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Crispin. Da na na. Glover. Da na na. (claps)

July 27th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

I finally understand. My girlfriend’s been telling me for year(s). I get it now. WILLARD, his album, it hadn’t clicked. Now it has. Now I know.

Crispin Glover is straight up Crispy in these Trent Harris films. I love it. I love him.



Crispin Glover. ‘Nuf said.

Trent is my boy. Crispin is my boy. I’m straight up loving this.

Look, it’s like this. I ain’t see LUNA MESA. I ain’t seen PLAN 10. Here’s the cold hard truth: I don’t need to in order to wholeheartedly recommend Trent’s whole oeuvre. I think only a couple is really needed to say “Hey! Something good’s going on here.” And something good most definitely did.

THE BEAVER TRILOGY: great. RUBIN AND ED: even better. The rest: you know what’s comin’: Goddamn good.

Look, I ain’t gonna keep coming back to this. You’re going to have to make up your own damn mind. Trent Harris has made a handful of films in the last 30+ years, all perfect. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re going to come watch them at the GI this week. PLAN 10 is 16mm for chrissakes! RUBIN AND ED, 35mm! In a world of DCP, this is the last bastion of true analog! See these films in their original format before it’s too late!

—Danalog, double the analog, dan

Big Star, Like Very Luminous Supergiant Big

July 19th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

One of the very best music docs of SIFF 2013’s Face the Music lineup is exclusive to the Grand Illusion this week!

Perhaps because I never worked at a record store, I wasn’t privy to the whole 90s rediscovery of Big Star, but I sure do know the theme song to “That 70s Show.”  Maybe if Big Star had a song on a mainstream television show during the actual 70s, things might’ve turned out differently for the band.

Big Star: Accurate or Audacious?

Big Star: Accurate or Audacious?

This has a been a great year for rock docs about bands not properly appreciated during their brief lifespans. Between this film and A BAND CALLED DEATH (also from the 70s), I’ve heard a fair amount of earth-shatteringly good music that I want to know why I’ve never heard it before. You almost feel cheated in a way, but it makes the discovery that much sweeter. Now, Death never had the exposure that Big Star did, so the comparison isn’t quite the same, but the emotional punch of both movies (and the kick-ass soundtracks) made them two of the rock docs this year (along with THE PUNK SINGER for the trifecta).

You know we always strive to bring you the freshest and best in music and movies at the GI, and this week we’ve truly done it! And with live sets by Red Jacket Mine following our 8pm Friday and Saturday shows this weekend, music and movies go hand in hand!

—excited for all our VHS films coming up soon, dan

He’s a Maniac, Maniac

July 12th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

Come on, you knew that was coming.

I gotta give it up to Elijah Wood for continuing to try new roles and push envelopes post-LOTR. I know I’m painting myself as less of a horror aficionado then I think I am when I say I haven’t seen the original, but I think I can safely say this is a homage/remake done right. With original MANIAC filmmaker William Lustig on board as producer, I think I can even more safely say this Aja (HIGH TENSION) co-written and co-produced film is truly singular. I mean, he already proved he can do top-notch remakes with PIRANHA and THE HILLS HAVE EYES, both of which are grade A in my book.

Looooooooots of scalping in this film. Just sayin'.

Looooooooots of scalping in this film. Just sayin’.

I know you’ve seen some POV recently in horror filmmaking, but this is no found footage franchise waiting to happen. This are some delightful mise-en-scene moments with perspective to get you in the mind of the serial killer without breaking the mood or moment, and it is at once unsettling and utterly simplistic. Basic camera techniques and well-timed character movements create the perfect low-budget, editless mindscapes.

This film was not overpraised. Rarely have horror homages/remakes pleased the hardcore (generally only pleasing newcomers born 20 – 30 years too late to have appreciated the original), but I think we can safely classify MANIAC as one of the rare few to take on that cherished mantle.

And no, I haven’t seen V/H/S/2 yet, our late-night found footage sequel (yes, perhaps the perfect antonym to MANIAC). What I have heard from all who saw it (including a number at SIFF’s recent Midnight Adrenaline showing), is that is as good if not better than the original. Hopefully the camera will be a little less shaky, as I’m still queasy when I think about V/H/S.

A good weekend to be a horror fan in Seattle. Wait a week to see PACIFIC RIM and I’ll bloody well join you, let’s pause a bit and give some great horror a chance in this over-CGed summer blockbuster season.

—thank Jeebus for Aja, dan

Alas, Poor Napster, I Knew Him

July 5th, 2013 § Leave a Comment

I remember Napster. The real Napster. I found it just in time before the RIAA started flooding the service with junk MP3s and folks had to get real creative with their band name spelling to pass filters. I maybe downloaded 50 songs altogether, none of which I still have anymore. Most of the songs I was trying to find after I had heard them on the radio, and maybe wanted to hear something else by the artist or the same song again before I committed to buying a whole CD. I was in junior high at the time, and plopping down $15 on anything was a big investment at the time.

Remember when this logo was cool? Hello, 14-year-old Dan.

Remember when this logo was cool? Hello, 14-year-old Dan.

Digital file quality has gotten a lot better since then. iTunes has driven down the cost of albums (while individual song costs have gone up). I have since paid for digital files through eMusic, iTunes, Amazon, and directly from artists like Radiohead. Pandora and earlier streaming services still provide the opportunity to hear tons of new bands and also pay for subscription service (the model Napster now follows). The biggest way I financially support the artists that I enjoy is by GOING TO BLOODY CONCERTS.

Seriously, if anyone really wants to support the artists they enjoy, go to a show. If you pay $10 for an album, you know how much money actually goes to the band? $1, maybe $2 if they’re lucky. Probably less than that depending on the label or the music service. If you pay $12 or $15 or $20 or $25 for a show, they’re going to get three or four times that amount. That’s where the money is in the music industry nowadays. No one’s going to sell 10 million copies of an album (probably) like they used to, in fact hitting 1 or 2 million if you’re not Kanye is pretty much out of reach.

With even newer direct funding sources like Kickstarter people are having an unprecedented connection to the artists they enjoy to directly fund the creation of more music. Huge mainstream musicians like Beck are putting out music through printed sheet music, opening up the opportunity for thousands of people around the world to interpret his songs and put them out on videos or MP3s or perform them live. The music industry is still around, the artists are still around, Napster didn’t kill anyone.

It bothered me then and it bothers me now, why is it Dr. Dre and Metallica who yelled the loudest about being damaged by Napster, when they already had MILLIONS of dollars? Need a few million more boys? Even harder to sympathize with these 1%ers in our post-Occupy world.

Enough about me waxing on about my personal journeys through the music industry and my annoyances with the super rich. I haven’t really talked about the movie much. Here’s what you need to know: it’s a great postmortem on the internet digital music and P2P revolution. Napster took the bullet for iTunes to make Apple incredibly wealthy and powerful, and for all sorts of other great P2P follow. The movie surprisingly doesn’t touch on Napster’s new life as a subscription service, consequently sold by Best Buy to Rhapsody.

Anyway, if you’re like me and were an early adopter of music through the interwebs, you should see this movie. There, that about says it.

—I don’t mind taking a nap, sir, dan

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