The Projects: Musicals That Don’t Suck


By Spencer. This is a website that celebrates both movies and music, so you know an article like this was inevitable. In revisiting our ongoing Movies That Don’t Suck series, it seems like the perfect time to look at the movie musical—the bane of the true music fan’s existence. Maybe our generation has such trouble accepting the musical because we were the first to be raised with movies that actually aspired toward realism—and there’s nothing realistic about spontaneously breaking out into song. But for the first half-century of filmmaking, the musical was Hollywood’s go-to crowdpleaser. And you don’t have to look beyond Bollywood to see that, even today, other cultures don’t share the modern American disdain for this genre. Continue reading

The Professor: Glen Hansard 101

glenhansardpressBy Antony. When in doubt, begin where you began. I set out to familiarize myself with Glen Hansard’s work with The Frames and The Swell Season because I fell in love with his 2012 solo album Rhythm And Repose. Of course that was about two years ago, and I did nothing. The catalyst for finally doing it was that I saw Glen Hansard at the Hollywood Bowl a few weeks ago. He and his large band—about a dozen people—were fantastic. He overflowed with joy and gratitude, and his storytelling was absolutely charming. In fact, my only complaint was that some backstage miscommunication truncated Hansard’s set—though with a flash of Irish rebellion, he played nearly 30 minutes past curfew.

So in the afterglow of the show, I found the motivation to give some time to one of the finest folk musicians working today. What follows is what I’ve learned. Fair warning: I’m sure my list is heretical to any longtime Hansard follower and that doesn’t bother me one bit.  Continue reading

The Projects: The World Cup Of Cinema, Group A

fifa-world-cup-trophy_1401332557By Spencer. The beautiful thing about soccer’s World Cup is that it brings together so many diverse peoples over their common love of a single form of entertainment. And we get to see how styles of play can differ so distinctly between countries — Italy flops, Brazil finesses, Germany kills you with precision, and the United States just tries to belong. Well, what’s true of soccer is true of movies. And so over the next few weeks, S&N will be conducting a World Cup of its own: a World Cup of Cinema, looking at the best films each country has to offer and pitting them against each other in a competition that, much like a FIFA match, will be decided mostly by poor officiating and maybe even a little corruption.

Here are the ground rules. A single film will be picked for each country, with that film representing arguably the “best” movie ever to come out of that country — with all of the arbitrary nature that such a selection implies. (Needless to say, if you’re dissatisfied with any of our rulings, feel free to tell us how stupid we are in the comments section — that’s part of the fun of all this!). National eligibility is determined not by filming location or language but by where the film was produced. So, for example, The Lord Of The Rings movies, while filmed in New Zealand, are still American films. Sorry, Kiwis.

Continue reading