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by Rick Bentley - McClatchy Newspapers (MCT)

30 Aug 2011

Kelly McGillis signed with Paramount Studios in the mid-80s to make two features films. The first, “Witness,” was a huge hit and earned her a Golden Globe nomination. The actress had some specific ideas about what she wanted to do in the second movie but the Paramount brass had already decided: It would be about a group of young test pilots.

It wasn’t exactly the film McGillis would have picked for herself, but “Top Gun” went on to become the biggest box office draw of 1986 , taking in more than $176 million. From its driving Kenny Loggins tune “Danger Zone” to the catch phrase “I feel the need, the need for for speed,” “Top Gun” became a hit and remains as high-flying as ever.

by Michael Abernethy

30 Aug 2011

Cukor has always been identified as an actor’s director, more specifically, a “woman’s” director. Understandable, considering that in The Women (1939), not a single man appears onscreen, and looking at the titles in his filmography indicates how frequently his movies were women-centric. Yet, such a classification demeans Cukor’s skills as a director, one who directed three men to Oscars (Jimmy Stewart, Ronald Coleman, Rex Harrison), but only two women (Ingrid Bergman, Judy Holliday). Cukor’s homosexuality and femininity have been credited with providing him a penchant for telling women’s stories, yet most every female lead in Cukor’s films had a strong male lead to play off. With films such as A Double Life, the tale of an actor’s Othello-inspired descent into madness, Cukor proved he could dive into the male psyche with equal skill.

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

by John Garratt

30 Aug 2011

Seabrook Power Plant plays music you’ve never heard before. Yes, all kinds of people try to make that claim these days as we find ourselves running out of music genres. But Brandon Seabrook’s approach to the banjo is something so far removed from its African roots that it might as well be another instrument entirely. And when he switches to guitar… well, watch out. For notes.

If you need convincing of Seabrook Power Plant’s unique place in the post-everything world of instrumental whackness, their label Loyal Label has provided a free download of their the first track on their new album “Lamborghini Helicopter”. On it you’ll hear some rapid-fire angular banjo, a pulverizing rhythm section from hell, and some frighteningly precise female vocal harmonizations from Judith Berkson that seem to drop in out of nowhere.

And while you’re there, you can download two exclusive outtakes from Eivind Opsvik.

[Download “Lamborghini Helicopter”]

by Cynthia Fuchs

29 Aug 2011

When Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols and Jessie Misskelly were released from prison on 19 August, Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky were there. The filmmakers have been chronicling the story of the West Memphis 3 since 1993, when they were arrested for murdering three little boys in Arkansas. Following a set of sensational trials, all three teenagers were convicted and imprisoned, with Echols sent to death row. The filmmakers chronicled their ordeals, the hectic press coverage, and also the reactions of community members, including the parents of the dead children as well as the parents of the boys accused, in two documentaries. Now, as Berlinger and Sinofsky set to work on the “new ending” of their third documentary in the series, Paradise Lost 3:  Purgatory, set to premiere on HBO in 2012 (and word is out that Sheila Nevins wants a fourth film), the first two are re-airing: Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) on 29 August and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000) on 30 August.

by PopMatters Staff

29 Aug 2011

The Jezabels is an anthemic pop band that creates soaring, hook-filled tunes that feel grandiose and aimed for large stages. Indeed, the band is focused on producing big tunes that can accentuate the aspect of melancholy and drama in musical performance. Leader singer Hayley Mary says, “I was always obsessed with that whole Brontë-esque gothic melodramatic thing Kate Bush did… I love the performance aspect of people like Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper.” The group debuted with a series of three EPs and are now set to release their full-length, With Prisoner, on September 16 in Australia.

Today we present the US online video premiere of “Endless Summer”, a highlight from the new album. Mary says of the song, “‘Endless Summer’ is an ideal, a fantasy, the kind you can impose onto another person when you are lonely or when reality is dark and cold, like the boy in the film clip.” Check out the tune and catch the band on their European and North American tour (dates after the jump).


//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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