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Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Endless Poetry, The Projected Man & Blade Runner 2049

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 8, 2018 07:20pm | Post a Comment

Movie Moment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to the second Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review new releases on Blu-ray and DVD. This month I review a new movie by surrealist wild man Alejandro Jodorowsky, a classic monster movie from the sixties, and the stylish new sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner 2049. Everything reviewed in this column came out in the past four months. So here we go:

Endless Poetry, Alejandro JodorowskyEndless Poetry, ABKCO:
Alejandro Jodorowsky is in his late eighties but he's still making movies. Cinema's arguably greatest maverick is not going quietly into that great night. In fact, this is the second film he's put out in the past five years. Both films have been biographical in nature although, like the rest of Jodorosky's films, reality is often just a launch pad for his surrealist flights of fantasy. Just like Federico Fellini, in Jodorowsky's movies it's hard to tell where reality ends and fantasy begins. In fact, this movie has some obvious nods to Fellini films such as 8 1/2 and Juliette of The Spirits. But make no mistake, this movie is pure Jodorosky and goes to places Fellini could never imagine. Just like the rest of his films, there are things in this movie you'll never be able to unsee. There is one scene that depicts a performance art piece where an armless man enlists audience participation to help him caress and make love to his wife that is one of the more disturbing things I've seen in years. Let's make a check list for this film: Random disemboweling? Check. Love triangle with a dwarf? Check. A mother whose only way to communicate is by singing opera? Check. A parade of skeletons? Check. Weird Freudian sex? Check. Strange orgies of psychedelic art? Check. In fact, this checklist could go on almost forever, because on one level this is a mere biography and on another this is a movie about life, the universe, and everything. This film and it's predecessor are the works of an artist at the end of his life trying to teach us the lessons he has learned and what it all means. On a certain level, this is one of the drawbacks of the film. Endless Poetry is not as good as The Holy Mountain, El Topo, and Santa Sangre because those films were delirious searches for the truth, whereas this film is made by a man who has his answers and wants to explain them to us. It's a calmer more controlled work. That difference in tone makes this a more, dare we say, "traditional" film than Jodorosky's early deranged masterpieces. But that is no slight against this picture; the only one Jodorosky is in competition with is the earlier version of himself. This is probably the most crazed and surreal movie that will be released this year. Jodorosky is still in a category unto himself.

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A Brief History of the Alien Films in Honor of the Release of "Alien: Covenant"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 19, 2017 05:47pm | Post a Comment

Aliens CovenantBy Jon Longhi

The newest Alien movie, Alien: Covenant, came out on DVDBlu-Ray, and 4K-Ultra HD this month and is available at Amoeba Music, so now is as good a time as any to revisit the history of the Alien franchise. First, it’s important to point out that if it weren’t for the cracked phantasmagorical genius of Alejandro Jodorowsky there would never have been an Alien franchise.

Back in the mid-1970s, he assembled one of the greatest creative teams in history to make a film version of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic Dune. Jodorowsky’s movie was going to be a loose interpretation of Herbert’s novel that used the book as a springboard for Jodorowsky’s own psychedelically cosmic ideas. Even though he had lined up Pink Floyd to do the soundtrack; H.R. Giger and Moebius to do do the visual and costume designs; Dan O’Bannon to do the effects; and Mick Jagger, Orson Wells, and Salvador Dali to star in it, Jodorowsky still couldn’t get the film green-lighted. The studios saw the director as too outlandish to be marketable. The great irony of all this was that Jodorowsky took his Dune material and turned it into some of the most successful graphic novels in history. The creative team he assembled went on to be some of the biggest movers and shakers in pop culture. The first cinematic collaboration that came out of the wreckage of Jodorowsky’s Dune was a couple years later when H. R. Giger teamed up with Dan O’Bannon to make the first Alien movie. The film became an instant classic and the iconic monster Giger created fuels the franchise to this day. All this is wonderfully explained in the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune.

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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Cornelius

Posted by Amoebite, December 23, 2016 05:27pm | Post a Comment

Cornelius What's In My Bag? Amoeba Music

Japanese electronic artist and producer Cornelius (Keigo Oyamada) came shopping at Amoeba Hollywood recently and picked out several groovy and far out records, including avant-garde compositions and obscure European soundtracks. The first selection in this What's In My Bag? episode is Sesso Matto (a.k.a. How Funny Can Sex Be?), an Italian sexploitation comedy featuring a funky soundtrack by Armando Trovajoli. Oyamada reveals that some of his early beats are sampled from that record. Oyamada also picked up the soundtrack to Alejandro Jodorowsky's cult classic The Holy Mountain, as well as some cool electronic classical records from Steve Reich and Terry Riley.

But which classical composer's piece did Beck ask Cornelius to remix? And which new Danish band did his son introduce him to? You'll have to watch the video to find out:

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New "What's in My Bag?" Episode with Miguel

Posted by Amoebite, August 17, 2015 04:50pm | Post a Comment

San Pedro, CA native Miguel is a Grammy-winning R&B singer, songwriter, and producer. Active in the music community since he was a teenager, Miguel signed a production deal with Drop Squad in 2000. Four years later he signed with Black Ice and began work on his debut album, which was eventually shelved. In 2007, he signed with Jive and recorded All I Want Is You. The album's release was delayed till 2010 due to contract disputes with Black Ice. During this time, Miguel contributed vocals to Blu and Exile's debut collaboration, Below the Heavens, and co-wrote tracks for artists like Jaheim and Usher. Kaleidoscope Dream, Miguel's second album, was released on RCA in 2012. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 within its first week of release, its lead single "Adorn" garnering Miguel's first Grammy award for "Best R&B Song." Watch a killer version of "Adorn" (see below) performed live at Amoeba Hollywood back in 2012.

Miguel WildheartMiguel released his third studio LP, Wildheart, in June 2015 and he stopped by Amoeba Hollywood for a special CD signing. Fans lined up outside the store with Wildheart and entry tickets in hand. While he was here, Miguel took a moment to sit down with our "What's in My Bag?" crew to share his finds from our racks. He began with two films, El Topo and The Holy Mountain, by Chilean cult cinema hero Alejandro Jodorowsky, explaining that he enjoys watching movies on silent while he creates. Miguel also picked up Run the Jewels' second album lauding its savageness as an aspect of hip-hop that he misses. Finally, he chose the deluxe edition of Jamie xx's newest album, In Coloursharing a story about that one time he danced with the xx.

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