About four years ago, I did, what I would call, slightly in depth analysis of David Fincher’s work at that time. Mostly because I was fascinated by his choice to do The Social Network instead of some twisty weird thing like an adaptation of Charles Burns’ graphic novel, “Black Hole”. Four years and three films later: we need to step back for a moment and let a filmmaker’s career become whatever it wants to be and two: I believe Fincher has become that great director because he has a firm grasp of his below the line crew. Jeff Cronenweth, Kirk Baxter, Donald Graham Burt, Laray Mayfield, Trish Summervile and Trent Renzor & Atticus Ross all know their respective roles in keeping the Fincher running smoothly. It’s not to say that they’re on auto pilot when it comes to work with Fincher. I would say it’s more akin to, well pardon me for making a sports analogy and using my favorite sports team; it’s like FC Barcelona during the Pep Guardiola era. Each week, Pep would pick a line up that either grew up playing the Barca way since they were teens and create an effective game plan well in advance.
While I had my issues with the film, Gone Girl features some of the best performances in a David Fincher film. Finding that perfect group of collaborators has allowed him to focus more on the performance. I mean, I wasn’t on set and I don’t know how many takes they had to do. Maybe I’ll have a better take on the film after seeing a second time.
I just wanted to throw my two cents into the mix since everybody has been for the last week or so.
As an individual that’s focused on what’s next, I’m excited that Fincher is turning to television and Utopia. Will Fincher bring his seemingly essential crew over to HBO? Off topic, but I don’t understand how the notion of long form storytelling in television has become such a mind blowing idea for American audiences? It’s something that has been done in the UK for a very long time. That’s why there’s 18 incredible episodes of Alan Partridge. Instead of one great season and two crummy ones.
The seemingly bigger issue with Fincher turning to HBO, will this mark a precedent for our other current gods of filmmaking? Part of me wishes for an entire season of “Workaholics” directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, but are we as movie goers going to lose something? The film industry isn’t going to cater to the tastes of the American audience as long as its refuses to go.
It’s a mixed blessing in a way because we’re in a time where everything is available to us with just a couple of clicks, but at the same time, without buying physical copies of things, it’s dried out the opportunity for a little weird film to squeeze from the studio system. It’s either going to be big tentpole or Oscar bait films from here on out.
One last thing: Looking back at my old takes and where Fincher is now, David Fincher has not gone soft at all. He’s made two incredibly dark films within the studio system.
Pretty good interview with Nicolas Winding Refn with some little teases/hints about his next film.
The last few weeks people have been dying to see a trailer for the new Paul Thomas Anderson film. I get it. The thing for me, though, is knowing that the film from any of my favorite directors is going into production is a bigger deal than a trailer. Like knowing there’s production offices set up somewhere and being able to find behind the scenes photos from excited extras on Instagram, that’s a bigger deal than a trailer for me.
I don’t need see a trailer for the next Nicolas Winding Refn film. I just need see a photo of him wearing his anxiety belt talking to actors and a release date. Just tell me when it’s coming out and where it’s going to be. You have to have the faithful in the artists you love.
So, I believe I said I was going to have two additional summer mixes, but I didn’t actually end up fixing the mixes. Long story short: I was having trouble with my iTunes and my phone and couldn’t really get any music loaded up on there. By the time I did, the summer was over. So, I never finished the two mixes; never really got to the point with either one where I felt like it was a solid summer vibe. The artwork would’ve been a french bulldog taking a whiz on some seaweed.
Never the less, I will push on and finish a spooky edition of “Live For Now”.
It’s been a while since I updated this… So, let’s boogie:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The Raid 2: Redemption
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (R Rated Cut)
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Nymphomaniac Volume 1
Under The Skin
Only Lovers Left Alive
Nymphomaniac Volume 2
The French Connection
The Wages of Fear
The Earrings of Madame D…
Escape from New York
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Edge of Tomorrow
Night Moves (2014)
22 Jump Street
Like Father, Like Son
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The Purge: Anarchy
A Most Wanted Man
Guardians of the Galaxy
Magic in the Moonlight
April was a really great month of movies… Like I don’t want to sound like a super honk or something, but I really enjoyed most of what I watched. It would be easier to list the things that I didn’t like…
The Dregs: Blue Ruin, The Yakuza, Magic in the Moonlight, and, Godzilla.
I started to zone out about half way through The Purge and started to make my own movie set in the Purge world in my head. It was kind of like Class of 1984 meets Battle Royale.
Feel a little ashamed that I’m just now getting into Max Ophuls…. Wish more people saw Edge of Tomorrow because that was a party.
If you’re going to a music festival in the near future please adhere to this one rule/bit of advice: a music festival is only enjoyable as you make it. Only you can determine your own happiness.
With that said, I feel like this past weekend’s FYF Festival was a hit and miss affair. I have to commend Sean Carlson and the festival staff for going above and beyond to fix the problems of Saturday for a more pleasurable Sunday. They actually read the comments and tried their best to make more room in the Arena for fans and created more entry points to get into the festival. As a Monday morning quarterback, it seems like a vast majority of the Saturday/Day One problems could have been prevented maybe with a few more strategy sessions, but who knows? One would believe that after ten years of doing this festival, everything would move smoothly. Yet when you move from one location to location, it gets difficult. When you move into a new place, do you automatically know where everything is or does it take some time to get used to your brand new surroundings? There were growing pains.
For the most part, I had a great time. The bands I wanted to see delivered inspired performances. While the lines might’ve been much, I can’t complain about the lack of vegan and vegan friendly food available. My biggest regret of the festival was that I was not able to pick up a third donut from the Donut Friend booth near the main entrance. The Fritter Seems Forever was incredible and the Nutellavision blew my mind. I also regret not being to be able to be in two places at the same time because I would have loved to see Flying Lotus’s set, but there was a conflict with the Blood Brothers. I specifically came to see The Blood Brothers.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I was not to thrilled about it being at Exposition Park. Many, many moons ago, I witnessed my mother have a full fledge panic attack/nervous breakdown as she drove my sister, my sister’s friend and myself to a Raiders game at the Coliseum. Since then, the Coliseum has been a place to avoid. Once it was officially announced that the Coli would be the location, I was going to skip this year’s edition. Then the Blood Brothers’ reunion drew me back in. Not that I had unfinished business with the band, but I feel like the last time I saw, I ended up getting to the show late and missed a majority of their set. I wrongly assumed that the Blood Brothers were the headliners, but I guess it was Against Me or something similar to that.
The Blood Brothers were incredible. They sounded like they hadn’t miss a beat; like they were still a band putting out records and touring. While I missed that they could’ve played for ever. It was an ideal set. They played the hits, minus “The Shame”. They never do “The Shame”.
Boris, was probably the highlight of Saturday night, for me. I’ve heard a few of their albums, but I never really kept up with their output. As a live band, they are amazing. Wata shreds. She’s one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen in person. Then there’s Nagata, the drummer. He’s miced up so he’ll just yell “yeah!” or “woot” during random parts of the song. I was laughing while rocking out. It was a very enjoyable experience. And top of that, Nagata has a smoke machine so half of the time, he’s covered in smoke and smashing a giant gong behind him. It was incredible. If they come to your town, go immediately.
What I didn’t like about the festival, I believe this could be applied to most music festivals in California, are the people that are there because it’s a cool thing to do. It’s a tricky issue because promoters need those people because a festival with the likes of Blood Brothers, Fucked Up, Ty Segall, Boris and some Burger Records bands isn’t going to fill up Exposition Park, let alone the good old State Historic Park in Chinatown. Haim on the line up means more to the average person than say Chain of Strength or even a Fugazi reunion. It’s the bigger bands that allow for the little side stages.
After Death Grips broke up and dropped off the FYF bill, the promoters asked for replacement suggestions. The comments were flooded with people asking for The Killers and Of Mice and Monsters or some dumb folksy band with a monster reference in their name. My suggestion was Gorilla Biscuits. That’s sort of the problem as a festival evolves and becomes more financially viable, it has to carter more to the needs of a larger alternative/indie rock fan base.
Here’s the thing though, I feel like the 2013 FYF did a much better job of curating a line up that would appeal to all sorts of people. You had the likes of Solange, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Locust, and, Shlohmo. There was a little bit for everybody. This year just felt too much like Coachella Weekend 3; like Goldenvoice had a much stronger influence in shaping the line up this year.
Well, my problem is that I wish FYF could have been like Burger A Go Go. I don’t know how the dudes from Burger Records and the folks at the Observatory in Santa Ana pull it off, but they managed to create multiple weekend/all day festivals that are strictly about the music and having fun. Maybe its the venue (a swampy place smack damb in the middle of a industrial part of Santa Ana [that’s actually more closer to Costa Mesa; it’s a couple of blocks down from a giant Ikea and an exit away from the infamous South Coast Plaza]) with its three stages (One big, one small, one very tiny) or just the line up crafted by Sean and Lee in between bong rips. There was never really any down time between bands or real tough decision. The headliners seemingly played after each other starting at 7pm. As the night went on, each band got better than the previous and as things got louder and better, the cool kids kind of faded into the background. Granted, the food options at the Observatory weren’t as plentiful as FYF, there wasn’t a lag or down time. It was walk in one direction, there’s a band and if you walk into the other, you’ll probably find another band.
All in all, I had a good time this year at FYF, but it’s going to take a lot for me to come back next year. I don’t know how or if they can afford the various reunions: Led Zeppelin, The Smiths, and, Fugazi.
In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, here’s a list of all the bands I saw full sets of (in no particular order): Angel Olsen, Slint, Slowdive, Boris, Ty Segall, Jessy Lanza, Les Sins, Kelela, Thundercat, Murder City Devils, The Blood Brothers, and Deafheaven.
Had a cup of Coffee with (Caught a few songs): Real Estate, Future Islands, Run The Jewels, Interpol, Joanna Gruesome, Mac De Marco
Also really enjoyed whoever was DJing the Lawn Stage on Sunday right before Thundercat’s set.
Not exactly sure how to fit this into the earlier narrative but one of my favorite parts of the festival was in the Arena on Sunday. There was a shirtless guy who basically ran laps around the Sports Arena floor then danced. It was incredible… Too dark to get a pic. Also, I have to agree with Bruce Springsteen regarding the Sports Arena. It really is a dump that jumps. The sound for Slint and Angel Olsen was great.
I later realized I saw Vanessa Hudgens at the festival, but it was dark to notice at the time. After reviewing the tape, I realized I got video of her sister getting loose to “Bank Head”.
There are a lot of attractive people on this great planet of ours.
Kelela said that a year and half ago, she used to work in a call center in the Valley seeing solar energy. So, we all probably hung up on her.
Overheard a nerd shamefully admit to his equally nerdy friend that he “only likes” Spiderland.
Jackfruit is incredible.
There was a mosh pit during the ‘I Miss You’ part of “Good Morning Captain”. It was weird.
Ty Segall and his band rule. If I was to draft a fantasy band, it would be that band.
On Sunday, they were giving away water bottles until 6pm so I filled the free Cult Records tote bag with water bottles and didn’t really have to pay for water the whole day. Like I had four bottles of water and bigger one I brought in home.
“I lasted about 45 minutes with Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller‘s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (Dimension, 8.22). Not to sound pervy but I waited for Eva Green‘s nude scenes. Honestly? They were pretty damn good. That’s what this film is selling, right? Hard-boiled hard-ons”—Wells! Candified, Bird-Turd Noir - Hollywood Elsewhere
Caught part of her set at Burger A Go Go this weekend and it was a total blast.
Aside from some minor hassles trying to find parking and the lack of air conditioning at the venue, I would have to say that Burger A Go Go was a total success. The Coathangers ruled. The Dum Dum Girls were hypnotic. Shannon & The Clams blew my mind (had never seen them before). However, my favorite part was when I saw a girl, maybe five or six years old, laughing and rocking out to Peach Kelli Pop. I also saw another little kid rocking out to Bombon.