• Modern Rivals

    Je me promenais avec une étrange italienne qui voulait visiter les cimetières corses. Ces petits établis de stèles blanches à flanc de colline où circule le vent ocre des plaines chaudes. On buvait du vin dans les palmeraies, Romanella lissait sa peau brune au soleil.

    musique & cinémathèque


    Plus tard, lorsque l'orage eut laissé ses empreintes d'eau, on allait lentement divaguer vers les hautes tombes blanches défiant la mer. On fumait des cigarettes en face de l'horizon, adossé aux pierres tièdes. Elle était comme un fantôme de Natalie Wood. Son large regard noisette découpait le ciel en dentelle émouvante. On écoutait Death Cab For Cutie, on se douchait au petit matin dans les rivières. On était des amants heureux. Les années ont filé largement. En écoutant Modern Rivals, je repense à toi Romanella, au parfum de tes cheveux sous les chataigniers, à tes lèvres bordées de sel. Alice et Erick nous font partager leur passion cinématographique et c'est un réel bonheur. Le choix d'Alice avec Vincente Minnelli et Antonioni a fait ressurgir mes flammes amoureuses: Romanella, la Corse, les matinées doucereuses à regarder de vieux films au lit. Merci encore à vous deux et n'oublions pas, nous, d'écouter leur merveilleuse musique, ici.







    Le cinéma de Modern Rivals.






    1. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995, Dir. Todd Solondz)


    A mistakenly-acquired VHS tape of this tape shook 12-year old me out of my sleepy-suburban stupor. Even though the characters are painted so harshly with near-camp exaggeration, I felt aligned with Dawn Weiner to the extent that at first viewing it didn't quite feel like a comedy; it felt darker, transgressive; it mirrored to a certain extent my own world as an outsider. A couple of years ago, I walked by Heather Matarazzo smoking a cigarette on 2nd Avenue. It took all my self-restraint not to accost her. I sort of half-smiled at her. She ignored me and continued to smoke her cigarette. Oh well.





    2. Il deserto rosso/Red Desert (1964, Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni)


    Antonioni's first color film, it's suffused in a similar sense of desperate alienation as his prior Monica Vitti trilogy (which I also love). The cruel industrial landscape is mirrored by stunning score and sound design. I had a poorly ripped copy from a VHS that I acquired in college, but my brother gave me the new Criterion transfer this year for my birthday. Thanks Arthur!!




    3. Meet Me in St Louis (1944, Dir. Vincente Minnelli)

    Lush lush lush. You could argue that essentially nothing happens in this domestic melodrama-romance-comedy-horror-musical, but it's a portrait of nostalgia, of family, with undercurrents of something menacing beneath the surface of a comfortable middle-class life. Also, JUDY GARLAND.





    4. Frownland (2008, Dir. Ronald Bronstein)

    One of the most exciting films I've seen in the last couple of years. Watching this film felt like I was being woken up with a splash of cold water to my face. I didn't even realize what muddy drek I had been wading through until this hit me. 
    It never got any real distribution, but it looks like some people have uploaded the film to the internet. However, if you can swing it, I hope you will order it from Factory 25 - you can get a DVD, digital download, or rent it on netflix.










    1. Harold and Maude (1971)


    An unlikely love story and an interesting commentary on interpersonal relationships. There's also some lovely dark humor. Plus this turned me into a Cat Stevens fan...a great example of earlier usage of popular song and scource to great effect in a film.



    2. Spirited Away (2001)


    Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece. This is possibly the most visually stunning film I've ever seen. An even more surreal take on an Alice in Wonderland type of story, accompanied by a brilliant neo-romantic score by Joe Hisaishi. This was my first exposure to anime, which I find myself watching often these days...






    3. Up (2009)


    Cry, cry, cry. Michael Giacchino at his best.





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