joi, 24 decembrie 2020

Season Greetings from Transilvania Blues

Dear friends, / Dragi prieteni, Thanx for your Support in 2020 ! / Vă mulțumim pentru sprijin în 2020 ! Let's Bring the Blues Back Live in 2021 ! / Haideți să (re)aducem blues-ul Live în 2021 ! best wishes, / cu drag, Alin & Vlad Let There Be Blues !!! Transilvania Blues Nights & Transilvania Blues Festival
#TransilvaniaBluesFestival #transilvaniaBluesNights #aldmovieland #LetThereBeBlues #MerryXmas

RIP Leslie West

The Mountain man is gone, at 75, on Dec. 23d 2020. Alwaya someone great in music dies at or around Xmas, the angels must need new people in The BAND Above .... Leslie West was one of the gretest guitarists of rock, a true Mountain (he founded the band Mountain with Felix Pappalardi), later joined by drummer Corky Laing. Mountain played Woodstock in 1969 and disbanded in 1972, they had the hit Mississippi Queen in 1970 that i got to see live with Corky Laing in Brasov last year. Also his friend Jack Bruce, with whom he played in West Bruce and Lang, and did a great solo for Theme for an Imginary Western (see SOTD 2012 when Jack Bruce played the 2nd time Romania at Dracu la bas fest), but not mr. West :( RIP :( obit and legacy in NME here and Rolling Stone here

marți, 22 decembrie 2020

Colectiv (2020)

Colectiv- Ne privește pe toți*

Cu tag-ul “Ne privește pe toți “, Colectiv, documentarul lui Alexander Nanau (Lumea văzută de Ion B., Toto și surorile sale), alături de colaboratorul său Mihai Grecea, supraviețuitor al Colectivului, care filma concertul trupei Goodbye to Gravity în momentul incendiului, poate fi văzut acum în cinema (din 28 februarie). El va fi difuzat apoi pe HBO, co-producătorul filmului, canal unde impactul său va fi, după părerea mea, limitat. Drumul acestui documentar-eveniment, la propriu incendiar, după festivaluri de categoria A, Veneția, Toronto și Sundance și cu distribuție în SUA (Magnolia), nu întîmplător a primit premiul Don Quichote la Tromsø International Film Festival este unul fabulos, dar care este impactul său social la el acasă ? Am auzit deja oameni care nu vor să-l vadă, motivînd că se enervează (degeaba). Pentru că, ce s-a schimbat de atunci ? În rău, în bine ? Păi, dacă nu s-a schimbat cine e de vină ? E o vină Colectiv-ă.

Punct și de la capăt. Reiau. Colectiv e un film care trebuie văzut, așa cum trebuie să votezi. Ne privește pe toți. E o responsabilitate civică, datorie a societății civile, nu discut aici calitățile cinaematografice ci conotațiile social-politice. Filmul nu este despre evenimentul în sine, ci despre ceea ce urmat și ceea ce a declanșat, scandalul Hexipharma, odiseea lui Călin Tolontan și a ziariștilor de la Gazeta Sporturilor, cei care au început investigațiile și le-au continuat curajos, cât și ale ministrului Vlad Voiculescu. A-l vedea și comenta este o datorie față de victimele nevinovate, față de un sistem care nu funcționează și o țară care încă e într-o degringolată maximă. Ne privește pe toți, da.

* aparut in Zile si Nopti, martie 2020, intre timp Colectiv a fost propus la Oscar si se afla pe lista scurta la documentar, a primit premiul Academiei Europene de film pentru documentarul anului si e pe multe liste declarat unul din filmele cele mai bune din 2020 !!!

marți, 15 decembrie 2020

RIP John le Carré

John le Carré, the mastermind of classy spy novels, from the sixties up to now, died on Dec. 12 . He was 89. The spymaster novelist's real name was David Cromwell. The alstest adaptation of his work was an update of THe Little Drummer Girl, in a mini-series directed by Park Chan Wook in 2018. The author of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (The Smiley series), Russia House or The Night Manager had seen all his work on the big and small screen, starting with the Spy Who Came from the Cold (1965). His characters and intelligence univrese is an anti-James Bond one, with wit and deception instead of guns and martinis, betrayal and drama insteaad of glamour and sex. le Carré was. is and will be definetly one of the best and most infleuntial writers of the XX century. His obituary in Variety .

miercuri, 9 decembrie 2020

Tom Petty -Something Could Happen (SOTD)

Yesterday (40 years from john lennon's demise, I'm just making it a co-incidental) a new music video for an unrealeased Tom Petty song-Something Could Happen, from the album Wildflowers was out, together with a special livestream aabout his videos along the time (David Fricke from Rolling Stone moderates, Dave Edwards, directors Julian Temple Jeff Stein, Warren Fu, producer Anne-Marie Mackey and actress Lauren Cohan participate). Tom Petty died on Oct. 2 2017 and Wildflowers and the Rest is a posthomous boxset that incudes what was left out of his Wildflowers album in 1994. The heartfelt video of Something Could Happen is warmly directed by Warren Fu and starts the beautiful and delicate Lauren Cohan (Maggie from The Walking Dead series), and its basically a tribute to other iconic videos of Tom Petty, from Into the Great Wide Open to Mary Jane's Last Dance and so on. Its a very beautiful video, romantic, funny in a bittersweet way and emotional, which Tom himself would have loved. Great song too. His spirit is all over it ! I'm still psyched I got to see him live at least...

vineri, 4 decembrie 2020

Zappa (2020)

* What better day to watch a documentary (THE documentary! ) about the Sheik Yerbouthi of music, mr. Frank Zappa, the father of the Mothers of Invention and so many other mismashes and musical anarchies, jokes and revolutions ?

Cos in 1993, on Dec. 4th mr Zappa died, at the a very early age of 53 :(, so it's a cool commemoration right here. 

The film is made by Alex Winter, none other than Bill in the cult movies series Bill and Tedd,  which had a third fun entry this year (Bill and Ted Face the Music), but a director and documentary fillmaker in its own right. The doc, entitled Zappa, done for Showtime, is (til now) the most comperhensive document on the life and music of FZ. Fascinating stuff, especially for those who don't know much about FZ and are willing to learn. 

Highly recommended to FZ fans, music buffs  & the rest to whom it may Con-cern  ! 

vineri, 20 noiembrie 2020

Alice Cooper "Rock & Roll" (SOTD)

Just one week ago this new Alice Cooper song was released, "Rock & Roll" , from the upcoming album Detroit Stories, out on February 26th 2021.  For  week i'm struggling to post this but finally...

---The song sounded familliar , sure, why ? Its a cover of the Velvet Underground song  "Rock & Roll" , composed by Lou Reed in 1969 and out in 1970 in the album Loaded and a part of his later repertoire. So, investigating further, co s Alice changes New York station with Detroit station, surely, where Rock n roll was heard by Jenny, when she was 5 years old :) . There was a cover by Mitch Ryder with his band Detroit in 1972, with Detroit instead of NYC on the lyrics. So Alice's cover is more this one than Lou.  For completists, there's also a Runaways (The) cover of this song, with LA station instead of the mentioned above. Can't wait for more of Alice's Detroit Rock n roll stories...

Jenny said when she was just five years old
There was nothin' happ'nin' at all
Every time she puts on the radio
There was nothin' goin' down at all, not at all
Then one fine morning, she puts on a New York station
You know, she don't believe what she heard at all
She started shaking to that fine, fine music
You know, her life was saved by rock and roll.

miercuri, 11 noiembrie 2020

Accidentally Like a Martyr (SOTD)

 This just in, The War on Drugs released a cover of a legendary song by Warren Zevon, Accidentally Like a Martyr, so I have to post this as the song of the day, To-Day.  Its from their new live album,  DRUGS LIVE which will be released on Nov. 20.  Article in Pitchfork about this, here. 

The Warren Zevon iconic song was first published on his 1978 album Excitable Boy. Here is the original version.  

 “A song so simple and so true, you should ever be lucky to write a song that simple.”                                                                                                                                 Adam Granduciel  of TWOD

marți, 10 noiembrie 2020

Bensonhurst Blues -SOTD:(

Oscar Benton played Brezoi Open Air Blues Festival for the 1st and only time last year, July 21st. He was once before in Bucharest in 2013 (see here), when he had a comeback tour after almost 20 years break from stage.

Transilvania Blues was here and met the maestro. We talked about how Alain Delon got the rights for his 1973 hit song Bensonhurst Blues (composed originally by Artie Kaplan in 1971) and used in in Pour la Peau d'un flic (1981), mythical film to all Romanians, under the name it was shown in Romanian Theaters, Afacerea Pigot, back in 1983.

Baptised ad hoc `Bui Bui Bui` there's also a Romanian cover of this, by Margareta Pislaru (see it here) and another one by Aurelian Andreescu!!!

The song got a second life due to the Delon flick, in France and all Europe and was the Dutch artist most loved and famous song. Amazingly Oscar Benton never met Alain Delon then but he died November 8th 2020, on the French icon's 85th birthday. Benton was 71. That's a blues in itself....

There's also a video of Bensonhurst Blues in Breazoi from the backstage here. And the whole Brezoi live gig professionally filmed is here !

Here's to you Oscar and the Bensonhurt Blues in Eternity. RIP...

sâmbătă, 31 octombrie 2020

RIP Sean Connery

 The Bond to rule all James Bonds is no more :( 

Sean Connery died today at 90. He was one of the most iconic figures in cinema starting, as 007, starting with Doctor No in 1962. The image of Bond continued to pursue him all his life, no matter how much he tried to change or avoid it (as early as 1964 Hitchcock cast him in Marnie with uneven results). His last Bond film was You Only Live Twice in 1967 and George Lazenby came for one shot to take his place in On Her Majesty Secret Service. But the world didn't much care for Lazenby (now his film is considered among one of the best of not the best for some), so Connery came back for one more film, Diamonds are Forever, in 1971. Then in 1983 he was Bond again, the star of the unofficial remake of Thunderball, aptly named, Never Say Never Again. He was absolutely my favourite James Bond, the 1st I saw as Bond in Dr. NO, as it happened that I saw the 1st Bond as my first 007 film. 

Sir Connery, grand scotsman, won an Oscar (best supporting) for Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, as the stubborn Irish cop Malone. He was William de Baskerville in The Name of he Rose, played against type in Zardoz (one of my favourite curios which we played at Cinemateca Patria along with The Name...and on his birthday, August 25), The Hill, Robin and Marian (an aging Robin Hood!), The Man Who Would Be King, Murder in the Orient Express, The Wind and the Lion. He was  Indiana Jones father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, one dream made true for Spielberg and George Lucas, and  he was the Russian nuclear submarine captain (with a Scottish accent :) in The Hunt for the Red October ! In the 90's he was great in The Rock and his last film was The League of the Extraordinary Gentlemen in 2003, as Allan Quatermain. I loved him as Ramirez, the Spanish mentor of MacLeud in Highlander (1986) and he came back for Highlander 2, and his introduction there was great too (in the theatre where they played Hamlet). There can be only one... Sean Connery ! RIP  :(

luni, 26 octombrie 2020

Curtis Salgado: The Longer That I Live (SOTD)

 A new video by Curtis Salgado just in: The Longer That I Live.

Witty, Funny, upbeat, life-affirming. And he dances too,...:)

From his upcoming album Damage Control, due early 2021.

played for us for the 1st time in Brasov, Romania last November (14.11.2019) at the Rockstadt club and here is that whole concert on our youtube Transilvania Blues channel here !
Well done, Sir ! Can not wait for the new album and hope you will play it soon for us here !

sâmbătă, 17 octombrie 2020

The Hunting Party (1971)

 The Hunting Party (1971) is a curio, in the vein of exploitation and with touches of Italo Western, that violence and cynicism. Read about it for a long time but unseen til now.  I mean, Oliver Reed is the star and Gene Hackman supporting, can you believe it ? Well, in 1971 it was possible, Hackman becoming a big star the next year, with The French Connection and Reed following this after Women in love and Oliver ! Candice Bergen is rich Hackman's wife who Reed the bandit kidnaps ! One of the three films Bergen did in the 70's with Hackman !

Supporting cast with veternas of westerns, and Peckinpah cohorts, L.Q. Jones, G.D. Spradlin, Simon Oakland. One of the two theatrical films of TV director Don Medford (together with the Tibbs vehicle The Organisation-1972).  Slo-mo action a la Peckinpah. Alec Mills was the cameraman and Riz Ortolani made the music, giving the film more flavour of spaghetti, it was also shot in Almeria, Spain. 

3 stars out of 5 / 6 out of 10 !

aka Caza implacable; De jagade; Il giorno dei lunghi fucili; Leise weht der Wind des Todes; Les charognards

vineri, 16 octombrie 2020

Rutger Hauer on the set of Blade Runner

 Those were the days (and mostly nights :) !!!

                                    1981 -Rutger Hauer (Roy Batty) on the set of Blade Runner 

duminică, 11 octombrie 2020

Borat Strikes Back !

Borat 2– officially titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

 OCT. 23. Prime. In time for UnTrump the world. Great Succes (i hop) ! 

-filming again in Romania's village of Moroieni took place with adventures in July 2020. With Covid positive Roma extras ! And the famous gun rally sing-a-long mystery

is now solved ¬nuke'm up like in WW2¬, it was a Borat brave and crazy stunt, probably the most risque SBC ever pulled. Fist'em All :)
"While filming my latest Borat film, I showed up as a right-wing singer at a gun-rights rally in Washington State. When organizers finally stormed the stage, I rushed to a nearby get-away vehicle. An angry crowd blocked our way and started pounding on the vehicle with their fists. Under my overalls, I was wearing a bulletproof vest, but it felt inadequate with some people outside toting semiautomatic weapons. When someone ripped open the door to drag me out, I used my entire body weight to pull the door back shut until our vehicle maneuvered free."

Follow Borat's Twitter here !

Yagshimash !!

miercuri, 7 octombrie 2020

Remembering Eddie Van Halen

 on twitter here !

A So Cal original from the very beginnings !!!

Heartbroken and speechless. My love to the family.

DLR: What a Long Great Trip It’s Been..


 “To me, he was like Tesla or Louis Pasteur or Ray Kurzweil. He might not have been working with circuits or engines or whatnot. He was working with musical notes and guitar strings and bridges and amplifiers.” – Kirk Hammett

Crushed. So fucking crushed. RIP Eddie Van Halen. You changed our world. You were the Mozart of rock guitar. Travel safe rockstar.

RIP Eddie Van Halen

A Different Kind of Truth :( 

....Eddie, who made 1st history with Eruption and then Jamie's Crying, Atomic Punk, Ain't Talking bout Love, Running with the Devil, I'm the One (all on VH's 1st album in 1978)...and then Beat It, Jump, Panama, Hot for Teacher, Dreams, Why Can't This Be Love ?, When It's Love, Right Here Right Now came later...

...well, Edward Lodewjick Van Halen is gone...looong fight with the throat cancer, cancer finally won.  A real GIANT of Rock'n roll, one of  the top musicians of all time, absolutely my FAVED Guitar HERO a true GENIUS and one of the most virtuoso guitarists, hugely influential to say the least, but I never got to see him. Saw the rest of the band, minus Alex, with Chickenfoot in Paris at Olympia. But I still hoped I will see Eddie doing his bit of Eruption or Little Dreamer or Man on Mission on stage...Cathedral...

Hit hard the hurt chord...Goodbye Eddie ! A whole era is only 65...

                                                Edward Van Halen (26.01.1955-8.10.2020)

TMZ here via Vlad...

great interview with Eddie from 2012 in Esquire here !
and a GREAT 55 min. video masterclass at the Smithsonian in 2015 here and here:


joi, 24 septembrie 2020

Tenet (2020)

 Cel mai asteptat film al anului ? Time Inversion ? Tenet ? Cronica mea la noul film al lui Christopher Nolan pe Cinemap aici  !!! Sau textul meu in josul posterului !

*** la Brasov Tenet ruleaza la Cinema One !

Titlul e un palindrom care se referă la tenet ca la un principiu. 

ENG--a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.

Eroul este ”Protagonistul” (John David Washington), un agent secret trebuie să se adapteze și să devină un călător în timp pentru a preveni Sfârșitul lumii !

Cel mai așteptat film al anului ? Și cu cel mai mult secret în jurul său. Mai ales legat de subiect. Care oricum nu se poate povesti din cauza paradoxului temporal, care se explică foarte simplu într-unul din dialoguri, ”e un paradox”. În Tenet, noul opus al lui Christopher Nolan (Memento, Prestige, trilogia Dark Knight, Inception, Interstellar), el (scenarist, regizor, producător) crează un meta film de acțiune (și SF) în jurului unui nou concept vizual și filosofic, -Time inversion-inversiunea timpului, prezentat într-un mod virtuoz și ambițios cinematografic. Posibil să fie și să rămînă ca cel mai scump film de autor finanțat de vreun studio (Warner Bros.) vreodată.

Este (aproape) integral filmat în IMAX și 70 mm pe peliculă (din fericire fără 3D), cu nota pe două culori predominate, albastru și roșu. Este un pas (pas de deux) peste Inception (2010), cu care se aseamănă cel mai mult, dar acolo era acțiune în vis, aici e acțiune în 2 unități de timp, la o durată extrem de indulgentă (2 ore și jumătate), dar Tenet nu stă pe loc o clipă și acțiunea se mișcă din Ucraina în Anglia, Norvegia, Mumbai, Italia, Vietnam, în stilul filmelor cu acțiune-caleidoscop pe întreg mapamondul care l-au inspirat pe Nolan. Pentru că Tenet este un soi de James Bond temporal, cu un twist de science fiction. Efectele sunt fizice și nu CGI și asta îi crește ritmul și tensiunea, bătălia finală, reminiscentă de cea din Inception și de On Her majesty Secret Service (James Bond-ul din 1969 și unul din filmele preferate ale regizorului) durează prea mult și devine anti-climatică.

Elementele forte ca de obicei într-un film de Christopher Nolan sunt imaginea (de elvețianul Hoyte Van Hoytema -colaboratorul regizorului de la Interstellar și Dunkirk), montajul, un sound design exploziv și muzica, paroxistică, de data asta compusă de Ludwig Göransson (Black Panther, Creed) și nu de Hans Zimmer (deși e destul de zimmerească :).

Distribuția e interesantă, eclectică, cu John David Washington în rolul Protagonistului -e fiul lui Denzel Washington, și a jucat în BlackKKlansman. Robert Pattison este partenerul său, Kenneth Branagh este oligarhul rus Andrei Sator, mega negativul cu accent dur, Elisabeth Debicki (Widows) este frumusețea rece și elegantă, iar Michael Caine, la a 8-a colaborare cu Nolan, are din păcate o singură scenă.

Tenet se vede la cinema, pentru că SE POATE. Și pentru că acolo trebuie și merită văzut (amînat din iulie, a ieșit finalmente în septembrie, primul blockbuster de după pandemic). Și cred că trebuie văzut de 2 ori, pentru ca să înțelegi țesătura inversiunii temporale. Asta dacă pretențiile grave narative și mambo jumbo-ul nu te pierd de prima dată. Nu este lovitura proaspătă din Inception, e o senzație undeva de deja vu, dar probabail ca asta ține de paradoxul acela temporal....în orice caz cred că e mai James Bond ca No Time To Die....

*** 1/2/ 3 1/2 stele din 5  / 7 out of 10 !!!