Monday, 20 April 2015

THE CONEHEADS




Akron, Ohio, err, I mean Hammond, Indiana's Coneheads have achieved something that I honestly didn't think was possible.

Somehow these three teenage punks from the midwest have managed to completely nail not only DEVO's sound, but their attitude, philosophy and sense of humour as well. These young neo-spuds just get DEVO to a fucking tee.

Their sound falls somewhere between DEVO's raw mid '70s pre-album material and Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (with a hint of Duty Now for the Future creeping into a few tracks). They also kind of remind me at times of The Proletariat, that strange band who always felt like the odd one out on This Is Boston Not L.A.

When I say that this Indianan Smart Patrol has achieved the impossible, I'm talking about their ability to make music that's inseparably tied to a particular band, but still manages to come off sounding cool and fresh. Many jocks, ninnies and twits have tried their hand at de-evolution before this, and all have failed. All Hail The Coneheads! Hack, hack, hack!

The bandcamp link below is to their latest release, the 14 Year Old High School PC​-​Fascist Hype Lords Rip Off Devo for the Sake of Extorting $​$​$ from Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L​.​P​.​ It compiles their first two tapes, Out of Conetrol and Canadian Cone, but I urge you (uncontrollably) to seek out their latest tape, Selected Ringtones, cuz it's their best stuff to date.








Sunday, 19 April 2015

The Tale of Tales




Whoa! This trailer for Matteo Garrone's new film The Tale of Tales (Il racconto dei racconti) is a real eye opener. A lurid, sumptuous, dark fairy tale overflowing with gore, sex and surrealism? Yes please!

Getting a killer '70s/'80s Euro horror and artsploitation vibe from this. A nice mixture of John Boorman, Ken Russell, Walerian Borowczyk and Jean Rollin perhaps? We'll find out when it debuts at Cannes next month.

Garrone is the co-writer and director of 2008's highly lauded Gomorrah, which I've heard great things about and now feel the need to track down and watch ASAP.





Saturday, 18 April 2015

UNDER




So, I'm kind of obsessed with Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin.

Since finally seeing it a couple of months ago (I'm late to the party, and I regret not seeing it on the big screen), I've been haunted by this beautiful, eerie, psychedelic depth charge of a movie. The perfect fusion of exploitation and art-house sensibilities, Under the Skin blends the two so seamlessly and effortlessly that it makes the distinction feel completely redundant.

Forget your preconceived genre expectations, and just surrender yourself to this transcendent trip of a movie. Like Scarlett Johansson's "Female", Glazer's film is like nothing else on this planet, a thing of otherworldly beauty and alien mystery. 

It's not like Glazer is the only filmmaker to have successfully bridged the exploitation/art gap recently. Gaspar Noé, Fabrice Du Welz, Nicolas Winding Refn and Lars von Trier have all done so as well, and with spectacular results (their respective standouts being Enter the Void, Vinyan, the Pusher trilogy and Antichrist). Under the Skin, however, leads the pack as the cream of the crop of this rarified segment of genre cinema. It's a flat-out masterpiece.


A quick note on Under the Skin's fx - remember that feeling of watching a movie and being so thrown by the fx that it seemed like magic? Literally like magic, because you couldn't work out how the effect was achieved? This movie is full of moments like that. Absolutely state-of-the-art technological wizardry.

It also has to be said that Daniel Landin's cinematography does an impressive job of suggesting how alien a world this planet might appear to someone who was visiting it for the first time. Through his lens Scotland is transformed into a completely extraterrestrial environment.

But words simply can't do Under the Skin justice, so I spent a couple of hours combing through my blu-ray to pick out my favourite images from this film that stands as one of the most visually striking and beautiful sci-fi/horror flicks ever made. Important: if you haven't seen it yet, please skip these completely spoiling posts and go rent or buy the film now instead. You won't regret it.

The following three posts are presented as a loving tribute to the incredible work of Glazer, Johansson, cinematographer Daniel Landin, production designer Chris Oddy, composer Mica Levi, editor Paul Watts, prosthetics/sfx company Asylum Model & Effects and vfx company One Of Us.




















































UNDER THE