miercuri, 24 iulie 2024

RIP John Mayall

 Just back from the Brezoi Open Blues Fest when this came as a sad closure...John Mayall has gone on July 22nd.  He was 90.

John Mayall is/was Mr White in the Blues. Groundgreaker. Bluesbreaker. As in John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers.

Saw him twice in Bucharest, in the 90's and in the new millennium, in 2012, same venue, Sala Palatului. In 1995 his guitarist sidekick was the sensational heavy Texan Buddy Whittington. It mesmerized me that second time he was selling his own CD's, first artist I saw doing that...(setlist and pictures here!)

Jeff Beck gone, Only Clapton remains. His homage to Mayall here:

BBC obit here.

joi, 11 iulie 2024

RIP Shelley Duvall

Shelley Duvall was 75 just for three days (born July 7th 1949).

Shelley is Wendy, Jack Nicholson's victimized wife in Kubrick's The Shining (1980) and that is the part she will remembered most. She lived a personal ordeal through that shoot, got a Razzie for it and meanwhile Razzies rescinded her prize (interesting article here).  After that film her career and personal life never fully recovered.

But she worked for Robert Altman too, in seven films with highlights on Three Women (for which she won best actress in Cannes!), Nashville and Popeye !

She was also in Woody Allen's Annie Hall. 


marți, 9 iulie 2024

Love Lies Bleeding (2024)

Love Lies Bleeding (2024) is a mesmerizing little film that has it all, bodybuilding, crime, gun nuts, lesbian love, revenge, rednecks, and Bronski Beat's "Small Town Boy". Just that here there's Small Town girls. 

Love Lies Bleeding is also a cascading Red flower, but the title could come from a Don De Lillo novel. Or not. Just learned that the film was originally set in Scotland but moved in the USA for "scale".

Set in 1989's New Mexico.  Kristen Stewart's performance as Lou is so intense, but I've seen her before in Spencer, Seberg, Personal Shopper, Clouds of Sils Maria doing arthouse, here she does the perfect Indie performance, with a high note of her real sexuality. But the revelation of the film, with a background of real body building, is Katy O'Brian as Jackie. Also Anna Baryshnikov, the daughter of maestro ballerino Mikhail Baryshnikov, stands out as blonde Daisy. Dave Franco as JJ is good too. And man, Ed Harris as Lou senior, is in super evil bad mode. Which is perfect. His hair extensions are a standalone highlight.

LLB opened at Sundance Film Fest to rave, then it went to Berlinale.

Rose Glass writes and directs stylishly and with a certain peculiarity, it's her second film after Saint Maud (2019, which I'm gonna check), shades of Wild at Heart but with an LBGT, Flashdance, Thelma & Louise, Near Dark and even Rust and Bones. She brought with her from Europe (Brexited England that is) her Saint Maud cinematographer, Ben Fordesman, who does a great widescreen job (2.39.1) in Americana scope. 

Great atmospheric music score by Clint Mansell (known better as Darren Aronofski's composer), plus songs of the period. Discovered some cool obscure or cultish tunes, that work perfectly in the film-Nona Hendryx-"Transformation", Gina X "Nice Mover", & "Kaddish" included.

LLB it's now in Romanian cinemas (as Dragoste, minciuni și sânge), limited release, see it there !!!

IM 18 !!! Restricted to all Minors ! In the US it's Rated R. 

7 out of 10 / 3 1/2 out of 5 !!!

joi, 4 iulie 2024

RIP Ion Rițiu

Ion Rițiu enchanted my childhood. He was Rică Păsărin, the lead in Duelul (1981) by Sergiu Nicolaescu,Sergiu Nicolaescu, his last "comisar" film in Ceaușescu's times. Up to Supravietuitorul (2008), in which he gave Rițiu a part too, 30 odd years later. 

He was the rich bad boy gone mad in Sergiu s Ciuleandra (1985), Puiu Faranga,on the Liviu Rebreanuțs book adaptation. 

Next on an officier in Noi, cei din linia întâi (1985).

He was also the ottoman boss, Baiazid in Mircea (1988). 

Last film, Poker (2010), also by Le Serge. Actually Sergiu NicoleascuSergiu Nicoleascu was the only one who gave him film parts. Why? :(

I saw him as a kid on a theatre play in Oradea or Cluj. Hollywood type of charisma, nice diction, ultra photogenic old style (30s). I was charmed.  He worked as a theatre actor in Târgu-Mureș. Dan Alecsandrescu, my mom's youth friend, the theatre director there put him in many plays.

Ion Rițiu was 73 (born 4 Dec. 1950).

Obit from Gândul