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February 28, 2007

{Douglas Sirk}

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Beginning tomorrow the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre in L.A. shines the spotlight on one of my favorite directors Douglas Sirk, showcasing the heightened melodramas he made at Universal in the 1950s. Aside from inspiring an entire generation of filmmakers, Sirk's work directly influenced Todd Haynes acclaimed 2002 film Far From Heaven.

The American Cinematheque will be screening the 1959 drama Imitation of Life, which examines two mother-and-daughter relationships — one white (Lana Turner and Sandra Dee) and one black (Juanita Moore and Susan Kohner). Kohner and Moore received Oscar nominations. Also on the bill is 1953's All I Desire, the story of a failed actress who returns to her small hometown after a decade to visit her estranged husband and children.

One of Sirk's most popular films, All That Heaven Allows will also be featured on the big screen. All That Heaven Allows is the story of a suburban widow (Jane Wyman) with two grown children who falls in love with her much younger gardener (Rock Hudson). Other highlights include 1954's excellent film Magnificent Obsession and 1951's rarely seen The First Legion.

See the American Cinematheque site for details.

February 27, 2007

{Hostel 2}



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This is the eerie bare breasted poster (of Bijou Phillips) unveiled last week at the New York Comic Con.

On a panel Eli Roth Talked candidly about Tarantino, Hostel II, The Cell, and The 'Splat Pack'. Here's a funny excerpt...

Eli Roth: "Right after I finished Hostel, I asked Guillermo del Toro if I should do a big budget or a low budget movie next. So he just goes (in his best del Toro accent): 'Whatever gives you the biggest boner man. You've got to wake up with a f**kin' rager, because if you don't have a boner you can't work.' And I thought, 'He's right.' You have to be that excited about the project you're doing ... and that was Hostel II."

View the Trailer

{Bright Eyes - "Four Winds"}


This is the new video for Bright Eyes "Four Winds", featured on the forthcoming EP (of the same name) and also on the forthcoming full-length album Cassadaga.

February 26, 2007

{Awards Shows}

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Awards recap:

First of all, I'm a bit saddened by the fact that none of thee Mexican directors (shown above) won any top honors at the Academy Awards. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel failed to win Best Film, Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth failed to win Best Foreign Film, and Alfonso Cuarón didn't win for Best Adapted Screenplay for Children of Men. It was nice however, to see Martin Scorsese finally win for Best Director and for Alan Arkin to pull an upset for Best Supporting Actor (Little Miss Sunshine). It was also nice (but predictable) to see the beautiful Helen Mirrin win Best Actress and Forest Whitaker's speech (for Best Actor) was especially moving. See the scorecard here.

I was most excited to watch The Spirit Awards. It was nice to see Little Miss Sunshine and Half Nelson rake up all the big awards. Although I was dissapointed that David Lynch was not in attendance (when receiving an honorary award), and that 12 and Holding failed to win an award. See the scorecard here

And last, but certainly least The Razzie Awards handed out their Worst Of list...it looks like Basic Instinct 2 raked up the most nods. See the full list here.

{Pleasure}

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Right now I'm really diggin' this Pleasure 2 album (out now in Europe). Pleasure (aka Fred Ball) is a producer who performs under a moniker and gets his famous friends to sing on his albums. On this sophomore release the dance tunes are plentiful. Highlights include "Out of Love" featuring Gus Gus singer Heidrun Bjornsdottir and the funky Prince-esque number "Bite the Beat". Other standouts include the first single, "Back to You" featuring fromer Suede frontman Bret Anderson.

Have a listen (Courtesy of Soundbytes)

Hear more from Pleasure's MySpace

{SNL Digital Short}

Here's an SNL Digital Short from last satudays episode featuring Rainn Wilson (of The Office).
Musical guest Arcade Fire performing "Keep the Car Running"

February 23, 2007

(Dolorean}

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You can stream Dolorean's new album You Can't Win in it's entirety!

Once a man effort for the songs of Alex James, Dolorean is a full-on quintet these days and have just released a fantastic new album. Recording the album the band employed a Neil Young & Crazy Horse-inspired philosophy for the sessions, with James introducing songs to the band for the very first time and allowing everyone to hash them out on the spot. The result is a spontaneous.

Note that the vinyl edition of You Can't Win is a very limited one-time pressing, so if you want to secure one of those, go here right away.

Stream the Album Now

{24}


The New Yorker writer Jane Mayer discusses her article about the use of torture in the television show 24. She discusses Joel Surnow (the co-creator), and Jack Bauer (the show's main character). Pretty interesting.

February 22, 2007

{Mr. Brooks}

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I never thought I'd ever see the day when I looked foreward to a Kevin Costner film, but this one might be remotely etertaining. And is that Dane Cook in a serious role, good lord.

Earl Brooks (played by Kevin Costner) is a family man and a local business icon, but Mr. Brooks is deeply flawed and very aware of it. He is addicted to killing. Struggling with his pathology, he tries to quit, but his alter-ego, “Marshall” (played by William Hurt), has an altogether different idea. Look for Mr. Brooks in theatres June 1st.

View the Trailer

{Tori Amos}

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I received an email this week that announces that the title of Tori Amos' forthcoming album will be titled American Doll Posse and it will be released on May 1. The promo photo includes Tori holding a Bible in her right hand, the word Shame is written in black marker on her left hand, blood dripping down her inner thigh and her left shoe unbuckled. Could this be a return to an edgier Tori Amos. I sure hope so. In the meantime checkout A Piano: The Collection (complete with Mp3's) here.

View Tori Amos' site for a larger image and up-to-date news.

February 21, 2007

{Babel}

Some great (and possibly a couple not so great) films released on DVD this week, here's half a dozen...

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View the Trailer

{The Prestige}

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View the Trailer

{Lunacy}

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View the Trailer

{For Your Consideration}

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View the Trailer

{Penn & Teller Bullshit! Season 4}

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View the Site

{Persons Unknown}

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Link

{Penelope}



This is the trailer for Christina Ricci's latest film Penelope. The story is a modern day offbeat fable about a young woman who, having spent her life trapped by a family curse sets out to find love and discover her true self. Penelope has that classic Tim Burton feel, so it could be a winner. The film also stars Reese Witherspoon and James McAvoy. Look for it in theaters in April.

{Mew - "Special"}

February 20, 2007

{The Spirit Awards}

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Do you like independent film as much as we do? Well I don't know about that, but The Spirit Awards are airing this saturday on IFC and they do an excellent job of bringing attention to independent films. Being the dork...I mean cinephile that I am I make a huge deal out of it. I vote, I cook up some good eats, and I pick-up some pricey liquor. This must be what a sports fanatic feels like when the super bowl comes around? Sarah Silverman will be hosting so you know they'll be plenty of inappropriate jokes. There will also be a Special Distinction Award to be given to David Lynch and Laura Dern so you may want to tune in.

See the nominees here

February 19, 2007

{Grindhouse Figures}

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I just got this email informing me of these forthcoming Grindhouse Figures. Amongst the figures are the ‘Dr Block’, ‘Cherry’ (complete with Machine-gun leg) and a Quentin Tarantino as ‘The Rapist’. And you thought those Resevoir Dogs Figures were neat. Watch the new full-length Grindhouse Trailer.

Pre-order your figures here

{Duke Special}

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Duke Special has a free mini-album for download available online! Sign up for the mailing list and the songs are all yours. Amongst the tracks is a lovely duet with with the Divine Comedy's Neil Hannon.

Get the EP here

{First Snow}

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In this film Guy Pearce plays Jimmy Starks, a salesman and hustler whose car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. He finds himself gripped by panic after a psychic warns him of his impending death. Starks becomes suspicious as bits of the reading start to come true. First Snow hits theaters March 23rd.

View the Trailer

February 16, 2007

{Roberto Rossellini}

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The UCLA Film & Television Archive is presenting a film series titled Roberto Rossellini: A Retrospective, which will begin tonight (Feb. 16th) and run on various nights through Feb. 28th.

Rossellini (1906-77) is a crucial figure in film history, helping re-orient cinema after World War II towards a greater freedom and simplicity. Rossellini's films are hard to come by and seldom shown on the big screen. The Hammer Museum Billy Wilder Theater will showcase all the theatrical features except for the first two and the last one, and a good selection of the TV work as well.

Actress-model Isabella Rossellini will be on hand to talk about her father on Feb. 28. That evening the program consists of a short film titked The Chicken, which features her mother (Ingrid Bergman) and 1949's Stromboli, the first film that Bergman and Rossellini made together. That was the movie that caused the actress to be banished from Hollywood for several years because of their affair and out-of-wedlock pregnancy.

Isabella Rossellini will also appear Feb. 26 at UCLA's James Bridges Theater for a program honoring her mother and "Ingrid" the new biography about the Oscar-winning actress by Charlotte Chandler.

Get time listings and general info here

This is a trippy Short film titled My Dad Is 100 Years Old by Guy Maddin and Isabella Rossellini. This tribute to Roberto Rossellini imagines him as a talking belly, and features Fellini and Hitchcock all arguing their ideas of cinema is or should be...just watch...

{Final Fantasy - "This Lamb Sells Condos"}

February 13, 2007

{Cassettes Won't Listen}

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I was sent this exclusive download from the one-man electro-rock band Cassettes Won't Listen. The song is a rendition of Liz Phair's "F-ck and Run"...just in time for Valentine's Day!

Get the download here.

Not something you'd add this song to your V-Day mix? Well then, checkout a couple nice mixes from I Am Fuel, You Are Friends and Some Velvet Blog.

{Half Nelson}

Too many good films released on DVD yesterday, here's over a dozen or so...

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Ryan Gosling is up for a Spirit Award for his portrayal of an inner-city junior high school teacher with a drug habit.

View the Trailer

{13 Tzameti}

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While repairing the roof of a neighbor’s house Sebastien overhears a conversation about an expected package which promises to make him rich.

View the Trailer

{Infamous}

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You know, the other Truman Capote film released last year.

View the Trailer

{Marie Antoinette}

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View the Trailer

{Mutual Appreciation}

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Andrew Bujalski directs this story of a struggling musician, starring Bishop Allen frontman Justin Rice.

View the Trailer

{The Departed}

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View the Trailer

{Infernal Affairs 2 and 3}

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Finally, the sequels (or prequels) for the movie that The Departed was based on have been released in the appropriate region code.

Link 1, Link 2

{Ginger & Fred}

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This is Federico Fellini's 1986 satire of aging celebrity impersonators.

Link

{The Butcher Boy}

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This 1998 dark comedy tells the story of Francie, his depressed mother, and alcoholic father.

View the Trailer

{The Nightowls of Coventry}

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Marv, the owner of an old neighborhood Jewish deli, must stay open 24 hours to cater to a new generation of clientele, but straight-laced neighborhood do-gooders want to close him down.

View the Trailer

{Masters of Horror: Pelts}

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Horror Master Dario Argento directs this erotic tale about stolen raccoon pelts that violently turn against those that covet them.

Link

{The U.S. vs. John Lennon}

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This documentary focuses on a time in John Lennon's life when he transformed from a musician into an antiwar activist.

View the Trailer

{The Queit}

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This thriller doesn't look all that entertaining, but it stars a couple of hot chicks (Elisha Cuthbert and Camilla Belle). Sometimes that's all it takes.

View the Trailer

{Zion 1 - "So Tall"}

February 12, 2007

{Bloc Party}

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You gotta hand it to those Bloc Party boys. In a span of just two albums this group has managed to turn into something special. Regardless if you're a fan, you gotta appreciate the fact that they can drop an amazing album (A Weekend In The City) and release 11 bonus B-sides!!! That's right, 11 B-sides. Some of which are even better than tracks featured on the album.

Find Bloc Party B-Sides on The Hype Machine

{Fracture}

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Here's an interseting looking crime drama coming to theaters April 27th. The story centers around an assistant DA (Ryan Gosling) who is caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse with a man (Anthony Hopkins) who tried to murder his wife and is set free on a series of technicalities.

This sort of detective-chasing-killer film is always hard to do right, but this just may have what it takes. Or not, only time will tell.

View the Trailer

February 08, 2007

{The Dark Tower}

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So, Stephen King's comic (for Marvel) came out yesterday with some comic shops staying open for midnight releases in what is the equivilent of a Harry Pottter release for the comic book world. Although with King not actually writing the story (albiet his name is the largest on the cover) some have gripped at just how much input Stephen King has had.

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1 (of 7) is written by Peter David & Robin Furth Art with Cover by Jae Lee & Richard Isanove. In the original story we're introduced to Stephen King’s Roland—an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower, powering his way through a dangerous land filled with ancient technology and deadly magic. Now, I will go read my copy and judge for myself.

View the Trailer

{Grindhouse Interview}


Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez discuss Grindhouse and the movies that inspired them. I can listen to these two talk movies all day. The video also features a bunch of new scenes from the film. I wish it was April 6th already!

{Knocked Up}


Trailers for Judd Apatow's forthcoming comedy Knocked Up have began popping up online recently, this is the international trailer. We like this one because it's got F-words.

February 07, 2007

{Franz Ferdinand}

Here's a few tracks from forthcoming albums to look foreward to...

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"Hallam Foe Dandelion Blow" (Courtesy of Faronheit)

{Kings of Leon}

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"On Call" (Courtesy of Covert Curiousity)

{M.I.A.}

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"Bird Flu" (Courtesy of Scattermish)

Here's the video for "Bird Flu"...

{Flags of Our Fathers}

Lots of (possibly) good films released on DVD yesterday, here are but a handful...

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View the Trailer

{The Science of Sleep}

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View the Trailer

{Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles}

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View the Trailer

{The Amazing Screw-On Head}

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View the Trailer

{Hollywoodland}

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View the Trailer

February 06, 2007

{From the Basement}

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From The Basement is a music series from producer Nigel Godrich that features intimate live performances from the most talented musicians on the planet. The porgram sets a new standard for music TV production. The show is beautifully filmed in high-definition at Maida Vale studios in London. From The Basement has no host and no studio audience, instead the artist and their performance take center stage.

The first episode of From The Basement launched with Thom Yorke on the piano, exclusively performing songs from the new Radiohead album, alongside performances from The White Stripes and an improvised collaboration between Four Tet's Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid.

Each episode's performances will be available via download. Register on the official site to keep up with the latest news and be the first to hear about the guests on forthcoming shows.

View the Trailer

Visit the homepage and began downloading shows.

{SNL Digital Short}


Though not as funny as the Dick in A Box skit this Drew Barrymore skit about a low-impact body workout skit is good for a chuckle.

{Across the Universe}


Here's a trailer for the forthcoming musical (with Beatles songs) Across The Universe. Some of the eye popping scenes towards the end of the trailer make this one worth looking into. The film is directed by Julie Taymor and stars Evan Rachel Wood. Across the Universe is due in theaters this September.

February 05, 2007

{Prototypes}

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I've been pretty bad at posting stuff from my inbox lately, so here's to starting.

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for French-pop and right now (for a limited time only) Prototypes are offering their new Je Ne Te Connais Pas EP (Courtesy of Minty Fresh Records) for free!

Go on have a listen...

1. "Je Ne Te Connais Pas"

2. "Exister"

3. "Un Gars Fragile"

4. "Decider"

5. "Boxe"

Hear more from Prototypes MySpace

{The Lookout}

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This crime drama is centers around Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt of Mysterious Skin, Brick), a once promising high school athlete whose life is turned upside down following a tragic accident. As he tries to maintain a normal life, he takes a job as a janitor at a bank where he ultimately finds himself caught up in a planned heist. This could be an exciting ride or it could very well be a story we've seen before. We'll know for certain when the film hits theatres on March 23rd.

View the Trailer

February 02, 2007

{Morrissey}


Morrissey plays the Pasadena Civic Auditorium over the next three days. Here's Moz performing "Girlfriend in A Coma" at last year's Oya festival in Norway.

Recently I posted a couple of classics (go here).

Here's the set list from last night:

Panic / First Of The Gang To Die / The Youngest Was The Most Loved / You Have Killed Me / Disappointed / Ganglord / I'll Never Be Anybody's Hero Now / William, It Was Really Nothing / Irish Blood, English Heart / I Will See You In Far-off Places / Girlfriend In A Coma / Everyday Is Like Sunday / In The Future When All's Well / I've Changed My Plea To Guilty / Let Me Kiss You / The National Front Disco / Dear God, Please Help Me / How Soon Is Now? / I Just Want To See The Boy Happy / Life Is A Pigsty // Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want / Don't Make Fun Of Daddy's Voice

Get a couple more tracks here

February 01, 2007

{1408}

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Okay, that last trailer might not have been totally legit, but here's one that might be worth checking out...

Based on Stephen King's short story (from Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales), Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is an author of the paranormal, riding high on the success of his last three published works. With such success under his belt, Mike believes he's unstoppable in proving the myth of the supernatural a hoax. Mike is ready to test the supposed myth of an allegedly haunted room (room 1408 of the Hotel Dolphin in New York City), which has seen its share of suicides, murders and countless health problems for anyone whose visited, but not occupied it. The hotel manager, Olin (Samuel L. Jackson), warns him against visiting the room, but Enslin continues with his pursuit anyway.

View the Trailer

{Dead Mary}

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Dead Mary is a straight-to-DVD release, which may not be such a bad idea. At the very least you may want to rent this DVD one night to play a drinking game. Evil Dead: The Musical this is not, but if you take a drink every time someone screams then this may just do the trick!

The story is pretty typical. A group of friends in a remote cabin in the woods. At night, over a few beers, they play a game (Dead Mary) and all hell breaks loose.

View the Trailer

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