Category Archives: Pop Culture
Assuming that many here have seen the movie, there will be spoilers ahead…
Every so often, you see a band live and everything snaps into focus.
When watching a movie, nothing make me happier than seeing a well-executed scene or set piece. With that in mind, I’ve decided to post movie scenes that either gave me chills, made my heart race, or made things a little dusty. You’ll notice most of these clips involve a really good soundtrack.
A couple of parameters though. I tried to avoid any iconic scenes (“You can’t handle the truth!”) or climactic endings. Additionally, I’m no movie technician so I can’t really break down any of these scenes from any other point of view than that of a fan. Read the rest of this entry
It seems as though this has been one of the weaker seasons for fall premieres. That being said, I have probably watched more network TV pilots this season than I have in years before. For what it’s worth, here’s my take: Read the rest of this entry
Maybe you’ve read the article David Byrne wrote for the Guardian about how the Internet will suck all creative content out of the world. I’m not sure I agree with him. I think creativity can be really enhanced by the Internet. I think creativity will take new forms because of the Internet. The old model of the music industry obviously no longer applies. But there are artists like Macklemore and The Weeknd using the Internet to reach audiences. I think in general, the Internet has made audiences much smaller–there’s so much content out there now. But is that a good or a bad thing?
David Byrne is down on Spotify, and I don’t blame him. But I use it to listen to music these days, for one reason–it makes it really easy to find new bands. Not only does it recommend bands to me based on what I’ve already listened to, but I can follow my friends and even music artists to see what they’ve been listening to. You can share playlists with people. There’s probably more it can do that I haven’t figured out yet.
My two favorite discoveries via Spotify:
How are you discovering new music?
Don’t know if we’ve ever gone down this morbid highway to discuss the very best songs about shuffling off the mortal coil, but it seems like as good a time as any. So dredge the lake for the very best of them and make your nominees. Mine is this one from Elbow: Switching Off.
It seems many of you found The Fall. Not exactly the most cheery thing ever filmed. I hope you are also able to find The Returned/Les Revenants. It is the best thing I’ve seen on telly all year. Stylish French zombie fare par excellence. Luther is also back, so spool that up too, and cover yourself in Cockney bombast.
Recommended this time is Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake, a BBC/Sundance production set in New Zealand (so barely Euro!). You know Campion from The Piano, from which she brings Holly Hunter as one of the lead actors.
I’m only one episode in, so it’s a difficult show to properly describe. Imagine Twin Peaks crossed with The Killing but a little more subdued (at least compared with Lynch). A young pregnant girl goes missing in the remote community of Laketop and cop Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) is brought in to investigate. Hunter plays a Log Lady-esque weirdo who last saw the girl. Etc.
The reviews have been good and Campion’s involvement as writer-producer-director ensures that Top of the Lake succeeds or fails based on her vision. This is no series-by-committee but ambitious long-form drama. So far, me likey.
Interestingly, Australian funding for the show was pulled when Moss’s involvement was revealed. It seems the Aussies don’t like Americans playing Antipodeans. I call it revenge for Russell Crowe making a career out of dodgy accents.
Available on Sundance Channel and BBC2.
This really is a golden age of television. At the push of a button or the click of a mouse I can watch the best TV the world has to offer, whether it is a new, complex American cable series (Game of Thrones — made in Europe but with American money), tight-and-light BBC-fare (Sherlock), and Scandinavian cool (The Killing).
Here at the Kulturblog I’m going to offer regular, brief highlights of new European shows that our American readers might find on Netflix or PBS or the torrents of bit.
Two shows this time, one British, the other French. Read the rest of this entry