Some tunes I've been listening to lately:
1. "Feel It All Around" by Washed Out
2. "Deadbeat Summer" by Neon Indian
3. "Ecstasy" by jj
4. "Twin Peaks" by Surfer Blood
5. "Crazy/Forever" by Japandroids
6. "Nitetime Rainbows (The Buddy System Remix)" by A Sunny Day in Glasgow
7. "Ijere" by Dr. Adolf Ahanotu
8. "Bad Love" by Small Black
9. "Rhinestone Eyes" by Gorillaz
10. "Operation Costs" by Lusine
11. "The High Road" by Broken Bells
12."Big Love (Mathemagic Remix)" by CFCF
Cassette photo is courtesy of:
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Posted by fadedsilverscreen at 10:34 AM
Friday, March 12, 2010
Every once in a while, I stumble across a photo of a foreign locale, one that makes me long for exotic places, and the heady adventure of international travel. This is one such photo, from the Caribbean Photo Archive on Flickr.
Posted by fadedsilverscreen at 10:45 AM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I'll admit, I haven't been as fastidious about keeping up with the latest indie albums as I was last year. Nonetheless, I still managed to come across a number of really awesome tracks from various artists.
1. "Hearing Damage" by Thom Yorke
2. "The Lisbon Maru" by Fuck Buttons
3. "Come Saturday" by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
4. "Useful Chamber" by The Dirty Projectors
5. "1901" by Phoenix
6. "Young Forever" by Jay-Z
7. "Soft Shock" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
8. "Lovesick" by Lindstrøm & Christabelle
9. "Crystallized" by The xx
10."Twilight Galaxy" by Metric
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Really, there are so many movies I could have chosen for a list like this. In the end, though, it all boils down to my own subjective perception of the past decade, and how certain films were best at portraying that perception. For me, the three prerequisites of a good movie are: cinematography, music, and the ability to evoke deep pathos regarding a specific subject matter. And so, without further ado, here is my list of the top ten movies of the 00's.
1. Almost Famous
2. Donnie Darko
3. Children of Men
4. The Fall
6. The Science of Sleep
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
8. Inland Empire
1. Almost Famous (2000): This movie can be summed up in one phrase: "I dig music." Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale follows the awkward, sheltered high schooler William Miller in his quest to become a rock journalist. The film focuses on the summer of 1973, when William follows around fictional band Stillwater on their U.S. tour. Along the way, William learns to let loose, falls in love, and manages to chronicle one of the most riveting eras in American music history. The memorable soundtrack includes notable artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, and Led Zeppelin.
2. Donnie Darko (2001): This moving is amazing in its blending of post 9/11 era dread, with a lighter, more hopeful 80's nostalgia. There's also the amazing soundtrack, with Gary Jules' haunting "Mad World," and the levity of witty dinner table banter between real-life siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Arguably, the convoluted sci-fi plot is not for everyone, but the film's many other pitch-perfect elements manage to effectively overshadow this one oversight.
3. Children of Men (2006): This is not a movie that I'll ever find myself watching repeatedly, yet I still feel that it is one of the most important films of the decade. This film succeeds where Richard Kelly's Southland Tales failed, conjuring up the hectic frenzy of a not-too-distant dystopian future, while still managing to keep the plot somewhat grounded in reality and science. The plot focuses on one man's quest to save the life of the last pregnant woman on earth, in a world where conception is no longer a possibility for 99.9% of the population. The film is undeniably bleak, yet it paints the strokes of its dour canvas in wide, sumptuous arcs. Take, for instance, the extended single shot sequence towards the end of the film, in which Clive Owen's character guides the pregnant woman through a bombed-out building, in which survivors have gathered for shelter. In short, this movie takes viewers to the depths of despair, yet also manages to infuse utterly bleak moments with an abundance of pathos for the human condition.
4. The Fall (2006): This latest offering from Tarsem is a stunning visual feast, a veritable cornucopia of sights and visions. The story centers on Roy Walker (Lee Pace,) an injured stuntman who befriends a young girl who lives in the hospital where he is recuperating. To pass the time, Walker spins tales of elaborate fantasy, all in an attempt to get the girl to smuggle some drugs to him. The movie masterfully interweaves dreams and reality, hope and despair, fantasy and horror. Pan's Labyrinth is of a similar vein, but I found The Fall to be more invigorating because it was able to inject a skein of hope into an otherwise maudlin meditation on the sadness of growing up and facing reality.
5. Paprika (2006): This is a film for anyone's who's ever suffered from vivid, crazy, inexplicably bizarre dreams. This anime chronicles the development of a machine that allows psychologists to enter their patients' dreams. Things go out of control when the dreamworld takes on a terrifying life of its own, and it is up to psychologist Atsuko Chiba to set things straight. This movie makes apt use of searingly colorful visuals, making the viewer feel as if they too are lost in the land of dreams.
6. The Science of Sleep (2006): Michel Gondry's film also explores the dreamworld, but less from a frightening perspective, and more from a whimsical standpoint. Main character Stéphane (Gael Garcia Bernal) suffers from a condition in which he can't tell if he's asleep or awake. The film itself seems to blur the line between fantasy and reality, effectively sucking the viewer into Stéphane's confusing world. The landscape alternates between rainy city streets, and dreamworlds made entirely of yarn and cardboard. The dialogue cuts between English, French, and Spanish--seemingly without warning. Gondry conjures up for us a world of mystery, whimsy, and uncertainty, effectively giving us a passport into the "royal road to the unconscious."
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004): This vibrant, bittersweet film allows the viewer to toy with the question: what if there was a device that could erase all memory of a romantic relationship gone sour? Color, sound, and camera work play a large role in bringing this movie to life. Plus there are memorable performances by Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, and Elijah Wood.
8. Inland Empire (2006): David Lynch's surreal meditation on the vacuousness of film industry offers us a menacing, dreamlike landscape, in which people may not be who they seem, and the line between reality and cinema is blurry and indiscriminate. This film is like a Russian nesting doll: there are plots within plots, movies within movies, and undiscovered worlds inside each character's consciousness. Best of all are the mysterious scenes with "the bunny people," undoubtedly a nod to Ionesco and the theatre of the absurd.
9. Zombieland (2009) : For me, this movie symbolized the emotional mindset of people living in the post-recession era. We'd all recovered from the initial reeling shock of the financial apocalypse. But now, finding our way in this barren, uncertain landscape, how were we to mentally cope with such an enormous change? "Enjoy the little things," as Woody Harrelson's trigger-happy character says. This movie is great in its ability to portray a bleak, seemingly hopeless situation (four humans make their way across a zombie-ravaged landscape) in bright swaths of color and possibility.
10. Coraline (2009): A movie adaptation of the brilliant children's book by Neil Gaiman, Coraline offers us what so many other movies failed to during the past ten years: an authentic sense of wonder, coupled with a shrewd acknowledgment of the harsh realities of life. An Alice in Wonderland for the modern era, this film depicts the troubles of Coraline, a girl who finds herself transported to a seemingly perfect shadow world--a mirror of her own life, in which all of her problems seem to have magically vanished. Aside from a pitch-perfect plot and well-developed characters, this film is also innovative for its usage of stop-motion effects.
Honorable Mentions: The Darjeeling Limited, A Very Long Engagement, Garden State, Amelie
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Say what you will about the Twilight franchise, but you have to admit that Thom Yorke's contribution to the New Moon soundtrack, "Hearing Damage" is a masterful example of Mr. Yorke at his finest.
Hearing Damage - Thom Yorke
Friday, September 4, 2009
These songs aren't exactly new or anything, but I've been enjoying them nonetheless.