A clip from Todd Hayne's Bob Dylan biopic "I'm Not There" has found it's way onto the interweb. Whether it's sanctioned as a means to build buzz is unclear, but timecode appears on the clip, so it could likely mean it wasn't officially supposed to get out there yet. In it Dylan (as played by Cate Blanchett) is riding in the back of a car - reminiscent of iconic images seen in countless documentary footage including, "No Direction Home" - smoking, discussing his ill health (to Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood - (the film was shot, at least partly, in Montreal) and then comes across Allen Ginsberg (brilliantly cast and played by comedian David Cross) who drives up in a strange golf cart-like contraption. They have a brief exchange and then as quickly as he came, Ginsberg drives off and Dylan is marveled and amused by the chance encounter (Blanchett captures his mannerisms down pat).
Their conversations references Dylan's infamous performance at
London's Royal Albert Hall Manchester's Free Trade Hall in 1966 where folk fans turned on the singer, screaming "Judas!" for his plugged-in and electrically raucous gig that was seen as traitorous by the folky, acoustic dogma.
Ginsberg's driver: Alan, tell him what you said to that reporter. The one that asked if you thought Jude* had sold out.
Ginsberg: I said, 'I dunno, maybe he sold out to God?' "
* Jude is apparently the name of the Dylan character that Blanchett plays. All of the "Dylan's" in the film reportedly have names that aren't Bobby D.
A lot has been written about the music in the film and whether the featured Dylan songs would be cover versions or original incarnations. Here's what we know so far (there reportedly will be at least some original versions) :
- Movie music Tastemaker Randall Poster and Jim Dunbar did the music supervision for the film (Poster did music supervisions for "Velvet Goldmine" and all of Wes Anderson's films)
- Stephen Malkmus covered "Ballad of a Thin Man" and "Maggie's Farm" with Dylan bandmember Tony Garnier in his band and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo in the producer's chair.
- Hoboken indie-rockers Yo La Tengo recorded a Dylan cover for the film according to Variety.
- A recent color correction screening of the film revealed that one scene's dialogue is taken from the Dylan song, "She's Your Love Now," plus confirmed the song My Morning Jacket covered, "Going To Acapulco " (from the Basement Tapes).
- Sonic Youth were asked by Haynes to record a version of the eponymous Basement Tapes track, "I'm Not There," and it was initially unclear whether the song would be used, but the same color screening confirmed the use of the song in the film, as well as Christian Bale role as the long-rumored evangelical Dylan who leaves the music industry to become "a ordained minister and is performing 'Pressing On'" (from the album Saved).
- '60s folk legend Ritchie Havens contributed a cover.
- Calexico contributed a rendition of Street Legal's "Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)", joined by folk legend Willie Nelson and flamenco guitarist Salvador Duran. The band performed and briefly discussed their cover on Minnesota Public Radiolast September.
- The Hold Steady, cover the B-side "Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?", according to a post on soundengineer John Agnello's website. Their keyboardist Franz Nicolay confirmed the band's participation in the film on his own website
- The little-known Montreal band, the Royal Mountain Band were cast as The Band in the film (They were named the Hawks at the time). According to the Montreal Gazette members of Wolf Parade and Montreal rockers Starvin' Hungry also auditioned for the part, but the RMB won over Haynes with a stellar audition of "Ballad of A Thin Man."
Rumor and Innuendo
- A posting on an IMDB message board claimed Minnesota-based singer-songwriter Mason Jennings recorded a cover of "The Times They Are A Changing" which Christian Bale apparently sings in the film (though historically this era wouldn't jive with Bale's/Dylan's 'I've found God' era).
- Micheal Stipe, PJ Harvey and Jack White were rumored to be contributing songs for the film, but White's publicist confirmed that he had no involvement in the film.
Box Office mojo says the film is scheduled for a November 21 release.
Download: Bob Dylan - "I'm Not There"
Download: Royal Mountain Band - "You Ain't Going Nowhere" (Dylan cover)
Download: Bob Dylan - Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?
Download: Bob Dylan - Standing In The Doorway
Download: Bob Dylan - Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)"
Download: Bob Dylan and the Band - "Going to Alcapulco"
Download: Bob Dylan - "Ballad Of a Thin Man"
Watch: Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg visit Jack Kerouac's grave (set to "It's Not Dark Yet")
Posted by Rodrigo at 11:09 PM
Since 1995, every April, crusty, wing-tipped socialite mag Vanity Fair delivers their three-page foldout "Hollywood Issue" cover. VF recently did a photo feature looking back on the all the previous covers, in many cases highlighting the "hottest new thing" rising stars and we couldn't help but giggle at some of their egregious missteps. Sarah Wynter? Remember Skeet Ulrich's awesome career? You'll have to click on the images to see the larger photos.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Benicio Del Toro and Will Smith share photo stage space with Skeet Ulrich and Johnathon Schaech? Their careers were about as succesful as edible deodorant. We'd include Stephen Dorf, but no matter how much his career has gone in the toilet, you at least probably remember his uber-arrogant comments about his amazing acting prowess in the mid-90s.
Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Claire Danes, Renée Zellweger, Minnie Driver, Jennifer Lopez, Charlize Theron, share facetime with.... Alison Elliott? Who? The star of such TV movies of the week, "A Wrinkle in Time," "Red Betsy" and the extremely moving and memorable, "The Miracle Worker."
Joaquin Phoenix, Vince Vaughn, Natalie Portman, Djimon Hounsou, Cate Blanchett, Christina Ricci are primed to become huge stars along with... Rufus Sewel? Geeks remember him from cult film, "Dark City" and others might remember him from "A Knight's Tale" or "Mermaid Chronicles Part 1: She Creature." We'd laugh at the inclusion of Ed Furlong, but again Terminator II was out around this time and everyone remembers his trainwreckedness.
1999 gets a pass (barely; nobody remember Vinessa Shaw, but she's cute as a button and not a horrible actress) and this is the year that the American Beauty/Pie cast graced much of the cover (plus folks like Penélope Cruz, Selma Blair and Paul Walker), but Sarah Wynter? Oh, right. She was in "Species II" and "Jerks."
As the years go by VF's choices seem less out of date, but what business did Christina Applegate having being photographed next to Kate Beckinsale, Jennifer Connelly, Rachel Weisz and Naomi Watts? Kate Winslet was suffering from incessant photo fatigue and apparently had to cancel at the last minute?
This post is so Perez-Hilton...
Posted by Rodrigo at 5:29 PM
- Interlocking storyteller/everything's connected screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga - renowned for his interlocking, everything's connected stories by director Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Amores Perros" "21 Grams," and "Babel") - will direct Charlize Theron in his directorial debut, "The Burning Plain." You'll remember that Arriaga and Iñárritu had a falling out
due to their dueling egos (but basically because Arriaga was pissed that the director was getting more attention than the screenwriter. Apparently he was new to this whole movies thing. [Variety]
- The potential "Transformers" sequel could be prequel? The Bumblebee voice actor may have let the cat out of the bag. [SKRnet]
- Is Michael Moore's next incisive documentary going to tackle the gays? “I think it’s a very ripe subject for someone like me to make a movie about. Simply because we are not there yet and it remains one of the last open wounds on our soul that we are not willing to fix yet,” Moore told the Advocate [Joblo]
- The Guardian thinks Ain't It Cool News has jumped the shark and yes, they are fanboyish enough to stalk out decent news, but did anyone take their third-grade writing and pre-school design seriously? [Guardian]
- If rumors are correct and the 'Indiana Jones 4' movie focuses on Indy chasing after the Ark of the Covenant again, is this pretty much analagous to "Return of the Jedi" and re-hashing the rebuilding of the Death Star? (i.e., they totally ran out of ideas?) [Yes, ironically - AICN]
Posted by Rodrigo at 3:47 PM
Although the ink isn't dry on the Iggy Pop biopic with Elijah Wood in the lead and the film could ostensibly not happen, that doesn't mean Pop is totally soured on the movies (or an easy paycheck).
Pop will lend his voice to the French animated political drama, "Persepolis." Fellow pinko Sean Penn will voice the father of a young girl struggling with life in Iran during and after the fall of the Shah in 1979.
According to Reuters, "Gena Rowlands has already been cast to voice the role of the girl's grandmother in the new version, and Catherine Deneuve will reprise the role of the girl's mother in the English-language version." I guess that means that their will be two versions of the film. Super exciting, right?
- Kevin Smith endorses new Ben Affleck film. No, seriously?? [View Askew]
- Alex Proyas ("I Robot," "Dark City" will direct Dracula Year One? [Cinematical]
Posted by Rodrigo at 3:12 PM
You totally wanted to hear Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer tackle The Simpsons Movie score and inject with a profound emotional pathos, yes? Of course you did.
Was Danny Elfman (the composer of the famous Simpsons Theme) snubbed? D'oh! Why is there no song about donuts? Do you really want to hear the Simpsons Theme done in the practically non-existently different orchestral manner? Mmm... non-existently different orchestral manner...
Download: Hans Zimmer - "The Simpsons Theme" (Orchestral)
Download: Hans Zimmer - "You Doomed Us All Again"
Posted by Rodrigo at 12:34 PM
MTV has a pretty fantastic and thorough interview with British director Danny Boyle. All of it is here.
Highlights from the interview include:
- The revelation that Boyle is not ready to shoot "Trainspotting 2" (aka "Porno") yet. "We won’t be able to do it for a while because the guys don’t look any different. They haven’t aged at all,” he told them.
- The potential "28 Months Later" threequel: "There is an idea for the next one, something which would move [the story] on. I've got to think about it, whether it's right or not," Boyle said, plus his candid comments on the direction of where these movies have moved." There's something about doing something trashy that's great. Where basically you just come in the door and you just kill them. That was rather refreshing" (Boyle shot some 2nd-unit footage on the sequel "28 Weeks Later" and evidently enjoyed it quite a bit).
- Boyle was initially offered, but eventually turned down the director's chair on "Alien 4."
- The eclectic director says he would "love" to tackle a musical eventually. He calls the genre the director's "holy grail," but acknowledged that it could easily become career suicide if poorly executed.
- He provides a very perfect testimonial for our blog manifesto: "There's something about music and film that is beyond everything else; it's the ultimate [part] of the art form."
- Be forewarned, there's a lot of "Sunshine" spoilers in this piece (our review later today).
Posted by Rodrigo at 12:04 PM
"I think I took my sadism a bit too literally." - Professional goth actress Helen Bonham Carter relished the opportunity to play out near-sado-masochistic scenes in the new Harry Potter and The Consortium of Rubber Pants film, or whatever the hell it's called. She's also going to naturally star in goth-fiancé Tim Burton's adaptation of "Sweeney Todd" with Johnny Depp. [EW]
"Avril is an accomplished songwriter and it has been my privilege to work with her." — One week after singer-songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk accused Avril Lavigne of plagiarism, the chicken Canadian songwriter-for hire recants her statement. [Billboard]
"I sent her a song two years ago called 'Contagious,' and I just saw the track listing to [The Best Damn Thing] and there's a song called 'Contagious' on it and my name's not on it. What do you do with that?" - One week earlier Kreviazuk is singing a much different tune. Yes, they are managed by the same people, but the greater irony here (and what the rest of the American press seems to have failed to report) is that Kreviazuk and her husband Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) co-wrote many songs on Avril's Under My Skin album. In fact at one point, Lavigne actually moved into the couple's house in Malibu for a writing stint in the summer of 2003. [Dose.ca]
Download: Avril Lavigne - "Complicated"
Posted by Rodrigo at 11:01 AM
Earlier this week, the fine folks at Tape Rock saw "The Go-Getter" film by Martin Hynes that we've been eagerly anticipating. The film is scored by shy, indie folkie M.Ward and stars Zooey Deschanel, Lou Taylor Pucci and Jenna Malone (Ward has a brief cameo too).
The synopsis of this "mix tape of emotional discoveries" at Unofficial Sundance is:
Left with an aching instinctual itch to explore America after a traumatic loss, a curious teenager named Mercer (Pucci) suddenly steals a car in Oregon and develops a life-altering telephonic connection with the forgiving and mysterious girl he took it from. As he sets out with her phone calls as guidance, Mercer's motives find focus as he travels across the postmodern highways of the former Wild West to seek self-knowledge and a sense of belonging.
According to TapeRock and what we reported last time, the film is still without distribution, but there is wishful thinking that it will come out before the end of the year (that's doubtful though). They've listed a few songs used in the film (we can assume seen and heard from their eyes and ears) which includes the M.Ward and Zooey Deschanel cover of Richard and Linda Thompson's "When I Get To The Border" which we posted last time we wrote about it (mp3s at the bottom) and an Elliott Smith and Black Keys song.
On "The G0-Getter" myspace page, the filmmakers are trying to decide on a film posters and are asking users for their opinion (and their creative attempts if they are so inclined). Our favorite is to the left.
They also have a brief interview with the director. Here's an excerpt.
It's been said that some Christians have responded to the spiritual element in the film, particularly the idea of getting second chances in life and how love affects that. So, is this the first in the Born Again Road Movie genre?
Hynes: I'm not religious, and given the fairly raw language and sexuality in the film, I don't think we'll be asked on the 700 Club. But a group of seminary students were at one of the Sundance screenings, and they were intrigued by the threads of spiritual confusion that run through[Pucci's] road trip.
Download: M. Ward - "Vincent O'Brien"
Download: The Black Keys - "10 AM Automatic"
Download: Elliott Smith - "Coast to Coast"
Posted by Rodrigo at 8:47 PM
"I'm still hungover from last night, sorry about that." - Just another day in the life of boozing, speeding, whoring, Transformers director/Mountain Dew guzzling enthusiast/serial playmate dater Michael Bay. [EW]
"Sometimes it comes onto you like biblical plagues. On [1971's] Fata Morgana, I got very ill with a blood parasite, bilharzia, got arrested and put in jail in Africa — all sorts of really tough things. These are situations that are beyond your grasp." - Disaster routinely follows director Werner Herzog like a lovesick puppy. The melodramatic and very-Germanic filmmaker claims he's never left a film unfinished or come in over budget. [EW]
"I loved it. I thought it was brilliant. ... When it cut to black, I was shocked but I was relieved because I don't think I could have taken it if I had to witness anything happen to his family or to him." - Despite having his "Trees Lounge" ending veritably co-opted by the infamous Sopranos finale, director/actor Steve Buscemi has no ill will for his former HBO pals. The character actor turns 50 at the end of this year and wisely cast Sienna Miller as his makeout partner in his upcoming film, "Interview." [AP]
Posted by Rodrigo at 9:33 AM
- Jim Morrison apparently didn't die of a heart attack in a bathtub and reportedly did expire of a heroin overdose in a French club and his fat, OD'd body was surreptitiously dragged back to his apartment to be found later. Rock star dies of drugs? The world shrugged with collective indifference at this shocking revelation. [Rolling Stone]
- With his Sensei in a headlock, extremo metal on the stereo and having already downed 40 redbulls in one hour, Michael Bay slammed a Chris Benoit-like "fuck, yes!" to a Transformers sequel. [EW]
- Ethan Hawke said the "Before Sunset" crew (himself, Julie Delpy and director Richard Linklater) lost their window of opportunity to make the next 'Sunset/Sunrise' sequel, but assured the many hopelessly naive romantics that adored these films that eventually the threequel would happen. [MTV]
- Sources said Billy Crudup would play Dr. Manhattan in the adaptation of the cult comic book, "The Watchmen." Better he than Keanu Reeves who allegedly said, "pass." [CHUD]
- Marky Mark said he was ready to be a boxer for Darren Aronofsky's creatively titled boxing movie, "The Fighter." So does that mean the Noah's Ark film is on the backburner? [MTV]
- According to publicists for the film, Francis Ford Coppola's belated, decade-long return to the directors chair, "Youth Without Youth" will open in theaters on December 14. The film stars Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Wim Wenders favorite, Bruno Ganz. [The Playlist]
Posted by Rodrigo at 5:55 PM
- Danny Boyle said to keep your pants on: the "Trainspotting 2" ("Porno") sequel would have to wait a few years until the cast (original cast you say?) got older and grayer. [MTV]
- The Madonna film, "Desperately Seeking Susan," would have to be found on the British stage as a musical featuring songs by Blondie. [BBC]
- Deadheads rejoiced and lit up at 4:20 at the news that a Grateful Dead movie was greenlit. [Variety]
- Comic book geeks breathed a sigh of relief to hear both Kevin Spacey and directory Bryan Singer would return for the "Man of Steel" Superman sequel due for 2009. Actually, that happened today.[Variety]
- Having been refused treatement for cancer in the U.K., Factory records record impressario Tony Wilson (also the subject of the film, "24 Hour Party People"), the Happy Mondays -- the bumbling dance band who essentially drained Factory records dry with their drugging and pathetic attempts at recording an album -- are attempting to return the favor by subsidizing his medical bills. [Guardian]
- Michel Gondry's people confirmed that contrary to rumors, the French director would not be directing the to-be-in-production, "Ripley's Believe It or Not" movie. [MTV]
Posted by Rodrigo at 5:26 PM
Michel Gondry's new paean to VHS and famous films of the past "Be Kind Rewind," was originally scheduled for the fall, then got bumped to March 2008 and then apparently has been switched once more to a limited release in December of this year.
Does that mean it's coming out for Oscar season contention? Likely not, it's rumored to be his most "studio film," but it sounds way to absurd for the Academy. But it's nice to see Gondry working at a brisk pace considering his last film, the under-appreciated, "The Science of Sleep" was released just a year ago.
As you've likely already read, the film is about video store that gets magnetized and losses almost all their catalogue. In hopes of not enraging their senile boss (Mia Farrow), video store clerks Jack Black and Mos Def set out to film and re-create film classics so she won't notice the VHS tapes in the store have been wiped out. It's a pretty absurd and silly premise, but it is Michel Gondry, so what do you expect.
To recap, lead actor Jack Black told MTV what films, "Rewind" would be "remaking" back in the fall of 2006:
“There [were] tons of movies that we did,” Black said of the upcoming Michel Gondry-directed film. “We did ‘When We Were Kings,’ the documentary about Muhammad Ali — I play Muhammad Ali, strangely. We did ‘Superman.’ I probably shouldn’t say that … we had to change the name of it to something else — ‘Incredible Flying Man,’ I think. We did ‘Ghostbusters,’ we did ‘Robocop,’ we did ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ [pictured above, ed.] just to name a few…We were under strict orders not to watch any of the movies again, and if we had not seen it, [not to] see it,” he explained. “[Gondry] wanted it to look that way, [like it] was based on the commercials that you had seen of the movie. Because there was no time in the movie for us to do any research, he wanted to keep that consistent with us as actors — to not have time to research the movies we were remaking.”It's been reported that they were denied the rights to "Back To The Future," another film they wanted to spoof. "The Lion King" was also a film title that was tossed around at one point.
Now's as good as a time as any to post some songs from "The Science of Sleep" soundtrack. One of the most interesting and amusing parts of it is the adaptation of the Velvet Underground's "After Hours" song (from their 3rd self-titled record) that is changed with the same melody and new lyrics into "If You Rescue Me": the song that is featured in a dream sequence when Gael Garcia Bernal and his co-workers are in a band playing dressed as cats. Gondry first worked with the music composer Jean-Michel Bernard on his first feature, "Human Nature."
And lastly, the rumor that Gondry was going to direct "Ripley's Believe It Or Not," have been proven false. Meanwhile, after a decade apart, Gondry is supposed to direct Bjork's "Declare Independence" video sometime in August.
Download: Jean-Michel Bernard & Kimiko Ono - "Thème Générique Fin "Golden The Pony Boy"
Download: Velvet Underground - "After Hours"
Download: Gael García Bernal, Sacha Bourdo, Alain Chabat & Aurélia Petit - "If You Rescue Me (Chanson De Chats)"
Download: Jean-Michel Bernard - "Générique Stéphane"
Download: The Willowz - "Ulcer Soul"
Posted by Rodrigo at 4:46 PM
How did a semi-obscure post-rock band come to score a big budget Hollywood movie? Good ol' email. Music supervisor Brian Reitzell (Sofia Coppola's go-to movie mixtape guy; former Red Kross member) wrote the Austin orchestral rockers Explosions in The Sky and asked if they were interested in recording music for the film, "Friday Night Lights."
Having grown up in the Lonestar state, the band were all too familiar with the novel the movie was based on and the world that the film was set in (the rapturously die-hard world of high school football in Southern Texas). Aside from corporate, working with "the man" trepidation, the match was a perfect fit and after meeting with Reitzell, Explosions' wariness was immediately assuaged.
"Our fears of having weird movie producers and studio executives hovering over us were completely unfounded. It was just us, Brian Reitzell and two friendly Australian engineers (Justin Stanley and Richard Jory)," the band wrote on their website, acting almost as apologists for their association with a big-budget film. The band were surrounded by all type of rare instruments, but decided to keep it simple and stick with what they did best; slowly crescendoing orchestral rock. Their sweeping and ascending rock gestures majestically took the drama to new heights and Reitzell scored yet another feather in his perfectly-atypical-picks-for-movie music cap. Beck's dad, arranger David Campbell also added some dramatically tasteful strings to some Explosions songs (most notably "Your Hands In Mine").
The Explosions songs featured in the film are comprised of old songs 'Lights' director Peter Berg had already fallen in love with and new songs the band wrote specifically for the movie (and in some cases, old songs slightly retweaked).
Not featured on the soundtrack, but used in the films and in keeping with the late '80s era setting, are songs by Public Enemy, Motley Crue, L.A. Guns and Poison (The great Boobie Miles has to shake his ass to something). The film and soundtrack disc also features music by the great Daniel Lanois, Bad Company, and aforementioned engineer Justin Stanley. Despite playing a super-convincing Class A jackass, father and former football star, Tim McGraw has no music in the film.
Download: Explosions In The Sky - "Remember Me As A Time Of Day"
Download: Explosions In The Sky - "First Breath After Coma"
Posted by Rodrigo at 3:10 PM
We're back; alive in one piece. There's so much to catch up on, but we arrived at the convenient time of 2 a.m. last night after about 6 hours of delays and we're tired, groggy and have a near broken back, seriously.
So we'll get into the swing of things eventually, maybe not just today, though we do have some leftover soundtrack features to post. Thanks to the three readers who kept visiting while we were gone.
Download: John Sebastian - "Welcome Back" (The Welcome Back Kotter TV Show Theme)
Posted by Rodrigo at 10:31 AM
We love Michael Moore, really, he's a saint. But the blog "media" is all abuzz about the smackdown he gave Wolf Blitzer on CNN and we can't help but think, "umm, seriously? We loathe Blitzer, but Moore doesn't deliver any critical beatdowns here, he just bullies and hoards the conversation. The CNN piece starts out incredibly biased, some might argue just as bias as Moore's films, but this is the news and his films are essentially an op-ed (and he's said as much many times over), so it's easy to see why Moore gets so upset, but these boorish tactics are the ones the right-wing media love to attack. And moreover, they never help his case. Keep it check, dude.
Regardless, "Sicko" is fantastic and powerful and you should spend your hard-earned dollars on that before you see escapist garbage like "Transformers."
Posted by Rodrigo at 8:37 PM
We wrote all about the life of Roky Erickson when we first started this blog. His life is fascinating and tragic. The documentary about his life however, is a lot like watching paint dry.
Contrary to most reports, "You're Gonna Miss Me" is not a rock documentary on a seminal figure -- scrambled egg, psychedelic pioneer. 13th Floor Elevators rocker, Erickson. The "rock doc" is more a dry and flat account of a fucked up family dysfunction and the power struggle for control of a mentally ill son. Erickson just happens to be a importantl '60s figure, but his music career and his legacy are mostly an anecdotal side-dish in the film.
This power struggle doesn't have to be boring and on the contrary, it's rich with potential drama, but first time director Kevin McAlester presents the facts in the most profoundly tedious of ways.
Back to Roky himself. It doesn't help that while good intentions surround him, his entire family is crazy and psychologically scarred from an upbringing that is only barely explained (their are hints that their father was abusive; his mother seemed "eccentric" from minute one).
Roky's mother is portrayed in the film as the controlling evil witch that would rather use prayer over medicine to heal her son who is essentially suffering from schizophrenia. Roky's younger brother Sumner is shown in a saviors light -- the one who is willing to risk all to save his naive brother from the clutches of his nefarious mom -- but he too soon reveals himself to be an Class A new age nutjob. His house resembles a brutal Lego eyesore in the middle of the Philadelphia suburbs; he enlists the use of a crackpot psychologist to heal his mental wounds and best of all, in the film's postscript he appears with yet another hippie fruitcake doc and claims Roky has been cured because he was never sick. "Schizophrenia is a garbage term...He's not been mentally ill, that's a lie," he says with outrageous certainty. "So-called mental illness doesn't exist," he says with a smile and you can only sadly think, "this is the best person to care for a man who's brain has been refried twice over?
The story is incredibly compelling, but the film itself is as dry as the Sahara. When Werner Herzog famously said most documentarians are accountants and if you want simple facts you should open a phone book, we're pretty sure he was talking about "You're Gonna Miss Me."
A few seminal figures like ZZ Top 's Billy Gibbons are occasionally on hand to deliver reverent testimonials, but the music and its place in the rock pantheon is not the story here. With that in mind, the soundtrack is still worthwhile. Due this month, it's a fine primer to Roky Erikson's career, both with the seminal 13 Floor Elevators and his later group, the Aliens.
The DVD of this film is out today via Palm Pictures, btw.
Download: Roky Erikson - Mine, Mine, Mind
Download: Roky Erikson - "You Don't Love Me Yet"
Download: Roky Erikson - "Goodbye Sweet Dreams"
Posted by Rodrigo at 11:00 AM
There's not much to add to this soundtrack that hasn't already been written ad nauseum, but for some reason I'm going to rehash it.
The movie that launched the Ben and Matt show is arguably the last time Affleck has been tolerable in a film (or the last time he even acted; he pretty much admitted as much in a recent interview that I can't seem to find online).
The soundtrack story was simple: Portland denizen, director Gus Van Sant, like many, many others living in the rainy, West Coast era had noticed the arresting singer songwriter Elliott Smith. Van Sant had tracked the film to many of the indie-folkie’s songs and Smith was asked to watch the version of the film cut to his songs. He liked the way they were used, enjoyed the film and gave his blessing for their use in the picture.
The film ended up being a much bigger success than both Van Sant or Smith had anticipated and, for at least a brief moment, Smith became a near household name. Smith's original song written for the film, "Miss Misery" was implausibly nominated for an Academy Award and he performed at the Oscars in a cheap white suit, held hands with Trishia Yearwood and Celine Dion and every fan that was watching marveled at the very surreal moment (you know that he didn't win; Danny Elfman who did the proper score was also nominated for an Oscar).
The success of the film launched Smith’s career into a slightly larger echelon of popularity and potentially added to his already growing existential unhappiness (and we all know how that ended), but the songs worked beautifully. Already introspective and wistful, most of the songs were used in traveling moments as characters (mostly Damon) quietly moved from one place to another (to work on a train, or by car to California).
Van Sant also utilized a track from fellow Portland shameless hipsters the Dandy Warhols, plus classics by the Waterboys (to support the Irish, Boston local) and Al Green.
Download: Elliott Smith - "Between The Bars"
Download: Elliott Smith - "Angeles"
Download: Elliott Smith - "No Name #3"
Download: Dandy Warhols - "Boys Better"
Posted by Rodrigo at 8:59 AM
Recently released on DVD, we finally got around to checking out Craig Brewer's follow-up to his southern hip-hop tale, "Hustle & Flow," the black erstwhile blues black man enslaves the white girl nympho for her own good, film, "Black Snake Moan."
The premise of this film is ludicrous: Living in a a dead end southern town and suffering from pathological nymphomania, the sex-crazed Christina Ricci is chained to a radiator by an old black man (Samuel L. Jackson) in an attempt to "cure" her need for round-the-clock penis in vagina action. That basic plot ostensibly offends on a panorama of levels, except that it’s too inoffensively executed to spark any kind of real indignation. Instead all you can do is mildly chuckle at what a ridiculous idea the film is based upon.
The soundtrack does contain some affecting blues, none of which are the songs that Samuel L. Jackson sings (his voice is godawful, but we're going to post those songs anyhow).
Director Craig Brewer told many news outlets that he had modeled Sam Jackson's graying blues character after seminal blues figure R.L Burnside, but unfortunately the singer died before Jackson had a chance to meet him. Also of note: the apparently salacious sex scene between Justin Timberlake and Christina Ricci that opens the film is also quite underwhelming.
Download: Outragous Cherry - "Lord Have Mercy On Me"
Download: Bobby Rush - "Chicken Heads"
Download: R.L. Burnside - "Old Black Mattie"
Download: Samuel L. Jackson - "Black Snake Moan"
Posted by Rodrigo at 7:26 AM
How to stretch your budget, part II comes courtesy of the "Velvet Goldmine," soundtrack. The difference is doing it right.
Todd Haynes first foray into musical hagiography (his Dylan film arrives this fall) started with a paean to glam rock. The problem was, at the time, David Bowie was developing his own glam rock movie (yeah, where's that now?) so he refused Haynes the rights to any of his Ziggy Stardust-era'd songs.
So that effectively shutdown the use of all Bowie songs (even cover versions), which in turn forced Haynes to become an allusionist and extra creative with both script and musical approach.
Cost-prohibitive classic Roxy Music and Stooges tracks weren't easy to come by either, so Haynes went the inventive route of asking modern musicians to cover classic songs. The difference between this attempt and say, "I Shot Andy Warhol," was both the choice of artists and their spot-on covers and adaptations (though both had the excellent Randall Poster as the music supervisor; a man practically a deity in the music supervision field, more on him another day). It should be noted there was some extra scratch lying around, original songs by Lou Reed, T-Rex and Brian Eno are sprinkled through-out, but to score the entire film to original songs was obviously out of the question.
Rather than stick to straight glam history (due in part to the Bowie shackles), Haynes mashed and amalgamated eras and characters in that sexually ambiguous and androgynous early '70s millieu.
Venus In Furs: The Bowie/Roxy Mashup
For this fictional Roxy Music sound-alikes, Haynes and Poster went to some seemingly unlikely choices in Radiohead principals Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. The duo coupled with Suede's Bernard Butler, David Gray (yes, that David Gray) and Roxy Music's Andy Mackay became: Venus In Furs, the backing band to the David Bowie surrogate in the film played by Jonathan Rhyes Meyer (though the character does appropriate strong traits from Brian Eno and T-Rex's Marc Bolan). Yorke effectively becomes Roxy's Bryan Ferry and does a terrifically good approximation of his voice on a couple of classic Roxy tracks.
Wylde Rattz: The Iggy/Stooges Band
For the Iggy Pop character, Curt Wild (played by Ewan McGregor who seemed to happily embrace every bi-sexually flamboyant aspect of his character) Hayne had less historical fudging to do and enlisted Stooges actual Ron Asheton, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Steve Shelley, Minutemen's Mike Watt, Gumball's Don Fleming, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney to convincingly portray Iggy & The Stooges (McGregor's character sings "Gimme Danger" and "T.V Eye" in the film)
Covers are a plenty: Placebo (who appear in the film as another fictional glam band, Flaming Creatures) cover T-Rex, and Teenage Fanclub and Elastica's Donna Matthews bang out a fine facsimile of the New York Dolls. Shudder To Think and their head writer cum soundtrack composer Nathan Larson contribute many original, made to seem legitimately glam songs from that era for Jonathan Rhys Meyers' Bowie character to sing onstage in the film.
Download: Venus In Furs - "Ladytron" (Roxy Music)
Download: Wylde Rattz - "TV Eye" (Stooges)
Download: Teenage Fanclub & Donna Matthews -"Personality Crisis" (New York Dolls)
Download: Venus In Furs - "2HB" (Roxy Music)
Download: Brian Eno - "Needle In the Camel's Eye"
Posted by Rodrigo at 11:48 PM
Eli Roth isn't doing too well these days. The torture porn frat boy's "Hostel II" took a box office beating and a critical raping and now fellow directors are joining the fray. British filmmaker Danny Boyle ripped into Mr. Backwards baseball cap horrormaker on Friday and it's clear the two won't be going out for pints anytime soon.
"His movies aren't even particularly well done," Boyle told the New York Daily News. "They're not even scary. They're horrible, but that's not scary. It's not suspense. And if you watch my films in detail, there's actually not a lot of violence in them. You get numb with violence very quickly."
With torture porn on the ropes, Roth has decided to take some time off and abandoned the Stephen King "Cell" project he was scheduled to direct. Roth's spokesman Simon Halls told the NYDaily that, "Eli has a lot of fans out there, and these last reviews he received were really great." Umm, ok, if you say so. Boyle might want to watch it though, as much as we love him, we really exactly can't see his upcoming "Sunshine" becoming box-office gold. Not that numbers really matter...
Posted by Rodrigo at 11:40 PM
If you're like us, you basically denounce your youth and try and forget you saw bands like Pearl Jam and Soundgarden about 4-5 times each in their heyday.*
Grunge hasn't aged well and its culture of complaint moaning has arguably never left (hello Nickelback, Creed, etc.), but damn if the "Singles" soundtrack, curated by the film's director and romantic mixtape enthusiast Cameron Crowe, isn't holding up rather fine.
We essentially loathe the Smashing Pumpkins (arguably not grunge), but their song "Drown," is a gorgeous soundscape that rests among their 10 best all-time songs (there's about 11 tolerable SP songs, btw).
Chris Cornell? We try and renounce his entire existence. If there's ever a musician that went from pretty respectable to completely loathsome cheeseball, Cornell is at the top of the list. But what if his solo career would have stayed on the trajectory of "Seasons," a folky, open-chorded Zeppelinesque number which still holds up.
Similarly, Pearl Jam were at the top of their game here. Perhaps we're in the norm, but this band puts us to fucking sleep. They're Bruce Springsteen and the Grateful Dead wrapped in a modern, flannel jacket covered in old meatloaf and gravy, but the rocker "State of Love and Trust" is one of the few songs we don't mind revisiting.
Again, Alice In Chains: we admit to seeing them more times than we want to remember and almost none of their material holds up, (arguably the Creed-Nickelback grunge hangover owes more to AIC, than any other so-called Seattle band), but anytime "Would?" pumps out the speakers we can reminiscence about being in mosh pits and not feel completely embarrassed.
Touch Them They're Dick
Paul Westerberg's happy-go-lucky songs are also a nice break from the distorted guitars and throaty whining. Hell, even the Heart (hey, it's essentially Heart), Led Zeppelin cover is great. No matter what you think of this era (grossly overrated) and the movie (grossly overrated and mildly entertaining), the Singles soundtrack is one mixtape-as-movie that Cameron Crowe need not be embarrassed about (for that see "Vanilla Sky" -- great musical choices that are incorporated with random gratuity throughout). Oh and who can forget Citizen Dick (Matt Dillion's fictional backing band that featured PJ's Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament)?
*Duly Noted: The second time I saw Pearl Jam in '92 I wore a (wait for it...) Mother Love Bone T-shirt to the show I suppose to prove like I was in the know or something (ok, the funny-hat wearing bassplayer did point and smile). A guy who was practically twice my age asked me where I bought the shirt and I casually lied on the spot telling him that I was friends with "Stone and Jeff" and they had given the shirt to me as gift (while my friends quickly turned away trying not to laugh and blow my aspersion). He offered me $100 on the spot for it and I was about 18 years old and would have loved the cash, but it was the only thing I was wearing and didn't want to freeze on the way home. True (awesome) story. Your life is now better for having read this.
Download: Paul Westerberg - "Dyslexic Heart"
Download: Chris Cornell - "Seasons"
Download: Alice In Chains - "Would?"
Download: Smashing Pumpkins - "Drown"
Download: Pearl Jam - "State Of Love and Trust"
Posted by Rodrigo at 12:10 AM