Saturday, February 07, 2009

Rewind #6

Dengue Fever: Venus On Earth (2008)

I've been waiting for Dengue Fever to release another album for awhile now. We first discovered them by watching the Jim Jarmusch film Broken Flowers, which has the song Ethanopium, along with much more fabulous music, on the soundtrack. When Venus On Earth was released early in 2008, it quickly became a mainstay in our listening repertoire and definitely exceeded my already lofty expectations. Based in Los Angeles but residing in the spirit of Cambodian rock, Dengue Fever flies through the sun-drenched heat wave of Southern Californian culture to mix with the humidity of Indonesia folk. Chhom Nimol mesmerizes with her sweet voice as she often sings in her native language, though a few tracks are also in English. Her lilting presence above the rollicking music flows effortlessly throughout your auditory sensibilities. It's a magnificent sound that wafts from the east and we're extremely lucky to have them right here in the west, just a jaunt from San Diego, to witness and enjoy whenever we feel like it.

What Time Is It There?: Tsai Ming-liang (2001)

What Time Is It There? is a film that is about as perfect as any film can be. Perfect in the way that a film-maker knows exactly what he wants to portray with each and every shot. Nothing in this movie is messy. Filmed entirely in wide shots that are steady as ice, no gimmicky hand-helds for Tsai Ming-lian, every scene plays out as short film all by itself and, with very little dialogue, tells a complex and revealing tale. All of it revolves around the story of Lee, a watch vendor, following the death of his father who sells his personal watch to Chen, a woman who is leaving for Paris the next day. Lee must deal with his own mixed emotions and his Mother as she tries to assuage the spirits of her husband. Soon, Lee feels the impulse to run around Taipei and change all the clocks to Paris time with strange consequences. Meanwhile Chen is feeling disconnected from her environment while sightseeing in Paris and restlessly moves about town trying to find home. It all winds around with precise purpose until the revealing ending. Tsai Ming-lian has such a beautiful eye with the camera that each moment completely mesmerizes. Every shot is perfectly framed so that the horizontal lines in the frame are perfectly level. It was a lesson in the mastery of film-making, that a movie can carry so much weight with a little attention to detail and a whole lotta love.

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Blogger Medina Records said...

'Seeing Hands' is amazing. If you could wear out mp3s I'd be well on the way.

4:17 AM  
Blogger mishupishu said...

Definitely, Medina, such a good song. My four-year-old can do the duet with me on Tiger Phone Card.

4:20 PM  

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