fredag, juni 22, 2007

Blood Diamond (movie)

I am not a real fan of Leonardo di Caprio, but here he really does a good job. In fact this is a brutally excellent film. One can always think whatever about movies that try to capture some of the brutality of some of this World and put it on the big screen. Does it help? Will the audience actually take the message and go back to real life and try to make a difference, or will we wash off the message and live like we did before? And even then, is the movie speculative in its brutality and hash reality by showing us children soldiers, civil war, poverty, greed as from real life?

I don’t have answers for this, but what I know is that humans always love a good story and when the story also tells more without pointing the finger of morale on us. The message goes deep in us and it does make a difference, maybe not much but still.

I don't really have much more to say about the movie, it’s an excellent film and so everybody should watch it - but be ready to tackle some action. If so - go and see it with a date ;)

The Prestige (movie)

I was recommended to watch this movie. After watching it I am still wondering if this is a movie about Tesla or not. Ok the positive stuff first. It is a nicely done movie. It is about to competing magicians(!!) over the year that envy and hate each others. The story constantly tries to pull the magic tricks on the viewers as well, pulling out twists and surprises all the time. The pictures, the music, the acting all work really nice.

Now to the bad part: I really has to put the emphasizes on all these things as there seems to be a problem in modern film making that one has so much resources in making over perfect staged movies but one seem to forget a lot of things that makes a movie good: first off, this is or seem to be a rival movie so the two magicians actually already dislike each other even before the first accident happens. In the beginning the quick swaps between the characters and the time jumps confuses us as watchers and we are not given a soft enough introduction of the characters too keep up the patch. (This is similar to the movie The Departed). While this is extremely irritating I think the movie gambles on the fact that after a while we will get the hang of it and then the movie can continue in the same pace, swapping places, time, and pouring out strange twists.

There is almost no character development in this movie. Anybody in the movie industry should know that one of the key factors to a successful movie is character development, the only thing I see in this movie is one of the magicians going from "not wanting to get his hands dirty" to the opposite, but it happens in a snap and there is no real explanation why.

The movie is way to long, the movie tries to be built up as an epic story, the problem is that the movie is built up by the same blocks all the time, rivalry, fight, surprise twist and than more rivalry. The story simply progress by repeating it self for more than two hours - and in the end I wonder what is it the movie tries to tell us?

The morale of the movie is failing, sometimes there is none; sometimes it tries to be some. However unlike Asian movies which can have strange morality lines, the western movie industry seems not to be able to do this as well and we get something of a schizophrenic taste in our mouth.

I think it is actually trying to tell us what a great wizard Tesla was, and in such the movie is in fact perfect despite its faults. I also think that the movie is playing with us on other levels as well, and in a way the rivalry is maybe also a part of another trick? but I will not say which one - if so - the movie receives another plus point from me.

Although the movie is a bit to long, I think you will enjoy it, together with a magic friend.

Spain 2007 (Vacation)

Ahh. Everybody has told me for such a long time: Barcelona is a really good place to go. And it is right so. Everybody is happy, everybody is beautiful. The night life is excellent! The Catalonian cousine is crazy - they seem to mix all kinds of stuff and sometimes they really succeed. Tapas and paellas are great to get the day going, and when you are tired there is the siesta for you.

I finally got the chance to see the Gaudi houses. It was much better than I initially thought. This is great architecture. I wonder why there is not more people that has adapted the Gaudi style as I really would like to live in a house that is like a fairy tale.

And of course they had the Kinder Surpresa Grande!! Good stuff!

Later I took the train over to Madrid and spent some quality time over there. Visited an old friend of mine and relaxed in his swimming pool.

Primaverasound 2007 (Festival)

Primaverasound 2007

I think the primary reason I went here was to see

The Smashing Pumpkins
While not really like the original Smashing Pumpkins I think they actually play better now. Not that I have seen them live before, but I have seen live recorded footage. And I have been waiting whole my life to get a chance to see them. Billy Corgan showed off his excellent skills on the guitar and the band showed off. It was one of those moments of immediate pleasure. While they did not play my favorite "Silverf*ck" they did play almost all the other good tunes, and even a few I didn't know.

It was pure rock. I could really feel the grove.

Biggest Surprise was that they played an acoustic cover version of Neil Young's "winterlong".

At times there where some sound problems, but I don't think most people noticed in the drag of the pumping Smashing Pumpkins.

The Fall
I saw The Fall at the Øya Festival last year. There they played uncontrolled and it was pretty much a sad experience. This time around they played a fantastic gig and it showed that they really enjoyed the punk this time.

The White Stripes
My brother has been telling me strange stories about this band. I have no real clue about what to believe, but at least I find it all to be really odd. The White Stripes i without a doubt a really good band if not truly groundbreaking. However 1 and a half hour with this is maybe a bit too much. I think what they really need to do a festival like this is to break the gig up in several small ones...

Black Mountain
They had some sound problems for sure, but it was a pretty good band. I get the feeling they are some kind of mix between classic hippy style and modern indie rock. It works in scary ways, but sure is worth it.

Band of Horses
They had major sound problems, but still this was one of my surprises (as I have never heard of them before) - being one of the best gigs of the Festival. I wonder though why the name is Band of Horses and why all of them are jumping around the stage looking all gay. The music however rocks! You should go and see them.

Built To Spill
My brother has tried to make me like this band for years, and suddenly he succeeded. I just brought my special imported Air Guitar and joined up with another air guitar player and we played along with the band for the whole show.

Sonic Youth
Another time with Sonic Youth, this time performing "Daydream Nation" live. I can only bow my head for this band as they just play better and better, and it’s a totally enjoyment every time I watch it!

The Rest
Queues was a drag, to get in I actually had to do the line 5 or 6 times. Beer was crap and way to long lines, and you had to stand in line to get tickets to stand in line to get tickets to get beer. And the beer was so small before you had finished the line to get tickets you would need another beer, which sellers sold for double price cash while you where waiting in line.

The food was excellent at times, except the sausages which tasted crap.

The ATP stage had some really good shows. At times there were also some good DJs on the Vueling stage, especially at night.

søndag, juni 17, 2007

YoYoYo Acapulco Live

For anybody (including me) that missed Yoyoyo Acapulcos live performance at the Norwegian Wood Festival this year, here is some live footage from NRK:

søndag, juni 10, 2007

Pictures from Spain and Svalbard

I have put out a small Album of pictures from Svalbard and also from my vacation in Spain, including a few concert pictures from Primaverasound 2007. In addition to that I happend to have misplaced one picture from Kristiansand there as well.