Assemblog: June 22, 2012

Published on June 22nd, 2012 in: Assemblog, Books, Canadian Content, Film Festivals, Horror, Media, Movies, Science and Technology, Trailers |

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Image from V/H/S, 2012

New this week on Popshifter: Thoughts On: THE BAND, Music From Big Pink; reviews of Silver Jews, Early Times and Harry Howard and The Near Death Experience; new Robyn Hitchcock song “There Goes The Ice;” Theresa Andersson in Cambridge MA; an interview with author A. Jay Lee; and that burning question: Are The Originals The Best?

I hear a lot of new music and I can usually tell within ten seconds whether it’s something that I’m going to love or hate, or worse, not care about either way. I get excited when I hear something that is indescribable or just plain weird. Call it “the Electric Six factor.” Here’s a song from Big Black Delta called “IFUCKINGLOVEYOU” that caught my attention.

According to the press release Big Black Delta is “the brainchild of former Mellowdrone member Jonathan Bates.” Apparently the band’s live show features “dueling drummers, live vocals, dancing and an orchestrated light show.” Jonathan Bates also has connections to M83. Big Black Delta will be touring as support for both M83 and Jane’s Addiction this summer. Listen and tell me what you think.

Just as I was complaining last week about horror movie trailer clichés, along come two new and quite scary trailers.
When I first read about Sinister (with Ethan Hawke) it didn’t sound that great, but Film Junk convinced me to check it out. Now I’m looking forward to seeing it on October 5 (just in time for Halloween).

Another horror trailer that has popped up on just about every film blog that I read is the one for Sundance sensation V/H/S. I have a soft spot for the found footage genre (when it’s done well) and this red band trailer for the film exceeds my expectations. Bloody Disgusting is stoked about the film’s premiere on VOD August 31 and with good reason: BD founders Brad Miska and Tom Owen had a hand in producing the film. It will receive limited theatrical release on October 5. (If you’re a fan of cult horror classic Alice, Sweet Alice like I am, you’ll appreciate the V/H/S image I’ve included in this article.)

There are so many film festivals now, but it seems that Cannes, Sundance, and TIFF get most of the attention. Unfortunately, many of these festivals are less about the movies themselves and more of an excuse for celebrity spotting and ass-kissing. Montreal’s Fantasia Fest, however, is one that seems different.

Twitch has the list of the films in the first wave of programming, but perhaps the most interesting part of the article is about “If They Came From Within: An Alternative History of Canadian Horror Movies.”

Imagine an alternative universe of Canadian horror movies that didn’t get made, couldn’t get made and maybe even shouldn’t get made . . . but we’d still love to see.

Rue Morgue magazine Editor-in-Chief Dave Alexander brings together some of Canada and Quebec’s most celebrated genre filmmakers with some of the country’s best designers and illustrators to create a gallery of poster art for Maple Syrup genre films that don’t exist.

Read the whole thing here. Fantasia Fest kicks off July 19.

I’ve wanted to see a Xavier Dolan film since I first heard about him about a year ago. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find them via with English subtitles, so I was thrilled to read Movieline’s report that the Québécois filmmaker’s 2009 debut I Killed My Mother will be released theatrically in the US in the fall of 2012, with VOD and home video release planned afterwards. So it looks like I’ll still have to wait a while, but this is still great news.

For those of us who loved Neill Blomkamp’s debut film District 9 (particularly because it introduced us to Sharlto Copley), the news that his follow-up, Elysium, finally has an official synopsis is welcome. Collider has the details:

In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

An advance screening took place on June 14, but the movie is slated for a March 2013 release.

Although I’m still waiting to see the much-praised Attack The Block, that doesn’t prevent me from anticipating director Joe Cornish’s next project: an adaptation of Neal Stephenson’s novel, Snow Crash. For all the bellyaching about remakes and reboots, I do value the ability to film adaptations to introduce me to books and authors that I’ve only heard about, but not yet read. Deadline describes the cyberpunk cult novel as follows:

The book is set in the near future, when the US exists as a patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and private enterprise and the mafia control everything. The plot involves a computer virus that is manifested as a drug called Snow Crash that is transmitted visually from computer screens to unsuspecting users, frying their brains. Hiro Protagonist—that’s the character’s name—a computer hacker/samurai swordsman/pizza delivery driver who investigates and tries to stop the takeover of postmodern civilization.

I am SO on board with this. Since it won’t be out for a while, it gives me a chance to read the book first, which is always a bonus.

As a follow up to my conversion to the wonders of 3D technology (see what I did there?) from last week, here’s a terrific, thought-provoking piece on the subject from director Rian Johnson (whose Looper trailer I posted a few weeks back). H/T to /Film for the link.

Finally, I’d like to give a big hug to writer Scott Jordan Harris for this article, “Let’s drag film criticism out of the snark ages.” It’s nice to see that someone else feels like I do, especially after the ridiculous hatefest “inspired” by Prometheus these last few weeks. (And Christine at Paracinema also deserves a hug for pointing out this article.)

Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor

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