sexta-feira, março 30, 2012

The Young Friends

Another group with New Wave influences and a sound that immediately reminds me of an alternative version of The Drums... They go by the name of The Young Friends and the following tracks are taken from their album Hella (2010)

quinta-feira, março 29, 2012

Shade and Honey

Years ago, when I started digging in on everything Christian Bale had or was working as an actor, I came across a movie called Laurel Canyon (2002). It had a cast of which I was very fond of, but again, the reason that lead me to watch it was the Welsh actor. 

After seeing it I became fan of other actors who were almost (if not entirely) anonymous to me. I'm talking about Kate Beckinsale and Alessandro Nivola, this last one performing one of my favorite moments of  Laurel Canyon.

Nivola portrays a rock star, trying to get his album done and for that, he isolates himself in a studio owned by his girlfriend, played by Frances McDormand (by the way, this is not the synopses, just one of the character's background).
During his music sessions, he plays a track that instantly came across as a sweet and heartfelt ballad.

I was hooked!
Those next weeks, the song was on loop and to this day, I still hear it from time to time. In fact, listening to it recently inspired me to share the the song, the movie and the story behind it.

While doing some research to write about it, I found out that the song Shade and Honey was taken out of the album Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain (2006) by Sparklehorse. I also found out that the lead singer wrote the song for Nivola to sing it in the film.

As for the film directed by Lisa Cholodenko (who also directed/wrote The Kids Are All Right), to simply put it, is an emotional drama of mixed emotions, twists and turns... It goes deep into messed up relationships, be it regarding love, lust, passion... or even between family and friends.

It wasn't a success, but it's definitely one of my favorite movies!

I could look in your face
For a thousand years
It’s like a civil war
Of pain and of cheer

But if you was a horse
I could help you with your chains
I could ride you through the fields
By your fiery mane

May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

I'll cry gardens while you burn
'Cause no one here can save you
She’s returning to the Earth
But one day she’ll be silver

The stars are dying in my chest
Till I see you again
She was born with the wings of a hawk
Where she combs her hair with blood

May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes
Where the sun will be
Made of honey

May your shade be sweet
May your shade be sweet
And float upon the lakes...

May your shade be sweet

terça-feira, março 27, 2012

Carnage (2011)

Roman Polanski...
Spot on making Carnage (originally a play) into a movie! It worked really well! 

But truth be told... with a director and cast like this, It couldn't go wrong...
 All four of them are nothing short of amazing!

Jodie Foster / John C. Reilly
Kate Winslet / Christoph Waltz

sábado, março 24, 2012

Senna (2010)

Even though I was never a big Formula 1 fan, I can say it was present all my life! 

My Dad is an hardcore fan of the sport! He would - and still does - spend a lot of his weekends making sure not to miss any training, tests or other events related to the motor-racing sport, regardless of the time its being broadcast! 
When I was a child, I remember Ayrton Senna's name coming up too often, but I was ignorant to the fact that he held a place among my Father's heroes! 
I also remember my Dad being really sad with his passing! Can't really say I was aware of the situation though... Don't even know how to situate that day into a specific time! Don't recall the year or what I was doing... Just remember the tension in the air without fully understanding what it was all about!

Then... for every other F1 race that followed, came millions of comments unrelated with was going on the track! How Senna was this and that, how he was missed, how back in the day there was nothing more exciting then watching that generation of drivers slugging it out for a pole position! 

A lot of negative comments started to come as well. Mostly towards Benetton's driver - going on to becoming a Ferrari pilot - Michael Schumacher. 
Again, I was confused! Why would my Dad had such hatred towards a man who was conquering the motor-sport world, becoming probably the best driver til this day? I was then explained that in 1994, when Senna crashed, Schumacher celebrated his win in the San Marino Grand Prix... And my Father never forgave the German driver for that! He considered that celebrating act as a major contempt of Senna's legacy, but even more so, as a total lack of respect for the human being that was the Brazilian icon!

These were my recollection of memories and moments related to Senna and the times that came after his death!

Fast forward a few years later, I was still oblivious as I ever was to what came to F1! Much to my Father's disappointment, it was still one of his big passions that none of his children came to possess as their own!

It was only until my coming to the United Kingdom that I started getting involved. My line of work required that and fortunately enough, I had great access to footage, information and even some of the drivers themselves. Plus, having around in the office a man of great insight who would give away a lot of his knowledge on a day to day basis, it would be right to think there was no way I could end a day without learning anything!

That man goes by the name of Don Riddell and he is probably the main reason why I saw this documentary! When the movie was getting out, he made his best to follow the story while gathering what he could for the piece he was pulling together. 

After attending the screening for the feature made by the hand of director Asif Kapadia, Don made his best to put into words the feelings that emerged by watching it, but eventually ended up just saying to everyone in the room that we all needed to see Senna (2010). And not the international version which is 1h47minutes, but the actual extended version, almost reaching a total of three hours!

It took me a while, but finally I invested the time after getting my hands in the director's original cut, much to Don's will of me seeing a full and accurate portrait of a sporting legend!

Those three hours went flying by, such was the way I was completely sucked in to this whole other world, losing perception of space and time. The year was no longer 2012, but 1984... and I wasn't viewing a documentary, but instead a F1 spectator in the stands! And keep in mind, I am til' this day, not a big fan of F1 (although I just became increasingly more after watching Senna)!

Even for those you don't have any sort of interest for the sport, there is a human component of such magnitude, that easily draws the audience. Through testimonies of several people who were close to Ayrton (from a personal or professional perspective) you get to have a taste of the entire system and the people who run it. More importantly, you get to get acquainted with the fastest and most skilled racer, in a time where more than everything, it was the driver who made the difference rather than the car and its technology components!

Meanwhile, coming to the end of the movie, when you know just exactly how and when things are going to take place, you still can't fight the anxiety taking over your whole body when the San Marino GP is being shown. You almost want to turn away your eyes in order to not witness that deadly moment, one that left marks not only in the F1 community, but throughout the world!

Coming to the funeral scenes, I couldn't help myself to avoid shedding a few tears... and as I think about it now, I get emotional and instantly start to collect some of my favourite moments, being my favourite the scene where you see Ayrton calling his Dad after he just finished a race with massive injuries on his shoulders, saying: "don't touch me, just lean on me". One of the most endearing moments I ever witnessed. No script, no Hollywood producers, no acting... just one of the most plain, simple and genuine moments you will witness on-screen!

Having said all of this, I will conclude with the following:

People say there was no one like Ayrton Senna... This documentary indeed shows that! From all levels...

sexta-feira, março 23, 2012

segunda-feira, março 19, 2012

segunda-feira, março 12, 2012

Tower Heist (2011)

 Great cast providing great fun!   

Directed by Brett Retner and starring an ensemble cast with Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena and Gabourey Sidibe, Tower Heist (2011) is a very entertaining movie with good acting (especially from a vintage Eddie Murphy), great chemistry between its performers,well paced rhythm and a suited ending!

 Definitely not be the best movie around in recent times, but nicely done within the genre... and I even go as far as saying this might gain the status of a cult film. 
Don't know why... its a feeling!

domingo, março 11, 2012

Bully - Trailer

Can't really say if its gonna be good or not...
 But at least it got me to think a bit more on the subject! We all witnessed it and we did nothing of it...

Like they say "kids will be kids".

But there's a very thin line between what does no warm and what scars you for life!

sexta-feira, março 09, 2012

Patrick Watson - Closer To Paradise (2009)

It's again one of those examples in which I come to a big disagreement with the Chicago based music website, Pitchfork

They gave the album a review that was barely positive, when I believe it's way above average...
Obviously, music is a tricky subject... an opinion is what it is... and it should never be taken too seriously! It shifts and changes, thanks to many factors that are attached to our personality, background, influences and so on... Nonetheless, as most people that are made of strong convictions, when we highly disagree, it's hard to react like we didn't care.

So this is my - civilized - way of saying to Pitchfork: You should get your act together! Patrick Watson, of whom I'm a big fan, did a great job with his sophomore album Closer To Paradise (2009).

Among the thirteen tracks that make this project, I chose The Great Escape and The Drifters as my favorite songs! In fact, these two alone... make the whole album worth your while!

domingo, março 04, 2012

ENUI MAG - Venham daí os Festivais... Venha daí o Verão

O meu último artigo sobre o concerto dos The Drums e os Festivais que aí se aproxima em Portugal.

Fim ao cabo, é um artigo que tudo tem haver com o Verão

sexta-feira, março 02, 2012

The Emotive / Só de mim

Came across this during Valentine's day, but to avoid any cliches, I kept this for another day. 

Today doesn't feel right or wrong... There's not a particular time that this should be shared... 
It just should! 

The first inspired the second... But I have to admit... 
... The "sequel" ... "had me on hello"!

The Emotive

I don't know you.
And I don't want to.
But I have something I'd like to say.
I hope you took a five-minute break from playing call of duty today just to tell her how much you love her.
I hope you picked up the least rotten flowers at the gas station that you work at just to surprise her for a change.
I hope that when she pours her heart out to you you're not just nodding your head and saying uhhuh.
I hope that you're everything I couldn't be.
I hope you see that even stumbling she has more grace and elegance than a boy like you could ever hope to comprehend.
I hope you treat her right.
I hope you know that she's always loved it when you bite her bottom lip.
The stupid say a girl is made in her hips but the truth is in her eyes.
I hope you know they're green.
I hope you know that she's not a morning person, drinks her coffee black, speaks art like her first language and took sailing lessons just to see the other two-thirds of the world.
She robbed every bar in the city with just her smile.
I don't claim to be an expert.
But I'd be a fool not to know that she squeezes her toothpaste from the bottom because she's always planning ahead.
She doesn't smoke or drink because she'd rather read in bed.
And I'd give anything if I could just be her man instead.
I hope you know that.
I hope you know that her favorite color is white.
She's captivated by firework light.
And you will nerve have an unnecessary fight because she
She is as patient as a flower in winter.
And when she springs
I hope you're ready.
Because she can set your soul on fire with just a touch.
Now this may be a bit much for you to manage.
But I guess those are the struggles of having the personality of a cabbage.
So let me break it down for you.
I thought I was having a heart attack the day I first saw her.
My heart was as rhythmic as a child banging on pots and pans.
Because she
She is dynamic.
Love at first sight is an understatement.
No, to me
She is all five senses.
Ground and blended, she is more potent than the most copious amounts of caffeine.
She will keep me up for days.
And I spend those nights thinking about how she came into my life, took my hand, drew me close and whispered something in my ear that I'll never forget.
She said
I love you.
I love you for the words you give me the strength to say and
The songs you give me the audacity to play.
I love you for the way you send my heart aflutter.
The way that no other can possibly make me feel because you
You make me want to dance.
And so I took that chance.
I leapt in as uncertain as I was about my dreams.
Only knowing that this
This was real.
So when I tell you that I hope you know what you're doing
I sincerely mean it.
Because I hope you know that if you play with her heart
You'll lose her.
I hope you know
Because I wish
I wish that I had.

Só de Mim

Tu não sabes quem eu sou, mas eu sei quem tu és… e só preciso de um minuto da tua atenção.

Quero dizer-te que espero que saibas a sorte que tens. O quanto eu gostaria de estar na tua pele. Poder estar na mesma cama que ela todas as manhãs. Ajudá-la a acordar da má disposição matinal.

Espero que saibas que ela só vai falar contigo depois de lavar os dentes. Não é por mal… é por medo de perder o encanto aos teus olhos. Que a consideres um ser humano comum.
Espero que saibas que ela gosta de aproveitar cada raio de sol, e que o café a deixa mal disposta.

Que escolhe a roupa que vai vestir na noite anterior, só para poder ter mais cinco minutos de sono pela manhã. Que o despertador toca cinquenta vezes até que se levante, e que mesmo assim, consegue chegar a horas.

Quero também que saibas que adora histórias do fantástico. Mas não de terror! Que é capaz de saber o nome de todas as personagens de um livro antigo, mas que não se vai esforçar para decorar à primeira os nomes de todos os teus amigos…
Porque ela… ela é que sabe de si.

Tu nunca serás uma sorte para ela. Sorte é poderes tê-la na tua vida.
Ela não é romântica por natureza, mas uma demonstração espontânea da tua parte vai fazê-la fraquejar. Porque ela é segura e doce ao mesmo tempo.

Ela não sabe cozinhar, mas vai esforçar-se para fazer o teu prato preferido. E se estiver mau, vai rir-se do falhanço, em vez de corar.

E quando ela ri… eu tenho vontade de chorar. Não de tristeza, mas porque cada gargalhada é uma nota musical que toca ao coração e faz querer dançar.

Espero que pares de fazer o que gostas e que por vezes tenhas tempo para ouvir sobre o seu dia e sobre cada pequena conquista. Que atures os seus devaneios artísticos e o tempo que perde a colorir livros infantis quando quer ter tempo para si.

Quero que saibas que eu gostava de estar desse lado, a aturar o seu mau humor e a vê-lo mudar depois do primeiro copo de vinho.
Queria poder apreciar as suas unhas que estão mais tempo de verniz estalado que de verniz perfeito… mas que cada forma de vermelho tem uma história que ela construiu com as próprias mãos.

Gostava de me ter apaixonado por ela no primeiro dia que a vi, e não no segundo. Porque cada dia com ela é a certeza de que somos amados. Porque ela é sedução e alegria num só. Porque consegue o que quer com o poder do sorriso e a força do olhar. Seria um tolo se não soubesse que tem olhos castanhos e que adora a cor verde.
Quero que saibas que ela é tudo o que quero e nunca soube que tive.

Aprende que a arritmia que sentes com ela é normal! E que a falta dela é um vazio igual à morte.
Espero que sejas tudo o que eu nunca fui.
Espero que a trates bem.
Porque se lhe partires o coração vais perdê-la para sempre.
Pudesse eu ter lido o futuro...

quinta-feira, março 01, 2012

Son of No One (2011)

A few years ago, I came to meet American author, screenwriter and musician, Dito Montiel, through his debut feature A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints (2006), based in his own memoirs. Starring an ensemble cast with names such as Robert Downey Jr., Shia LeBeauf, Rosario Dawson, Chazz Palminteri, Dianne Wiest and Channing Tatum, it instantly became one of my favorite movies, one that unfortunately I would love to write about, if only I had the blog back then.

Anyway, I'm referring to this movie as a way to put in to context the reason why I started to follow the author turned director. Three years went by and he came up with his sophomore effort entitled Fighting (2009), having Tatum in the leading role. I was curious, but the reviews were so harsh on the film that I ended up not seeing. However, I remained confident that Montiel would soon come up with other projects.
In 2011, came Son of No One and it looked promising! Again with Channing Tatum in the leading role, the movie also had the likes of Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche and Al Pacino. This all-star cast, combined with Montiel, seemed like it could be another "A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints" on the making, so, I did my best to avoid reading any reviews or looking up at iMDB scores, so nothing could turn me away from watching this third effort by the New Yorker director.

One hour and twenty six minutes later, I saw myself gathering the elements that left me feeling so disappointed. It didn't took long to think of the first thing that came out as the biggest flaw: The script!
It was confusing and even sometimes silly... and even with all-around good performances from its cast, it still wasn't good enough to make up for Montiel's mistakes.

Just to conclud this post, I would like to share a quote from the movie critic Roger Ebert that pretty much sums it all up: 

Here's a bad movie with hardly a bad scene. How can that be? The construction doesn't flow. The story doesn't engage. (click here for the full review)