The Chemical Brothers

assbender

We’ve recently seen him play an unhinged plantation owner in 12 Years a Slave and a morally compromised lawyer in The Counselor, and now it’s looking like Michael Fassbender is going to make his next role that of a reluctant gangster in a movie called Trespass Against Us that’s coming from screenwriter Alastair Siddons and first time dramatic feature director Adam Smith. A report from Variety says that Fassbender is currently in negotiations to play one of the lead roles of the film, that of a character named Chad Cutler. Trespass Against Us is set to detail the lives of three generations of a family full of law breakers, with Fassbender’s character being the young black sheep who wants to turn his back on the brood’s rowdy ways in order to become more respectable. Due to the Cutler family’s lives being so out there, Siddons’ script is said to be “infused with action, crime and a strong sense of humor,” but it’s nice to hear that Fassbender would be joining as a more conflicted character. He’s too much of an actor’s actor to be stuck playing a one note devilish rogue. Why not give him the chance to add some pathos to his sly grin?

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Aural Fixation - Large

You may have watched, or even just heard of, the slightly strange video featuring Shia LaBeouf and dancer Denna Thomsen that hit the web a few months back. The video features the pair dancing, fighting, and losing themselves to the almost sad sounding piano refrains of Sigur Rós’ “Fjögur Píanó” from the band’s latest album, Valtari. But even though the duo may have been performing to the music, the production was clearly more than a simple music video. Clocking in at a little over eight minutes, the video was directed by Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach) and is one of seventeen videos commissioned by Sigur Rós to be a part of their Valtari Film Experiment. Rather than simply going on tour to bring their latest album to the public, Sigur Rós had various filmmakers and artists take each of Valtari’s tracks and create their own visions inspired by them. Music and images have long gone hand-in-hand, with music used to score a film or images are used to depict the meaning behind a song, but when paired together, their impact becomes even greater. Sigur Rós, a band that has never shied away from experimentation, has taken the first step by creating the music and then released it to be re-imagined by others. Bands usually create music videos to accompany their songs and give fans a greater look at the song’s meaning, but this experiment allows those outside of the band have complete creative control to see what that freedom yields.

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Aural Fixation - Large

Ever since Napster hit the scene and forever changed the way we distribute music, the music industry has been fighting a slow death over the past few years and while record labels still exist, they are quickly becoming a dated way to “make it” with YouTube, at home ProTools rigs and countless social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Soundcloud) available for artists to truly DIY their careers rather than wait for the elusive record contract to “change their lives.” While established artists like The Chemical Brothers, Phoenix and Daft Punk have taken to the conductor’s podium to create scores for films such as Hanna, Somewhere and Tron: Legacy (can someone also get Muse attached to a project, please?), bands that are not yet well-known are taking their music out of local clubs and putting them onto the silver screen for better (and bigger) exposure. One band, a multi-media group based out of Brooklyn called Fall On Your Sword, caught people’s ears (and attention) with their score for Another Earth and are following that up with their score for the upcoming Lola Versus (due in theaters this Friday, 6/8) as well as 28 Hotel Rooms and Nobody Walks (which both premiered at Sundance this past January.) Rather than getting lost in the shuffle as just another “band from Brooklyn,” FOYS took matters into their own hands and began to diversify themselves by not just looking to release albums of their music, but explore other outlets for potential exposure.

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Dozens of filmmakers have utilized music from The Chemical Brothers (Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons) for their movies, and the eclectic rave staple even snagged their first gig as film composers for last year’s Hanna and as contributors for Black Swan, but now they’re the subject of a concert doc that looks as fascinating visually as it does aurally. Don’t Think comes from director Adam Smith, who stole a page from The Beastie Boys’ Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That! to include both professional camera rig shots and personal cell phone footage of the tranced-out crowd – which seems fitting considering The Chemical Brothers (then, The Dust Brothers) got their start working with The Beastie Boys. Stuff a pacifier in your mouth and check out the trailer for yourself:

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This year has brought us back to classic filmmaking from the silent film era with The Artist to the fantasy adventure Hugo, which recalled classic film moments (as The Film Stage rounded up here). The New York Times has even gotten in on the classical score action, drawing on booming horns and frenetic strings to help create horror and unease in their portraits of various actors’ impressions of classic film villains. It is an almost surprising turn in a year that awarded Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s electronic influenced score for The Social Network the Oscar for Original Score and saw electronic duos The Chemical Brothers and Basement Jaxx creating the scores for Hanna and Attack the Block, respectively. Film scoring seemed to be going the way of the electric guitar, swapping out full orchestrations for synthesizers, but as 2011 comes to a close, it seems classic orchestration is not on its way out just yet. Full orchestrations of horns, drums, strings, and wind instruments filled theaters in films like The Artist and Hugo, taking us back to a time when live orchestras would play along with films. Their electronic counterparts tend to turn up the volume (who wasn’t rattled when Reznor and Karen O’s booming “Immigrant Song” in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’s teaser trailer came on screen?) while classical scores are able to gain that same power from the sheer number of instruments called upon and layered together. Both work to draw an emotional reaction out of […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spends a long day in the multiplex, checking out a variety of films from alcoholic romantic comedies to nature documentaries with elephants and orangutans. He drinks himself silly and hits on Greta Gerwig in Arthur, narrowly escapes being killed by ass-kicking teen assassin Hanna, narrowly escapes getting his arm bitten off by a tiger shark in Soul Surfer and peeps in on Natalie Portman undressing for a swim in Your Highness. Too bad she’s pregnant now, ‘cause Kevin just ain’t into that scene.

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