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Thursday, Oct 9, 2014
Peter Strickland confirms his reputation as one of contemporary British cinema’s most distinctive talents with a thrilling, immersive love story.

With his “rape-revenge” thriller debut Katalin Varga (2009) and its Giallo-horror tribute follow-up Berberian Sound Studio (2012), Peter Strickland immediately announced himself as one of the more distinctive, and certainly one of the most self-consciously “European”, of contemporary British filmmakers. He’s a cine-literate auteur conversant in arcane as well as popular modes and genres, and one who’s able to twist those modes to his own particular ends.


If neither Katalin Varga nor Berberian Sound Studio came out totally satisfying in the end, both pictures nonetheless demonstrated Strickland to be a daring filmmaker capable of giving the at present fairly conservative British industry a much-needed shake up.


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Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014
After spending summer playing festivals, Danny Brown has beens holed up working on a new record. But that didn't stop him from doing three NYC shows including one at the tiny Sonos Studio.

Last week, Sonos Studio and Pandora presents arranged for pop-up event space at the NeueHouse in New York to feature over a dozen free events and performances (including free booze) for small audiences. Spoon introduced a collaborative art project, Best Coast, Mikky Ekko and The Skins all performed as well as Dev Hynes but he also participated in a Q&A session. On Thursday evening, the “headliner” was Fool’s Gold rapper Danny Brown, who was performing two other shows in New York the same week at Webster Hall and House of Vans, both larger venues. He had spent his summer touring and performing at festivals (including a massive gig at Wembley opening for fellow Detroit resident Eminem).


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Monday, Oct 6, 2014
Our coverage of the 2014 London Film Festival begins with reviews of two mother/daughter-focused dramas: veteran André Téchiné’s French Riviera and Afia Nathaniel’s debut film Dukhtar.

Elements of crime drama, unrequited love story and mother/daughter melodrama add up to an oddity in French Riviera (L’Homme Que L’On Aimait Trop), the latest work from André Téchiné, which reunites the veteran director with one of his actrices fétiches, Catherine Deneuve. Silver-haired here and as subtly compelling as ever, Deneuve plays Renée Le Roux, a casino-owner in ‘70s Nice who’s fending off business propositions from seemingly unscrupulous rivals.


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Monday, Oct 6, 2014
The New Mastersounds are sort of like a hybrid strain of cannabis. The music has an uplifting effect, yet one that’s blended with a relaxed vibe.

It was a Wednesday night in the central part of town and there was a relatively new venue vying for the San Diego music scene’s attention. Situated just outside the trending North Park area in the less trendy yet growing City Heights neighborhood, the Hideout is well positioned to be a player in the local scene. It’s a classy joint that offers a much improved vibe from the similar sized hole in the wall atmosphere of the Soda Bar down the street. But could the small venue handle an international touring band like the New Mastersounds?


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Monday, Sep 29, 2014
Almost 50,000 people gathered in Central Park for the 3rd Annual Global Citizen Festival, a star-studded affair that draws attention to extreme poverty with world leaders pledging funds for relief.

The scope of the Global Citizen Festival remains the same as it did for the prior two iterations, to mitigate extreme poverty worldwide though this year the organizers directed additional attention to the subjects of vaccines, education and sanitation. Regarding sanitation, there was a lot of attention directed towards open defecation, a huge issue in India in particular. Amongst the global leaders in attendance (as the festival is timed to coincide with world leaders being in New York for the U.N. Global Summit) was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi had been implicated as one of the instigators of religious violence against Muslims (by Hindus) in Gujurat in 2002 where he was Chief Minister at the time. And he hadn’t been permitted to enter the United States from that point on, until he became elected Prime Minister in 2014 so he was given a moment at the festival to pledge that Indians citizens will have access to toilets by 2019. Other world leaders were present, including Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who pledged over $1.2 billion towards vaccinations worldwide over the next several years, and some NGO leaders including World Bank President Jim Kim and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.


But for many of nearly 50,000 people in attendance at the six hour event, including one girl who drove up from Tennessee, the primary attraction was not actor Hugh Jackman introducing Ban Ki-Moon or Olivia Wilde talking about her recent charitable endeavors, but the powerful and diverse line-up of musicians. Via an online lottery, for which people earned entries by completing socially conscious activities, the lucky people in attendance got to see performances from Jay Z and Beyonce, No Doubt (their first show in a couple of years) do a set with Sting guesting for one song, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keys with Idan Raichel, The Roots and more. The concert was available as a stream online or live on MSNBC (with noticeable delay) for those that couldn’t go, but given the opportunity to be out on Central Park on a lovely summery day, Global Citizen Festival was a perfect outing… if you could get in (VIP ticket holders complained of long lines). It may be hard to determine what the attendees’ motives were but if they were genuine, but if even a small percentage of them feel urged to donate, or be more socially active that is a good start.


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