The Designers Republic: Work, Buy, Consume, Die

I became conscious of the work by The Designers Republic with my increased interest in the music released on Warp Records and the Wipeout video game franchise on the Sony Playstation. My guess would be, that unless you have a special interest in graphic design, your story would be a similar one. Creative Review just announced that the Nicola Paton is looking for funding for his documentary on the former Sheffield-based design studio (they closed down in 2009.)

You can support the director by backing the project via his Kickstarter page, the campaign runs until June 9, 2013.

RE:09 Black Dynamite

While 2009 was a flourishing year for new and exciting music, it didn’t look so good for movies. Unsurprisingly, my favourite movies of last year were both “just” documentaries, Man On Wire being one of them. For music fans though, there were a few cinematic highlights I want to mention.

One of them is Soul Power, a documentary exclusively composed out of film material from the legendary music festival Zaire 74. It is already out on DVD and BluRay and is was a gift for subscribers of Shook Magazine. The second movie is Still Bill (trailer), a documentary on Bill Withers. Unfortunately, I was not yet able to watch this one, as it should be hard to find a cinema screening the film. Rumour has it, a DVD will be out in May 2010.

TV had some good stuff to offer as well, or at least I’m aware of these two great documentaries on BBC Four. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kind of Blue album, 1959: The Year that Changed Jazz not only focuses on the most famous Miles Davis record, but also portraits jazz musicians Dave Brubeck, Charles Mingus, and Ornette Coleman. Another recommendation is Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany. As the name suggests it tells the story of bands such as Can, Kraftwerk, Faust, Neu! and Amon Düül and how they pioneered the music in post-war Germany. You can currently watch that one on YouTube, but you should consider it could be deleted soon.

Now, what I really want to talk about today, is the movie Black Dynamite. That’s a Blaxploitation film from last year, that comes astonishingly close to the originals from the seventies. It’s quite simple to decide whether that’s your type of movie – if you like the trailer you will like the movie.

The reason it works so well, is the producer’s affection to recreate a movie as if it was shot in the peaktime of the Afro-American movie phenomenon. It’s not a bad remake like the 90’s version Shaft and it’s a more consequently adaptated than anything you have seen from Tarantino. It doesn’t try to be anything better one of these a vintage films, it’s just as trashy as the originals.

Another reason why the movie has this authentic feel is its music. Like the picture, it’s no collection of old, instead all tracks were exclusively written and arranged for the film. Wax Poetics has this video putting you in the picture of the recordings of the music.

I only got myself a copy of the score, but there is also a soundtrack available. The score was recorded by multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge, playing the Rhodes electric piano, Hammond organ, Hohner Clavinet, harpsichord, synthesizer, vibraphone, guitar, bass, flute, sax, cello, and drums! Here are some snippets to listen to.A1. Black Dynamite Theme
A2. Cleaning Up the Streets
A3. Man with the Heat (Superbad)
A4. Shine
A5. Jimmy’s Dead
A6. Shot Me in the Heart
A7. Black They Back
B1. Gloria (Zodiac Lovers)
B2. Anaconda Malt Liquor
B3. Jimmy’s Apartment
B4. Jimmy’s Dead (Interlude)
B5. Chicago Wind
B6. Rafelli Chase
B7. Jimmy’s Dead (Instrumental)
B8. Dynomite (Suckapunch Re-edit)
The original soundtrack was recorded by multiple artists in the same fashion as the score. As I don’t own a copy of that, I can’t really say anything further about it.

Both soundtrack and movie score are available on limited vinyl pressings (2000 hand-numbered pieces). And they sell fast for a reason! If you shouldn’t be lucky to get copies (try Juno and Rush Hour), there are also digital releases available.

Exit Through the Gift Shop, A Banksy Film

The movie dubbed The Banksy Film will premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival later this month. Film maker Terry Guetta met and filmed the most famous street-artist of our time.

“Banksy turns the tables on the only man who has ever filmed him, creating a remarkable documentary that is part personal journey and part an exposé of the art world with its mind-altering mix of hot air and hype.”

“The world’s first street art disaster movie”

January 24 is the day of the premiere, however, there is no chance on pre-ordering tickets as movies-goers are being put on a wait list. Portishead‘s very own Geoff Barrow is the man responsible for the soundtrack of this must-see documentary.

No infos on a regular release date, there is not even an IMDb page at this point.

Hollywood Movie about Chess Records

Cadillac Records is a biographical movie about Leonard Chess, founder of Chicago-based Chess Records. Besides Academy Award winner Adrien Brody as Chess, the movie stars Mos Def (as Chuck Berry), Jeffrey Wright (as Muddy Waters) and Beyoncé (as Etta James).
The movie comes to U.S. theatres on December 5th, European dates to follow in 2009. Its soundtrack is supposed to feature four cover-versions by Beyoncé, including Etta James’ At Last.