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by Nik Ruckert

1 Sep 2011

Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn’s new film Drive follows a mechanic/stunt driver by day, getaway driver by night (Ryan Gosling, who hand picked Refn to direct this adaptation of James Sallis’ 2005 novel of the same name) through the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles. After the Driver (the only name Gosling’s mysterious, quiet character is given) meets his lovely neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) who’s raising her small son Benicio (Kaden Leos) while her husband is in prison, a love story develops between the three of them.

When Irene’s husband, Standard (Oscar Isaac) is released from prison, the Driver discovers that the family he’s come to love is in danger unless Standard pays off an outstanding and increasing debt. To that end, the Driver agrees to drive for Standard in a pawn shop heist. Complications of course arise, and the Driver is left with a duffel bag of cash, a family to protect, and some sinister members of the Los Angeles organized crime community hot on his trail.

by PopMatters Staff

1 Sep 2011

Photo: Patrick Fraser

Soulful singer-songwriter Gavin DeGraw has already gone platinum with his previous work and he keeps aim on a rapidly growing career trajectory with his latest album Sweeter, releasing 20 September on RCA Records. Sweeter ups the R&B quotient considerably, as well as brings a more “sexually charged” vibe to DeGraw’s music. That’s obvious on this new album cut, “Radiation”, which is drenched in blue-eyed soul grooves with an infectious chorus and loaded with energy and passion. That’s the direct result of co-writing and collaborating with other artists. DeGraw says, “co-writing with other people changed everything for me. Not only did it open my mind to new ideas, but it changed the way I wrote on my own. Playing all these different styles with other musicians led me to think about things differently when I was working by myself. I was able to tap into things I do live, dabbling with some of that late ’60s, early ’70s R&B stuff; I was able to record all the styles of music that I like and put them on one album. It was great to take my leash off and experiment. Although it doesn’t stray too far from what I’ve done, I think it’s the first album I’ve made that has caught my true sound.”

by Timothy Gabriele

1 Sep 2011

Neon Indian has created a late night video oddity that is the perfect blend of eerie and nostalgic for the heady arthouse sci-fi camp of SubGenius propoganda films. While Neon Indian has a new album, Era Extraña, coming out next month, this is actually a promo for the synth device Neon Indian is marketing. The device is an odd little patch that looks just as homemade and sounds as rough as those mysterious little doodads scattered across the table at basement noise shows across the country (the kind of thing barely known sound mechanics like Howard Steltzer whip out of their pockets at a whim). As a bonus, the PAL 198X, as the video promises, will help you “experienc[e] womb to tomb simultaneously as it transforms you into an undulating snake-lake creature that experiences all times of your life at once “. The downside: the device’s “photo cells do not currently support witch house raves”.

by Lee Dallas

31 Aug 2011

Despite a relatively small filmography, Carl Theodor Dreyer is truly a revered figure in cinema history; his emotionally draining storytelling and mysteriously slow output rate have afforded him an almost mythic status. The illegitimate son of a Swedish housekeeper, Carl Dreyer would pass through multiple foster homes before his placement in the care of Carl Theodor and Inger Marie Dreyer, around the same time as his biological mother’s accidental death. Dreyer would later estrange himself from his adpoted family as a teenager, and though dismissive of the impact of his childhood in interviews, his past seems unquestionably tied to his cinematic ruminations of sorrow, interpersonal disconnect, and martyrdom.

Read the rest of the entry within our 100 Essential Directors series.

by Jason Gross

31 Aug 2011

On March 7, 2010, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences finally recognized a woman as being worthy of the title ‘best director’ for the first time in the 81-year history of the Academy Awards. Even as a constant Hollywood critic, Deren would have loved to have seen that moment, if not receive an achievement award from the Academy (which should happen).

Originally from the Ukraine, her family came to America five years after her birth. After college, she made her way to New York City where she did a thesis on poetry, worked as a photographer and assisted a choreographer. She then made her way out to Los Angles, finding a kindred spirit in Czech Alexander Hammid, who became her second husband and collaborator on Meshes of the Afternoon, which alone would have assured her place in film history.

Read the rest of the entry within our 100 Essential Directors series.

//Mixed media

Indie Horror Month 2016: Executing 'The Deed'

// Moving Pixels

"It's just so easy to kill someone in a video game that it's surprising when a game makes murder difficult.

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