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by Brice Ezell

27 Jan 2015

Sponsored by Friday Night Tykes

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.

by Cynthia Fuchs

19 Jan 2015

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.

by Evan Sawdey

19 Nov 2014

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 ...”

by Cynthia Fuchs

8 Nov 2014

Watchers of the Sky focuses on a daunting insight, that brutality can take many forms, from war making to banking. Just so, it revolves around the concept of genocide, as complicated as it is horrific. The film follows the decades-long effort of activist Raphael Lemkin—who invented the term “genocide” in order to make it a legal and political as well as moral issue—to convince nations that it’s in their interests to institute a tribunal to hold accountable those who commit the atrocity, even if this means all other nations might monitor their internal affairs. Inspired by US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, A Problem from Hell, Edet Belzberg’s documentary includes as well the stories of humanitarians including Luis Moreno-Ocampo (working on behalf of the International Criminal Court to prosecute Omar al-Bashir in Darfur) and Emmanuel Uwurukundo, working on behalf of Rwandan genocide survivors.

by PopMatters Staff

22 Oct 2014

The song premiered last night with Zane Lowe of the BBC and SiriusXM BPM and it is featured on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. The soundtrack was curated by Lorde and releases November 18th via Republic Records.

//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