Monday, 9 April 2018

Sunday, Sunday / Monday, Monday (56)

image credit: tv toyko 
image credit: hbo

I still have to actually finish the first season of Westworld, and I need my act together after watching the trailer for season two. Hopefully, I didn’t spoil anything for myself watching it, but I had to after hearing that it was set to Nirvana’s ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ in the famous style in which the covers of Soundgarden and Radiohead were played in the first season. 

Mesmerizing as always, it’s no surprise that Westworld has garnered so much attention compared to the original released in 1973. I hoped new worlds would be included in the second season, and instead of Romanworld or Medievalworld, we’re going to be given Shogunworld, a world modeled after Japan’s Edo period, to satisfy ‘the true connoisseur of gore’ who can ‘indulge their fantasies with the slash of a katana.’

It is kind of ridiculous when mainstream media hype up ‘memes’ like this, but at the same time it’s hilarious that such an insignificant thing can make the headlines. Before all the ‘ooohh it’s put Fleetwood Mac back into the charts’ came about, that tweet was funny by its own merit.

One day memes and stupid posts on Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr are going to be non-existent when news outlets that try to be ‘down with the kids’ pick this stuff up. Please appreciate this tweet for its pure, unfiltered genius. Although to be fair, it is 10x funnier now with the insanity of the attention surrounding it.

There is something mystifying about Santa Monica when you live in an often-dreary country like England. The culture of America and the UK is vastly different, which is always one of the first major hits of sensory overload once you set foot on American soil.

I’ve been to Los Angeles once, and to quote the photographer of this series of photographs: ‘… the way the light hits the asphalt, with the green signs on the freeway, because by the time you get there you’ve seen a thousand films.’ 

It’s really hard to describe the feelings that I got in Los Angeles and get when I look back on my experience or see films and television set in the area. Santa Monica has become one of my safe havens; there’s something uniquely addictive to that stretch of beach, and the same goes for Malibu and Venice on either side.

Photographer Sarah Lee and Laura Barton sum it up beautifully in this piece for The Guardian, along with the many examples in Lee’s photography that really cannot be felt fully unless you’ve been there – or go there - yourself. 

Set in one of the best decades of English music accompanied by a weirdly awesome concept, director John Cameron Mitchell takes author Neil Gaiman’s 2006 short story of the same name to the aesthetically pleasing big screen.

The narrative roots itself on a nostalgic era, where disillusioned teens began a punk uprising accompanied by a fictional visit from an alien touring the galaxy, who happens upon two young residents of Croydon, London.

Starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson and Max Lucas, the film is set for release on May 11 in the United Kingdom. Previews may suggest that the film doesn’t seem to be well-received, but that isn’t to say that it’s not a good film. There are definitely going to be fans of it – myself included. 

The best collaboration of the 21st century continues: Paul Thomas Anderson is set to supply Haim with visuals for their performance at 2018’s Coachella that begins this Friday (April 13). You only need to watch the short film Valentine below to revel in the aesthetic beauty that is this collaboration. 

Jenna and Julien’s loss just goes to show how any pet – no matter how small – can have a devoted effect on your life. Rest in peace, Ad. 

Lars Ulrich’s interview with Dave Grohl was a goldmine, so I’m ecstatic to see that he’s interviewing Noel Gallagher on his Beats 1 radio show, It’s Electric! 

They obviously touch upon Oasis-y things, including why Gallagher includes a dozen or so songs in his recent setlists. I saw Gallagher open for The Who at the Teenage Cancer Trust last year, and the beauty that lies with Gallagher performing these Oasis tracks is that he completely strips them back and makes them his own (well, technically they are his own), and completely separates himself from the band. 

His version of ‘Wonderwall’, dare I say it, is better than the original track. 

You can watch some clips from the interview hereand I assume that the entire interview will be uploaded to YouTube once it’s aired in its entirety on Apple Music.

The 90s – if not totally obvious – is my favourite decade. For music, television, film, everything. Guardian writer Benjamin Lee highlights the mastery that surrounded the films released in that decade, touching upon the inherent nostalgia that is often tied to the decade. Lee’s article is a fantastic read and will hopefully get you intrigued to some films that you may have not seen before.

Man, I just love the 90s so much. 

Thanks to my brother and his best friend, I too have fallen in love with the 90s anime Cowboy Bebop. Perfectly contained in 26 episodes and one film, Cowboy Bebop is a timeless animation that blends a plethora of both Japanese and American genres, whilst retaining its own identity and intrinsic badassness.

Frank Guan wrote a fantastic article for Vulture last week exploring the legacy of the show, how it nearly didn’t make it to air and how a heavy influence of jazz made it the show that it became to be. As Guan stats, ‘… Bebop, like the jazz that inspired it, can never truly fall out of style.’

I thought it couldn’t get better with the recent remasters of Crash Bandicoot, but boy was I mistaken. Spyro was undeniably my favourite PS1 ‘mascot’ of the early 2000s, and I am so, so glad to see that the original three games are being remastered. I spent countless hours on the PS1 at my grandparents as Spyro and cannot wait to spend even more hours twenty or so years later.

I implore you to take a look at Polygon’s article on the remasters; they have some comparison images towards the end of their piece that truly highlight how disillusioned I was as a kid – it’s crazy to think that when that game was out, we all believed it to be the pinnacle of computer graphics.

Here’s hoping that the first Tony Hawk Pro Skater gets a remaster, too. 

We have malls in the UK, but they are nothing compared to American malls. Especially since we refer to them over here as banal ‘shopping centers’. There’s definitely a cultural divide between the UK and America when it comes to malls. It’s hard to pinpoint, but American definitely rely on them more as cultural hubs that tend to be on the outskirts of cities, are absolutely huge and have a distinct style and feel that only American culture can provide.

You know how much I love this weird, hard-to-pin-point American aesthetic, and Vox demonstrates this fantastically as they always do. It’s interesting to see how malls began to take shapes around suburbia in the 1950s, and the current decline of the mall due to internet shopping. 

I’ve often had my qualms regarding how Casey Neistat would carry himself, but recently he seems to have grounded himself somewhat. His latest project is a definite step-back to his roots; his excitement for 368 is absolutely contagious, as he is just doing what he loves to do and is surrounding himself with equally creative minds. 

Neistat – and those around him – will not stop until they have a place where they can do this forever. A hub, if you will.

I’m excited to see where this project/series is going to go, and how he and his fellow creators adapt the space surrounding them. Watching these short videos spurs me on and reminds me how much I just love consuming film, television, music and everything in between and writing about it. I need to be reminded of that once in a while. it can get blurred when you’re swamped with articles. 


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