Listen to the soundtrack for ‘Upstream Color’, composed by Shane Carruth

Upstream Color Soundtrack; Composed by Shane Carruth

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Upstream Color, a film that was written, directed, produced, stars, edited, and scored by Shane Caruth. I swear I’m not making any of that up. I purposely don’t know much about it, but I was able to find this interesting short description.

“A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.”

I’m a sucker for dramatic situations set in sci-fi-esque worlds and this is definitely up my alley. While I don’t want to know more about the plot, I did dabble in the films score. A mentioned earlier Caruth also created all the music for the film, which when you listen to it that seems quite impressive. I’m no expert on film scores, but this sounds like something that can stand toe-to-toe with anything Hans Zimmer has done recently.

The music has eerie, mechanical tones interlaced with deep resonating cellos. It’s both familiar with and undercurrent that’s alien and machine-like. It reminds me a bit of Takagi Masakatsu’s music, only with a more orchestral root to it. If you’re into soundtracks I think this is certainly one not to miss.

Bobby Solomon

April 16, 2013 / By

Film Art: The posters of Akiko Stehrenberger

Funny Games a film by Akiko Stehrenberger

Before any discussion of the poster for Funny Games ensues, I must emphasize that the German turned American film, by Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke, is without a doubt a terrifying, horror movie. Funny Games is grotesque, actually, with very sinister undertones and a fair bit of gore. In designing a poster for this film, L.A. based creative Akiko Stehrenberger, made a definitive choice. Rather than funnel perception of the film toward a bloody and bone chilling horror mess, Stehrenberger focused the branding toward a clean and minimal approach, one that is rarely seen within the horror genre.

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Christina Stimpson

April 4, 2013 / By

Sociopathic Pop Misfits – A Film Review of ‘Spring Breakers’

Spring Breakers poster by Harmony Korine

Spring Breakers film by Harmony Korine

What do you get when you mix teenage starlets and pop sensations with America’s most enigmatic independent filmmaker? The answer is Spring Breakers, the neon-blazing, experiential, psychedelic pastiche that is Harmony Korine’s most commercially successful film yet. Comprised as a symphony of character, narrative, and social-political layers, Spring Breakers is a maze through an ultra-fun then frenzied trip for four freshmen that will stop at nothing to get to Daytona Beach in time for spring break.

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Christina Stimpson

March 28, 2013 / By

Film Art: Neil Kellerhouse

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo poster by Neil Kellerhouse

The Social Network posters by Neil Kellerhouse

We’ve all said those three powerful words when deciding which film to watch: “This looks (insert negative or positive adjective here).” Whatever adjective finishes that short sentence decides the fate of that film for you. In my most presumptuous of moods I will judge a film based on what typeface they used in the movie poster. As a cinephille, I can be condemned for such triviality, but I believe the rule of first impressions always apply.

Production companies that design the brand identity for a film have the responsibility of maintaining that first good impression. The movie poster, the driver of that identity, can also be an indication of failure if it subscribes to the common and conventional denominator of ‘thoughtless design’. Successful poster design moves beyond symbolism to choose an interpretive vision. When interpretation pushes curiosity to it’s limits, a simple promotional movie poster can be elevated to into the caliber of art.

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Christina Stimpson

March 18, 2013 / By

Noi is the Loneliest Number – A Film Review of ‘Nói albinói’

Nói Albinói

There are three identities that come to mind when I think of Iceland. One is of the vast and breathtaking landscape, which is so obscenely grand it is almost supernatural. The second is the capital of Reykjavík that carried the country’s dark financial gloom not so long ago. The last, slides far down the scale of grandiose into the quaint peaceful life of the villages that surround the country’s perimeter. This is where Nói albino takes place. Far away from civilization, green grass and warm sun. First released in 2003 by Director Dagur Kari, what Nói albino does, is the incredible job of merging the immense and humbling Icelandic landscape with the day to day life of inhabitants who reside in a small fishing village on the west side of the country.

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Christina Stimpson

March 14, 2013 / By

Celebrating Sigur Ros and the Release of the ‘Valtari’ Mystery Film Experiment

Sigur Ros Valtari Mystery Film Experiment

It’s impossible to celebrate Iceland on #MusicMonday without mentioning Sigur Rós. Arguably the country’s biggest musical export (next to Björk), the band continues to astonish and inspire with their epic brand of atmospheric rock. At times subtle using spare instrumentation and ambient emotion, and other times crescendoing into a cacophony of guitars, their music is singular, innovative, and utterly captivating. The same can be said for their music videos and concert films, too.

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Andi Teran

March 11, 2013 / By