Monday, February 07, 2011

Discovery #5

Gotan Project - Gotan 3.0 (2010)

The Gotan Project has been my favorite band since I stumbled onto them five years ago. I immediately began to devour all of their music and their reprtoire continues its heavy presence time and time again here at CasaWeX. So I was extremely excited to discover that they were delivering their fourth album this past year. This was one of the ones that you feel under your skin when you hear about it, a tingling purr that blushes the veins, and it didn't disappoint. What a wonderful blend of old-fashioned flamenco style rhythms and modern down-tempo beats. It takes you to another world, filled with the beauty of raven-haired dancers with smokey eyes beckoning under the dark leaved canopy of a forest dream. It sets you down in the midst of any major city in the world today, the diverse urban landscape crossing through all the people as they taste the sweetness of tomorrow. It takes you into a magical place and for awhile you are able to escape the pithy Amerikan atmosphere that rarely allows such a distinctly creative force to take hold with the type of passion dreamt of within the land of angels. I love it and version 3.0 was a delight to experience.

Seraphine - Martin Provost (2008)

Seraphine was an unknown painter in France during the turn of the 20th century. She worked as a housekeeper for middle class families and, unbeknowest to her employers and neighbors, painted to candlelight far into the night. She was discovered by the famous German art collector Willhelm Uhde while he was staying in Senlis. During a dinner party at his neighbor's house he found one of her still-lifes and was astonished that it came from their housekeeper. He would promote her work from that point on, with a brief lull during the first world war that disrupted most of Europe. She ended up becoming quite famous during the late 20's but would eventually become disconnnected with her work and her fame, leading to her internment within a mental institution where she would pass away a decade later. This French film, which won seven Ceasar Awards, follows the story of her life with incredible devotion and it was rightfully recognized as the top film of the year. It's an amazing film, filled with beauty and wonder, just like Seraphine's artwork. The camera work is astounding and the visual journey we take along with this remarkable woman is worth every second. She saw everyday life as a form of enchantment and she used the world around her to enhance her paintings, even getting her pigments from the natural sources, such as flowers and plants. It's one of the greatest displays of an artist ever presented on the silver screen and it was only her mental collapse that brings down the tone of the film in any way. The perspective of Art is a constant changing animal that we all understand in some unique form, whether consciously or subconsciously, and to be able to watch such a beautiful expression of a historic moment in the human development of Art is remarkable, especially when it is done so superbly.

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