Dreams of Life

I recently came across two films worth mentioning here. Transes follows the Moroccan group Nass el Ghiwane during a tour in the early 1980s. Nass performs Moraccan chaabi music influenced by the heavily hypnotic Gnawa genre, hence the titular “trances.” They play with the frenetic energy of early Stones to their rapturous crowds. Director Ahmed El Maanouni captures spectacular live performances […]

ART/4/LIFE: #7 – Vincent Moon

I’ve followed Vincent Moon’s films since the nascent days of YouTube. It’s near impossible to overstate how important his Take Away Shows with La Blogothèque have been for filmed music in the 21st century. Today you’ll find countless imitators of his style: long, uninterrupted shots that float between brutal closeups of the performers and curious […]

ART/4/LIFE: #5 – Alejandro Jodorowsky

El amor es un intercambio de silencios. Alejandro Jodorowsky is a prophet. If you saw the recent documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, you know he’s a bit of a madman as well. But for someone interested in psychomagic, esotericism, and penning comics, perhaps he’s quite sane. My first plunge into his world was Santa Sangre (1989) and its resplendent palette, mythic imagery, and […]

Reel Sounds… Mica Levi’s Under the Skin

I’m a film music junkie and 2014 produced some especially noteworthy scores. I’ve wanted to mention my favorites on this site for longer than I care to admit. So here it goes. From now on, I’ll regularly pluck out a score, that, for whatever reason, I find intriguing. From time to time, I also plan to pontificate […]

ART/4/LIFE: #3 – Masaaki Yuasa

I thought I’d feature someone who recently rekindled my love of animation. Masaaki Yuasa is a visionary Japanese animator who spins surreal, irreverent, and improvisitory tales of wonder. Though they’re equally brilliant, he’s kind of like the anti-Miyazaki. I first heard of Yuasa, I suppose like many Westerners, through his 2004 masterpiece Mind Game. This film […]

Scoring: Music for Making Whoopee (NSFW)

Great music offers a glimpse at the pinnacle of human potential. Other music, ephemeral and utilitarian, never makes it out of base camp–or perhaps the gutter. Adult film music likely fits this second description but its reputation may be on the rise. I saw this article on “how sex got its soundtrack” from Salon and couldn’t help […]