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 maldad (2023)

Might just be the horror of the year.

Argentinian. Cuando acecha la maldad. 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 Beatles-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....