Amoeblog

FILM DIRECTOR JOHN HUGHES DIES SUDDENLY TODAY AT AGE 59

Posted by Billyjam, August 6, 2009 04:30pm | Post a Comment
Trailer for John Hughes' Sixteen Candles starring Molly Ringwald

John Hughes, the filmmaker responsible for (to name but a few) such 1980's films as Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Weird Science, Some Kind of Wonderful, She's Having a Baby, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (all available on DVD at Amoeba), died earlier today after suffering a sudden heart attack during a walk this morning in Manhattan. He was only 59. Read the full report here.


Weird Science trailer

out this week 9/16...air france...manda rin...the breakfast club...

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 18, 2008 03:17pm | Post a Comment
air france
My love for Sweden just continues to grow this year. I really might need to go move there. I will wait and see how this election turns out first. I am keeping my fingers crossed and I just know election day is going to be a crazy exciting day. I am putting some faith in the American people that they will see how crazy this Palin lady is... So hopefully I will stay in this country, but Sweden might be the place to go if I need to. The music there just keeps impressing me. Air France from Gothenburg, Sweden have just put out a new EP called "No Way Down." It is on the label Sincerely Yours, which also put out the great album by The Tough Alliance. The Tough Alliance is getting some domestic love soon and will hopefully reach a wider audience. Gothenburg is the home of many of my recent favorites -- in addition to The Tough Alliance and Air France, Jens Lekman, Studio, The Electric Pop Group, and Love Is All live there. I might just have to investigate all the other bands from Gothenburg that I have not heard yet. My new favorite band might just be hiding in there, waiting for me to finally discover.

This new Air France EP is brilliant, but it is not the kind of album that will hit you in the face right away. It is sort of mellow and pretty. In their very short Wikipedia description they are described as "post-rave bliss, beach foam pop, and balearic disco." I might have to update this definition a bit, but it does sort of make sense. It reminds me of some of the tracks on the Studio album. You need to turn the songs up a bit to fully experience them.air france Headphones are always best for this type of music, or the privacy of your own car if you live in Los Angeles. The songs make you feel like you are floating or dreaming. Albums like these should really be used for therapy. This EP includes six short songs. They will satisfy me for a bit but I know I will want more soon. A complete album will hopefully not be that far away. The album is sort of a combination of an Orb or Future Sound of London album combined with some band like Saint Etienne or The Pale Saints. Some of the songs are just instrumental dancey mellow tracks while others are British 90's pop kind of songs over more dancey beats. Don't be surprised to hear some bird sounds and random samples throughout the album. This is what probably makes it sound a bit beach like, but not day time surf style beachy -- more like the beach music you would hear at sunset or in the middle of the nbis vs. the diy corpsight.

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Don't You Forget About Me, Part 1: The Teen Flicks of John Hughes

Posted by Charles Reece, September 14, 2008 10:24am | Post a Comment
I wish to bring back to mind my past foulness and the carnal corruptions of my soul. This is not because I love them, but that I may love you, my God. [..] In the bitterness of my remembrance, I tread again my most evil ways, so that you may grow sweet to me, O sweetness that never fails, O sweetness happy and enduring, which gathers me together again from that disordered state in which I lay in shattered pieces, wherein, turned away from you, the one, I spent myself upon the many. For in my youth, I burned to get my fill of hellish things. I dared to run wild in different darksome ways of love. My comeliness wasted away. I stank in your eyes, but I was pleasing to myself and I desired to be pleasing to the eyes of men. -- The Depths of Vice from The Sixteenth Year of The Confessions of St. Augustine


I've always been something of a closet Augustinian, believing sin the default human condition. If he would've just left out all that God stuff I'd be more willing to come out of the closet. Nevertheless, his notion that being good is an act of will against wordly temptation seems right to me. In a capitalist democracy, giving in has always been an easier route to material success than acts of resistance.  Obama wouldn't be America's first ("serious") post-racial candidate if the majority thought he'd tackle racial injustice in any substantive manner. One doesn't rise through the business ranks by being an agent of moral change, making the business work better for the employees. The only change that's allowed is that of efficiency, streamlining the workers' output in accordance to the demands of the employer. You don't achieve power by disposing of the cultural rules, but by learning them, incorporating them and making them work for you while you actually work for them.  As Foucault pointed out -- and the Frankfurt School before him -- power is everywhere and nowhere in particular.
 

Since power is theoretically dispersed to the masses in a democratic system where the have-nots will always outnumber the haves, it becomes necessary for mass desire to be manufactured such that the status quo is believed by the people to be their will, and not something being forced upon them from the outside. This keeps things from changing, or not changing, too fast, so that the small ratio of dominant to the dominated can remain fairly static over time. That's why 1984 has never been a wholly convincing metaphor for the modern Western democracy. People would vote out Big Brother if he were seen to symbolically conflict with their democratic and other structuring beliefs ("don't need no outsider telling me what to do"). However, his ideas of control might work if the people can be convinced that those ideas are their own. In fact, Orwellian totalitarianism began when democracy ended, but a more pressing concern for modern democracy is its own despotic fault-line. 

The Glass Is Half Wack: The Wackness (2008)

Posted by Charles Reece, July 5, 2008 08:42pm | Post a Comment


Wackness is about white teens in the first half of the 90s who say stuff like, "You only see the wackness; I see the dopeness." They're in their 30s now, so the nostalgia is ripe. It was the period when the classical tradition in rap was giving way to the method acting mumbling of gangster wannabes selling the “real” to undergraduates. In a nod to Vincent Price famously referring to the method actors as "the mumblers," either Big Daddy Kane or Chuck D once lamented the fact that so many of the contemporary MCs gargled into the microphone. Anyhow, the film's soundtrack reminded me of why I started to hate commercial rap (not that I needed the reminding). Each line Big E wheezes brings him one step closer to a cardiac arrest and me to the door.  But, in trying to see the dopeness -- this movie wasn't Hancock, after all -- I soldiered on. I will draw the line at Sundance films set in a Lilith Fair concert.

So, the story: Luke (Josh Peck) is a pot dealer who’s just graduated from high school in the first year of Giuliani’s Manhattan. This is one of those introspective comedies (à la Little Miss Sunshine) that dominate Landmark’s arthouse chain, so Luke’s one and only friend is his psychiatrist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley, supposedly a Brooklyn Jew, but looking like Cheech Marin circa Up In Smoke with an accent that slips into British, Indian caricature and Classic Hollywood Nazi). Luke trades the doc dope for counseling. Luke’s problems are that no one is his friend outside of wanting drugs from him and he can’t get laid. One such “friend” is the hip hop Asian character who functions as the foil for Luke’s romantic interest in Squires’ step-daughter, Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby). Another is nuevo hippie chick Union (Mary-Kate Olsen, the same twin – I checked – who plays the same character on Weeds).

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