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Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014
Sinoia Caves (Black Mountain's Jeremy Schmidt) did the iconic score for 2010's Beyond the Black Rainbow, the demand for it leading to a 2014 release for the first time. Now, Schmidt walks us through his Fave Five Film Scores, and it is a trip in and of itself.

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 ...”


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Saturday, Nov 8, 2014
Watchers of the Sky screens at the Doc Yard on 8 November.

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.


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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Big beat electronic artist the Chemical Brothers just released the new track "This Is Not a Game".

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.


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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014
“Even in my darkest nightmares, I couldn’t have imagined the city as it is today. Nothing interrupts this silence, but the chirping of birds and the roaring of bombardment.”

Talal Derki is walking as he speaks in voiceover, walking through what’s left of Homs. That is to say, he’s “walking through” quite literally. Certainly, he’s crossing from one room to another, but more dauntingly, as he walks, the camera follows him from one home to another: he’s walking not through doorways but through holes in walls, holes created with hammers, so that people who have not evacuated the city, who mean to fight and document the fight, can pass under some modicum of safety and cover, unseen by snipers and men with rocket launchers, waiting to shoot at anyone they spot.


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Friday, Oct 3, 2014
"Some women enter into the system and say, 'We will play the game the way it has always been played,'" says Nigerian pro-democracy activist Hafsat Abiola. "Some of them will say the game has caused so much wrong, if I can make one little difference, I must do it."

“I remember feeling frightened,” says Hafsat Abiola. “I just didn’t feel I could trust the police or their soldiers any more.” This after her mother, Kudirat Abiola, the charismatic leader of a pro-democracy movement in Nigeria, was assassinated in 1996. As Hafsat today looks back on that fraught history, so personal as well as so frighteningly public, she also looks forward with hope. The founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy tells her story in The Supreme Price, which considers the many complexities of Nigeria, ruled by a series of military regimes from 1966-1996. As current events continue to swirl—including the terrors of Boko Haram and the troubling presidency of Goodluck Jonathan—Hafsat persists.


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