17 items from 2015
Ski Switcher 2 for Logic X by Peter Schwartz
Purchase Ski Switcher and get more information at SkiSwitcher.com
If you are a Logic user, chances are you’ve come across the username “Ski” at one of the numerous online Logic forums. Ski (a.k.a Peter Schwartz) is a composer, orchestrator, and arranger whose long and impressive career has allowed him to work with artists such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Mariah Carey and Pet Shop Boys to name a few, and his scoring clients include Disneytoons, Mattel, Fox, Warner Bros and many more. Peter Schwartz is also one of MacProVideo’s most pre-eminent Logic Pro instructors and has produced Logic-oriented courses in Midi Orchestration, Template Building and Score Editing.
Throughout all his musical escapades for the past 25+ years Ski has been loyal to Logic and is one of the few people on this planet who actually really know Logic inside-out. »
- Stellita Loukas
Jagged, ragged and darkly hilarious, “The Naked DJ” consists of one long rant by Singaporean underground musician X’ Ho about his country and late supreme leader Lee Kuan Yew, whom he compares with Hitler. Independent helmer Kan Lume (“Singapore Girl”) accompanies Ho on his first China trip, but the journey is basically just a vehicle for Ho to deliver a snarky running commentary on the city-state’s repressive government and soulless society; while it will be difficult for non-compatriots to gauge the accuracy of his criticism, the eloquence of his vitriol is archly compelling. Pulling no punches on a no-holds-barred personality, Lume’s image-savvy, funkily scored work is perhaps his best to date. The doc’s cocky attitude makes it a peppy pill for festivals.
X’ Ho (the “X” is pronounced as “Chris,” his Christian name) fell into the music scene in the early ’80s as a member of a garage hard-rock band, »
- Maggie Lee
Here are the songs that were considered forJames Bond themes but ultimately rejected. Some of them aren't half-bad, too...
Bond title songs are an intrinsic part of the series. But did you know that there were often unused tracks that were considered but rejected? Some of them are damn good too. This is bound to lead to comparisons and what if… discussions, and that's what we are here to encourage today.
As soon as we try to define what makes a great Bond song, we run into the problem that dogs any criticism of the series – every aspect of it is extremely divisive. Whatever element you nominate as a high point, best actor, score or film, for example, is someone else's least favourite and vice versa. The same goes for the Bond theme songs: some people like a bouncy pop song with a nice brass arrangement. For others, »
Admitting this is the first film by Jia Zhangke that I’ve seen may lose me some street cred, but I was pleased to finally discover the filmmaker via his latest exploration of modern China, Mountains May Depart. A universal story of the irresistible draw of the present meeting the inexorable march of the future, the film stands as a bold, compassionate statement for the power of gestures and the ripples they cause through time.
Taking place in three different periods – 1999, 2014 and 2025, with changing aspect ratios to match – in China and later Australia, the film charts the ups and downs in lives of three friends: »
- Mark Allen
The first trailer for Mountains May Depart was released last week and the Cannes nominee looks to be one of the more interesting films of the year. It is directed by Jia Zhang-ke.
The official synopsis is as follows:
At once an intimate drama and a decades-spanning epic that leaps from the recent past to the present to the speculative near-future, Jia’s new film is an intensely moving study of how China’s economic boom – and the culture of materialism it has spawned – has affected the bonds of family, tradition, and love. Mountains May Depart opens in 1999 to the strains of the Pet Shop Boys’ “Go West,” a song whose promise of blue skies captures the dreams of affluence that seized so many Chinese youth at the turn of the century. In Fenyang, childhood friends Liangzi, a coal miner, and Zhang, the owner of a gas station, are »
- Zach Dennis
“I think in order for a movie to be appreciated, it ultimately needs to be an aesthetic creation,” director Jia Zhang-ke told us at Cannes this year. “Who would care for a film depicting a lot of social realities but devoid of a sense of aesthetics? If my movies have appealed to an international audience, I hope it’s because on a substantial level, they bring the contemporary Chinese experience to the big screen, and that at the same time, they have an artistic quality to them.”
There’s certainly an appeal over here for his latest, Mountains May Depart, which is a three-part, decades-panning drama that stops by New York Film Festival this week following Cannes, Tiff, and more. Ahead of a release in the first half of next year by Kino Lorber, the first (unsubtitled) international trailer has landed, along with a set of evocative posters.
- Jordan Raup
Sold-out screenings for Amy Winehouse documentary and Cobain: Montage of Heck.
Sweden’s Way Out West music festival ran its film programme for the fifth year, and selections included a strong mix of music-related docs (Amy, Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Damned: Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead), Heaven Adores You and features (Eden, Love & Mercy) as well as indie films (Ex Machina, The Falling, Pervert Park) that might appeal to the trendy crowds attending Way Out West.
Films were screened in two cinemas in Goteborg, as well as in a tent on the larger festival site at Slottsskogen park.
The event draws 30,000 visitors per day, mostly for music but increasingly taking a look at the film offerings.
The sold-out screenings for film included Amy, Cobain: »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Wendy Mitchell)
Everything old is new again. No, really. Everything old is new again today. Winona Ryder says a "Beetlejuice" sequel is actually happening, the latest trailer for the "Jem and the Holograms" remake was released today (truly, truly outrageous) and "AbFab" is headed for the big screen. Yes, Edina and Patsy, your favorite British Bff's and gay icons, are once again ready to crash every fashion show, charity event and posh soiree in the greater London metropolitan area and beyond. According to Deadline and confirmed by HitFix, Fox Searchlight is in negotiations to co-finance and distribute the long awaited "Absolutely Fabulous" movie. The movie will be based on the BBC TV Series which began way back in 1992 and ran for three initial seasons. It proved so popular that there have been numerous specials, two more seasons (2001, 2005) and a 20th Anniversary special that tied into London's 2012 Olympic Games. Now, series creator Jennifer Saunders »
- Gregory Ellwood
The entwined subjects of time passing and landscapes changing have always been synonymous with the work of Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke; his latest feature, Mountains May Depart, expands these ideas to a point that exists beyond any previously established horizon. The film may well be Jia’s most ambitious to date, in this respect: it spans three decades in all, touching down in 1999, 2014 and 2025, so essentially covering our past, present and future. As with all of Jia’s work, location here plays an integral role – like Platform and Pick Pocket, the narrative revolves around the director’s hometown of Fenyang – with scenes unfolding among local festivities on packed streets, or upon the scorched earth of a local coal mine that recalls similar shots in Barbara Loden’s Wanda. And just as we witnessed the gradual construction of the Yangtze River’s Three Gorges Dam (and inevitable destruction of the »
- Nicholas Page
Last week at The CineFamily in Los Angeles, Milan Records held an album release party for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson soundtrack. While the CD was available when the film was first released, this is the first time you can own a vinyl edition of the soundtrack that features everything from Glass Candy to Pet Shop Boys, to Giuseppe Verdi to Anton Brucker and more. The double LP is now available and has new artwork by All Media. In addition to releasing his own soundtracks on vinyl, Refn has partnered up with Milan Records for a series that’s called “Nicolas Winding Refn Presents” and the line will release limited edition soundtracks on vinyl with new artwork. They just started taking orders on Robocop by Basil Poledouris. The remastered vinyl was done from the original tapes, and will be a double LP on 180gm silver vinyl in a double tip-on »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
While he’s certainly been very busy working on his upcoming film “The Neon Demon,” Nicolas Winding Refn still found time in his schedule to attend a special screening of “Bronson” last Wednesday at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. The occasion? The release of the “Bronson” soundtrack on vinyl via Milan Records. Refn stopped by, signed some LPs, then a Q&A was held after the film was over. The director was typically candid during the Q&A, which brought about many interesting tidbits regarding the making of “Bronson” as well as Refn’s inspirations for the soundtrack. What’s especially interesting about the “Bronson” soundtrack is its eclecticism. The film contains a seemingly disparate mix of both ‘80s electronic pop and classical music. Thankfully, Refn gave us some great insight, revealing that he’d tried to get the Pet Shop Boys to compose original music for “Bronson.” The Q »
- Ken Guidry
Last week at The CineFamily in Los Angeles, Milan Records held an album release party for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson soundtrack. While the CD was available when the film was first released, this is the first time you can own a vinyl edition of the soundtrack that features everything from Glass Candy to Pet Shop Boys, to Giuseppe Verdi to Anton Brucker. The double LP is now available and has new artwork by All Media. In addition to releasing his own soundtracks on vinyl, Refn has partnered up with Milan Records for a series that’s called “Nicolas Winding Refn Presents” and the line will release limited edition soundtracks on vinyl with new artwork. They just started taking orders on Robocop by Basil Poledouris. The remastered vinyl was done from the original tapes, and will be a double LP on 180gm silver vinyl in a double tip-on jacket with new artwork by Jay Shaw. »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Cannes — Even at a more civilized festival such as Cannes, it can be hard to catch every single movie in competition. There are always a few that will slip through the cracks and you can always count on the inevitable life drama moment to rear its ugly head. Unlike other festivals, Cannes has less repeat screenings across the board. That also makes things tough for one person to chronicle it all. With less than 24 hours left in the festival we’re happy to say we've been able to cover 10 Cannes selections in depth. Here are capsule reviews for another six selections you may still be curious about. [Expect full reviews of “Macbeth,” “The Little Prince” and “Chronic” by the end of the weekend as well as some thoughts on whether Oscar stepped out on la Croisette this year.] "Louder Than Bombs" Director: Joachim Trier Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Amy Ryan, Isabelle Huppert, David Strathairn, David Druid Reaction: Trier’s first English language film is sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand, he often has creative and new ideas on how to stage scenes. »
- Gregory Ellwood
A certain type of vintage genre score has rightfully earned its place in film music pantheon —think the haunting pulsations of John Carpenter, the woozy dreamscapes of Tangerine Dream, the throbbing disco-synth anxieties of Giorgio Moroder —and that atmospheric spirit as such is currently being channeled by filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. The director recontextualized the Pet Shop Boys for a new generation with his bruising psycho prison film “Bronson”; he's turned throwback synth artist Johnny Jewel into a kind of modern rock star in the field thanks to his “Drive” score (the film's star Ryan Gosling has turned into a devotee too); and he's also helped transform Steven Soderbergh-collaborator Cliff Martinez (“Only God Forgives,” “Solaris”) into one of the most sought after modern film composers. While Refn is creatively indebted to the mondo-exotica genre films of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s and their soundtracks, the filmmaker has used his recent cache to shine a. »
- Edward Davis
The cinema’s consummate chronicler of a China evolving so rapidly that its own citizens can scarcely keep apace, Jia Zhangke strikes a particularly melancholic chord in “Mountains May Depart,” a polymorphous snapshot of 21st-century capitalism and its discontents that also finds the filmmaker, like several of his characters, venturing for the first time outside of his home turf and mother tongue. Following a single family as it is tossed about by time, tide and the onward march of progress over the span of a quarter-century, Jia’s latest feature addresses a host of pet themes through a less quirky, stylized lens than 2013’s gruesomely violent “A Touch of Sin” or 2006’s “Still Life” (with its condemned buildings blasting off like rocket ships). But if “Mountains” feels a touch schematic at times, and awkward in its third-act English-language scenes, the cumulative impact is still enormously touching, highlighted by Jia’s »
- Scott Foundas
After a debut season that saw the sitcom repeatedly trashed by the man on whose memoir it's based, Fresh Off The Boat (1.5/5) wrapped up its first run last night. There was some assimilation anxiety and some Pet Shop Boys on Tuesday in the 13th episode of the mid-1990s set comedy about a Taiwanese-American family that move from D.C. to Orlando. There was also a little bit more of the same among adults 18-49. While down 40% in the demo from its 8:30 Pm February 4 debut and… »
[Ed. Note: The lovely individuals of awesome monster band Gwar are known for taking the piss, so please take them—and Daniel Xiii, for that matter—with a block of salt, and note that this article is not at all safe for work.]
Holy cats, my creeps: I recently had a diabolical dream fulfilled recently when I was summoned to appear before Gwar themselves when they rolled through my neck of the wicked woods. And let me tell ya, we had a conversation like no other! Wait, what is that? You actually want to know what went on in that cursed convo? Well, today’s yer lucky day, as I just so happened to transcribe the terror talk!
Famous Monsters. Well, well, well, if it isn’t the world’s most gruesome guitarist, Pustulus Maximus! Greetings, fellow ghoul! How has life on the raunchy road been treatin’ yer ass?
Pustulus Maximus. The tour has been going really well. People have been showin’ up which is really f–king important! It’s goin’ great. I haven’t got any complaints… other than the lack of handjobs, but what are ya gonna do?
FM. I »
17 items from 2015
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