

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Presentación del libro Cine bizarro y fantástico hispano-argentino: entre dos siglos

00:00 Filmatron, de Pablo Parés


14:00 Buster Keaton: La ley de la hospitalidad, de Buster Keaton

16:00 Buster Keaton: Sherlock, Jr., de Buster Keaton

17:00 Buster Keaton: El héroe del río, de Buster Keaton

18:30 Buster Keaton: Marido por despecho, de Buster Keaton

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Jennifer’s Shadow, de Daniel De la Vega y Pablo Parés


14:00 Harold Lloyd: Marinero a pesar suyo, de Fred Newmeyer

15:00 Harold Lloyd: El doctor Jack, de Fred Newmeyer

16:30 Harold Lloyd: El nieto de su abuela, de Fred Newmeyer

18:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

20:00 Aniceto, de Leonardo Favio

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 La antena, de Esteban Sapir


14:00 Laurel & Hardy: cortos

15:30 Laurel & Hardy: allá en el lejano Oeste, de James Horne

17:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

19:00 Historias extraordinarias, de Mariano Llinás


14:00 Manuel Romero: Casamiento en Buenos Aires, de Manuel Romero

16:00 Manuel Romero: Yo quiero ser bataclana, de Manuel Romero

18:00 Manuel Romero: Un bebé de París, de Manuel Romero

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 El tango vuelve a París, de Manuel Romero

00:00 The Rocky Horror Picture Show, de Jim Sharman


14:00 Alberto Sordi: El Sheik, de Federico Fellini

16:00 Alberto Sordi: Buenas noches, abogado, de Giorgio Bianchi

18:00 Alberto Sordi: El comisario, de Luigi Comenchini

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 La guerra, la música y nosotros, de Susan Winslow


14:00 Hnos. Marx: Plumas de caballo, de Norman Mcleod

16:00 Hnos. Marx: Una noche en la ópera, de Sam Wood

18:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

20:00 Aniceto, de Leonardo Favio

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Kiss contra los fantasmas, de Gordon Hessler


14:30 Jacques Tati: Mi tío, de Jacques Tati

17:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

19:00 Historias extraordinarias, de Mariano Llinás


14:00 Jerry Lewis: Tú, mi conejo y yo, de Jerry Lewis

16:00 Jerry Lewis: El botones, de Jerry Lewis

18:00 Jerry lewis: De golpe en golpe, de Jerry Lewis

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 El matasanos, de Frank Tashlin

00:00 Don´t knock the rock, de Fred F. Sears


14:00 Mel Brooks: Locura en el Oeste, De Mel Brooks

16:00 Mel Brooks: Las angustias del Dr. Mel Brooks, de Mel Brooks

18:00 Mel Brooks: La última locura de Mel Brooks, de Mel Brooks

20:00 Caja cerrada, de Martín Solá

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Festival Express, de Bob Smeaton y Frank Cvitanovich


14:00 Billy Wilder: Café Vienés, de Victor Janson

16:00 Billy Wilder: Una Eva y dos Adanes, de Billy Wilder

18:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

20:00 Aniceto, de Leonardo Favio

22:00 Süden, de Gastón Solnicki

00:00 Ferry Cross the Mersey, de Jeremy Summers


15:00 Monty Python: Los caballeros de la mesa cuadrada, de Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam

17:00 Norma Arrostito, la Gaby, de César D´Angiolillo

19:00 Historias extraordinarias, de Mariano Llinás

MV: Música en Vivo

Entrada General: $10.- Estudiantes y jubilados: $5.-

* Entrada libre y gratuita hasta completar la capacidad de la sala.

"Revolutionary Road", de Sam Mendes (Crítica)

Hot Chip and Peter Gabriel - "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (2009) (mp3)


It lives! The much talked about Hot Chip & Peter Gabriel cover of ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ exists and you can hear it below.

Recorded at Gabriel’s Real World studios in Box, Wiltshire this summer, it was originally slated as a b-side for the ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’ single but has remained unheard today (it features on the XL 08/09 sampler.)

How does PG handle the “It feels so unnatural Peter Gabriel 2” line?

Listen and find out…

(Abeano Music)

Wavves - Wavves (2008)


It comes as no surprise that currently sitting atop the Billboard 200 chart are slick, mass-audience pop stars like Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Britney Spears, Keyshia Cole and the teenage country-pop sensation Taylor Swift. I’m not here to argue the musical merits of these acts, but simply to point out the production value mainstream America gravitates towards: pitch-perfect (a.k.a. auto-tuned), immaculately polished pop music. Henceforth, the natural reaction of myriad bedroom boppers is to bury their equally catchy melodies in an antithetical layer of fuzz (via distorted amplifiers, old-school recording methods, consciously poor mixing/micing, or whatever). And we like it, whether you are more concerned with our favorite records of 2008 (Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Sic Alps, Thee Oh Sees) or Pitchfork’s (No Age, Deerhunter, M83).

Wavves, né Nathan Williams of San Diego, is primed for this environment. He’s young, only 22. His musicianship isn’t stellar (probably due to his age), but it’s crafty. This self-titled debut for Woodsist is littered with addictive riffs, and each soaked in enough distortion and amplifier crust to mask any technical deficiencies. Each backbeat is propulsive, a keen lock onto garage’s incessant energy but with enough of a post-punk edge to keep the turned-up cuffs away. And most important to the kids today, Williams knows how to harmonize, and he is a whiz with the multi-track. With such enhanced vocal melodies and a balls-out style of playing, Wavves is most like a rudimentary West Coast version of Blank Dogs. Or perhaps a Times New Viking with a better post-production mix. Williams may be entering a crowded stable with this musical approach, but the sunnier Southern California temperament of his sound (however distorted) adds a surprisingly welcomed twist to the niche.

Though a solid and promising outing, Wavves isn’t a revelatory record. It fits nicely into the "scene," however vague that semblance is these days. In a musical community where the one-man frantic punk show of Jay Reatard garnishes high critical praise and manic collector urgency whenever another 7" drops, Williams is bound to shine. And his somewhat wholesome personality (in comparison, at least) paired with a keener pop sensibility will only further his attraction; think an aesthetic not terribly far from early Beck experiments minus the obsession with rap beats (see "Loser Year", "Here’s to the Sun"). The world is currently too depressing to just sit back and reflect, we would much rather bang our heads and blindly sing along gleefully. Wavves makes for a perfect outlet.

The question of how well Williams will evolve as a musician won’t have to meander for long, he has a full-length for De Stijl just around the corner. An excellent strategic move on the young man’s part I must admit. You’ve got our short attention; now use 2009 to solidify your position in the still widespread fuzz-pop underground. Until the second coming of the grunge aesthetic settles in on the mainstream, this tactical distortion is as important as the ability to write the perfect pop hook. Williams has the apparent capacity to harness both. Let’s just hope he has the where-with-all to get while the gettin’s good.

By Michael Ardaiolo (Dusted Magazine)


Film Comment’s ninth annual critics' poll

(Released theatrically in the U.S.)

1. Wendy and Lucy Kelly Reichardt, U.S. 580 points
2. Flight of the Red Balloon
Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France 564
3. A Christmas Tale
Arnaud Desplechin, France 557
4. Happy-Go-Lucky
Mike Leigh, U.K. 538
Andrew Stanton, U.S. 534
6. Still Life
Jia Zhang-ke, Hong Kong/China 521
7. Paranoid Park
Gus Van Sant, France/U.S. 465
8. Waltz with Bashir
Ari Folman, Israel/France/Germany 424
9. My Winnipeg
Guy Maddin, Canada 406
10. Milk
Gus Van Sant, U.S. 356
11. Let the Right One In
Tomas Alfredson, Sweden 351
12. The Duchess of Langeais
Jacques Rivette, France/Italy 335
13. The Class
Laurent Cantet, France 334
14. Synecdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman, U.S. 297
15. Hunger
Steve McQueen, U.K. 289
16. Silent Light
Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Netherlands 286
17. Ballast
Lance Hammer, U.S. 283
18. Man on Wire
James Marsh, U.K. 282
19. The Exiles
Kent Mackenzie, U.S. 257
20. Gomorrah
Matteo Garrone, Italy 253
21. The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan, U.S. 252
22. Che
Steven Soderbergh, Spain/France/U.S. 237
23. The Wrestler
Darren Aronofsky, U.S. 233
24. The Last Mistress
Catherine Breillat, France/Italy 229
25. Rachel Getting Married
Jonathan Demme, U.S. 215
26. Trouble the Water
Carl Deal & Tia Lessin, U.S. 203
27. Momma’s Man
Azazel Jacobs, U.S. 202
28. Ashes of Time Redux
Wong Kar Wai, Hong Kong/China 201
29. In the City of Sylvia
José Luis Guerín, Spain/France 200
30. Alexandra
Alexander Sokurov, Russia/France 196
31. Encounters at the End of the World
Werner Herzog, U.S. 195
32. Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood, U.S. 189
33. The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
Eric Rohmer, France/Spain/Italy 178
34. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
David Fincher, U.S. 172
35. La France
Serge Bozon, France 167
36. Taxi to the Dark Side
Alex Gibney, U.S. 163
37. The Edge of Heaven
Fatih Akin, Germany/Turkey/Italy 161
38. Slumdog Millionaire
Danny Boyle, U.S./U.K. 157
39. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Woody Allen, Spain 154
40. The Silence Before Bach
Pere Portabella, Spain 141
41. Frost/Nixon
Ron Howard, U.S. 140
42. Woman on the Beach
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 138
43. Before I Forget
Jacques Nolot, France 137
44. Frozen River
Courtney Hunt, U.S. 126
45. The Order of Myths
Margaret Brown, U.S. 123
46. Heartbeat Detector (La Question Humaine)
Nicolas Klotz, France 112
47. Tell No One
Guillaume Canet, France 110
48. Chop Shop
Ramin Bahrani, U.S. 108
49. Profit motive and the whispering wind
John Gianvito, U.S. 106
50. Fengming: A Chinese Memoir
Bing Wang, China 103

(*Currently without U.S. distribution)

1. The Headless Woman* Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy 201
2. 24 City*
Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong/Japan 171
3. Summer Hours
Olivier Assayas, France 154
4. Still Walking
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 102
5. Tulpan
Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Switzerland/Kazakhstan/Russia/Poland 84
6. RR
James Benning, U.S. 83
7. 35 Shots of Rum*
Claire Denis, France/Germany 78
8. Of Time and the City
Terence Davies, U.K. 76
9. Tony Manero*
Pablo Larrain, Chile/Brazil 74
10. Liverpool*
Lisandro Alonso, Argentina 70
11. Sugar
Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck, U.S. 55
12. Tokyo Sonata
Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands/H.K. 51
13. Birdsong*
Albert Serra, Spain 48
14. The Hurt Locker
Kathryn Bigelow, U.S. 47
15. United Red Army*
Koji Wakamatsu, Japan 40
16. Night and Day*
Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 36
17. Four Nights with Anna*
Jerzy Skolimowski, France/Poland 33
18. Me and Orson Welles*
Richard Linklater, U.K. 31
19. Il Divo
Paolo Sorrentino, Italy/France 29
20. Chouga*
Darezhan Omirbaev, Kazakhstan/France 28
21. Lorna’s Silence
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy/Germany 26
22. Treeless Mountain
So Yong Kim, U.S./South Korea 24
23. A Time to Stir*
Paul Cronin, U.S. 23
(tie) Goodbye Solo Ramin Bahrani, U.S. 23
24. Captain Ahab*
Philippe Ramos, France/Sweden 22
(tie) Revanche Götz Spielmann, Austria 22
25. Everlasting Moments
Jan Troell, Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Finland/Germany 21
(tie) I’m Gonna Explode* Gerardo Naranjo, Mexico 21
26. Afterschool*
Antonio Campos, U.S. 20
27. Flame & Citron*
Ole Christian Madsen, Denmark/Germany 19
28. Three Monkeys
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey/France/Italy 18
29. Itinéraire de Jean Bricard*
Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, France 16
30. Sparrow
Johnnie To, Hong Kong 15

Participants: Sam Adams, Thom Andersen, John Anderson, Melissa Anderson, David Ansen, Michael Atkinson, Saul Austerlitz, Miriam Bale, Margaret Barton-Fumo, Marjorie Baumgarten, Bruce Bennett, Nick Bradshaw, Richard Brody, John Caps, Michael Chaiken, Andrew Chan, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Travis Crawford, Gary Crowdus, Mike D’Angelo, Evan Davis, Sam Di Iorio, Lisa Dombrowski, Bilge Ebiri, Cheryl Eddy, David Edelstein, David Ehrenstein, David Fear, Paul Fileri, Scott Foundas, Patrick Friel, Graham Fuller, Susan Gerhard, Gary Giddins, Jason Gross, Larry Gross, Dennis Harvey, Molly Haskell, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Johnny Ray Huston, Harlan Jacobson, J.R. Jones, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Dave Kehr, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Stuart Klawans, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Cynthia Lucia, Scott Macaulay, Todd McCarthy, Maitland McDonagh, Don McMahon, Joe Milutis, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Chris Norris, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Jake Perlin, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Jed Rapfogel, Nicolas Rapold, Megan Ratner, Bérénice Reynaud, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Joshua Rothkopf, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gene Seymour, Gavin Smith, Vivian Sobchack, Chuck Stephens, Bob Strauss, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, José Teodoro, Kenneth Turan, Brynn White, Donald Wilson, Genevieve Yue, David Zuckerman

© 2009 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center

Bruce Springsteen - Working on a Dream (Crítica)

Calexico - Live From Austin TX (2009)


This release (on DVD) contains the entire concert given by the band Calexico when they performed their taping for the music program Austin City Limits.The bad delivers fifteen songs including "Convict Pool," "Sunken Waltz," "Not Even Stevie Nicks," and "Sonic Wind." ~ Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide All Movie Guide

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Live from Austin TX: Calexico
2. Convict Pool [4:30]
3. Across the Wire [3:39]
4. Cruel [4:24]
5. El Picador [3:12]
6. Sunken Waltz [2:39]
7. Not Even Stevie Nicks [4:22]
8. Stray [5:32]
9. All Sustems Red [7:23]
10. Sonic Wind [7:44]
11. Alone Again Or [4:19]
12. Roka With Salvador Duran [5:54]
13. He Lays In the Reins With Salvador Duran, Sam & Sarah Beam [5:04]
14. Guero Canelo With Salvador Duran [6:38]
15. Letter to Bowie Knife [3:38]
16. Crystal Frontier [5:57]

"Slumdog Millionaire" - Music From the Motion Picture (2008)

Lo sé, creerán que estoy loco. Me la paso hablando pestes de la película de Danny Boyle y aquí voy recomendando la banda de sonido. Pero no es tan raro. Al menos no en mí. Me pasó exactamente lo mismo --en mayor medida-- con "Ciudad de Dios", otra película que detesto y cuya banda sonora me permitió descubrir una inagotable cantidad de música brasileña (soul, funk, etc.) de la que conocía poco.

La música de Rahman --con la oportuna inclusión "cool" de M.I.A.-- no tiene esos niveles de variedad y riqueza, pero se suma a otra enorme fuente musical, altamente disfrutable, que es la música de las películas de Bollywood. De hecho, la mejor escena del filme (absurda, pero simpática) es la de los créditos finales, en la que el elenco entero hace una coreografía "bollywoodense". Así que aquí están los dos temas nominados al Oscar --aún cuando sigo penando por la ausencia de Bruce Springsteen-- y el resto de la "funky poverty music from the slums" de la película que va a ganar el Oscar.

Track list:
1. “O… Saya” Performed by A R Rahman & M.I.A.
2. “Riots” by A R Rahman
3. “Mausam & Escape” by A R Rahman
4. “Paper Planes” Performed by M.I.A.
5. “Paper Planes” DFA REMIX Performed by M.I.A.
6. “”Ringa Ringa” by A R Rahman featuring Alka Yagnik & Ila Arun
7. “Liquid Dance” by A R Rahman featuring Palakkad Sriram & Madhumitha
8. “Latika’s Theme” by A R Rahman featuring Suzanne
9. “Aaj Ki Raat” Performed by Sonu Nigam, Mahalaxmi Lyer & Alisha Chinoi
10. “Millionaire” by A R Rahman featuring Madhumitha
11. “Gangsta Blues” by A R Rahman featuring BlaaZe & Tanvi Shah
12. “Dreams on Fire” by A R Rahman featuring Suzzanne
13. “Jai Ho” by A R Rahman featuring Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer

Jose Padilha signs for 'Sigma Protocol' (The Hollywood Reporter)

Universal has found its director for international thriller "The Sigma Protocol": Berlin prizewinner Jose Padilha.

The studio is in final negotiations with the helmer of "Eilte Squad," the action movie that won the Golden Bear at last year's Berlin International Film Festival, to direct the Robert Ludlum vehicle.

The studio is planning on a summer shoot.

"Sigma" is based on Ludlum's final complete novel, which was published after the prolific author's death. Like the Jason Bourne franchise, another big Uni property, the story involves a modern-day man on the run in Europe from a series of international assassins and agents.

The two plots differ sharply, though, with the latter using a World War II conspiracy and Nazis as a plot hook.

Matt Holloway and Art Marcum, who penned "Iron Man," are signed on to write the script.

"Squad," which IFC released stateside, centers on a battle between police officers and drug dealers in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. The Gersh-repped director also is attached to direct the thriller "The Willing Patriot" for Warners and the drug tale "Marching Powder" at Plan B.

Mirah - (a)spera (2009)

(a)spera, the fourth solo album from Mirah, is the long awaited follow-up to 2004’s highly acclaimed C’mon Miracle (KLP160). Known for her explorative approach to her own brand of independent music making, Mirah’s voice now brings us a new vision of the truths of our times. The songs on (a)spera strike a bold path across a landscape of dynamic and varied melody forms. Mirah’s strongest asset, her sincerity and the care she takes in placing herself within her music, is offered without compromise.

This brave trek through a fragile ancient forest unfolds revealing the destruction wrought by cruel conquest, recalls the relics of a love never realized, and decries the loss of ancient wisdom. We sing for death and the living which stays alive, navigate our relationship to our ceaseless wants as resources disappear, hold on strong to love in a sinking world.

Mirah lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works as a songwriter, performer and producer. In a constant search to expand her tender repertoire of American folk songs into a larger context, her recordings seek to find the magical amity between explorative percussion, orchestral sounds and elements of rock and popular music. She has been involved with the K Record label since 1999, touring internationally and producing a steady stream of albums. Her new album (a)spera, a soundtrack for the voyage of our entwined destinies, is slated for release on March 12, 2009

Again teaming up with Phil Elverum (The Microphones, Mt. Eerie) for three of the 10 tracks, she also enlisted the engineering prowess of fellow Portlanders Tucker Martine (The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Laura Veirs) and Adam Selzer (Norfolk and Western, M. Ward) to complete this beautiful voyage. Featured musicians include Chris Funk (of The Decemberists), Tara Jane O’Neil and Lori Goldston.


John Updike, Author, Dies at 76 (The New York Times/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) -- John Updike, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire, died Tuesday at age 76.

Updike, a resident of Beverly Farms, Mass., died of lung cancer, according to a statement from his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf.

A literary writer who frequently appeared on best-seller lists, the tall, hawk-nosed Updike wrote novels, short stories, poems, criticism, the memoir ''Self-Consciousness'' and even a famous essay about baseball great Ted Williams. He was prolific, even compulsive, releasing more than 50 books in a career that started in the 1950s. Updike won virtually every literary prize, including two Pulitzers, for ''Rabbit Is Rich'' and ''Rabbit at Rest,'' and two National Book Awards.

Although himself deprived of a Nobel, he did bestow it upon one of his fictional characters, Henry Bech, the womanizing, egotistical Jewish novelist who collected the literature prize in 1999.

His settings ranged from the court of ''Hamlet'' to postcolonial Africa, but his literary home was the American suburb. Born in 1932, Updike spoke for millions of Depression-era readers raised by ''penny-pinching parents,'' united by ''the patriotic cohesion of World War II'' and blessed by a ''disproportionate share of the world's resources,'' the postwar, suburban boom of ''idealistic careers and early marriages.''

He captured, and sometimes embodied, a generation's confusion over the civil rights and women's movements, and opposition to the Vietnam War. Updike was called a misogynist, a racist and an apologist for the establishment. On purely literary grounds, he was attacked by Norman Mailer as the kind of author appreciated by readers who knew nothing about writing.

But more often he was praised for his flowing, poetic writing style. Describing a man's interrupted quest to make love, Updike likened it ''to a small angel to which all afternoon tiny lead weights are attached.'' Nothing was too great or too small for Updike to poeticize. He might rhapsodize over the film projector's ''chuckling whir'' or look to the stars and observe that ''the universe is perfectly transparent: we exist as flaws in ancient glass.''

In the richest detail, his books recorded the extremes of earthly desire and spiritual zealotry, whether the comic philandering of the preacher in ''A Month of Sundays'' or the steady rage of the young Muslim in ''Terrorist.'' Raised in the Protestant community of Shillington, Pa., where the Lord's Prayer was recited daily at school, Updike was a lifelong churchgoer influenced by his faith, but not immune to doubts.

''I remember the times when I was wrestling with these issues that I would feel crushed. I was crushed by the purely materialistic, atheistic account of the universe,'' Updike told The Associated Press during a 2006 interview.

''I am very prone to accept all that the scientists tell us, the truth of it, the authority of the efforts of all the men and woman spent trying to understand more about atoms and molecules. But I can't quite make the leap of unfaith, as it were, and say, `This is it. Carpe diem (seize the day), and tough luck.'''

He received his greatest acclaim for the ''Rabbit'' series, a quartet of novels published over a 30-year span that featured ex-high school basketball star Harry ''Rabbit'' Angstrom and his restless adjustment to adulthood and the constraints of work and family. To the very end, Harry was in motion, an innocent in his belief that any door could be opened, a believer in God even as he bedded women other than his wife.

''The tetralogy to me is the tale of a life, a life led an American citizen who shares the national passion for youth, freedom, and sex, the national openness and willingness to learn, the national habit of improvisation,'' Updike would later write. ''He is furthermore a Protestant, haunted by a God whose manifestations are elusive, yet all-important.''

Other notable books included ''Couples,'' a sexually explicit tale of suburban mating that sold millions of copies; ''In the Beauty of the Lilies,'' an epic of American faith and fantasy; and ''Too Far to Go, which followed the courtship, marriage and divorce of the Maples, a suburban couple with parallels to Updike's own first marriage.

Plagued from an early age by asthma, psoriasis and a stammer, he found creative outlets in drawing and writing. Updike was born in Reading, Pa., his mother a department store worker who longed to write, his father a high school teacher remembered with sadness and affection in ''The Centaur,'' a novel published in 1964. The author brooded over his father's low pay and mocking students, but also wrote of a childhood of ''warm and action-packed houses that accommodated the presence of a stranger, my strange ambition to be glamorous.''

For Updike, the high life meant books, such as the volumes of P.G. Wodehouse and Robert Benchley he borrowed from the library as a child, or, as he later recalled, the ''chastely severe, time-honored classics'' he read in his dorm room at Harvard University, leaning back in his ''wooden Harvard chair,'' cigarette in hand.

While studying on full scholarship at Harvard, he headed the staff of the Harvard Lampoon and met the woman who became his first wife, Mary Entwistle Pennington, whom he married in June 1953, a year before he earned his A.B. degree summa cum laude. (Updike divorced Pennington in 1975 and was remarried two years later, to Martha Bernhard).

After graduating, he accepted a one-year fellowship to study painting at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Arts at Oxford University. During his stay in England, a literary idol, E.B. White, offered him a position at The New Yorker, where he served briefly as foreign books reviewer. Many of Updike's reviews and short stories were published in The New Yorker, often edited by White's stepson, Roger Angell.

By the end of the 1950s, Updike had published a story collection, a book of poetry and his first novel, ''The Poorhouse Fair,'' soon followed by the first of the Rabbit books, ''Rabbit, Run.'' Praise came so early and so often that New York Times critic Arthur Mizener worried that Updike's ''natural talent'' was exposing him ''from an early age to a great deal of head-turning praise.''

Updike learned to write about everyday life by, in part, living it. In 1957, he left New York, with its ''cultural hassle'' and melting pot of ''agents and wisenheimers,'' and settled with his first wife and four kids in Ipswich, Mass, a ''rather out-of-the-way town'' about 30 miles north of Boston.

''The real America seemed to me 'out there,' too heterogeneous and electrified by now to pose much threat of the provinciality that people used to come to New York to escape,'' Updike later wrote.

''There were also practical attractions: free parking for my car, public education for my children, a beach to tan my skin on, a church to attend without seeming too strange.''