Friday, January 18, 2008

M&M #12

Nicolay – Here (2006)
Foreign Exchange – Connected (2004)

I've been reading about Foreign Exchange since it came out but for some reason I just never picked it up. It sounded like the type of hip-hop that I really dig. So I finally got it onto my play-list this year and was immediately rewarded with a remarkable album. With an old style of R&B mixed-up with a smooth delivery and just a little bit of fromage that made me smile, not a bit stinky, the groove bounced and shellacked just my style. With that album, Nicolay proved that he was a master of beat and I was very excited to see his new album released under his own moniker. Just like with Foreign Exchange, he inundates us with immensely deep muscle and flow and the thick beats cover the walls of our house with an impenetrable barrier of excellence. Two amazing albums by one masterful artiste.

Tristram Shandy: A Cock & Bull Story – Michael Winterbottom (2005)
Irma Vep – Olivier Assayas (1996)

Both of these movies are a blend of an actual movie in the making and a fictional behind-the-scenes process of making the movie. Both movies have actors who play themselves making a movie as well as actors who play fictional characters around them helping them make the movie. It's a strange chaotic world behind the camera and both directors should be revered for creating this unique world in two incredible ways. Michael Winterbottom is one of the greatest modern film-makers alive today. He never makes the same movie twice. He's always pushing boundaries and searching for an alternative universe with the lens and with 'Tristram Shandy' he has a magical vision. He works with the fabulous Steve Coogan, who won't hesitate to make fun of himself to build a wonderfully humorous environment. The two of them worked together before with amazing results in '24-hour Party People'. In 'Irma Vep', Olivier assayas recruited Maggie Cheung as the main actress in a remake of the classic French film 'Les Vampires'. This one was a bit more confusing but Assayas makes movies with a raw edge that I simply love. His movie 'Clean', from a year ago was at the top of my list. Maggie Cheung was also in that film. Two wonderful film-makers working with two great actors, what more do you want?

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