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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Before seeing the André Benjamin-fronted biopic Jimi: All is By My Side, give a listen to a collection of classic tunes covered by Hendrix, including hits by the Beatles, Chuck Berry, and Cream, via Rdio.

Following its 2013 festival run, the Jimi Hendrix biopic Jimi: All is By My Side, written and directed by John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), will see its US release on September 26th. The film stars the versatile and underrated actor André Benjamin (of OutKast fame) as Hendrix; he is joined by Hayley Atwell, Imogen Poots, and Andrew Buckley. Ridley’s narrative focuses on the years prior to Hendrix’s rise to global attention with albums like Are You Experienced?.


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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
The fourth track on American Idiot finds our hero alone and lost at the start of his journey. Ten years later, it's still as catchy, tragic, and affective as ever.

When we last left Jesus [of Suburbia] (on April 1st), he was embarking on a journey to find his figurative fortune whilst declaring his freedom from both the condemnatory nature of his town and the tyrannical pretense of his country. In other words, he was enjoying his “Holiday” from the lies and limitations of the world around him. However, much like the dramatic realization that strikes the impulsive lovers at the end of The Graduate, the party ends as soon as reality hits (on April 2nd), and Jesus is suddenly confronted with loneliness and hopelessness as he faces the future alone. He has no company or guidance as he ventures down the “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, and it’s quite the bitter pill to swallow.


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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
For most of us in the West, it was television and the work of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass that made stop-motion animation an aesthetic given.

It’s origins can be traced by to 1897 and a film called The Humpty Dumpty Circus. There the technique was used to illustrate a collection of toys and stuffed animals coming to life. Famed film maestro George Melies used it for many of his films while Willis O’Brien popularized it with efforts such as The Lost World and King Kong.


It was George Pal, however,  who brought the concept to the kiddies—so to speak—creating a collection of celebrated “Puppetoons” that cemented the approach as part of the family film ideal. For most of us in the West, however, it was television and the work of Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass that made stop-motion animation an aesthetic given. Though they made a few feature films, their broadcast classics like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town, and Here Comes Peter Cottontail turned an entire generation onto the then dying artform.


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Tuesday, Sep 23, 2014
PopMatters caught up with Mecca Normal's Jean Smith on the Vancouver duo's upcoming album Empathy for the Evil. The video for album track "Between Livermore & Tracy" premieres here.

Going on 30 years together now, underground provocateurs Mecca Normal are still at it pushing buttons with their art-minded and politically charged music. But those more familiar with the searing, rough-hewn sound of Mecca Normal’s best-known works might be surprised to the hear the layered melodies and expansive compositions of Empathy for the Evil, the Vancouver duo’s first full-length effort in eight years. What’s a constant here, though, is the intellectual depth and socially engaged intensity that Jean Smith and David Lester have been known for across numerous artistic media. PopMatters caught up with Smith to find out more about the concepts behind Empathy for the Evil and how her and Lester’s work in writing and visual arts relate to their music. Empathy for the Evil is releasing on September 30 via M’lady’s Records and Mecca Normal embark on a new tour this week (see the dates below). Their new video for the album track “Between Livermore & Tracy” premieres here on PopMatters.


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Monday, Sep 22, 2014
A mystery thriller, a biographical portrait, a mother/daughter melodrama and a visit to the "Island of Love" make up our fourth day at Gdynia Film Festival.

In Michał Otłowski’s Waterline  (Jeziorak), Jowita Budnik plays Iza Deren, a no-nonsense policewoman who’s investigating a girl’s death. The decidedly put-upon Iza has more than this case on her plate, unfortunately.


She’s pregnant, for one, and the father of the twins she’s expecting has disappeared under mysterious circumstances with another police colleague. Meanwhile, the investigation turns up some long-buried secrets from Iza’s own past.


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