Category Archives: Films and Series

TRUE DETECTIVE, A NEW HYPE?

I’m a complete disaster following TV series nowadays. It took me less than a week to watch the first season of Breaking Bad, but got stuck in the 4th episode of the second, and I’m not focused enough to go on with it. Remember I wrote about Girls in a very enthusiastic way? Well, I haven’t finished the second season either. I devoured Game of Thrones seasons in one day and a half each, and my record was completing The Shield in barely 4 weeks. Series are the best choice if you wanna be entertained watching TV because chapters do not last more than one hour, keep you hooked to a plot, and the wide options available can cover any needs you have.

I’m not good at being seduced by the hype either. Haven’t watched Homeland nor Sherlock, eventually despised Lost and I don’t enjoy The Big Bang Theory. However I’m completely delighted by Donald Draper’s charm and I’m a huge Sopranos fan, although I must remark that I started following it when it started being broadcast here in Spain by a private channel and wasn’t very popular.

true detective

Anyway, all these explanations about my lack of enthusiasm for series is just an excuse to tell I’ve just finished the first episode of the next series hype, the new HBO’s product named True Detective, created by Nic Pizzolato, with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and directed by Cary Juji Fukunaga, especially great in everything related to rough landscapes and settings as you can check in Jane Eyre.

Opening episode was aired on January 12, and massive response was immediate, including friends and acquaintances recommending it enthusiastically.

The plot, the structure with the flashbacks, the dark tone and the main characters form a great combination hardly to resist at the moment. Lots of people agree McConaughey is not a very good actor, but as far as I can tell, he’s currently enjoying his big time. he shouldn’t be so much obsessed with botox though, or he’ll turn into Mickey Rourke reloaded. I like the Tax Man and Hart, and I’m sure as the plot develops these characters will gain weight, depth and interest.

But as I don’t want to spoil anything, I’m shutting my mouth, grabbing my hands and instead of summarizing what I’ve watched I’ll just share the official trailer with you.

Let’s see it True Detective manages to catch me. Feel free to share your impressions with me here, I’d love to know your expectations.

*** By the way, Am I the only one who thinks McConaughey resembles Scott Weiland (ex Stone Temple Pilots)?

I <3 YOU TARANTINO.

 

Surfing on the net, you can find wonderful things like the following gifs, which prove the greatness of Quentin Tarantino and his own universe. I had to share it with you.

I had never realized about this connection before, even though both films lots of times. Ain’t it great?

 

*** Extracted from Tumblr.

DECONSTRUCTING SHOWGIRLS

Check Popcorn and Movies. 

via DECONSTRUCTING SHOWGIRLS.

showgirls

AN EVENING WITH CRY BABY (LA OTRA FILMS).

Going to the movies has turn into a luxury for many. Tickets are expensive, theatres offering films in their original version are very few, and unfortunately the bizz is focused on mainstream blockbusters. There’s the local independent cinema which is quite affordable, but the catalogue is too serious, so to speak.

People who grew up in the late 70s and 80s look for something beyond that. We want to recover those films we’ve watched hundreds of times on TV and enjoy them in big screen. Thus, Grindhouse initiatives of action, horror or sci-fi movies, are always very welcome.

Now La Otra Films in Barcelona, goes beyond that. The concept of this iniciative has to do with the lack of film festivals dealing with love. There’re horror, sci-fi, independent, foreign, gender, Asian…film festivals, but if you think about it, nobody cares about love. To be honest I hadn’t thought of it before either as typical love-cakey-drama/comedy films are not my thing. But there are exceptions of course, and love is depicted in all kind of film genres in a very different way. Remember Han and Leia in Star Wars saga, or the top 5 love disasters list told by Rob Gordon in High Fidelity, the junkie relationship between Harry and Marion in Requiem for a Dream, for instance.

On a monthly basis La Otra offers a Thursday evening of love, music and beer.  I christening was last Thursday with John Waters’ Cry Baby.

cry baby la otra

For those who might not know this fact, I love his films. Pecker, Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Hairspray, Serial Mom, Cecil B Demented… This fascination for the disgusting and the filth in his early films stole my heart. I still remember that late Tuesday night when a TV channel broadcast Pink Flamingos and the day after at the high school everybody was talking about the final scene of Divine eating dogshit. It was repulsive, but at the same time, so shocking, trashy and awesome, we all started searching for more of his stuff.

I’ve always loved his regular cast of actors: the queen of filth and shock Divine, Mink Stole, fascinating Patricia Hearst (millionaire William Randolph Hearst’s granddaughter and heiress, who was also kidnapped and convicted for armed robbery), David Lochary and his ‘stache, Mary Vivian Pierce with that 1920’s unique beauty, Ricki Lake who is not overweight anymore, Edith Massey and her eggman…

cast

Cry Baby is a funny tribute to all 1950’s films featuring squares and rebels. it’s a trasher version of Grease, as it tells the story of an instant crush between the beautiful and straight posh girl, Allison, and the rebel and leader of a gang, Cry Baby Walker, raised by his grandma after his father was fried in the electric chair. Love at first sight for real. Another Romeo & Juliet modern review, with of course, a happy ending, an impressive soundtrack, and very funny moments. Such a story, with a young Amy Locane, Traci Lords at her maximum splendor (leaving her porn time behind, guys), Johnny Depp’s taking off from 21 Jump St series (who could have foreseen the success of his career?), Iggy Pop, Willem Dafoe, had to be a winner.

You can read a “proper” review of the film I wrote long time ago for Popcorn and Movies. Believe it or not, it’s the most visited post in this comatose blog.

So imagine Thursday evening after a couple of beers, when we arrived at the cinema it was packed with people. Everybody was in a great mood. They were serving free beer, there was a photocall with a Triumph motorbike and Cry Baby leather jacket so you could pose, and then there was a short opening performance. The band Miedo (Fear) was pure rubbish, but bearable anyway.

It’s great to watch these kind of films with lots of people. The word to define the event is FUN. Everybody laughing, whistling, booing, clapping…and the peak of the night, with Mr Jailer musical number, with confetti blowing all over the place. What a blast!

I wonder why such events are not held more often. I think there’d be enough people motivated enough as to attend. It seems that movies to watch at theatres have to be new releases, or old classics, but, what happens with OUR generation classics?

Thanks to La Otra for such wonderful evening. I’m sure there will be a next time.

Wanna join?

What came first, the music or the misery?

With this question Rob Gordon starts telling us his story of music and love failures.

I hadn’t watched High Fidelity in at least 5 years, I can’t believe it took me so much time to recover this jewel. Yep, I like it. I’m not much into romantic comedies, in fact I try to avoid most of them, but this one’s got something special which make it irresistible. At least to me.

Rob Gordon is a music freak who owns an impressive vinyl collection at home, and a super cool record store in some kinky neighborhood. He’s such a wreck in terms of love relationships he can even elaborate a top 5 list of the hardest break ups he’s gone through. Rob used to dj at a club and would love living with a musician.

Not that I’m as immature as him (I’m not such a cunt either), and thank God not so many people has broken my heart throughout these years (oh shit! Yes, I can write my own list!), but there are quite evident similarities between him and me which make me feel kind of reflected on this character.

High Fidelity vinyl

When I read Nick Hornby’s novel I was in London, and Championship Vinyl was located where my ex used to rehearse, in the north. I don’t know if it happens to you, but I love knowing the locations in films and books because they help me to get into the story even better. Anyway, I loved Rob and the story, and I started feeling quite related to the main character, even though I was still in the earlier stages of the development of my passion for music. My vinyl collection is still ridiculous comparing to others’ because I’ve been investing in CDs most of these years (I didn’t have a tuner for 15 years), and at the end of 1990s I had less than 100 CDs. Guess it’s quality rather than quantity what really matters in this case.

15 years after I read the book and about 5-6 years since the last time I watched the film this afternoon seemed to be the perfect time to bring Rob Gordon Cusack (what an adorable man!) to The Hellhouse, and I’ve enjoyed the viewing a lot.

And of course I still love Rob and the resemblances between us are more evident now, as I’ve grown up and music’s been my loyal companion all these years and I’m positive it will be till the end of my days. I particularly love the way he relates everything to music, and the constant top 5 lists for every occasion. I love top 5’ing and writing lists all the time. and I still believe in the power of a compilation tape/CD or a playlist for impressing someone, or at least calling his attention. It’s been ages since I don’t receive any, and nowadays personalized playlists I do, living aside the dj’n sessions, have to do with bands “best ofs” for friends.

compilation

Compilations whose consignee is someone you like are to be taken seriously and imply an extra  effort as you don’t have to fail. That person must like 100% of its content, and at the same time you have to add a subtle message, but still noticeable, but avoiding something too obvious like “I love you” or “I’m gonna fuck you like animal” kind of songs. The story changes when you deal with a playlist for a friend or someone you have to impress in order to get a night at a club booked or your knowledge is put into a test.

I reckon it’s hard living with a guy like Rob, or even with me nowadays. I’m turning into a loner and most of the activities I perform are accompanied by music: cooking, reading, writing, cleaning, having a shower…and it doesn’t matter if I went out the night before and hangover is unbearable. I will play some record for breakfast. My best friend was both surprised and terrified when he discovered this. I used to hate when my ex was playing music all the time, but now I understand the reason why I was so upset was because I never had the chance to choose the music. I don’t think there are many people capable of bearing this lifestyle, and the older we get the harder is to surrender and change.

But hey! High Fidelity is a love story and Laura gets back to Rob, which means there might be someone out there who will understand my concern and stress when writing my top 5 or top 10 albums of the year and won’t mind I play a record when I wake up every morning. There’s still hope! And yes, we must admit sometimes we need happy endings to recover some illusion, don’t you think?

I will leave my top 5 break ups for later, if you allow me 😉

SO LONG JAMES GANDOLFINI.

Three hours ago I was having a drink with Andrea, after our dinner in an Italian restaurant, when we’ve read the sad and shocking news confirming James Gandolfini has passed away, at age 51, due to a heart attack, while enjoying holidays in Italy. What an irony!

tony

Right now I feel sad, and I’m as much shocked as when I heard about Layne Staley’s death, or probably even more because his has been completely unexpected.

 It is really a coincidence that last Sunday I was having a conversation with a friend and we were praising Gandolfini as a great actor. We both agreed that it was James Gandolfini who’s best portrayed a mob boss, over Al Pacino or Robert De Niro. Tony Soprano is an icon in contemporary culture, and one of the best characters in TV history. I was telling my friend Gandolfini was involved in a new project together with HBO, a new series he’d be the lead character, and he was explaining me about him acting for God of Carnage theatrical version in Broadway…and all of a sudden you read that he’s passed away and it’s like a dream. you enter a state of denial and start questioning the sources of information and their reliability, but eventually the truth is confirmed several times and you just have to accept one of your personal heroes is gone.

I just wish that wherever he is, he’s smoking a good cigar, having a very expensive glass of whiskey and listening to classic rock. Rest in Peace, James, I won’t ever forget you.

FOUR SMALL DREAMS

These last weeks are being pretty intense but  unfortunately the bad side of the coin is that I don’t really have much time left for writing. Seems that everything happens in Spring-Summer, and with the arrival of good weather and longer days, everybody is planning activities, feeling like socializing and including me in those plans, which is great.

Last weekend was a crazy one. I attended two events completely different from each other, but very pleasant and funny all the same.

Since Norma Jean Magazine is getting quite popular and apparently influential on social networks, we’ve started receiving invitations  for events such as art exhibitions, movie premieres, book presentations, fashion shows…We cannot attend most of them because these are held in different cities, or just because the event is not something we might be interested in.

I went to my first event as one of the Norma Jean girls last Friday, and I enjoyed lots. There was a party held by Quicksilver which consisted on an opening cocktail, with lots of wine and great food, to warm up, and then the projection of an audiovisual experiment directed by Thomas Campbell, a quite established name in the skate universe.

chiwoks

I think I already explained here skateboarding is one of my main frustrations as I’ve never learned nor found anyone who was willing to teach me, and now I think it could be a bit risky to start doing it, even though I’d try something easy and calm. I’ve also been fascinated with the skate universe, photography, exhibitions, aesthetics, and this punk-metal 90s side of this way of life. Truth is that if I was asked I could only name about 5 famous skaters, Peralta, Alva and Adams, Tony Hawk and Burnquist. I’m an ignorant.

Thomas Campbell, the director, is a multidisciplinary artist: painter, sculpture, photographer and now filmmaker, and his relationship with the skateboarding world is really tight. For many, this California guy is an important and established reference.

His last project, is an audiovisual experiment named Four Small Dreams. A piece of 22 minute length, shot analog on 16mm film, featuring Basque skater Javier Mendizabal and young Madars Apse. The sequences, shot in different Spanish cities, Canary Islands, Mallorca and California, are excellent, and the lysergic soundtrack provided by an unknown band named Chiwoks, who were playing simultaneously, created a great atmosphere with real epic moments.

Analog shooting is very expensive, much more than digital even though the equipment might be more modest, so think of the limited possibilities of something as unpredictable as skate boarding. The way Javier Mendizabal put it, you had to be very careful, very concerned, and achieve a decent level of skating to provide footage worth enough editing for the project. It sounded like hard work, many hours and money invested.

Another curious aspect related to Four Small Dreams was all the promo and the support from Quicksilver. I was explained that big skate/surf brands which have become too mainstream getting away from the original philosophy, are starting to recruit established and independent pro skaters and artists related, support their projects and in that way attract that community left behind at some point in the past targeting more mainstream.

The party was held at a very cool place, the Chapel at MACBA. We were around 200 guests, bloggers, skaters, hipsters and other personalities. Catering was excellent and there was lots of booze. Sound was perfect, projection outstanding. And at the end of the party we received a t-shirt of the film as a gift. Think of this party repeated in several cool cities. Make calculations. Promo budget is scary. And the question which comes to mind, regardless the quality of the product (which is good and I recommend it), is obvious: is it really worth it? How could success be measured in this case? Will Quicksilver recover their committed to skate image? Will they stop being regarded as a mainstream non exclusive brand?

mendizabal y toi

I have no idea, but what I can tell is that personally it was a great experience, and I enjoyed talking to the director (we ended up discussing about QOTSA discography)and adorable Javier Mendizabal. Both were extremely friendly and accessible and I really liked it. I really wish Four Small Dreams reaches more recipients than the 200 people at the chapel.

 ** Yep, I was wearing my vintage Nashville Pussy t-shirt reading LET THEM EAT PUSSY. I was acting on behalf of Norma Jean Magazine, and really it couldn’t be more appropriate considering Michael Douglas’ last week statement blaming his throat cancer on cunnilingus (bastard!).