Friday, January 29, 2010

Reflection Pond #17

Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest (2009)

What a long train down into the trails of my muse. Veckatimest went from the most overrated album of the year to top ten to rounding out right about here. It's a really nice album but when it came out I played it for my brother-in-law and told him about all of the critical acclaim it was getting. We both were kinda wondering how and why, confusion spreading through the muscles on our faces. I also have a close friend from high school who refused to let me give up on them. He kept playing the song, While You Wait for the Others, which had a nice hook that you could bite into but still wasn't managing to pull me onto the boat. He told me to hold the line, listen some more, listen some more, listen some more, listen some more, so that's what I did. Well, the more you listen to them, the more you start to hear the nuanced beauty that resides within the music. It was the song, Ready Able, that eventually got me. Trapped in my headphones, I heard so many tender hooks of digital magic mixed in with the rest of the song. It was brilliant, so I took some good advice and listened some more. Veckatimest has matured like a good wine and I've had the bottle open all year, constantly taking drags off it and have yet to see the bottom. Perhaps it will fade in time but for now I'm still feeling the effects of their alcoholic embrace, enough so that I have a good warm fuzzy feeling inside as the night spreads before with wonder.

The Wrestler - Darren Aronofsky (2008)

If you want to watch a movie with a former oscar winner getting naked during the entire film, go out and look for the words, "Starring Marisa Tomei" on the description of it. For some reason it seems like her entire purpose in life now is to get naked as much as possible. I don't know if the directors take one look at her and picture her naked, which is a typical male response in our society when they are introduced to women, but how often is a women going to actually follow through with the fantasy. I guess that comes with the territory when you are a famous hollywood director. All of this should lead to a typical joke about lousy film-making, which would mean that you wouldn't be hearing about it on this list, or it could lead into a nice essay about the objectification of women in our society, which has so many roots built into the film industry that not even the biggest hurricane ever recorded could make the hypocritical tree bend an inch, but instead it leads into an acknowledgment of the fact that Darren Aronofsky is one of the most gifted directors we have here in the States. Huh? You might say and I don't blame you because this movie has every intention of being a B movie in all but flavor. The only reason for that is that it was directed by Aronofsky. He takes this generic script about a down on his luck wrestler who, due to health and age, must retire from the only thing in life that gave him passion and turns it into a beautiful piece of work. Then the guy, conveniently played by an aging wreck of a Mickey Rourke, must go through all of the trouble of finding himself in order to grow and become a better person; reconnect with his long lost daughter, develop a mature relationship with a woman, discover other passions in life; but, of course, after all is said and done, he can't run away from himself and throws his life away for some obsolete sense of identity. It's a modern day tragedy and we see it in film all of the time. Quite often it's complete garbage but then those movies aren't directed by Darren Aronofsky. I'm just a little bit sad for Marisa. I always liked her as an actor, was happy to see her win that oscar but, though I'm a bit ashamed to say that I'm not completely disappointed with her recent work, I would like to rent one of her movies and really get caught up in the quality of her acting as opposed to the quality of her...ahem

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