vineri, 1 decembrie 2023

Furiosa (2024)


The prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road and the spin-off just got a date and a trailer, that looks amazing. 

George Miller is back at what he does best, after his Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) being not so longed for. 

I like he's named "Mastermind" in the promotion for the film.  It seems that the budget of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga was over 200 mill,. $ and it was shot again in Australia, the biggest production there ever. Warner Bros. distribute. Tom Holkenborg scores again. Chris Hemsworth is the baddie, aptly named Dementus, there will be more of Rictus Erectus, Immortan Joe, The Organic Mechanic and the War boy. Let's see what joy can Anya Taylor-Joy (pun intended;) can bring to the character. After all, she was a Witch, a Norse, android Morgan, mutant Magik and on the Menu...the gambit chess series I did not see.

I bet the film will open Out of Competition at next Cannes Film Festival. In Australia it opens May 23 2024, in the US on May 24th. I guess Romania will join the list. 

                                                     Le trailer, out on Dec. 1st -Oh, What a Lovely Day (redux) !!!!

joi, 30 noiembrie 2023

RIP Shane MacGowan

He did his share, my share, your share, everyone 's share....Shane, Shane, Shane...

Shane MacGowan dead at 65...his last years were tough as his health was in tatters...I saw him in Dublin in June 2019 when The Pretenders opened for Fleetwood Mac and Chrissie Hynde brought him on stage to do an emotional upbeat cover of "I Got You, Babe" with Shane. He was in a wheelchair :(, touching moment that now has a totally different value...(u can see the video here )

Shane was the lead of Irish Celtic punk band The Pogues. Just to be clear.... Founded in King's Cross, London, in 1982, as Pogue Mahone – an anglicisation of the Irish Gaelic phrase póg mo thóin, meaning "kiss my arse".

Amazingly they pulled one of the most beloved Xmas songs, Fairytale of New York. Like a drunken Tom Waits song, featuring the singer Kirsty Mc Call who died in a freak accident in  2000 at 41!!!!    For me it wasn't this one or One Rainy Night in Soho, but Summer in Siam. And Dirty Old Town

Later on they kicked Shane out of the band for not showing up too many times. That was in 1991 in Japan. He started another band, Shane MacGowan and the Popes. The Pogues dissolved in 1996.They put on two albums without Shane. They regrouped in 2001 with MacGowan, playing hecticly 'til 2014. During the '00's MacGowan started doing heroin, when booze and smokes were not enough. Sinead O'Connor denounced him to the coppers. MacGowan didn't mind. He knew she, troubled mate soul of his, was right. Well, she died before him  (this July no less) and was only 56. Since 2015 he was permanenetly in a wheelchair. He had viral encephalitis but he died of tuberculosis.

Shane MacGowan was born on Christmas, on Dec. 25, 1957. He died on the night of November 30, at 3.30 am. We were partying Pogues style. Life...

Obit in The Guardian, here. And a grand (really!!!) rare interview also in The Guardian, here.

And just found out there is a documentary about him, produced by Johnny Depp and directed by Julian Temple, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, released in 2020. Special Award of the  Jury at San Sebastian festival that year. Watching it tonight, the rounds we had last night with crazy and manic friends, just the way Shane would've loved to go...

                                         “I could have been someone… Well so could anyone.”

check for his art book, decadent and silly, The Eternal Buzz and the Crock of Gold.

duminică, 19 noiembrie 2023

When Evil Lurks/ Cuando Acecha la Maldada(2023)

Might just be the horror of the year.

Argentinian. Cuando Acecha la Maldada. Aka When Evil Lurks. 

Written and directed by Demian Rugna, whose Aterrados (Terrified), I saw at BIFF in 2018.

Last year's best film at Sitges. 

cool atmospheric music by Pablo Fuu (some guitar droning reminscent of Apocalyptica & Rodrigo & Gabriela)

Shades of Lucio Fulci (Gates of Hell, The Beyond), as in Aterrados, the Children from Who can kill a Child? (1976), Carpenter's Prince of Darkness. 

vineri, 17 noiembrie 2023

LMA Martin Scorsese (81)

Marty is 81 today. And somehow he managed to make one of his best films this year, Killers of the Flower Moon, an grand epic piece of Americana, the closest to the westerns as he ever got. My (introductive) piece on the film here. And a great interview after a screening of the film at the DGA, where Marty is interviewed by his old pal, Steven Spielberg. Much more than a regular by the numbers on film, Scorsese talks about the human existence, the not so dark side of evil and life choices. 

And back to LMA (La multi ani as in Happy Birthday;),

Love this pic, taken on "Bobby" De Niro's 80th Birthday, August 17, this year. Coppola, Marty (with a white wine) and Lucas, three on a couch, and some guy in Lucas' ear. 

marți, 14 noiembrie 2023

RIP Michel Ciment

communique du Festival de Cannes:

The great critic and writer Michel Ciment passed away yesterday at the age of 85, leaving cinema bereft of his words.

Michel Ciment was the Chief Editor of Positif magazine, the producer and host of the program Projection privée on France Culture until 2016, a critic for over fifty years on Le Masque et la Plume on France Inter and a lecturer at the University of Paris-VII. Additionally, he authored many reference books on cinema, notably on Stanley Kubrick, Elia Kazan, Joseph Losey, Francesco Rosi and Jane Campion. Michel Ciment had dedicated his life to passing on his knowledge and passion for the seventh art. A free spirit with an insatiable curiosity, he was the embodiment of cinephilia, embracing all types cinemas and never leaving any film aside.

He continued to explore world cinema right up to the end, particularly at the Festival de Cannes, where he never missed an edition, tirelessly going from press screenings to gala screenings, pacing the Bazin, Debussy, Buñuel and Lumière theaters... His opinions, both enlightened and strong, clear-cut and inflexible, meant a great deal and his voice resounded in the corridors of the Palais des Festivals at the end of each screening, amongst his attentive colleagues. Michel set the tone, in France and abroad. His death should remind us all of the importance of his legacy, and the need for ardent and resistant film review.

The Festival de Cannes without Michel Ciment will never be quite the same. We will miss him. And so will cinema.

I read Ciment's book on John Boorman (out in 1986) when I was in Denmark's EFC -1995/96,  (Boorman's tribute here), I met him in Berlin during Tavernier's In the Electric Mist and saw him moderate in Cannes the Quentin Tarantino Lecon du cinema and many other lectures. 
His historic interview/essay book on Stanley Kubrick (1980), was one that opened the doors of the SK myth to the public eye. 

sâmbătă, 11 noiembrie 2023

The Killer (2023)

"Execution is Everything".

It can stand for the director's demo & credo and his team on this one. 

The Killer, David Fincher's new endeavor for Netflix  (after Mank and the Mindhunter series) is a longtime project of his, since 2007. Based on the French Graphic Novel (and now there's 13 of 'em), Le Tueur/The Killer, written by Alexis Nolent (Matz), drawed by Luc Jacamon, published by Casterman, starting with 1998. The whole series are available to view here.

But there's not much left from the original source as I could study a bit. The series are very cool, the film by Fincher doesn't honor them, it just takes its cue from it. The script is a deconstruction of the genre, much less elliptic and less experimental than Jarmusch's failure with The Limits of Control.

A bit of existentialism like in the old The Mechanic (1972), by Lewis John Carlino. But here you get instead of Bosch, music by The Smiths. Of course every step of Alain Delon from Le Samourai to Scorpio. The hat is odd, the product placement is odder, the rhythm is the oddest, very much off, of course on purpose. 

And more off: Half of the film is the killer himself, aka Michael Fassbender. With aliases like Felix Under, or George Jefferson, and other comedic alter-egos;), Fassbender is not to be dealt with. Or double-crossed. It's all in his stream-of-consciousness narration. Or is it? 

Brilliant sound design by Ren Klyce (& music which is also sound design, by the Usual Suspects, Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross), as The Killer is more a film to listen to than to see. Or to see and don't believe what you see.....

One scene, the fight is very much like in Haywire (2011, Steven Soderbergh), which Fincher admits as an influence, and Fassbender was in it. Dirty and loud and I couldn't wait to end. Obscene, by all means. Then there's Tilda Swinton, like it or not but the scene with her drinking a sea of whiskeys is the very off , like a classic of another genre, the gentlemanish thriller with suave hitmen and femme fatales. The end of the scene ain't pretty though. 

vineri, 3 noiembrie 2023

The Beatlles-Now and Then (2023!!!!) -SOTD

 Incredible but tru "I know it's true...").  Not Song of the day but more like Song of the Year !

Best songs this year by The Stones and The Beatles, and it's 2023 !!!

Released y-day. I guess this will really be the last Beatles song...

the video today. Directed by Peter Jackson, who directed the incredible Beatles doc with footage unseen, Get Back.

Now and Then's eventful journey to fruition took place over five decades and is the product of conversations and collaborations between the four Beatles that go on to this day. The long mythologised John Lennon demo was first worked on in February 1995 by Paul, George and Ringo as part of The Beatles Anthology project but it remained unfinished, partly because of the impossible technological challenges involved in working with the vocal John had recorded on tape in the 1970s. For years it looked like the song could never be completed. But in 2022 there was a stroke of serendipity. A software system developed by Peter Jackson and his team, used throughout the production of the documentary series Get Back, finally opened the way for the uncoupling of John’s vocal from his piano part. As a result, the original recording could be brought to life and worked on anew with contributions from all four Beatles. This remarkable story of musical archaeology reflects The Beatles’ endless creative curiosity and shared fascination with technology. It marks the completion of the last recording that John, Paul and George and Ringo will get to make together and celebrates the legacy of the foremost and most influential band in popular music history.

% the amazing making of -took alamost 50 years to get this done....

sâmbătă, 21 octombrie 2023

Killers of the Flower Moon (2023)

"They die young"

The Alamo of epic, meaningful and beautiful moviemaking.
Killers of the Flower Moon is an instant American classic.
Would do a great double bill with There will be Blood.
Retribution and revolution, makes a stand for the American natives more than most films I can think of (Little Big Man, Dances with Wolves, Geronimo, etc.)
For me it's the best Scorsese film since Casino (I'd say that film 'cos it's epic and I saw it again this year and it was a blast-getting better with age- and I never liked the way The Departed was edited, never agreed morally with The Wolf of Wall Street, The Irishman lost me on the de-aging, loved the esthetics of Shutter Island but Scorsese disowns the film-!-). 
At 206 min. it could've been even longer (again my one hundred and fifty cents;) 
Reminded my of immortal doomed then, now essential films of films like The Godfather, Heaven's Gate, Once Upon a Time in America, those where every frame spent on film makes you wanna yearn for more. As I wrote above, meaningful.
Beware, the real film does not start 'til min 70, it's the longest exposition I've witnessed in a theater maybe ever, ?, 
Based on David Wann's 2017 non-fiction book on the true story of what happened in Osage County in the twenties of the last century. oil, greed, poison, murder, power play, manipulation,  conspiracy, touch of evil, a Macbeth/Shakespearianlike drama of twisted turn to the dark side.

Best of KotFN:
This is a very heavy film made by a man who is soon 81 years old. Kudos. It feels young at heart and justified.
Di Caprio (6th film with Marty, 21 years after Gangs of NY), plays on the edge, De Niro (tenth collaboration, 50 years+), also at his most evil (ex aqueo with Angel Heart & The Untouchables where he was at the opposite, haven't seen him so restrained in a long time)the ensemble cast plus some cameos (musicians Charlie Musselwaite, Jack White, Pete Yorn, and Martin Scorsese himself, in his most heartfelt appearance yet).
Highest point: it's the Last score of Robbie Robertson  (he was part Indian-Six Nations- so he was proud to do this film- and definetly at most his personal and best. "Still Standing" is a grand song and a lawful legacy. 
Magnificent cinematography, again by Rodrigo Pietro, set design by legendary Terry Malick's attachee Jack Fisk (born 1945 -another similitude with There Will Be Blood whose production designer he also was, but this is Fisk's first film with Scorsese though !!!).
Editing by Thelma Schoonmaker (82!!!), Marty's collaborator for all his life & work.
      In memory of Robbie Robertson


vineri, 20 octombrie 2023

Hackney Diamonds (out 2day) !!!

I'm listening to Hackney Diamonds 'til morning and I think it's really great! Listening before to the 2 singles- to Angry to the point of overexposure, then liked the Lady Gaga/Stevie Wonder song. Sweet Sounds of Heaven. 
Ok, ten new songs were waiting. Special brut prosecco/spumante opened (Aragosta), and here we go (again-st;)

Who would ever believe The Stones would pull this out in 2023 ???
Now there's guest spots from old friends like Paul McCartney (Bite My Head off, on bass, for the 1st time on Stones record!) and Elton John (Live by the Sword and Get Close, Elton on piano). 
Whole Wide World is more a new wave-punk song, the most pop-ish here.
Driving Me Too Hard, another power riff.
Mess it Ups funky rthythm reminded me of Emotional Rescue and that period songs. 
Some cool country vibes on Dreamy Skies.
And the Keef special, Tell me Straight, another warm truth seeking statement. 
For the grand finale, The Rolling Stone Blues, a Muddy Waters song from 1950 and a worthy coda, true to both artists' legacy and legend.

Charlie Watts is still here, present on drums on Mess it Up and Live by the Sword, both recorded in 2019. Live by the Sword gets also Bill Wyman on bass. 
The rest is done with the Stones old cahoot Darryl Jones on and Steve Jordan on drums. The album is produced by Andrew Watt (ecclectic American producer known as Watt who for me is the guy behind Ozzy' Ordinary Man and Patient no. 9 and Iggy's latest, Every Loser), who contributed on three songs as a composer.
Critics have given Hackney Diamonds positive reviews and several have remarked that it is their strongest album in multiple decades. Long time til 2005 and better and stabler sound and songwriting.
The album's name is London slang for the shattered glass left behind after burglars have smashed a window to break in, Hackney being an inner-city area of London associated with a high crime rate.

I totally agree, it's much much better than A Bigger Bang and Bridges to Babylon, i have a softer spot for Voodoo Lounge though. 
"Happy"?, would ask Keef. Yes, sireee ;)
Worth another special bubbly ;) Noroc !!!
Guess I gotta see ya guys again next year!!! Who would've believe it though? 

miercuri, 18 octombrie 2023

Saw X (2023)

Tobin Bell is for the 1st time the lead in SAW X, the tenth film of the infamous porn torture gimmick McGyver franchise started in 2004 by Aussies ex-pats James Wan and Leigh Whannell. This is a smart sequel, set after Saw and before some events from that film and before Saw 2, and considered to be the best of all in the series, except the original, cos' yep, that was the 1st.

Bell is John Kramer, better known as Jigsaw. Now in Mexico in the seek for a cure for his brain cancer.

Bell is a great veteran character actor who's career has been turned up to cult status and stardom with the Jigsaw character. He is 81 now, and also a very good balladeer. See here. He looks fragile now and somehow reminds me of Clint Eastwood. He's also the reason I went to see this film, with great precaution, being ready to leave the theater if i get too bored or offended. But the screening was like a heavy metal concert of sorts. Dumb but loud, and sometimes fun. 

A strong asset of this Xth entry is blonde Norwegian actress Synnøve Macody Lund, as Cecilia Pederson, a worthy adversary for John.
 Pulsating score again by Charlie Clouser (ex Nine Inch Nails), the creator of the film signature theme, that brought a lot of thrill and production value to a very B first film. Also Shawnee Smith returns as Amanda, and another surprise cameo which I won't spoil here will turn up on the mid end credits. 

Directed by the editor of the series, Kevin Greutert, who is also the editor here. He directed also Saw VI and Saw 3D in the franchise.

Here's a history of the Saw franchise. 

or video- the films 1 to 9 explained on youtube here.

and the ratings of imdb for each film.


Never thought I will see another Saw film in a theater, I guess I saw only the first Saw in the cinema, and then also another title from the franchise, can't remember which one, probably no. 2 or 3, and saw Jigsaw and Spiral (#8 & 9) at home but wasn't impressed. Skipped at least half of the films. Now, as far as I can guess, the Saw franchise and spin-offs are far to be done and will come back with more bloody gimmicks and R rated traps. 

3 out of 5. 6 out of 10. 

marți, 17 octombrie 2023

Peter Gabriel's i/o cover photo

This is the cover image of the new PETER GABRIEL album "i/o".  Photo by Nadav Kander.

PETER GABRIEL's "i/o" is an album that took more than 20 years to become reality.

The album is out on December, after the last full moon of this year. 

Peter's been releasing a new song every full moon of 2023, a masterstroke of promotion & marketing which was never performed before. As for the cover, it's a work of art and it follows the thematic cover art of PG, one of the best and most consistent artworks of a modern artist who happens to work in the musical field. 

A collection of PG's album covers artworks here.

The Making of "i/o": or here

luni, 16 octombrie 2023

Libertate / Freedom (2023)

 cronica in românește aici

And now, in ingles...

Libertate/Freedom -a necessary film

The fifth cinema feature by Tudor Giurgiu (Despre oameni și melci/About people and Snails, Why Me?), has a strong theme that hurt us (and still hurts). The Sibiu events of December 1989 were not told until now on film.

2 million bullets were shot (!!!) , 99 people died and 272 were wounded, 522 persons suspected as terrorists were illegally detained in a swimming pool of the Sibiu Military Unit 01512, last of them freed only on February 1st 1990. It was complete chaos & hellfire and there were the most casualties in the country, after the ones in Bucharest.

A very tough and a very necessary film. 
In 33 years after the ”Point Zero” there was only one important film about the ”Revolution”, Hîrtia va fi albastră/The paper will be Blue, by Radu Muntean (2006), and in the same year a satirical view of it-A fost sau nu afost/12:08 East of Bucharest, by Corneliu Porumboiu. Together with a documentary (a bit abstract and experimental) Videograme dintr-o revoluție/Videograms of a Revolution, by Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki in 1992 (you can see it on youtube and it's even more relevant today!). 

A prestigious ensemble cast, a whole generation of actors (I won't name names out of respect for all of them-I counted 27 parts of equal importance) a detailed research that took 4 years and a half (script written by Giurgiu with Cecilia Ștefănescu based on an idea by Nap Toader), set design (Vali Ighiceanu), costumes (Viorica Petrovici-update: Libertate just won the Award for best costumes and sets at the Waterloo Historical Film Festival, bravo!), and high production values, dynamic, violent hand-held photography by Alex Sterian, alert editing (Reka Lemhenyi), a prophetic and ironic title in the same time, not necessarily in the search for a Cathartic Truth, but a naturalist remake with the feeling and shape of a documentary. No one is condemned, there is no personal judgement, just what is puzzling all of us and is found in the films subtext -why did this happen and mostly, can it happen again?

To be seen -definitely in cinemas (October 6th in theaters across the country).

Alin Ludu Dumbravă -Culturama nr. 3, octombrie 2023

Libertate (2023)

Libertate -un film necesar*

*această cronichetă a apărut în print în ziarul Culturama al Băncii de Cultură Apollonia, nr. 3, ediția octombrie 2023.

aceiasi cronica, in engleza, aici. 

Al cincilea lungmetraj de cinema a lui Tudor Giurgiu (Despre oameni și melci, De ce eu?), preia o te gravă și care încă ne doare (și ne va mai durea). Evenimentele de la Sibiu din decembrie 1989 nu au mai fost povestite până acum. S-au tras 2 milione de gloanțe (!!!) , au murit 99 de oameni și alți 272 au fost răniți, 522 de persoane considerate teroriști au fost reținute ilegal într-un bazin gol al unității militare 01512, ultimii din ei fiind eliberați abia pe 1 februarie 1990, a fost haos total, au fost cei mai mulți morți din țară, după București.

Un film foarte dur, și un film absolut necesar. În 33 de ani de la ”Punctul Zero” a fost făcut un singur film important despre ”Revoluție”, Hîrtia va fi albastră de Radu Muntean (2006), și în același an un film-pamflet, A fost sau nu a fost, al lui Corneliu Porumboiu. Alături de un puternic documentar (dar puțin abstract și experimental) Videograme dintr-o revoluție, de Andrei Ujică și Harun Farocki din 1992 (filmul se poate vedea pe youtube și este mai cutremurător azi decît la data premierei!).

Distribuție de ansamblu, o generație întreagă de actori (nu am să numesc niciunul din respect pentru fiecare -am numărat 27 de roluri de egală importanță), o documentare minuțioasă care a durat patru ani și jumătate (scenariu scris de Giurgiu alături de Cecilia Ștefănescu după o idee de Nap Toader), scenografie (Vali Ighiceanu), costume (Viorica Petrovici-update, Liberatate tocmai a luat premiu pentru cele mai bune costume și decoruri la festivalul Filmului istoric de la Waterloo, bravo!) și o producție minuțioasă, imagine dinamică din mână, violentă, de Alex Sterian, montaj alert (Reka Lemhenyi), un titlu profetic și ironic în același timp, nu neapărat în căutarea unui Adevăr catartic, ci o reconstituire naturalistă cu aspect și tentă de documentar, fără a condamna pe nimeni, fără a emite judecăți personale, decît aceea care ne macină pe toți și care se găsește în subtextul filmului, de ce a trebuit să se întâmple asta și mai ales, se poate întîmpla din nou?

De văzut neapărat -și de văzut în cinema (din 6 octombrie în toată țara).

Alin Ludu Dumbravă

-critic de film-

*** Coda***sau P.S. (16.10.23, well, wasn't the best day, but the coldest til now..)

Mi s-a pus în vedere că mai sunt și alte filme despre ”Revoluție”, Cum mi-am petrecut sfîrșitul lumii al lui Cătălin Mitulescu, tot din 2006 nu e despre asta ci despre copilarie și Stare de fapt (1995) regia Stere Gulea, co-scenarist (sau "dupa o idee de") Lucian Pintilie !, despre care chiar uitasem, e un film isteric, sordid și cam periferic, răfuială cu securiștii. Dar dacă le vreți și pe astea de ce nu vorbim și de 15 de Sergiu Nicolaescu (2005) și chiar Punctul Zero (1996), unde avem reconstituirea execuției Ceaușeștilor. Atîta s-a putut...:D

Nu suntem într-un film de Nicolaescu”, e replica din filmul lui Giurgiu. Nu, nu suntem. Suntem (aici) de mii de ani și într-o etapă nouă acum de 33 de ani într-un film prost. Se numește (I)Realitate mioritică. Libertatea e doar (sau ”decât”) un concept frumos, eteric, iluziv, escapist. Liber, adică dezlegare la pește...

duminică, 15 octombrie 2023

Hârtia va fi albastră / The Paper will be Blue (2006)

Apropo de Libertate de Tudor Giurgiu, acum pe ecrane (cronica mea din ziarul de Brașov Culturama aici și în engleză aici), iată și cronica la celalat film despre ”Revolutie”, Hârtia va fi albastră de Radu Muntean, cu premiera pe 13 octombrie 2006 (i was there ;). Articolul a apărut atunci în revista Șapte Seri. Dacă vă interesează și Porumboiu, A fost sau n-a fost, cronica mea din epocă, tot Șapte Seri, e aici.


Hîrtia e foarte albastră - Hîrtia va fi albastră 

 de Alin Ludu Dumbravă

 Şapte Seri / octombrie 2006

"There's no time No time to remember these days No time to hold back in that size We don't have no time, no time, no time... No time for revolution!" 

                                                              Falco - No Time for Revolution

Atenţiune, atenţiune! Film nou românesc! Iară cu revoluţia? Da, dar nu iară şi nu din nou, ci pentru prima dată... despre cei ce au băgat în stradă în noaptea de 22-23 decembrie, în capitala acestei ţări numită pe atunci R.S.R. (Republica Socialistă România), cei ce au murit de-an pixul la acea circotecă datorită căreia azi poţi să-ţi iei maşină în leasing şi să culegi căpşuni în spaniolă. Aşa zisa "Revoluţie", minunata lovitură de stat bazată pe zvonistică, fum fără foc şi foc fără fum, scăpată de sub control datorită unor tineri entuziaşti. Mulţi dintre ei n-au mai apucat să se entuziasmeze de a doua zi încolo, nici măcar să se deprime. Pentru cei care au avut ghinion, în confuzia generală, prezentată realist de Radu Muntean (la al doilea film de cinema, după Furia), 22-23 a fost o noapte fatală, nu "Conu' Leonida faţă cu reacţiunea". Ţţţţţ, noroc că a fost cald. Că altfel, dacă erau minus 30 de grade, se ducea de râpă tot evenimentul. Aah, şi să nu uit, era mai cald afară ca înăuntru.

OK. Precizări. Hîrtia va fi albastră e un film Important. Dur. Minimalist. Docu-dramă. Lumina de atunci, străzile sumbre, camera tremurată, dar foarte puţin, culorile desaturate (bravo Tudor Lucaciu). Nu mă aştept să se bată lumea pe bilete, pentru că aud zvonuri cum că "iară cu revoluţia, dom'le, ne laşi, au trecut 16 ani". Da, au trecut şi iată, un copil de 16 ani, nenăscut în tomberonul lui Ceaşcă, poate să afle şi el câte ceva. Să vadă primul film cu adevărat despre "noaptea cea mai lungă". Într-un stil narativ alert, cu miez şi point. Să afle de unde vine ciunga şi coca cola aia, că nu scrie pe net şi messenger! Eu cam atât aş avea de spus. Să-i ducă la film, cu clasa, de la şcoală. Aşa cum erau duşi elevii să facă cu mâna Cârmaciului, cînd trecea pe drum, sau cum recoltau cartofi, ca să avem agricultură. Am şi o problemă, una singură în unghi subiectiv şi muzical, genericul final cu Nana Mouskouri şi corul sclavilor. Mă aşteptam de la Radu la ceva gen Scorsese în Goodfellas, unde cântă Sid Vicious My Way, adică ceva mai punk, gen Zob cu o variantă la Deşteaptă-te, Române, sau varianta mea (că se discută în film despre Amadeus-ul austriac, RIP), No Time for Revolution. OK. După film am intrat într-o tutungerie-alimentară, butic, chiar în spatele Ateneului Român pe care scrie Molière, Franklin etc, şi era ca pe vremuri, salam, cu menţiunea fără soia. În continuare la noi hîrtia e foarte albastră. Nu ca cea de turnesol, că nu-şi schimbă culoarea, asemeni cameleonului naţional.

sâmbătă, 9 septembrie 2023

Oppenheimer (2023) en Roumain ;)

 acest articol -semi-cronică- trebuia sa apară în print. It didn't. 

Așa că apare aici, adică moare pe limba lui...


Sindromul Oppenheimer

de Alin Ludu Dumbravă

more here (also in ingles):

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy?

Sting -Russians (1985)

Din aceste versuri a auzit englezul Christopher Nolan la 15 ani despre un anume Oppenheimer și jucăria lui mortală. Piesa de pe albumul de debut al lui Sting, cu acorduri din Stravinski. Ceea ce ne leagă cumva pentru că și eu am auzit tot de acolo de el și la vremea lui mi-a plăcut imens piesa. Era în plin război rece iar noi eram după Cortina cea mai de fier.

Azi Chris Nolan este unul din cei mai titrați regizori din lume, cu succese în filme și genuri diferite, cu teme însă extrem de similare- memoria falsă-Memento, reinventarea unui mit din romanele grafice cult: trilogia Batman, teleportare -The Prestige, realitatea visului-Inception, paradoxul temporal-Interstellar, război pe trei planuri paralele-Dunkirk, inversie temporală-Tenet) și acum a devenit autorul unui biopic mult aștepata despre fizicianul american J. Robert Oppenheimer, creatorul bombei atomice. Oppenheimer este de departe cel mai ambițios film al anului. Și de aproape poate cel mai important film al lui Nolan. Și e un film foarte necesar pentru ziua de azi. Cillian Murphy în rolul titular, rolul vieții. Distribuție de ansamblu de vis. Durată epică, 3 ore pe ceas. Succes financiar și de critică-uriaș. Zvon de Oscar, sunt sigur că va fi considerat ”cel mai bun film” la Oscar anul viitor. Plus multe alte acolade.


Sper ca Greta Gerwig, prima femeie care a regizat un film care a depăsit plafonul de 100 de miliarde de $ încasări mondiale -anume Barbie) să nu îl prade însă pe Nolan de Oscar. În orice caz istoriei nu îi va păsa.

După cum a spus-o Paul Schrader, unul din marii scenariști și regizori din Noul Cinema American (de la Taxi Driver la Master Gardner), ”Oppenheimer este cel mai bun și mai important film al acestui secol”. De ce a considerat Scharder asta? Are legatură cu bomba atomică și cu proiectul Manhattan, sau doar pentru faptul că un asemenea ”film biografic” despre un subiect greu-fizicieni atomici, McCharthysm, moralitate, resposabilitate și povara istoriei, nu a mai fost făcut și pare ireal că e produs azi de un mare studio american. Oppenheimer face rapel în temă și subiect la un mare film clasic, Amadeus (1984, Milos Forman), referitor la relația fizicianului cu politicanul Lewis Strauss (un Robert Downey Jr. și el în rolul vieții), gîlceava între geniu și mediocritate. O poveste tristă care pare incredibilă, și ea este baza structurii filmului lui Nolan, văzut dintr-un unghi subiectiv de către personajul central și în lungi secvențe alb-negru de către nemesisul său. Poate și de aici acest uriaș interes mondial față de film, subiect și universul prezentat.

Re: sunet și imagine-vă sfătuiesc să mergeți la IMAX la București dacă sunteți prin zonă, a fost filmat cu camere IMAX 70 mm. Iar referitor la muzică și sunet, la plîngerea multora că sunt prea bombastice, aceasta a fost și intenția.

Sunt uimit de câtă lume l-a văzut, dar sunt și mai uimit de cîtă lume nu l-a văzut încă. Mai veți timp în cinema. Mai rulează, datorită succesului de public uluitor (în România l-au văzut peste 470 de mii de oameni). O lună jumătate și 865 de milioane de dolari mai rziu (filmul a costat 100 de milioane de dolari plus tot pe atâta investiție în marketing și distribuție), bomba cinematografică, estetică (și filosofică) a lui Nolan continuă să explodeze peste tot în lume. 

In 1965, twenty years after the dropping of the bombs, Oppenehimer did an interview for The Decision to Drop the Bomb. Speaking with NBC News, he delivered his famous lines: We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed. A few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince that he should do his duty, and, to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now, I am become Death, the Destroyer of Worlds.” I supposed we all thought that, one way or another.

miercuri, 6 septembrie 2023

Angry-The Rolling Stones (SOTD)

ANGRY, the 1st video from the first Rolling Stones album in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds, dropped at the Launch of the album 1 hour ago in London! 

It features American actress Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria, 'Snake" in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), looking hot and lose, being driven around L.A. and the Stones, a younger version, play from all the famous Billboards in the city. It's a riff on the 1995 "Love is Strong" video, directed by David Fincher. Also check it out- every billboard is either an album cover, a video or another significant icon of the band. 

The Angry video is directed by Francois Rousselet, who directed 2016's Stones video of Ride 'em all Down (from the "Blue and Lonsesome" Blues covers album). 

Hackney Diamonds (2023)

The Rolling Stones just announced live their first album in 18 years (following 2005's A Bigger Bang!) It's their 24th British album (and US 26th) !!!

HACKNEY DIAMONDS,  well, 59 years after their 1st album.

It's their first album without Charlie Watts (some tracks were recorded with him)

Here's the live event on you tube: 

(it all starts at minus 44 min. in) 

Hosted by Jimmy Fallon !  See here the whole album presented in conversation with Jimmy F !

New single and video, "Angry" !!!

The 12 track album will be released worldwide on 20th October 2023.

The Stones have released in the last years new songs: 

during the lockdown, Living in A Ghost Town (April 2020), 

Criss Cross (July 2020) & Scarlet (August, 2020)

vineri, 1 septembrie 2023

The Equalizer 3 (2023)

The Equaliser 3 is more like Man on Fire 2.

Also because it reunites Denzel and Dakota Fanning after 19 years after Man on Fire, the Tony Scott film based on A.J. Quinnel book. 

Actually Equaliser 3 might be more violent than MoF, more like the Italian poliziotteschi of the 70's, in the vein of Fernando Di Leo and Sergio Sollima's films. 

Denzel is great, better than in the other two, meaner, wiser, deeper. Amazingly he shot this at 67 years of age (he will be 69 this December). Hard physical work, very much like his character, Robert McCall, "Roberto".  

This time the film is set in Sicily and Italy, Naples, Altamonte, Rome. Beautiful locations, great supporting local actors, mean Camorra bad guys. 

Written by Richard Wenk (16 Blocks, ), like the other two. 

Happy to see Remo Girone in such a nice part. Dottore Enzo, a good guy for the man who fascinated me me in the early Nineties as Tano Cariddi in La Piovra series. Last time I saw Girone as Enzo Ferrari in Ford v Ferrari/Le Mans '66, another very nice part. But I remember him being in an episode of Killing Eve and doing nothing more than being part of the scenery.

The best of the series imo (they are based on The Equaliser TV series) , was very disappointed by the Second one (2018), and the first one (2014) was ok, but that's all. Expected more from Fuqua and Denzel re-teaming (this is their Fifth project together), they did greater stuff before (Training Day), and worse (The Magnificent Seven remake), so this is a plus for their re-match. Also it's supposed to be "The Final Chapter", as advertised.

Biggest asset, Robert Richardson stepping in as DOP, major change, the shadows, flares and the darkness are superb !

Also Marcelo Zarvos did a great job as the composer of the score, taking his cue from Harry Gregson-Williams who did the previous two  film scores and the theme of the EQ. Zarvos pushes a very poignant new Eq theme, loud and urgent, like an angry Sonar, a la Trent Reznor & Nine Inch nails.  The rest of the score is very dramatic, with classic cues and symphonic orchestrations, a Sicilian theme reminiscent of The Godfather, some Turandot ("Nessun Dorma") and it made me happy to hear the Sacha Distel's song, La Belle Vie in a less turbulent moment of the picture. 

You can listen to the whole soundtrack here.

I couldn't give a s*it about the end credits song (Monster 2.0) though. 

Final showdown very much Scarface like, even the line is there: 

liked this one, as spoken by Remo Girone: "They're like Cancer. and like Cancer, there's no Cure". 

Well, there is. 

And It's called "Roberto' McCall. 

Wiki here. 

Spolier***there's a clue on who the Dakota Fanning character is, related to the Plummers, Bill Pullman & Melissa Leo, very important for the plot in Eq 1 & 2, they can be seen on a photograph next to Fanning's bed.

3 1/2 out of 5, 7 out of 10/Seven out of Ten. 

miercuri, 30 august 2023

Michael Mann's Ferrari (2023)

 Now in Venice Film Festival ! In Competition !!!

Adam Driver eats more spaghetti and chews again uno accente italiano after being in Ridley Scott's House of Gucci ;).

Now he is Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's long in the works biopic. Mann, who is now 80 !!! wanted to make this film from the early Nineties, first with Robert De Niro as Ferrari, then in 2016 he was about to shoot it with Christian Bale. Bale did get to play in Le Mans/Ford v Ferrari a Formula One English pilot Ken Miles. Michael Mann was the executive producer on Mangold's 2019 film, where Enzo Ferrari was played by cult actor Remo Girone (Tano Cariddi in La Piovra series, now on The Equaliser 3). Mann then cast Hugh Jackman as Ferrari but he finally shot the film last year with the properly named Driver, Adam ;)

US Release date: Dec. 25 2023. 

Romanian release TBA.

Trailer out Today:

luni, 28 august 2023

Alice Cooper - Road (2023)

“I know you’re looking for a real good time. So, let me introduce you to a friend of mine. I’m Alice.

I’m the Master of Madness; the Sultan of Surprise…so don’t be afraid, just look into my eyes.”

(I'm Alice", song #1)


The new album from The Coop,  my favourite shocker-still the punk riot teenage rascal at 75!!!,s

Just saw him 3 months ago again with 'em Hollywood Vampires.

Out on August 25t, his 22nd studio album !!! following "Detroit Stories", issued in 2021. 

Again produced by his "partner in crime", Bob Ezrin, it's a very simple rock 'n roll concept, life (& death) on The Road (=touring).

Guitars: Ryan Roxie, Tommy Henricksen and Nita Strauss.

guest: Tom Morello on "White Line Frankenstein"

“White Line Frankenstein is a monster that we created. It’s a truck driver who’s been out there a long time. He's the king of the road. He doesn't live in a house. He lives in that truck,” Alice says. “In the song, this surreal tough guy is driving on white lines for his whole life. So, ‘White Line Frankenstein’ would be his CB handle. It’s monstrous and definitely a stage song.”

politically incorrect song: "Big Boobs", most fun and so are Alice's comments on the Woke movement, so he just got fired from the cosmetics firm he advertised. 

my favourite, introspective 110 More Miles (#12, and last song). 

cheesiest song, the obligatory ballad, Baby, Please Don't Go -not so much...

Bonus, #13, a personal energetic rendition of The Who's Magic Bus (The Who being Alice's favourite band...)

AllMusic review here: 4 stars out of five.


you can find the album on all here.

vineri, 18 august 2023

Bluesferatu -work in progress

Be afraid...

Be very Afraid

Be wery wery af raid ;)


101 years later

Nosferatu is back in his homeland...

Transylvania, but Transilvania Blues...







eine symphonie des blues

(a symphony of Blues)


what more do you want? B. THERE!!!


                            the musicians liking their stuff...Watzy & Yokko at InkMusic on 16.08.23

marți, 15 august 2023

Sympathy for the Devil (2023)

The great contender for The Nicolas Cage Award of 2023 is this thriller in which The Cage eats and chews scenery more than Gary Oldman in the 2003 Tony Scott BMW film Beat the Devil with James Brown. I mean Cage is great as Dracula in Renfield but that movie sucked :( bigtime also. 

The only bummer with Sympathy for the Devil (2023)is it features no Rolling Stones song. Not even a cover. Well, the director, Yuval Adler, said it would've cost more than is post production budget...It has a great song and a great moment in Fat City by Alan Vega, Alex Chilton and Ben Vaughn from their Cubist Blues Sessions that reminded me of the vibe and the score in Wild at Heart (1990) though.

Cage opposite restrained Joel Kinnaman

Definetly a real summer (& winter) treat ! 

miercuri, 9 august 2023

RIP Robbie Robertson

 sad day today, even sadder than 2 days ago when Billy Friedkin passed...

Sixto Rodriguez is gone also (but that was y-day on the 8th)...

just spoke about The Band 2 days ago, considered by many the best band ever, and last year or so I saw the doc focusing on Robbie Robertson's and The Band, Once Were Brothers...he was one of the Great ones, played with Bob,  probably Scorsese's best friend in the seventies and more, he's rejoining Levon Helm, Richard Manuel and Rick Danko on that Last Waltz...all dead but as Neil says it, not forgotten...

listen to Beautiful Madness from his SINEMATIC album, a very personal one...also loved Robbie's work for Marty, his album from 2011, How To Become Clairvoyant, and his theme song for The Irishman (2019) also Rememberance, the second song, also from Sinematic.

His final score will be heard this fall when Scorsese's latest KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON releases.

and here's Scorsese tribute to the Man, in Esquire....

luni, 7 august 2023

RIP William Friedkin

The French Connection 

The Exorcist



To Live and Die in L.A.

Rules of Engagement

The Hunted


Killer Joe

One of my top favorite directors and much more than that, he had crossed the final bridge today. 

William "Hurricane Billy" Friedkin was 1987...He won the Oscar for directing in 1972 for The French Connection, at that time being the youngest recipient of the award at 33.

Met him thrice in Cannes, in 2006 with Bug at the American Pavillion, in 2007 at the Quinzaine with Cruising and nine years later in 2016 in Bunuel at La Lecon du Cinema. 

Friedkin had recently completed “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jason Clarke. His now-final film will premiere in September at the 80th Venice International Film Festival.

respects from the Industry here

Francis Ford Coppola took to Instagram to pay tribute to Friedkin, who he called “a giant of a man.”

“William Friedkin was my first friend among the filmmakers of my generation and I grieve for the loss of a much-loved companion,” Coppola said. “His accomplishments in Cinema are extraordinary and unique. He is the only colleague I knew whose work actually saved a man’s life (‘The People v. Paul Cruimp’). Billy’s work represents true milestones in Cinema, a list which will never be forgotten; certainly ‘The French Connection,’ ‘The Exorcist’ and ‘Sorcerer,’ but all of his films are alive with his genius. Pick any of them out of a hat and you’ll be dazzled. His lovable, irascible personality was cover for a beautiful, brilliant, deep-feeling giant of a man. It’s very hard to grasp that I will never enjoy his company again, but his work will at least stand in for him.”