Music

Only God Forgives Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, is a gorgeously photographed series of fascinating contradictions. Ryan Gosling is very much his character from Drive, but he’s also wildly different. There’s also an antagonist who simultaneously represents both god and the devil, and in terms of mainstream appeal, Drive is a Marvel film compared to Only God Forgives. Yet the latter features Refn’s most diabolical super villain in Kristin Scott Thomas. Contradictions. So it seemed natural that my interview with Refn and composer Cliff Martinez took place in a trendy bar in downtown Austin that began life as a seedy brothel. Ornate floral wallpaper looked down on overstuffed booths, adding a kind of Victorian flourish to a space that saw three decades worth of illegal happy endings. It seemed appropriate, and it also wasn’t surprising when more contradictions came pouring out.

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Sons of Anarchy

The popular FX show Sons of Anarchy has carved out a name for itself thanks to gripping stories, brutal violence, and a unique sound. The show often features covers of well known tunes performed by The Forest Rangers, a band closely associated with the show. If you’re a fan of the show, or just love good music, let’s hope your lucky because we’ve got Songs of Anarchy Volume 2 available for one fortunate reader. Here are the details:

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Dooley Wilson in Casablanca

A few weeks back, Matthew Perpetua of Buzzfeed wrote a post arguing that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should consider an award for “Best Use of an Old Song,” citing the memorable instances of Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour” in Silver Linings Playbook and Benjamin Britten’s “The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra” in Moonrise Kingdom as possible contenders in this imaginary category. I could not agree more. It’s been a long time since a Best Original Song or Best Original Score winner made a major cultural impact, and the Music Supervisors who find the best existing music (within legal and budgetary constraints) for the greatest effect deserve their day in the spotlight for making us think about old songs in a new memorable audio-visual context or introducing us to great music that we didn’t know was always out there. Here are the reasons why such a category doesn’t already exist.

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International superstar singer Katy Perry and the various things that spin upon or spray out of her breasts are the latest to get a concert movie. No doubt it will be full of uplifting platitudes about achieving your dreams and working hard as well as the glorious benefits of whip cream and other delights. The new trailer for Part of Me 3D shows exactly what you might imagine. All this and more. At its heart, it looks to tell the story of a young woman who was raised in a very religious family who would go on to struggle through the music world only to come out on the right side of success by singing about kissing a girl and liking it. Check it out for yourself:

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Why Watch? DJ as destiny. People as Rube Goldberg device. Jamin Winans came out of nowhere (seemingly) to amaze with Ink, but this is the short film that got him the attention he deserved in the first place. It’s a head-noddable exploration of the rhythm of life where editing has as big a role to play as camera work. How does everything in life work out? Apparently it’s because of a guy in a bandana lugging around twin turntables. What does it cost? Just 8 minutes of your time. Check out Spin for yourself:

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we close out the 2011 season of the show with a long-form interview with Bill Marx about his father Harpo and the rest of the Marx Brothers. The musician and film scorer shares his memories of the most famous harp player this side of King David, a legend of comedy, and one hell of a great human being. Download This Episode

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Why Watch? Because the format needs challenging. This short film from Tatiana Plakhova consists of two things. One, the music of Philip Glass. Two, the music of Philip Glass expressed as mathematically created art. It’s experimental to be sure, but the effect is a stirring one that is sure to either create an emotional response, or at least a nod of approval for the beauty of its combination. Or, like all art, maybe it won’t do anything for you at all. But finding out should be fun. What Will It Cost? Just 3 minutes of your time. Check out Music Portraits for yourself:

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Thunder Soul is the movie Neil called, “a sweet, heartbreaking, truly unique emotional journey,” when he saw it during SXSW last year. It’s a documentary focused on the reunion of one of the best funk stage bands of the 1970s and the man who taught them how to perform. From the trailer, there’s a real-life element of Mr. Holland’s Opus going on as these men and women pay tribute to their band director, Conrad Johnson, and the life lessons he shared with them. Expect the tears to flow as openly as the syncopation. The music is bound to be out of this world, and it seems to have the emotional gut punch to satisfy those looking for a compelling story as well, so check out the trailer for yourself:

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. The Beatles are arguably the largest worldwide, music phenomenon of the 20th century. Their influence and skill cannot be overstated, and they are partially (alongside The Beach Boys) responsible for the past four decades of pop music (for better or for worse). But in 1964, they were just beginning their takeover, and part of their attack plan as a silly little movie that sees them channeling the Marx Brothers in between jam sessions. It’s absurd, but it’s also the least absurd movie they ever made. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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The Muppet Movie is already shaping up to be one of the most anticipated movies since the last movie featuring the lovable felt scamps, and now it’s even better. According to The Playlist, Bret McKenzie – a member of New Zealand’s 4th most popular folk parody duo – will be acting as music supervisor for the film as well as penning some songs for it. This is a fantastic marriage. McKenzie has the sort of childlike wonder and ridiculous instrumental prowess that could churn out some truly great songs to be sung by hands inside artistically shaped cloth. Hopefully he’ll suggest a massive ensemble of Mahna Mahna.

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Terrorists are a pesky bunch, and even though they come from different backgrounds, countries, and religions mothers, we can all agree they share at least one common trait. They’re assholes. Shooting people or blowing them up because you disagree with their beliefs or ideologies? That’s a dick move. People don’t need to die for the message to be heard. Why can’t terrorists express themselves with acts that leave innocent bystanders still bystanding? Terrorize the populace with politicized origami. Or editorial cartoons. Or, if you’re a Swedish citizen unhappy with the fascist pigs running your country, maybe you could commit acts of musical terrorism. Welcome to the War On Terror 2.0, welcome to The Sound Of Noise.

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We’re moving right along toward SXSW 2010 with our preview in full swing. Only 21 days until the festival kicks off and we still have a ton of great movies to talk about. So we might as well get one of the big ones out of the way.

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MusicHeader

Music videos are basically movies these days. More bands are working on films. Here are a few more that should definitely pick up the baton and try their hand at scoring.

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PirateRadio

Pirate Radio is a perfectly balanced comedy with a brilliant cast. Hard to believe it’s only Richard Curtis’s second film as director.

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OBrotherWhereArtThou

You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first, first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.

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A little birdie left a bunch of cool images from Taking Woodstock on my doorstep, and then clumsily flew off into a nearby window.

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Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet

The film is a visceral experience that grabs you by the collar and yells, “Hey! Watch, listen and enjoy.”

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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