Assemblog: April 27, 2012

Published on April 27th, 2012 in: Assemblog, Blu-Ray, Copyright/Piracy, Current Faves, DVD, Film Festivals, Horror, Less Lee Moore, Media, Movies, Music, Reviews, Streaming, The Internets, TV |

arthur stuart
Velvet Goldmine, 1998

New on Popshifter this week: reviews of the recently reissued Beginnings, Rick Springfield’s 1972 US debut album; Theresa Andersson’s latest album Street Parade; Beatles documentary Strange Fruit; The Apples in stereo’s Chris McDuffie’s solo release as Whitejacket, titled Hollows and Rounds; and The Ian Hunter Band’s Rockaplast concert on DVD.

Pajiba scolds those who live tweet TV shows. I admit, I’ve done it myself, but only because I was so excited about the TV show in question, like during this week’s Law & Order-themed Community, which was so good it made me miss Law & Order even more than I already do.

Although live-tweeting TV shows is rude and annoying, it pales in comparison to its wicked stepsibling, texting in movie theaters. /Film, Pajiba, Deadline, and FilmJunk all weigh in on this abhorrent practice, which theater chain executives are considering as a bid to get tweens to spend more money on movies. The most spot-on comment comes from Dawn via the Deadline piece:

Awww poor babies can’t go two hours without texting? Then wait till it comes out on DVD. “But they’ve become accustomed to controlling their own existence.” Guess what? Sometimes you have to play by other people’s rules. No wonder there are so many kids who feel a sense of entitlement. Theater managers start allowing this to happen and ticket sales will decrease even more.

Hopefully no one is texting during the film screenings at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Paracinema has been doing an excellent job reviewing the films, and it’s worth your while to check out their coverage.

Think Like A Man opened last Friday and knocked The Hunger Games off its pedestal with a total gross of over $33M. Twitch’s Todd Brown has written a thought-provoking article about how this should surprise no one considering the lack of diversity in mainstream Hollywood movies.

Last week I talked about Hollywood’s push to digital, a topic that isn’t going away anytime soon. Although it’s a few months old, this AV Club article on the death of film is still relevant and worth reading.

On the other end of the spectrum, and in a truly WTF moment, Martin Scorsese announced at CinemaCon 2012 that, “I would have practically done all my films in 3D,” had the technology been available. I find this disheartening. I just cannot imagine Taxi Driver in 3D. Thankfully, Ang Lee seems a bit more hesitant to embrace the 3D craze.

Speaking of new technology that hasn’t yet been embraced by everyone, what about this whole 48 FPS business?

/Film’s Peter Sciretta gives us some background information before telling us how awful it looks.

A brief primer: Modern films are shot and projected at 24 frames per second. That has been the industry standard for feature films since the mid-1920s after sound motion pictures were introduced. The low frame rate results in a strobing effect when there is moderate camera movement. You have probably accepted this technological artifacting, but it looks artificial and your brain interprets it as such. Raising the framerate makes movement look a lot smoother, and gives the impression of an enhanced resolution. The low framerate is also one of the major factors of why some people experience discomfort while watching 3D movies.

FilmJunk’s article on the topic provides some levity and perspective on the controversy with the title, “The Internet Does Not Approve.” Pajiba goes back to the dawn of the talkies with a list of great quotes about game-changing (or not) movie technology through the decades.

For me, this quote from Mark Kermode (which originally appeared in The Guardian two years ago) reveals a lot about why the impetus has ramped up so much in recent years, while also recalling the whole piracy debate (not like it’s going away anytime soon).

3D exists not to enhance the cinematic experience, but as a pitiful attempt to head off piracy and force audiences to watch films in overpriced, undermanned multiplexes. It is a con designed entirely to protect the bloated bank balances of buck-hungry Hollywood producers.

Finally, what IS a Dibbuk box? Bloody Disgusting asks this question (that I never even knew needed to be asked) in an article about the upcoming horror film Possession, produced by Sam Raimi and directed by Ole Bornedal (Nightwatch). You may be skeptical, but I find the history behind these items fascinating and undeniably disturbing.

Have you heard Beware of Darkness yet? They’ve got a four-song EP out now called Howl, which you can listen to on Soundcloud. I’m not quite sure how to describe them, but Baeble Music does a pretty good job. I probably shouldn’t even like these four songs as much as I do, because they straddle that thin line between authenticity and cheese, but I can’t help it.

Last Saturday, in addition to being Iggy Pop’s 65th birthday (!), was Record Store Day 2012. If you missed the new 7-inch from Jherek Bischoff, do yourselves a favor and listen to it while it’s still streaming on Bandcamp. It’s a preview of his upcoming full-length called Composed, out in June on Brassland. I was instantly intoxicated, in part due to the magical, ethereal vocals from Zac Pennington in the track “Young & Lovely.”

So who is Zac Pennington and where has he been my whole life? Or at least the last few years? I must be the last person in the world who doesn’t know about him and his incredible band Parenthetical Girls.

I spent the better part of Saturday scouring YouTube for Parenthetical Girls tracks and my intoxication only increased. Check out the following, for starters:

“Young Throats”
“Love Connection”
“The Common Touch”
“The Privilege”
“The Balled of Ellie Greenwich”
“The Pornographer”

All of this angelic androgyny prompted me to watch the new Blu-Ray of Velvet Goldmine, which is my favorite movie of all time. If you have not yet seen it, please pick up the Blu-Ray and watch it. It’s a love letter to film and music and fandom that has never been equaled.

Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor

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