Thursday, January 20, 2011

Discovery #14

Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart (2010)

Ever since RocknRoll shook the world, quadrillions of youth (I still think of myself as young) have harnessed the guitar driven music to tap into a much needed release of aggression. As Kurt Cobain once shouted out to the masses, "Here we are now, entertain us!", the angst of our modern era is in constant desire to unleash the frustrated fury of never accomplishing our unreachable and unquenchable dreams. The many forms of Rock, from Punk to Garage to Grunge to Metal, have tried to convey the truth regarding the myth of American opportunism. Sometimes these musical thespians seem to really tap into a groove that threads into the soul of the audience, which is the ultimate goal, after all. Playing the music as loud as possible, I've found myself reaching down and hoping that the energy shifting around inside me will one day rip the mask off the face of conformity. Black Mountain has managed to tap that source inside me today. I've heard them described as Metal Folk, if that's even possible, but it just seems like good ole RocknRoll to me. Wilderness Heart is the third album I've heard by them and, even though I really liked them before, this one has many elements that take me back to my real youth, as well as connecting with my youthful heart today. I love their dual vocals and I feel myself celebrating the ripping core of eternity embodied in every power chord. You can hear it in your head, an eager chant of yes growing more and more powerful with every listen.

The Tiger And The Snow - Roberto Benigni (2005)

What a delightful film. Creative, imaginative, full of life, humorous, somber, beautiful. There seemed to be some sort of backlash against Roberto Benigni after his oscar winner 'Life Is Beautiful', which I enjoyed at the time but never went back to revisit to see what was the problem, but this guy is a really wonderful filmmaker. He immerses us (and himself) into a strange world that must come from his very own perspective and as we travel along with him we are given an amazing view that is always unique and interesting. In 'The Tiger And The Snow' he is a college professor divorcee who is raising two daughters and chasing after the love of his life (Nicolleta Braschi, his wife in real life) quite literally around the world. The movie begins very lightly, through a remarkably comical and vivid recurring dream sequence, to reveal the meaning of his life; he is in love and very few people know how to express love the way Benigni manages to do it. The second half of the movie has him (and us) using extreme persistence to get to Iraq during the U.S. invasion so that he can save Braschi from the clutches of death. His love is so remarkable that he will do anything to be by her side. Everyone has given up on her but the remarkable spirit of fortitude in his determination somehow comes through in the end. His absolute devotion toward believing in the indomitable spirit of life is such a wonder to behold and I found myself cheering for this strange and funny man as if it were my own life he was saving.

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