Category Archives: film & television

Joni Mitchell's Blue – A Perfect Album; Bong Joon Ho's Parasite – Best Film of the Year; Nordic Crime Fiction- Smilla's Sense of Snow

Things I’m into right now!

“What makes a perfect record perfect?”

I remember the first time I heard a Joni Mitchell song. It was “Both Sides Now” – I came upon it directly after listening to Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” for the first time, which is as it should be, and a story of music and magical discovery all its own. What I remember about “Both Sides Now” is that it was one of the first songs to give me that sense that all great songs do: that is has always existed, that I was already aware of its existence, and that when I heard it, synapses in my brain fired to make this unknown thing instantly familiar, recognized, remembered – and loved. All of which is a long way to say: read this article – Anatomy of a Perfect Album: On Joni Mitchell’s Blue [Lithub]. “Both Sides Now” isn’t from Blue – “River” is, which is another classic, and a Christmas song, shot through with a gorgeous yet assenting wistfulness that sweeps you along its rich turns and delicate melancholy like the river of the title. Mitchell teaches us how to embrace loneliness as a friend rather than an enemy. “Only a phase, these dark café days.”

 

Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite placed first in the Indiewire’s critics poll for 2019, which polled 304 movie critics from around the world to pick the best movies and performances of the year. I loved Parasite, but the fact that it’s the pick for best movie of the year really speaks to the paucity of transcendent or even brilliant films this year. The movie is brilliant, but flawed, and it’s not even among Joon Ho’s two best films (of which one would certainly be the scorching, unforgettable Mother). The 50 Best Movies of 2019, According to 304 Film Critics [IndieWire]

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Week in Music: Jessie Buckley’s “Glasgow”, The Animals “Bring it On Home to Me”, Pink Floyd

Wild rose jessie buckley

What I loved this week: a Stumptown song, a ballad about missing Glasgow, and of course, Pink Floyd.

This week’s episode of Stumptown (great show by the way: far better than it has any business being from the premise and trailers), ended on a song that immediately caught my attention, which turned out to be this GORGEOUS, instantly gripping 60’s ballad from The Animals:

“If you ever change your mind
About leavin’, leavin’ me behind
Oh, oh, bring it to me
Bring your sweet lovin’
Bring it on home to me, oh yeah”

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Blood And Water: Illustrating Langston Hughes’ ‘Rivers’

In 2014 to celebrate Black History Month, NPR Books asked Afua Richardson, an award-winning illustrator who’s worked for Image, Marvel and DC Comics, to illustrate something that inspired her. She created this extraordinary video – 50 seconds that perfectly melds the oral, visual, and textual traditions of storytelling into something of pure magic, resonant with historical echoes.

rivers

Blood & Water: The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes from AfuaRichardson on Vimeo.

Tumbledown Trailer feat. Jason Sudeikis and Rebecca Hall

I love everything about this.

‘This Love Came Back to Me’ – Doctor and Clara

Sparks Fly in USA’s “Playing House”

My recent absolute obsession has been USA’s Playing House, a comedy that recently wrapped its second season. It’s flown a little under that radar due to being on USA, which is just now branching out to comedy, but it is hysterical, warm, and at times, giddily romantic. I’m in it not least for the sizzling, ongoing chemistry between Jessica St. Clair’s Emma and her high-school boyfriend/first love-turned-cop Mark (Keegan-Michael Key from Key and Peele). Emma rejected his proposal, took off out of town, and has come back thirteen years later. Let’s just say the sparks aren’t dead, and since I’m a huge sucker for old friends or people with a history falling back in love, this is right up my alley.

Yong Pal “Old Money” Music Video

Lana Del Rey’s “Old Money” + Yong Pal is an inspired combination. Gorgeous.

Yong Pal Korean Drama Review: First Impressions

Yong Pal

I was pretty excited for Yong Pal before it aired, because I really like Joo Won (despite not liking most of his drama choices in the past), and was intrigued by the high-energy teaser and the promise of the premise, which made it sound more than a little like City Hunter. In case you don’t know, the premise is a nutshell was: Joo Won is a doctor who moonlights as a surgeon to gangsters and criminals in order to raise money to pay his little sister’s expensive hospital fees. Kim Tae Hee is a rich heiress who lies in a (induced?) coma. Their paths cross.

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I Remember You Kdrama MV – Something I Need

Korean Drama Review: I Remember You aka Hello Monster

I remember You kdramaPosted a review of I Remember You/Hello Monster, which I am LOVING, over on my lifestyle blog.

The drama is basically a more serious Girl Who Sees Smells, with higher stakes and a higher body count, but the same tongue-in-cheek, bubbly approach to the lead couple interactions, and the same fast-paced, intricately-written approach to the crime plots.

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