Sunday, June 12, 2011

Apichatpong Weerasethakul's 'new' film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall
His Past Lives" at Northwest Film Forum: Jun 17 - 30

Mesmerizing, dreamlike, hypnotic, playful, quiet, often reflective, dualistic, multiple-narrative cinematic wanderings through the Thai landscape, urban centers, outlying rural expanses, caverns of the dead, and deep jungles, through the eyes of their key progressive cinematic voice. Contemporary culture also plays a large role, often just as a foil to contrast the natural splendor and life of the people and their relationship with the vibrant green spectacle that is the jungle. Often surreal, or hinting at the metaphysical (or as in "Tropical Malady" direct interaction with the spirit world) his films both describe the life of a people as they are, as they once were (first chapter of "Syndromes and a Century" for example) and in the more abstract passages, suggesting how they could be, both in waking and dreaming. Beautiful capsules of cinema that remind the viewer of the small insights into the otherworldly that take place in the everyday ...the films of Apichtapong Weerasethakul are possibly summed up by his most recent here, the Cannes Palme d'Or Winning "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives". Finally landing in Seattle after showing in New York, San Francisco, Portland and most of the west coast this past Winter and Spring. Thank you Northwest film Forum for having the insight to make it a two-week screening!

From the Northwest Film Forum: "Winner of the Palme d'Or (2010 Cannes Film Festival, jury headed by Tim Burton), Uncle Boonmee is a dreamy, gently reassuring tale told by a man at the end of his life as he contemplates reincarnation. A ghost story told with the calm and patience of a prosaic tale of country living, the film concerns the final days of Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar), an aging farmer suffering from a kidney disease. The film moves at the tranquil pace of a lazy afternoon, and this quiet grace allows the frequently outrageous and bizarre elements of the story to blend seamlessly into reality, appearing as natural as the background hum of insects or the gentle murmur of the wind. Boonmee is the latest and most memorable of Apichatpong’s tender, poetic, supernatural and semi-autobiographical reveries."

Link to Kick The Machine - Official Apichatpong Weerasethakul studio site

Link to "Uncle Boonmee" Cannes Official site - Palme d'Or

Link to Strand Releasing Official "Uncle Boonmee" site

Link to Northwest Film Forum "Uncle Boonmee" calendar

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Earshot Jazz presents In The Country at Tula’s Jazz Club: Jun 24

The Scandinavian piano-led jazz trio and quartet has become a staple of the "ECM Sound", as represented by such players as the Tord Gustavsen Trio, and Keith Jarrett's Quartet with Jan Garbarek. This month, Earshot Jazz brings to town an entry from ECM's avant-garde sister label, Rune Grammofon at Tula's Jazz Club. Led by pianist Morten Qvenild, bass player Roger Arntzen, and drummer Pål Hausken, In The Country delivers their own variation on this sound as heard in their soaring progressive work, documented on 2009's "Whiteout". This burgeoning Scandinavian scene to which the band belongs was covered by Jazz Times, in their "The Sound of Young Norway". Its cultural locus largely centered around the curatorial and aesthetic bedrock that is the Scandinavian classical, jazz and improv label, ECM. Now four decades in the running, Dan Jennings posits in the New York Times "ECM: CDs Know that Ears Have Eyes", that this may be the greatest era yet for Manfred Eicher's label and recording studio. By way of introduction to the foundational developments of these labels and the artists therein, no better document exists than Johannes Rød's, "Free Jazz and Improvisation on Vinyl 1965-1985", published by Norwegian vanguard imprint Rune Grammofon. Tracing independent free jazz and improv labels between 1965 and 1985, from the beginning of ESP-Disk through to the current era of vinyl revival and ascendant digital formats. With some 60 labels covered in the volume, and forewords by Mats Gustafsson and label founder, Rune Kristoffersen, the edition perfectly encapsulates this particular brand of what The Guardian's Richard Williams calls, "Norwegian Blues".