Fanfare

Tinker Tailor’s Subtle VFX

This film easily affirmed Tomas Alfredson as one of the most assured stylists in modern cinema.  And like neo-noir peers David Fincher and Park Chan-Wook, Alfredson uses VFX as an expressive yet often imperceptible tool.

This video reveals how he and the VFX team at The Chimney Pot utilized animation to subtly enhance the film’s visual scope.


Take the Money and Run

My buddy Drew and his cohorts at Sunset Television just released this awesome video for Beirut’s song “Sante Fe.” Check it out and re-evaluate your priorities.


Shout Out(s) Pt. II

On the film side, several of my friends have feature projects playing at SXSW next week. I’m really looking forward to checking out both films.

Eric Koretz, cinematographer on Iditarod, shot this superb-looking doc, Dragonslayer, executive produced by Christine Vachon.

My friend and fellow AFI classmate, director Zal Batmanglij is screening his film Sound of My Voice. It was shot by another good friend, and my cinematographer/co-writer on Redemption Maddie, Rachel Morrison. It debuted at Sundance to very positive notices.

Here’s a brief synopsis: Peter and Lorna, a young Silver Lake couple, delve into the underworld of a cult that meets in the San Fernando valley.

Check out a clip here:http://www.traileraddict.com/emd/35354


Shout Out(s)

Check this work out. Or I’ll find you.

My old friend Zac and his stellar bandmates, Pete and Tommy, comprise the portland-based trio Wax Fingers and they just released their self-titled debut. Their influences are diverse, but suffice to say, if you’re a fan of Animal Collective or Battles, you will find something to appreciate. They just make spellbinding experimental rock that’s tethered by a gift for melody and subversive mood-spinning.

Check out one of my favorite tracks “Fasten the Hook”:

You can grab a copy of the album at CDBaby, Itunes or Amazon. Or if you’re in the Northwest check out one of their killer live shows.

Ethan and I have run across each other in several different circles over the years. We reconnected a while ago, and he was on the eve of releasing his debut as a singer-songwriter: Songs from a Toxic Apartment. It’s out now and I just had the pleasure of seeing him play at Hotel Cafe and the set, much like the album, was sincere and unnerving. Plus Toxic Apartment is thankfully, an ALBUM, intelligently produced and conceived with a thematic concept as the guiding structure.

An acoustic cut of “Why Don’t You Sleep”:

The album just received a strong review from Pitchfork and you can grab a copy on Itunes, Amazon, or directly at Ethan’s website.


Confessions

I’ve just discovered Japan’s Tetsuya Nakashima. As a filmmaker associated with frenetically-paced and provocative material, he seems to have succeeded Takeshi Miike and Shinya Tsukamoto as Japan’s enfant terrible of the moment.

His new film, Confessions was shortlisted for the foreign academy award this year. There’s a Battle Royale-esque manic energy coursing through the film’s trailer, but the story and choice of protagonist suggests something akin to Pedro Almodovar. Whatever the film’s actual tone, this appetizing tease of footage has whet my appetite for both Confessions and Nakashima’s work in general.


Mother

Bong Joon-Ho’s newest film is stupendous. I finally caught it on Netflix streaming, and it is emotionally affecting, poetic, and – like Memories of a Murder and The Host – filled with masterfully staged set pieces.

Check out the trailer: