Category Archives: Music/Film/Art

A Single Shot (2013) [Film Review]

Over the last several years I have tended to avoid films that have an artsy or overtly emotional streak, or just a sort of high drama in general due to the fact that when it is poorly executed it is a massive waste of time and even when it is well done it most often only succeeds in making the viewer feel crumby. A Single Shot is just such a film with great potential to come out either way.

The film opens with a long, wonderfully shot sequence that sets the tone of the entire film (which is full of brilliant cinematography) when the hunter (Sam Rockwell) ends up mistaking a woman for a deer and shooting her which progressively leads to him discovering a massive amount of cash nearby that would seemingly appear to solve all of his past problems but, quite predictably, only starts a whole new string of them.

Great pains are taken to hammer home the stereotype of what seems to be hopeless Appalachia even though the film is shot in Vancouver, Canada (which provides an absolutely gorgeous setting). At times the film seems to exaggerate the meaninglessness of backwoods Americana; the accents and rough use of language portraying the ignorant backwoodsman is ceaseless giving a lingering feeling of melancholic hopelessness that we are supposed to believe is the great backdrop of rural poverty. At times in the film it was hard to determine whether or not the main character, ‘John Moon,’ was living in a poorly constructed shack or truly it was formerly his family’s home (the director seemed to want it both ways).

The dialog has the same issues as the dual natured portrayal of the home… It is so far gone into Hick-mode it cannot help but be surprising when one actually pays attention to the words and they sound craftily created by a New Yorker trying desperately to re-interpret proverbial country wisdom and re-insert it into the mouths of rednecks…

But… The movie kept a good pace after the long and somewhat drawn out introductory scene. Things escalate properly and the viewer is drawn into a series of twists and turns that keep a hungry mind occupied. Perhaps some of the archetypes and stereotypes can be forgiven due to the proper execution of the plot… And maybe, just maybe, there is something refreshing about a film that is willing to give some Black & White portrayal of events and avoid the seemingly boundless gray area that pop culture seems to obsess with these days when it comes to moral judgment.

The plot isn’t extremely new,.. Wealth leading to turning people’s lives upside down was the theme of the recent memorable film No Country For Old Men (2007) and Puff Daddy’s 1997 smash hit Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

And let us not forget William Robert Thornton’s A Simple Pla(1998)…

 

Overall, 8/10. I found it highly entertaining and it set a great pace; the detracting points of it were hardly enough to ruin it. I was surprised, actually, that it received such low votes on IMDB (5.3), entirely underrated and unwarranted.

—————— SPOILERS BELOW ——————–

Pay close attention to the ending… I am still mulling it over. I think the ending did a poor job of attempting to be ‘inconclusive’ more or less, because the conclusion should be obvious with regards to how they set up. Oh, brilliantly rich in symbolism, of course, and I can see why someone would want to take it that way… But one also asks: Why can’t we have nice things?!

Often times these movies are ruined in part by not letting the tragic story just conclude at some point… Why heap tragedy on tragedy? Oh, THE SYMBOLISM, of course, but isn’t that what the previous 100 minutes of the movie is for? Does the end always have to come to such dramatics?

Apparently.

Macklemore, the Establishment Chooses You.

One of the great mistakes that people make in their youth is view popular musical figures (or any popular figures in general) as having meaningful messages meant to change society in a way that the ‘Man’ doesn’t approve of. This myth largely grew out of the idea that the protest and hippie cultural movement of the sixties was an entirely legit ideological vanguard of young people standing up for what they believe and changing the course of history. It was people power.

People power endorsed entirely by major corporations that printed the records, manufactured the clothes and chose the stars of the Revolution; people power that was profitable and controllable.

What people really fail to see: the Establishment in post-WWII industrial society no longer had its power base in Nationhood or cultural values, but was established entirely through the tax base and influences of the rich elite who bought & sold elections, who bought & sold cultures, who bought & sold wars and States.

Macklemore has had his special moment: he is now vetted and officially recognized by the Establishment as a dependable darling, a cash cow, and a cultural mouthpiece:

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis took their first Grammy Awards by storm.

The duo was named best new artist Sunday night, and they also won three major rap awards: best performance and best song for Thrift Shop and best album for The Heist.

“Before there was any media, before there was any buzz, before there was a story, there was our fans,” Macklemore said when accepting the award for best new artist. “Without them, there would be no us.”

USA Today

The new Queen of Rap extends a finger to the masses he attributes to his success; maybe, just maybe, he is that stupid and blind by his own self-righteousness to believe that it was an endless fight to get where they were today and the small fan base from the Northwest was pivotal and playing this role; he ignores the fact that he is a young, white, Suburban artist who is catering to the exact formula necessary to remove Hip Hop from the angry, black Urban base into something relatable to the masses… A pro-gay, plastic Paddie Pride album; hailing the hipsters who go to thrift shops for quirky & fun outfits…

An ironic stance against consumerism. Hopelessly ironic like a mustache on a fixie bike peddling gentleman with a postman’s bag on his hip. The weird jest of a snooty, popular girl before she takes her Glamour Shots for High School graduation.

Macklemore, show us your Thrift Store glamour shots:

(this image comes from MTV style)

The young man has the Look, he appears as a hopeless cross between a Williamsberg Elite & a man, a rapper; he has the Message, the strange hodgepodge of political & social consciousness directly aligned with the will of the Youth and the playful cool that sells the records. And he has the Color: a White Man who can speak, act and posture with the attitude of a rapper, but who is also hopelessly lily white — a trustable liberal with no divided allegiances that would ever lead to a Lauryn Hill moment of black nationalism.

The Hunger Games films hinted at something important: the way that entertainment can be used as a mechanism by the Elites to manipulate the political & social attitudes of the masses. Naturally, only a fool would get their ideas on rebellion from a major Hollywood film (V for Vendetta protest masks are such an embarrassment), but obviously the idea is correct: the Entertainment industry, as opposed to standing as an independent wing that calls itself ‘critical of the Establishment,’ is a mere part of the Establishment. The financiers of these $200 million dollar films, the operators and advertisers of MTV and every major network, are the Etablishment, and the Entertainment Industry is the Cultural Wing of the Elites.

Everything, yes, everything: a carefully crafted message meant to influence the masses. And after decades of hard work they no longer have to influence even the Artists — as the Artists come pre-packaged and nursed from birth by the Entertainment industry, and they arrive on the scene with their views fully conformed to Entertainment Industry norms.

The Establishment knows their recipe: they keep the people interested with new styles, new sounds, and they move them closer and closer to a helpless, fractured consumerist society whose entire basis of existence is cultural consumption. Every political message aimed at the ‘liberation’ of one segment of society is aimed more at the destruction of traditionalist conceptions of morality, behavior and culture; a concise and complete assault upon thousands of years of accumulated Western culture.

Cultural Marxism was never a threat to the Capitalist movement: it was the will. The cultural revolution was never a cultural revolution; it was a series of cultural reforms orchestrated by the establishment just as any policy is — largely completed in secret and without the knowledge of the masses until it was too late.

Why? Because the attitudes of conservatives always prioritized the Tradition over money, and Tradition over ‘progress,’ making them the natural enemies of both the Near Left (the free market orientated Capitalists) and the Far Left (that hodgepodge of a hundred ideologies). Through the destruction of tradition both parties achieve their ultimate goal by rendering the people hopelessly impotent and disjointed.

This is also what the Establishment Historians & Media focus on: portraying anything remotely linked to traditionalist views as barbaric, Nazi and ‘pre-Enlightenment’ (as if a word of such illuminating beauty was ever meant to apply to the non-spiritual). By this, they seek to discredit every challenge to the post-industrial world order.

Macklemore, Lady Gaga, Nirvana, the Beatles and the whole of the Flower Power movement were never the revolutionary vanguard against the status quo; they were the flowing lifeblood of the Consumer Capitalism machine aimed at goading the people out of their Ideals and into their Pockets. 

They are the soundtrack of decadence, the Will of the Bankers & the Voice of the Youth crawling out of the diseased wombs of yesteryear to carry on the march to amoral utilitarian consumerism — where the government taxes the middle class to feed the poor, and the poor spend it all at McDonalds.

Pay more attention to this theme throughout 2014.

IU The Most Searched On Google Korea

I have always enjoyed little quips of entertainment news… Simply because I have never seen the full point of it. It is also amazing how these things can be the most sought after pieces of information even though there are major scandals going on such as the alleged election rigging that happened on the 10.26 election coming into the full light.

It has been an insane year in Korean politics but still, these are apparently what we have the average Korean people demonstrating their interests in:

Google Korea revealed that IU was the most searched singer on the website for the past year, as confirmed by their current statistics. Last Friday, Google Korea revealed that they have made categories per country of the most searched keywords.

According to Google’s Zeitgeist, IU was the most searched keyword for 2011, which was followed by “Nonghyup internet banking” and Samsung’s Galaxy S in second and third respectively. Other keywords making it onto their list were the dramas “Secret Garden” and “Dream High.” Girls’ Generation and popular program ” I Am a Singer” also made it on the list.

kpopmusic.om

Not cool… People should not invest so much attention in that which is trite.

Furthermore, “I Am A Singer” is a literal translation of 나는 가수다.However, it does not strike me as being a great translation as, in English, it seems to have almost a juvenile sounding name based off of the mere way we use our language. It would probably be best if it remained untranslated and was merely referend to by its Korean name, and then perhaps described.

For whatever Korean Korean media has a rich history of poorly choosing their words and their presentation in English.

Contagion (the Film)

I have waited for a good film about diseases for a while… For whatever reason, I have loved every film about disease that I have watched… I find it fascinating when nature comes to be able to dominate humans. I also enjoy the aspect of a disease spreading and seeing how it can be transmitted through people.

They also tend to be great films with no stereotyped bad guys to ruin it; Hollywood usually makes their bad guys horribly stereotypical or just bizarre & bad.

Disease films also often show the irrationality of fear better than any other film, and they often show how things can devolve into chaos.

Unfortunately… There are very few of these films, unless you count Zombie movies, which are, for the most part, not similar, with the exceptions perhaps of 28 Days Later and I Am Legend. But as far as disease films go, there is And The Band Played On as well as Outbreak, both of which are terrific…

Contagion lives up to the standard set by them and I feel is an excellent watch from start to finish. I hope that it can somehow inspire more films of this genre that is grossly ignored. Several times over the last decade I had wondered why no one had written a film similar to that of Outbreak but now, finally, we have another one.

Go watch it as soon as you can.

Nokturnal Mortum – “Nechrist” (1999)

I have lately been rocking this classic 1999 album from a very sweet pagan-influenced Black Metal band, Nokturnal Mortum, which is one of their more seminal works loved worldwide.

The recording of guitars is often quite lo-fi, and the additions of other traditional instruments makes the whole thing really come alive and adds what seems like a whole different layer to… Well, everything.

It is a must have album for anyone into metal or interested in it.

link  (mediafire)

(Thrash Metal) Fog Of War – “Fog Of War” (2009)

Fog Of War s/t

Band: Fog Of War

Album: Fog Of War

Year: 2009

Genre: Thrash

Lyrical Themes: Destruction, death, war, beer, moshing

Location: California, USA

A very excellent album to go jogging to. All the songs are pretty catchy and very few of them give me the boring, dragging on impression that you sometimes fall victim to with thrash metal albums. I was utterly shocked that to date they only have 11,916 scrobbles on last.fm even though they have a very polished, clean, awesome sound.

If they cannot make it… Who can?

Excellent album — highly recommended even to people who are not that into metal. It is really an excellent find — totally sweet album.

Download (Mediafire)

I was shocked to see that as of now they only have 11,916

Holding.Rabbits — My Friend’s Very Good Indie-Rockish Project

When I received this album from Josh Nelson, a close friend and a very clever guy, I was very surprised… The album is very lovingly and beautifully recorded and Josh’s voice is very smooth and truly good by any objective mark.

From start to finish it is a good listen — and no, no exaggeration here on behalf of my friend. But rather, an honest and objective opinion.

I normally do not listen to this music, as you know, but I have been playing this album a lot since I received it. It defies the genre particularly because Josh is a musician who does not shoot for a genre but rather he aims to capture a particular sound or a particular style of recording. In fact, at points he does capture the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds feeling which inspired him greatly.

Particularly the Track  Damn, IMiss The 90’s is well written and I feel is something that I can relate to on a generational level. We grew up hearing the lamentations of those older than us of how great the 80s was but indeed I haven’t heard the 90s plugged enough. Each decade gives a certain something to its youth, and is a memorable and nostalgic time for those who were there.

The other track, Holding Rabbits, is an amazingly written and sad song which is something that I think all of us can relate to; he manages to capture the innocence of youth and the experiences we had with animals, while at the same time singing beautifully about love and loss.

I generally do not listen to this kind of music, as I have already said, and so I am always impressed whenever I hear something outside of Black Metal and/or the giant family of Punk/Oi/Hardcore, and enjoy it. The lyrics, the singing and the melodies are all terrific.

You can download the album for free by simply putting a big, fat “0” in the price to pay, but if you do have a bit of cash take some time to put in a number. He would appreciate it as he has devoted much of his life to music (and by default much of his bank account).

It is a great album — and I will be paying close attention to all of his work in the future.

Download

패티김 trot collection…

Patty Kim is a pretty excellent trot singer. I really enjoy her songs 그대 없이는못 살아; 서울의 찬가;내 작은가슴에; 사랑이란 두글자… etc.

This is a pretty solid collection and she was probably the first trot singer that I really enjoyed, back in the day, 2004.

I think most people could enjoy this compilation of Patty Kim’s best  music…

As a note, I theorize that she was the first Korean singer that they attempted to popularize in the West. They had her perform for the 8th Army and even had her use an English name in spite of the fact that she has no songs in English, to my knowledge, nor even a solitary English word.

I have always found this phenomenon amusing…

Link

Камаедзiца — Elite Belarussian Metal For Your Prussian Crusades

Камаедзiца or… “Kamaedzitca” is a Belarussian metal band that is chalk full of the typical Pagan/Folk themes but, for whatever reason, tends to also merit ‘black metal’ being attached to it. I am not sure why… That is just what you do when you do Pagan & Folk Metal; you arbitrarily throw in ‘Black’ to the tagging of the band. Then so be it.

This album is particularly worth sharing because the production quality is good, as is the use of folk instruments. The vocals are incredibly dynamic and I just enjoy the structure and melody of the songs.

The album has a very powerful feeling and if you dim the lights, knock back a beer and think of medieval Eastern Europe it is what I imagine to be a perfect soundtrack for the Baltic Slavic pagans fighting off the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century…

(Basically, this is the soundtrack to the Prussian crusade, give or take a few guitars.)

You can download it here.

Arafel – For Battles Once Fought (Israeli “Folk” Black Metal)

Arafel is an Israeli ‘Folk Black Metal’ band, whatever that means, and it transcends the genre quite well and is quite pleasing to the ears. I really enjoyed the music and think that it is listenable to a wide range of people so I think you would not be displeased if you gave it download. 

No extremism or craziness — normal quality recording, not the usual guttural punishment that I prefer. It’s a sweet album that came out right in 2011. 

I hope that you enjoy the sound. 

link