Saturday, December 31, 2016

Movies for Music Lovers: 2016 Edition

Ralph Fiennes gets his ya-ya's out. [Fox Searchlight] 
Click here for the 2015 edition.

Since I compile this list for my personal blog and not for any other sites or publications, I follow my own rules, which means I count DVD and Blu-ray debuts, though I only listed a few. This is because I review more home video than theatrical releases. Links lead to my reviews for or podcast contributions to Cinema Squabble, Daily Projections, SIFFBlog, and The Stranger (some might have also appeared in East Bay Express and Portland Mercury). My reviews for Video Librarian live behind a paywall or by way of a print subscription.

The Tops
1. A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)

It irks me that Guadagnino swiped a title that David Hockney already used for one of his most famous paintings, especially since there's no correlation between the two, but the quality of his film (an idiosyncratic adaptation of 1969's La Piscine) helps to assuage the irritation. If Grand Budapest Hotel offered a looser Ralph Fiennes than anyone had seen before, A Bigger Splash shows how far the guy can go. Pretty fucking far, apparently. 

2. Moonlight (Barry Jenkins)
3. Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Koreeda)
4. Hell or High Water (David Mackenzie)
5. Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
6. The Fits (Anna Rose Holmer)
7. Aquarius (Kleber Mendonça Filho)
8. Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
9. Little Men (Ira Sachs)
10. The Love Witch (Anna Biller)

Note: I live in Seattle, so some of the films, like Paterson and Silence, that might have made my top 10 are missing, because they haven't opened here yet. A few screened for critics towards the end of 2016, but they weren't assigned to me, so I'll have to wait until 2017. 



Runners-up
11. Hail, Caesar! (Joel and Ethan Coen)
12. Sunset Song (Terence Davies)
13. Kaili Blues (Gan Bi)
14. Arrival (Denis Villeneuve)
15. Fences (Denzel Washington)
16. Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier)
17. Evolution (Lucile Hadžihalilović)
18. Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt)
19. The Witch (Robert Eggers)
20. Hello, My Name Is Doris (Michael Showalter)

Channing Tatum gets his Gene Kelly on. [Universal] 















Second Runners-up
21. Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)
22. Love & Friendship (Whit Stillman)
23. La La Land (Damien Chazelle)
24. Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve)
25. Maggie's Plan (Rebecca Miller)
26. 10 Cloverfield Lane (Dan Trachtenberg)
27. A Bride for Rip Van Winkle (Shunji Iwai)
28. Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Taika Waititi)
29. The Invitation (Karyn Kusama)
30. In a Valley of Violence (Ti West)

Note: For some reason, In a Valley of Violence, a serio-comic take on the spaghetti western, has attracted less attention than most every West film to date, and that's a shame, because John Travolta gives his best performance in years. Based on his recent projects, he won't top it any time soon, though Ethan Hawke, the film's true star, proves just as convincing as a gunslinger in West's film as a novelist in Rebecca Miller's (sorry to say I missed his turn as Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue). And although Keith Harris won't approve, I'm listing Ara-
bian Nights, a trilogy, as one film. The three aren't just designed to go together, but that's how some theaters have been screening them. Don't ask me to pick a favorite--I won't do it! 



Top Documentaries
1. Fire at Sea / Fuocoammare (Gianfranco Rosi)
2. No Home Movie (Chantal Akerman)
3. Cameraperson (Kirsten Johnson)
4. Something Better to Come (Hanna Polak)
5. De Palma (Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow)
6. T-Rex (Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari)
7. NUTS! (Penny Lane)
8. Breaking a Monster (Luke Meyer)
9. Tickled (David Farrier and Dylan Reeve)
10. Author: The JT LeRoy Story (Jeff Feuerzeig)

Note: I'm surprised and disappointed that Fire at Sea hasn't make it onto more end-of-the-year lists. To make the film, Rosi operated as a one-man crew and embedded himself into the life of Lampedusa for months. The results are beautiful, disturbing, and incredibly timely. And it made the Oscar short list, so it still has a chance at a best doc nomination. 

Samuele Pucillo in Fire at Sea. [Kino Lorber]

Doc Runners-up
11. Hooligan Sparrow (Nanfu Wang)
12. Dogtown Redemption (Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush)
13. Seven Songs for a Long Life (Amy Hardie)
14. Sinatra: All or Nothing at All (Alex Gibney)
15. Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words (Stig Björkman)
16. Janis: Little Girl Blue (Amy J. Berg)  
17. Danny Says (Brendan Toller)
18. Song of Lahore (Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken)
19. Llyn Foulkes One Man Band (Tamar Halpern and Chris Quilty)
20. Red Gringo / Gringo Rojo (Miguel Ángel Vidaurre)

Note: Seven Songs for a Long Life comes to PBS's POV on January 30, 2017. Don't miss it.



Missed docs: 13th, The Beatles – Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, Dead Slow Ahead, Don't Blink: Robert Frank, For the Love of Spock, Gimme Danger, Gleason, Am Not Your Negro, Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids, Miss Sharon Jones!, Newtown, O.J.: Made in America, Peter and the Farm, Tower, and Weiner.

Top Reissues or Video Debuts
1. Private Property (Leslie Stevens)
2. Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey)
3. Fireworks Wednesday / Chaharshanbe-soori (Asghar Farhadi)  
4. Los Sures (Diego Echeverria) 
5. Belladonna of Sadness / Kanashimi no Beradonna (Eiichi Yamamoto)  
6. Cornbread, Earl and Me (Joseph Manduke)
7. A Poem Is a Naked Person (Les Blank)
8. Watermelon Woman (Cheryl Dunye)

Note: Cornbread, Earl and Me, a made-for-TV movie which made its Blu-ray debut in 2016, features the first on-screen performance from 14-year-old Lawrence Fishburne. He's a little rough around the edges, but it's clear the kid was gonna go places. Two years later, that place was the Philippines for the filming of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.  

Conrad Hall shot the hell out of Private Property. [Cinelicious Pics]












Also worthy of note (including docs and made-for-TV movies): 50 Feet From Syria, All the Way, An Autobiography of Michelle Maren, The Bronze, Café Society, Call Her Applebroog, Captain Fantastic, Closet Monster, Coming Out, Complete Unknown, Confirmation, The Damned: Don't You Wish That We Were Dead, Demolition, Denial, Don’t Think Twice, Dukhtar, The Edge of Seventeen, Elvis & Nixon, The Eyes of My Mother, Golden Gate Girls, The Handmaiden (except for the last part), I Am Thor, I Don't Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, India's Daughter, Indignation, The Intervention, Jackie, Kate Plays Christine, L'Attesa, Lamb, Les Cowboys, Life After Manson, Lion, The Listeners, The Lobster, Look at Us Now, Mother!, Mad Tiger, A Man Called Ove, The Memory of Fish, Microbe & Gasoline, Midnight Special, Miles Ahead, Miss You Already, Money Monster, Morphine: Journey of Dreams, Morris From America, Mountains May Depart (see note on The Handmaiden), Neon Demon, The Night Stalker, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, Older Than Ireland, Oriented, Other People, Portrait of a Serial Monogamist, Pushing Dead, Queen of Katwe, Remember, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Songs My Brother Taught Me, Southside With You, Strike a Pose, Sully, Summertime, Tag, Take Me to the River, Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents, Tiny, Too Late, Torrey Pines, The Trees, Uncle Kent 2, The Violin Teacher, We Are Twisted Fucking Sister!, We Are X, Wedding Doll, Where Have All the Good Men Gone, Wiener-Dog, The Winding Stream: The Carters, the Cashes, and the Course of Country Music, Women Who Kill, Wondrous Bocaccio, and The World of Kanako.

Samiya Mumtaz and Saleha Aref in Dukhtar. [Geo Films]
Missed or haven’t seen yet (not including docs): 11 Minutes, 20th Century Women, Aferim!, The Alchemist Cookbook, Allied, American Honey, Barry, The BFG, The Birth of a Nation, Born to Be Blue, Captain America: Civil War, Christine, The Childhood of a Leader, The Club, Creepy, Demon, Dheepan, Don't Breathe, The Dressmaker, Dr. Strange, The Eagle Huntress, Embrace of the Serpent, Everybody Wants Some!!, Eye in the Sky, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Finding Dory, Florence Foster Jenkins, Ghostbusters, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, High-Rise, I Am Not Madame Bovary, I, Daniel Blake, The Innocents, Into the Forest, Into the Inferno, Ixcanul, The Jungle Book, Keanu, Kicks, Knight of Cups, Krisha, Kubo and the Two Strings, Julieta, The Light Between Oceans, Louder Than Bombs, Loving, The Meddler, Miss Sloane, Moana, My Golden Years, Neon Bull, Neruda, The Nice Guys, Nocturnal Animals, Old Stone, One More Time With Feeling, Ouija: Origin of Evil, Our Kind of Traitor, Paterson, Pete's Dragon, Presenting Princess Shaw, Right Now, Wrong Then, Rules Don't Apply, Sausage Party, The Secret Life of Pets, The Shallows, Silence, Sing Street, Snowden, Spa Night, Star Trek Beyond, Sweet Bean, Swiss Army Man, Theeb, Toni Erdmann, Train to Busan, Under the Shadow, and Zootopia.

Note: I signed up for Amazon Prime this year, so that may help me to catch up with some titles going forward, but I don't have the time or the money for cable, Fandor, Filmstruck, or Netflix. Currently on Prime: Embrace of the Serpent and Krisha. The service also allowed me to catch up with TV shows like The Americans, Fleabag, Mr. Robot, and The Wire



Endnote: The clip above isn't bad, but if you haven't seen Fiennes get down to "Emotional Rescue" (not on YouTube), you haven't lived.  

Songs for Cineastes: 2016 Edition

And then there were two. [Chad Batka/Redux]
Click here 
for the 
2015 
edition.

Links lead
to my re-
views and previews for The Stranger.

The Tops 
1. A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service (Epic)
2. Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf (Heavenly Recordings) [2015]
3. Cate Le Bon - Crab Day (Drag City)
4. Kikagaku Moyo - House in the Long Grass (Guruguru Brain)
5. Steve Gunn - Eyes on the Lines ( Matador)
6. Anohni - Hopelessness (Secretly Canadian)
7. Exploded View - Exploded View (Sacred Bones)
8. Heron Oblivion - Heron Oblivion (Sub Pop)
9. Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exits (Castle Face)
10. Essaie Pas - Demain Est Une Autre Nuit (DFA)

Note: For most of the year, Gwenno's Welsh-language record was my #1, but I felt uncomfortable about the choice, because it's actually from 2015, except I first heard about it (by way of the late Other Music update list) in 2016. Then I heard A Tribe Called Quest's first full-length in 18 years, and that was the end of that. Simply put, it's the record I've listened to the most--and that's not counting the hundreds of times I've heard tracks on KEXP. It's rare that a major label release tops my list, but it's just that good. And I'm no super-fan. I own their first two records, but checked out after that. No doubt Epic is hoping that the success of We Got It From Here leads to more music from the surviving duo, but without Phife Dawg, who passed away in March, it wouldn't be the same, so I hope they keep their word, i.e. that this is their swan song. There's nothing wrong with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad continuing to work together; just not as A Tribe Called Quest. Also, I won't deny that I prefer Anohni's protest record more in theory than practice, but I endorse every damn word.  



Runners-up
11. Dr. Lonnie Smith - Evolution (Blue Note)
12. Angel Olsen - My Woman (Jagjaguwar)
13. Deerhoof - The Magic (Polyvinyl)
14. Wussy - Forever Sounds (Shake It!) 
15. Myrkur - Mausoleum (Relapse)
16. Yoko Ono - Yes, I’m a Witch, Too (Manimal Group)
17. The Julie Ruin - Hit Reset (Hardly Art)
18. Rangda - The Heretic's Bargain (Drag City)
19. Psychic Ills - Inner Journey Out (Sacred Bones)
20. Jessy Lanza - Oh No (Hyperdub) 

Note: Why aren't more people talking about the Yoko Ono record? Sure, it's a collection of remixes, but it brings her dance-oriented material up to date without cheapening it in any way. The lady turned 83 in 2016, and she can still wipe the floor with all of us. 

The eternal cool of Dr. Lonnie Smith. [Blue Note]














Second Runners-up
21. Marissa Nadler - Strangers (Sacred Bones)
22. Woods - City Sun Eater in the River of Light (Woodsist)
23. Jah Wobble - Everything Is No Thing (Jah Wobble)
24. The Flat Five - It's a World of Love and Hope (Bloodshot)
25. Charles Bradley - Changes (Dunham / Daptone)
26. Claire Cronin & John Dieterich - Came Down a Storm (Ba Da Bing)
27. Coathangers - Nosebleed Weekend (Suicide Squeeze)
28. Clipping - Splendor and Misery (Sub Pop)
29. Tortoise - The Catastrophist (Thrill Jockey)
30. Wire - Nocturnal Koreans (Pinkflag)



Top Reissues & Collections
1. Colin Newman - A-Z, Provisionally Entitled the Singing Fish, and Not To (Sentient Sonics)
2. Pram - The Stars Are So Big... and Helium (Medical Records)
3. The Chills - Kaleidoscope World (Flying Nun) [deluxe reissue]
4. Terry Allen - Lubbock (On Everything) (Paradise of Bachelors)
5. Benny Hester - Benny... (Moraine Music Group)
6. John Cale - Fragments of a Rainy Season (Double Six / Domino)
7. The Clean - Getaway (Merge)
8. Pylon - Live (Chunklet)
9. Blonde Redhead - Masculin Feminin (Numero Group) [box set]
10. Ministry - Trax! Rarities (Cleopatra)

Also: Anna Homler and Steve Moshier - Breadwoman & Other Tales (RVNG Intl.), Kleenex / LiliPUT - First Songs (Mississippi), Poster Children - Daisychain Reaction (Lotuspool), Sparks - S/T (Bearsville), and Mor Thiam - Dini Safarrar / Drums of Fire (private press).

Note: Not gonna play favorites with the Newman reissues, because I was only able to listen to each one once prior to a browser malfunction. After that, the downloads wouldn't play. 


Anderson .Paak (Brandon Paak Anderson). [Stones Throw]
Top Singles and Tracks
1. Anderson .Paak - "Celebrate" (Steel Wool / OBE)
2. Solange - "Cranes in the Sky" (Saint / Columbia)
3. Six Organs of Admittance - "Taken by Ascent" (Drag City)
4. Junior Boys - "Big Black Coat" (City Slang) [2015]
5. Ty Segall - "Orange Color Queen" (Drag City)
6. Mr. Elevator - "Sunshine Daydream" (Rad Cat)
7. Justice - "Safe and Sound" (Ed Banger)
8. Moon Duo - "Creepin' " (Sacred Bones)
9. Paul Simon - "Wristband" (Concord)



Also worthy of note: Bayonne - Primitives (Mom+Pop), Willis Earl Beal - Through the Dark EP (Tender Loving Empire), Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop - Love Letter for Fire (Sub Pop), Bitchin Bajas and Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Epic Jammers and Fortunate Little Ditties (Drag City), Black Mountain - IV (Jagjaguwar), Erik Blood - Lost in Slow Motion (HomeSkillet), Blood Orange - Freetown Sound (Domino), Boris with Merzbow - Gensho (Relapse), Breanna Barbara - Mirage Dreams (No Roads), Clipping - Wriggle EP (Sub Pop), Cradle - Temperate Lands (CDT), Morgan Delt - Phase Zero (Sub Pop), Devil Makes Three - Redemption and Ruin (New West), Globelamp - The Orange Glow (Wichita Recordings), Cory Hanson - The Unborn Capitalist from Limbo (Drag City), Aldous Harding - Aldous Harding (Flying Nun), The Heliotropes - Over There That Way (The End), Holy Fuck - Congrats (Innovative Leisure), Holy Wave - Freaks of Nurture (Re-
verberation Appreciation Society), Jacuzzi Boys - Ping Pong (Mag Mag), Chuck Johnson - Velvet Arc (Trouble in Mind), Damien Jurado - Visions of Us on the Land (Secretly Canadian), Klaus Johann Grobe - Spagat der Liebe (Trouble In Mind), Lavender Flu - Heavy Air (Meds), Dan Lissvik - Midnight (Smalltown Supersound), Kedr Livanskiy - January Sun (2MR), Matmos - Ultimate Care II (Thrill Jockey), MV & EE - root/void (Woodsist), Nervous Curtains - Low Defender EP (Med-
ical Records), Parquet Courts - Human Performance (Rough Trade), Britta Phillips - Luck or Magic (Double Feature), Purling Hiss - High Bias (Drag City), Quilt - Plaza (Mexican Summer), Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 3 (Mass Appeal / RED), Mikael Seifu - Zelalem (RVNG Intl.), Mark Sultan - BBQ (In the Red), Sun Angle - Skullflower (XRay), Suuns - Hold / Still (Secretly Canadian), Carter Tanton - Jettison the Valley (Western Vinyl), Terry - Terry HQ (Upset the Rhythm), Terry Malts - Lost At The Party (Slumberland), Doug Tuttle - It Calls on Me (Trouble in Mind), the Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation EP (Leonard Skully), Adia Victoria - Beyond the Bloodhounds (Canvasback), Various Artists - Day of the Dead (4AD), Ryley Walker - Golden Sings That Have Been Sung (Dead Oceans), and Andre Williams - I Wanna Go Back to Detroit City (Bloodshot).

Moscow musician-producer Kedr Livanskiy. [2MR]




  








Need to hear more: Anderson .Paak - Malibu (Steel Wool-OBE), Beyoncé - Lemonade (Parkwood-Columbia), David Bowie - Blackstar (ISO-Columbia), Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree (Bad Seeds Ltd.), Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker (Columbia), Cross - Wabi-Sabi (Ba Da Bing), Justice - Woman (Ed Banger), Frank Ocean - Blonde (Boys Don't Cry), Radiohead - A Moon-Shaped Pool (XL), Silence - Nine Suns, One Morning (Drag City), Solange - A Seat at the Table (Saint / Columbia), and Kanye West - The Life of Pablo (Def Jam).
 
 
Endnote: Not only haven't I heard the entirety of Lemonade, but I haven't seen the visual album either, which made it onto a lot of film critics' end-of-the-year lists. An agenda item for 2017's to-do list.  

Thursday, December 08, 2016

December Reviews

Isabelle Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle.
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.






Daily Projections: Things to Come and Elle.

The Stranger Film Openings: The Risks of Migrants in the Must-See Doc Fire at Sea and Isabelle Huppert Excels in Things to Come.

Slog/Film Opening count: 673 posts/reviews since 2011. 



The Stranger Music Things to Do: Robert Glasper Experiment.

Video Librarian: Circle of Poison, Dogtown Redemption, Llyn Foulkes - One Man Band, I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan, The Trees, Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live [Blu-ray+two-CD set], Morphine - Journey of Dreams, Danny Says, Me, Myself and Her, An Autobiography of Michelle Maren, Café, and Call Her Applebroog.



Endnote: Image from SBS Productions via Variety.   

Friday, November 04, 2016

November Reviews

Anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck of WXLT-TV, 7/74. Photo: John Cloud / AP
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.










Daily Projections: We Are X.

SIFFBlog: Dystopia on Our Doorstep - Uncle Kent 2.

The Stranger Film Openings: Two Movies About a Florida Newscaster Who Killed Herself On-Air

Slog/Film Opening count: 672 posts/reviews since 2011.
 
The Stranger Music Things to Do: Purling Hiss, Bigfoot Wallace
& His Wicked Sons, and Psychic Death
, Terry Malts, Killer Ghost, Ver-
sing, and Rainy Day
, Seu Jorge Presents: The Life Aquatic, A Tribute
to David Bowie
, Thee Oh Sees, Alex Cameron, and Mommy Long
Legs
, and Matmos and Jeff Carey.

 


Video Librarian: KISS Rocks Vegas [Blu-ray+CD], The Catch - The Complete First Season [two-disc set], Coming Out, A Farmer’s Road, Look at Us Now, Mother!, The Idol, Scorpions - Live in Munich 2012 [Blu-ray], The Tubes - The Musikladen Concert 1981, Equal Means Equal, You and I, Closet Monster, and Shared Rooms.


Endnote:
Image from Vogue via the AP ("Kate Lyn Sheil on
Searching for Christine Chubbuck in Kate Plays Christine").  

Monday, October 03, 2016

October Reviews

These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.




Daily Projections: House and Carnival of Souls.  

The Stranger Film Openings: Let’s Do the Twist: Queer Film Festival (Strike a Pose, Torrey Pines, etc.), Denial Has Strong Performances and Dialogue, and Brilliant Bad Boy of Ballet Captured in Dancer.

Slog/Film Opening count: 671 posts/reviews since 2011.
 
 


The Stranger Music Things to Do: The Julie Ruin, Kikagaku Moyo, Kingdom of the Holy Sun, Julia Dream, and Weeed, Jacuzzi Boys, Boy-
friends, Stallion
, and Sonics, Tom Price Desert Classic, Ayron Jones.

Video Librarian: The Listeners, Lee Scratch Perry's Vision of Paradise, Something Better to Come, Grey’s Anatomy - Complete Twelfth Season [six-disc set], Classic Albums - The Beach Boys: Pet Sounds [Blu-ray], The Everly Brothers - Harmonies from Heaven [Blu-ray], Complete Unknown, and The Passion Live.


 

Endnote: Image from The Criterion Collection.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September Reviews

These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.











Daily Projections: Hooligan Sparrow.

The Stranger Film Openings: The Hollars Is Another Dysfunctional Family Dramedy, A Darker Film Struggles to Breathe in the Comedy My Blind Brother, Cameraperson Captures the Personal and Professional Sides of an Accomplished Cinematographer, and 
A Man Called Ove Is a Swedish Gran Torino.

Slog/Film Opening count: 669 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires (this show was ultimately cancelled), Steve Gunn and Nap Eyes, and Jah Wobble & the Invaders of the Heart with Weeed.




Video Librarian: Dukhtar [Blu-ray], 50 feet from Syria, The 
Good Breast, Here Come the Videofreex, Lady Be Good - Instru-
mental Women in Jazz, Seven Songs for a Long Life, Trend Bea-
cons, Voices of Muslim Women from the US South, and Shame-
less - The Complete Sixth Season [Blu+digital/three-disc set].

 

Image credit: Jah Wobble and Mingus. Photographer unknown.  

Monday, August 08, 2016

August Reviews

These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: An Improv Troupe Faces the Future in Don’t Think Twice, You Really Must See Our Little Sister, Gentrification Is Not Easy in the Terrific Little Men, The Intervention Shows the Director Has Got the Right Stuff, R&B Star Usher Successfully Plays Sugar Ray Leonard in Movie About Panamanian Boxer, and Black Kids Rock Hard in Breaking a Monster.

Slog/Film Opening count: 666 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Marissa Nadler, Wrekmeister Harmonies, and Muscle and Marrow, Globelamp, Takashi Miyaki, DJ Mermod, and DJ Tomi, Parquet Courts, and Gap Dream (which was ultimately canceled). 

 

Video Librarian: Dugong & Din - A True Story of a Boy and His 
Sea Cow, Aquí, Ní Allá, Shout Gladi Gladi, Dear Eleanor, Endgame [Blu-ray], Wedding Doll, L’Attesa, No Men Beyond This Point, Songs My Brother Taught Me, Summertime, and Parched.

 
Endnote: Image from Sony Pictures Classics. 

Thursday, July 07, 2016

July Reviews

Royalty Hightower in The Fits.
These are 
the reviews 
and other 
pieces I'm 
working on 
this month.





The Stranger Film Openings: Royalty Hightower Illuminates the Coming-of-Age Tale The Fits, French Cowboys, Islamic Terrorists, and John C. Reilly in Les Cowboys, NUTS! Tells the Story of an All-American Nut, and A 100-Year-Old Woman in Older Than Ireland Attributes Her Long Life to the Fact She Never Ate a Vegetable.

Slog/Film Opening count: 661 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Puget Soundtrack:
Fungal Abyss Presents The Devils
.



Video Librarian: The Damned - Don't You Wish That We Were Dead [DVD+Blu-ray], East Jerusalem/West Jerusalem, The Nasty Terrible T-Kid 170 - Julius Cavero, Song of Lahore, The Winding Stream - The Carters, the Cashes, and the Course of Country Music, A Sinner in Mecca, Wondrous Boccaccio, Cornbread, Earl and Me [Blu].



Endnote: Image from Oscilloscope Laboratories. 

Friday, June 03, 2016

June Reviews


Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig in Maggie's Plan.
These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

Cinema Squabble: I guested on Episode #37 with podcast hosts Adam Gehrke and Sara Michelle Fetters to talk about Tickled, Neon Demon, Finding Dory, and other new releases.

SIFFBlog: SIFF 2016 Guests Include Shunji Iwai, Ti West, Martin Bell, and Erin "Tiny" Blackwell and More SIFF 2016 Guests: Megan Griffiths, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Paulina Obando.
 
The Stranger Film Openings: Talented Boxer Learns the Cost of Fame Is Your Soul in T-Rex, Rebecca Miller Loves Her Characters in Maggie's Plan, Kaili Blues Makes Magic Out of the Ordinary, Oriented Is a Timely Documentary About Muslim Gays in Tel Aviv, The Docu-
mentary Tickled Uncovers Emotional Pain
, and A Stoic Dachshund Waddles Through the Casual Cruelty of Humanity in Wiener-Dog.

Slog/Film Opening count: 656 posts/reviews since 2011.



The Stranger Music Things to Do: Elysian 20th Anniversary Show (with the Gits, the Raveonettes, Black Lips, DJ Riz, etc.), Heron Oblivion, Boogarins, and Low Hums, Jessy Lanza, DJ Taye, and Jimi Jaxon, KEXP Rocks the Dock: Erik Blood, Telekinesis, Summer Cannibals, and DJ Evie, and Deerhoof, Skating Polly, and Scarves

Video Librarian: Life Is Sacred, Nefertiti's Daughters,  
Regarding Susan Sontag, Melody Gardot - Live at the Oly-
mpia Paris [Blu-ray], American Masters - Janis: Little Girl 
Blue, Alan Jackson - Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks,  
Golden Gate Girls, The Spoils Before Dying, Belladonna of Sad-
ness
, No Home Movie, and Ingrid Bergman - In Her Own Words.



Endnote: Image from Sony Pictures Classics.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May Reviews

Schoenaerts, Swinton, Johnson, and Fiennes in A Bigger Splash
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Mad Tiger
Asks the Question: Is the Leader of Peelander-Z a Genius or Mad?, Tilda Swinton Plays a Rock Star in the Magnificent A Bigger Splash, The US Is Finally Ready for Eiichi Yamamoto's 1973 Erotic Anima-
tion Belladonna of Sadness
.

Slog/Film Opening count: 650 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger SIFF Notes: The Memory of Fish, Sunset Song,  
Where Have All the Good Men Gone, The Violin Teacher, and As 
You Are. There may be more to come between now and June 12.

The Stranger already had a review for As You Are. Here's mine:

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte uses flashbacks and interrogation video to depict the friendship between two New York teens in the 1990s. The extro-
verted Mark (Charlie Heaton) meets the introverted Jack (Owen Camp-
bell) when their parents (Mary Stuart Masterson and Scott Cohen) fall in love. They become a triangle when they befriend Sarah (Amandla Stenberg) with whom they hang out and get high. Then jealousy enters the picture, and it all goes to shit. Though Joris-Peyrafitte is only 23, this is an assured debut that recalls Gus Van Sant in teen-thriller mode, so it's too bad it falls apart at the end. (KATHY FENNESSY)
 
 

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Dungen with Boogarins, Cate
Le Bon with Mega Bog, Sam Beam and Jesca Hoop, and Elysian 20th
Anniversary Show with the Gits, the Raveonettes, Black Lips, etc. 

Video Librarian:
Between Allah and Me (and Everyone Else), Pearl S. Buck - A Life, a Legacy, A Chance to Dress, College - The Other Costs, Feminism Insha'allah - A History of Arab Feminism, How to End Unhealthy Relationships, The Way We Talk, Live from the House of Soul - Antibalas, Theory of Obscurity - A Film about the Residents [Blu-ray], and Zydeco Crossroads - A Tale of Two Cities [Blu-ray].



Endnote: Image from Fox Searchlight Pictures. 

Saturday, April 02, 2016

April Reviews

Ursula Parker and Logan Miller in Take Me to the River.
These are 
the reviews
and other 
pieces I'm 
working 
on this 
month.






The Stranger Film Openings: Demolition Has Oscarless Jake Gyllenhaal Playing a Normal Guy, The Gimmick Excels in the Postmillennial Noir Too Late, Girl Must Sell Sex to Pay Debt in Sold, Chantal Akerman's No Home Movie Is About the Death of Her Mother, but It's Not Depressing, It’s Punks vs. Skinheads in Green Room, and Women Realize That Men Hold All the Cards in Fireworks Wednesday.

Slog/Film Opening count: 647 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Killer Mike, Bilal, Shap-
rece, and DJ El Mizell
, Lush, and Tortoise and Life Coach.

SIFFBlog: Matt Sobel's Take Me to the River.

Video Librarian: Growing Apart - The Politics of Family Separation, Code Girl, I Smile Back, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister! [Blu-ray], Enrique Bunbury - El Camino Mas Largo [Blu-ray], American Masters - Carole King: Natural Woman [Blu-ray], and The Criterion Collection - A Poem Is a Naked Person. 



Endnote: Image from Film Movement. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March Reviews

These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

The Stranger Film Openings: Hello, My Name Is Doris Is Harold and Maude for Millennials, The Bronze Is a Good Film with a Very Acrobatic Sex Scene, and Very Old Christopher Plummer Goes After a Very Old Nazi in Remember.

Slog/Film Opening count: 641 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: 2016 John in the Morning at Night: The Dandy Warhols, Young Fathers, Battleme, and Guests.

Video Librarian: Big Dream, India's Daughter, Life After 
Manson, Slash - Raised on the Sunset Strip [Blu-ray], Por-
trait of a Serial Monogamist, The Dicks from Texas, Live 
from the House of Soul - Charles Bradley with the Men-
ahan Street Band, Women Aren’t Funny, Turn It Up!  
A Celebration of the Electric Guitar [Blu-ray],
and Miss You Already [Blu-ray].

 

Endnote: Image from Roadside Attractions.

Monday, February 08, 2016

February Reviews

These are
the reviews
and other
pieces I'm
working on
this month.

KCTS 9: Screening films for the 2016 season
of Reel NW. Ti-
tles TBA.

The Stranger Film Openings: A Remarkable Life in Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words and Austerity Equals Impotence in Arabian Nights.

Slog/Film Opening count: 638 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Julia Holter and Circuit des Yeux, the Budos Band and Guests, Parquet Courts and Guests, Basia Bulat and the Weather Station, Audio Social Dissent 2016: Wolf Eyes, Tim-
my's Organism, Regression 696, and Video
, and Dengue Fever, Branden Daniel and the Chics, and Kingdom of the Holy Sun.



Video Librarian: 1 Way Up - The Story of Peckham BMX, I Am 
Thor [Blu-ray], Semicolon; The Adventures of Ostomy Girl, This 
May Be the Last Time, Big Stone Gap [Blu-ray], and Honky.



Endnote: Image from Alt Film Guide (no photographer credited).

Thursday, January 07, 2016

January Reviews

Tom Courtenay and Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years.
These are the reviews and other pieces I'm working on this month.

KCTS 9: Screening films for the Northwest Showcase, aka Reel NW. Titles TBA.

The Stranger Film Openings: Charlotte Rampling's Performance in 45 Years Is Great, but Her Comments About Race and the Oscars Are Offensive and Ignorant and Bad Cop Discovers...The World of Kanako.

Slog/Film Opening count: 636 posts/reviews since 2011.

The Stranger Music Things to Do: Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants, and Boyfriends, the Tom Price Desert Classic, the Riffbrokers, and Tales from the Birdbath, Ty Segall and the Muggers, CFM, and Bread and Butter, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lower Dens, and Hibou.



Video Librarian: Being Canadian, Circle Unbroken - A Gullah Journey from Africa to America, Dreams Rewired, Hand Made with Love in France, Lady Antebellum - Wheels Up Tour [Blu-ray], The Mama Sherpas, Sinatra - All or Nothing at All [Blu-ray], Some Kind 
of Spark, The Ritchie Blackmore Story [Blu-ray], Jaco, Scorpions Forever and a Day [Blu-ray], and Roger Waters - The Wall [Blu-ray].



Endnote: Image from Sundance Selects.