Film Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Goes Mad and Keeps Going

Normally, this is the part of a review (the introduction, namely) that would contain some sort of appealing lede, a rumination on a scene or theme intended to draw in the reader and set up what’s to come in the following text. There might be mention of a young woman racing through an orange grove, a physical expression of joy that mirrors the appeal of the film in which that young woman exists; perhaps there are hints of a melancholic throughline that makes that joy all the sweeter.

In this particular case, perhaps the most honest response to this film is to do what it does: Dispense with the niceties, abandon fealty to logic, and get right to what the people want. So here goes. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is one of the most batshit crazy pieces of outright nonsense this writer has ever had the pleasure of encountering, and while calling it an excellent film would be going way too far, I enjoyed every single goddamn second of it.

Ostensibly a sequel-meets-prequel to Phyllida Lloyd and Catherine Johnson’s 2008 adaptation of the Broadway musical Mamma Mia!, writer-director Ol Parker’s Here We Go Again makes not one lick of sense. It leapfrogs back and forth in time, following Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) as she feverishly prepares for the grand re-opening of her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) hotel, and young Donna (the delightful Lily James) as she discovers the island on which that hotel stands, and meets the three young men (Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner) who would later become Sophie’s “three dads” (Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård).Young Donna’s adventures and Sophie’s struggles are encouraged and eased by the friendship of Tanya and Rosie (Jessica Keenan Wynn and Alexa Davies in the… well, let’s just call it the past, and Christine Baranski and Julie Walters in what may or may not be the present), the women who put the Dynamos in Donna and the Dynamos. And that’s the movie. Sort of.

What you’re about to read will appear to be a complaint, but it’s honestly not: this is a film that plays like a Mad Lib written in reverse, where the places you’d normally see blanks are all ABBA songs, and Parker’s task was seemingly to connect those songs with a story. He does, often ignoring plot points from the first film in favor of doing whatever seems most fun, or suits the song best, or something that maybe just occurred to him in the moment. “Waterloo”? Set it in a French restaurant with some vaguely military decor. “When I Kissed the Teacher”? Uh, school graduation! That works. “Fernando”? Cast Andy Garcia, he could be a Fernando. Cher wants in? Let’s throw out all the backstory about Donna’s mother and start from scratch. No one will care, right? And, reader, here is the most remarkable thing about this movie: the answer to that last question is “correct, no one does.”

Part of what makes all the lackadaisical plotting and the devil-may-care attitude toward its predecessor acceptable, and even a strength of Here We Go Again, is that there’s a keen sense of the surreal running through Parker’s film. Michele Clapton’s vibrant, playful costumes seem pulled from a half-dozen decades, yet the characters have had the same haircuts since their teens. It’s tempting to say that neither the togs nor the hairstyles have anything to do with the era in which they exist, but it’s frankly hard to tell what era that might be, if any. There’s a band that seems to exist in both timelines, with the same beaded vests and the same members, none of whom have aged a day. When the action leaves the hotel, only the presence of one of the main characters anchors you in the timeline, such as it is; the world seems otherwise untouched by time, and the weather forecasts are near-perfect parallels to one other. It’s all filmed in the same sunny, wind-kissed style, far from realistic but undeniably appealing, and the disorienting leaps in time are made more so by editing crosscuts ostensibly designed to pull you seamlessly from one storyline to the other.

Put it this way: it is possible to leave Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again believing that all the characters exist in the same pocket dimension; that they’re in a Lost-style purgatory in which they confront the ghosts of their past in the cheeriest possible fashion before being reunited with lost loves as a reward; that time is a flat circle and they all died at the end of the first movie; that the extras are supposed to be Greek gods and that the leads are all actually ghosts. Two parallel storms arrive, and they seem to be both the workings of fate writ in lightning and plain-old storms designed to move the plot forward. There’s a mystical horse in a basement and a 14-hour meeting in Tokyo, a secret twin and a customs guy whose opinions about hair shape the forces of destiny. Then Cher shows up. It is bonkers. It is either accidentally or purposefully brilliant, but whatever the case, it’s also a mess.

It’s also delightful. Much of that is due to the performances of its cast, made up of singers and non-singers who (regardless of skill level) attack both the music and the ridiculous storyline with affection and gusto. As with the first film, Seyfried’s exuberance goes a long way toward getting even the most hesitant viewers on board; she’s matched in this by James, who captures with ease the wild, open-hearted spirit which Meryl Streep gave Donna in the first film. Baranski and Walters once again lend the film some of its biggest laughs and much of its heart, treating the relationships with plenty of emotional weight while approaching the film as the gauzy, sequined lark it is.

Brosnan, Firth, and Skarsgård are appealingly game and undeniably charming. In particular, Brosnan’s wandering accent and, ahem, less than stellar singing voice remain oddly enchanting — he’s giving it his all, bless him. Irvine, Dylan, and Skinner can’t help but pale a bit in comparison, though Irvine’s valiant attempt to replicate Brosnan’s accent is one of the film’s sole, and most compelling, nods toward realism or anything resembling a through-line. Cher and Streep arrive at the last moment to do exactly what they do best, and the film treats them like the treasures they are. Like every other member of the ensemble, they seem just happy to be there, and it’s easy to see why.

Now we arrive at the music, which is part of the aforementioned why, and also the film’s raison d’etre. Parker’s approach seems to have been to plant a song in the film whenever the impulse struck. It doesn’t matter if the lyrics apply. It doesn’t matter if the song had been used previously. If it reflects the emotional truth of the scene, it goes in, and that’s that. The result is like watching a friend’s ABBA-only mixtape come to life, where there’s an arc and a story, albeit one only truly known to the author. James and Seyfried have lovely voices, as does Baranski, and Cher is Cher, bitch, but even the most lackluster singers among the cast belt these tunes out with such obvious enthusiasm that one could be forgiven for wanting to sing along.

At the end of the day, that’s probably what Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was going for all along. The intricacies of plot mean little, and inconvenient bits of backstory matter even less. The point is the party; the point is to celebrate, even when grief or heartache gains a foothold in life. It’s obvious and too easy a thing to say, but it feels right, so let’s make like Mamma Mia and go there anyway: oh oh, how can anyone resist it?

Trailer:

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2NuqlDp

Advertisements

Laim Gallagher asks Noel to reunite Oasis: “The drinks are on me”

It’s been some seven months since we last heard of a potential truce between Liam and Noel Gallagher. Of course, after the former said the Oasis siblings had reconciled back in December, he backtracked in February and blamed the false statement on eggnog. Recently, however, Liam’s been pulling out some of the old band’s classic deep cuts during shows, which may have made him more amenable to a real reunion.

In a recent tweet, Liam reached out to his brother with what seems to be a legitimate olive branch. “I forgive you now let’s get the BIG O back together and stop fucking about,” he wrote, “the drinks are on me LG x.”

Now, because these are the Gallaghers, Liam couldn’t get away with making a genuine offer without taking the piss out of Noel a bit. “Earth to noel, listen up rkid I hear your doing gigs where people can’t drink alcohol,” began the tweet, “now that’s the BeZarist thing you’ve done yet.” Translation: Removing alcohol from your concerts was a stupid move, dear brother.

Regardless of the dig, Liam appears sincere in his desire to let bygones be bygones and reunite Oasis. He responded to a fan who said Liam’s latest solo album, As You Were, proved he didn’t need Noel by saying, “I’m not desperate just think it’d be a nice thing to do.”

Well, it certainly would be nice for us fans, but until this goes beyond a tweet, maybe we shouldn’t hold our breath.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Back in February, Liam said it was Noel’s wife, publicist Sara MacDonald, who was preventing an Oasis reunion. Perhaps this recent tweet will really be the first step in circumnavigating other roadblocks and finally getting the Gallagher brothers to talk face to face.

https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.3.1/jquery.min.js
https://maxcdn.bootstrapcdn.com/bootstrap/3.3.7/js/bootstrap.min.js

.video-js .vjs-volume-panel { display: flex !important }
.video-js .vjs-mute-control { display: inline-block !important }
/*.ima-fullscreen-div { display: none !important; }*/
@media only screen and (min-width: 1025px){
.col-xs-4, .col-sm-4, .col-md-4, .col-lg-4, .col-xs-8, .col-sm-8, .col-md-8, .col-lg-8, .col-xs-12, .col-sm-12, .col-md-12, .col-lg-12 {
padding-left: 0px !important;
padding-right: 0px !important;
}
.playlist-btn {
border: 0px solid #666!important;
padding:0px!important;
border-radiius: 0px!important;
text-decoration: none;
background-color: transparent!important;
margin: 10px 0 10px 20px!important;
}
}
.ima-controls-div{
padding-left: 10px;
padding-right: 10px;
}


icon playlist Laim Gallagher asks Noel to reunite Oasis: The drinks are on me

image

Tour Update: Gorillaz Announce 'The Now Now' Album + Fall Tour

image

Tour Update: Florence + The Machine Announces North American Tour & New Album, 'High As Hope'

image

Tour Update: Nine Inch Nails Presents: Cold and Black and Infinite Tour

image

Tour Update: Cold War Kids Explains The Birth of Their Live Album, 'Audience'

var jsdata = [{“id”:”gorillazannounce27thenownow27album2bfalltour-1529601189022″,”name”:”Tour Update: Gorillaz Announce ‘The Now Now’ Album + Fall Tour”,”artist”:”@Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, Indie, Alternative, Tour, New Music, Alternative Rock, Rock”,”title”:”Tour Update: Gorillaz Announce ‘The Now Now’ Album + Fall Tour”,”poster”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/gorillazannounce27thenownow27album2bfalltour-1529601189022\/CtrASvkq-720.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/gorillazannounce27thenownow27album2bfalltour-1529601189022\/CtrASvkq-720.jpg”,”src”:”https:\/\/lnvideos.consequenceofsound.net\/gorillazannounce27thenownow27album2bfalltour-1529601189022\/playlist.m3u8″,”type”:”application\/x-mpegURL”},{“id”:”florence2bthemachineannouncesnorthamericantour26newalbum2c27highashope27-1529601302642″,”name”:”Tour Update: Florence + The Machine Announces North American Tour & New Album, ‘High As Hope'”,”artist”:”@Florence and the Machine, Indie, Alternative, Tour, New Music, Alternative Rock, Rock”,”title”:”Tour Update: Florence + The Machine Announces North American Tour & New Album, ‘High As Hope'”,”poster”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/florence2bthemachineannouncesnorthamericantour26newalbum2c27highashope27-1529601302642\/ovynDKdk-720.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/florence2bthemachineannouncesnorthamericantour26newalbum2c27highashope27-1529601302642\/ovynDKdk-720.jpg”,”src”:”https:\/\/lnvideos.consequenceofsound.net\/florence2bthemachineannouncesnorthamericantour26newalbum2c27highashope27-1529601302642\/playlist.m3u8″,”type”:”application\/x-mpegURL”},{“id”:”nineinchnailscoldandblackandinfinitetour-1526424289702″,”name”:”Tour Update: Nine Inch Nails Presents: Cold and Black and Infinite Tour”,”artist”:”@breesays,alternative rock,Tour Update,tour,setlist,Setlist.fm,industrial rock,Closer,The Hand That Feeds,NIN,electronic rock,Nine Inch Nails,Hurt,Bad Witch”,”title”:”Tour Update: Nine Inch Nails Presents: Cold and Black and Infinite Tour”,”poster”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/nineinchnailscoldandblackandinfinitetour-1526424289702\/97Tju0Tx-720.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/nineinchnailscoldandblackandinfinitetour-1526424289702\/97Tju0Tx-720.jpg”,”src”:”https:\/\/lnvideos.consequenceofsound.net\/nineinchnailscoldandblackandinfinitetour-1526424289702\/playlist.m3u8″,”type”:”application\/x-mpegURL”},{“id”:”coldwarkidsexplainsthebirthoftheirlivealbum2c27audience27-1529601441444″,”name”:”Tour Update: Cold War Kids Explains The Birth of Their Live Album, ‘Audience'”,”artist”:”@Cold War Kids, Alternative, Indie, Interview, Alternative Rock, Rock”,”title”:”Tour Update: Cold War Kids Explains The Birth of Their Live Album, ‘Audience'”,”poster”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/coldwarkidsexplainsthebirthoftheirlivealbum2c27audience27-1529601441444\/ZwKcOlOh-720.jpg”,”thumbnail”:”https:\/\/lnthumbnails.consequenceofsound.net\/coldwarkidsexplainsthebirthoftheirlivealbum2c27audience27-1529601441444\/ZwKcOlOh-720.jpg”,”src”:”https:\/\/lnvideos.consequenceofsound.net\/coldwarkidsexplainsthebirthoftheirlivealbum2c27audience27-1529601441444\/playlist.m3u8″,”type”:”application\/x-mpegURL”}];
var jscount = 4;

https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/sdkloader/ima3.js
https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/video.js/7.0.5/video.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdn.consequenceofsound.net/video-player/production/js_latest/videojs-flash.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdn.consequenceofsound.net/video-player/plugins/videojs-contrib-hls/5.8.2/videojs-contrib-hls.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/videojs-contrib-ads/6.4.1/videojs.ads.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/videojs-ima/1.5.1/videojs.ima.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdn.consequenceofsound.net/video-player/production/js_latest/videojs.ga.min.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdn.consequenceofsound.net/video-player/production/js_latest/videojs-share.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/jquery-visibility/1.0.11/jquery-visibility.min.js
https://waspmobile.com/video-player-new/js/adCheck.js?cb=1532035249
https://cdn.consequenceofsound.net/video-player/production/js_latest/player_list_live_v1.js?cb=1532035249

var ads = new Ads();

(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[“GoogleAnalyticsObject”]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,”script”,’https://www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js’,”ga”);
ga(“create”, “UA-8681019-2”, { “cookieDomain”: “none” });
ga(“send”, “pageview”);

// div_top) {
$(“#videoBox”).addClass(“stick”);
$(“.playlist-btn”).show();
$(“.videoPlayer”).removeClass(” col-sm-8 col-md-8″);
$(“.videoPlayer”).addClass(” col-sm-12 col-md-12″);
$(“#videoBox-anchor”).height($(“#videoBox”).outerHeight());
} else {
$(“#videoBox”).removeClass(“stick”);
$(“.playlist-btn”).hide();
$(“.videoPlayer”).addClass(” col-sm-8 col-md-8″);
$(“.videoPlayer”).removeClass(” col-sm-12 col-md-12″);
$(“#videoBox-anchor”).height(0);$(“.listBox”).show();
}
}
$(function() {
$(window).scroll(sticky_video_relocate);
sticky_video_relocate();
});
$(“.playlist-btn”).click(function(){
var checkclick = $(“#playclick”).val();console.log(checkclick);
if(checkclick === ‘0’)
{
$(“.listBox”).show();
$(“#playclick”).val(‘1’);
}else{
$(“.listBox”).hide();
$(“#playclick”).val(‘0’);
}
//$(“.listBox”).toggle();
});

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2zTRUUW

The Prodigy announce new album, No Tourists, share “Need Some1”: Stream

On November 2nd, English electronic outfit The Prodigy will let loose a new full-length. It’s titled No Tourists and marks their seventh overall following 2015’s The Day Is My Enemy.

Due out through BMG/Take Me to the Hospital, the album was written, produced, and mixed by Prodigy’s founding member Liam Howlett at his studio in London. According to Howlett, it’s “equally aggressive as the last records – but in a different way,” as well as written with the stage in mind. “That’s the one thing that brings everything together,” he explained. “I couldn’t write this music unless it has that outlet on stage. That helps write the music. This is what I do it for: the live thing. And until we feel like we can’t do it, or the buzz goes, we won’t stop.”

(Read: Top 50 Albums of 1997)

That “gung-ho” attitude is reflected in the LP’s title. “To us, ‘No Tourists’ is ultimately about escapism and the want and need to be derailed,” Howlett continued. “Don’t be a tourist — there is always more danger and excitement to be found if you stray from the set path.”

Although a full tracklist for No Tourists has yet to be revealed, the three-piece is sharing the first single, a jarring number dubbed “Need Some1”. Check it out below via its action-packed music video helmed by director Paco Raterta.

No Tourists Artwork:

the prodigy no tourists album new The Prodigy announce new album, No Tourists, share Need Some1: Stream

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2JAOsOE

Kurt Sutter’s Sons of Anarchy spin-off Mayans MC gets its first trailer: Watch

FX’s Sons of Anarchy was a goddamned mess, but damn if it didn’t have some memorable storylines. Creator Kurt Sutter, who previously wrote some of The Shield‘s best episodes, is unhinged as a showrunner, which can be both a good and a bad thing. After Sons wrapped up its 7-season run in 2014, Sutter returned the following year with the commercial and critical misfire that was The Bastard Executioner, which, after being promptly canceled after its first season, led him back into the warm embrace of motorcycle gangs. He set upon making a Sons spin-off about the recurring Mayans motorcycle club, a project that just received its first trailer.

JD Pardo stars as Ezekial “EZ” Reyes in the series, which follows EZ’s journey as a prospect in the Mayans MC charter on the California and Mexico border. The action, which takes place after the events of Sons of Anarchy, is given some weight by EZ’s past as a promising Stanford student. The question of what led him to abandon college for the club will presumably be a major part of the story, and one that Edward James Olmos, who plays EZ’s father, will likely factor into. Sarah Bolger, Michael Irby, Carla Baratta, Richard Cabral, and Danny Pino will also star on the series.

Director Norberto Barba will direct the first two entries in the 10-episode season, which drops on September 4th.

 

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2uOHmk2

Strange Boy detail the Origins of their new video “Suburbia”: Watch

Origins is our recurring new music feature in which a band digs into some of the influences behind their latest release.

Suburban living might come with the preconceived notion of humdrummity, but growing up outside the big cities isn’t all about repetitive sprawl. In fact, being out there in cookie cutter landscapes only causes the spark of danger in a teenager’s heart to burn hotter. That innate desire to seek thrills and experiences that rushes through one’s veins is made even more intense when surrounded by overwhelming normality.

It’s that emotional energy that Strange Boy explore in the video for their new single, “Suburbia”. The London duo are joined by Icelandic artist JFDR on the track as they recall days of “smoking cigarettes outside in the cold,” “flying wheels, lost keys and a broken tailbone,” and “late nights beneath faux-fur rugs.” As they sing of those youthful days, Tal Rosner’s video unfolds down a techno daydream of a typical residential street, finding at the end the bodies of two young lovers intertwined.

Check it out below.

For more on the song and video, Strange Boy’s vocalist/lyricist Kieran Brunt has broken down the track’s Origins. While teenagers and thrill-seeking certainly played their role, so did Berlin and Lou Reed.

Teenagers:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins Teenagers

This is unashamedly a nostalgic song about being a teenager. when new hormones are racing through veins and blowing everything out of proportion. I think falling in love as a teenager is one of the most beautiful and absurd things that can happen in our lives. I wanted this song to embody that rush of emotions. The use of the thermal camera in our video really emphasizes that too.

Danger and Excitement:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins danger and excitement car crash

The second verse of this song is about all of the stupid and dangerous stuff I did as a teenager. I guess it’s a time when we’re testing limits and seeing how far we can push situations. Roaming the streets and parks late at night (sorry mum), I guess we were often looking for dangerous and exciting things to happen… sometimes they did!

[This photo is one] I took of one of the stupidest and most dangerous things that happened when I was a teenager.

Suburban Architecture:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins The Violet Hour (Mr James) by Selwyn Leamy

The Violet Hour (Mr James) by Selwyn Leamy

My friend Selwyn Leamy paints these stunning pictures of suburban architecture, which are full of quiet beauty and nostalgia. I was thinking about them a lot when I made this song. The video by Tal Rosner also focuses on architecture, starting with an endless loop of the street I grew up on. I love how it creates something beautiful out of something repetitive and monotonous, gradually turning into this ecstatic, ravey fantasy.

Berlin:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins Berlin

I was working in Berlin a lot while I was forming the ideas for this song in my head. When not recording or eating falafel, I would spend most evenings in clubs listening to techno. Naturally those sounds found their way into the music.

I took [the above photo] of the Berlin sunrise after a night out.

Lou Reed:

Lou Reed, alongside Leonard Cohen and Stephen Merritt, is one of my favourite lyricists of all time. I think one of his greatest skills is creating a sense of place through appealing to the senses, like at the beginning of “Perfect Day”: “Just a perfect day/ Drink sangria in the park…” It’s so simple, but immediately transports you to that place, and that feeling. I tried to use the same technique in this song, with lyrics that are almost uncomfortably tactile.

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2zTo5DY

Death Cab for Cutie are haunted by an ex on new song “I Dreamt We Spoke Again”: Stream

Death Cab for Cutie are less than a month away from the release of Thank You For Today, their first album since 2015. In June, Ben Gibbard & co. offered fans a sneak peak of the LP with lead single “Gold Rush”. Now, they’re rolling out another tune in “I Dreamt We Spoke Again”.

Here, the frontman is both wistful and haunted after dreaming about an ex. “I dreamt we spoke again/ It had been so long your voice was like a ghost in my head,” Gibbard sings, a palpable ache in his voice. If you’ve ever woken up feeling literally shaken (or maybe tricked) by a hyper realistic vision, this one’s for you.

(Read: Is Narrow Stairs the Saddest Death Cab for Cutie Album?)

Check it out below via its lyric video.

Thank You For Today, the follow-up to Kintsugi, comes out August 17th through Atlantic Records. DCFC are expected to support the LP with an expansive fall tour.

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2Lma0U5

Film Review: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot Takes a Wry Look at Recovery

Portland-based cartoonist John Callahan was a self-professed detractor of political correctness – a recovering alcoholic who became quadriplegic as the result of a drunk driving accident, and used that pain and his raw, tactless sense of humor as fuel for his work. No subject was taboo, from cartoons about Klansmen loving the warm feeling of dryer-fresh sheets to a man walking past a wall warning of patrolling lesbians. Even his own disability was fodder for humor, as Callahan used his acerbic wit and endearingly absurdist art style to needle at his own insecurities and the sociopolitical tensions of the time.

Gus Van Sant has worked on a version of Callahan’s story (based on his memoir Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot) for decades, ever since Robin Williams approached him for the role. Although that window has tragically closed, Van Sant has finally adapted the story with Joaquin Phoenix in the role. The results are occasionally moving and heartfelt, but delivered with a milquetoast distance that mutes some of the film’s uplift.

Flitting about in time with reckless, occasionally incomprehensible abandon, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot follows Callahan’s trajectory from able-bodied alcoholic to quadriplegic in recovery, placing particular emphasis on the people who helped him on his path to sobriety. There’s Donnie (Jonah Hill), the laid-back, flaxen-haired Jesus figure who acts as Callahan’s far-out sponsor; Annu (Rooney Mara), his Swedish flight attendant girlfriend; and Tim (Tony Greenhand), his young, inattentive home aide. Also, there’s Dexter (Jack Black), the California party animal whose reckless behavior leads to the fateful accident in question.

As Van Sant movies go, Don’t Worry… falls strictly in the feel-good realm of Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester, with a soupcon of Milk’s ‘70s period flavor. Like some of his most iconic films, Van Sant gravitates toward outcasts and misfits, drawing them with an empathetic eye even as they make mistakes and alienate those around them. Callahan fits squarely within this mold, Phoenix playing him with the kind of dynamism that comes naturally to him at this point in his career. At this point, the actor could do this in his sleep: it’s an effortlessly exemplary performance, full of nuance and un-telegraphed tics, the sedate sensibilities of a comic laughing at his own pain.

Of course, questions already abound about whether Phoenix, an able-bodied actor, should be playing Callahan at all, a controversial issue that raises many complicated questions. On the one hand, actors with disabilities (much like members of other marginalized groups) should absolutely be given the chance to tell their stories with authenticity, rather than being used as an acting exercise, or a chance for able-bodied actors to seem ‘brave.’ On the other, Callahan’s pre-accident life is an integral part of the story, requiring an actor who can do both. Roles like these are prime opportunities for talented, disabled actors to get a bigger platform to tell their stories, and it’s tough to determine where the line falls here.

Callahan himself might well have been entertained, or even annoyed, by the discussion; when asked about criticism of his work, he famously said, “My compass for whether I’ve gone too far is the reaction I get from people in wheelchairs, or with hooks for hands…like me, they are fed up with people who presume to speak for the disabled. All the pity and patronizing. That’s what is truly detestable.” That said, it’s an important, complicated conversation to have, and Don’t Worry…, like it or not, is part of that discourse (one in which disabled critics and viewers should absolutely have a voice).

For whatever it’s worth, Don’t Worry…  is far more concerned with exploring Callahan’s quest for sobriety than it is interrogating his experiences as a quadriplegic. That’s the aspect of his life that seems to bring him the greatest challenges; the scene where he gets his powered wheelchair, for instance, is played as a quirky moment of liberation, Callahan giddily zipping around the hospital within seconds. Meanwhile, he struggles mightily with sobriety through the rest of the film. His self-improvement comes about through the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which provide a convenient framework for the film’s own recovery narrative. Like clockwork, the audience travels with Callahan through each step (though not necessarily in the right order, thanks to Van Sant and editor David Marks’ non-chronological storytelling), from acceptance to forgiveness to sponsorship. Van Sant captures the little tragedies that happen along the road to recovery with tremendous sensitivity.

It’s that vulnerability that helps wallpaper some of Don’t Worry…’s deeper structural problems, though it doesn’t overcome them completely. While the movie’s fragmented approach is a welcome attempt to shake off the clichés of this sort of inspirational biopic, it can be more than a little confusing to figure out exactly where in Callahan’s chronology the film has traveled between moments. (The secret is paying close attention to Phoenix’s cavalcade of tangerine wigs and subtle changes in facial hair, not to mention the vast array of oft-ridiculous ‘70s outfits.) This places Callahan’s journey at an emotional distance from the viewer, keeping them at arm’s length from the man who Van Sant wants audiences to understand so deeply.

While time is a flat circle for Don’t Worry…, it’s the performances that keep the film anchored in broader emotional truths about the process of healing from trauma. Phoenix is impeccable, but the film shines when he gets to bounce off Hill’s groovy, openly gay sponsor. Donnie is predictably wry, but he’s most effective when cutting the bullshit and speaking plainly with Callahan about the difficulties of sobriety, taking a firm but fair hand to sponsorship. Black’s small but vital role as the man responsible for Callahan’s disability, and the extent to which he might want and deserve forgiveness, makes his brief appearance a standout.

Unfortunately, the women of the film don’t fare so well. Mara’s Annu is little more than a talking head meant to sexually reward Callahan for ‘overcoming’ his disability. When other women crop up in the film, they’re either background players in Donnie’s support group offering platitudes about recovery, scolds behind desks standing in Callahan’s way, or sexy nurses who happily acquiesce to Callahan’s requests for sexual contact. Sure, Phoenix and Hill get nice, meaty roles with plenty of pathos, but the male-centric nature of Callahan’s world ends up turning the film’s female characters into the kind of stock biopic helpers Van Sant’s ostensibly trying to avoid.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot is an incredibly mixed bag, a complicated story told with an approach that would have made more sense as a follow-up to Good Will Hunting in the ‘90s. What Van Sant has delivered is sweet, well-meaning, and occasionally grasps at profundity, but even its strongest performances don’t quite overcome its herky-jerky structure and sense of emotional distance. Try as they might to avoid turning this story into dated inspiration porn, Don’t Worry… ends up feeling like the kind of saccharine, inelegant feel-good film Van Sant would have turned out in the ’90s. For a filmmaker with such a varied palette, that’s a disappointing regression.

Trailer:

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2L6Aidu

Strange Boy detail the Origins of their new video “Suburbia”: Watch

Origins is our recurring new music feature in which a band digs into some of the influences behind their latest release.

Suburban living might come with the preconceived notion of humdrummity, but growing up outside the big cities isn’t all about repetitive sprawl. In fact, being out there in cookie cutter landscapes only causes the spark of danger in a teenager’s heart to burn hotter. That innate desire to seek thrills and experiences that rushes through one’s veins is made even more intense when surrounded by overwhelming normality.

It’s that emotional energy that Strange Boy explore in the video for their new single, “Suburbia”. The London duo are joined by Icelandic artist JFDR on the track as they recall days of “smoking cigarettes outside in the cold,” “flying wheels, lost keys and a broken tailbone,” and “late nights beneath faux-fur rugs.” As they sing of those youthful days, Tal Rosner’s video unfolds down a techno daydream of a typical residential street, finding at the end the bodies of two young lovers intertwined.

Check it out below.

For more on the song and video, Strange Boy’s vocalist/lyricist Kieran Brunt has broken down the track’s Origins. While teenagers and thrill-seeking certainly played their role, so did Berlin and Lou Reed.

Teenagers:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins Teenagers

This is unashamedly a nostalgic song about being a teenager. when new hormones are racing through veins and blowing everything out of proportion. I think falling in love as a teenager is one of the most beautiful and absurd things that can happen in our lives. I wanted this song to embody that rush of emotions. The use of the thermal camera in our video really emphasizes that too.

Danger and Excitement:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins danger and excitement car crash

The second verse of this song is about all of the stupid and dangerous stuff I did as a teenager. I guess it’s a time when we’re testing limits and seeing how far we can push situations. Roaming the streets and parks late at night (sorry mum), I guess we were often looking for dangerous and exciting things to happen… sometimes they did!

[This photo is one] I took of one of the stupidest and most dangerous things that happened when I was a teenager.

Suburban Architecture:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins The Violet Hour (Mr James) by Selwyn Leamy

The Violet Hour (Mr James) by Selwyn Leamy

My friend Selwyn Leamy paints these stunning pictures of suburban architecture, which are full of quiet beauty and nostalgia. I was thinking about them a lot when I made this song. The video by Tal Rosner also focuses on architecture, starting with an endless loop of the street I grew up on. I love how it creates something beautiful out of something repetitive and monotonous, gradually turning into this ecstatic, ravey fantasy.

Berlin:

Strange Boy Suburbia Origins Berlin

I was working in Berlin a lot while I was forming the ideas for this song in my head. When not recording or eating falafel, I would spend most evenings in clubs listening to techno. Naturally those sounds found their way into the music.

I took [the above photo] of the Berlin sunrise after a night out.

Lou Reed:

Lou Reed, alongside Leonard Cohen and Stephen Merritt, is one of my favourite lyricists of all time. I think one of his greatest skills is creating a sense of place through appealing to the senses, like at the beginning of “Perfect Day”: “Just a perfect day/ Drink sangria in the park…” It’s so simple, but immediately transports you to that place, and that feeling. I tried to use the same technique in this song, with lyrics that are almost uncomfortably tactile.

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2zTo5DY

Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande bust a move in new video for “Dance To This”: Watch

Just 24 hours after covering Post Malone, Australia’s Troye Sivan has released a new music video for “Dance To This”, his collaborative single with Ariana Grande. Directed by Bardia Zeinali (BØRNS), the down-to-earth yet feel-good clip stars the two pop artists as they fire up a dance party at a community center.

The visual was “inspired literally by High School Musical and Grease and “Pass This On” by The Knife and a gif of Cher spinning around that i cant find rn,” Sivan wrote on Twitter (I’m currently hunting down this GIF for you, Troye!). For her part, Grande praised Sivan as her “favorite human.”

Watch below.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“Dance to This” is off Sivan’s upcoming second album, Bloom, out August 31st.

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2mqFMRE

Radiohea still seeking “real answers” over 2012 Toronto stage collapse

It’s been six years since Radiohead drum technician Scott Johnson lost his life due to a stage collapse at Toronto’s Downsview Park. This weekend, the band will return to the city for the first since the accident, but it still hasn’t received any answers as to why the tragedy unfolded.

It’s not for lack of trying either. In 2013, the Ontario Ministry of Labour brought charges against Live Nation, a Toronto scaffolding company Optex Staging and Services, and engineer Domenic Cugliari under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. After a series of delays in the case, an Ontario judge then stayed the charges against each party in the case.

On Wednesday evening, Radiohead drummer appeared on BBC Newsnight (via Pitchfork) to discuss the incident. “It’s very frustrating. The court case broke down on a technicality,” Selway said. “So there have been no real answers. Without the answers we can’t ensure that an accident like this can’t happen again.”

See a clip of the interview below, or watch it in its entirety here.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Back in 2013, Live Nation said in a statement, “We absolutely maintain that Live Nation and our employees did everything possible to ensure the safety of anyone who was on or near the stage involved in the tragic incident that led to the unfortunate death of Mr. Scott Johnson… We will vigorously defend ourselves and we are confident that through this process the facts will come to light and we will be exonerated.”

Last year, upon hearing that the case had come to a standstill, Thom Yorke took to Twitter to express his disappointment. “Words utterly fail me,” he wrote. A few days later, Yorke found those words in a statement he released with the rest of the band. “It offers no consolation, closure or assurance that this kind of accident will not happen again,” they wrote.

from Consequence of Sound https://ift.tt/2LlR9bH