The looming threat of global warming (or, in more neutral terms, climate change) has been strangely divisive despite the fact that it is a near universally agreed-upon phenomenon among environmental experts. The Anthropologist (screened at the International Film Festival Boston), which follows anthropologist Susan Crane and her daughter Kathryn Yegorov-Crate as they visit communities profoundly affected by climate change, approaches the issue from a different direction. Rather than tackling climate change as the abstract, data-driven phenomenon that it’s often painted as, the film gets down and dirty, showing the struggles of various people affected by climate change adapting to their changing worlds.
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Love the Alabama Shakes and Brittany Howard? Then get ready to adore Terra Lightfoot, a roots rocker with a powerful voice and a badass Gibson SG that she plays with consummate ease. Yep, she could be your new rock ‘n’ roll hero. Drawing from rock, soul and blues, Lightfoot is a monster talent that will be gracing the world’s largest festival stages in no time. “Never Will” is the latest single from her recent album Every Time My Mind Runs Wild that released in April via Sonic Unyon and we’ve got the video premiere for you today.
Prism (or more specifically, _Prism, note the underscore, in case you want to search for it on Google or on the App Store) is an iOS puzzle game that’s pretty dang good, but the most impressive thing about it is its art. The simple idea of geometric shapes floating in space is used to convey a strong sense of progression, culminating in a truly clever climax that’s also an anti-climax. The game gets to have its cake and eat it too. It’s subversive and expected, climactic and anti-climactic, a clever trick and a thoughtful lesson.
In Under the Shadow (2016), Shideh (Narges Rashidi) plops a VHS tape in and exercises in front of the television, and jerks from side to side to the sounds of Jane Fonda’s affirmations against dancy ‘80s music. Not too long after, a familiar piercing groan is heard. Air-raid sirens. Shideh snatches up her daughter, Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), and the two retreat to the basement of their Tehran apartment building, where a small group of neighbors huddle together in the dark. When it’s over, they move back upstairs, acting as if nothing happened. This is the status quo.
Screened at the Independent Film Festival Boston 2016, the world of Babak Anvari’s debut feature is Iran in the ‘80s, after the Islamic Revolution and during the lengthy Iran-Iraq war. The shadow in the title could mean many things: the looming specter of war and death, the long shadow of post-revolution Islamic conservatism. The latter, in fact, is most important to our heroine, Shideh, a liberal housewife whose participation in leftist groups during university led to her expulsion and torpedoed her chance to return and pursue medical studies. When we meet her, she is told by a school official that “he wanted her to hear this: she will never be admitted back.”
Brice Ezell: For a band with such a reputable discography, Radiohead—rather perplexingly—continues to rely on gimmick-heavy album releases. The music cannot simply speak for itself. Sure, there can be an element of artistic ingenuity behind these rollouts, but they have increasingly begun to feel like hype mills, devices through which to generate the impression that an album is better or more important than it actually is. (This, of course, is not unique to Radiohead; no amount of cockamamie high-art justifications for Kanye’s constant alterations of The Life of Pablo can obscure its scattershot quality.) But because Radiohead is Radiohead—and music critics are music critics—the slightest hint of album release provocation will send online outlets and social media channels into a frenetic buzz of self-fulfilling hype. Never mind when Radiohead’s ostensibly innovative LP drops are hardly innovative (2007’s solid In Rainbows, whose pay-what-you-will model had been utilized previously before by a range of artists, including Bomb the Music Industry!) or when the hype deflates upon the arrival of a boring album (see the 2011 flop The King of Limbs): when Radiohead makes a sound, everyone listens with perked ears.