Pistol Annies, “Blues, You’re a Buzzkill” (2013)
Yeah, this is a jam for sure.
House music, pictures of pro wrestlers, Murder She Wrote, parentheses, etc.
Pistol Annies, “Blues, You’re a Buzzkill” (2013)
Yeah, this is a jam for sure.
I had a delicious dinner of braised lamb neck and dumplings at Dear Bushwick last night, and while I was deciding whether or not to order a second cocktail or not, I noticed a bottle of white rum that said “New York City” on it. Of course I ordered a daiquiri made with it, and it was delicious.
It turns out there’s rum being distilled a few blocks from my house! The distillery is called The Noble Experiment, the rum is called Owney’s, and we should really get over there for a tasting and tour soon, yeah?
TOVE LO MANIA
Miami Sound Machine, “I Need a Man” (1984)
There’s a specific kind of chugging mid-80s pop song, with rock antecedents but synthpop embellishments, and very often an alto sax getting sweaty, that aims at a kind of hyperreal romanticism. The kind of thing the Drive soundtrack aimed to emulate but was too twenty-first-century cool to allow the sweat to form.
Anyway, I wasn’t exactly surprised to hear Gloria Estefan making it on her first crossover English-language album — there’s a lot of stuff being thrown at a lot of different walls here — but I did like hearing something from her that bears a relation to Pat Benatar, Quarterflash, and latter-day Blondie.
28. Spring Breakers (dir. Harmony Korine, 2013) (Regal City North 14, Chicago)
- I dunno how much of Spring Breakers works on a “real” emotional level other than giddy, but Faith’s pre-exit call to grandma genuinely works for me on some on a trip with your friends feeling like things are really different out here bliss shit.
- obviously, the “Everytime” scene, fucking obviously. Christ I was so happy I almost fell out of my seat.
- Harmony’s up to a little something about suburban appropriation of inner-city African American culture resulting in fear (Faith) or total destruction (Brit and Candy). Maybe.
- I loved it. Is that clear? I loved it.
29. The Lady Eve (dir. Preston Sturgess, 1941) (Netflix Instant)
Will I one day find out that “they don’t make romantic comedies like they used to” is a boring, lazy opinion like every other “they don’t make _____ like they used to” opinion and a lot of current rom coms are really awesome and I should be watching them more? Barbara Stanwyck is virtuosic, and Fonda is somehow a hilarious straight man, but Sturgess and his editor Stuart Gilmore are perfect, too. There’s a cut to Charles Coburn that almost made me do a spit take and I wasn’t even drinking anything.
27. L’amore (dir. Roberto Rossellini, 1948) (DVR’d from TCM)
Friday night TCM aired 4 Rossellini movies, 3 of which aren’t available on Region 1 DVD as far as I can tell, so I taped them before leaving the house. L’amore is actually two short films: “Una voce umana”, based on a play by Jean Cocteau and “Il miracolo”, written by Fellini. Importantly, both of these shorts star Anna Magnani and Anna Magnani is a fantastically good actress. “Una voce umana” is half an hour of Magnani as a woman being broken up with by a man who is getting married, alternately talking on the phone and waiting for the phone to ring.
Magnani’s character deals with a kind of desperation that stems from having to decide what emotions to present to someone whose reaction to your emotions you really give a shit about, and I think she does an awesome job of splitting hysteria with a sense of purpose, even if she doesn’t always have a firm grasp on what that purpose is going to be from moment to moment.
"Il miracolo" is about Nanni, a woman (I think Mankiewicz said "mentally-disabled" in his TCM intro, though I’m not sure how Fellini and Rossellini would categorize that exactly) who sees a gentleman roaming the countryside and assumes he’s St. Joseph. St. Joseph then gets her drunk and she passes out and then she’s pregnant with what she thinks is a miracle baby. This isn’t a movie about religion to me, though, but rather about how we treat people at the margins of society (Nanni spends a lot of time just outside of town).
More Rossellini to come; that dude’s the best. If you haven’t seen his war trilogy, you should see his war trilogy.
I really can’t remember the last time I was this geeked for an album.
"Short Song For Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi"
Catching up from like the last month:
21. The Invisible War (dir. Kirby Dick, 2012) (Netflix Instant)
Kirby Dick’s movie about the shocking prevalence of rape in the US Armed Forces is an emotional battering ram, but then again it is a movie about the shocking prevalence of rape in the US Armed Forces; the tears are not undeserved. I’ve recommended this movie unreservedly to people for a few weeks now, and I think it’s totally worth watching, but it will probably leave you a bit of a wreck.
22. Flight (dir. Robert Zemeckis, 2012) (screener)
Watched this on Oscar morning because it was laying around. Matty pointed out at the very beginning the amount of money that Zemeckis must be spending on licensing songs (so much Rolling Stones) and that’s the most interesting thing I remember about it. Denzel is decent. Kelly Reilly with that accent is less decent.
23. Bubble (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2005) (Netflix Instant)
Somehow, I’d never heard of this Soderbergh. The non-professional actors do decently, though what exactly Soderbergh is doing here was, for me, a but on the inscrutable side. Still, some of the super-modern digital photography of small town bedrooms and factories works looks cool, so at the very least there are some cool tableaus and a sense of boredom leading to darker things. Not a bad quick watch.
24. Side Effects (dir. Steven Soderbergh, 2013) (AMC Loews 34th St)
It’s hard to describe why I loved this movie so much without any spoilers. But it does start out as a very good movie and then develops into a whole different type of movie that is also very good. I haven’t been so excited walking out of a movie since I don’t remember when. I know this is a weak placeholder until I figure out something to say about this movie without spoilers, but if for whatever reason you read this thing, GO SEE IT.
25. Los Cronocrimenes (Timecrimes) (dir. Nacho Vigalondo, 2007) (Netflix Instant)
This kept popping up in my recommendations and, having seen some Vigalondo in the ABCs of Death, and being bored on a Saturday afternoon I gave it a shot. It’s about time travel; it’s cleverly-plotted and tense enough to seem to make sense, though I haven’t been tempted to think very hard about whether it actually does.
26. Nine to Five (dir. Colin Higgins, 1980) (Netflix Instant)
Watching this for the first time in a while, I was basically overwhelmed with joy and wonder for large parts of it. And not only because it’s a great mainstream feminist comedy that actually gives a shit about things like equal pay, though that is amazing in and of itself, but because it’s legit hilarious in so many ways, including a super-long scene of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dolly Parton getting high. I can’t imagine a friend that I wouldn’t recommend this movie to.
18. How to Survive a Plague (dir. David France, 2012) (Netflix Instant)
There’s certainly a lot of sadness here but, as far as a chronicle of how shit gets done in America, this doc about ACT UP, the group of activists who focused their anger about the lack of support for AIDS victims in America into a thorough, enormously effective movement, is much more inspiring than Lincoln and, somewhat silly comparisons aside, just plain awesome.
19. The ABCs of Death (dir. a whole ton of people, 2012) (VOD)
26 short films about death, from many of the world’s horror directors who you might expect to be involved in this sort of thing and many more you probably haven’t heard of. Jorge Michel Grau’s meditation on the role of the victim in horror movies has proved very memorable for me (in the weeks that I’ve been procrastinating writing this) while Ben Wheatley (whose Kill List was one fo my 2012 faves) has some great vampire fun. There’s some aggressively bizarre stuff here, too, surprise, surprise - Nazi animals and farts and masturbation to the death oh my - but I really enjoyed watching what truly horrifying tropes surprisingly popped up several times. If you like horror, I can’t imagine you won’t have some fun with this one.
20. 5 Broken Cameras (dir. Emad Burnat, Guy Davidi, 2011) (Netflix Instant)
Another Oscar doc: this one consists of 5 years’ worth of footage from Emad Burnat’s cameras, which keep getting broken by smoke grenades and bullets and such from Israeli forces “protecting” the border separating the Israeli settlements encroaching on Burnat’s Palestinian village. It’s not only tremendously moving on an emotional level, but also a very impressive feat of editing.
I can’t help feeling that I’m going to get through these Oscar docs and be very impressed and subsequently bummed when Searching For Sugar Man wins.