Day 04. Your Favorite Film Soundtrack

I don’t know about you, but I mostly find myself listening to the soundtrack for Ridley Scott’s 1982 film, the brilliant science-fiction film Blade Runner, soundtrack composed by Vangelis. I love this film, love it and has spent hour listening to people discuss it and watched a documentary about it. Of course I’ve seen the different cuts of the movie, including the horrible theater cut with Harrison Ford’s phoned-in voice-over. There’s also, as I write, a book being sent my way, Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ which Blade Runner’s loosely based upon. But even with all these hours spent on these different things, it won’t add up to as much time as I’ve spent listening to its soundtrack.

blade-runner-ost-title

It’s mostly a sad sounding record depicting a run down city. Vangelis takes influences of the jazz-era, takes out the gut wrenching elements, and puts in through his synthesizer. Most of the songs are featuring a crying saxophone playing in a really slow tempo over an ambient landscape. It’s a really somber and romantic soundtrack to a film which is both action and romance in a dystophic-world feature. It’s a grieving record to the future where thirst for new technology has brought with it a city with a thick black cloud hanging over it. Of course it’s hard to have other images than neon-lights reflected in the rain water of the gutter as I associate the music to the film so heavily, but it seems to be a perfect fit.

A lot of the sounds of this soundtrack seems to be so in the 1980’s soundtrack landscape. It seems to be the polar opposite of something like Miami Vice, though you could see how the two were made during the same era using some of the same instruments. It’s in the same ballpark, just not the same sport.

Blade-Runner-Piano

This is a perfect soundtrack for an otherwise perfect film. It fits with the camera-work and enhances the tone and story of the film. This is one of my favorite films and the soundtrack is one of my favorite albums, period.

Time has come again for you to share, if you would, your own favorite soundtrack. If you haven’t seen the film or listened to its soundtrack I highly recommend you to do so. Until next time (tomorrow), good-bye.

-B

Day 03. A Film You Can Watch Over And Over

I don’t know about you, but The Trip is for me a film a would be able, and has watched over and over. It’s one of those films I’ve watched two times back to back the first time I saw it. Released back in 2010 it was first broadcast on British TV in a six episode long season and was then edited to a shorter film. The film stars actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictional characters of themselves as they go on a restaurant tour through England.the-trip-title

Steve Coogan plays an actor who seems stuck in his career without a significant role under his belt, and without a successful family and love life. While his partner Rob Brydon is happily married with a new-born child at home and a steady career. The film mostly features scenes of Coogan having sex or talking on the phone, driving on curvy British country-roads or the dinner’s themselves which is the purpose behind them going on this road-trip together. The meals are mostly spent with Brydon and Coogan competing over who of the two does the best impressions. The film feels highly improvised, I haven’t seen the TV-series but I would think there are more of those improvisation in the 30 minute times 6 episode version than in the 107 minute feature film.

The reason why this is a film I would be able to watch over and over is almost to a hundred percent because of the characters. They are highly likable and are really relate-able. Coogan having a hard time staying off drugs and keeping a serious relationship, but also wanting to have a serious career and finding it hard to keep trying to find his gem as age builds up.

the-trip-table

Brydon who is the opposite, watching Coogan secretly wanting to be able to have Brydon’s life but also see him making fun of Brydon. Brydon who is a little bit of an irritating character, the way he seems so overtly happy and unhindered let’s his imitations go overboard. They act like siblings, admiring and wanting what the other has but not letting the other see.

the-trip-phoneIt’s a fun and pleasant character study with lots of great shots of gray mist, asphalt and brown mud with spots of green grass, trees in the background and the sky above. The car passes these terrains along to a soundtrack including Joy Division’s Atmosphere, among other songs.

As I did my research (checked Wikipedia) I noticed that the TV-series was a sequel to a 2006 film, and also that they’ve filmed a second season which will be airing this year. So it seems I don’t have to watch The Trip over and over anymore I can just watch the prequel and soon to be sequel instead.

Time has come for you to share, share you’re own film that you can watch over and over for what ever reason. Is yours also The Trip, are you as happy as me for there soon being another season available? Nah, you’ve probably got another movie. Leave a comment!

-B

Day 01. Last Film I Saw

I don’t know about you, but the last film I saw was John Carpenter’s the Fog from 1980. I saw this movie with my brother during a movie session paired together with The Road Warrior. The story about a small town along the Californian coast-line that celebrates it’s hundredth year. On the night previous to the celebration is when hidden secrets gets reveled and a mysterious fog starts rolling in from the ocean.

the-fog-titleThe horror master, John Carpenter has become one of my favorite movie directors. It wasn’t that many years since I first saw The Thing and started searching for more work from the name infront of the movie title. My dad has always loved his film Escape from New York, though I don’t know that I’ve ever watched it with him. I don’t think all too many post-80’s children know of John Carpenter’s work, they’ve probably heard the names like the Escape from-movies and Halloween but I don’t think they would go seek them out on their own.

I’ve been slowly and steadily working my way through his catalog. Most of his films has been a great viewing, Escape from New York and The Thing are of-course two classics that has lived on in the halls of great movies. I really loved Halloween, I didn’t think it would be all too great at first, just some slasher movie among others. But there was something in the craftsmanship of that movie that really talked to me. Assault on Precinct 13 was another great movie, the premise is simple, a huge hoard of thugs starts attacking an old police station and the people inside has to bunker down and withstand their assault. Time just flew by as I saw this film, a really great movie. There’s something about John Carpenter, he’s got his own style, tone and touch which I greatly appreciate.

the-fog-radioThe Fog which was released in 1980 and right before the film director’s fame sky-rocketed with 81’s release of Escape and 82’s science fiction the Thing, was good enough. I didn’t love is as much as most of his other movies, though it was a fun watch. A interesting tale of an entire town as we follow multiple members of the small fishing community as things starts to go south when the crew on-board a fishing boat turns up dead.

There’s the local radio lady, positioned in a lighthouse who notices the strange fog on her radar and starts reporting it’s activities on air. A duo of a local male and a drifter who’s new to town, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, going around town to investigate the strange things that has started happening. A mayor and her assistant in the middle of unveiling a statue proclaiming the hundred years that the town has stood. As well as the local priest who in the beginning of the film finds a book hidden in the walls of his church and reads the real history behind their town.

the-fog-crossThis was, I thought, the weakest of all John Carpenter’s movies. I gave it three stars on Letterboxd, but then that says a lot about what I think of John Carpenter’s work if his weakest film got a three star rating. I haven’t seen his later films, I understand that he’s quality has deteriorated with age, but why should this bother me when his other films has been so great.

What’s the last film you saw? If you’ve read about my thought on The Fog you should also share atleast the title of the film you last saw. Or would you much rather defend the quality and relevance of John Carpenter’s The Fog, or praise and share your views on his catalog? Go right ahead and be the first to leave a post.

-B

Summarizing the year; I watched some movies

This year is about to end so here is one of my year-
end post trying to summarize the year of 2013. I will be posting one each Monday throughout December, each 
taking a look into a certain area of entertainment. 
It shall be as an autopsy, digging through my guts to find what kind of popular culture I'd put into my 
digestive system during the year 2013. Or maybe it's 
more a list for myself to remember what I did spend 
my time on during the year.

cats

Well I hope you come and see me in the movies
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally

Text from: The Beatles – Act Naturally

It’s closing time, the personal has brought out their flasks and are toasting for a job well done. Soon it’s time to give everything over to the next year, wish them good luck and hope they read the new entries into the user-manual.

I’m going to post, for our last post of the year, a list of my favorite movies of 2013. The year seemed pretty shitty as we were in the middle of the things, but now outside of the cloudy present there were a lot of good movies to be seen as well. Let’s begin shall we with my number ten pick out of all the movies I saw released in 2013, and a small list of films I missed during the year and want to see.

10. This is the End

Seth Rogan and pals coming together in an apocalyptic comedy. Locked inside James Franco’s mansion for protects everybody starts to show their real colors and anarchy sets in. Punishment is dealt to the sinners who can’t get access into heaven (which basically means everyone in LA).

this-is-the-end

Comedies seldom get much recognition from year-end best-list, but this was a good full-out comedy. Written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the duo behind Superbad and Pineapple express, this follows the same trend of jizz and weed jokes. It was a great laugh and should not be overlooked.

09. The Conjuring

As This is the End is a tried-and-true comedy flick, The Conjuring is a great among the greats horror flick. It seriously delivers everything you think a horror movie about a hunted house should deliver. Eye covering tension, and a paranoia of the unlit corners of your house. This is one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen.

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Except for it being a great scary movie, it also seemed to be a great contender for a summer-block buster. It looked like a big-budget action superhero picture, though used this carefully. It isn’t too exclusive and the scares I believe are universal. The world-building is well-made and the film is greatly structured and pasted. And then the demon reveals its face.

08. Upstream Color

This is not something for the general audience, this is a low-budget, independently made, abstract film with a story that’s hard to put into words. It’s beautifully shot and most, if not all of the story is told solely through pictures. It’s a hard-film to explain but I liked it a lot. Made by the man who wrote, directed and starred in Primer I had high hopes for this one, and I was in the end surprised by what this film turned out to be.

upstream-color

I watched Upstream Color glued to the screen for the duration of the film. I didn’t try to figure it out as you might want to figure out other sophisticated science-fiction stories, but instead just let the film-captured light wash over me. When the experience was over I was filled with a restless energy and needed an excuse to leave the house and take a walk in the middle of the night. It was a great walk, one of those walks were you see the world through a new lens, just wish the chips I bought at the some-what distant gas station were as good.

07. The Place Beyond the Pines

Time for the surprisingly epic tale that The Place Beyond the Pines tells. I don’t really want to tell you about the surprising curve-ball the movie throws the viewers way, but its a successful one I can tell you that. From the beginning it seems to be a regular film, though after a while it shows it’s hand and the story of the film becomes clear.

The-place-beyond-the-pines

It’s a tale of consequence and heritage, about genes and blood, it’s a tale about alienation and love. It was a great time and a meaningful experience I would wish upon others.

06. Blackfish

The first of two documentaries i thought would fit the list. This one is about killer-whales, how they are treated in captivity and the consequences of this.

blackfish

Centered on one specific killer-whale in general who killed a girl at Seaworld, this documentary wants to educate the viewers on the lies that Seaworld tell about these animals. There are a lot of interviews with people who formerly worked at Seaworld and other aquariums and document several catastrophes that the company has tried to cover-up.

05. Spring Breakers

There’s been some mixed feelings around Spring Breakers, which I think is the point and something that brings a smile to write and director Harmony Korine. This is a film about four girls wanting to take a vocation from school and life in general and go on spring break to party as much as possible.

spring-breakers

Of course things quickly get twisted and things spin out of control as the girls start wanting more freedom and control which brings chaos with it. They soon meet up with James Franco’s character Alien, a gangster, rapper, drug dealer with a customized sports car and a bed filled with cash and ammo. Spring Breakers sets up a scenario and sees how far they can stretch it and how extreme it can become.

04. The Act of Killing

It was a great year for documentaries and I saw a lot of them this year. The Act of Killing is something else, it’s a great concept. There were a lot of murdering in Indonesia during the sixties. People who were thought to be communists and left-wing were taken, interrogated and killed. More than 500.000 people were murdered during a span of two years in Indonesia and this documentary follows Anwar, one who personally killed approximately one thousand of them.

the-act-of-killing

The premise of the documentary is to film as the murderers makes a film of their own retelling what happened during the sixties. In the picture above we can see such a retelling were Anwar plays the part of a suspect. I think it’s a great way to get underneath the murders skin and see him reflect on his actions. For a big majority of the film Anwar doesn’t think that what he’s done in his past was wrong but as the film goes on it becomes harder for him to continue lying to himself.

03. Frances Ha

A film from director Noah Baumbach, he’s one of my favorite directors making such films as Kicking and Scream and The Squid and the Whale. Frances Ha is a film about the falling apart of a relationship between two women, Frances Ha and her best friend Sophie. They live together in an apartment in New York and often make jokes about how they are like an old lesbian couple.

frances-ha

Sophie eventually moves out and Frances has a hard time getting over their failing friendship. She’s also in a transition phase in her life and has a hard time taking the next big step away from her dreams and into a stable life. It’s a journey emotionally and physically as Frances gets tossed around trying to get a sofa to sleep on. A great film in a body of other great films, Noah Baumbach continues the great sophisticated comedy works of people such as Woody Allen.

02. 12 Years a Slave

A film based on real-life events during the era when slavery in America was legal, when a free black man was tricked and brought into slavery. It spans over twelve years and tells a harrowing tale of cruelty. Brought to the screen by British director Steve McQueen, who also made Hunger and Shame. It stars the British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.

12-years-a-slave

It’s a grand film and feels almost like a theater performance at times as actors are given great speeches to throw at each other. The film making is excellent and really portrays the dire circumstances that these people are in.

01. Gravity

A roller-coaster of extreme catastrophe when an astronaut tries to get back to earth and survive the continuously incoming disasters that gets thrown her way. From the film-maker Alfonso Cuarón, this film just as Children of Men includes some of the longest sequences of uncut beautiful scenes with the stars and the round body of earth in the background.

gravity

Just as the amazing score by Steven Price builds and fades multiple times everything comes in waves. Disastrous action scenarios are thrown at the help less floating character played by Sandra Bullock. The highs are high and the lows are comfortable as this cart turns around sharp devastating corners. But besides the main story-line there are a lot of references to historical imaginary and events. I’m having a hard time not getting a bit heavy chested as I remember some of the undertones in a scene were the character reaches a radio (if you’ve seen the film I hope you’ll understand what I mean).

I really need to watch this movie again before it leaves theaters. This one really needs to be experienced with a big screen, a grand great speaker-system and with its 3D enhancements.

Watchlist

These are five of the films I missed this year and really want to see. Vi Är Bäst! (We Are The Best!) which is a swedish film by film director Lukas Moodysson (Fucking Åmål, Lilja 4-ever) about a fictive all female punk-rock band in 1982’s Stockholm. Martin Scorsese’s newest film Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill as shady stockbrokers on wallstreeet. There’s also the new science-fiction romance movie by former music video director Spike Jonze, Her, wherein Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with an operating system (as you do). The Japanese animated film The Wind Rises by director Hayoa Miyazaki, said to be his last, this film tells a tale of a man who designs fighter planes (the Miyazaki-est premise ever?) during the second world war. And lastly the latest by the excellent directors duo, the Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis a film about a folk musician.

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Let’s enter the new year in style.

The Conjuring, a “lights turned on in the house”-scary film.

I just finished watching one of this years big horror films, The Conjuring. It’s a highly tense movie about the family Perron who moves into an old house which has some unseen residents since before their arrival. They seek help and come into contact with exorcists and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, a couple who will try to figure out the mystery behind this unsettled house.1

This movie is unsettling straight from the get go and I really had a hard time finding any comfort during the duration of the film. It’s filled with successful jump-scare suspense and reality detached camera work. Also so many scary knocking sounds, scratching and other unwanted noises hard for sane ears to handle with ease and a cool exterior.

My eyes didn’t leave the screen for about the first 45 minutes, which amounts to almost half the movie. I desperately needed to take a break if just for a while and I walked away from the frozen screen at a safe local in the timeline. I made some tea, had some human interaction (if just to make sure someone was around), and just before resuming the film I thought “hey, let’s turn all the lights out”. I unpaused the movie and couldn’t take even a couple of minutes with this beast in the dark. I really had to force myself downstairs feeling the adrenaline pulse through my veins and the struggle between my brain convincing me that nothing was going to happen and my body just wanting to flip the switch and flee to the couch and rest safely under my blanket.

2The film was directed by the man behind films such as Insidious and the Saw series, James Wan. I’ve not seen Insidious but I’ve heard some good things, and I couldn’t be bothered with any Saw films past the first (I actually liked the first one). But here James Wan has made something truly great. I might have disliked the look of the movie would it have been used in another film, but here it works fairly well. It uses fairly long sequences of the camera moving unhindered of gravity and feels at times like the kind of soaring camera work J.J. Abrams seems fond of, but it works great here in the demoniacally poses world it doesn’t seem overtly show-ey to have the camera shooting upside-down. David Mamet curses the invention of the steady-cam as it let’s the camera operator follow the character instead of filming the character’s actions. But just as when I almost couldn’t walk down the stairs to turn on the lights you want to have it take time and feel every step down to the bottom floor.

In the cast of the movie we see Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson portraying the Warren couple and Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston the new home owners. They do a great job in the film, I really can’t think of any weak point in this movie. Even the child actors in the roles of the five Parron daughters make you feel their dread of the forces contained within their new house.

3

I think it’s a great movie and it’s currently my number one movie of the year just above Gravity. What do you know, their where some great movies that got released in 2013.

A new beginning

We, the homies of Zvenne have long contemplated the adventure of film making. And thus we have started on our own little project which will bring us to a point where we can make film.

The first step has been to acquire the inspiration and creative basis that will support our coming experiments with filming. We’ve done this by setting a goal of 30 log-lines to be created before the last of October. That is tomorrow. After our get together today, we’ll probably get it done by then. Which is a great step forward.

Also another step is to make a list of clips that inspire us. Though maybe not as well cemented with the rest, I have added the following two to the list. And beware! Spoilers are ahead.

Fringe S05E01

Greatest piece on hope I’ve seen, like ever.

 

Cowboy Bebop The End

Such a great ending. Short, direct, powerful.

 

And with that we’re working on towards the next goal.

Cheers!

 

-Ken