Movie Review – Anima (2019)

TL;DR – A 15-minute musical experiment that smashes the music of  Thom Yorke with the sensibilities of Paul Thomas Anderson   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Anima (2019). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

This has been the year of the experimental music video/film hybrid, we have gotten the narrative version with Guava Island, the absurd with Bash Brothers, and the documentary hybrid with HΘMΣCΘMING. Well, today we continue this genre with a collaboration between director Paul Thomas Anderson noted for more visually stylistic films like Phantom Thread and Thom Yorke one of the main voices behind Radiohead. If you are a fan of Thom or Paul then I assume that combination instantly got your attention, and if you are not this is only 15 minutes so check it out anyway.

So to set the scene, we are on a train and a lady (Dajana Roncione) leaves her lunchbox behind and a man (Thom Yorke) takes it for himself only for things to get weird. Well, that is about it, as it is only 15 minutes there is not a whole lot more to say other than it is quite a ride.

The first thing I want to talk about is the choreography from Damien Jalet which is one of the three core things that makes this one of the most interesting things I have seen so far this year. There is a flow to the movement, but also a precision that is a really interesting blend. There is a lot of group performances that gives this an organic feel, but also the sharp movements are also otherworldly. Which does sort of fit the theme as anima is referring to the soul. To be honest, I am also always a sucker for the movement that lines up with the beat of the music.

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Movie Review – Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

TL;DR – An interesting juxtaposition of the past and present, through music, Bob Dylan, and a very particular look at the 1970s.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Recently I’ve been listing in to a weekly Twitch podcast about music, exploring all the different genres that had no experience with. This has gotten me more interested in exploring the world behind music and Hollywood’s recent biopic spree has helped a bit in this regard. But when you find that a film about Bob Dylan has dropped on Netflix, by Martin Scorsese no less, you stop what you are doing and jump back to the 1970s.

So to set the scene, Rolling Thunder Revue tells the story of Bob Dylan and friends tour across New England and beyond during 1975. This was a year where America was at crossroads, Nixon had just resigned, the Vietnam War debacle was still in everyone’s mind, and economic recession had started in places of the Rust Belt. All in all, it is a time very similar to the one we find ourselves in right now. It is at this moment of flux that Bob decided to get a group of folk/rock pals and do a tour, something he had not done in a while, and we get to see it all.

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Movie Review – The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

TL;DR – If you ever wanted a visual representation of the descent into madness brought on by parental sports obsession and copious amounts of steroids, then this would be it.     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Have you ever opened up a piece of media and have 100% no idea about what you are about to watch and then also a pretty good idea about what you are about to watch. It is an odd juxtaposition that I have never felt before, well that is before today. For you see, today we are exploring the fever dream of 1980s baseball culture by way of cocaine that is The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience, the latest thing from The Lonely Island.

So to set the scene, it is the late 1980s, an era of big hair, Madonna, and baseball. We open in on the titular Bash Brothers, Jose Canseco (Andy Samberg) and Mark McGwire (Akiva Schaffer). They were two of baseball’s greatest players, but they have a deep secret that no one knows about, they both did a rap video.

This is such an odd piece of media, that I was not actually sure how to classify it, I eventually went with movie just because that is where I put Guava Island from earlier in the year. I bring up Guava Island because structurally there are a lot of similarities even if they are both widely different in style and tone. What we have is a number of songs from The Lonely Island which have been brought together and strung together with a narrative. Though The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience is less on the revolutionary takedown of capitalist forms of oppression and more a drug fever dream about the pressures to take steroids.   

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Article – Masters of Cinematic Music: Ramin Djawadi

TL;DR – We explore the wonders of Ramin Djawadi’s musical score through the lens of Light of the Seven

Masters of Cinematic Music: Ramin Djawadi. Image Credit: HBO.

Article

Today we are starting out the first entry in a series about modern cinematic composers. For me at least, one of the factors that emotionally connects me to a piece of visual media, whether that be, a video game, a television show, or a film is the music. The right musical choice can make or break scenes and can be one of the factors that make these moments resonate across the media landscape. We all remember that first time we heard the Imperial March or The Avengers theme explodes onto the screen. They help us get lost on the high seas, traverse galaxies far, far away, or in our first example help us delve into a world of fire and ice. Because this is an article about music, I have added links to the songs in question so you can listen along.

Ramin Djawadi is a German/Iranian composer and the key musical voice of Game of Thrones, the hugely successful HBO series based of George RR Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice series. As a composer, Ramin has been working for a long time in the musical world starting first as an assistant and then creating addition music for films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl and Ned Kelly, working under one of the defining voices in modern composition Hans Zimmer. Before moving onto working on his own films like Iron Man and Pacific Rim.

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Movie Review – Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING)

TL;DR – A work of art for all to see.    

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé (HΘMΣCΘMING). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review


One of the issues living in Australia is that the likelihood of me being able to go to some of these big tent pole events across the world is quite low. However, in this age of digital connection that is not the problem that it used to be, as connections become stronger around the world. Today we take a look at a film that takes this to heart as it explores not only a concert and how it was made but also the philosophy that went that underpinned it all.

So to set the scene, last year at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival or as it more commonly called Coachella, history was made. For the first time, the festival was being headlined by an African-American woman (and only the 3rd women in their history at that point) when Beyoncé stepped onto the stage to perform. These performances rocked the music world for their choreography, their musical strength, their surprise guests, and because they were full of power.

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Movie Review – Guava Island

TL;DR – A beautiful work on the power of music to shape the world     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Guava Island. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Review

There are a lot of things music can be, it can move you, it can move people, and it can move countries. There is the real power in music and throughout the years we have seen the power of music to shape the ideas and the structures that control people’s lives. With that in mind, today we take a look at something a little experimental, but also a little subversive, and also a little fun.

So to set the scene, we open with animation about the world we live in, Guava Island. The island was originally created by the gods to be a resting place for humans from the war that rages around. However, on the island, special blue silk was found and soon one man Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie) had taken it for himself and industrialised the whole island to produce the silk for export. However, all is not lost on Guava Island because one day a girl Kofi (Rihanna) looked out her window and saw a boy Deni (Donald Glover) playing his guitar and every night after that he played all night for her, always trying to get better.

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Movie Review – Gully Boy

TL;DR – A story about finding your voice through rap in the slums of Mumbai hits just about every beat perfectly.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a scene over the first part of the credits

Gully Boy. Image Credit: Excel Entertainment.

Review

It has been a while since I have watched a movie about becoming a music superstar that had any kind of weight and substance behind it. Usually, they are content just to ride on the fact that people know the music very well, and as long as you drop those classic songs every now and again people will lap it up. Today we get to look at a film that doesn’t just rest on its laurels and call it a day, it instead focuses deeply on what it is to come from nothing and try to make it in a very competitive world.  

So to set the scene, we open in Mumbai, India, specifically the Dharavi slums on the outskirts of the city, and we start immediately in a moment of tension when Aftab (Vijay Raaz) brings home a second younger wife, much to the annoyance of both Murad (Ranveer Singh) and his mother Razia (Amruta Subhash). Murad is working hard at school, working hard on keeping his relationship with Safeena (Alia Bhatt) on the quiet, but he has a real passion for rap. In his quiet time, he watches videos on YouTube and works on his own lyrics. However, he doesn’t have the confidence to take it to the next level, which is when MC Sher (Siddhant Chaturvedi) gives him the push he needs.

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