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by Sarah Zupko

19 Feb 2010

Just in cased you’ve somehow missed the promotional onslaught and the vast amount of copy expended this week on poring over Martin Scorsese’s career, Shutter Island is indeed coming to U.S. and Canadian theatres today. The film opens in many European countries next week, but oddly won’t see a UK release until 12 March.

Reactions to the film are somewhat mixed, even on our own staff. Chris Barsanti weighed in this morning, giving the film an eight and calling it “a haunted-house spooker mixed with an obsessed-detective noir, Shutter Island is not a great film. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of Scorsese’s best, and one to be remembered.” Meanwhile, Cynthia Fuchs is less bullish on Shutter Island, giving it a lowly four.

Earlier this week, Bill Gibron highlighted 10 key moments in Scorsese’s filmography in a popular article “‘Shutter’ Speed: 10 Seminal Scorsese Moments”. Gibron says of Scorsese that “he reinvents himself with every film, following his own unique ideals while constantly staying cemented in the language of the artform.”

Below are some interviews with the director and the stars, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Kingsley, as well as the author of the original book, Dennis Lehane.

by PopMatters Staff

19 Feb 2010

Bettie Serveert
Pharmacy of Love
(Second Motion)
Releasing: 23 March

01 Deny All
02 Semaphore
03 Love Lee
04 Mossie
05 The Pharmacy
06 Souls Travel
07 Calling
08 Change4Me
09 What They Call Love

“Deny All” [MP3]

by PopMatters Staff

19 Feb 2010

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra’s new album Kollaps Tradixionales is a stunner. Today we gave it a 9 with Richard Elliott saying: “More fractured beauty from the Montreal collective. Never let us forget Godspeed, but this is where the sound of Constellation is at now.”

by Jonas Jacobs

19 Feb 2010

The next piece has a thousand covers, but I’m only going to include the ones I find relevant personally. 

I was taken back to this song by a specific Nina Simone version from Sugar in My Bowl: The Very Best of Nina Simone 1967 - 1972. The lyrics of the song first appeared in a poetry book Cohen wrote in 1966. It appeared as “Suzanne takes you down.” There was also recently an LA Weekly cover piece called “Living Off the Grid” that spotlighted the actual Suzanne that Cohen wrote the poem for and what she is doing today.

Leonard Cohen is one of the many artists I was introduced to by my parents growing up. His songs always touched me deeply and below are some videos that I think help give a trajectory of how the song evolved. In this case, I have included multiple live version of Cohen singing “Suzanne,” so we can see how he has evolved as an artist and how crowds have evolved as crowds.

by John Lindstedt

19 Feb 2010

Since 2004, the Angry Video Game Nerd (James Rolfe) has been playing notoriously terrible video games so we don’t have to. Always sporting a New Jersey accent and a bottle of Rolling Rock, Rolfe tries to make his way through vintage games filled with typos, impossible levels, awful character designs, and Game Genie proof final bosses.

Rolfe, along with his independent production company Cinemassacre, became somewhat of an internet celebrity in 2004 after he uploaded a video of him complaining of the downfalls of Castlevanie II: Simon’s Quest. In his next video, he appeared on his screen as his “nerd” persona, and he’s covered dozens of games and platforms since. From the Turbo Graphics 16 to the Commodore 64, Rolfe meticulously rips apart games that are sometimes almost as old as him. He also has a great knack for pop culture history, providing great movie reviews and genre retrospectives.

This week Rolfe covers ‘SwordQuest’, an Atari-produced game series/contest from the early ‘80s that incorporated comic books and puzzles. Regardless if you’re interested in the subject matter, Rolfe somehow possesses the ability to make anything sound fascinating.

//Mixed media

Because Blood Is Drama: Considering Carnage in Video Games and Other Media

// Moving Pixels

"It's easy to dismiss blood and violence as salacious without considering why it is there, what its context is, and what it might communicate.

READ the article