Amoeblog

Up & Down: Up (2009) & Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 5, 2009 09:50pm | Post a Comment
up poster pixar

The Plot. Two things struck me about the celebrated elliptical opening sequence of UP, where the young version of Carl, the protagonist, is shown to age and fall in love with Ellie, who remains dead for most the picture: (1) Despite Pixar's raison d'etre, overloaded digital spectacle, what the company excels at is character portraiture. This tends to be done in the first third of their stories, after which the plot kicks in, and I get bored. Unlike Wall-E, however, UP is mostly about Carl just hanging out in his floating house, talking to this chubby little cub scout stowaway, and befriending some linguistically enhanced canines. All of which makes it the best Pixar film to date. (2) Seijun Suzuki and Pixar know something about generic expectations that Steven Spielberg doesn't. Like all moviegoers, my emotions are mechanized, habituated responses to the levers, pulleys and cables of traditional storytelling. Thus, in abstracto, I'll feel elation on cue when the hero risks it all to save those more unfortunate than he, even if the particularities involve an Aryan saving some Jews (a lesson that can be had from Star Wars' appropriation of Triumph of The Will). These 2 and 1/2 hour-long movies of Spielberg's could be cut down to a few, brief sequences leading to the big crescendo, and we'd all still have the same reaction. Much like Suzuki tends to jump cut over the dramatic cliches in his films, Carl meets Ellie, they share similar interests, yadda yadda yadda, she's dead, now her absence structures our understanding of Carl for the rest of UP. Less flippantly worded: poetic resonance isn't based on word count, nor are genre pleasures.

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Yankee Rose: Happy 233rd America!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, July 5, 2009 02:23pm | Post a Comment
david lee roth solo debut eat em and smile yankee rose
With another fourth of July behind us, I'd like to give big ups to fireworks, baseball, grilled meat, cold beer and David Lee Roth and his hit "Yankee Rose" for making this holiday weekend sparkle like, well, like the fourth of July, actually. Roth and rock 'n' roll guitar-mystic Steve Vai penned the song in 1986 for Roth's debut solo effort, entitled Eat 'Em And Smile. The song is credited as a dedication to the Statue of Liberty (which was undergoing renovation at that time and thus was a hot topic of sorts). It is interesting that the intro sequence for the video of "Yankee Rose" seems to attempt a showcase of immigrant stereotypes in a corner convenience store setting --- is the audience supposed to somehow relate to your friendly neighborhood bodega? I can't figure out if I find it appealingly appalling or appallingly appealing, but then this feeling is almost immediately washed away by the savage animal that is Roth's demand for, "a bottle of anything and a glazed donut, TO GO!" followed by a rigorous display of high impact aerobics and the flashiest array of spandex you'll ever see stretched across one's person, ass-less or off-the-shoulder. Hooray for the U.S.A.!

 

AMOEBLOG'S SUMMER GRAFFITI SERIES: PART I, INTRO

Posted by Billyjam, July 4, 2009 11:58am | Post a Comment
DREAM R.I.P.

This is the kick-off post in a seven-week summer series of Graffiti Amoeblogs, focusing on the art of graffiti and running every Saturday from now, July 4th, until Saturday, August 15th, 2009 -- the date that will mark what would have been the 40th birthday of Mike DREAM Francisco, the legendary Bay Area graffiti artist who was tragically murdered nine years ago on the streets of Oakland. Rest in peace, DREAM. Your legacy will live forever.

Included in the numerous blogs in this series will be an interview with DEMER of the longtime NYC Wallnuts crew, who decades later is still making graffiti art, and who currently runs the store Graffiti Comix in Belleville, New Jersey, where he combines his two life-long passions/hobbies -- graffiti and comic books. There will also be an interview with OB, who runs the graffiti supply (and record) store All City in Dublin, Ireland. That same Graffiti Amoeblomiami graffitig will also take a look at the Irish graffiti scene.

James & Karla Murray, the hard working and prolific graffiti photo-journalists (Broken Windows, Burning New York, Store Front, Miami Graffiti), will also be interviewed here and high-quality images of their best New York City and Miami graffiti shots will also be included. Future Amoeblogs will also focus on Cali graffiti and its makers, and of course there will be a whole blog dedicated to DREAM, who was an amazing artist. 

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July 3: This Week At The New Beverly

Posted by phil blankenship, July 3, 2009 11:33pm | Post a Comment
This Week At The New Beverly

The July calendar is now online!
http://newbevcinema.com/calendar.cfm


Friday & Saturday July 3 & 4

Celebrate Independence Day At The New Beverly!

Two Starring The Legendary James Cagney

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Get ready to Laugh, to Sing, to Shout! ...For here comes Uncle Sam's Star Spangled Yankee Doodle Dandy!
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0035575/
dir. Michael Curtiz, starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning
Fri: 7:30; Sat: 2:45 & 7:30, Watch The Trailer!

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New Electronic CD Releases 7/3/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, July 3, 2009 03:20pm | Post a Comment

PLANETARY ASSAULT SYSTEMS

Temporary Suspension
Ostgut

Planetary Assault Systems is the legendary, harder-edged techno project from the UK's Luke Slater, and this is his first full-length effort after more than 7 years. Temporary Suspension is released as a continuous mix of 10 tracks on CD, as well as 6 single tracks on a double 12", and defies any current sound trends. However, Slater himself states that it's "time to bring the funk and intensity back in a new way. Time to open the sound again." In addition to funk and intensity, Slater manages to create an industrial strength and energy that has evolved over the years -- ranging from aggressive techno to very deep and melancholy pieces that still retain an alien feeling. The first track "Open Up" sets the pace for things to come, already, with a driving groove and a thunderstorm of synths cutting through a confusing melody of chimes. Subsequently, the loud and fast "Whoodoo" dives deep into the primordial blend of techno, using an uncompromising, metallic percussion. "Om The Def" takes the foot off the gas pedal, marking one of the album's definite highlights by using an arrangement of bongos and a funky, distorted bass line oscillating between dense and airy aggregate states. "Hold It" is an unbelievably sexy Chicago house stomper reminiscent of a modern version of an Amando track. "Attack Of The Mutant Camels" fascinates with its noise and bleep fest, complete with a decelerated rhythm and a fierce bass line. On "Gateway To Minia" he loses the beat in favor of gloomy ambient synth chords culminating in a cacophony of noise. But the album does not end here, as he brings back the kick on "Sticker Men" one last time with the crowd firmly set in his sights. Luke Slater's sonic vision on Temporary Suspension as a rough and highly energetic sound hardly comes as a surprise, as he has continually tested and pushed his musical boundaries ever since releasing his first tracks in 1989. Planetary Assault Systems has always been Luke's pseudonym for hard and uncompromising techno, and almost all of his releases on Peacefrog have become classics of the genre. Luke has never been satisfied with exploring just one aspect of music, and is well-known for his eccentricity and rebelliousness, aspects that have held his audience captive in his extraterrestrial light-beam of past, present, and future. Heavy, grinding techno cuts that will most definitely rank as the best of 2009.

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