I finished watching Federico Fellini's 8½ some minutes ago after also watching Cloverfield this morning. Two very different kind of films. I have no idea how Fellini is able to do it, I don't think I would be capable of directing his films or at least not before a lot of practice. His sets are so big and involve so many extras. They're very large scale productions. Only for that Fellini's already a great director. At the moment Nine the new film by Rob Marshall who did the film version of the musical Chicago is finished and it will appear in theatres later this year, or at least this year in the US. As usual it might take a while for those bound for Oscar movies to be released in cinemas where I live. Nine is 8½ but with a half extra which is the music as the film is based on the musical of the same title. That film is set to be quite spectacular as well, especially because of the actresses who will apear in it such as Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Dame Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman. Plus that girl from the Black Eyed Peas will also take part playing the role of Saraghina originally portrayed by Eddra Gale. A role which actually suits her well as she shares strong resemblance to Gale. But then again, Amy Winehouse could have played her as she too shares an uncanny resemblance to miss Gale as Saraghina. I would almost think Winehouse's inspiration for that beehive of hers and the dark painted eyes came straight from Gale. Just look:
Gale in 8½:
Cloverfield I watched because it appeared on Cahiers Du Cinéma's top 10 list of best movies of 2008. Yes, that same Cahiers Du Cinéma where people like François Truffaut used to write articles for. And they didn't put it on number 10 or 9, no, they put it on number 3, 333333333!!!! So I felt obliged to check it out as since I found out about this it sparked my interest in this film, an interest I didn't really have before. So I watched it and yes it's very good for its genre, being the disaster movie, even bringing in some new fresh elements. Even though it's all one big fake it manages to make it seem very realistic because of it pretending to be a home video and it's filled with suspense. At the core of it is this crappy love story, but because disaster keeps crossing the protagonists' path you forgive the makers of the film for not having come up with a slightly more intelligent back story for these characters. It is strange, though, that these kind of films can exist and be enjoyed considering they show a group of civilians under attack and having to run for safety with several deaths along the way. It makes it seem exciting with the result that as a spectator you would almost wish the same would happen to you as being attacked by this unknown creature seems such a thrill. But that's how we people have always been. Just look at those kids playing cops and robbers. How exciting it is to play robber, at least, as long as it's not real. Same for Cloverfield which is set in New York and therefore immediately brings up associations with 9/11 especially near the beginning when the streets starts to fill up with heavy smoke because of large towers collapsing. It's a fun film, but third best of 2008, really?
Vampire Weekend premiered a new song called Horchata, the opener of their upcoming album Contra, the title referring to that drink my mum so loves. You can have a listen and then download it for free on their official website or listen to it below:
On first listen I had my doubts, but those disappeared as soon as I listened to it the second time. It just sounds too sweet to dislike. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of the new album which will be out January 2010. Seems long, but it's only 3 months away. I'm still not sure either when exactly October arrived and the trees turned back into their Gus Van Sant coloured leaves costume. :)
Being a popular actress doesn't necessarily make you a popular singer which Scarlett Johansson has clearly shown. I love her voice and really enjoy her Tom Waits covers album, but I very well realize I'm one of the few. Zooey Deschanel is another one of those actresses who turned into singers recently, her turn being way more succesful receiving better reviews and even appearing on some best of 2008 album lists. It's no secret Johnny Depp and Russell Crowe have a fondness for music, both playing in bands, as well as Jared Leto who has made the most succesful jump from actor to serious musician in recent years with his band 30 Seconds To Mars. Now there's Ryan Gosling who became popular among the girls especially for his part in the movie adaptation of the novel The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks but who proofed himself to be more than just a teenage heartthrob by receiving an Oscar nomination for his part in the film Half Nelson putting him high on the young actors to watch- list. Before I got to hear some new songs from his band some days ago I had already seen a video quite some months ago of Gosling performing the song In The Room Where You Sleep on piano with the help of a big childrens choir. At the time I was pleasantly surprised not only with the dark moody music but also with Gosling's voice. You can watch that video with all the kids looking Halloween cute below. The kid dressed up as a mummy is my new hero :)
Now months later I have gotten my hands on the debut album of his band called Dead Man's Bones and the more I listen to it the more I like it. And I REALLY like it. Like the way I would like a non-actor band and therefore I hope people will not approach it like that judging the band purely on Gosling's presence without taking a good listen to the music they play. Like I said their songs are very dark and a bit eerie, think graveyard and zombies. One song lyric even goes 'When I think about you flowers grow out of my grave.' :D Highlights so far are My Body's A Zombie For You (I can already hear crowds of people chanting this phrase :-) and Pa Pa Power, but the more I listen to it the more highlights this album seems to have. I like this more than Scarlett and She & Him (Deschanel's musical duo with M. Ward) combined!