Thursday, March 24, 2005

Andrey Zvyagintsev's film "The Return"


from the Kino website;

"Andrey Zvyagintsev's THE RETURN, winner of the Golden Lion and The Best First Feature Film Award at the Venice International Film Festival in 2003. Also nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film at the Golden Globes in 2004, THE RETURN is one of the most impressive first-time feature films of the last decade."

"A mixture of psychological thriller and road movie, THE RETURN tells the story of two young brothers, Andrei (Vladimir Garin) and Ivan (Ivan Dobronravov), who must cope with the sudden and unexplained return of their long absent father. Unusually close and notably protective of each other’s interests, Andrei and Ivan embark on a destination-free road trip with the cryptic father––after years of gazing at his image on a torn photograph. But as hopes for a caring parent metamorphose into fear of abuse, a family getaway becomes the background for self-discovery and the destruction of deeply rooted emotional investments. As it turns out, the missing spots in the two boys’ pasts run deep, the distance between imagined fatherhood and the man in its symbolic center is breathtaking, and Andrei and Ivan’s need for a newly articulated relationship with parental guidance is a source of impenetrable pain."

Kino Films Andrei Zvyagintsev's "The Return" site

Deeply contemplative and effecting. You give this film time and it will reward.

Autechre's new album "Untilted" + May US Tour

The rhythmically hyperfrenetic, angular, dissonant and convoluted sonic landscapes of "Untilted"
are nearly as much a leap forward as Booth/Brown pulled with their boldest statement to date -
2001's "Confield". The effort that bridges these two high-points of their near-consistent sonic
career "Draft 7.30" was riddled with both a stylistic and textural character and form in its sound
design and composition wherein the leaden, metallic, synthetic elements of their sound seemed
to overrun the music itself. Weighing it down in plodding ponderous rhythms and sharp jagged
metallic surfaces. If that album expressed uncertainty as to where they were meaning to head next,
no such concerns are evident on "Untilted". This is album is by contrast very much a statement of
intent. Progressive, often unrelenting, forward-moving, percussive and aggressively  volatile, with
only brief moments to glimpse the surrounding sonic landscape these shifting matrices of piercing
rhythm inhabit. "Untilted" seems to be them not only finding new footing in reinventing their M.O.
(rumored to be switch back to more hardware-based composition) but also choosing to quite literally
run with it - and the results are evident in the kind of self-reinvention and sonic bravado on display.

This kind of determined willfulness has paid dividends, but also has some evident drawbacks. Most
notably, in that some of the subtlety of the sound design from the "Confield" period has been lost.
Still standing as their most successful effort in its straddling of complex, seemingly improvised
rhythm structures and shifting abstract spaces, "Confield" may be the bar by which every following
Autechre album will have to measure. With that recording there was a tangible sense that the
rhythmic forms occupied a abstract 3-dimensional 'place' and even with it being stereo music,
there was a vivid expression of those shifting architectural constructions moving through each of
their suggested environments. At times the space/place element of the tracks stepped up within
the shifting fluid mix to take the foreground, inspiring a readjustment by the listener to find their
footing and perspective. Those qualities have been downplayed to a greater extent here, and the
gambit this time is about adjusting to the unexpected tempo-shifts and collisions of horizontal
and vertical geometry meeting and producing new patterns, often in extended vertiginous threads.
A good bit of this album's high points result from exactly those collisions. They're confounding,
sometimes joyous, often totally mental and seem to be a product of hard applied hyperattentive
composition and controlled improvisation creating a furnace of sorts where Autechre are forging
their new metallic, wooden, crystaline, architectural, environmental, digital, analog, electronic
transmissions. And on "Untilted" that forge is often burning at temperatures nearly white-hot


"The new album from Autechre "Untilted" is released on April 18th. (April 9th in Japan).
Autechre will be on tour throughout April, May and June, please see full dates and info below."

May US Dates:

(all dates with DJ Rob Hall SND Live)

Fri 06 Washington DC Black Cat
Sat 07 Philadelphia PA Trocadero
Sun 08 NYC Webster Hall
Mon 09 Boston Paradise
Tue 10 Montreal Usine C
Wed 11 Toronto Opera House
Fri 13 Chicago Metro
Sat 14 Minneapolis Ascot Room
Tue 17 Vancouver Commodore Ballroom
Wed 18 Seattle Neumos
Thu 19 Portland Berbatis Pan
Fri 20 San Francisco Mezzanine
Sat 21 Los Angeles El Rey
Sun 22 Tempe AZ Freedom
Tue 24 Dallas TX Trees
Wed 25 Austin TX The Parish
Thu 26 New Orleans Twiropa
Fri 27 Atlanta Variety Playhouse
Sat 28 Asheville NC Orange Peel

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Haruki Murakami new novels "Kafka on the Shore" & "After Dark"


Yes, always cause for excitable-pre-purchase-fidgeting when a new Murakami is released in the US. Two years after the Japanese release, published there in two separate editions titled "Umibe No Kafuka". For those who know his work - its the usual concoction of the metaphysical, quirky-individualistic characters and contemporary urban existentialism.
So, of course, I'm loving it.

Here's the New Yorker's review:

Review of "Kafka on the Shore" by John Updike


In addition there is this from the Knopf Publishing website:

The English version of his latest book, published in Japan in November of 2004 and titled "After Dark", is to be released in the United States in March of 2010."


Who is doing the translation of this novel - someone with the Japanese
fluency of me??? How can it possibly take 5 years?

Yeah, I know, finish the book that I just got, but c'mon...