Is there a gene for Evil? Or maybe do we turn wicked due to life’s circumstances? No; I’m not going to be serious. Not today. This was only a way to introduce today´s review on bad guys in films. Because, does anyone ever ask himself/herself why bad guys Continue reading Bad boys running Wild
Let’s start the second and last chapter dedicated to Portuguese singer Dulce Pontes, in which we pay attention to ten outstanding musical moments (for different reasons) of her discography. Continue reading Sweet Dulce (II): Track by track
The fado is the Portuguese music par excellence. And I should add: it´s a feeling, a way of understanding life, a deeply felt expression of the inward voice of these people. If we try to find a synonym for the word “fado”, we will be talking about homesickness, nostalgia, melancholy, etc. But all of them are terms that don´t fit into the complexity of the original one.
The fado is displayed through the music by means of the melodies, the lyrics and, above all, the performances of the musicians and singers. The voice is usually feminine. We may search for the reason in the sociocultural context: womens’ situations in Portugal have been linked to the Land (the work in the fields) and the Sea (the loneliness generated by the emigrational phenomenon). And that voice has distinguished performers throughout time. Maybe Amalia Rodrigues is the major reference in this sense.
But, how has the fado evolved? Nowadays we can Continue reading Sweet Dulce
Hello everybody. This morning I was listening to the radio and heared the tune “Don’t cry for me Argentina”. Then I asked myself a question: Why do some people use the term “rock opera” when talking about some affected musicals created by Weber, Rice and company? Is it logical? I don´t think so.
In case you don’t agree with me, let’s bring up the first works of this genre. The Who’s “Tommy” represents the opening title of this rock style music, and it was followed by distinguished albums (“The Wall”, for example). “Cats” is not rock, but a mixture of pop and soft rock.
I have been searching for some current equivalent to those previous extraordinary conceptual rock pieces. It has to Continue reading The “Museical” absolution
Probably there are as many types of humour as there are people. Our sense of humour is like a fingerprint: it identifies us and represents us socially; it singles us out. We can think of it as a collage of circumstances that we try to match with our personal values. Due to this fact, we tend to remember comical situations and gags that fit us somehow. It’s almost an aesthetic matter (intangible, but aesthetic).
Today I would like to show you some pieces of my particular collage. This will be a movie scenes’ collage, featuring five –in my opinion- memorable moments. Continue reading Five remedies for sadness
Let´s begin with my favourite film in the genre: Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West” (obvious choice). Leone had already shot the “Dollars trilogy” (the previous three films), although this is the movie in which he reaches the greatest refinement and technical perfection. Without leaving the peculiar characteristics of these kind of films, Leone obtains his most personal movie, tinged with a slower narrative tempo than previous ones. Continue reading Once upon a time in the “Spaghetti” West (II): three different sights
When we talk about Mike Oldfield, what is the first phrase that reminds us of him? Maybe “Tubular Bells”? -Is there anyone who disagrees? Well, maybe the people who remember “Moonlight Shadow” … just kidding!-. Beyond the prolongation of the “Tubular” phenomenon (I’ve just lost count of the revisions of the classic piece), Mike Oldfield is a peculiar artist. Admired with devotion or fiercely criticized (especially in recent times), Mr. Oldfield has an enviable trajectory.
We can establish three different stages in Mike Olfield’s work. It´s very remarkable that most of his fans don’t like all the stages. They are fans of some of them. And this is my case. Continue reading Stage 1: Hergest Ridge, the great stranger
What is a “vile genre”? I’ve heard this term from some cinema reviewers in recent days, referred to those kinds of movies which “pervert” the traditional rules of a classic genre (for example, the Spaguetti-western is a filmic perversion of classic American western movies). The “vile genre” is characterized by the rupture of the usual canons in direction, production design, etc., emphasizing a more direct treatment of the situations and roles. In other words, these are movies which don´t need a second interpretation to be understood.
Some imaginative filmmakers (Tarantino, Raimi, among others) have an excellent knowledge of this kind of cinema, often called “B” or “Z” series. Just take a look at “Kill Bill” and you’ll Continue reading Once upon a time in the “Spaghetti” West
The mexican band “Maná” is one of the latin bands with more worldwide repercussion; that´s a fact. Yesterday I was listening to Maná’s “MTV Unplugged”, an album that offers an interesting song compilation, in an excellent acoustic version. But beyond its undeniable musical quality I will enhance a circumstance that never stops to amaze me in every album they bring up: The main characters of Maná’s songs Continue reading Memoirs of an aching soul
Valentine’s Day is coming soon. If you are the kind of people who feel “obliged” to make some gifts but you don’t like it so much, then you are my kind. What do we do in these cases? Well, we sit and wait for an inspiration which often brings the form of a perfume or music. However, since you won’t be giving perfumes for your whole life, music is an option with endless possibilities. It has to be romantic, of course, because if your couple is enraptured by any theme of the album, she/he will probably turn it into “the couple song” (for some months, at least). Continue reading Music for Valentine’s Day