Feeds:
Posts
Comments

music2017-4

In which we’ve arrived in the movie music territory.

15. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, “City of Stars” (2016)

While I hated (well, not as much “hated” as was utterly unimpressed by) “Bla Bla Bland”, I have to admit this is a really nice song that deserved the Oscar it’s got. Much more than the movie istelf deserves all the attention.

Continue Reading »

Advertisements

music2017-3

We’re done with Kate Bush already? I think so. Are we done with catching up with old music of known artists? Not so much…

10. The Legendary Pink Dots, “The Heretic” (1985)

Besides Kate, 2017 was also the year of filling some gaps in my knowledge of this one of a kind psychedelic band and their extremely wide output. I didn’t listen to EVERYTHING, because I can’t believe it’s possible in one lifetime to listen to all Edward Ka-Spel ever released (the sheer volume of LPD’s discography – available in its entirety both on Spotify and Bandcamp – makes my head hurt), but also because I limited myself to only major releases in chronological order… and I arrived at 1984’s “The Lovers” pretty quickly and just stayed there.

The whole album is very good, which is something of note because The Dots are known for their uneven releases (not many of their albums are digestable in their entirety, mostly it’s one-two good songs among some terrible musical gibberish). And from it “The Heretic” is arguably the most memorable, but by far not the only good song – “Jungle” or “Flowers for the Silverman” are just as good.

It’s good to know the Dots have more pearls that can be found in their vast junkyard of a discography. Continue Reading »

music2017-2

Inspired by the very good documentary I found on YouTube I decided to check out the rest of Kate Bush’s discography, previously being thoroughly familiar with only her two most acclaimed albums, “The Dreaming” (a collection of ten fantastic songs on big variety of topics) and “Hounds of Love”, the first half of which is five hit songs ranging from good to amazing, and the second is “The Ninth Wave”, a true masterpiece concept suite consisting of seven songs and telling a gut wrenching story about a woman washed over and left alone in the night, and her sheer determination to survive, just her, the sea and her thoughts (oh, shit, I have JUST learned that “The Ninth Wave” is also a painting!)

So now I’m familiar with the entirety of This Woman’s Work (a gratuitous Kate Bush song reference here) and I can’t think of another artist I know who achieved a comparable level of flawlessness – there isn’t a SINGLE SONG on ANY OF HER TEN ALBUMS that I wouldn’t like. Not even a single song that would not resonate with me. She is just amazing in how she can make every piece compelling. Continue Reading »

music2017-1I want to go back to writing here and what better time to start than the beginning of the year, the time of resolutions and new beginnings? And what better topic that summaries of the year that’s now gone?

The last time I made a musical summary of a year was six years ago and I have to really keep myself from telling you all the great music from that whole period… But I will have to start with some pieces from 2016 too, because they were prevalent and listened to very often in 2017 as well.

1. Abney Park, “The End of Days” (2010)

Continue Reading »

Lindsey in Warsaw

I saw Lindsey Stirling live in Torwar arena in Warsaw.

I’ve been to other shows before. I saw U2 on the stadium in Chorzów at their 360 Tour. I saw eight hours long concert of four more or less progressive bands, culminating on a recorded on DVD show by the band Arena. I saw The Legendary Pink Dots twice and Pendragon thrice, including a 30th Anniversary show in Śląski Theathre, also recorded on DVD. Finally, I saw Roger Waters and his The Wall on National Stadium in Warsaw. So, what could a modest, 28-years old violin-playing Mormon girl give me?

I mean, besides THE BEST SHOW I’VE EVER BEEN TO IN MY ENTIRE LIFE?
Continue Reading »

Harry S. Plinkett

Harry S. Plinkett

Have you seen Harry S. Plinkett reviewing the Star Wars prequels trilogy?

All three movies are reviewed in excrutiating detail in three videos (70, 90 and 110 minutes long, respectively) and the reviews are devastating. Plinkett shows how Lucas himself destroyed the whole amazing mythology he gave birth to decades earlier, thus proving that he apparently never truly understood it. But what I love the most in them is how thoroughly Plinkett dissects Lucas’ movies and gives an analysis of what is awesome in the original Star Wars trilogy, and, by extension, what sucks in the prequels. He gives numerous examples of what went wrong and why, and believe me, there’s many more reasons they suck than Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd and horrible dialogue – Plinkett doesn’t even spend that much time on these, probably because everyone else in the world already did. No, he notices myriads of stuff more subtle and better hidden that those evident ones, things that we never noticed – but our brains did.

Especially funny parts of the reviews include Plinkett proving the blandness of characters of Episode I using a clever experiment that included characters from the original trilogy and some of reviewer’s friends, listing things Anakin did well and wrong when courting Padme, and comparing the trilogy as an attempt to create a character story around Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader with another famous character story in film, “Citizen Kane”. But the most valuable point he makes is how ironically the rise and fall of Anakin (as well as the rise and fall of William Randolph Hearst, the real-life prototype of Charles Foster Kane character from Welles’ film) mirrors the change that occured in George Lucas himself, “going from an idealistic young filmmaker wanting to rebel against the system to becoming the system” – the same point is also made in the 2010 documentary “The People vs. George Lucas”, which I also saw recently (and recommend).

Before you go and see them, be warned though! The videos are quite disturbing in places – the first 20 seconds of first review set the tone of his type of humour, and if you have problems with them, you may not like the rest. The Plinkett persona (actually a character created by Internet reviewer Mike Stoklasa) is presented as a borderline senile psychopath who kidnaps and murders women (prostitutes mostly), butchers animals and does many other, horrific things. This is done so well that sometime during watching “The Phantom Menace” review I actually thought that maybe he really is a psycho, and I’m just indulging his sick mind by watching his videos on YouTube. I turned them off at that point and refused to continue until I saw the outtakes of the reviews, in which I saw that it was all staged – I saw the make up, the actors, and the props. Now I can watch his reviews (and he made some more, aside from the Star Wars prequels, including “Avatar”).

And in the end Harry S. Plinkett – the same psychotic sadist – makes a beautiful and very true point, that “in the end all the computers in the world can’t generate the most basic thing that a movie needs – an emotional connection with the audience.”

Highly recommended! (if only for people with hard stomachs and distance to what they see)

http://redlettermedia.com/plinkett/star-wars/

"Pina"

"Pina"

I saw “Avatar” and “Megamind” and the fourth “Pirates…” and each time I said: “OK, so this 3D thing is kinda neat and everything, now, can I please see a good movie using it?”

Now I finally did.

Aside from “Pina” being, well, perfect, it is the first picture I saw where the third dimension feels really necessary. Watching all those more or less CGI sets and objects in aforementioned movies (and many others) I couldn’t resist thinking that the depth only adds to the feel of their falsehood. “Pina” shows me that using 3D cameras only really makes sense if they’re pointed at a theater stage. Why? When you sit in an actual theater (not cinema) and watch a play, you actually watch in 3D, obviously, right? You yourself can choose which part of the stage you want to focus on, and everything is equally shown. If you would watch a play on a regular, 2D screen, big chunk of that would be taken from you, since you’d be shown only what the cameraman or editor picked to show or focus on at that moment. And here’s where 3D picture works – it brings back that theater feel to the silver screen. Now you can again choose what to look at! I’d love to see some famous plays, musicals or operas shot in 3D and projected on a cinema screen…

“Pina” gives you even more, as it creatively marries two media – it gives you the benefit of a theater, as you watch actors on stages (even if not all are actual theater stages, as we often see dancers in different buildings, along with streets or parks), but also brings into equations elements of film language, such as editing (obviously not possible in theater) or camera wandering around actors on the stage (whereas in real theater you, as a spectator, are always pinned to your seat).

That’s about form, and as for the content – I haven’t seen a movie I’d call a High Art in a cinema for a long time now. For some reason, while watching it, I felt an urge to watch Wim Wenders movies (“Paris, Texas” and “Buena Vista Social Club”, especially), and it wasn’t until I left the cinema and learned that it was actually Wenders who made this movie! I didn’t know that.

Also, it made me want to dance.