Thursday, 20 September 2012

I like this...

Dark Doo Wop.

MS MR have released an EP 'Candy Bar Creep Show' and its very hard not to like. It has the energy of very early Florence and the Machine before they got all mahoosive and choral. They are from New York and are currently making some chilled waves over here.

I did hear 'Hurricane' a few weeks back and it was kind of okay but this new one did stick a bit more. Enjoy below, it's one of those songs that builds and builds. Gorgeousness.

Dark Doo Wop from MS MR on Vimeo.<

Jump here for more information

Also loving 'All Your Gold'.

In other news, Bat For Lashes have made another track from The Haunted Man available to listen to before its release on the 15th October. I like this one a lot. 'Laura' was melancholy loveliness a few weeks back, 'Marilyn' I could take or leave to be honest. Listen and watch, 'All Your Gold' below. Adore.

Related Post:

Bat For Lashes: Laura

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Melancholia – directed by Lars von Trier (2011)

Spoilers! Step away from this review now if you do not wish to know what obviously happens.

A film that leaves you with an overwhelming awareness of melancholia…

This was an apocolyptic disaster movie with a calmness that was quite beautiful. Absent of all the humankind hysteria and alarmist bonding in a crisis you normally get, the three main characters deal with it in a solitary way. It's a film that reminds us all how small and possibly alone we are, as did Malick’s 'The Tree of Life' in places.

Naturally, I loved it…depression and destruction are my fascinations and Kirsten Dunst was brilliant in it as was Charlotte Gainsbourg. Of course this will never happen, planets don’t hide behind the sun, flirt with passing by, start to move away and then burn burn burn you into teeny tiny burnt bits of nothingness. But what do we really know? *said in doom mongering voice*.

It has an overwhelming sense of sadness you can’t escape, something is about to happen and will change everything.  There are no heroes, no damsels in distress, nobody is rescued, Superman or Will Smith does not appear; it just calmly happens. And it shows how, as we fear the unknown and come into full knowledge, we all Zen out, well the women do and even the horses finally accept it. Justine is the melancholic, fully prepared for everyday disaster, and her sister Claire is the one who looks after everyone, so of course is in fearful acceptance wanting to run to other people in the village.

The one whose calm did break was the main man John (Keifer Sutherland), once in full knowledge of what’s going on in a planetary way, he does the unspeakable, but quietly. Lars von Trier's optimist cannot handle the inescapable end, a challenge too far for that kind of hope centric mind. The women build a magic cave with sticks and hold hands. So many will hate it for its blurring of science fiction but I think that’s what makes it, a story of humanity and its frailness where suddenly planets hurtling towards us are the subplot.

The film is structured as two chapters named after the sisters 'Justine' (Kirsten Dunst)  and 'Claire' (Charlotte Gainsbourg). It starts with the impending doom of a marriage that shouldn’t be and a bride who is instructed repeatedly ‘just be happy’, implored to be by everyone on her happiest day. Apparently Lars von Trier wrote this after a bout of depression and you can tell it's personal, the reckless detachment and feelings of adverse love coupled with cold physical expression of that consequence jump at you with Justine’s story. She will not undress on her wedding night for her husband preferring to lift her white dress to have sex with a guest, but later in the story, lays naked gazing into the light of the planet Melancholia as if it is her lover.

In her story, the second chapter, Claire becomes the vulnerable and frightened carer for Justine, yet while Claire says ‘sometimes I hate you’, Justine remains aloof with detached acceptance of doom. And calm, always calm. Claire has panic attacks and is instructed to stay offline and stop tracking ‘Melancholia’ by her idealist and stargazing husband, while Justine refuses to bathe, walks under the night sky and promises her nephew a cave. She also says she knows things. We are alone and Earth is evil; ‘There’s nothing to grieve for’. An existential crisis or the inner workings of a depressive who can embrace disaster? All to the sumptuously dark and dramatic sound of Wagner's 'Tristan and Isolde'.

It’s not a ‘feel good’ movie unless you see a ‘Carpe diem’ moment in it, however I didn't leave this story feeling depressed or despairing. Watch and see what you think. It’s a portrayal of destruction in a beautiful and haunting way, not melodrama, just melancholia as it is. I love the ending.

Related Post:

The Tree of  Life - Terrence Malick

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Artist- directed by Michel Hazanavicius

This is a quite lovely film, stylistically homage to silent movie, who would have the cheek to attempt this with a modern audience? It does feel strange at first as you stretch out your arm to turn the volume up (just me?) It is a little bit of filmic history with its portrayal of the transition from silence to ‘talkies’.

 It's a tale of a man averse to talking…in film and to his wife, Jean Dujardin as George Valentin is brilliant as the older man in crisis with the attentions of his younger guardian angel, Peppy Miller played by Berenice Bejo. The opening scene shows him being tortured into ‘talking’ on the set of ‘A Russian Affair’ which he stubbornly refuses to do and sets the tone for his defiance to embrace what he thinks is the faddy ‘talkies’, the laughable future of film. George Valentin is dashingly ridiculous, he has a dog that could out ‘mug’ him to the screen and as watching it you know his claim’ if only he could talk’ doesn’t ring true and the romance of George and Peppy, and a golden era of Hollywood, will seize the day.

The silence and the ‘mugging’ (exaggerated facial expressions that is) is the artistry and this is the comment perhaps?  As much as I love words, what this film does reveal is our reliance on body language and facial expressions to communicate. Think of what is lost in a text, email or a microblog like twitter? How many of us use emoticons, smattering them all over the place to help us communicate our words. Try not using that wink or confused face and see who starts to misinterpret your words, not get your joke or miss sarcasm. It’s fun. *wink*

So is something perhaps lost with the advent of ‘talkies’?  The Artist does settle itself into a happy compromise of progress and the up and coming star Peppy makes sure there is room for the stubborn fallen star of silence. It’s moving movie stuff people.  I particularly like the shot when George walks dejectedly away under the ‘Coming to theatres soon…Lonely Star’ billboard and his own ‘Tears of Love’ directed and starring himself, funded by himself shortly before the big crash, shows him disappearing into quick sand as the empty theatre is cut to Peppy crying at his demise.

George’s nightmares and panic at progress are in contrasting sound, it doesn’t sound (boom, boom) much but you do jump at the surrealist moment when watching it. Who could know putting a glass down or someone laughing could sound soooo loud? You see a broken man breaking further and on his discovery of Peppy’s ‘collection’ towards the end, it crackles with film noir elements.

The dancing was absolutely enchanting and bonkers. Please see it, if not just for the way George can swagger downstairs and smile at a life size portrait of himself. Never have I liked such a narcissistic fool, Dujardin does this brilliantly. And that dog? No words. All set against rather brilliant music from Ludovic Bource, there are too many moments to list where this film can touch you.

I have failed miserably to sell it to most people in my life (the sound crazy bunch) but perhaps you lot in blogland are more daring? I wish, I wish I had seen it in the cinema.

The Artist (2011) IMDb