In the last 20-plus years, filmmaker Kevin Kerslake has amassed a mind-boggling list of music-industry credits, not only shooting videos for Sonic Youth, Prince, Green Day, R.E.M., the Rolling Stones, but also directing the visual treatment of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" and the MTV VMA-winning Ed-Sullivan-homage "In Bloom." So it's something of a genre departure that Kerslake--who will begin working on the film adaptation of J.G. Ballard's Running Wild starring Samuel L. Jackson this spring--is the man behind Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, a feature-length electronic-music concert doc released on DVD this month and produced by EDC founder Insomniac Productions.
"I did a film back in 2000, with [Insomniac CEO] Pasquale [Rotella] on Electric Daisy Carnival, but this was all conceived as a three-part series," explains Kerslake. "This is the first attempt to really put it out to a wider audience, and to turn people onto what the scene is all about."
Many people think the scene is all about is drugs--at the 2010 EDC in Los Angeles, which drew more than 180,000 people and where this film is primarily set, a 15-year-old died from injuries related to a drug overdose and more than 100 people were sent to the hospital. Compounding EDC's negative publicity woes, there was a mini-riot at last summer's Hollywood premiere of Kerslake's film Electric Daisy Carnival Experience, which caused Regal and AMC Cinemas to cancel their upcoming national screenings. But Kerslake insists that's hullabaloo is only one part of the story, and a tiny one at that. "There are negative aspects of anything that I might endeavor to do," he says. "But I don't choose to focus on those." We spoke with him recently from the West Coast.More »
I should start by stating by own critical bias. When last week I told my younger, Bieber-loving sister that I'd be seeing Justin Bieber's 3D movie on Friday night at Union Square, she told me straight up that if I were to write a negative review she would kick me out of the family. Still, neither this devotion, nor a colleague's warning that she felt more afraid when interviewing Bieber fans than at any point during the Gathering of the Juggalos, prepared me for what I was about to face when I bought my opening-night ticket for Never Say Never 3D.
Now here's a fuckin' movie. The Lenny Kilmster documentary, wonderfully titled Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch and apparently a big hit on the international festival circuit ("Best Documentary" in Chile!), is finally hitting the U.S.A. in early 2011, including an engagement at Cinema Village starting January 28. The DVD will be out in February, affording you the opportunity to gush over Jarvis Cocker (!) gushing over Lemmy in the privacy of your own home. Hopefully someone from Apple is in this thing, to explain the "if you type 'Motörhead' in an iPhone notepad, it auto-corrects to add the umlaut" thing, which is totally real. Trailer below:
Drake's first LP, Thank Me Later, just sold 446,680 copies its first week of release. An album that big should start some rather polarizing conversations: On the "pro" side of the Drake debate, among others, was SOTC's own Zach Baron, who passionately defended Aubrey Graham against many detractors. Out of that response came several responses, including, ahem, my own, having been rubbed the incorrect way by the mirror-within-a-mirror nature of Drake's lyrics. Even in a genre in which the tautological maxim "I'm Me" is acceptable as biographical logic, there just wasn't any there there below Later's meta-commentary on Drake's own rise to stardom. But if I'm right--if the record is a technically virtuosic yet depthless manifesto of the new-reality rap dream, then a behind-the-scenes MTV documentary about the lead-up to Later's release has the capacity to be very entertaining.
Vocal exercises. Of course.
A generation of terrified journalists and collaborators will tell you that Stephin Merritt is a fundamentally unknowable guy--prickly, dismissive, and exact in his tastes, which are manifest in the charming, sardonic twenty year output of the Magnetic Fields, Merritt's main songwriting and performing outlet. But notoriously glum Merritt is also beloved for these qualities, as is his band, and though he might seem at first glance to be an unlikely subject for a documentary, it makes a certain amount of sense. He's a singular artist, and a vivid personality, and in Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, a new film from directors Kerthy Fix and Gail O'Hara, his charm shows.More »
Right, so, the man who made Don't Look Back and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars will apparently be directing a YouTube stream of a National concert, scheduled for May 15th at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The show's a benefit for the Red Hot Organization, according to Brooklyn Vegan. After this and an adulatory New York Times Magazine piece and a GQ fashion spread and nearly every other type of press and accolade a band can accumulate (their record isn't even out yet!), the only thing left for the National to do will be to perform in an abandoned castle on the Hudson River like sensitive demigods of the entire natural world...oh, right.
The street sign in Hollis, the Broadway show, and now the death doc. The angle here does appear to be particularly valedictory, pro forma declarations of love and respect by Jeezy, Ja, et al aside. "Legendary hip-hop DJ Jason Mizell, aka Jam Master Jay, is gunned down in his Queens studio. Security tapes of the incident mysteriously disappear, the five witnesses are uncooperative and no one is talking...until now," goes the teaser line. The documentary as attempt to solve an open murder is nothing new, of course--just ask Nick Broomfield. But it remains a jarring way to talk about someone who didn't die all that long ago. We'll see, I guess. [h/t Daily Swarm]
This past weekend's midnight screenings at the IFC Center must've been a rousing success--All Tomorrow's Parties: The Film returns there again this Friday and Saturday for an encore engagement. This is very good news, another small step in introducing musically discriminate (whatever that means) America to the ATP brand, one of the few such that we wholeheartedly endorse. The actual DVD comes out one week from today, and just geeked out on these extras: "40-page full colour booklet and cover, including 10 years of ATP poster artwork"; "This DVD is also a key that can be used to unlock exclusive bonus content online, including Vincent Moon's footage from ATP New York." Speaking of which, Vincent Moon just won the Sound of Vision Award for La Faute Des Fleurs, a portrait Of Kazuki Tomokawa at the CPH DOX Film Festival, and since everything The Takeaway Show creator touches is generally excellent and stylistically beautiful, count us officially excited about seeing that too.
In this week's Voice, Jed Lipinski tells the long and involved story behind the making, and then spiking, of The Carter, thirty-year-old director Adam Bhala Lough's verite documentary depicting Lil Wayne's 2008 U.S. and European tour. The DVD finally comes out next week, with a disclaimer calling Wayne a "true American artist" and indicating that the film no longer has the rapper's support. Why? Young Money had sued over undisclosed scenes in the film. "Although it is never explicitly stated," Lipinski writes, "one can assume the scenes in question involve Wayne sipping and discoursing on prescription-strength cough syrup. At one point, he withdraws a large Vitamin Water bottle full of 'sizzurp' from his Louis Vuitton suitcase--'Vitamin Water ain't that thick,' he wheezes. Throughout the film, he's shown mixing it with Voss and A&W Root Beer, and drinking the concoction from a double-, sometimes triple-stacked Styrofoam cup." More on this story over here.
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