Now Playing Lykke Li – No Rest For The Wicked [Short Film]

 

 

Director: Tarik Saleh

Lykke Li
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Why Actors Act Out – James Franco on Shia LaBeouf’s Recent Antics

Singer and actor Shia LaBeouf

American actor and director Shia LaBeouf

Excellent piece by James Franco!

The New York Times
By JAMES FRANCO, FEB. 19, 2014

THE recent erratic behavior of Shia LaBeouf, the 27-year-old actor best known as the star of the “Transformers” movies, has sent the press into a feeding frenzy. Though the wisdom of some of his actions may seem questionable, as an actor and artist I’m inclined to take an empathetic view of his conduct.

Let’s review the facts. First, in December, Mr. LaBeouf was accused of plagiarism after critics noted similarities between “Howard Cantour.com,” a short film he created, and a story by the graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. Though Mr. LaBeouf apologized on Twitter, conceding that he had “neglected to follow proper accreditation,” it turned out that the apology itself appropriated someone else’s writing. Was that clever or pathological?

Then, earlier this month, with these actions focusing the tabloid gaze on him, he wore a paper bag over his head that read “I am not famous anymore” at the red-carpet premiere of his latest movie, “Nymphomaniac.” And last week he staged an art show called “#IAmSorry” that involved having him sit opposite visitors to a Los Angeles gallery while he wore a similar bag over his head and stared at them through cutout eye holes.

This behavior could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness. For Mr. LaBeouf’s sake I hope it is nothing serious. Indeed I hope — and, yes, I know that this idea has pretentious or just plain ridiculous overtones — that his actions are intended as a piece of performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.

Actors have been lashing out against their profession and its grip on their public images since at least Marlon Brando. Brando’s performances revolutionized American acting precisely because he didn’t seem to be “performing,” in the sense that he wasn’t putting something on as much as he was being. Off-screen he defied the studio system’s control over his image, allowing his weight to fluctuate, choosing roles that were considered beneath him and turning down the Oscar for best actor in 1973. These were acts of rebellion against an industry that practically forces an actor to identify with his persona while at the same time repeatedly wresting it from him.

At times I have felt the need to dissociate myself from my work and public image. In 2009, when I joined the soap opera “General Hospital” at the same time as I was working on films that would receive Oscar nominations and other critical acclaim, my decision was in part an effort to jar expectations of what a film actor does and to undermine the tacit — or not so tacit — hierarchy of entertainment.

As an actor, you are often in the uncomfortable position of being the most visible part of a project while having the least amount of say over its final form. In one of the most striking scenes in “I’m Still Here,” a 2010 film co-written by Joaquin Phoenix that purported to document his life as he retired from acting and became a hip-hop artist, Mr. Phoenix paced around his yard at night, ranting about the submissiveness of being an actor. Even if the conceit was ultimately a joke (and initially it wasn’t clear that it was, for Mr. Phoenix stayed in character in public throughout the filming), the movie was nonetheless earnest about an actor’s need to take back a little bit of power over his image by making such a film.

Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.

Participating in this call and response is a kind of critique, a way to show up the media by allowing their oversize responses to essentially trivial actions to reveal the emptiness of their raison d’être. Believe me, this game of peek-a-boo can be very addictive.

Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult. I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist.

James Franco is an actor.

Film Comment’s Essential Cinema: “Gravity”

Gravity (2013) Sandra Bullock

Gravity (2013)
Sandra Bullock

The winner of Best Director at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards last night, Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is also among the 15 selections for Film Comment’s Essential Cinema series. Co-written by indexhis son Jonás, Cuarón’s film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival before screening at the Telluride Film Festival and being released in IMAX 3D to much financial and critical success across the country.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in the film as astronauts who encounter several malfunctions and misfortunes while in space, with Bullock’s character becoming helplessly stranded in the process. The fim has been praised for its visual effects and lead performance from Bullock, who has received nominations from the Golden Globes, SAG awards and BAFTA for her turn here.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney

Writing for Film Comment, Scott Foundas extolled the film’s bold employment of sound.

No, this isn’t The Artist in space, although Gravity shares its DNA with an even earlier strain of silent cinema than the one referenced by that Oscar-garlanded bauble. There are voices here (belonging to two big movie stars, Sandra Bullock and George Clooney), heard in plosive bursts over radio headsets, and there are sound effects and music—bold adagio strings, in fact, from the journeyman film composer Steven Price—all of it designed to take full advantage of Atmos, the latest iteration of the Dolby sound system. But even then, the movie’s fundamental disposition remains subjective: you hear—or feel, in great, thunderous eruptions—things as Bullock’s novice astronaut does, inside her spacesuit, cast adrift by a sudden storm of debris, floating through the universe. You are there.

Gravity is currently playing in theaters and appears to be a strong contender for multiple Academy Award nominations when they were announced this Thursday morning.

Posted by Erik Luers on January 13, 2014 in The Season

Stone Roses ‘Made of Stone’ Trailer Tracks Band’s Triumphant Return

The Stone Roses

The Stone Roses

Warm and energetic, Shane Meadows’s love letter to the Stone Roses may be his best film so far.

A documentary about the English alternative rock band, The Stone Roses.

After 15 years apart, the Stone Roses regrouped in 2011 for a reunion many thought would never happen. By the next year, they were touring the world with renewed vigor, and the band continues to push on in its second life. In the new documentary The Stone Roses: Made of Stone, director Shane Meadows traces the band’s history and reunion as the musicians prepared for a string of homecoming shows in Manchester last June.

As a fan, Meadows doesn’t just focus on the present – he’s also bringing the Stone Roses’ storied past to light. Footage of the band’s sudden rise and aggravated dissolution fill the backdrop of one of British rock’s most massive reunions.

The Stone Roses: Made of Stone premiered May 30th in Manchester, and on June 5th in the U.K. and Ireland. So far there’s no U.S. release scheduled.

Watch Nine Inch Nails debut two new songs: “Find My Way” and “Copy of A”

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As part of their comeback, which includes new single “Came Back Haunted” and new LP Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails will soon hit the road for the first time in four years. Trent Reznor and Co. will be appearing at summer festivals worldwide before embarking on a fall arena tour. Today, the band mark their live return with a performance at Fuji Rock Festival. Fortunately those without excellent SkyMiles can watch the set in its entirety via YouTube starting at 7:30 a.m. central time.

Update 3: Audio of another song entitled “Copy of A” has surfaced:

Update 2: Footage of a new Hesitation Marks song has emerged. Check out “Find My Way” below.

Update: The stream is not available in the U.S. According to the band’s publicist, “U.S. fans will have to wait until Lollapalooza to see the NIN set.”

According to a recent interview with The New York Times, Reznor indicated that NIN’s current stage setup is quite the elaborate and complex endeavor, featuring “smoke, strobe lights and video screens on wheels”, all of which are precisely choreographed “to avoid collisions and tangled power cords.”

The show is to begin with Reznor alone on stage, as the rest of the band slowly take the stage and form around him. Renzor confessed the visuals and effects — which will change for the fall tour — were inspired by the Talking Heads’ 1983 world tour, as seen in the film Stop Making Sense.

“We’re always pushing the envelope,” Roy Bennet, the band’s lighting and production designer, told NYT. “We’re always trying to make people think and keep them on edge and keep them wondering what’s going on.”

Hesitation Marks is due out September 3rd via Columbia. Consult NIN’s full schedule below.

Nine Inch Nails 2013 Tour Dates:
07/26 – Niigata Prefecture, JP @ Fuji Rock Festival
07/28 – Ansan, KR @ Ansan Valley Festival
08/02 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/09-11 – San Francisco, CA @ Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
08/15 – Kiewit, BE @ Pukkelpop
08/16 – Biddinghuizen, NL @ Lowlands Festival
08/18 – Hockenheim, DE @ Rock ‘n’ Heim
08/21 – Belfast, IE @ Belsonic Festival
08/23 – Leeds, UK @ Leeds Festival
08/24 – Saint-Cloud, FR @ Rock en Seine
08/25 – Reading, UK @ Reading Festival
08/28 – Milan, IT @ Mediolanum Forum $
08/31-09/01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America
09/28 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center *
09/30 – Kansas City, MO @ Sprint Center *
10/01 – St. Louis, MO @ Chaifetz Arena *
10/03 – Montreal, QC @ Centre Bell *
10/04 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre *
10/05 – Cleveland, OH @ Wolstein Center *
10/07 – Auburn Hills, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills *
10/08 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Petersen Events Center *
10/11 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden #
10/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Barclays Center #
10/15 – Newark, NJ @ Prudential Center #
10/18 – Washington, DC @ Verizon Center #
10/19 – University Park, PA @ Bryce Jordan Center #
10/22 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena #
10/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Philips Arena #
10/25-27 – Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Summit
10/30 – Sunrise, FL @ BB&T Center ^
10/31 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center ^
11/01-03 – New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Experience
11/05 – San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center *
11/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center *
11/09 – Phoenix, AZ @ US Airways Center *
11/11 – El Paso, TX @ Don Haskins Center *
11/13 – Broomfield, CO @ 1st Bank Center *
11/15 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint *
11/16 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint *
11/18 – Portland, OR @ Rose Garden Arena *
11/19 – Spokane, WA @ Spokane Arena *
11/21 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena *
11/22 – Seattle, WA @ KeyArena *
11/24 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place ^
11/25 – Calgary, AB @ Scotiabank Saddledome ^

$ = w/ Tomahawk
* = w/ Explosions in the Sky
# = w/ Godspeed You! Black Emperor
^ = w/ Support TBA

Watch the David Lynch-directed video for “Came Back Haunted”:

Pearl Jam First trailer for ‘Pearl Jam Twenty’

Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after their rise to megastardom, their step back from center stage, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, the film is carved from over 1,200 hours of rarely-seen and never-before seen footage spanning the band’s career. Pearl Jam Twenty is the definitive portrait of Pearl Jam: part concert film, part intimate insider-hang, part testimonial to the power of music and uncompromising artists.

About the Filmmaker

CAMERON CROWE, Director, Writer, Producer
At Age 13 Cameron Crowe began his professional life as a music critic, writing for magazines such as Creem and Crawdaddy, and at 15, became a staff writer for Rolling Stone. In 1979, Crowe (then 22) went undercover as a Southern California high schooler for his book, Fast Times at Ridgemont High. He then wrote the screenplay for the film upon which it was based. In 1989, Crowe made his feature film directorial debut with Say Anything…. His other films include Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown and Almost Famous, which earned him an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay. His newest narrative film, We Bought A Zoo, starring Matt Damon, will be released in December 2011.

Credits:

Pearl Jam:
Jeff Ament, Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready and Eddie Vedder

Written and Directed by:
Cameron Crowe

Produced by:
Cameron Crowe, Kelly Curtis, Andy Fischer and Morgan Neville

Executive Producer:
Michele Anthony

Pre-Order Soundtrack and Book at pj20.com/pre-order/

The first full trailer for Pearl Jam Twenty, Cameron Crowe’s documentary about the Seattle rockers, has finally arrived. In just under three minutes, the clip provides a small glimpse into over 1,200 hours of footage from the Pearl Jam vaults, including an awkward yet amazing Q&A between Eddie Vedder and David Lynch, video from early rehearsals and a seemingly endless series of stage dives and smashed guitars. The movie will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 10th, open in major cities on September 20th and air on PBS as part of their American Masters series on October 21st.