Notes On A Scandal - Scandalicious!

Posted by Miss Ess, May 29, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment
Four gold stars for Notes On A Scandal!

I watched the film last night and was blown away by Judi Dench's performance.  It's unusual that a jaded ex film theory student like myself is blown away like that, and although I do truly always love Dame Judi, this was the penultimate character for her I thought. 

Breathtakingly vicious and manipulative, her Barbara is as layered as any real live human being, unusual for a film script these days.  In fact, the layers of each main character in the film, Barbara, Sheba and Steven, are peeled away like the skin of an onion-- as the film progresses we get deeper and deeper into their psyches and man, are they all twisted!

The are also all twisted up in the affair that art teacher Sheba (Cate Blanchett) is carrying on with her seemingly abused 15 year old student, Steven.  Lonely and intense fellow teacher Barbara befriends Sheba, who she alternatively loves and hates for her beauty and bourgeois sensibilities, and she uses their closeness to pull Sheba further and further into her web of neediness when she discovers the affair.

I hate to say this since the film shows the more pathetic sides of humanity, but this movie and its characters reminded me more of real life than most films.  The secretiveness, the two-faced-ness, the desperation, the complication, the was all so dense and realistic!  I loved that Barbara narrates the film and that we get to  hear her innermost thoughts, which she carefully journals every night-- it's the ultimate gournol.  She convinces herself that she knows all about Sheba's life and marriage and thoughts and feelings because she is so absorbed with wanting things her own way, seeing things her own way.

Each character completely justifies his or her actions to themselves, and it is incredible to watch.  Judi already has an Oscar, but still, someone should have given her an honorary award this year for her insanely believable ferociousness and vulnerability in this film.  She scares me now. 

Oh well, I liked Helen Mirren in The Queen too.  And yes, I am still talking about the Oscars in May.&n


Posted by phil blankenship, May 28, 2007 11:46pm | Post a Comment

Embassy Home Entertainment 2087

out today...the day after memorial day 5/29

Posted by Brad Schelden, May 28, 2007 10:12pm | Post a Comment
The day after a big holiday Monday is usually a very sad day for music new releases. All the music distributors and shippers shut down on Monday holidays. Because of this, the labels traditionally keep the Tuesday releases pretty slim the day after the holiday. So R. Kelly and Perry Farrell are both pretty lucky with two new albums out today. Without much competition, the albums might do a little better than they probably should. Most Janes Addiction fans would probably appreciate it if Perry Farrell just stopped making music. He managed to make some brilliant albums in the late 80s and early 90s. He even did pretty good with his post Jane's Addiction band Porno for Pyros. "We'll make great pets" is still repeating in my head after all these years. It was a super catchy song.

Perry Farrell started playing music in the brilliant but short lived band Psi Com. The band released one self titled album in 1985. He went on to create two excellent album with Jane's Addiction. "Nothing's Shocking" and "Ritual de lo Habitual" had a major influence on many of us who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s. Especially those of us growing up in southern California. These albums and their singles were heard everywhere. Everyone had the tapes blasting in their cars and I swear that I probably heard Jane's Addiction at least once a day, somewhere. The band became known as the symbol for alternative music. Back when alternative actually still meant something. Perry Farrell also went on to create the alternative music festival known as Lollapalooza. This was  a pretty exciting festival for kids who had never experienced anything like this before. Perry Farrell also released the movie "The Gift" in 1993. While this may be one of the worst films ever released, it remained one of my favorites for many years.

After a couple failed Jane's Addiction reunions, Perry has now moved on with a new project. Titled Perry Farrell's Satelite Party. The band release their debut album "Ultra Payloaded" today. I'm still regretting that I even listened to it. But the curiosity was killing me. I would not even be talking about it. But there is not much else out today to talk about. Perry Farrell does seem to be having some sort of party on this album. But it seems he doesn't really care if anyone else gets it. Or maybe he really does think this album is some amazing party album that everyone is gonna put on during their next party. The album includes great song titles like "Wish Upon a Dogstar" and "Mr. Sunshine" and "Insanity Rains." It really makes me a little sad. I would really love for him to make another brilliant and relevant album. But I just don't think it is going to happen. Within his songs you can almost hear the old Perry Farrell that you loved not so long ago. But it is buried deep within these horrible party songs. Try to imagine Jim Morrison singing with the Black Crowes  at some bad hippie trance rave that you don't want to be at. That is kind of what this albums is like. The worst of the bunch is for sure "Awesome." The song literally repeats the phrase "Awesome" over and over and over again. I actually made it through the entire album. And I think I deserve some sort of prize for making it that far. I dare anyone else to do the same. I only hope that he at least had a good time making the album. I am gonna try and forget this album so I can get back my memories of the guy that I did love. He made some brilliant albums that still have a hold on me.

Also out today is the new album by the genius that is R. Kelly. I really do hold him up as some sort of genius. He has managed to create some brilliant catchy R & B songs over the years. Robert Slyvester Kelly got his start in the group Public Announcement. But he quickly rose to super stardom with his solo songs "Bump N' Grind" and the brilliant "I Believe I Can Fly." R. Kelly has gonna through a lot the last couple years. He has gone through a trial, been spoofed on South Park and released the amazing 12 part video movie "Trapped in the Closet." He now releases his eighth album "Double Up." The new album features "Pull Ya Hair" and "Freaky in the Club." It also features Snoop Dogg, T.I., Nelly, and T-Pain.

What I love about R. Kelly is that he truly believes that he is a brilliant song writer. He imagines himself as God's gift to the musical world. You really can't blame him. He still remains one of the most popular stars of R & B after all these years. His brilliance was really made evident with the release of "Trapped in the Closet." I really recommend checking it out if you have not had the chance yet. The commentary on the DVD is amazing. I can't really even explain it. But it involves R. Kelly cheating with a woman whose man is cheating on her with another man. Its like a soap opera and R. Kelly is for sure the star. It was even spoofed by the guys of South Park. It was the episode that Tom Cruise tried to ban from TV. They brilliantly combined R. Kelly's song with Tom actually being trapped in the closet. I am sure R. Kelly never planned on his song being used like this. But maybe he did. That is just how brilliant he is.  My favorite songs so far on the album are "Hook it Up" and "Freaky in the Club." Although the more I listen to it, the more favorite songs I get. I could listen to his lyrics all day long. There are some great lyrics in the world of R & B. But he is really at the top. R. Kelly is great at creating stories with his albums. He knows he is writing future hits. But he is also very careful to create a lasting story for his fans.  He has made another brilliant album of smooth R & B. There is no one quite like R. Kelly.
One of my favorite R. Kelly moments still remains his duet with Sparkle, "Careful." 
also out today...

"Sweet Warrior" by Richard Thompson

"In Glorious Times" by Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

"Se Dice Bisonte No Bufalo" by Omar A. Rodriguez-Lopez

(In which Job goes to the hospital instead of blogging.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 28, 2007 09:24pm | Post a Comment

As I waited with my boyfriend, Corey, in the Emergency Room loading dock, nurses, aides, cleaning people and, I think, some illegal immigrants would rush through. The energy was frenetic. It was like someone spliced together all the link and filler scenes from a TV medical drama, and edited out the entertaining parts where you find out the doctor’s sleeping with the wife of the man who runs the hospital who is an alcoholic/pill addict and, even more tragic, votes Republican.

We learned that Corey had appendicitis. They wanted to perform surgery that night. Our plans to play poker and go dancing would, in all likelihood, have to be cancelled.

A cute picture of my boyfriend, Corey

Corey is a self-professed control-freak, and this would reveal itself in many ways. He would grill anyone who entered our room with the same battery of questions, to which he would receive, more or less, the same answers. I didn’t ask why, but I secretly theorized that he was waiting for one of them to “slip up” and say something like, “Well, you may be feeling discomfort because your uterus is over-extended,” to which Corey could then raise his pointed finger and exclaim, “Ah, ha! Got you! I’m a boy and I don’t have a uterus! Because of my hysterectomy last year.”

My boyfriend won’t find that joke funny, but he’s all cripple from surgery, so I’m safe.

Anyway, my favorite part of that phase of our hospital experience was when Corey called a nurse in and complained of the placement of his IV injection.

Continue reading...


Posted by Billyjam, May 28, 2007 07:54pm | Post a Comment

After posting last week's AMOEBLOG about increasing US postal costs, which included an interview with Dischord Records' Ian MacKaye -- the legendary DC punk icon -- I received a couple of emails off-blog from fans of MacKaye's groups Fugazi and Minor Threat,. One (from Dave in Orange County) linked me to a killer website that takes visitors on a walking tour of the Washington DC punk scene that started in late seventies. The online destination offers "10 txt-walks, 10 videos. Places and stories of hardcore in DC," where you can either view the ten documentary videos on the site or as a podcast. You can also download a PDF map of DC punk from the site.
What I like about the DC punk history site is that it sheds light on a scene that was overshadowed by such well-documented punk scenes in the UK, NYC, and California. And that got me thinking about all the other great USA punk scene histories like Boston, who years ago in reaction to SoCal's well-publicized scene, released the great compilation This Is Boston, Not LA. Another overlooked early US punk scene was that of Chicago, which is captured in the new film You Weren't There: The History of the Chicago Punk 1977-1984 from Regressive Films (movie trailer above). The documentary looks back on the impact that punk had on the Windy City and features such well known bands as Articles of Faith, Effigies and Naked Raygun and such lesser known punk acts as Silver Abuse, Savage Beliefs, and Negative Element.

But of course, if one had to name just one place as the mecca of US punk, it would inevitably be the legendary/no longer there Bowery, NYC club CBGBs. Amid much publicity, it bit the dust last year. And besides the famed punk-palace's stage, it was the club's bathroom that was equally famous. Captured on video about six week's before CBGBs closed in the latter half of 2006, this video captured the famous graffiti'ed/stickered bathroom's vibe. To properly view/appreciate, tilt your head on your left shoulder and imagine the stench of urine:

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