Tag Archives: Music

Jenny Lewis is following the magic

“People always want to know what, why, how, when. I don’t know. Which? Who? Whom! Whomst!”

Jenny Lewis has told me she doesn’t have a problem talking about new record, On the Line but there’s a certain reticence to divulging much about intent or any unifying connection between the thumping, lush ballads she’s assembled. It sounds like even she won’t know what the songs are about for a while…

Full interview for The Line of Best Fit
Photography: Chris Almeida

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The Legend of the Stardust Brothers (Macoto Tezuka, 1985)

Some backstory first: the legend behind The Legend, if you will. In the early ‘80s, Makoto Tezuka, the son of “godfather of manga” Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy), was a film student with few credits to his name beyond some experimental shorts. In 1985, at age 22, he met musician and TV personality Haruo Chicada, who had composed a soundtrack for a movie that didn’t actually exist yet: The Legend of the Stardust Brothers.

Chicada used his clout to get an adaptation of his fake soundtrack made into a feature-length musical, with Tezuka directing. The budget was sizeable and some of Japan’s most famous musicians of the time were on board, while various prominent names in manga were among the assembled crew; Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a director who would become much famous later for films like Pulse and Cure, even has a supporting role as an actor…

Full review for SciFiNow

Lola Kirke: ‘As a woman, I felt uncomfortable with my libido’

Lola Kirke is perched at the table of an east London restaurant, surrounded by the remnants of scones. Though enthusiastic and engaging in conversation, the 28-year-old actor and musician is prone to getting distracted: on this occasion, it’s a fellow customer wearing a beret with the term ‘Solidarity’ on it that has interrupted her train of thought. “I think that’s hysterical,” she says, genuinely delighted…

Full interview for HUCK

‘Grease’ at 40: A first-time look at a pop culture classic

We all have our blind spots when it comes to cinema – and that’s a good thing. Being passionate about film is being open to discovery and constantly looking to fill in gaps in one’s knowledge. But when you get to a certain age and also happen to work in film journalism, not having seen certain pop culture touchstones starts to stick out. Until very recently, my biggest blind spot – at least in terms of a film it seemed everyone had seen at least once – was Grease.

And yet, through cultural osmosis, I’ve always felt like I have seen Grease. Not only did I know most of the songs, I knew most of the words to most of the songs. What I didn’t know was what a peculiar musical it is. Take the title track, for instance, which plays over the opening credits and is one of the few songs I hadn’t heard before. One of four original songs written for the film (this one by Barry Gibb), the disco number feels surprisingly at odds with the late-’50s/early ‘60s style of the rest of the soundtrack. It’s a catchy tune, but seems as though it’s been included merely to forge a connection between the film and star John Travolta’s earlier Bee Gees-scored hit, Saturday Night Fever. It’s a curious identity crisis moment, but then perhaps it’s appropriate given the narrative arcs of the film’s leading pair…

Full feature for Little White Lies

Edgar Wright on car chase thriller ‘Baby Driver’

“I was going to say I’ve not been offered a musical, but that’s not true. I think if it was the right thing and I thought I could do it well, then, yeah, of course.” British writer-director Edgar Wright is speaking to us down the phone from LA. The current topic: how his movies, particularly Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and new film Baby Driver, often take on some of the cinematic language of musicals. “The thing about it with this movie,” he continues, “is doing some of that work in a completely different genre. Baby Driver is not a musical per se, but it’s completely powered by music…

Full interview for The Skinny

Lost in France (Niall McCann, 2016)

In the late 1990s, a group of musicians involved with Chemikal Underground, the Glasgow-based independent record label, hired a bus and went on a road trip to a town in rural France to play a one-off concert. Two decades on, a reprisal of the trip for some of those originally involved is the backbone for Lost in France, director Niall McCann’s affectionate, intimate documentary on the label – exploring what’s made Chemikal Underground and its acts endure for 20-odd years…

Full review for VODzilla.co

Gimme Danger (Jim Jarmusch, 2016)

Jim Jarmusch directing a film about The Stooges is one of those perfect matches of artist and subject. Though the resultant documentary, Gimme Danger, is, at the very least, good, there’s the persistent sense throughout that something’s missing…

Full review for Little White Lies

Writing by Josh Slater-Williams