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RADIOHEAD’S MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACKS

A Brief History of Radiohead at the Movies – The Dissolve

A few months after the turn of the millennium, unrecognizable new Radiohead recordings were uploaded to Napster, the first songs from the band’s then-unreleased fourth album crackling across the crude peer-to-peer service like scattered transmissions from a distant alien planet. Around that same time, the band’s official website was reborn as a random series of white slides and black text, each of which contained its own uniquely cryptic message. Buried in the seemingly endless parade of pages was one that read:

“every bad act
is stored on a magnetic tape
which we retain. kept in a secret vault
and evaluated
repeated and repeated with your code name
at the top of the file.
to be reviewed at your departure
for the pearly gates.” 

In November of 2006, during a webcast recorded from England’s Maida Vale studios, Radiohead lead singer and dominant persona Thom Yorke sat at a piano and plunked out a spartan ballad called “Videotape,” which began with the lyrics, “When I’m at the pearly gates, this’ll be on my videotape.” The song would eventually find a home as the closing track on Radiohead’s 2007 album, In Rainbows, but neither in the seven years between its conception and its recording, nor in the seven years since, has Yorke confirmed that “Videotape” was inspired by After Life, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 1998 humanistic masterpiece about a bureaucratic way station for the recently departed. In the spartan and serene rooms of the film’s heavenly office, the dead are instructed to select a single memory from their lives. At the end of one week’s time, the subjects each star in a filmed re-creation of their chosen moment, disappearing into that perfect scene for all eternity. 

Odds are that Yorke will never confirm the inspiration. The general affability of the band’s members is always subsumed by the mercurial genius of their frontman, and longtime Radiohead fans are keenly aware that you’d sooner get an original-sounding song out of Chris Martin than you would a straight answer out of Thom Yorke. The truth of the matter is ultimately irrelevant, but the possible connection between Kore-eda’s film and Radiohead’s song nevertheless hints at the answer to a different set of questions altogether: Why isn’t the band’s music used in movies very often, and why is it almost never used well? 

THIS ARTICLE CONTINUES ON THE DISSOLVE.

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LITTLE WHITE LIES #54: THE ROVER (July / August 2014)

LWLies 54 is on general sale 3 July and available for pre-order now from our online shop. Subscribers will start receiving their copies from Saturday 28 June.

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up today and receive the world’s most beautiful movie magazine direct to your door.

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REVIEW: SPIKE LEE’S “DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS”
Was Spike Lee ever out of touch?  
Until the screening of his new film at the American Black Film Festival in New York, it was certainly easy to make that case. The lightning rod filmmaker hadn’t made a truly exciting fiction film since 2002’s 25th Hour, the cinematic laureate of Fort Greene has lived on the Upper East Side since 1998, and his most recent feature – a remake of Park Chan-wook’s OldBoy – was somehow both a disaster and a total non-event. Last August, when the wealthy iconoclast commenced a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource funds for his latest feature, the move seemed more like a nadir than a rebirth.
But after the Da Sweet Blood of Jesus rather unceremoniously premiered as the closing event of this year’s ABFF, it was clear that the narrative just doesn’t apply. Every artist falls out of touch when they’re in the game for this long, but with the great ones it’s never for a lack of trying, and – for the first time in a long time – it’s impossible to ignore that Spike Lee is one of the best.
REVIEW CONTINUES ON LITTLE WHITE LIES.

thedeathoffilm:

REVIEW: SPIKE LEE’S “DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS”

Was Spike Lee ever out of touch?  

Until the screening of his new film at the American Black Film Festival in New York, it was certainly easy to make that case. The lightning rod filmmaker hadn’t made a truly exciting fiction film since 2002’s 25th Hour, the cinematic laureate of Fort Greene has lived on the Upper East Side since 1998, and his most recent feature – a remake of Park Chan-wook’s OldBoy – was somehow both a disaster and a total non-event. Last August, when the wealthy iconoclast commenced a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource funds for his latest feature, the move seemed more like a nadir than a rebirth.

But after the Da Sweet Blood of Jesus rather unceremoniously premiered as the closing event of this year’s ABFF, it was clear that the narrative just doesn’t apply. Every artist falls out of touch when they’re in the game for this long, but with the great ones it’s never for a lack of trying, and – for the first time in a long time – it’s impossible to ignore that Spike Lee is one of the best.

REVIEW CONTINUES ON LITTLE WHITE LIES.

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TRANSFORMERS: THE PREMAKE

this is brilliant. you will watch it. 

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SUMMER MOVIE SEASON IS DEAD
For a time, Summer Movie Season was a perennial shift in the Earth’s polarity, as much of a cosmic mandate as any other part of our collective trip around the sun. Recent events, however, strongly suggest (and almost conclusively prove) that there’s as little room for debate about climate change in our movie theaters as there is for that in our environment. 
The parameters of the Summer Movie Season have persistently been challenged over the course of the past decade. Studios and audiences alike seem to agree that the dog days of August must remain a transitional period of some kind, but every year has seen a high-octane release moving the goalpost at the start of the season further away from the one at the end of it. Summer Movie Season traditionally began on the first weekend of May, so when Fast Five was released on April 29, 2011, pundits sensitive to such things reacted like the move was a game-changing affront to the sacred code of Hollywood profiteering. 
The film opened to more than $86 million in its first weekend, paving the way for the April release of Oblivion in 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, and—most telling of all—2013’s successful 3-D re-release of Jurassic Park. It’s probable that the definitive summer blockbuster of the last 25 years was re-released out of season in order to avoid the gauntlet of new releases, but the box-office triumph of Steven Spielberg’s double-dip (it grossed $45.4 million, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of any kind released that month) confirmed that summer movies no longer need the summer to survive. They can breathe out of water. The fish hasn’t grown lungs; the world has been flooded. 
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE DISSOLVE

thedeathoffilm:

SUMMER MOVIE SEASON IS DEAD

For a time, Summer Movie Season was a perennial shift in the Earth’s polarity, as much of a cosmic mandate as any other part of our collective trip around the sun. Recent events, however, strongly suggest (and almost conclusively prove) that there’s as little room for debate about climate change in our movie theaters as there is for that in our environment. 

The parameters of the Summer Movie Season have persistently been challenged over the course of the past decade. Studios and audiences alike seem to agree that the dog days of August must remain a transitional period of some kind, but every year has seen a high-octane release moving the goalpost at the start of the season further away from the one at the end of it. Summer Movie Season traditionally began on the first weekend of May, so when Fast Five was released on April 29, 2011, pundits sensitive to such things reacted like the move was a game-changing affront to the sacred code of Hollywood profiteering. 

The film opened to more than $86 million in its first weekend, paving the way for the April release of Oblivion in 2013, Captain America: The Winter Soldier in 2014, and—most telling of all—2013’s successful 3-D re-release of Jurassic Park. It’s probable that the definitive summer blockbuster of the last 25 years was re-released out of season in order to avoid the gauntlet of new releases, but the box-office triumph of Steven Spielberg’s double-dip (it grossed $45.4 million, making it the fifth-highest-grossing film of any kind released that month) confirmed that summer movies no longer need the summer to survive. They can breathe out of water. The fish hasn’t grown lungs; the world has been flooded. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE DISSOLVE

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BLOOD ORANGE – “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH” 

Directed by Gia Coppola

the Dev Hynes / Gia Coppola collaboration needs to exist in perpetuity. 

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"THE ROYAL TENENDONGS" 

porn stars James Deen and Stoya star in an unexpected Wes Anderson-themed photo shoot. the full NSFW gallery can be found here. although this is entire idea is predicated upon the costumes, so removing said costumes doesn’t really make the photos that much more interesting. 

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GODZILLA: THE FIRST POST-HUMAN BLOCKBUSTER 
(spoilers)
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” —God
“RYYYYEHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” —Godzilla
When Godzilla finally shows up in Gareth Edwards’ blockbuster reimagining of the kaiju king, the first person to see the giant radioactive lizard make landfall on the shores of Honolulu isn’t a person at all. It’s a dog, a cute one, leashed to a palm tree and barking his head off at the prehistoric colossus emerging from the sea. We know what the animal is looking at, but don’t see what it’s seeing. When the ocean water begins to recede in anticipation of a massive tsunami, the dog sprints inland, snapping its leash and bounding out of frame. It returns in the next shot, with the camera following as it sprints to safety (presumably) through an anonymous throng of panicking people. That’s one of the film’s most telling choices, given how the tidal wave sweeps through the streets, bloodlessly erasing an untold number of human lives. The dog might escape the carnage, but it’s too late for us. Godzilla is the first post-human blockbuster.
In Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, point of view is everything. Here is a $160 million studio tentpole in which perspective stomps over plot, and characters are defined not by their actions, but by their insignificance. Here is a confidently paced monster movie that eschews the “four action setpieces strung together with exposition and iced with a tease” template of contemporary blockbuster cinema. Edwards devotes the film’s first hour to the deepening tragedy of a single family, and builds to an unspeakably spectacular climax that’s less dependent on what we’re seeing than on how we’re seeing it. 
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE DISSOLVE

thedeathoffilm:

GODZILLA: THE FIRST POST-HUMAN BLOCKBUSTER 

(spoilers)

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” —God

“RYYYYEHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!” —Godzilla

When Godzilla finally shows up in Gareth Edwards’ blockbuster reimagining of the kaiju king, the first person to see the giant radioactive lizard make landfall on the shores of Honolulu isn’t a person at all. It’s a dog, a cute one, leashed to a palm tree and barking his head off at the prehistoric colossus emerging from the sea. We know what the animal is looking at, but don’t see what it’s seeing. When the ocean water begins to recede in anticipation of a massive tsunami, the dog sprints inland, snapping its leash and bounding out of frame. It returns in the next shot, with the camera following as it sprints to safety (presumably) through an anonymous throng of panicking people. That’s one of the film’s most telling choices, given how the tidal wave sweeps through the streets, bloodlessly erasing an untold number of human lives. The dog might escape the carnage, but it’s too late for us. Godzilla is the first post-human blockbuster.

In Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, point of view is everything. Here is a $160 million studio tentpole in which perspective stomps over plot, and characters are defined not by their actions, but by their insignificance. Here is a confidently paced monster movie that eschews the “four action setpieces strung together with exposition and iced with a tease” template of contemporary blockbuster cinema. Edwards devotes the film’s first hour to the deepening tragedy of a single family, and builds to an unspeakably spectacular climax that’s less dependent on what we’re seeing than on how we’re seeing it. 

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE DISSOLVE

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Jérémie Renier at Cannes

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Jérémie Renier at Cannes

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AI WEIWEI: THE FAKE CASE

Ai Weiwei’s name cannot appear on the Internet in China. The Beijing compound in which he lives has disappeared from Google Maps. The gently subversive artist has made a career of being victimized by the cluelessly paranoid Chinese government, his influential work—typified by the sort of humane curiosity that infuriates Communist regimes—and his refusal to bow to authority making him a pet enemy of the state. China’s attempts to mute Ai’s voice have routinely backfired,empowering the artist while exposing the weaknesses of the world’s biggest nation at the height of its prosperity. On April 3, 2011, China’s most internationally famous artist was kidnapped by his own government. Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case begins three months later, on the night that Ai was released.

The Fake Case isn’t an official sequel to Alison Klayman’s 2012 documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, but it might as well be, as this fascinating and necessary coda picks up right where that earlier film left off and does so with a similarly passive approach. Directed by Andreas Johnsen, a Danish filmmaker whose nationality is a testament to Ai’s international popularity, The Fake Case finds the mild-mannered iconoclast on the other side of his most grueling tribulation, for which of course there was no trial. “They’ve made up so many lies that even the truth becomes false,” Ai declares to the camera.

READ THE FULL REVIEW ON THE A.V. CLUB

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