Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Discovery #2

Bonobo - Black Sands (2010)

This is about as perfect a mixture of heavenly beats and groovilicious rhythm as I've heard in a really long time. And it isn't just one song, it's every song, it's every ounce of music falling upon you like fresh snow, cold and clean and delightful. Bonobo is the brainchild of Simon Green, a producer from Britain, who has been around since 1999. Damn, why haven't I heard about this guy until this year? A do-it-yourself magician of electronic music he is revered as a pioneer of the independent mindset, working outside the studio system to bring music that is truly from his heart. These are the type of artists I adore and covet. You can hear their individuality and passion blowing out of the speaker with every thump of downtempo bliss, with every soft melody flowing from the throat of Andreya Triana, another self-taught independent who sings on three of the tracks for this album. We all understand the energy that comes from those who are hungry, who wish to provide an honest expression in this world that tries to devour any individual thought as quickly as possible. It's a ravenous culture that wants to consume this youthful spirit as if it were our own creative reflection but the lazy convention of this spectator view ultimately has the power to destroy that energy, turning it into a shallow expression of its former self. So it's wonderful to find a musician who continues to defy this culture with every beat, every breath, every strain of muscle, especially when their creative life has over a decade old.

Bright Star - Jane Campion (2009)

Jane Campion is one of the greatest filmmakers of our era. She has an incredible vision for cinematic storytelling, really reaching down and touching the heart of tale. Bright Star is a phenomenal amalgam of her talents and it attests to the growth of her artistry. Bright Star follows the story of the poet John Keats and his relationship with Fanny Brawne during the last three years of his life. It's a wonder to wallow in the poetry of this film, where each frame brings a beauty that speaks to the heart but, due to the great director, it never falls into melodrama. The actors portray the characters with honest realism and the struggles of developing friendships and relationships are actualized with all of the natural strangeness of everyday life. I can't help but appreciate filmmakers who are willing to handle their films with such openness and hope for the audience to accept it. We've gone so far to the opposite extreme in our fascination with fantasy and dishonesty with the movies that are thought of as successful that it's difficult to believe that people are willing to give in to an emotionally bare portrayal such as the one we find in Bright Star. Personally, I feel that poetry lifts the soul to such great heights and I search for it, devour it, express it as much as possible. So it was such a great pleasure to discover Jane Campion's film and, as much as I looked forward to viewing it, I'm equally eager to think about it and talk about it and share it with anyone who is willing to listen.

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