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GOGOL BORDELLO Live at the Rocca Malestestiana, Cesena, Italy 28th August 2015

gogolbordelloI do not own any Gogol Bordello records and, prior to this concert, could only name two songs of theirs – Start Wearing Purple and Think Locally. Fuck Globally.

I knew the first from the very wonderful movie Everything Is Illuminated which featured Eugene Hütz ,the band’s extrovert frontman, as a linguistically challenged Ukrainian guide, Alex, in the main character’s “rigid search” for his Jewish roots. The second is simply one of those titles you only have to hear once to remember.

Although I was not au fait with the band’s back catalogue, I figured this would prove no handicap to my enjoyment of the show. If you Google a few concert reviews, the consensus seems to be that this band are ‘awesome’ live.

I expected them to be rowdy, anarchic and loud – all positives in my book. They were all these things but I still came away bored and unimpressed. View full article »

 A SINGLE MAN directed by Tom Ford (USA, 2009) based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Christopher Isherwood.

When I first saw this movie I hadn’t read the book on which it is based.

I have just watched it again after being hugely impressed and deeply moved by Isherwood’s flawless novella.

 Tom Ford’s expert adaptation is faithful to the story yet makes key changes;  some for better, some for worse.

Note that this post contains spoilers.Don't say I didn't warn you!

View full article »

INTIMACY directed by Patrice Chéreau (UK, 2001)

intimacy-POSTERSex in movies or music videos is mostly more concerned with titillation than realism while in porn its primary function is stimulation.

The makers of Intimacy, based on a short story by Hanif Kureishi, adopt a less glossy and therefore more adult perspective.

In the movie, scenes of coupling are explicit, including un-simulated fellatio. Little is left to the imagination but, equally, nothing is particularly arousing.

On the contrary, the sex act is reduced to the level of a basic human need (like eating and sleeping but more energetic).

This is fucking not lovemaking and seems more akin to an act of penance than passion. Once the desire is satiated, words are unnecessary and the two go their separate ways arranging only to meet again the same day (Wednesday) the next week. View full article »


Live at the Rocca Malestestiana, Cesena, Italy 18th August 2015

calexico-poster“How do you say ‘oomph’ in Italian?” asks Joey Burns; as in ‘You need to give it more oomph’!

Fellow Calexico-in-chief and drummer, John Convertino shrugs his shoulders in reply.

Burns poses the question because he wants the crowd to show more grit, spunk, blood, fire, energy, passion; AND he wants them to raise the volume level for the big ‘whoooaaaa’ at the beginning of their supercharged rendition of Minutemen’s Corona.

With this prompt, he succeeds although, it’s fair to say, the overall level of enthusiasm ebbs and flows during the course of this 90 minute open air concert.

An obstacle to more universal acclaim lies in the fact that much of the newer material lacks the drama (oomph?) of Calexico’s earlier, more familiar songs. With notable exceptions, World Undone for example, these are less spacious or ambient in feel than the kind of widescreen post-Giant Sand tunes that distinguished an album such as The Black Light (1998). View full article »

What a surprise! Citizen Kane is again voted all-time best American movie.

What a surprise! Citizen Kane is again voted all-time best American movie.

Another day, another list.

This one seeks to itemise the 100 best American movies ever made (stifled yawns!)

Film critics from around the world were polled by the BBC with each being allowed to pick their 10 faves.

No matter how many ‘experts’ contributed, these lists remain highly subjective and are mostly more interesting for what is excluded. View full article »


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