Archive for November, 2011

Music I dig 038: Amatorski – 22 Februar (2011)

This is a good example of the more you listen and listen again and again, the more you love it. This is that kind of music that makes you want to close the curtains, light the fireplace or perhaps some candles, and just sit back and stare at the wall. This is the kind of music that makes you don’t want to do anything else and just focus, submerge and drown yourself in it.

I’m not just talking about this track I’m posting, but about pretty much all their music.

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Movie I dig 029: The mill and the cross (2011)

The Mill and the cross is artful cinematic piece about a true masterpiece by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. ‘De Kruisdraging’ to be more specific (‘The procession to Calvary’ in English). If there ever was a way to bring a canvas to life than this is it. I don’t even want to begin to think about all the practical and creative difficulties they faced to get it to look and feel the way it does. They made the real footage blend with the painting-like CGI seamlessly, and yet it is very obvious which parts are painting-like. Also the coloring of both the CGI and the real footage, especially the clothes the characters are wearing, is worth to mention.

This movie teaches the audience a lot about life in 16th century Flanders as well. It shows that life goes on, even though major historical events are taking place. Not much has changed since then I guess.  We, the audience, also see many forgotten customs and practices. That brings me to one of the major things that I really liked a bout this film. There is so much detail. I probably have to see it again two or three times to be able to notice all those details. I don’t think it’s a coincidence they managed to slip in so many ‘hidden’ details in a film about a painting. Most Bruegel paintings are full of those details that make you observe and investigate a painting for a long time.

There aren’t many dialogues in this film. This ads to the power of the film as a whole. Just like a painting the piece of art let’s its audience observe and interpret – and sometimes even judge.

Music I dig 037: Metronomy – Everything Goes My Way (2011)

This is a lovely indie pop track that will improve your mood. It’s November and this song gives me a spring-buzz! This is the third single from the album ‘The English Riviera’. Check out that album as well.

Movie I dig 028: The Guard (2011)

Laughing out loud. That’s what The Guard is. It all starts with a murder taking place in a small village in Ireland. The local police officer Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is put on the case together with a new colleague who just moved there from Dublin. This story sounds really boring – even to me as I’m writing about it – but it is the dark narcissistic humor that makes this movie. Add the really cool chemistry between Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson and you have ‘The Guard’. I love the fact that this movie doesn’t care a bit about being offensive in various ways (sexuality, racism, drugs, weapons/violence). Great to see something that’s not pretentious. I think that’s why an American FBI agent is part of the story; like a sneer to American cinema and pretentious American puritanism (Hollywood).

Music I dig 036: Icebird – Going and Going. And Going. (2011)

Icebird is a project based on a collaboration between music producer RJD2 and neo-soul singer Aaron Livingston. The outcome is a really slick production with some raw edges, that surprises the listener a few times. Definitely a cool song.

Music I dig 035: Greymatter – Only To Fall (2010)

Forthcoming on the Paw To The Floor EP, through Wolf music. How we hoooooowwwl!

Movie I dig 027: Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation) (2011)

Nader and Simin are an Iranian couple about to break up. The first seen is shot from the perspective of the judge when she wants to legalize their break up. The reason for their break-up is that after waiting for 18 months they’ve received their visas to go abroad – and possibly towards a better future for them and their child – almost 6 months ago, but Nader is refusing to go, because when they leave there will be nobody to take care of his father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Simin disagrees and does not want to let this opportunity slip away. Probably because she fears they won’t get another one like this. The judge denies Simin’s case and shortly afterwards she moves in with her mother, leaving Nader, his father and their daughter Termeh behind in Nader’s father’s apartment. The ruling of the judge resulting in Simin’s departure from their family apartment, instigates a sequence of events that make their life extremely complicated.

The story is set in current day Iran and the audience gets a taste of the legal system, family values, religion, healthcare and how all these factors are interrelated. The director wants you (the audience) to make a judgement on who and what is right or wrong. This is brilliantly done. The script is insanely complex and this makes it even more impressive how well the directing and acting really is, because I enjoyed this movie very much. If this is how Iranian cinema is, then I’m on the look-out  for more.