Man I am way behind on this. Here are a couple of films I have seen.
A Prairie Home Companion – Well this is out in the theatres now so there really is nothing to say about it. No one associated with the film was at this Gala screening which was kind of a disappointment. It was not until the after party that I learned that the film is based on an existing radio show (yes I lead a sheltered life). The people we sat at a table with eating and drinking were avid fans and failed to see why we would have even gone to the film if we did not know about the radio show. They went as far as to tell us about a cruise you could take with members of the show and that the day that the cruise got back into Seattle they how radio show cast was playing at concert at Château Ste Michelle Winery in their concert series.
My thoughts on the film was that the actors did a great job. I was impressed by the singing. The plot itself was kind of lame in my mind. I thought some of the songs did make it feel long. There were good amounts of humor and you could tell that those working on the film were having a good time. For me it would be something I would rent instead of going to the theatre to see.
Screaming Masterpieces (Gargandi snilld) — This was a documentary about the music scene in Iceland. I thought the intent of the doc was to reveal why such a unique sound has come out of Iceland. Bjork has kind of lead the charge over the year but bands like Sigar Rós and Snowblow are making a lot of inroads in the states. I came away being a bit disappointed that I did not get an answer to why there was a unique sound there. I did feel like I had been exposed to what and why the sound is unique including a lot of music around ancient stories and a folk style. One thing that if I knew I had forgotten was that Iceland has not had independence since the late 40s. This means that at some level it is still establishing its national identity. The music we are hearing today is being performed by people who have only known their life as Icelanders. Being where they are and as sheltered a place as it is they seem to identify with different cultures. They seem to take a lot of influence for the states but also for Europe but neither seems to have more influence than the other. A couple of years ago a beer company was sponsoring a contest where you could fly to Iceland and watch the Foo Fighter’s play. There is a scene in the film where they show the Foo Fighters on stage but first they introduce a local band of boys who had their own garage band. They had just met the night before and the Foo Fighters ask them to open their set with a song. They say that everyone in Iceland is in a band of some form and here were some young boys opening their first live gig in front of thousands of people – very cool.