Chris Marker – La jetée

January 29, 2009 at 12:45 am (movies) (, , )

In 1962, the french filmaker Chris Marker released “La jetée”, a sci-fi movie 28 minutes long that would be as influential as it was short. This time I’d like to discuss about this movie, since watching it was one of the greatest pleasures I have recently experienced. I was immediatly touched by how experimental it was, and how ironic the story is, that I can easily describe it as my favorite movie. Widely unknown to most common people, “La jetée” is spectacular both as a sci-fi movie and as an avant-garde flic. In 1995, Terry Gilliam (of Monthy Python fame) would remake and enlarge it as “12 monkeys”, diverging in many ways from the original film, but maintaining the main plot.

“La jetée” presents a man who has one vivid memory of his childhood, a beautiful woman at an airport, and the assasination of another man. World War 3 begins, destroying most of France. The survivors are forced to live underground and most french people are imprisoned, amongst them our unnamed hero. Since the surface of the Earth has become arid and poisonous, the “victors” start an experiment on time travel, obviously using prisoners as guiney pigs. The process of time travel is far exhausting and complex, requiring the subject to be able to retain vivid images of the past for it to work. Naturally, our unnamed hero is quickly chosen as subject of experiment, with very succesful results.

As short as it may be, “La jetée” leaves you with a feeling of closure as much as a 120-minute movie can. By now you should be wondering why would I define this movie as “experimental” while it seems pretty normal. Well, this flic isn’t made out of a video, meaning it is not 24 frames per second. It is all made out of still images, which may sound degrading, but actually it works perfectly with the main plot of the film, since images are very important. If you can find this movie, which is quite difficult, I’d recommend you didn’t hesitate on watching it, as I have said, it is quite an experience to watch something as uncommon as “La jetée”.

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The Outsiders – Calling On Youth

January 27, 2009 at 3:43 am (Music) (, , )

Para este que será mi primer post, he escogido hablarles sobre una banda que comparte la filosofía indie del blog y es bien retro. Este grupo se llama The Outsiders, fue de las primeras bandas punk y puso a la venta el primer album totalmente independiente en todo Reino Unido, Calling On Youth. En 1976, Adrian Borland, músico inglés que después formaría la banda The Sound de renombre en UK, se juntó con Bob Lawrence y Adrian Janes para formar The Outsiders. Sus influencias más importantes son The Velvet Underground y The Stooges, tomando como base el rock clásico y subiéndolo de velocidad para crear un sonido punk. Contrario a muchos de sus contemporáneos, The Outsiders no exalta el amateurismo punk ni limita sus canciones a menos de tres minutos, sin embargo conservan toda la fuerza de cualquier banda punk, siendo clara la influencia de Iggy Pop y The Stooges en su música. Para 1977 ya tenían completo lo que sería su primer album, y con algo de ayuda financiera mandaron a hacer 1000 copias de Calling On Youth por medio de su propia disquera Raw Edge.

La primera canción que lleva el mismo nombre que el disco, es una perfecta muestra de su sonido crudo y con pocos valores de producción, lo que aumenta el impacto sobre la audiencia, pareciendo que están tocando en vivo. En “Break Free” se la toman más despacio, haciendo más aparente su afición por el rock clásico. Sin embargo, para “Hit and Run” vuelven a aumentar de velocidad, impactando con sus guitarras rasgueantes con Adrian Borland sonando muy similar a Iggy Pop. Este album resulta muy atractivo para cualquier fan del punk británico, y para aquél fan del rock clásico, ya que sus canciones no son demasiado largas, su música no es demasiado simple y su velocidad es suficiente para motivar a cualquier persona a moshear.

For my first post I’ve chosen to talk about a band that shares the indie philosophy of this blog and is quite retro. The band’s called The Outsiders, it was one of the first punk bands and released the first completely independent album in all of the UK, called Calling On Youth. In 1976 Adrian Borland, english musician who would later create the band called “The Sound” of fame in the UK, got together with Bob Lawrence and Adrian Janes to form The Outsiders. Their most important influences include The Velvet Underground and The Stooges, taking classic rock and speeding it up. Opposed to many of their contemporaries, The Outsiders do not fall into punk amateurism nor do they limit their songs to under three minutes, however they do keep all the strength of any punk band, making the influence of Iggy Pop and The Stooges very clear. By 1977 they had already completed what would become their first album, and with a little monetery aid, they pressed 1000 copies of Calling On Youth

The first song of the album, which bears the same name, is a perfect example of their raw sound, with low production value, which increases the impact on the listener, sounding as if it were live. On “Break Free” the band slows it up a bit, making even more obvious their affection for classic rock. However, for “Hit and Run” they speed up again, impressing with their strumming guitars, while the vocals resemble that of Iggy Pop. This album could attract any british punk fan, and those classic rock fans, since their songs aren’t too long, their music isn’t too simple and their speed is enough to invite anyone to start moshing.

Sin más preámbulo les dejo una muestra de este album, con la canción “Hit and Run”:

Without further due, here is a sample of this album, the song “Hit and Run”:

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