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The Art Song, Part 1: Lieder

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.
See full article at CultureCatch »

An Encomium for Fantastic Four

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.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Ruzowitzky to direct Hesse adaptation 'Narcissus and Goldmund'

  • ScreenDaily
Ruzowitzky to direct Hesse adaptation 'Narcissus and Goldmund'
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
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Jimmy Fallon Has a Spiritual Experience With Jared Leto… And Then Cuts His Beard (Video)

  • The Wrap
Jimmy Fallon Has a Spiritual Experience With Jared Leto… And Then Cuts His Beard (Video)
Jimmy Fallon has become an expert at convincing celebrities to do weird things with him, It is unclear whether it took any persuasion to get Jared Leto to participate in the bit they performed last night — and whether Leto thought it was a bit at all. Also read: What's Next for Acting Oscar Winners Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto? Remember, during Leto's successful awards season campaign last year, the world learned that the former teen heartthrob has quite the spiritual and philosophical side to him. He grew up on a hippie commune, loves the book “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse,
See full article at The Wrap »

Interview with Liam Gillick about Exhibition

Joanna Hogg's H in Exhibition, Liam Gillick, with Anne-Katrin Titze at Dolce & Gabbana: "Before the film happened, I've been thinking a lot about the problem of cinema. That's when the phone rang."

I met up for coffee with the man who plays H in Joanna Hogg's Exhibition, to talk about his work as a first time actor, Cary Grant improvising for Leo McCarey with Irene Dunne in The Awful Truth, Alain Delon with Maurice Ronet interpreting Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley in Purple Noon, and his newfound appreciation for the Grudge Match antics between Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone. Liam Gillick talked parallel lives, what cinema means to contemporary artists, and how it felt to become material. Robert Bresson and Hermann Hesse were assigned as homework by Hogg to prepare him for his role opposite Viv Albertine's D in Exhibition.

Liam had just arrived
See full article at eyeforfilm.co.uk »

Mad Max's Weekend Movie Guide: 'World War Z' & More

Greetings from the apocalypse! That may be this column's reassuring greeting each week, but damn if it hasn't proved prescient as all get-out. It seems like we can't go a week this summer without at least one movie where extinction-level events occur with pornographic intensity ("Man of Steel," "This is the End," "After Earth," the upcoming "Pacific Rim" and "The World's End"). Not that I'm complaining. Bring on the rubble, Brad Pitt!

Friday, June 21

Pow! In Theaters

Brad Pitt, big-budget zombie movie. Those are two phrases you thought you'd never hear put together by anyone not on mescaline, but "World War Z" is upon us and we must act for the preservation of our species! Pitt plays an all-purpose Un investigator/ badass named Gerry Lane who is dispatched to find patient zero in a zombie plague scorching the Earth in an all-encompassing way. Will the human race survive? Will
See full article at NextMovie »

Blue Like Jazz: Beer vs. Christ

Get ready for a new cinematic trope: Boy loses religion. Boy goes to weirdo college, sleeps beside a lesbian, and starts drinking beer. Boy regains religion after sliding a huge condom over a church steeple and being elected the campus Pope. Boy begins a relationship with a religious girl who enjoys traipsing among the impoverished in India.

God. No God. Ale. Lesbian. Condom. God. Gets girl.

Imagine Animal House starring Rick Santorum. No, make that Mitt Romney. No, that's unfair. How about Donny Osmond?

Based on what I've been told is an autobiographical, 1.5 million-copy bestseller, Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller, the book has been adapted for the screen with lots of love -- and less skill -- by Miller, Ben Pearson, and director Steve Taylor.

What's significant here is that much of the budget for the film was raised by the book's fans on Kickstarter.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Books: Book Review: José Saramago: Cain

Having written the hackles-raising The Gospel According To Jesus Christ, Portuguese poet, journalist, and novelist José Saramago was well experienced in humanizing the heavenly. Before his death in 2010, the Nobel-laureate aimed higher still with Cain, a slim, self-satisfied book that pits the supposed original murderer against the rightful title-bearer: God. The skepticism once applied to the New Testament is here applied to the Old, and though re-contextualizing the story of Cain and Abel isn’t a new idea—Hermann Hesse’s Demian also comes to mind—Saramago’s charming pugnacity and probing curiosity kick up some fresh dust. That ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Anniversaries: New Directions Founded 75 Years Ago

As the publisher's website explains, New Directions was founded in 1936, when James Laughlin (1914-1997), then a twenty-two-year-old Harvard sophomore, issued the first of the New Directions anthologies. "I asked Ezra Pound for 'career advice,'" James Laughlin recalled. "He had been seeing my poems for months and had ruled them hopeless. He urged me to finish Harvard and then do 'something' useful."

Few American publishers have been more useful to the cause of poetry. Yes, Nd has published much great prose as well, both original (notably a huge number of Henry Miller essay collections), and in translation (Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, the success of which funded many other projects; Jean-Paul Sartre's Nausea) or reprinted/collected (Delmore Schwartz's In Dreams Begin Responsibilities and Other Stories), but poetry -- less often supported by the major presses, especially early in a poet’s career -- is where the press has made its biggest impact.
See full article at CultureCatch »

Oscar-nominated Screenwriter Haines Dead At 72

Oscar-nominated Screenwriter Haines Dead At 72
The Oscar-nominated screenwriter who adapted James Joyce's Ulysses for the big screen has died, aged 72.

Fred Haines lost his battle with lung cancer at his home in Venice, California on 4 May.

Haines' controversial Ulysses, which featured a cast full of Irish actors, was banned in Ireland until 2000, but, despite mixed reviews, it earned the screenwriter an Oscar nod.

Haines also adapted and directed Hermann Hesse's Steppenwolf, which became a cult success in the mid 1970s.

Interview: Bent Hamer

[/link] > Factotum> Matt Dillon> Lili TaylorThere is a mark of pride among artists, writers in particular, who could fill multiple volumes with their employment histories. I remember reading a novel by a sci-fi/fantasy/pulp author named Steve Perry (The Man Who Never Missed -- highly recommended, think Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha in outer space with guns and kung-fu), who, in the bio at the end of one his novels listed the variety of jobs he’d held previous to becoming a professional writer. At least a dozen were listed, everything from hospital gift show cashier to martial arts instructor. C.J. Henderson, a New York based hard-boiled horror author and film critic (and an acquaintance of mine), lists nearly thirty different jobs he’s held on the bio section of his website. The thing about writing is that it usually doesn’t pay very well,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

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