keeping it reel

music + movies + fashion

Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Film & Music | It’s All A Blur

with one comment

Poster for documentary on Blur, "No Distance Left To Run"

From one band documentary to another – this time it’s Blur.

No Distance Left To Run: A Film About Blur premiered in the UK this week. Reviews so far are positive, praising a well-shot and intimate account of the band’s rise to the heights of British pop.

The documentary is directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace, whose combined résumé includes this music video for Franz Ferdinand. The pair’s work in the music industry obviously gives them great access to the four band members – Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree.

I confess, yes, I am a Blur groupie. One of my great concert moments was seeing them perform at Sydney’s Metro and reaching out to touch Albarn’s hand in what can only be likened to this. They, together with Pulp, captured everything I loved about big britpop at the time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Darren Smith

16 January 2010 at 11:49 am

Film | Some Kind Of Monster

with one comment

Poster for "Some Kind of Monster"So, last night I put down my knitting, switched on SBS and watched Some Kind of Monster, a documentary on the making of Metallica’s album, St Anger. But the only monster in this film is also the white elephant – the record industry. In fact, I believe it’s the one about to devour the four band members in the promo poster to your right.

Their eighth album, St Anger, followed a six-year production break and bassist Jason Newsted’s departure. Directed by first-timers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the film was intended to document the album’s production.

What ensues, though, is something quite unexpected. You see, a lot has happened in six years and, combined with Newsted’s departure, stints in rehab and mid-life crises, the three remaining band members are quite the dysfunctional bunch. So psychotherapist cum “performance-enhancing coach” Phil Towle is brought in to help the trio work through their differences so they can get on with the job of producing another album stroke comeback.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Darren Smith

13 January 2010 at 8:09 pm

I’m Gonna Start a Rock’n’Roll Group

leave a comment »

Well, actually, I’m not. But, in 1957, John Lennon did. The band was called The Quarrymen and the rest is history, as they say.

Nowhere Boy, a new film and directorial debut for Sam Taylor-Wood, chronicles the teen years of Lennon and the set-up of skiffle band The Quarrymen, later to become The Beatles. Lennon is played by Aaron Johnson, with Kristen Scott-Thomas playing his Aunt Mimi.

The film is based on the book Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon by Lennon’s half-sister Julia Baird.

Opens in Australian cinemas on 26 December 09.

Written by Darren Smith

30 November 2009 at 11:11 pm

Music | Doin’ It For The Thrill (Concert Review)

leave a comment »

I’m just back from seeing UK electro-pop outfit La Roux perform their Sydney gig at the Enmore Theatre. And here’s my verdict.

Let me be upfront and honest. It was not an impressive concert. The punters were there to hear the hits, the band itself was peripheral. I felt the same endearing feeling I’d feel if my 11-year-old nephew was on stage doing his thing … for the thrill. I’d be supportive, proud and encouraging. And that’s how I felt.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Darren Smith

30 September 2009 at 1:18 am

Film | The Music Video That Changed History?

leave a comment »

Written by Darren Smith

27 April 2009 at 11:21 pm

Film | Talkin’ ‘Bout Their Generation

with one comment

boatrocked

I dropped into the cinema today to see The Boat That Rocked. And, yes, it was the nostalgic sexagenarian trip down memory lane to the good ‘ole Swinging Sixties I was expecting. But, it was also a thoroughly enjoyable, vibrant and fun movie, aided a lot by a booming British pop soundtrack.

Directed by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill) and with an ensemble cast. The Boat That Rocked is a comedic tribute to the UK pirate radio stations of the 1960s that were pretty much the only radio stations playing pop music.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Darren Smith

15 April 2009 at 11:06 pm

Music video | A glass-and-a-half of Jonathan Glazer

with 2 comments

glazerTwo of the most successful ad campaigns of all time, at least in the alcohol market, were for Guinness and Stella Artois.

Enter director Jonathan Glazer, who not only worked on these ads, but also a range of music videos for artists such as Radiohead, Jamiroquai and Blur. As well as with actors Ben Kingsley, Nicole Kidman and Ray Winstone on two acclaimed feature films.

With this kind of background, it’s no surprise that Glazer’s oeuvre is included in a DVD collection featuring the work of several music video directors. A few months back I looked at Stephane Sednaoui. Now I’ve had a chance to look at the Glazer DVD.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Darren Smith

14 April 2009 at 8:50 pm