January 28, 2008

Movie Soundtracks To Sink Your Teeth Into

Cinecultist is a few days late in linking to this but fellow Movie Binger and The Morning News contributor Erik Bryan's most recent MP3 digest does a nice little round up of movie soundtracks.

His list includes some great downloadable cinema tunes including work by Johnny Greenwood from There Will Be Blood, that lovely Oscar nominated song from Once "Falling Slowly," and the classic collaboration of the band Toto with the legendary Brian Eno on the soundtrack for David Lynch's Dune, one of Cinecultist's most beloved cult flicks.

Gawd, CC sure does love Dune, it's so unabashedly weird. Just listening to those synthesizers wail makes us want to watch it again right now.

Posted by karen at 12:43 AM | mp3s, the Movie Binge | Comments (0)

May 23, 2007

Miranda July, No Poser

Miranda July and Mike Mills' work sort of counts as a movie subject, though often it bleeds delightfully into the "weirdo art project" category, like their video for Blonde Redhead. Wonder how many people will be dancing in that herky jerky way at their McCarren Park concert on August 5? The Cinecultist might try out a few of them, if inspiration strikes. [via BrooklynVegan]

June 20, 2006

It May Be Old News But It's Still Beautiful

sfsony.jpg

Sometimes Cinecultist would like to write about music (or art or fashion or New York) on this site but we need a movie in, so to speak. We're looking forward to seeing mellow indie fellow José González next week at Bowery Ballroom and today our co-worker Jonathan pointed out this amazing commercial for Sony Bravia that José contributed the song for the soundtrack which Jon read about in Esquire. Perfect little roundabout in.

This is one of those short films that leaves you a little speechless because it's such a beautiful concept (a quarter of a million bouncy balls flying down a San Francisco street) and also a little mind-boggling to figure out how they did it. At first our mind lept to the CGI solution, but according to this Flickr set we found and postings on SFist indicate that they actually orchestrated 250,000 balls flying down Filbert and Leavenworth last summer. 23 cameramen in protective gear caught the whole thing in one take, amazingly enough. Be sure to watch the extended 2 and a half minute version on Sony's site, it takes a bit to load but is well worth it. Hooray for smart short films and good songs on the soundtrack!

Photo by Sepiatone from Flickr

Posted by karen at 3:38 PM |

January 11, 2006

Our Indie Rock Husband

sexy, sexy ben g
Photo by Jeff

We interupt this regularly scheduled movie blog to bring you a little obsessing of the indie rock variety a la our evening Tuesday with our beloved indie rock husband, Benjamin Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie and the Postal Service at the Bowery Ballroom. Bearing in mind that Ben's emo ways do weird things to our sentimentality valve, ie turning it to full on, we have tagged this entry "soundtracks" because we realized during the show that his music is the soundtrack to our heart. Le sigh. So very good.

The Bowery show was a casual affair thrown together quickly because Gibbard is in town to play Saturday Night Live this week and wanted to play accoustic with his buddies Andrew Kenny and Matt from Nada Surf. Mostly it was a chill, highly enjoyable show filled with a set list of favorites and covers, though as Jeff pointed out the hecklers did bug. Sometimes people don't know when to shut the hell up. But other than these slight flies in the ointment, it was the kind of musical evening that fills up our romantic soul. Like a Meg Ryan movie on steroids, Ben makes us want to leave our cynical lives on dirty Delancey as our hearts sour above in some cardigan-infested, black rimmed glasses heaven. We know people who mock us and our love for this unabashed hope as represented by Ben's music but to them, we say (for now anyhow): pbbbttt!

As Ben sings in the Death Cab track "Crooked Teeth":
I'm a war, of head versus heart, /And it's always this way. /My head is weak, /my heart always speaks, /Before I know what it will say.

Related: CC points out to Jen how much Google knows of her similarly obsessive love for Ben.

Slightly less related: On the way to the show, Janelle and CC were trying to out super fan each other and we began discussing All-Time Quarterback, a lesser known Ben side project. So to Janelle, relistening to the record tonight we remembered our favorite track is the Magnetic Fields cover "Why I Cry" because of the toy piano on it. The man both looks and sounds like Schroeder from the Peanuts. What's not to love there?

Posted by karen at 9:10 AM | | TrackBack

July 23, 2005

Some More M.P.

Curious to hear some more Michael Pitt music, Cinecultist poked around the web until we found the following track from Last Days sung by Mr. Pitt. Nirvana-y, no?

Michael Pitt - Death to Birth

The Modern Age's review of Pagoda's performance in New York at Piano's back in June.

Btw, we have some Last Days swag to give away, t-shirt, poster and oddly enough, two guitar picks.

E-mail us at karen[at]cinecultist[dot]com who you think looks the most in need of a bath in L.D. and why -- Michael, Asia Argento, Lukas Haas or Scott Green -- and some weird free stuff could be yours!

Posted by karen at 6:56 PM |

April 24, 2005

For A Movie So Crass, And Awkwardly Cast, Even I Could Be The Star

natalie_portman_garden_state_interview_top.jpgLast night, the Shins began a three night residency at Webster Hall and Cinecultist was there (along with Janelle, Youngna, Jake and a whole mess of other folks) to welcome the Albequerque quartet to town. CC's dug the Shins for almost 5 years now, since our Seattle salad days, and this was the third time we've seen them in concert. They always put on a good show but for some reason, when telling people like our hip music editor co-worker Sarah that we had a ticket, it required some defensive tactics.

"We liked them before Zach Braff," CC told her with not just a little bit of petulance in the vocal tone. But somehow that wasn't enough to convince her of their sustained coolness. The Shins have sold out apparently, what with their Gap commercial lyrics and having earnest little Natalie Portman tell Zach listening to them would change his life in Garden State. James Mercer and co, you may be touring to remind your fans that you still exist while you record the follow up to Chutes Too Narrow, but actually, you're already over. You're passe. Too many mainstream-y types rock out to your '60s pastiche and melancholy shabbiness, and so the fickle ones with their fingers on the pulse have moved on.

This issue of in, or over, or over-exposed or whatever you want to call it seems to be following Cinecultist all over town these days. It's a full time job to try to stay ahead of the curve but for some reason, we always feel a touch out of touch even though our full time job actually is to stay ahead. That's not how it looks to many of our friends and family though; on our To Do List is to make a list for our younger sister of CDs to buy and even Janelle, who we think of as one of our "music friends," mentioned to someone over a post-Shins drink that she trusts our musical taste. But then again, on Friday over a glasses of $2 red wine in a Williamsburg art space we tried to be a part of conversation about a metal show that Björk and Matthew Barney attended. According to our afficianado friend Hisham, they looked like horses galloping as they head banged with knee length hair. It was beautiful -- like a sunset, he said. However, when we asked if this band's music was at all "melodic" or just purely "technical," it was obvious from his face that CC's just too square for words.

Somehow, in our mind, it all goes back to movie soundtracks. Like, if a group is hot enough that some movie soundtrack composer (say on the Wicker Park project or the Good Company, or the A Lot Like Love, or even The OC) decides a band is hip enough to include that means it's actually the death knell for their hipness. Acknowledgement commercially is the end of a band's outsider viability. Cinecultist may be bopping along to the Iron and Wine, Keane, Death Cab or Shins track in our plush movie seat but any idiot at the record store with a thing for Josh Hartnett or Topher Grace can purchase the soundtrack CD for their collection, thus discovering our indie band. For those of us living in the iPod generation, where a soundtrack to our lives can be playing via little white headphones 24/7, music becomes even more personal and intimate. That band is our band. But when the mainstream media, via commercials or movies or the NYT, gets a hold of it, that beloved track looses its luster.

To be a fan, or a cultist of some kind whether it's cinema or art or music, is to be a bit navel gazing. A little onaistic. It's pleasure but it's also torture.

Posted by karen at 5:12 PM |

July 29, 2004

A Rat Named Tatooey?

Muppets_Take_Manhattan_The_Rat_Scat.thumb.jpgAs suggested to you Manhattan based cinecultists last week, Cinecultist attended a midnight screening of the Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) at the Sunshine Landmark theater on Friday night and thus, brings you a little mid-week, gratuitous Muppet action. Why? Just because we feel like it. To love the Muppets needs no rhyme or reason, dear friends, no reason at all.

Something we never noticed before when watching this movie, how odd are the names of the rats in Manhattan? Rizzo (which comes from Midnight Cowboy of course), but Masterson, Chester, Tatooey and Yolanda? Wacky. The music in Manhattan isn't as strong as some of the other features, probably its most famous track is the Muppet babies theme whose doo wap refrain (mama, dada, boop boop, shewawa) had the hipster kids singing along as we crossed Houston after the movie. CC finds this song annoying to skin itching levels, despite the utter cuteness of the baby Scooter, so in the On The Soundtrack section at left we bring you 5 minutes from the finale, "Somebody's Getting Married." There's quite a chorus of Muppets on this track, the whole freakin' gang is here.

From a fashion point of view, Miss Piggy's early 80s hairdos look quite dated but the scene between her and Joan Rivers at the makeup counter, where Rivers gives Piggy a makeover to cheer her up is utterly classic. CC wonders if someone has that overly rouged and eyebrowed Miss Piggy puppet somewhere?

Sadly, there's not too much Waldorf and Statler in this picture, but hey as they say in The Muppet Christmas Carol and as Cinecultist quotes to her sister Laurie all the time, "It's good to be heckling again." To which she replies, "It's good to be doing anything again."

muppets.jpg

Who's your favorite Muppet and why? Let us know in the comments (extra points for quotation).

Posted by karen at 8:03 AM | | Comments (6)

July 11, 2004

Cinecultist - Now Offering Audio

Taking a page from Stereogum, Cinecultist has instituted a new feature to the site, Right-Click-Save-able files from our favorite film soundtracks, called Playing On The Soundtrack. In keeping with our promised viewing of the entire Antoine Doinel series this past week, we offer to the left in the sidebar the theme song from Stolen Kisses, and the inspiration for the film's title, Charles Trenet's lovely jazz ballad, "Que reste t'il de nos amours." If this song doesn't just sound like '60s Paris to you to a T — all cloudy days, trench coats and high heel pumps, lingering espressos in cafés, longing looks from across the discotheque — then you have no sense of cinematic imagination.

Posted by karen at 2:34 PM |