No question: A Most Violent Year is a powerful film, one of the best I’ve seen in the past year. I was a fan of director J.C. Chandor’s 2011 release Margin Call, and his new film takes a vastly different but equally compelling perspective on capitalism in America.
The story focuses on the expansion plans of a heating oil executive in New York City in 1981, which sounds potentially mundane yet is anything but. Again, this is New York in the early ’80s, ages before new regimes came in to ‘clean up’ the place.
The story is strong, the mood is tense, the cinematography is stunning and the acting is stunning, notably that of the two leads, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain. Both truly disappear into the roles.
One final treat is the song that plays through the closing credits. Titled “America for Me,” it’s a sparse, loosely constructed song by Alex Ebert. Listen below.
Continue reading ‘America for Me’ – Alex Ebert’s Song from the Film ‘A Most Violent Year’
Like a lot of fans, I first saw Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii in high school. I loved Pink Floyd at the time, and had really looked forward to seeing them play among ancient Roman ruins. But it was a midnight movie, and I dozed off here and there. And while the music and the setting were cool, I can’t say I fully appreciated the moods, ideas and concepts that the band or the film’s producers were going for.
Today, I came across a “director’s cut” of the film on YouTube. It’s a reworking of the film that was released in 2003, with additional interviews and some additional imagery of planets, sun flares and other space-themed visuals (which sounds cheesy, but in the context of the film it works).
I can’t remember exactly how this new version compares to the ‘original’ cut, but watching it now — more than 40 years after it was first released — the film turns out to be absolutely fascinating. Watch an embed below.
Continue reading Pink Floyd ‘Live at Pompeii’ – Is the Director’s Cut Worth It?
Alt-country artist Jonny Fritz (aka Jonny Corndawg) joined up with Deer Tick’s John McCauley to create a moody soundtrack for the documentary Oxyana, which is about the oxycontin epidemic in Appalachia.
The film looks interesting (trailer above, or watch the whole thing).
And the soundtrack is haunting. Hear it via a Soundcloud link below.
Continue reading ‘Oxyana’ soundtrack features Jonny Fritz, John McCauley