Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Il Postino (1994) - Fantastic Film

Set in the early 1950s on a small Italian island, there are three central characters in this movie, one real and the other two fictional. The real one is Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (played by French actor Noiret who resembles Neruda quite nicely). Neruda died in 1973, but really did spend several years in exile in Italy, and really is a world-famous poet.

In this fictional story, simple and honest, but somewhat dim, 40-something Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi, who died of heart failure right before the movie was released) is the son of a small time fisherman. Mario really doesn't like the fishing, but has no job. At dad's encouragement, he finds a temporary job as a postman, "il postino." The famous poet is moving into the small village and a man with a bicycle is needed to deliver his mail daily. It pays very little in this poor village, but it is a job. And the friendship that eventually develops between Neruda and Mario changes their lives.

The third central character is pretty and sexy 20-something Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta) who works in her fiercely protective aunt's bar and restaurant. Mario admires her from afar, but Neruda's poetry gives Mario an entry. He tells Neruda later, "Poetry doesn't belong to those who write it, it is for those who need to use it."

A very charming and meaningful movie on DVD for those who don't mind reading English subtitles. Or, listen to it in Italian or French. Some of my favorite scenes were the conversations between Mario and the poet when the mail was delivered.

Lichens - Omns (Kranky Records)

This new album was conceived with the idea of it being a continuation of the first, while using slightly different techniques in recording and editing; from multitracking individual passes, and pulling single tracks in and out of the mix ("vevor of agassou" "faeries"), to opening up into a completely different process by overdubbing multiple tracks ("m st r ng w tchcr ft l v ng n sp r t"). All this while remaining firmly within the realm of improvisation, augmented with the use of skeletal frameworks.

Vevor of Agassou - mp3

The Wooster Collective - Street Art Daily

The Wooster Collective

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Small Sails

Small Sails is a music and film making collective from Portland, Oregon. The music is a gorgeous post-electronic tribal thing and the films are performed live at their shows using original reel-to-reel footage and dual projectors.

Small Sails

The Books

We do all of our own sample collecting, composing, writing, recording, mixing, and mastering in our home studios using pc's running cheap software and the ragtag equipment that we've pieced together over the years. What you hear on our records is exactly how it left our hands, with no producer, engineers, or sweetening in between. We are completely independent, beholden to no corporations and we have funded all of our music entirely ourselves.

The Books

Style Wars - A Glimpse into NYC's Graffiti Scene (1980)

Style Wars

(Google Video of complete film)

Filmed in New York in 1982, when hip hop was still in its infancy, STYLE WARS documents a number of young graffiti artists who were transforming the city with their unique art. These artists created a new visual language that was borne out of the hip hop subculture and, using the city's dilapidated subway system as a canvas, let the rest of New York know about it. Unfortunately, graffiti meant vandalism to Mayor Ed Koch, the NYPD, and the MTA, all of whom did their best to oppose the burgeoning movement.

STYLE WARS has become a cultural emblem and ranks among the best hip hop films ever made. Embraced by the culture it depicts as well as by mainstream America, STYLE WARS was one of the first shots fired in the hip hop revolution that took the country by storm. (via Rotton Tomatoes)

Monday, April 02, 2007

Gang Gang Dance! Ritina Riddim (DVD Excerpt)

Eric Hill's xxxSurgeryxxx

An excellent array of music from Eric Hill in Fredericton called 'xxxSurgeryxxx'. Listen to the recent addition here:

This is the list of songs:

Small Sails - Similar Anniversaries (Other Electricities)
Do Make Say Think - You, You're A History In Rust (Constellation)
Lichens - Omns (Kranky)
Various - On Isolation (Room40)
alva noto - Xerrox Vol.1 (Raster-Noton)
Rameses III - Honey Rose (Important)
P.O.W.E.R. - Tomahawk Territory (Tour de Bras)
Freedman/Darling/Labrosse/Dionne - Dix Situations Précaires (Tour de Bras)
Melanie Auclair - Décor Sonore (Ambiances Magnetiques)
Koch-Schütz-Studer - Tales From 30 Unintentional Nights (Intakt)