31.5.09

The Lovely Feathers - Fantasy Of The Lot (2009)


Link

Originating out of Montreal, The Lovely Feathers’ refreshingly whimsical second album Hind Hind Legs is quirky, sunny and engaging. The album’s strange yet lovable indie-pop songs, replete with sometimes silly, always captivating lyrics, shout-a-long choruses and clever “bet you didn’t see that coming” rhythm changes makes it an instant favorite.


Here's the follow up to the critically acclaimed 2006 album "Hind Hind Legs". Decent poppy indie. This record comes out in Canada next Tuesday, but it doesn't drop for the rest of the world until August. Enjoy! Their third album, Fantasy of the Lot, will be released in June 2009.


Almodóvar vs. Boyero vs. El País vs. el cine


Estoy tres días medio desconectado de la red y me encuentro con tremendo conflicto entre Carlos Boyero y Pedro Almodóvar. En realidad es bastante más complejo y largo que eso. Digamos, para sintetizar, que Carlos Boyero, el impresentable crítico de cine que tiene "El País", no es fanático de Pedro. Eso no es necesariamente un problema. El tema es que este hombre no se caracteriza por la sutileza en ningún aspecto de su vida, ni personal ni profesional. Y cuando algo no le gusta, muy suelto de cuerpo puede escribir que a tal cineasta "hay que internarlo" o comentarios que si alguna vez se me diera a mí por escribirlos (digo, por el carácter de agresión personal que tienen), seguramente terminaría yo internado por las piñas que me comería.

El tema es que Boyero cargó contra Almodóvar en el estreno de "Los abrazos rotos" en España y volvió a cargar contra él durante Cannes y lo mismo hizo en su blog el editor de Cultura del diario. Hasta ahí, más o menos normal. El tema es que Pedrito reaccionó --bastante sacado también-- con un largo texto en su blog. Y luego el Comité de Redacción de "El País" salió a defender a Boyero y compañía. Y Pedro volvió a escribir. Y el Defensor del Lector del diario tuvo que intervenir. Y así... El tema se convirtió en un pequeño escándalo del que yo recién me estoy enterando. De hecho, si alguien tiene más detalles sobre las implicancias y repercusiones del asunto, me avisa...

Conozco apenas un poco a ambos contendientes y me imagino que los egos cruzados deben dar un cóctel explosivo. Aún en el caso de Boyero, cuyo gusto cinematográfico es nulo (peor, imposible, digamos que nuestro Jorge Carnevale es un sibarita a su lado), me cuesta "solidarizarme" con un cineasta que pide que despidan a un crítico o que envíen a otros a cubrir festivales. Me parece que --aún cuando coincido con él-- no le corresponde a Almodóvar meterse en lo que hace o deja de hacer "El País". El diario tendrá un lamentable gusto a la hora de elegir a su crítico de cabecera, pero no es apropiado que un cineasta --ni un distribuidor o un productor-- pida su cabeza. Digo, más allá de que Boyero pueda ser el peor crítico de la historia, y más allá que el año pasado circuló un petitorio escrito por críticos y cineastas también pidiendo la cabeza de Boyero y que decidí no firmar, básicamente, por las mismas causas expuestas aquí. Más allá de mi opinión personal sobre el trabajo de este sujeto.

Los que estamos en esta tarea sabemos de la fama y brutalidades de Boyero con gran parte del cine que amamos. Pueden chequear por internet su repertorio de bestialidades. No vi la película de Almodóvar y no podría decir si está o no equivocado. Lo que sí se es que, en general, el tono chirriante que usa Boyero para maltratar a las películas es duro de soportar. Pero también sé que muchos de sus colegas (nosotros, qué tanto!) hemos sido muchas veces cruentos con cineastas o películas que nos molestan o irritan, si bien suelen ser las opuestas a las que le irritan a Boyero...

Boyero escribe sobre "Visage", de Tsai Ming-liang, a quien califica como "el para mí incomprensiblemente idolatrado director chino..." (sic) Dice: "Se supone que trata de un rodaje en el Louvre actualizando el mito de Salomé, pero nada de lo que veo y escucho tiene sentido, atractivo ni gracia, aunque el autor se esfuerza mucho por conseguir lo último. Lo único que me saca del soporífero estupor es que el esotérico Tsai-Ming Liang haya convencido a Laetitia Casta para que exhiba su preciosa desnudez. No compensa, pero menos es nada."

Sí, leyeron bien. Y podría seguir pero ya todos saben de lo que hablo...

El Defensor del Lector afirma que las críticas de Boyero deberían ir en una columna de Opinión y no en el espacio Críticas, ya que da a entender que por lo personal y subjetivo de sus afirmaciones, no le cabe el espacio de Crítico. Me temo que no estoy de acuerdo. Puedo imaginar cientos de personas diciendo lo mismo cuando uno recomienda fervorosamente algún filme de Apichatpong (de hecho, recibo decenas de emails cuando califico como Excelente algo que se aleja del famoso "gusto medio"), pero eso no supone que mis críticas dejen de ser críticas para ser opiniones. Aunque, en realidad, no termino de comprender mucho la diferencia...

Raro el lugar de salir a defender a Boyero, pero desde mi poco conocimiento del asunto me parece que no queda otra alternativa. Siempre está la opción, para los lectores, de comprar otro diario. Nadie nos obliga a leerlo. De hecho, yo no lo hago nunca. Me da dolor de estómago... Tal vez haya que internarme a mí también.

PD. Aquí hay un link a todas las cartas y contracartas, posts y contraposts, enviados entre El País y Pedro Almodóvar.

30.5.09

"Buñuel en México" (Clarín)


Lee Fields & The Expressions - My World (2009)


No suelo linkear a discos de retro-soul (de retro-nada, en general), pero esto me sorprendió. La sensación es estar escuchando un disco perdido que alguien rescató de un garage en 1972 o 1973. Soul/soul a lo Al Green o Marvin Gaye, aunque la voz de Lee tiene un toque algo más James Brown y el sonido tiene toques del Philly Sound. Pero no. Si bien Lee es de esa generación, el disco está hecho ahora. No sé si tiene mucho sentido el proceso de "imitación" que hacen estas bandas (son de la "familia" de Sharon Jones & The Daptones y actuaron juntos varias veces), pero lo que vale es haber rescatado a este "soulman" del carajo del ostracismo. Leí que el tipo hizo un par de discos en los '70 y luego fue olvidado. Más vale tarde que nunca...

Esto es lo que cuenta sobre Lee Fields su sello Truth & Soul Records:

"Lee was born and raised in the small town of Wilson, North Carolina,one of 4 children. He spent his adolescence years singing in church and listening to R&B Artists such as James Brown, The Temptations, Eddie Floyd, Otis Redding and the classic sound of 60's Memphis. He joined a few racial balance groups in the South and began playing college circuits that included East Carolina University, Duke University and Georgia Tech. By the late sixties, Lee began his singing career, working with bands which would lay the foundation for funk music including Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, and Little Royal.

Renowned throughout the global Funk community, Lee Fields has poured his grunts and screams over a legacy of funk and soul hits from the early seventies, including such 45 rpm classics as She’s a Lovemaker, The Bullis Coming, and The Funky Screw, not to mention his well sought after Let’s Talk It Over LP. This LP draws four digit bids from collectors worldwide. His recordings with the hard funk purists at TRUTH & SOUL, Desco, and Daptone Records in recent years has solidified his place as the King of contemporary funk music as well.

When Truth & Soul started as a record label in 2004, the first mission of label owners Jeff Silverman and Leon Michels, was to record a sweet soul record that would be modeled after the near perfect formula that bands like The Moments, The Delfonics, and The Stylistics had created. Music that was both tough as nails and sweet as honey. Music with laced with lush strings and smooth vocal harmonies layered over hard-hitting rhythms. Michels and Silverman called in a few trusty associates, which included singer Lee Fields, and recorded the single “Do You Love Me” b/w “Honey Dove”. What happened in the studio was pure magic and thus, The Expressions were born.

Fast forward almost two years and The Expressions featuring Lee Fields have successfully created a unique and personal sound that can hold court with the bands they set out to emulate. However, what was created in the process goes beyond just a carbon copy of a sweet soul music. The music has developed into a deeply soulful mix of old and new. The formula stayed the same but the style has been adapted for the ears of people who didn’t grow up on Al Green or Sam Cooke. Elements of modern music have crept their way into the mix to create something entirely fresh and unique. The Expressions have surely lived up to the name, each song they make is choked full of raw emotion that permeates deep through your ear hole straight to the soul."

Live: Jens Lekman goes deep at the Echo (Los Angeles Times)


Jens Lekman toca el 19 de junio en La Trastienda, Buenos Aires

"Do you guys want to go party after this?" said the rakish Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman in the middle of his Echo set Thursday night. The crowd's answer, naturally, was yes.

"Can it be like the scene at the end of 'Day of the Locust'?" he asked. "That's one of my favorite books."

If Lekman ever did wind up taking the crowd to a murderous riot after the show, it must have been the wittiest, catchiest and warm-hearted mauling this town has ever seen. The second night of his Echo stand was true to Lekman's last couple years of live sets -- matching sailor-inspired costumes on a revolving backing band, exquisite between-song banter, an interlude for a group airplane dance -- but it also showcased some obscure and possibly brand new tunes that suggest his time post-"Night Falls Over Kortedala" has been spent getting even funkier and weirder (and buying amazing yacht shoes and skeleton keys for his band to wear).

The highlights were there -- "A Postcard to Nina," "The Opposite of Hallelujah," "Maple Leaves" -- but a few unexpected cuts were especially striking. "An Argument With Myself" is an upbeat percussive romp, in which Lekman finds himself skulking about a dirty Australian street, figuratively and literally suggesting he stop hitting himself and sneering at his newfound propensity for smoking. But "The End of the World Is Bigger Than Love" fits right in with the grand yet arch Randy Newman-esque ballads he's so good at, tempering blowout classic-pop samples with tiny lyrical turns that slip between hilarious and unexpectedly heartfelt.

He encored with a cover of Boyz II Men's "Water Runs Dry," and if that song has ever been heard inside the walls of the Echo before, I will go buy out all of Amoeba Music's copies of "II." I don't think I've considered that tune since I was in elementary school, but Lekman's very affectionate and straightforward cover hit that songwriters' sweet spot that no one seems to touch anymore -- the moment where long-since-discarded ideas about pop are revealed as perfect craft with infinite possibilities in new hands.

-August Brown


29.5.09

"Drag Me To Hell", de Sam Raimi (The Independent)


By Anthony Quinn

Either by accident or design Sam Raimi's delightfully named thriller has caught the era of economic mismanagement and popular retribution down to a ghoulish T.

Drag Me to Hell presents the spectacle of a banker being cursed, half-strangled, vomited upon, pinged around a room like a Lotto ball, surprised by an eyeball in a slice of cake, threatened with eternal hellfire and – poetic justice here – ripped off by a pawnbroker. Audiences may find it difficult at times to suppress a cheer. Or a nervous belly laugh, come to that, because its moments of Grand Guignol, repulsive and obscene as they are, also give the funny bone a good tweak.

Yet the grotesque punishment meted out to the banker hasn't quite the cathartic frisson you might expect. For one thing, Christine Brown is only a humble loans officer at a bank, where her manager has warned her that she'll only clinch that promotion if she shows herself capable of making "tough decisions". For another, she is played by Alison Lohman, whose sweetly innocent face make her look as if she might have Hannah Montana posters on her bedroom wall (she's actually 30 this year). In any case, that tough decision comes her way when a witchy looking crone with one eye and fingernails of nicotine brown stops by her desk to ask for an extension on her mortgage payments. Her name is Mrs Ganush, but she might as well be called Mrs Lugosi, such is her terrifying mittel-European strangeness. Christine, mindful of the promotion, refuses her request, then looks mortified when the old woman gets down on her knees to beg. It all ends rather unpleasantly when Christine has to call security and the outraged client, her home lost to foreclosure, is ejected.

But the word "unpleasant" doesn't cover what happens next: Christine is attacked in her car by the vengeful Mrs Ganush, a scene that brings out all of Raimi's inventive grotesquerie. Who else would think of an old biddy losing her dentures as she moves in to bite her foe, and ends up slobbering over Christine's face with her toothless maw. In a word: ugh. The upshot of this savage tussle is Mrs Ganush tearing off a button from Christine's coat and calling down a Gypsy curse that will see her dragged to hell by an avenging demon named the Lamia. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

With swift despatch, Christine starts to suffer the kind of unearthly ordeal that Raimi last visited on Bruce Campbell in his Evil Dead movies. A nosebleed at work turns into a veritable spray-painting of her office and (doh!) her boss ("Did any of it get in my mouth?" he bleats). A polite dinner at the house of boyfriend Justin Long's mum and dad puts Meet the Parents to shame for look-away-now humiliation. The pots and pans in her kitchen begin a ghost dance, then she's pursued up to her bedroom and bounced from floor to ceiling by an invisible tormentor.

Does Christine really deserve such a fate? In Raimi's pitiless scheme of things "deserve" has got nothing to do with it. One thinks of poor Bill Paxton finding the stolen loot in A Simple Plan – Raimi's most accomplished and grown-up movie – and bringing catastrophe down on himself for daring to keep it. Christine seems to have been singled out from the start: the opening shot shows her driving along the freeway in a green car, which every screenwriter in Hollywood knows is an ill-starred colour. She is patronised in the workplace, and hides a troubled family background. The curse fell on her for a momentary error of judgment, not because she's a bad person. And the more we feel sorry for her, the worse things get. Desperation drives her to a back-street seer (Dileep Rao), whose first bit of advice is that she sacrifice a beloved animal. "I'm a vegetarian!" she protests, insisting that there are some things she just won't do. Comes the seer's chilling reply: "You'll be surprised what you'll be willing to do when the Lamia comes for you." Yikes! In a superb comic swerve Raimi cuts to Christine at home, calling out for her pet kitten with a curious edge in her voice.

Raimi, who crossed over to big-budget respectability with the Spider-Man franchise, crosses right back here to deliver something that's cheap, nasty and rather magnificent. The peals of horrified laughter that Drag Me to Hell provokes will be music to his ears. Even as the film gets seriously spooky, you can't help picking up a discordant note of farce.

To be honest, this fright-fest might have rattled us more had Lorna Raver, as the egregious Mrs Ganush, not disappeared so early. It's one thing to be stalked by a shadow demon crawling up nostrils; but it's not half so scary as a one-eyed witch who pops up from the back seat of a car and tries to strangle you. I reared so suddenly in my own seat at that moment I almost got whiplash. Hang on to your arm-rests – this film will give you a jolt.


"Toy Story 3" (Teaser trailer)

Sébastien Schuller - Evenfall (2009)


Link

Sébastien Schuller is incontestably an artist who takes you by surprise.

Sébastien Schuller is a classically trained percussionist who became an accomplished and eclectic multi-instrumentalist over the years, composing and interpreting his own work, backed by a few hand picked friends, including Paul Hanford (Brothers in Sound, Sancho).

A thirtysomething from Les Yvelines in the Parisian suburbs, Sébastien Schuller thrives on enhancing sounds of acoustic and natural resonance with touches of electronica. Throughout the album, which balances tantric instrumentals with tinges of pop you can almost dance to, a thread of tortuous and contrasting emotions is unravelled.

Evenfall is the upcoming LP from Paris’ Sebastien Schuller (out May 25), and the album’s stunning collage cover artwork is by one of my favorite artists, the amazing Agnes Montgomery. You may recall Montgomery’s glorious Pool Party, which graced the cover of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch, and is probably the most uncannily fitting album artwork of, well, ever.


Sí, Messi es un ser humano...



Dios, el pedo que se agarró Messi... Para los que dicen que no tiene sangre en las venas aquí está la prueba (a los 38 segundos de este video, pero lo pasan por tele todo el tiempo) de que en realidad tiene una buena cantidad de alcohol!!! Please, no le hagan control de alcoholemia!


Se abre el plazo de inscripción para el Encuentro de Escuelas de Cine del Festival de San Sebastián

El VIII Encuentro Internacional de Escuelas de Cine se celebrará el miércoles 23, el jueves 24 y el viernes 25 de septiembre de 2009 en el marco del 57 Festival de San Sebastián.

El Encuentro Internacional de Escuelas de Cine, organizado por el Festival de San Sebastián y Tabakalera (Centro Internacional de Cultura Contemporánea de San Sebastián) propone un intercambio de experiencias y aprendizajes en materia audiovisual en el entorno de uno de los más importantes certámenes cinematográficos del mundo. Los jóvenes pueden mostrar sus cortometrajes, asistir a encuentros con profesionales y conocer algunas de las últimas novedades en tecnología audiovisual.

Los cortometrajes seleccionados se presentan en sesiones abiertas al público y los invitados del Festival, a las que asisten profesionales del sector audiovisual que pueden dialogar con los estudiantes que presentan sus trabajos. Además, los profesores o representantes de las escuelas tienen la ocasión de dar a conocer los principios pedagógicos de sus centros en materia audiovisual.

Cada escuela que opta a la selección puede presentar tres cortometrajes. Se seleccionarán un total de 12 escuelas que participarán en el Festival de San Sebastián mostrando los trabajos que se hayan seleccionado de los tres presentados.

Un jurado específico, compuesto por estudiantes de las escuelas participantes y presidido por una personalidad del mundo del cine, decidirá el Premio Panavision, consistente en un equipamiento completo de una cámara Sony EX III para cuatro semanas de rodaje, o un crédito de 10.000 euros de cualquier material Panavision alquilado, para el director premiado.

El jurado determinará también los nombres de tres directores que tendrán la posibilidad de participar con sus obras en el Short Film Corner del próximo Festival de Cannes.

El 1 de julio se cerrará el plazo para la recepción de cortometrajes, que desde ahora pueden ser enviados al Festival de San Sebastián.

El formulario de inscripción y otras informaciones relativas al Encuentro Internacional de Escuelas de Cine están disponibles en la siguiente dirección de Internet:


Entrevista a Javier Cámara (Clarín)


"The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn", de Steven Spielberg, se estrena acá antes que allá


Según Variety, la película llegará a los cines de Europa y América latina entre octubre y noviembre de 2011 mientras que se estrenará en los Estado Unidos recién el 23 de diciembre de ese año. La inusual movida, aseguran, tiene que ver con que Sony y Paramount creen que la película tiene más posibilidades comerciales fuera de los EE.UU. que en ese país, tal vez por la fama internacional de la historieta. La película será lanzada en 3D en todo el mundo.

En esta nota previa de "Variety" se dan muchos más detalles de la producción.

By Tatiana Siegel

Steven Spielberg this week will quietly wrap 32 days of performance-capture lensing on "Tintin," then hand the project to producer Peter Jackson, who will focus on the film's special effects for the next 18 months.

Although the baton-pass is stealthy, "Tintin" is anything but a low-profile project. And that's just the first of many contradictions inherent with the film, which brings together two of cinema's visionaries.

The Tintin comicbook series about a globetrotting teenaged boy reporter, which originated 80 years ago in Belgium, is wildly popular in many countries around the world. In the U.S., however, the character is little-known, especially among children.

Spielberg and Jackson's respective camps have tried to keep a lid on the details of what is expected to become a three-film franchise while hyping the one-of-a-kind aspects of "Tintin's" motion-capture technology, which is being created by Jackson's New Zealand-based effects house Weta.

Just don't ask too many questions.

Spielberg's longtime spokesman Marvin Levy, who welcomed a story on "The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn," said, "You have to see it to understand (the technology). It really can't be described."

But he quickly nixed the idea of a visit to the set. "That wouldn't be feasible," he says.

The film's other producer, Kathleen Kennedy, is happy to talk about "Tintin," but admitted the world Spielberg and Jackson are creating is hard to describe.

"It's extremely difficult to explain to someone unless they are standing here next to me," Kennedy says from the Los Angeles set. "And usually then their reaction is, 'Oh my god.' "

Kennedy and Spielberg acquired the project in 1983 after Spielberg's interest in the project was piqued by critics' insistence that his "Raiders of the Lost Ark" harkened back to Tintin's escapades in exotic locations.

But the pair couldn't realistically begin developing the pic until about two years ago, when motion-capture technology finally caught up with the demands of the story. Spielberg received his introduction into the fledgling technology via his producing role on "Monster House." But Jackson, who joined Kennedy and Spielberg on the project in early 2007, is clearly a master of the form. Both the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and "King Kong" elevated performance-capture to never-before-seen realism.

Jackson's role as mo-cap mentor to Spielberg, however, prompts the question: Who exactly is steering the "Tintin" ship?

Spielberg will receive sole directing credit on the first film, though even that distinction seems murky given that Jackson is doing the more time-consuming work, spending a year and a half creating the Tintin's world vs. Spielberg's one month on set. Jackson also traveled to Los Angeles for rehearsals and for the first week of shooting.

"It's hard to delineate between directing and producing on films like this," explains one project insider.

Kennedy insists that the transitions between the two creative talents are relatively seamless. "They are amazingly collaborative, even more so than Steven and George (Lucas were on the 'Raiders' films)."

And then, there are the two filmmakers' differing styles and thematic vibes: Spielberg is more character-oriented and relatively lean while Jackson revels in lavish visuals ... and running times.

The conventional wisdom has always been that Spielberg would direct his "Tintin" film, and Jackson would have his own. (It has long been reported that Jackson will helm the second chapter of three "Tintin" films.) There was even speculation that the two films would be shot back to back, much like Jackson's "Lord of the Rings." However, there is no second film in the immediate future or even a script for one at this point.

Paramount and Sony, the first film's co-financiers, have yet to greenlight a followup to the $120 million project and are waiting for a script before making a decision.

The first film, which was No. 11 in Georges "Herge" Remi's 24-book Tintin series, was written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish.

Jackson is currently taking a stab at the second film and sketching out ideas, though he wouldn't necessarily take screenplay credit for that film and could possibly hand script duties back to Moffat, Wright and Cornish.

Even the casting of the first film suggests a strong Jackson influence: Beside the inclusion of "LOTR's" Andy Serkis, the helmer made a personal call to enlist star Jamie Bell, who played a supporting role in Jackson's "King Kong."

But Spielberg's camp insists he will have a firm handle on all aspects of the film, including its special effects. Jackson and Spielberg have rigged a video conferencing system by which Spielberg is able to see everything Jackson sees at the Weta facility in New Zealand.

Spielberg and Kennedy also are making their presence felt with the project's early marketing decisions.

Paramount, which will distribute the film in all English-speaking territories and Asia, has the bigger challenge, with much lower awareness of the property in these territories, particularly the United States.

But one Par top exec downplayed any perceived challenges.

"It's not like there was any awareness on 'Kung Fu Panda' either," the exec says. "We had to go out and introduce this property to the world."

Still, "Kung Fu Panda" enjoyed a high-profile voice cast, with stars Angelina Jolie and Jack Black tubthumping in the film's behalf. By contrast, the only household name in "Tintin's" cast is current James Bond incarnation Daniel Craig, who is notorious for eschewing press junkets.

Sony, which is handling all overseas regions outside Asia, will likely have an easier time selling the film ahead of its planned 2011 release because the comicbook, which has been translated into 50 languages, remains hugely popular in the territories Sony will handle, including non-English-speaking Europe and India.

If anyone can overcome the film's challenges and silence the questions, it's the combined superpower of Spielberg and Jackson. Still, this highly anticipated collaboration continues to beg more questions than it answers.


Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan has cancerous tumour removed (The Guardian)


La noticia es mala, pero parece que no tanto. Aseguran que la operación salió bien y que la banda retomará su gira el 8 de junio...

The singer is recovering from an operation to remove a malignancy from his bladder and will return to touring on 8 June

Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan has undergone surgery to have a cancerous tumour removed from his bladder, it has been announced.

A message posted on the band's website said the singer had "a severe bout of gastroenteritis, leading to his hospitalisation and the cancellation of the Athens concert. While in hospital, further medical tests revealed a low-grade malignant tumour in Dave's bladder, which has since been successfully removed".

The news comes after Depeche Mode were forced to cancel a series of shows earlier this month after Gahan was taken ill. The electro-pop group were beginning a world tour for their latest album, Sounds of the Universe.

Depeche Mode are best known for their hits Just Can't Get Enough and Personal Jesus and have sold more than 100m albums since forming in Basildon, Essex in 1980.

The band's website confirms the tour will restart early next month, saying: "At doctors' orders Dave Gahan must take a break until 8 June, to ensure that he makes a full recovery. The Leipzig show on 8 June will be the first concert following Dave's recovery." The site also states that the cancelled shows will be rescheduled.

The statement went on to "sincerely thank fans for their support, understanding and patience" and apologises for "any problems or inconveniences the cancellations and postponements may have caused".


"Up", de Pete Docter (The New York Times)


By Manohla Dargis

In its opening stretch the new Pixar movie “Up” flies high, borne aloft by a sense of creative flight and a flawlessly realized love story. Its on-screen and unlikely escape artist is Carl Fredricksen, a widower and former balloon salesman with a square head and a round nose that looks ready for honking. Voiced with appreciable impatience by Ed Asner, Carl isn’t your typical American animated hero. He’s 78, for starters, and the years have taken their toll on his lugubrious body and spirit, both of which seem solidly tethered to the ground. Even the two corners of his mouth point straight down. It’s as if he were sagging into the earth.

Eventually a bouquet of balloons sends Carl and his house soaring into the sky, where they go up, up and away and off to an adventure in South America with a portly child, some talking (and snarling and gourmet-cooking) dogs and an unexpected villain. Though the initial images of flight are wonderfully rendered — the house shudders and creaks and splinters and groans as it’s ripped from its foundation by the balloons — the movie remains bound by convention, despite even its modest 3-D depth. This has become the Pixar way. Passages of glorious imagination are invariably matched by stock characters and banal story choices, as each new movie becomes another manifestation of the movie-industry divide between art and the bottom line.

In “Up” that divide is evident between the early scenes, which tell Carl’s story with extraordinary tenderness and brilliant narrative economy, and the later scenes of him as a geriatric action hero. The movie opens with the young Carl enthusing over black-and-white newsreel images of his hero, a world-famous aviator and explorer, Charles Muntz (Christopher Plummer). Shortly thereafter, Carl meets Ellie, a plucky, would-be adventurer who, a few edits later, becomes his beloved wife, an adult relationship that the director Pete Docter brilliantly compresses into some four wordless minutes during which the couple dream together, face crushing disappointment and grow happily old side by side. Like the opener of “Wall-E” and the critic’s Proustian reminiscence of childhood in “Ratatouille,” this is filmmaking at its purest.

The absence of words suggests that Mr. Docter and the co-director Bob Peterson, with whom he wrote the screenplay, are looking back to the silent era, as Andrew Stanton did with the Chaplinesque start to “Wall-E.” Even so, partly because “Up” includes a newsreel interlude, its marriage sequence also brings to mind the breakfast table in “Citizen Kane.” In this justly famous (talking) montage, Orson Welles shows the collapse of a marriage over a number of years through a series of images of Kane and his first wife seated across from each other at breakfast, another portrait of a marriage in miniature. As in their finest work, the Pixar filmmakers have created thrilling cinema simply by rifling through its history.

Those thrills begin to peter out after the boy, Russell (Jordan Nagai), inadvertently hitches a ride with Carl, forcing the old man to assume increasingly grandfatherly duties. But before that happens there are glories to savor, notably the scenes of Carl — having decided to head off on the kind of adventure Ellie and he always postponed — taking to the air. When the multihued balloons burst through the top of his wooden house it’s as if a thousand gloriously unfettered thoughts had bloomed above his similarly squared head. Especially lovely is the image of a little girl jumping in giddy delight as the house rises in front of her large picture window, the sunlight through the balloons daubing her room with bright color.

In time Carl and Russell, an irritant whose Botero proportions recall those of the human dirigibles in “Wall-E,” float to South America where they, the house and the movie come down to earth. Though Mr. Docter’s visual imagination shows no signs of strain here — the image of Carl stubbornly pulling his house, now tethered to his torso, could have come out of the illustrated Freud — the story grows progressively more formulaic. And cuter. Carl comes face to face with his childhood hero, Muntz, an eccentric with the dashing looks and frenetic energy of a younger Kirk Douglas. Muntz lives with a legion of talking dogs with which he has been hunting a rare bird whose gaudy plumage echoes the palette of Carl’s balloons.

The talking dogs are certainly a hoot, including the slobbering yellow furball Dug and a squeaky-voiced Doberman, Alpha (both Mr. Peterson), not to mention the dog in the kitchen and the one that pops open the Champagne. And there’s something to be said about the revelation that heroes might not be what you imagined, particularly in a children’s movie and particularly one released by Disney. (Muntz seems partly inspired by Charles Lindbergh at his most heroic and otherwise.) But much like Russell, the little boy with father problems, and much like Dug, the dog with master issues, the story starts to feel ingratiating enough to warrant a kick. O.K., O.K., not a kick, just some gently expressed regret.

“Up” is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested). A wee bit of gentle action and a climactic fight scene, but nothing inappropriate for any viewer of any age.

UP

Opens on Friday nationwide.

Directed by Pete Docter; co-directed by Bob Peterson; written by Mr. Docter and Mr. Peterson based on a story by Mr. Docter, Mr. Peterson and Tom McCarthy; director of photography, camera, Patrick Lin; director of photography, lighting, Jean-Claude Kalache; edited by Kevin Nolting; music by Michael Giacchino; production designer, Ricky Nierva; produced by Jonas Rivera; released by Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

WITH THE VOICES OF: Ed Asner (Carl Fredricksen), Christopher Plummer (Charles Muntz), Jordan Nagai (Russell), Bob Peterson (Dug/Alpha), Delroy Lindo (Beta), Jerome Ranft (Gamma) and John Ratzenberger (Construction Foreman Tom).


28.5.09

La incógnita Ratanaruang


Durante Junio, Miércoles a las 20.00 y Jueves a las 15.00


En el mes de Junio espacio.ciclos estrena cuatro películas de un cineasta que se ha mantenido en las sombras y periferias de las pantallas porteñas, el cineasta tailandés Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Recorriendo su obra, Ratanaruang se presenta como un narrador seductor, que intenta hacernos entrar en el universo de sus pasiones a través de los sentidos y sensaciones que la combinación de sus planos nos develan. Tras cada película se observa una mayor conciencia de los materiales cinematográficos con los que decide trabajar, ya sean las convenciones del género policial como las abstracciones de la convivencia del mundo de la vigilia y el del ensueño. Cineasta de lo contemporáneo, en sus imágenes desfila un cierto estilo que caracteriza la más destacada filmografía del nuevo lejano oriente. ¿Se tratará de un nuevo orientalismo, es decir, de una nueva versión de la imagen de lo exótico ya tan fabricada para occidente; de un nuevo ejemplo del “estilo internacional” que nos está fosilizando o será la llave para sumergir al cine hacia nuevas profundidades? Evidentemente y luego de estrenar su última película “Ninfa” en la reciente edición del Festival de Cannes, Ratanaruang se confirma como un cineasta ineludible del presente que sólo el futuro confirmará su poder, originalidad y vigencia.

69

(Ruang talok 69- Tailandia – Color - 90 min. – 1999)
Miércoles 3 de Junio, 20 hs. Jueves 4 de Junio, 15hs.

VIDAS TRUNCAS
(Last days in universe – Tailandia/Japón – 112 min – 2003)
Miércoles 10 de Junio, 20 hs. Jueves 11 de Junio, 15hs.

INVISIBLE WAVES
(Ruang rak noi nid mahasan - Tailandia / Holanda / Hong Kong / Corea del Sur - Color - 115 min. – 2006)
Miércoles 17 de Junio, 20 hs. Jueves 18 de Junio, 15hs.

PLOY
(Ploy – Tailandia – Color - 105 min. – 2007)
Miércoles 24 de Junio, 20 hs. Jueves 25 de Junio 15hs.

ENTRADA LIBRE Y GRATUITA
Miércoles a las 20 hs. y Jueves a las 15 hs.

SALA DE PROYECCIONES
DE LA UNIVERSIDAD DEL CINE
Pasaje Giuffra 330 – San Telmo


Hayden - The Place Where We Lived (2009)


Link

Paul Hayden Desser (born February 12, 1971) who records as Hayden, is a Canadian singer-songwriter from Thornhill, Ontario. He began recording on a 4-track in the early 1990’s. After a few singles and cassettes, his first full length record was released in 1995. Everything I Long For marked the beginning of a 15 year cycle of recording, touring and lots of time off.

The Place Where We Lived is the 6th full-length album by Hayden. Since releasing In Field and Town in January, 2008, Hayden has been busy on tour supporting acts as diverse as The National and Feist, as well as headlining shows in the U.S., Australia and canada both solo and backed by friends Cuff the Duke.

During one of these tours, he decided that it was time to try something new. Hayden is known for his reclusive nature both personally and musically, often playing most instruments himself on record, and self-producing each of his albums over the past fifteen years. While he often brings in friends to play an instrument here and there, not since the 1998 release The Closer I Get, has Hayden brought in a producer to get songs onto tape.

The decision to enlist Howie Beck was not difficult. Not only has the critically acclaimed songwriter / producer been involved with, and played on several of Hayden’s recordings, but the two musicians have been good friends for years. Beck’s keen musical sense and precise attention to detail enabled Hayden to focus more on the songs themselves. “I’ve worked with Hayden a lot in the past, says Howie, “but mostly collaborating purely as a musician - I’d play instruments, but generally Hayden had a pretty good idea of where he wanted me to fit in.”

This time around, inspired by performing on the road, Hayden decided to focus more on being a songwriter and musician. On the last three records, I took so long making them that I actually looked different once they were done, jokes Hayden, When I began In Field and Town, I was a vibrant young man?. One of the goals before recording was to “play the songs;” to move quickly and not get lost in the process of recording, but to find the essence of the songs in the studio. Recording some brand new compositions, and some that were written but not yet recorded, this new freedom allowed the sessions to flow quickly. Many talented musicians added their own pieces to the puzzle. Cuff the Duke and Hayden moved right from an American tour into Canterbury Sound in Toronto to record some tracks live-off-the-floor, while other musicians showed up at Howie’s 4 Walls Studios armed only with their instruments and an hour to do their thing. Holly Throsby added her hauntingly beautiful voice through the magic of long-distance recording from Australia to Toronto online, and sometimes it was the simple magic of Hayden alone at the microphone playing piano or guitar and singing live.

The Place Where We Lived is a moment in time for Hayden, capturing the perfect balance between studio recordings and constant movement. A combination of new songs, and songs re-found. Never labored, the album is one of his best works to date.


Tarantino’s 'Biggest Hit' Ever (The Daily Beast)


In his first U.S. interview about his new war film, Inglourious Basterds, provocateur Quentin Tarantino opens up about directing Brad Pitt and that "God" comment at Cannes.

By Anne Thompson

“It would be wonderful to get nice reviews,” veteran French critic Pierre Rissient, a longtime adviser to the Cannes Film Festival, told Quentin Tarantino as the reaction to Inglourious Basterds started posting. “But you’re a provocateur. Nice is not always best. You need to shake it up, say ‘fuck you.’”

The 46-year-old American auteur took some comfort in Rissient’s words as he found himself the victim of the inevitable: Cannes backlash. No film could have lived up to the hype surrounding his homage to Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and World War II movies, Inglourious Basterds. Tarantino’s fifth Cannes entry after Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction (which won the Palme d’Or), Kill Bill: Volume II, and Death Proof was doomed to fall short of overloaded expectations.

Critics described Inglourious Basterds—starring Brad Pitt as the leader of a renegade Nazi-hunting brigade in German-occupied France—as “an obese, pampered adolescent” (The Guardian), “a distinctive piece of American pop art with a Euro flavor” (Variety), “blithely neglectful of basic storytelling tropes in order to indulge his auteurist peccadillos” (Time Out New York), and “a fairytale of unusual and thoughtful daring, a return at last by Tarantino to his combustible and operatic best” (The London Times).

“This is nothing new for me,” Tarantino says, remembering some of the bad reviews he got on 1994’s Pulp Fiction, especially. But the Cannes reviews were “frustrating,” he admits, because he has always relied on character and dialogue. “Who says a playwright has too much dialogue?” he asks. “The one time I eschewed dialogue with Kill Bill: Vol. I, all the critics complained.”

And Tarantino says he has always given his movies more novelistic than cinematic structures: “Separate film chapters tell our story. I create mosaics, following this story and that story, and eventually they all converge—unless you’re dealing with Reservoir Dogs or Death Proof, which have straightforward storytelling.”

It’s been a whirlwind year for the director, who has long believed in making films slowly to stand the test of time. That is, until Death Proof, which did not benefit, he says, from too much overfiddling. So he put Inglourious Basterds on a tight schedule with a Cannes deadline.

After finishing last July the 165-page script he had been writing on and off since 1999, Tarantino obtained backing for a $70 million picture from loyal patron Harvey Weinstein and Universal Pictures, landed his most megawatt star ever, Brad Pitt, almost canceled the October shoot before he finally found the multilingual Christoph Waltz to star in a pivotal role, and stayed on schedule during 10 weeks of shooting on location in Germany. And after three months of editing, he delivered a dripping-wet print to Cannes—a place he considers “Cinema Nirvana,” where “cinema matters, it’s important”—at a running time of two hours, 27 minutes: 13 minutes less than Pulp Fiction and 19 minutes less than he needed to retain final cut.

Now the director can go back to America and give the movie a proper preview outside California—which was always the plan—and tweak the timing with “an audience pruning cut.” (The movie opens August 21.) He may even add one of several scenes left on the cutting-room floor. While Maggie Cheung as Madame Mimieux will not be restored, Tarantino will see how an additional scene plays that features sexy Irish actor Michael Fassbender as a British film-critic soldier trying to pass muster as a German officer.

Inglourious Basterds is broken into five chapters; much like Kill Bill, each is influenced by a different movie genre. The opening sequence, a two-hander between Jew hunter Colonel Landa (Waltz) and a French farmer (Denis Menochet) seeking to protect his three lovely daughters, was inspired by Leone westerns as well as the opening sequence of Heaven's Gate. (Tarantino thinks his writing in this scene tops his personal best: the Sicilian speech in True Romance.)

The second chapter, which introduces the Basterds, led by hillbilly Lt. Aldo Raine (Pitt), is a “Western with World War II iconography,” Tarantino says. The third, introducing French actress Melanie Laurent as a Jew hiding at a Paris cinema, is shot in lustrous black-and-white in French New Wave style. “From Chapter Four on, it becomes like ‘60s World War II guys on a mission, like The Guns of Navarone.”

The trick to keeping Tarantino’s movies modern so that they play well going forward, he says, is to play it risky, not safe. “One thing that makes a World War II movie quaint and old-fashioned is not doing the correct languages,” he says. So four languages are spoken in the course of the movie, much of which is subtitled.

And the women in the movie are as active, fearless and competent as the men, from Laurent’s Jewish French resistance fighter to Diane Kruger’s glam German movie-star spy, modeled on Hildegard Knef. Thanks to Tarantino, says Laurent, "women can be independent in a period film."

Nor does the director care if his reflexive use of titles, musical cues from Ennio Morricone, an unidentified narrator (Samuel L. Jackson), and multiple film references are distracting for audiences. There’s no knowing what he’s going to do, from charming us with heroic, charismatic Germans like Daniel Brühl to killing off the characters we like. “I want to do a movie that pushes you in, and pulls you out,” he says.

Tarantino didn’t set out to produce a love letter to European cinema, he says: “I go where the character and scenario takes me.” With Kill Bill, “I started to write a female martial-arts revenge movie, but that’s not what came out,” he says. “With Reservoir Dogs I wanted to write the best heist film ever and you never saw the heist. With Inglourious Basterds, I enjoy the war-mission subgenre but I want to forward it, make it bigger, broader, more artistic. I don’t want to do an art film meditation either, but when it comes to the last two reels, I have to deliver the good stuff. I got to write a war film and a love letter to cinema. I’m a slave to passions. But I never called it an action movie, ever ever.”

While the movie boasts plenty of violent killing of Jews and Nazis, including closeups of head-scalping and baseball-bat bashing by Hostel writer-director Eli Roth (who calls it “kosher porn”), Tarantino saves his big action set piece for last (spoiler alert) as the world is saved by a cataclysm of flame. In this alternate reality, Tarantino says, "the power of cinema brings down the Third Reich.”

Needless to say, modesty is not Tarantino’s calling card. While he was referring to his power over his characters when he told the Cannes press conference, “I am God,” he insists that Inglourious Basterds is a mainstream movie: “I think the popular response will bear that out. I think it will be the biggest hit I have ever done.”


27.5.09

"Bad Lieutenant", de Werner Herzog (trailer)




mmm, que extraño luce esto!

Final de la Champions


Eso. Hoy no me pidan que escriba nada.
El cine no le importa a nadie, después de todo...

Audiard’s “Prophet” Hailed by Critics, Bloggers as Best of Cannes (IndieWire)


Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet,” winner of the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, was picked as the best film of the festival by a small group of sixteen English language critics and bloggers polled over the weekend by indieWIRE. Audiard’s film topped Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” and Corneliu Porumboiu’s “Police, Adjective” in the survey.

“A Prophet” was also singled out for best screenplay and its lead actor, Tahar Rahim, scored the acting achievement nod.

The list of top selections in each ballot category follows, with comments provided by some of those polled. Participants in the survey included: Baz Bamigboye from The Daily Mail, Alex Bilington from FirstShowing.net, writer Mike D’Angelo from Paste and A.V. Club, frequent iW contributor (and Screen critic) Howard Feinstein, indieWIRE’s Eugene Hernandez, iW critic Eric Kohn, Eric Lavallee from ION Cinema, blogger and writer Michael Lerman, critic and writer Dennis Lim, Karina Longworth from Spout.com, writer Patrick McGavin, Wesley Morris from the Boston Globe, IFC TV’s Matt Singer, Amy Taubin from Film Comment, Variety blogger, Anne Thompson, and IFC’s Alison Wilmore.

FILM
1) “A Prophet” - 14 pts (6 mentions)
- “Antichrist” - 11 pts (5 mentions)
- “Police, Adjective” - 10 pts (5 mentions); The White Ribbon - 10 (5 mentions)

DIRECTOR
1) Jacques Audiard - 15 pts (6 mentions)
- Gaspar Noe - 14 pts (5 mentions)
- Lars von Trier - 12 pts (5 mentions)

SCREENPLAY
1) “A Prophet” - 11 pts (7 mentions)
- “Up” - 8 pts (3 mentions); “The White Ribbon” - 8 pts (3 mentions)

ACTING PERFORMANCE
1) Tahar Rahim, “A Prophet” - 16 pts (6 mentions)
- Giovanni Mezzogiorno, “Vincere” - 10 pts (4 mentions)
- Ronnie Bronstein, “Go Get Some Rosemary” - 8 pts (6 mentions); Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds” - 8 pts (4 mentions)

WORST FILM
1) “Kinatay” - 12 pts (5 mentions)
- “Antichrist” - 8 pts (4 mentions)
- “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo” - 7 pts (4 mentions)
- “Tetro” - 7 (3 mentions)

COMMENTS

Alex Bilington:
“The line-up looked very strong before the fest began, but after seeing most of them, it’s turning out to be a weak year. A few great highlights, like ‘Un Prophete’, but there have been quite a few let downs this year.”

Howard Feinstein:
“This has happened before: Everyone gets excited by the names of the “big” directors on the festival circuit. And, once again, most of their works were minor, certainly not their best, with the notable exceptions of Michael Haneke, Gaspar Noe, and Bahman Ghobadi, all with career bests, in my opinion.

Eric Lavallee:
“The Quinzaine (‘Daniel y Ana’, ‘J’ai Tue Ma Mere’, ‘La Famille Wolberg’, ‘Polytechnique’) and Un Certain Regard sidebars (‘Politist, Adjectiv’, ‘Le Pere De Mes Enfants’, ‘Dogtooth’, ‘Tales From the Golden Age’, ‘Air Doll’) were strong this year, but contrary to what I had originally thought, 2009’s main competition won’t be remembered as a vintage year for Cannes. I’m thinking of recent titles from previous years (‘The Class’, ‘Gomorrah’, ‘Waltz with Bashir’, ‘4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days’, ‘Diving Bell & the Butterfly’, ‘No Country For Old Men’, ‘Silent Light’, ‘Babel’, ‘Cache’, ‘Volver’) and I can honestly say in all likelihood: that titles from Venice and TIFF (over that of Cannes) will dominate year end top ten lists.

Alison Wilmore:
“I saw plenty of very good films this year, but those moments at the end of ‘Enter The Void’ and ‘Antichrist’, in which the cheers and boos competed and out on the streets were dozens of heated conversations about the film we’d just watched, those are why I love coming to this festival.”

Eric Kohn:
“This was a year of images with significant resonance. From the visual provocations of ‘Antichrist’ and ‘Enter the Void’ to the unsettling Bergmanesque vision of communal disruption in ‘The White Ribbon’, the sheer power of the moving image persistently reverberated with audiences. Some people have claimed that Cannes’s 62nd year was a weaker one from an aesthetic standpoint; nothing could be further from the truth, because even the movies that divided audiences stuck with all of them. And that’s what good movies—and good film festivals—are all about.

Anonymous at writer’s request:
“From Bong Joon-Ho to Sam Raimi, each director in the selection started the next chapter of their career this year in Cannes. 2009 will go down as the year where we all had the highest hopes for the festival based on the profile of the directors in the lineup and those directors managed to continuously surprise us - sometimes by drastically shifting gears from previous work, sometimes by disappointing us with the quality of their new films, but more often than not exceeding expectations in the most unexpected ways.


26.5.09

Amen Dunes - Dia (2009)


Link


"When we first got this in, we were convinced it was some reissued lost psychedelic gem from the sixties or seventies. From the blurry red and black cover, the dearth of information, and heck it's on Locust, a label well known for killer reissues. So we threw it on, and we were still convinced, although we were blown away by its raw feral blown out psychedelic poppiness. Were there really bands making this sort of inspired and drug fueled racket 30 or 40 years ago? Perhaps, but Amen Dunes wasn't one of them. No, Amen Dunes is apparently the work of one man, a guy called Damon McMahon, who spent an extended stretch holed up in his house in the Catskills (although apparently now, he's holed up in his new house, in CHINA!) channeling some serious demons, and creating a brain melting, warped and distorted, fucked up and freaked out psychedelic classic.

There are definitely hints of the new wave of noise rock, all that shit gaze stuff, and lo-fi garage, Eat Skull, Psychedelic Horseshit, Wavves, Oh Sees, etc, but Amen Dunes' sound is much more old school, going all the way back to drugged out sonic visionaries like Roky Erickson and George Brigman and the like.

Super distorted, everything doused in reverb and delay and distortion, the recording super lo-fi, tape hiss all over the place, murky and muddy, and gloriously fuggy, the vocals slipping from feral shriek, to swoonsome moan, to almost Beach Boys like croon, but even at their most melodic, they remain a bit off kilter, slightly ominous, the rantings of some inspired lunatic right on the edge. The music is rough and raw, but catchy as hell, guitars buzz and jangle, detuned into bizarre Eastern sounding modalities or whipped up into a frenzied squall of Hendrixian freakout. The bass is a huge part of the sound too, rubbery and warm, thick and undulating, sometimes just offering up a layer of deep rumble, other times creating some truly haunting melodic counterpoint. The drums are simple and sporadic, a shuffling pound, a minimal skitter, a loose rickety framework for the
Dunes' constantly-on-the-verge-of-collapse echo drenched drone pop, a sort of chilled out Dead C vibe permeates the proceedings as well, a way more damaged and even more druggy Velvets vibe too, all of this shit through with some old timey folkiness, it's a bit of a hodge podge, but it works.

The fractured looped psych drone weirdness of "Fleshless Esta Mira Wife Of Spades" is followed by the almost countryish "Patagonian Domes", before the woozy atonal Supreme Dicks worship of "By The Bridal", with some serious shades of Neutral Milk Hotel (we kid you not).


The rest of the record is equally as tripped out and all over the place, while managing to sound like an actual record, not just a collection of songs. "White Lace" is a gorgeous chunk of softly strummed murk, with super catchy vocals, layers of hiss and buzz, and a smattering of strange electronics, "Castles" is total Laurel Canyon country folk, but infused with just a little more pathos, the vocals a super gorgeous, on the verge of cracking wail, the hand claps, shakers and simple strumming underpinned by a warm wheezing organ. A handful of the songs sound almost Beatles-esque, super classic jangly pop, just barely psychedelic, with the guitars subtly warped, but the killer hooks totally intact, and then the record closes with "Breaker", maybe one of the most moving and intense tracks on the record, the musical accompaniment, minimal, simple softly strummed guitar, and some soft organ shimmer, but the vocals, so impassioned and emotional, raw and way up front, melodic and intense, howling and wailing, with multiple voices multitracked into a gorgeous wavery, fractured two part harmony, that ends up sounding like some sort of outsider gospel music. Totally inspirational, mind blowing, rocking, catchy, darkly mysterious... Easily one of our favorite records of the year so far!!"
Aquarius Records



Cannes: balance a ciegas (Parte 2)


Obviamente me quedé pensando y elaborando algunas ideas después de los comentarios acerca del "sensacionalismo de autor" (¿será un buen término ese para reemplazar el de "shock value"?) que buscan los festivales y se me ocurrió que el asunto es bastante más "peligroso" que la posibilidad o no de entrar en la Competencia de Cannes o de algún festival grande. Iré, punto por punto, como hacen algunos colegas, más que nada porque son ideas sueltas que no termino de organizar del todo bien.

Para los que les preocupan estas cosas, hay "spoilers" pero de películas algo viejas...


1.- El cineasta que busca productor necesita convencerlo con un concepto fuerte. Ahí nace el problema y no en lo que elige Thierry Fremaux. Si en Hollywood, el "pitch" es contar una historia en 25 palabras y que la entienda Doña Rosa, el autor de "cine arte" debe impresionar a su posible financista con algún arma poderosa para diferenciarse del resto. Más allá de lo que me parezcan las películas en sí (algunas de las que mencionaré me gustan, otras no), calculo que hay ideas que son más "vendibles" que otras. No es lo mismo decir que vas a hacer una película sobre una comunidad menonita en el medio de México que decir que vas a hacer una que incluye ¡una resurrección!

2.- "¿Cómo me distingo como cineasta, como vendo mi película a un distribuidor internacional, como marco mi territorio entre cientos o miles de cineastas emergentes de países idem?" Es un largo proceso de convencer a gente: productores, fundaciones, festivales, críticos, distribuidores, exhibidores. Hay que darles "algo de que agarrarse". Voy a ser tal vez un poco cruel con esto, pero me temo que las entradas de Lisandro Alonso a Cannes pudieron haber sido "ayudadas" por lo shockeante de algunas escenas de sus películas. Y hasta Albert Serra "vende" un producto por "el lado opuesto": el Quijote, los Reyes Magos, ahora Drácula, todo en versión Serra. Ya es una marca, por más que sus películas nos gusten.

3.- Muchos de los autores venden sus ejercicios de crueldad amparados en la excusa de un crudo realismo y muchos espectadores/críticos las compran bajo la excusa de "así son las cosas". Me parece terriblemente falso.

4.- El otro día discutía con un colega sobre una escena de "La sangre brota", de Pablo Fendrik. Es una en la que una madre que tiene un bebé aparentemente enfermo lo deja en un carro de supermercado, se va, sale de cuadro, la cámara se queda con el bebé llorando, y tras medio minuto ella vuelve y se lo lleva. En la discusión, como suele pasar entre críticos, surgió el ya remanido tema de la abyección. De hecho, en su momento, la escena me molestó un poco, pero no lo suficiente como para anular el interés que me provocaba la película. Pero la pregunta es: ¿hace falta dejar al bebé llorando un minuto en pos de capturar la atención del espectador?

5.- Me siento como en la necesidad de aclarar que no estoy contra la truculencia en cine "per se". Al contrario, dentro de un código de referencias que la puede albergar (generalmente ligado al cine de género o todo lo que sea cita, "movie-movie" o aún ciertas películas o cineastas que lo saben manejar de manera sutil, caso Cronenberg, o por tomar un ejemplo reciente, "Iraqi Short Films", de Mauro Andrizzi), me divierte, me entretiene, me gusta. Lo que no soporto es lo expresado en el punto 3.

6.- Dicen las malas lenguas que el actor de "El espejo", Oleg Yankovsky, que murió el fin de semana, lo hizo luego de enterarse que Lars von Trier le dedicó "Antichrist" a Tarkovsky y que dijo que el director ruso y en especial "El espejo", le cambiaron la vida... (chiste grueso, lo sé)

7.- Empecé a ver una película de Cannes que me pasaron el otro día en DVD. Si este semibodrio de la Quincena recibió alguna calificación de "6" por parte de los votantes, no quiero ni pensar lo terribles que son las que van de 5 para abajo...

8.- Volviendo a los procesos que deben atravesar los cineastas hasta llegar a estrenar su película: no olvidar la presentación de guiones en los correspondientes concursos o institutos de cinematografía nacionales. De vuelta: ¿cómo se destaca ahí un pitch o un guión o lo que sea? Me imagino que --salvo que seas consagrado o "amigo del juez"-- hay que hacerlo con elementos similares: el final de "El custodio", el tema de "XXY", etc. Seguro que hay muchas más, muchas que no necesitan "elementos fuertes", pero esas son de las que menos se habla...

Nota: no vi la película de Kore-eda a la cual pertenece la foto, pero lo de la muñeca inflable...







25.5.09

Entrevistas con Scorsese, Coppola (The Guardian podcast)

Alineación al centro

Link

Lo venden como una entrevista con Coppola y Scorsese y me ilusioné con encontrar algo bastante inusual. En realidad, es una entrevista con uno primero, con el otro después, y el "podcast" sigue con más entrevistas de audio. De cualquier manera, es interesante. Lo de Scorsese es básicamente sobre "Las zapatillas rojas" ("The Red Shoes"), que él llevó restaurada a Cannes. Y Coppola habla de "Tetro", obviamente...



Andrew Bird - Fitz and the Dizzyspells EP (2009)


Link


1. Fitz & The Dizzyspells
2. Sectionate City
3. Ten-You-Us
4. See The Enemy
5. The Nightshade Gets In It


Fitz and the Dizzy Spells is the fifth EP by American singer-songwriter Andrew Bird, released on May 11, 2009.

LA FUC, otra vez...


Pequeño "brote" de argentinitis: el cineasta portugués Joao Salaviza que ganó la Palma de Oro por su cortometraje "Arena" terminó sus estudios en la Universidad del Cine de Buenos Aires (FUC). Lo que leí por ahí no es muy claro (si fue un master o qué), lo único que dice es que estudió un año (el 2006) en la siempre triunfadora --aún de manera indirecta-- FUC.

Felicitaciones a Salaviza y de paso a la FUC...

Acá encuentro algo más, pero está en portugués y no lo voy a traducir. Seguro que lo entienden. Y verán al final que la culpa de todo es de Quintín, que --si mal no recuerdo-- programó ese ciclo de cine argentino en IndieLisboa que Salaviza recuerda y que lo hizo venir aquí.

Esto es del diario Público, de Lisboa:

"Está ainda a acabar uma cadeira, no Conservatório, de Psicologia e Cinema. O curso estava incompleto, questões de equivalências, por causa de um protocolo que o fez, em 2006, continuar os estudos na escola de cinema de Buenos Aires, na Argentina. Tinha ficado fascinado com uma retrospectiva sobre cinema argentino na primeira edição do IndieLisboa. E foi uma "decisão de vida": testemunhar, in loco, o "entusiasmo" dos argentinos pelo cinema de Pablo Trapero, Lucrecia Martel ou Lisandro Alonso.

"É uma coisa que em Portugal não há. Fazemos 10 filmes por ano. Não deve haver outro país no mundo com, em termos relativos, uma percentagem de filmes tão bons. E no entanto há um desinteresse total das pessoas pelo cinema que é diferente. A minha geração tem a possibilidade de descobrir tudo. Eu, se quiser ver o filme de um qualquer cineasta malaio, posso fazer download. E no entanto, paradoxalmente, a minha geração continua a ver as mesmas coisas, a ouvir as mesmas coisas. Os filmes portugueses estão condenados a serem descobertas dos festivais internacionais. Provavelmente é o que me vai acontecer também."


Former Wilco member Jay Bennett dies (Los Angeles Times)


Multi-instrumentalist and former member of Wilco Jay Bennett died this weekend, according to a post on the website for Undertow Music Collective. He was 45.

A cause of death was unknown. “We are profoundly saddened to report that our friend died in his sleep last night. Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed,” read the update on Undertow. The company released his 2002 solo album, “Palace at 4 am (Part I).”

Representatives from the label and management firm had not responded to requests for comment as of Sunday evening, but the Chicago Sun-Times reached Bennett’s friend and collaborator Edward Burch. "Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed," Burch told Jim DeRogatis.

In the late ‘80s, Bennett founded the rock band Titanic Love Affair in Urbana, Ill., which lasted into the mid-‘90s. He was best known for his seven years in adventurous rock act Wilco. Bennett split from the Chicago-based group in 2001, and since his departure had been pursuing a solo career, as well as operating Pieholden Suite Sound – named after a song on Wilco’s 1999 album “Summerteeth” -- in Champaign , Ill.

Bennett released the solo effort “Whatever Happened I Apologize” via the Web late last year, and reported at that time that he was pursuing "another" master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Yet it was Bennett’s time in Wilco that won him the most acclaim.

He had a not-so-amicable split from the band in 2001, which was documented in the 2002 film “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” and Greg Kot’s book “Wilco: Learning How to Die.” He did, however, play a major role in the band as a writer, producer and musician. The orchestrated pop of “Summerteeth” further stripped Wilco of its country-rock roots, and 2002’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” saw the band move into more atmospheric territory.

Bennett was asked to leave the group before “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” was released, and his relationship with Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy remained strained. In early May of this year, Bennett filed suit against his former band mate for breach of contract stemming from his participation in “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” Bennett was seeking damages in excess of $50,000, according to court papers.

Late last month, Bennett posted on his MySpace page that he was to undergo hip replacement surgery, revealing that he had been living with a torn ACL since his time in Titanic Love Affair, and lacked health insurance. He was also completing work on his fifth solo effort, "Kicking at the Perfumed Air."

"This whole experience has really taught me to look both inward and outward for support, and I’ve learned things about myself that I thought I had completely figured out years ago," Bennett wrote on his MySpace page. "Family and friends have helped me to keep faith in a future that will actually be much more carefree than my constricted present state. I encourage you all to tell me stories of recovery, as they really do help."

Representatives for Wilco could not be reached for comment.

-- Todd Martens


Cannes: un balance a ciegas


Dejemos ya de lado el tema números (se me siguen ocurriendo variantes estadísticas pero ya está, ya pasó). Lo que me interesa ahora es tratar de analizar no la premiación, sino la idea de lo que es la competencia de Cannes para los que la programan. Y como no vi ninguna película, me siento en total libertad para hacerlo. Como decía un célebre crítico, "no quiero que la obra influya en la opinión que tengo de ella".

A partir del bajo puntaje de muchas películas de la Competencia y de la suba del nivel --aparente-- de Un Certain Regard me da la impresión que Fremaux quiere transformar la Competición en una suerte de "showcase", de escenario de lujo para películas "que llaman la atención" y dejar lo que algunos consideran "el clásico cine arte" para UCR o, directamente, a la Quincena.

La presencia de películas con escenas "controvertidas" como las de Von Trier, Noé o Mendoza, un filme de Ken Loach que tiene a Eric Cantona, una película china "prohibida en su país", la convocatoria que siempre producen Tarantino y Almodóvar. Son todos "casos" que parecen elegidos más por la repercusión que pueden causar que por la calidad en sí de las películas.

Parece que se programara pensando en el eco que cada película puede tener. No alcanza con programar una gran película, tiene que ser una con violaciones, estupro, empalamientos, asesinatos de niños o Sergi Lopez (que tal vez sea peor que todo lo previo...) Cuando un filme, como dicen quienes los vieron, es simplemente bueno y no "llama la atención" (caso Bellocchio, Resnais, o, suponemos, "Fish Tank"), a nadie se le mueve un pelo.

Se necesita la cobertura Twitter, el eco del blog, el rumor Facebook. Es el festival del efecto inmediato. Y nada mejor para probarlo que ese video que alguien subió a YouTube y en el que filmó cinco minutos de una eyaculación vista desde adentro en la película de Gaspar Noé. El asunto corrió tan rápido (je!) que a las horas lo habían borrado.

Imagino que nadie sube a Twitter cada dos minutos lo que pasa en las películas de Raya Martin o Hong Sang-soo (un update de Twitter de Hong sería "beben soju", "ahora beben más soju", "siguen bebiendo soju"), pero sí pueden hacerlo con Tarantino, Von Trier o Almodóvar. Muchos consideraron que de las dos películas coreanas, "Mother", de Bong Jong-hoo, era mucho mejor que "Thirst", de Park Chan-wook. ¿Pero para qué poner un drama policial sobre una madre y su hijo cuando se puede poner una de un cura que se transforma en vampiro? (corríjanme si me equivoco...)

No quiero decir con esto que, necesariamente, Cannes tiene que ser la Catedral del Cine Arte (a ver si se enoja Todd McCarthy de "Variety"...) Me parece bien que se tomen en cuenta policiales, películas de género, bélicas, comedias y filmes de animación. Pero el tema es qué se pone. No es lo mismo "Waltz with Bashir" y "Persépolis" que "Shrek 2", por ejemplo. Y revisando las listas de años anteriores, veo que cada vez es más y más así.

Yo sé que esto me ubica, en principio, de un lado de una línea que parece dividir Arte de Entretenimiento. Y no es así, para nada. Más bien, la línea que marco es la de Calidad vs. Impacto. Buen cine vs. "shock value". Cuando leo las sinópsis de la mayoría de las películas que compiten (y, si bien no la vi, parece que la griega que ganó Un Certain Regard viene por ese lado también) me quedo azorado: es como leer los titulares de diarios sensacionalistas. Y, sin duda, esas son las películas que más eco tienen en la prensa. ¿A quién le importa una comedia de un viejo de 87 años? ¿O un policial rumano tirando a existencialista si podemos traer uno que venga con un aborto en primer plano?

¿Generará este "scouting" un nuevo tipo de cine internacional para entrar a la Competencia de Cannes? ¿Lisandro Alonso dejará de matar animalitos en sus películas para cortarle la cabeza a algún actor? ¿Será todo cuestión de "efectos", de hacer películas donde pasen cosas que "hay que comentar"? ¿Será esto la versión "publicitaria" del cine arte: recordar películas por una o dos imágenes imborrables por lo shockeantes?

Es, también, una forma de reemplazar a las estrellas de Hollywood, ausentes como nunca este año. Otros años, uno criticaba algunos títulos que entraban a competencia porque daba la sensación de que estaban allí sólo para movilizar grandes figuras. Este año las "figuras" fueron los directores, los que entregaron los "quotes" para la prensa ("Soy el mejor director del mundo", por Von Trier; o "Soy Dios", por Tarantino) y los que prometían que "cosas excitantes" iban a suceder dentro de la pantalla. ¿El director como la nueva estrella pop?

Imagino que con una decena de películas de la competencia (pongamos, las primeras diez de nuestro ranking), más las primeras cinco de Un Certain Regard y las primeras cinco de la Quincena de Realizadores (las uso a modo de ejemplo, no es que me considere ni considere a nuestros votantes como poseedores del gusto perfecto) tendríamos una Competencia de muchísimo mejor nivel.

Pero claro, Hong no puede competir con Noé en efectismos, Porumboiu no filma luces de neón en Tokyo como Isabel Coixet, Raya Martin no descuartiza prostitutas como, entiendo, pasa en el filme de su compatriota "Dante" Mendoza y los documentales (Depardon el año pasado, Costa y Cavalier en este) no son "cool" ni generan repercusión si no son de Michael Moore.

Para el final, dejo la película de Michael Haneke. Ya he dicho que es uno de esos cineastas "espantaburgueses" que no me interesan demasiado, y que proceden --generalmente con mucha elegancia, eso sí-- buscando estos mismos efectos en el espectador: shock, espanto, morbo, impacto. Pero fuentes confiables me aseguran que esta peli viene bien. No sé. Me dijeron lo mismo de "Caché" y me pareció tremenda pelotudez...

Nota: si no entendí mal, la foto corresponde a una escena de la película "Enter the Void" cuando el protagonista se muere y queda tirado en el baño rodeado de vomito o algo así...