Ciao Luis Bacalov! (1933-2017) – Django Composer.

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Academy Award winner (1996 Best original score for Il Postino) Luis Bacalov died on November 15. The Argentinian-born Maestro had a prolific film scoring career in Italy spanning seven decades.  Also being nominated to an Oscar for the music of Pasolini’s The Gospel according to St-Matthew (1964) he was also praised for such film music as Fellini’s City of Women (1980).

But this talented pianist, also active in the Italian progressive music scene, definitely left a mark with his opening song and score to Sergio Corbucci’s Cult classic Django (1966), that same song and score Quentin Tarantino used in Django unchained (It is impressive how many people Continue reading

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John Carpenter’s Anthology Tour – Montreal – Nov. 13. Mtelus – Review

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John Carpenter, the mastermind behind horror and Sci-fi classics such as Halloween (1978), The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987) is on tour. The Cult director/ soundtrack Composer is recognized as this famous director who’s scoring his pictures himself. So he is touring to play some music.

From 1974’s Dark Star, his feature debut, to 2001’s Ghost of Mars, Carpenter composed the music to all his theatrical movies (the 1970’s and 80’s soundtracks were produced in association with Alan Howarth) except for Starman (1984, music by Jack Nitzsche) and The Thing (1982, Music by Ennio Morricone with partial overdubs by Carpenter and Howarth).

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In the Live version, things start roundly with a pretty good rendering of the theme to Carpenter’s Sci-fi Adventure, Escape from NY (1981), one of his best. Accompanied by a quintet, with his son Cody,  also on keyboards just like dad,  the director leads the show (his gear is set at the front) with a quiet but strong presence. A little technical snag?  No problems, he’ll talk to the audience like they are old buddies. They were already captured anyway. When the first notes of the theme to Continue reading

RIDM 2017: A Modern Man (Germany/Denmark– 2017)


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Don’t be fooled by silly synopses about Eva Mulvad’s A Modern Man. Many insinuate a tale of a hoity-toity, body and fashion-conscious, rich hunk. In fact, the subject in front of Mulvad’s lens is much more relatable, albeit falsely aloof. Yes, he has money. Yes, he likes fancy cars and luxury items, but this simply comes with the territory for a successful classical violinist from a well-off family. Overall, this is an essay about using the spotlight to achieve one’s goals without compromising one’s ideals. As with most active musicians, Charlie Siem jetsets between countries, appears for wardrobe fittings, and spends hours practicing his instrument. This lifestyle could include friendship and romance, but Siem is too fixated on his dreams to let such petty things taint his world.

There is a fine line between being stuck up and simply sticking to one’s objectives to a fault. The life the violinist lives brings him the joy of success, achievement, and recognition. However, the two-sided coin is that recognition only symbolizes ‘making it’ if it is the craft – the music – that is recognized. What does modeling for Hugo Boss do for a classical musician? It brings him adoring female fans that are only attracted to the photographer’s interpretation of who Siem is. Even Siem cannot recognize himself in these artistic portraits. Contrary to public opinion, he is not the most attractive hunk on the face of the planet. He is an average-looking man with boyish features and ill-sitting hair. He is neither poised when he stalks around in his tailored summer wear, nor when he’s bumming around in Continue reading

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

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Recipient of the Best Music Documentary Award (2017 Boulder International Film Festival) and the Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling (Sundance 2017), Catherine Bainbridge’s Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World plays host to a long list of modern music icons. Quincy Jones, Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Slash, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler and a slew of other big names share their impressions about artists the general public may still not know are of American Indian descent. The song that inspired Bainbridge’s film’s title directly influenced many artists, especially in the rock realm. Link Wray’s 1958 hit Rumble was a groundbreaking success. It was one of the first tunes to use the “power chord”. It employed fuzz, distortion and feedback, and was the only instrumental banned in the US. People feared it would incite teenage gang violence. Rumble became the so-called theme song of juvenile delinquency.

What was it that touched the deepest urges of up and coming musicians? What made a young Iggy Pop declare, “Fuck it. I’m gonna be a musician”? To rumble means to fight, to disrupt, but those are only the obvious meanings. Another interpretation is to be active, to ROAR. Rumble is the sound of freedom. Native American music was seen as a threat. As such, people were jailed for performing it. Racism then was Continue reading

2017 Oscar Nominated Shorts (Live Action)

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France’s Enemies Within, directed by Selim Azzazi, leads the nominees as Best Short Film (Live action) for the upcoming Academy Awards in Hollywood. A simple, but well crafted, behind closed door tale of racism as a system set in 1990’s France, Azzazi’s film seems to appear at the right time in these troubled days. On the road to Oscar consideration Enemies Within will be up against another take on racism, with highly different approach, Continue reading