Monday, January 30, 2006

video pioneer Nam June Paik passed away

Nam June Paik passed away at his Miami home at 8:00pm EST on Sunday, January 29, 2006.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Comic Creatory Birthdays: Leji Matsumoto and Mattotti

Yesterday was Italian comic artist mattotti's birthday. Some of his work is available in english here.

Today is Japanese anime legend, leji matsumoto's birthday. He is the creator of the excellent Galaxy Express 999 series as well as Star Blazers. His Galaxy Express 999 (background info site) film inspired artist Takashi Murakami in the early 80s to change his style of painting. Some of his recent work reached a slightly different audience when he made the Interstella 555 film for Daft Punk.

Good work from two of my favorite artists.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Drift by Scott Walker

I know this is going around already, however, it is exciting news--

from 4ad mailing list:

4AD is delighted to announce that Scott Walker has completed work on his first album for the label.
The long-awaited new album - called "The Drift" - will be Scott's first since the ground-breaking "Tilt" was released in 1995.
4AD will release the album worldwide in May. The exact date will be announced shortly.

A documentary film about Scott's music - including the making of "The Drift"- is being made by the New York-based director Stephen Kijak. Titled "30 Century Man", it will also be released in 2006.


Yes, yes, it's the new Scott Walker.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New Films from Europe - at the HFA

Starting tonight at the Harvard Film Archive a selection of exciting new films from Europe. Many of which have no distribution in the U.S.A. at all.

I only hope I have time for all of them.

Screening on January 19 (Thursday) 7 pm
Les Amants Reguliers
(Regular Lovers)
Directed by Philippe Garrel
France, 2005, color, 178 min.
With Louis Garrel, Clotilde Hesme, Eric Rulliat
French with English subtitles

January 20 (Friday) 7 pm
January 21 (Saturday) 8:30 pm
Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany 2004, color, 85 min.
With Julia Hummer, Sabine Timoteo, Marianne Basler
German with English subtitles

Screening on January 20 (Friday) 9 pm
January 21 (Saturday) 7 pm
Through the Forest (À travers la forêt)
Directed by Jean-Paul Civeyrac
France 2005, color, 65 min.
With Camille Berthomier, Aurélien Wiik, Morgane Hainaux
French with English subtitles

Screening on January 22 (Sunday) 7 pm
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Directed by Cristi Puiu
Romania 2005, color, 154 min.
Romanian with English subtitles

Screening on January 27 (Friday) 7 pm
January 28 (Saturday) 9 pm
Directed by Fred Kelemen
Latvia/Germany 2005, b/w, 90 min.
With Egons Dombrovskis, Nikolaj Korobov, Vigo Roga
Latvian and Russian with English subtitles

Screening on January 24 (Tuesday) 7 pm
January 27 (Friday) 9 pm
Under Construction (Insaat)
Directed by Ömer Vargi
Turkey 2004, color, 108 min.
With Sevket Çoruh, Emre Kinay, Suna Pekuysal
Turkish with English Subtitles

Screening on January 24 (Tuesday) 9 pm
The Horizon of Events (L'Orizzonti degli Eventi)
Directed by Daniele Vicari
Italy 2005, color, 115 min.
With Valerio Mastrandrea, Gwenaelle Simon, Lulzim Zeqja
Italian with English subtitles

January 28 (Saturday) 7 pm
January 31 (Tuesday) 9 pm
Directed by Josef Fares
Sweden/United Kingdom/Denmark 2005, color, 103 min
With Imad Creidi, Antoinette Turk, Elias Gergi
Arabic and Swedish with English subtitles

January 30 (Monday) 9 pm
January 31 (Tuesday) 7 pm
Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
Greece 2005, color, 95 min,
Evangelia Randou, Aris Servetalis, Kostas Xikominos
Greek with English subtitles

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A brief hiatus.

I use this time ever year to catch up on my reading and listening. I still need to acquire a few 2005 releases that slipped past my radar-- if any readers have music or DVD suggestions, please let me know. I know the time is due for a few new reviews on this site, apart from other matters. Stay tuned for those as well.

My radio show will be interrupted with Hockey Broadcasts for the following weeks:
Boston College Men's Ice Hockey on ZBC
Fri 1/20 Vermont
Fri 1/27 BU
Fri 2/10 Providence

Also concerned about Angoulême. I have been monitoring information about it via forbidden planet and the comics reporter. It will be interesting to see who wins.

Friday, January 13, 2006

on the air

As stormclouds gather and holidaymakers in New England brace themselves for alternate plans, "OFF THE CUFF" is on the air again tonight. (WZBC 90.3fm 19:00 to 22:00 EST)

Luckily I took a winter break last weekend in fine comfortable lodgings.

This is the best article I've seen in regards to the literary hoaxes being perpetrated recently.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Montgolfier Brothers - All My Bad Thoughts

The Montgolfier Brothers - "All My Bad Thoughts"

RPM Quigley and Mark Tranmer are back with a new work, "All My Bad Thoughts", which brings them back into familiar territory. This is a stunning meditation on infidelity and existence. The album unfolds over the course of ten tracks, telling the end of a relationship, dwelling on the period after it, reassessing life as it becomes precious. There is a specific pattern, a specific course of events here that charts the free fall of an aggressor. The album begins with RPM Quigley's rich voice, recalling wet Northern English days, as he narrates the tale of a man who is not 'cheating' but rather, 'seeing someone else' in the song "The First Rumors of Spring". All the songs recall memories of a former lover, as the person's absence becomes more palpable, more of an albatross around our hero's neck. Constant apologies mixed with pure hate are the order of the day early in the album. Songs like "don't get upset if i..." and "all my bad thoughts", show a wretched, insufferable side to our hero. A light instrumental track, "stopping for breath" gives us a few moments to reflect on what has happened before diving into the much more contemplative final five songs.

The latter half of the album is composed on longer meditations of time and memory. The narrator remembers stories of childhood and is awakened by the contemplative nature of the surrounding architecture. The song "Koffee Pot" calls for 'drowning your sorrow in damp tea, while telling your problems to the window' (a different version of which can be heard on the Journey's End EP), while "brecht's lost waltz / summer is over" is a bizarre waltz filled with dirty ideas and regretful incidents.

The Montgolfier Brothers latest effort works well as a whole, as it chronicles the moments in the life of a modern romantic hero with musical echos of Wim Mertens and the Durutti Column, as well as the literary touch of J.P. Donleavy.
Interview with RPM Quigley by BBC Manchester
all my bad thoughts
(10 track cd album)

the first rumours of spring
don't get upset if i ...
all my bad thoughts
sins and omissions
stopping for breath
koffee pot
brecht's lost waltz / summer is over
quite an adventure
journey's end
it's over, it's ended, it's finished, it's done.

Vespertine and Son.
The Montgolfier Brothers will also be on tour in Spain shortly:
Spanish Tour * january 2006

wed 18th castellon, teatro del raval
thu 19th tarragona, sala zero
fri 20th lleida, cafe del teatro
sat 21st madrid, cafe la palma
sun 22nd barcelona, sala apolo
mon 23rd zaragoza FNAC, plaza de espana
tue 24th guadalajara, teatro buero vallejo
wed 25th conciertos de radio 3 (tv recording)
thu 26th el puerto de santa maria (cadiz), sala poniente
fri 27th seville fun club
sat 28th granada, tbc

(most dates shared with southern arts society and the otto show)

Life Through the Lens: Film as Politics

Interesting series on the BBC right now:

"Films have never just been about entertainment - they have also been a powerful force for social change. So what a pity that the gulf between cinema and politics has never been greater. By David Puttnam

Does political cinema mirror life? How much impact can a movie have on its audience? To what extent is it able to influence the way we think about politics? The relationship between cinema and politics, often troubled, has recently become far too distant.
there's no doubt that films such as this can play a crucial role in generating a better-informed, more lively political and social debate. For years, stories that tackled controversial and complex issues were second nature to film-makers. Sadly, that is becoming increasingly rare. My reason for wanting to make the radio series was to convince myself that cinema still has an important role to play in exploring society's truths - as well as its myths.

We need to convince a whole new generation of film-makers that this is a challenge worth accepting. And we need to convince politicians that, from time to time, they should heed the message."

full article here.

David Puttnam's three-part series for BBC Radio 4, Movies With a Message, starts on Sunday 1 January at 10.45pm, with repeats the following Wednesday from 8.45pm