The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
I am beyond excited about this one. With some stories, I like watching the films before reading the book (call me crazy). This happened with Lord of the Rings and I'm happy I did, because it was like I was getting a special "deleted scenes" DVD in my head when I sat and read the three books in a row after watching the first film. The Lord of the Rings BBC radio play, by the way, is also a wonderful thing to own. Check out a clip here (I don't advise watching it with the video though, kind of pointless since it's a radio play:))
In the new film we get the backstory of Bilbo's life and adventures that led him to discovering the One Ring. I have no doubt this won't fall short of the first set of LOTR films, as some are worried it might. The song sung by the characters in this version of the trailer is particularly beautiful.
Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day
One of my very favorite bands -- and hopefully, if you have one living cell in your body, one of yours -- finally has a new live show film out. It's Led Zeppelin. Enough said.
Bear with me. The story looks a lot stronger than the Twilight drag-a, and although I don't think much of the "True Blood" show, I think supernatural creatures and that wonderful, heady lore of the South will always sell. I'm glad this is more about witches, magic, and other things (aka, not about vampires trying not to nick their lower lips on their fangs when they pout). And I have great hope when Jeremy Irons is in ... well ... anything.
Norwegian films rarely look big-budget, but as the companies in the industry here are vying more strongly toward an Oscar win next year, they've been upping the ante with newer films in terms of look, story, action, and international sales appeal. Kon-Tiki is one of these films, and Flukt (meaning escape, flee) is the other. This looks great -- taut, well-shot, and quite mysterious. In a way it reminds me of Apocalypto. The story: ten years after the black death ravaged the country, a family sets out to find better living conditions elsewhere. When their journey takes them across a deserted mountain pass, they encounter a brutal group of killers. The title makes sense now, yes?
Upcoming events in Oslo (should you get the craving to come on up to Norway :) ) I'll be at these and I can't wait!
Recoil at Cinemateket
While many know Alan Wilder from his days in Depeche Mode, his music/visual arts project Recoil has been going strong since the mid 80s, setting Wilder's original soundscapes together with singers and spoken word artists to create dark, haunting, and most importantly, thought-provoking music. Artists featured on Recoil albums include Diamanda Galas, Maggie Estep, Curve's Toni Halliday, Nitzer Ebb's Doug McCarthy, Samantha Coerbell, Nicole Blackman, Joe Richardson, and many more.
Recoil has often been paired with some striking imagery, as dark, sexy, menacing and quizzical as the songs can be. A Strange Hour features video and images set to the music in a live setting, with Alan and Paul Kendall doing live mixes and more. Screenings of the hit show in Budapest are coming to theatres around the world, and thank GOD Cinemateket is having it in Oslo! 3 November you'll know where to find me. Will you be there? If not, check out the screening events page on Recoil's site to see all the upcoming dates and to buy tickets. I'm dead serious: DO NOT MISS THIS. It's a serious feast for the ears and eyes. Check out the insane trailer for the BluRay release of the show:
The inimitable and talented-beyond-words performance artist Marina Abramovic will be in Oslo this Wednesday, 26 September at Folketeatret (site is in Norwegian) to give a lecture and also open the killer new exhibition at Galleri Brandstrup, "With Eyes Closed I See Happiness". I had the pleasure of seeing her at the MOMA in New York during "The Artist is Present" is present exhibit, which was a once in a lifetime experience. Marina is one of those artists that makes you want to do whatever it is that you do in the arts even more, with more abandon, more gut, more self-truth than you ever have before. A recent documentary was released by HBO on the Artist is Present. Absolutely beautiful:
Wanna come out to London? Called the "Indi-est film festival this side of the Atlantic" by The Guardian, the Raindance Film Festival will feature some unbelievable shorts and features. Check out the program here. This year, they will also feature some of the newest and brightest filmmakers from Mexico and the rest of Latin America. I'm so excited! Gala and opening ceremony is on 26 September, so teleport yourself to London like NOW and go to this awesome event.
Coming up this week!: Interviews with Sheldon Candis, Carol Morley, and more trailers and events that catch my eye. And please don't forget, I am always looking for new projects to review and dynamic filmmakers and artists to interview, so if you have something good cookin', email me!