Nick Cave's Part-True Life Is Explored in the Film 20,000 Days on Earth at FilmBar

Categories: Movies

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Drafthouse Films
Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of Nick Cave is like?
If you know anything about Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave, it's probably that he's a little, well, weird. That's why it's really no surprise that a documentary made about him would be out of the ordinary format as well. The film 20,000 Days on Earth melds live concert footage with scripted scenes to give a realistic, though not necessarily true, peak into the life of the elusive composer as he made his album Push the Sky Away in 2013.

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Bjork: Biophilia Live Looks Inside Singer's Ambitious Bio-Project

Categories: Movies

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Courtesy of Wellhart One Little Indian
Bjork. Nuff said.

In 2011, Icelandic musician Bjork took on the ambitious and epic undertaking Biophilia. The multimedia project, which at one time was supposed to include an IMAX film directed by Michel Gondry, was a hybrid between a high-concept album and field trip to the science museum. Its goal was to edify listeners on the relationship between technology, music, and nature. The final form it took was a 10-track album with titles like "Moon" and "Dark Matter," each meant to represent lunar cycles and scales, respectively. The album was accompanied by a series of apps that allowed users to not only listen to the music but also interact and create their own versions of the songs.

The film Bjork: Biophilia Live is the cinematic document of the lengthy tour the singer embarked on to accompany the album. It begins with British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough narrating a monologue written by Bjork on the connectivity of nature. It's accompanied by a series of visuals of the universe, flora and fauna, and wildlife filling your corneas. The fear you may have accidentally turned on a boring episode of NOVA is erased when Bjork, wearing a wild red wig and a bulbous silicone dress that resembles a mash of muscle, walks to onstage and sings to the Tesla coil whose lightning is providing the beats accompanying the song "Thunderbolt."

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Trent Reznor's Unraveling Compositions a Perfect Fit for Gone Girl

Categories: Movies

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Ben Affleck stars in Gone Girl.

The release of the David Fincher film Gone Girl, featuring a soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, continues a trend that began a few years ago: prominent electronic/industrial musicians from the 1990s and 2000s carving out a new niche for themselves by scoring feature films. The big beats of The Chemical Brothers seemed to perfectly suit the frenetic energy captured by director Joe Wright's 2011 action thriller Hanna. LCD Soundsystem mastermind and musical savant James Murphy fashioned a soundtrack that perfectly fit the world of Noah Baumbach's titular sarcastic grouch Greenberg. Daft Punk pursued their dream project with mixed results by not only composing but making a cameo appearance in the sci-fi sequel Tron: Legacy.

This new direction in millennial cinema reached a zenith when Reznor, the man who rose to prominence by screaming "I want to fuck you like an animal" with his industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, walked upon stage at the Kodak Theater and thanked the Academy for recognizing his and his frequent collaborator Ross' efforts on Fincher's acclaimed 2010 film The Social Network. Somehow the man who fleshed out his anxieties so bombastically with the albums Pretty Hate Machine and The Downward Spiral was able to quietly capture the underlying sadness that made Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg resonate so strongly with critics and audiences.

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David Bowie Documentary Shows Artist's Vast Influence on Music, Fashion, Art

Categories: Movies

The new documentary film David Bowie is does not tackle the epic career of the legendary rock star, but rather takes you inside London's Victoria and Albert Museum's (V&A) exhibition, where more than 300 pieces of Bowie history are on display. Stories behind the extraordinary stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, sketches, and other artwork attempt to humanize the larger than life performer and expose the inspiration behind his otherworldly musical characters.

You won't see any new interviews with the 67-year-old performer. There are no insights to his sexuality or addictions. No mention of his work Klaus Nomi. Instead, the documentary takes place during the last day of V&A's exhibition before the show started a worldwide tour. It will arrive at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago on September 23, the same day the film will be shown at more than 100 theaters across the nation, including Phoenix's FilmBar.

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David Lynch's Duran Duran Concert Film Screening in Phoenix September 10

Categories: Movies

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WikiMedia Commons
Duran Duran

It seemed the unlikeliest of pairings when it was announced last week.

Surrealist filmmaker David Lynch, co-creator of the influential TV show Twin Peaks and the celebrated director of 10 feature films, including Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet, and The Elephant Man, has teamed up with very mainstream '80s pop stars Duran Duran for a concert film. Duran Duran Unstaged features footage Lynch shot during the band's sold-out concert at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles in 2011 and features appearances from Kelis, Mark Ronson, and My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way. The film will screen at theaters worldwide on September 10, including FilmBar in downtown Phoenix.

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The Past Is a Grotesque Animal Explores the Turbulent Psyche Behind Of Montreal

Categories: Movies

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Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Find out what's under all of those corsets and animal masks and layers of lipstick.
Band rockumentaries can typically be watched in two ways: for those unfamiliar with the film's subject, it's usually an insightful peak into the world of professional musicians. For fans, however, these movies can induce what I like to call the Wizard of Oz effect. By the end of it, you'll have seen almost everything behind the curtain, though you might wish it could've all remained a wonderful, grandiose mystery.

In any case, Of Montreal is under the spotlight in The Past Is a Grotesque Animal, which is screening at FilmBar August 12 and August 14.

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6 Songs That Evoke Movie Scenes

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Hannibal Lecter was more of a classical guy than a rock guy.

Steve Wiley is Up on the Sun's resident Record Store Geek. Biweekly, he shares stories of great music and whacky characters from his continuing 27 years in Valley record stores and the always-zany music biz.

When you are a music geek like I am, you are constantly aware of the music that's playing.

At a restaurant. At the bar. At the game. At anything.

I especially hear it during movies. So I often end up linking certain songs and certain movie scenes. It's just the way I do it.

You too? Maybe you can relate to this little ditty.

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Top 5 Moments from Talking Heads' Concert Film Stop Making Sense

Categories: Movies

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Image courtesy of No Festival Required
Talking Heads and Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense returns to theaters in honor of its 30th anniversary

Stop Making Sense turned 30 this year, and in honor of the anniversary, The Talking Heads' legendary concert film is returning to theaters, and will screen this Sunday at Phoenix Center for the Arts.

Presented by No Festival Required, the Valley's top microcinema producer, the screening, like the film, won't quite be traditional. According to the press release, beer, wine, and snacks will be available for purchase prior to the screening, and "spontaneous singing and dancing is encouraged" inside the 230-seat theater.

In anticipation of this exciting event, we've compiled our top five moments from a film filled with exciting ones.

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Alice Cooper's New "Doc Opera" Details Drug Abuse and Other Sordid Stories

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Alice Cooper's new "doc opera" is coming to Phoenix.

Anything involving Alice Cooper is bound to push the boundaries of what's normal in the world of pop culture and music. Forty-five years after he began shocking the world for the first time, Cooper, along with a team of filmmakers, Cooper is back, this time in film form.

Unveiled as the first "doc opera," Super Duper Alice Cooper is a sight to be seen; a detailing of Vincent Furnier's childhood from a preacher's son to his transformation into Alice Cooper, followed by a brutal battle with the character that almost killed the real man behind the makeup -- all in the name of celebrating how the extremely influential and accomplished man came out for the better in the end. It isn't about glamorizing the hedonistic, chaotic and typical rock star lifestyle; it's a story of strong family bonds and how they can get us through the darkest of times. It's about survival, suffering, and stability.

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The 5 Most Underappreciated Wes Anderson Soundtrack Choices

Categories: Lists, Movies

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Touchstone Pictures
This scene wouldn't be this scene without Sigur Rós.

Fans looking to update their playlists with a new set of jangly British Invasion ditties brought (back) to light by filmmaker/auteur Wes Anderson will likely be disappointed with the soundtrack for his newest effort, The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is streamable online as of today and is largely instrumental and sans pop-rock gems.

While that's going to delight some (musician Will Oldham once memorably referred to Anderson as "the cancer that is that Darjeeling guy" who approaches soundtracks as: "Here's my iPod on shuffle, and here's my movie"), many music fans will likely feel slighted. With that in mind, it's worth revisiting Anderson's previous efforts to pull up some soundtrack choices you might've missed the first time around; Nico and the Kinks and the Rolling Stones need not apply.

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