Saturday, January 19, 2013

Blessings #20

tUne-YarDs - W H O K I L L (2011)

I just learned that, in music, everyone has a unique tone that is specific to the essence of that person. Like a fingerprint is totally original, so is the tonal expression of every human being. That explains how one person can play the exact same chords on an instrument but it just never quite captures how you play those chords. Since I've been learning to play the violin and other musical instruments, I've always wondered why the sound coming out when I play is different, even from Lucas. We've been learning to play together and that little truth has always confounded during my pursuit. Merrill Garbus probably has never concerned herself with such philosophical musings because the music that she creates is incredibly unique. I have spent many hours listening to the sonic display of this auteur and there have been many times where I'm simply astounded at the distinctive twists each song takes. It's a journey that wandered off the highway long ago and by the time that you've reached the end of the road, you never realized that there could be such hidden delights that existed out in the far reaches of the music world.

True Grit - The Coen Brothers (2010) 

When the Coen Brothers said that they were going to make "True Grit", they were adamant that it wasn't a remake, that it was simply a new adaptation of the book. I thought to myself, 'What's the difference?' If the first movie was an adaptation of the book and the new movie is an adaptation of the book, how is it not a remake? It seemed like they were just being petty. Perhaps it was because the last remake that they did, "The Ladykillers", was one of the worst movies of their career. Regardless, we knew that this new version was going to be very Coenesque. This means that it is most likely going to be a very good movie. It didn't disappoint. Watching Jeff Daniels as Rooster Cogburn, the same role as John Wayne in the original, was as incredible as it sounds. Like Wayne, Daniels has become one of the great actors of our time. Hattie Steinfeld as Mattie Ross and Matt Damon as LeBeouf join Daniels in pursuit of a nuisance of a man, played by Josh Brolin. So it's a star studded cast and with the Coens at the helm, all the actors at the top of their game. I grew up watching the great Spaghetti Western films from when I was a kid and "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" is still one of my all time favorites. There's a mystique that lives in these stories; the open terrain, free from control, that carries a certain romanticism. And though there may be an overabundance of films in the genre, so few of them are actually good. This is one of them.

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