University of Oregon student and artist, Daniel P Lopez creates various kinds of visual art. He recently pitched us the idea of a visual review, or work of art in response to Tv On The Radio’s “Seeds”. Intrigued, we agreed to indulge him and the resulting work is the breathtaking piece above.
For more art by Lopez, check out his Cargo Collective page, or for more Visual Reviews see below.
INITIATION from Daniel P. Lopez on Vimeo.
This film, for me, represents the definition of the term “arthouse.” Absolutely every aspect of it from each individual performance to the meticulously seamless cinematography to the dialogue and seemingly painstaking direction, each piece is it’s own form of artistic expression. I went into it knowing as much as anyone could from the trailer. I knew it was going to be nice to see Michael Keaton in a starring role again. I knew that it was going to be a somewhat comedically meta story that draws some district parallels to Keaton’s own career. And I knew that it had a great cast of well regarded actors who all seem to successfully ride the line between indie darling and box office draw… Even the casting is it’s own artistic statement.
Birdman is centered around Riggan Thompson, a once successful movie star most known for playing the titular superhero in a beloved trilogy. Thompson’s struggle to break free from from a perceived and somewhat valid stigma of being a sold out actor has led him to write, produce, direct, and star in a Broadway adaptation of one of his favorite books. We see the last few previews and all of the disastrous issues that befall the production in the final stages of it’s incubation process. Thompson’s perception of his own career plights are compounded by the very real plights of his personal life which are then exacerbated by the backstage dramas that are inevitable with a building full of highly emotional creative types. Watching this film could easily be described as watching a grown man fall apart before your eyes.
There is no doubt that this is Keaton’s comeback if he wants it. I honestly can’t think of a reason that he was gone to begin with. Muliplicity wasn’t THAT bad, was it?! Anyway, he delivers on so many levels with this one. Zach Galifinakis steps into a bit of a newer territory for him, kind of playing a straight man to Thompson’s manic depressive insanity. Edward Norton brings his noted brilliance to the role of Mike Shiner, an actor known for being as genius onstage as he is difficult off. Emma Stone shines as Riggan’s daughter, Sam who is just as lost in life as her father but chooses to turn to anger to mask her inherited self doubt. The cast is rounded out by performances from Naomi Watts, Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, and Lindsay Duncan who all shine in this weird look at the psychology behind performing arts in this modern world where box office grosses and widely regarded criticism so easily blur our interpretation of success within the artistic community.
I can’t lie, Birdman is a little heady and out there. It’s also very endearing though. I really enjoyed it. It’s as much a film about the entertainment industry as it is about the human condition. It feels like an exploration of our need to try to balance our inherent desire for recognition and acclaim with the day to day consequences of our actions to obtain those lofty goals. When I say “our” I’m honestly not sure if I’m referring to artists or human beings in general and I think that might be the point.
If you live in the Eugene area go out and catch this at the Bijou. This is the perfect film to see at a local indie theater. Check out the Bijou for showtimes. – Seth Milstein
I’m pleased to say that Marianne Faithfull’s new record Give My Love to London is fantastic. It pleases me because these days we’re all pretty youth obsessed (new faces, new voices, new, new, new). And I’m no different. But it’s thrilling to hear Faithfull, after 50 years in the music business, sound so damn present and relevant, like the fire to be heard still burns brightly in her belly.
And that’s not to say Faithfull doesn’t sound old: her voice creaks and croaks, like the ghost of a cabaret singer; it burns like bourbon or scotch, as aromatic as the cigar-soaked walls of a Victorian gentlemen’s club. And the record (featuring collaborations, contributions and covers from Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Anna Calvi among others) dabbles in old, reliable song-forms: the title track, co-written with Steve Earle is a `60s-era English folk tune. The record rounds-out with Hoagy Carmichael’s “I get Along With You Very Well.” And the middle features The Everly Brothers’ “The Price of Love.”
But throughout Faithfull chews up and spits out the raw and rough arrangements. One of the record’s more rocking tracks, “True Lies” is delivered with the venom of a woman who’s been loved and left and lived to love again. The Faithfull/Tom McRae tune “Love More or Less” has the beautiful, lovesick and intensely melancholy pallor of The National at their best. Nick Cave’s tremendously Gothic “Late Victorian Holocaust” is the kind of gloom you want to pull over you like a warm blanket and sleep under. “Falling Back” (co-written with Anna Calvi) has the romantic pomp and urgency of later-era Morrissey.
In the Roger Waters-penned “Sparrows Will Sing” Faithfull sings: “The new generation is eager to master the helm, they cannot be seduced by this candyfloss techno hell…I have no doubt they will figure it out one day.” Marianne, we are eager. Keep searching with us and we’ll keep listening. – William Kennedy