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'Beware of Mr. Baker' Celebrates One of Rock's Greatest (And Wildest) Drummers

Posted by Billy Gil, January 22, 2013 04:03pm | Post a Comment

Ginger BakerAt the beginning of documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, we’re introduced to the titular character when the misanthropic elderly man bashes his biographer in the face with a cane. Filmmaker Jay Bulger gets out of the car to show us his bloody nose, and from there we’re whisked back through not only the story of Ginger Baker, famed drummer for Cream, but also the story behind the creation of the film.

Bulger bills himself as a writer for Rolling Stone in order to get an interview with the reclusive Baker — this is a lie. However, the article Bulger comes up with once he meets with Baker in his South Africa compound does get published in Rolling Stone, providing the catalyst for the film. The brash Bulger, and his interactions with Baker, become a hilarious side story to that of Baker, the red-headed wild man who helped pioneer rock drumming as a member of Cream, with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce. Baker’s unique, African and jazz-influenced style would go on to be widely used in hard rock and heavy metal in years to come. But Baker’s personal life is beset by drugs, family issues, several wives and money problems.

Beware Mr. Baker

However, Beware of Mr. Baker is no predictable “VH1 Behind the Music” story, nor is it a sob story. It’s more a celebration of a life thoroughly lived, and of a character whose lust for life and for drumming supersedes his ability to live normally and care for anyone else. It’s riveting viewing, even (and perhaps especially) for those unfamiliar with Baker. The film’s editing, full of animated bits, stock footage and interview footage, jump-cutting and fading with psychedelic aesthetic, is nothing short of brilliant. It also includes enlightening, often funny interviews with the likes of Clapton, Steve Winwood, Carlos Santana, Lars Ulrich and Neil Peart.

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Noir City Film Festival Keeps It Reel in San Francisco, 1/25 - 2/3!

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 3, 2013 11:55am | Post a Comment

Noir City, the most popular film noir festival in the world, is BACK! Defying media reports regarding the Noir city film festival audra wolfmann eddie mullerdemise of repertory cinema and 35 millimeter film, the 11th edition of the Noir City film festival (at the Castro Theatre from January 25th - February 3rd) will present its most expansive schedule yet! Over ten days, Noir City will screen 27 films, including three brand new 35mm restorations funded by the Film Noir Foundation and the noir-loving moviegoers of San Francisco!

This festival kicks off with a tribute to special guest star Peggy Cummins, legendary for her ferocious performance as carnival sharpshooter Annie Laurie Starr in Gun Crazy (1950). Ms. Cummins, traveling all the way from her home in London, will be interviewed onstage by host Eddie Muller following a screening of the film!

As always, NOIR CITY will present both celebrated classics and wonderful rarities: some newly rescued from extinction and presented in glorious new 35mm prints, others screening for the first time in gorgeous 4K digital restorations. Opening weekend will feature the world premiere of two of the Film Noir Foundation's latest film restoration projects Try and Get Me! (1950) and Repeat Performance (1949).

But that's not all! The hugely popular Noir City Nightclub returns on Saturday night, February 2, 2013. Partiers will time travel to 1949 for an extraordinary evening of scintillating music, sexy striptease, dancing, and drinking ($5 cocktails— beat that price!), all in a new vintage venue, the Regency Lodge (1290 Sutter Street at Van Ness). This year's show, emceed by "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller, includes the sizzling jazz of the Dmitri Matheny Group (unveiling its "Crime Scenes Suite"), the sultry pop-noir stylings of Erin Brazill and the Brazillionaires ("The Hitchcock Suite"), the return of international striptease sensation Evie Lovelle, torch song temptress Laura Ellis, and the uniquely soulful and sinister serenades of El Radio Fantastique! Best of all, festival screenings are arranged so NOIR CITY attendees can attend the soiree without missing a single film!

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Looking Ahead to 2013 ...

Posted by Billy Gil, December 27, 2012 10:29am | Post a Comment

It’s still December 2012, but there’s plenty to get excited about heading into the new year, music- and movie-wise. Check out the preorders we have available below. 

My Bloody ValentineIn addition, new records hitting shelves early in the year include new records by Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Spring), the late, great Broadcast (The Berberian Sound Studio [Soundtrack], Jan. 8), Frightened Rabbit (Pedestrian Verse, Feb. 5), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (II, Feb. 5), Azealia Banks (Broke With Expensive Taste, Feb. 12), Veronica Falls (Waiting for Something to Happen, Feb. 12), Beach Fossils (Clash the Truth, Feb. 19), Iceage (You’re Nothing, Feb. 19), Girls Names (The New Life, Feb. 29), Johnny Marr (The Messenger, Feb. 26), The Mary Onettes (Hit the Waves, March 12), Low (The Invisible Way, March 19), Wavves (Title TBA, March 26), The Knife (Shaking the Habitual, April 9) and, of course, Guided by Voices (English Little League, April 30). My Bloody Valentine are supposedly releasing their long-awaited follow-up to 1991’s classic Loveless, the favorite album of many a music nerd, as they’ve just announced via their Facebook page that they finished mastering their new album. Any MBV fan knows that recording, let alone mixing, let alone mastering a new album by the shoegaze titans is a painfully long and arduous process at best, so this is very exciting news! Though supposedly the record will come out on their website first, we’ll let you know as soon as we hear anything about a new, physical My Bloody Valentine LP.

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Ranking Christopher Nolan's Films

Posted by Billy Gil, December 11, 2012 06:48pm | Post a Comment

Christopher NolanIn celebration of the recent release of The Dark Knight Rises on DVD and Blu-ray, I decided to go back and explore Christopher Nolan’s filmography, rewatching bits or all of the films, as I usually couldn’t stop myself from watching the things all the way through once I started. Nolan has directed and written or adapted eight films (not including his short films) in the past 14 years, making him not only one of the best (or arguably the best) of directors of the 21st century, but also one of the most prolific.

Starting from the bottom and working up to the best, this is my personal list of favorite Christopher Nolan films.

(All of the Christopher Nolan Batman movies are available in a box set, on DVD or Blu-ray.)

 

8. Following (DVD, Criterion DVD or Criterion Blu-ray)

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The Connection (1962) Screening July 20-26th- New Beverly Cinema

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, July 16, 2012 11:50pm | Post a Comment
The New Beverly Cinema is screening a brand new print of Shirley Clarke's legendary Junk/Jazz docudrama The Connection. Filmed in New York at the beginning of the 60's, this film focuses on a group of junkies, including legendary sax player & jazz composer Jackie McLean and pianist Freddie Redd, as they philosophize, swing, smoke and sweat it out while they wait for a special delivery. 

A must see!!!


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