Monthly Archives: February 2011
While I sit back and enjoy the intricacies of Cut Copy‘s new release Zonoscope, my thoughts drift back to the rise of new wave and the scene whence contemporary pop music takes many of its cues from. In my daze, I find I have scrolled through the iTunes to Talking Heads and that my pointer finger is twitching upon the cursor. Halfway through Zonoscope‘s Take Me Over and amidst shades of Men At Work, I find I have fallen back 2 decades to one of my favourite tracks…
David Byrne formed the band in the mid-1970s with fellow musicians Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, and (later) Jerry Harrison. Initially formed as The Artistics by the 3 young design students in Rhode Island, the trio moved to New York, where their sound became the most notorious embodiment of new wave: blending funk, rock‘n‘roll, and punk into an avant-garde fusion that contained international music structures and musical experimentation. The new band name was applied as a satirical appraisal of rhetoric in the media. Their first studio album was produced by Tony Bongiovi released in 1977 on Sire Records; tentatively titled Talking Heads: 77. Bongiovi did not produce any subsequent albums (although he produced a re-release of single Psycho Killer in 1984 with Gary Goetzman). The next 3 releases emerged under the stewardship of Brian Eno; recording taking place between New York and The Bahamas. Eno thus worked tirelessly with the band to complete their seminal works Remain in Light and Speaking in Tongues. The band had initially played independent venues around SoHo before gaining frequent gigs at CBGB‘s after an initial opening for the Ramones in 1975. In their 1979 single Life During Wartime they lampooned said club, while confronting the notion of a bohemian New York in the face of rising poverty and societal isolation.
The band is renowned for not just its influence in music and upon many, many musicians of the past 35 years; but also in the breadth of its album art. Talking Heads have consistently released artworks that were created by notable artists of the period; and also by unknown artists in an eclectic range of styles. A casual glance as titles such as the Psycho Killer and This Must be The Place singles, Little Creatures, Fear Of Music and Sand In The Vaseline albums all provide a fascinating snapshot of the artwork typical of the period (or genre).
The highlight of their career in many respects was in their 1985 release of Road to Nowhere. This is the track that has me spurning the band‘s moderate contemporary.
Talking Heads broke up by 1991. David Byrne has sinced toured sporadically: such as Melbourne in 2009.
Susanne Bier is a prominent Danish film maker and one of the finest screen directors in the contemporary film world. Her 2002 film Open Hearts (Elsker Dig For Evigt) is recognised internationally as one of the most acclaimed productions borne out of Lar Von Trier’s Dogme manifesto. Her 2004 film, Brothers (Brødre) did not appeal so much -but still it over shadows the abominable hollywood remake starring heart-throb sensations Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire.
However, Bier orchestrated a brilliant return to form in her 2006 searing family meltdown After The Wedding (Efter Brylluppet); certainly her best after Open Hearts. Important to note is that both of these films featured the amazing Mads Mikkelsen.
That said, Bier‘s latest offering fails to out-shine even Brothers. Although it is easily a great piece of cinema, In A Better World (Haeven) was an utter disappointment, somewhat due to the fact that her film-making in such high regard. The characters were under-developed and at times their personalities vague and inconsistent. The empathy clearly sought for the characters failed to emote. It lacked the somewhat subdued elements of (although brash) realism; in the face of so much hyper-realism amid the genre. Add to this a repetitive score and casual shots in poor lighting (a feeble nod to Dogme?), and you‘re barely content. Come the closing shot and I was glad to be alone in the cinema as I was shouting aloud at the recklessness of such a cheesy and unbelieveable closing scene.
Last night brought the noise in the Melbourne Series 2 Semi-Final for Secret Wars.
Pierre Lloga this time went head-to-head with his sometime contemporary nemesis and the Round 1 champion, Scale. Despite the fact that the two share a notional bond with one another; Scale held no fear in depicting Pierre as pathetically imprisoned within his hand-written, pencil-pushing cell: A caricature buffeting itself with cat icons; typical of Lloga‘s work. In the meantime though, Lloga invoked a graveyard-inspired defiance to see to it that Scale in turn was illustrated as the last of the graffer; as encrouched upon by Pierre himself, with the aid of a chainsaw!
In all earnestness: This battle has exhibited the best of art I have witnessed in the series so far.
So without further adieu, please do visit a video of the late evening:
Written by, starring, and directed by Tommy Wiseau 2003‘s The Room has been credited as the worst film ever made and must surely have been shot a decade before it dribbled out of post production. However, it is not just potentially the worst film; but also one of the best…
Burdened with over-stated, stuttering dialogue and shot on both film and video (for no apparent technical reason), the stocking-over-the-camera style is complemented by a sound mix from Family Ties and the Moods compact disc series.
This film is an early 90s symphony: the set design is straight from E-Street or Home And Away. It‘s the chef-d’oeuvre of innuendo and a soft porn spectacular, with only a Fabio or David Hasselhoff missing from the coveted sex scenes. Our sultry heroine-superstar-film maker is literally swamped in a thematic ménage-à-troi of promiscuity, social despondence and amorality. This all wedged firmly amid an endless epitome of 90s music video!
Watch for the ‘blowjob‘ scene and the infamous drug dealer scene: “Ahhh!”. With lines like “I remember going to LA, the BBQ chicken was nice, that was cool“, “Hi, Doggy” and “You look great babyface, yeahhh” combined with the trend-setting “XYZ” (examine your zipper) you will be swimming in aboslute quote delirium.
Wiseau is one sick fuck.
Relish this bizarre and self-effacing moral tale: Cinema Nova screens the film every Saturday night.
The 12 month anniversary is tomorrow night, Saturday February 5th at 11.35pm to celebrate screening the film for a year!