Amoeblog

What Do You Call A Commercial That Sells Only Itself? The Fall (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, May 23, 2008 03:08pm | Post a Comment
The opening credit sequence to Tarsem Singh's The Fall looks like a Calvin Klein ad: shot in black & white, pretty and elliptical, a dead horse is pulled out of a river with a crane attached to railroad bridge.  And, boy howdy, the critics don't much like the film!  It received a 58/100 from both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.  Without exception, every negative review mentions the commercial and music video background of Tarsem (as he is credited). That's a cudgel that's been used on Ridley Scott, David Fincher and other directors coming out of the commercial video world, often with good reason.  For example, Se7en wasn't much more than an overly long Nine Inch Nails video. The problem isn't that commercial and video works lack craft or aestheticism (as they once did), but that their instrumental value as shills for products culturally diminishes any value they might otherwise have as art.  Iggy Pop once asked rhetorically what did it matter how he used his songs so long as he initially created them for himself.  Well, is it possible for anyone under 50 to watch Alain Resnais and Marguerite Duras' meditation of time and memory, Hiroshima mon amour:


Without having the experience diminished by having seen tons of Calvin Klein ads like the following?


Resnais' visual style has been corrupted -- maybe not forever, but for as long as ad agencies continue to rip him off. Thus, as long as Tarsem continues to blow his aesthetic load during the commercial breaks for Lost (its viewers being the target audience for the type of commodities his visuals sell), his films will be taken about as meaningfully as "Lust For Life" or Moby's entire oeuvre.  Still, it takes a lot of skill and knowledge to make something that looks and plays like this:

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Able Team #35

Posted by phil blankenship, May 23, 2008 02:54pm | Post a Comment
 


BILLY JAM'S WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP: MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

Posted by Billyjam, May 23, 2008 09:09am | Post a Comment

Memorial Day Weekend already? Almost June!  Damn, this year is really flying along. But already there are tons of great new hip-hop albums, including several that will no doubt be making this Amoeblogger's 2008 Best Of list: some of which are included in the three new Amoeba Music Hip-Hop Top Five Charts kindly submitted this week by Tunde (Amoeba Berkeley), Luis (Amoeba SF), and Kate Shantar (Amoeba Hollywood). 

Still holding strong, several weeks after its release, is The Roots' ninth album Rising Down which continues to sell briskly in both Berkeley and Los Angeles. Also still popular with fans is the Bay Area's Lyrics Born's latest Quannum joint Everywhere At Once as well as The Coup's older Wild Pitch albums being reissued by Universal (Genocide and Juice + Kill My Landlord).

A new entry on the Berkeley Top Five chart this week comes from Naledge and Double O who make up The Kidz In The Hall.  The duo have certainly stepped to the plate with this, their second album The In Crowd, which is all that and more and features appearances from such talents as Guilty Simpson, Buckshot, The Cool Kids, Phonte, Sean Price, Pusha T, Black Milk, and Bun B. Speaking of Bun B, this half of the former group UGK (spill a lil on the curb for his late partner in rhyme Pimp C) just dropped his new album this week II Trill on Rap-A-Lot.

BERKELEY AMOEBA MUSIC HIP-HOP TOP FIVE


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Happy Turtle Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 23, 2008 01:19am | Post a Comment

At Amoeba Hollywood we've been kicking around the idea of a Reptilesploitation sub-section in horror. Whilst it's easy to think of several killer crocodilian movies or films featuring man-eating-snakes, it's proven much harder to think of any featuring turtle terrors or lethal lizards. But the occasion of  World Turtle Day has given me reason to think harder. Maybe they aren't horror films, but any of these are a great way to celebrate this Testudinal holiday.

There's a whole series of Gamera films brought to you from those crazy guys over at the Daiei Motion Picture Studio.


And who can forget those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- a group of heroes in half-shells named after a group of 16th century homosexuals and led by a sewer rat. What's the text about the subtext called?


         

I'm sure you heard about the giant turtle at Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi. Until now it was thought to be extinct until he (or she) has made some appearances recently... which is supposed to portend something big. Here's some footage accompanied by the kind of  Vietnamese music you'll never hear at Ginger Grass.

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May 22, 2008

Posted by phil blankenship, May 22, 2008 05:11pm | Post a Comment







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