Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Summer of Samurai Film at NWFF : June 16 - July 6


KOBAYASHI


Northwest Film Forum Site

Woo! Epic Samurai Cinema from the late 50's and early 60's! Not a 'guilty-pleasure' for me, but instead a 'pleasure-pleasure'. Much of this genre, like any is schlock, but the good films rock like no others. Fast paced sword play set to the slow moving backdrop of the convolutions of honor when the lone individual (Ronin) Samurai chooses to oppose the immovable establishment. The Kobayashi films here are especially excellent and are some of the finest examples in the whole darn genre. Okamoto's "Sword of Doom" is also a good one. That Criterion released all three of these in the past year says somethin'.


From the NWFF site:


"A MAN, A BLADE, AN EMPTY ROAD brings you two 1960s masterworks by Masaki Kobayashi, enthralling sword-swinging efforts by major talents Hideo Gosha, Hiroshi Inagaki and Kihachi Okamoto, three vintage movies from the hugely popular ZATOICHI THE BLIND SWORDSMAN series and two from the master himself, the great Akira Kurosawa. With such wonderful work emerging from the samurai genre, it deserves to be appreciated as part of a cross-cultural give and- takea global conversation that includes German expressionism, Nouvelle Vague innovation and the American Western. Its a genre that, at its best, combines ferocious excitement with astonishing visual beauty, grace, rowdy humor, pathos and even tragedy. A MAN, A BLADE, AN EMPTY ROAD is nothing short of a tale of a great moment in cinemas history."

Monday, May 15, 2006

"Future Sound of Berlin" : Basic Channel - Chain Reaction - Rhythm & Sound

RHYTHM & SOUND

Massive, MASSIVELY hailed in the world of mid/early 90's techno, most notably by The Wire, Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus' 'Basic Channel' project stomped out some of the most sublime, maddeningly redundant, counfoundingly long, bass-heavy, grainy, minimalist excursions into 'heroin house' (as it was being called then) ever dedicated to wax. And by wax, I mean vinyl. These guys were/are a firm advocate of the format and its inherent surface, fuzz and analog warmth bringing more depth to their booming vertical-techno scapes. The Von Oswald/Ernestus run Hard Wax record shop in Berlin was essentially *the* place to pick up the most recent 12" techno transmissions from around the world and over time also became the home base of their various self-run labels and musical imprints. Not content with releasing their own musics and opening a record shop to cater to the growing German scene, they then established their own mastering studio Dubplates & Mastering, set up to ensure a desired dynamic quality for the vinyl and in-house control of the releases.

Basic Channel ceased transmissions in 1995 but were followed by a string of other German variations on the Detroit Techno/Jamaican Dub themes. Among the most important was Chain Reaction, which released non-Von Oswald/Ernestus productions and helped launch the careers of dub-influenced minimal techno producers such as Monolake, Scion, Substance, Vainqueur and Thomas Koner's Porter Ricks project with Andrew Mellwig.

Simultaneous with Chain Reaction, Von Oswald/Ernestus manifested their own next step in the fusion of Dub's bass and Techno's boom with Rhythm & Sound. Released on two separate imprints Burial Mix and the self-titled Rhythm & Sound, the former dedicated to vocal-based Reggae tracks and the latter Dubbed-out instrumental excursions. Bringing in a global cast of Toasters and MC's - their transnational Dub/Reggae project gave platform to some of the greatest vocalists in the history of Jamaican music. Stepping up to the mic on Rhythm & Sound tracks were: Sugar Minott, Love Joys, Chosen Brothers, Paul St. Hilaire and on the legendary "King in My Empire" featuring the deeply soulful voice of Cornel Campbell, among many others over the course of their 10" (historically, the format of choice in Reggae) vinyl releases.

Always progressing in their digging deeper into the bass and the history of Dub, Von Oswald/Ernestus have now established the Basic Replay imprint, which specializes in classic and out-of-print reggae and dancehall reissues. Seemingly having come full-circle in their musical evolution back to the original Jamaican sounds that inspired them from the onset, its uncertain quite what is to come next from this transnational/cross cultural institution, but the quality, depth and bass of their history (and no doubt, future-sound) is undeniable.

Link to The Wire 'Underground Resistors' article on Basic Channel

Link to The Wire 'Future Sound of Berlin' article on Chain Reaction

Link to Basic Channel site

Link to Chain Reaction site

Link to Rhythm & Sound / Burial Mix site

Monday, May 8, 2006

Seattle International Film Fest : May 25 - June 18



Link to Seattle Intl. Film Fest Site


Yep! Its that time of the year again. Amazing that this little town of ours has one of the largest film fests in the whole stinkin usa. Schedule is released on May 11 and listings, catalog and tickets go on sale then for the general public. Make sure to get on it in advance if there are specific films you dont wanna miss, as this thing can be insaaane and films can sell out on the first day of ticket sales. Be seeing you guys in those long-ass lines!

:: Some of What I Intend on Cacthing in the Fest ::

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Friday May 26
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5:00 PM - Apichatpong Weerasethakul "Worldly Desires"*
Northwest Film Forum
DESI31A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=20730&FID=13

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Friday May 26
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9:30 PM - John Hillcoat "The Proposition"*
Neptune Theatre
PROP26A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16410&fid=13

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Sunday May 28
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5:00 PM - Brothers Quay "Piano Tuner of Earthquakes"
Northwest Film Forum
PIAN26A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16371&fid=13

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Sunday May 28
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9:30 PM - Jan Svankmajer "Lunacy"*
Northwest Film Forum
LUNA28A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16424&fid=13

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Monday May 29
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6:30 PM - Yoji Yamada "The Hidden Blade"*
Pacific Place Cinema
HIDD29A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=17007&FID=13

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Monday May 29
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9:15pm - Mohamed al Daradji "Ahlaam"
Egyptian Theatre
AHLA29A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/rdir.aspx?SID=2771

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Tuesday, May 30
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7:00 PM - Betzy Bromberg "a Darkness Swallowed"
Northwest Film Forum
SWAL30A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=18556&fid=13

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Tuesday, May 30
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9:15 PM - Cristi Puiu "The Death of Mr. Lazarescu"*
Pacific Place Cinema
DEAT30A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16356&fid=13

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Wednesday May 31
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9:30 PM - Chris Marker "Case of the Grinning Cat"*
Northwest Film Forum
CASE31A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=21013&FID=13

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Thursday June 01
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9:15 PM - Seijun Suzuki "Princess Racoon"
Pacific Place Cinema
RACC01A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16647&fid=13

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Thursday June 01
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9:45 PM - Danis Tanovic "L'Enfer"
Egyptian Theatre
HELL01A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16482&FID=13

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Saturday June 03
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MIDNIGHT - Various - Barney/Noe Etc. "Destricted"*
Neptune Theatre
DEST03A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=18551&FID=13

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Sunday June 4
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9:30pm - - Gela Babluani "13 (Tzameti)"
Neptune Theatre
13TZ04A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/rdir.aspx?SID=2481

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Monday June 05
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7:00 PM - Christoffer Boe "Allegro"*
Pacific Place Cinema
ALLE05A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16364&FID=13

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Thursday June 08
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7:15 PM - Mat Whitecross "The Road to Guantanamo"
Egyptian Theatre
ROAD08F

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=19981&FID=13

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Sunday June 11
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7:15 PM - Andrew Lau, Alan Mak "Initial D"*
Neptune Theatre
INIT11A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16411&FID=13

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Monday June 12
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9:30 PM - Alexey Uchitel "Dreaming of Space"
Neptune Theatre
DREX12A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=16397&FID=13


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Tuesday June 13
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6:30pm - Hsiao-Hsien Hou "Three Times"*
Harvard Exit
THRE13A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/rdir.aspx?SID=2969

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Friday June 16
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9:15pm - - John Williams "Starfish Hotel"
Harvard Exit
STAR16A

http://www.seattlefilm.org/rdir.aspx?SID=2858

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Sunday June 18
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6:30 PM - Michel Gondry "The Science of Sleep"
Neptune Theatre
CLOS18B

http://www.seattlefilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=18570&FID=13

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