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by Stuart Henderson

15 Sep 2009

Navigating through a major international film festival is never easy. First of all, it involves a great deal of planning if you intend to see a lot of stuff. The Press and Industry schedule for this year’s fest is a complex grid of competing screening times, multiple locations, and frustratingly few showings of key films. Many of the movies that everyone wants to see are playing only once in theatres not quite big enough for all of us to get in. There are, in fact, two lines for many of the movies: one for the Priority Press (which means, sort of by definition, not me) and one for the Other Press (including a correspondent for the Huffington Post who was decidedly nonplussed about finding herself there, and who made embarrassing noises about it, like, in front of the rest of us, as if she didn’t realize that what she was upset about was that she was being treated just like the rest of us, all of which led to an awesome moment when a youthful festival representative came over to deal with her and admitted that she wasn’t familiar the HuffPo. “Canadians have never heard of the Huffington Post!” the critic responded, indignant and amazed. “No, I have never heard of it.” Yeah!) And so but anyway you have to wait in line a lot, and thus you have to plan to be at screenings long before the scheduled start, which means that you can’t safely bump from one show right into the next. Though I have, so far, been able to get into everything I’ve lined up for, I certainly haven’t been able to see everything I wanted to see. I mean, one of the theatres is a subway ride away from the other two!

There are two basic ways to approach a film festival. On the one hand, you can go to a fest with the intention of seeing every major film that stars lots of famous folks and which will invariably set you up for the big releases for the next few months (which, for reviewers, is good because a head start is nice). On the other hand, you can go to a fest planning to see only little movies which might not find a distributor, and thus may never again play on the big screen, in the hopes of discovering some unwashed gem. This latter option happens to be the “cool” way to go to a fest, since all I have overheard from “cool” looking film people is how they didn’t go to see some Hollywood flick because they can “see that anytime” and instead watched something weird, quirky, and interesting, that hasn’t got a hope in hell of being picked up for distribution. And, while I am drawn to that approach, I am also acutely aware that the former option provides the best possible chance of catching Golden Globe and Oscar stuff before the rest of the world gets in there, which is kind of thrilling. Anyway, there are actually three ways of approaching a film festival, since you can also just plan your days around what stands out when you thumb through the program, and then do the math to make your day work time-wise. This is what I decided to do. I was told by some guy when I said that I sat through Jennifer’s Body instead of seeing a semi-obscure French film (that he adored) that I was going to “regret” this approach. Film people can be very weird.

by Eleanore Catolico

14 Sep 2009

Juliette Lewis is like that woman in the bar who’s gotten into fights (and won) and ain’t no fool to a man’s game. She infuses this feral power into her high octane rock ‘n’ roll, however cheekily hyperbolic it may be. On The Late Late Show, Juliette Lewis talks about her new album Terra Incognita, released this week on The End, and produced by Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez. The interview’s loud vs. louder tone makes for some comedy, but give credit to Ferguson for being one of the few TV interviewers out there who actually lets their guests speak without being patronized or victim to a barrage of verbal assaults. When Lewis describes herself as “a Little Prince in a Mad Max world”, it is incredibly apropos.

Adopting a tundra of Bat for Lashes-like garb with a hard rock edge, Lewis thrusts into a maelstrom of screechy vixen vocals, menacing guitar riffs, a torrent of drums, and eerie romanticism on Terra Incognita. Distinct from her past work with the Licks, lyrics of brazen debauchery are superseded by Lewis’ outcries of despair and longing. In “Noche Sin Fin”, Lewis’ terror in the night ends with declamations of immortality, “I, I, I, I will never die”, and is one of Terra Incognita‘s stronger tracks. Lewis will go on tour for Terra Incognita in the fall, beginning on September 11th in Toronto. Backed by new band, the New Romantiques, Lewis’ performance of Terra Incognita‘s “Fantasy Bar” maxes out her pixie-bizarre card, prancing around like a rock ‘n’ roll Alkonost in midnight blue:

by Tyler Gould

14 Sep 2009

Mika
The Boy Who Knew Too Much
(Casablanca)
Releasing: 21 September

Once known as We Are Golden, Mika changed the name of his second studio album to satiate his desire for “something a little more ridiculous”. He teams up once again with Life in Cartoon Motion producer Greg Wells, and shares a songwriting credit with Imogen Heap on track 8, “By the Time”.

SONG LIST

Standard Edition
01 We Are Golden
02 Blame It On The Girls
03 Rain
04 Dr. John
05 I See You
06 Blue Eyes
07 Good Gone Girl
08 Touches You
09 By The Time
10 One Foot Boy
11 Toy Boy
12 Pick Up Off The Floor

Deluxe Edition: Disc 2 Mika Live at Sadler’s Wells
01 Grace Kelly
02 Lady Jane
03 Stuck in the Middle
04 Lonely Alcoholic
05 Blue Eyes
06 Toy Boy
07 Billy Brown
08 Good Gone Girl
09 Over My Shoulder
10 Big Girl (You’re Beautiful)
11 Love Today
12 Blame It on the Girls
13 Happy Ending
14 Lollipop
15 My Interpretation
16 Rain
17 Relax, Take It Easy

Mika
Blame It on the Girls [MP3]
     

by Tyler Gould

14 Sep 2009

Bat for Lashes went home empty-handed at the Mercury Prize Awards, but did get a chance to perform “Moon and Moon” off of Album of the Year-nominated Two Suns:

by Dominic Umile

14 Sep 2009

There isn’t much that makes sense about UK act Golau Glau (said “Goll Eye Gly”).

For one, they’ve only just formed this summer, and they’re already on to some seriously next level experimentation. Secondly, they’ve taken a fairly pristine track from techno ambient masters worriedaboutsatan and added a whole slew of Scuba-like atmospherics and clobbering sub-bass to it. Sheesh.

Finally, I’m unable to effectively communicate why I like “Heartland Half Seizure”, which is available here for free at new net label Odd Net. Spiraling glassy synths, half-time dubby beats, and randomly doubled female vocals seemingly concerning a 1930s-era anti-fascist riot in a Welsh coastal town—actually, it’s all quite nice. Golau Glau’s Last.fm profile also offers “Heartland Half Seizure” (and many more songs) for free download.

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