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3 items from 2015

The Art Song, Part 1: Lieder

25 October 2015 9:37 AM, PDT | | See recent CultureCatch news »

A major glossy magazine that used to be devoted largely to music -- but long ago fell under the spell of Hollywood celebrity -- still continues to cover music, specializing in listicles that seem designed mainly to provoke ire in those who care more about music than does said magazine (named after a classic blues song, in case you can't guess without a hint). This summer it unleashed a list of songs that, with that aging publication's ironically weak sense of history, managed to overlook the vast majority of the history of song. To put it bluntly, if you're claiming to discuss the best songs ever written and you don't even mention Franz Schubert, you're an ignoramus. My ire over this blinkered attitude towards music history festered for months, so I finally decided to do something about it by writing about some of the timeless songs omitted in the aforementioned myopic listicle. »

- SteveHoltje

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An Encomium for Fantastic Four

15 August 2015 11:35 AM, PDT | | See recent CultureCatch news »

As Saint Jerome noted so wisely, "Early impressions are hard to eradicate from the mind. When once wool has been dyed purple, who can restore it to its previous whiteness?"

Accordingly, anyone who's been bombarded with the TV ads for Josh Trank's Fantastic Four shouldn't be chastised for sprinting away from any multiplex screening of this latest Marvel concoction. Those trailers showcase a film lacking in verbal and visual wit, actors seemingly bereft of sparkle, and disfigured creatures that wouldn't appear out of place in a Toho production of the 1950s (e.g. Half Human in 1958; Rodan in 1957). While none of those early impressions are that wide off the mark, the first 45 minutes or so of this effort, nonetheless, are promising.

Before we go down that path, let's just note for those familiar with Trank's debut feature, the pretty terrific Chronicle (2012), Fantastic Four will seem like a bloated, less imaginative revamp in comparison. »

- Brandon Judell

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Ruzowitzky to direct Hesse adaptation 'Narcissus and Goldmund'

13 May 2015 10:00 PM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

Exclusive: Oscar-winning Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky (The Counterfeiters) is to direct Hermann Hesse’s 1930 international bestseller and cult novel Narcissus and Goldmund.

Producers Helge Sasse (Tempest Film) and Christoph Müller (Mythos Film) are in Cannes to meet potential partners for the international project which is set to have a double-digit million Euros budget.

Ruzowitzky, who has just completed shooting the Us thriller Patient Zero in London, is also writing the screenplay for the story with a setting in the late Middle Ages.

Principal photography is set to begin in late summer 2016.

Other novels by Hesse such as Siddharta, Steppenwolf and Demian were adapted by filmmakers in the past for the cinema, with German broadcaster Ard tackling his 1909 novella Die Heimkehr in 2011.

Narcissus and Goldmund is one of the first projects being planned by former Senator Entertainment CEO Helge Sasse at his new production outfit Tempest Film which he launched last summer with Solveig Fina.

Christoph Müller’s Berlin-based »

- (Martin Blaney)

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