July 19, 2008

"Also I like to rock" and other cultural phenomena

It is good to live in LA. There are many reasons, one of which is the Also I like to rock series of free concerts at the Hammer Museum by FM station Indie 103.1. Last Thursday The Duke Spirit and io echo rocked the Hammer Courtyard. The Duke Spirit, one of my new favorite bands, is a tight band from London. The lead singer Liela Moss is a little Siouxsie, a little Jefferson Airplane, a little Mazzy Star, with a powerful voice in her own right. Being from London, she thought that the Hammer gig was at "a museum of hammers." No, the Hammer is definitely not "full of tools," especially if they are putting on awesome shows like this for the community. Recession, shmercession, we've got our music. As long as awesome rockers are belting it out in nice museum courtyards for free, we are all going to be okay.

I left the Hammer crowd elated, only to see massive crowds lining the streets in Westwood and feeling a fervent electricity in the air, which only meant one thing: the first screenings of the new Batman movie by Director Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight. A much anticipated film with a record-breaking opening, The Dark Knight deserves the crowds and the accolades, for it is stunning filmmaking of a dark and complex drama. It's great to see that Director Christopher Nolan, who wowed the Sundance crowd with the nonlinear indie Memento, could evolve the Batman franchise into such an intriguing realistic entity with a life of its own, far beyond hopes and expectations, and oh so satisfying. And speaking of Sundance, that's where I was when I heard of Heath Ledger's death. It was snowing and cold, I was on a festival shuttle, and some girls in the back were talking about it. It instantly felt like a tragedy, such a great loss to the film community, and I have been looking forward to seeing this final performance ever since. I've read reviews of Ledger's performance of the Joker as "Cagney meets Brando," and I have to agree, but with the caveat that it was even better and deeper than that. Unforgettable.

:: bogna ::

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