If music was ever made in the heavens, this is it. A mix of Celtic, folk, blues, jazz and rock. You've never heard anything quite like Van Morrison's Astral Weeks. It's a dreamy record and possibly my favourite one ever. To listen to it is to get immersed in its dream world where nothing makes sense but everything does. Renowned Rock critic Lester Bangs supposedly locked himself up in his final days of madness and all he would listen to in his surreal state was Astral Weeks. To listen to this record is to experience something unique and surreal. At one point during a song, Morrison keeps repeating 'You breathe in, you breathe out' countless times. You have no idea what he means but there's a spiritual sense that he truly believes in whatever he's saying and that he's getting into something highly spiritual and revealing. As the weekend starts- there's no better record that captures an Irish summer at its dreamy best.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I consider Borat one of the better comedies we've had this decade- it delved into our society and made a proven point that bigotry still exists no matter where you go. Not only was it funny but it was smart and highly reminescent of 17th centruy Irish satirist Jonathan Swift. Bruno is the same -albeit more vulgar- setup but it doesn't feel as fresh and its mean spiritedness gets to be a bit too much. Ok, To tell you the truth I was too distracted with this awesome girl sitting right next to me in the theatre- but that's another story. From what I did see of Bruno, it is everything you'd expect from Sacha Baron Cohen- it's crude, vulgar, mean and highly graphic. At one point during the film he vows to be 'The biggest austrian celebrity since Hitler'- yea it's just that kind of a movie. I don't think I've ever seen this many penises in a Hollywood film before. I also have no idea how he ended up interviewing a Hamas terrorist -calling Osama a 'sleeveless wizard' in the process- and pitching a TV show to NBC execs with a talking Penis. On a side note, that very same terrorist ended up threatening Cohen on Al Qaeda just a day ago and putting a bounty on his head. Even worse is the finale, where Bruno ends up fighting a cage match in a homophobic filled Alabama arena- This is essentially what the film is about: Shock value. Sometimes Cohen forgets about his goal to satirize/smarten up his subject and instead gets lost in his own bewildered wonder to entertain. It's a mess of a movie- or I could have just been highly distracted by the girl sitting next to me.
Ah yes, a face only a mother could love. Flipping through channels the other night, I stumbled upon a film I had seen many years ago- Throw Momma Off The Train. A dark -and incredibly strange- comedy about a man that has the most despicable and repulsive mother imaginable and ends up hatching a plot to try & kill her. Althought it was a highly forgettable romp back when I saw it many eons ago, I cannot help but remember Anne Ramsey Playing Momma- she is absolutely, terrifyingly funny and will haunt any decent human beings dreams. Just look at that horrid face. In no way shape or form did I continue watching it the other night but I just have to lay it out to people that this movie DOES actually exist.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
'I'd rather be black than gay because when you're black you don't have to tell your mother.'
It took me a while to finally get to watch this one. As with any film that is 'Gay Themed', the mainstream audience will undoubtedly talk about the scenes where Sean Penn sleeps with James Franco instead of actually focusing on the theme and emotion of the story. Same thing happened with Brokeback Mountain-a far less superior film to Milk. Both films are conventional and both films deal with what it is to be queer in America. I always go back to the saying 'Closets are for clothes' in which the dealing of homosexuality is given an abrupt and unequivocal challenge.
Penn Plays Gay Civil Rights leader and -first openly gay politician- Harvey Milk. He won an Oscar for it and there's not enough praise to let you know it's the sweetest, most endearing performance of his career. I never thought I'd see Sean Penn kiss so many men but there he is, Gay as a kite and you believe in his sincerity, his honesty and his humble gestures. A gay friend of mine admitted that he had a few 'Oprah like' moments watching the film because 'that was our history on screen, the struggle and the continuation of it'. That is precisely why a movie like Milk is important, People can deny hatred all they want but that does not mean it ceases to exist and there can only be continuation to the ignorance- it's everywhere. Just look at the marriage bans all across the states and the countless Religious zealots that still believe in it being a disease. I guess you can call this an important film.
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