“We were playing the roles,” Brandy Burre says. She’s talking about her marriage, but she speaks as well to the many roles anyone or everyone plays each day, the many ways we experience ourselves and others. In the film Actress, Burre goes on to reflect on her own “mom role” and her husband’s “breadwinner” role, and Robert Greene’s remarkable film goes on to work with her, to ponder, provoke, and pose questions about what it means to act, to perform parts and also to be authentic.
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Kate Barker-Froyland’s 2014 film Song One tells the story of a young woman called Franny Ellis (Anne Hathaway), whose life is thrown into emotional tumult when her brother falls into a coma after a car accident. Set in the ever-thriving Brooklyn music scene, the film is as much about the music of the city as it is the people who live within it; unsurprisingly, then, reputable musicians Jenny Lewis (The Postal Service) and Johnathan Rice were called upon to write songs for this musical tale. Below, you can view an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Song One Original Soundtrack (OST), focusing on the song “Big Black Cadillac”.
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Ready to feel inadequate? As if the achievements of the ten people listed below weren’t impressive enough on their own, many of them were accomplished before the artists reached the age of ten. That’s right: by the time the rest of us normal folks were preparing ourselves to deal with algebra for the first time, these preternaturally talented young people were already taking big steps into the spotlight. Building a talent, whether physical or mental, takes time and dedication, but some people are lucky enough that they have the raw materials to throw a ball long or nail a really difficult piece of music not long after the training wheels came off their bikes.
While American Sniper generates debate over its protagonist’s patriotism as well as remarkable box office returns, here’s another film that considers the dire effects of war on its soldiers. on PBS’ Independent Lens, Dan Krauss’ The Kill Team focuses on the Maywand District murders, committed by US soldiers in 2010, a case made notorious by a Rolling Stone article that included photos of the soldiers posing with corpses.
Isn’t it kind of great when your day job (playing in a celebrated modern psych-rock outfit known as Black Mountain) and your favorite hobby (making film scores) eventually merge to become the same thing?
You see, back in 2010, Jeremy Schmidt—best known as Black Mountain’s highly-regarded synth player—flexed his muscles under his Sinoia Caves moniker to create the brooding, throbbing, psychedelic-yet-intensely-dark score for Panos Cosmatos’ 2010 feature Beyond the Black Rainbow. The visually intense homage to ‘80s horror/sci-fi never got much in terms of a major release, but as the years have gone by, its reputation as a DVD cult favorite has grown and grown. The score, it turned out, proved to be a major part of it, and even with Black Mountain cheekily subtitling their Year Zero best-of compilation “Original Soundtrack By”, it’s the demand for Schmidt’s work as Sinoia Caves which has grown and grown, up to the point where his longtime record label, Jagjaguwar, finally put out his epic score for BtBR in Fall of 2014.
To celebrate this event, much less one of those magnificent occasions where a score can completely stand on its own even for people who haven’t seen the film, PopMatters asked Schmidt to name his “Fave Five” film scores. It was a fascinating insight into Schmidt’s cinematic influences, but, does so also with a qualifier:
“It’s hard to narrow down such a broad category into ‘five faves’ without at least a few glaring omissions, ie; Aguirre, Wrath of God, Suspiria, Zabriskie Point, and no John Carpenter—because I couldn’t pick one! So this, as a result, is far from being any kind of comprehensive list. I decided to stick with those film scores that, at least to a larger extent, harken back to a certain “golden age” of the analogue synthesizer—which heavily invaded the soundtrack vernacular of the late 70s and early 80s. Listed here in no particular order ...”