Tag Archive: Brooklyn


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national mistaken for strangers

Here’s the trailer for the new documentary about The NationalMistaken For Strangers, which premieres Wednesday, April 17th at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival (via Pitchfork).

The film was directed by Tom Berninger, brother to the band’s frontman Matt, and follows the Brooklyn outfit on their globe-trotting tour behind 2010′s High Violet.

“When my brother asked me along on tour as a roadie, I thought I might as well bring a camera to film the experience,” Tom explains in the film’s press release. “What started as a pretty modest tour documentary has, over the last two and a half years, grown into something much more personal, and hopefully more entertaining.”

The film’s premiere on Wednesday night will be followed by a special performance by the band. For more information, including ticketing, consult the festival’s official site.

Meanwhile, The National’s new album Trouble Will Find Me is due out May 21st via 4AD, and features Sufjan StevensSt. Vincent’s Annie Clark, and Sharon Van Etten, among others. Pre-order now.

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The National have named their new album Trouble Will Find Me.

The Brooklyn-based band’s sixth studio record and the follow-up to 2010′s High Violet is released on May 20 in the UK (May 21 in the US). Scroll down for the tracklisting and artwork.

movies the national mistaken for strangers The National name new album Trouble Will Find Me, reveal tracklist

Frontman Matt Berninger said: “For the past ten years we’d been chasing something, wanting to prove something. And this chase was about trying to disprove our own insecurities.

“After touring High Violet, I think we felt like we’d finally gotten there. Now we could relax – not in terms of our own expectations but we didn’t have to prove our identity any longer.”

Read more here: http://bit.ly/WRRDqW

The tracklisting for Trouble Will Find Me is below:

1. ‘I Should Live in Salt’
2. ‘Demons’
3. ‘Don’t Swallow the Cap’
4. ‘Fireproof’
5. ‘Sea of Love’
6. ‘Heavenfaced’
7. ‘This is the Last Time’
8. ‘Graceless’
9. ‘Slipped’
10. ‘I Need My Girl’
11. ‘Humiliation’
12. ‘Pink Rabbits’
13. ‘Hard to Find’

music the national trouble will find me The National name new album Trouble Will Find Me, reveal tracklist

The National: ‘Trouble Will Find Me’ artwork

Trouble Will Find Me was recorded in Rhinebeck, New York and produced by the band.

The National’s new documentary Mistaken for Strangers, directed by Matt’s younger brother Tom, will open this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

The band will play a number of shows this summer, including a homecoming gig at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre on June 5.

They will also perform at a venue called The National in Richmond, Virginia and are expected to announce UK dates soon.

 

DIIV

Brooklyn dream-poppers DIIV are among the many, many buzzed-about bands playing about 52 shows apiece in Austin this week for SXSW. And they’re probably not the only ones who aren’t happy about this experience. They are, however, probably the most prominent band to come out publicly this year and say how much they hate it, while it’s still going on. Here’s what frontman Zachary Cole Smith posted on Tumblr:

Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There… I said it.

Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The “music” element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. “Official” bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry.

-Cole

(via DIIV)

A couple of things here. First: This is an absolutely defensible case to make. Bands don’t magically find huge new audiences from playing SXSW, and the madcap grind of playing all those shows has to be tough on them. There’s a very real chance that Smith is just writing what tons of other bands are thinking. Second: DIIV didn’t necessarily have to play SXSW, and Smith, who doesn’t live in a vacuum, presumably had a pretty good idea what he was getting himself into. That doesn’t invalidate his point, but it might complicate it. I hope he starts having a better time down here, anyway. I’m having fun, but I don’t have to haul equipment anywhere. If Smith gets a moment, I suggest he locate the Korean taco truck; it has a way of improving your day.

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In just a few weeks, Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” has ignited an online phenomenon, with groups of people all over the world posting their own version of the 30-second freakout meme. As the “Harlem Shake” mania has reached a fever pitch, the song has debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s revamped Hot 100 chart, while Baauer, the young EDM whiz behind the track, has become Billboard’s latest cover star.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/YIBQYd

It’s hard to pick just 10 “Harlem Shake” videos in the thousands that already exist, but these are the half-minute snippets that have kept us coming back amidst the explosion. Check out Billboard.com’s 10 favorite “Harlem Shake” videos, and then tell us which one is your personal staple in the comments below.

First up is the one that seemingly started it all: two weeks back, an Australia-based longboarding crew called The Sunny Coast Skate uploaded a clip of four dudes in a dorm-style setting bugging out to Baauer’s beat. It’s since been acknowledged by Youtube as the official kickstarter of the viral trend:


There’s a ton of “office freakout” versions of the meme, but this one, which has amassed 1.4 million YouTube views, has always struck us as the most inspired. Keep shaking that walker, big guy:


Norway might have the world’s most pop culture-savvy battalion — their version was one of the first big spinoffs to hit YouTube (back on Feb. 10) and has since almost twice as many views as the original:


Credit the University of Georgia‘s men’s swim & dive crew for taking this once-underground dance trend… underwater:


Brooklyn indie duo Matt & Kim know how to make a good viral vid (even if it means walking naked through Times Square), so they took time out while playing a gig in Troy, N.Y.’s RPI Fieldhouse to get their audience in on the fun:


Over five million YouTube viewers watched the “Harlem Shake” turn these firefighters into a a raging Spider-Man and, um, chicken-man:


This creative YouTuber took some classic “Peanuts” footage from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and got the gang doing the dance to Baauer, with Snoopy on guitar, Schroeder on keys, and Pigpen on stand-up bass:


At a Florida Gators-Kentucky Wildcats basketball game, an arena full of Rowdy Reptiles supporters joined the fun, with the Albert the Gator and the cheer crew leading:


NBC’s “The Today Show” did a special Valentine’s Day take on the “Shake” — although their crew might need some more dancing lessons.


Taking the famous Red Bull wings to the next level, this team of skydivers recorded surely the most gravity-defying version of the craze:

By , NY, and , NY for billboard.com

 

Top 20 Documentaries of 2012

It was quite the unusual year for documentaries. One director made our list twice, with a movie about pop music and a movie about child murder. Possibly reflecting an emerging trend, five of our top 20 docs were made by co-directing teams. Last year’s Academy Award winner Undefeated and nominee Paradise Lost 3saw mainstream release in 2012. Former Academy Award winners and nominees brought us strong, solid offerings—Amy Berg’s West of Memphis, Kevin Macdonald’s Marley, Alex Gibney’s Mea Maxima Culpa—but still didn’t top our list. That’s because, most unusually (and excitingly) of all, our top three docs of the year were made by new feature filmmakers. And our favorite documentary this year will likely be unfamiliar to most of our readers, but is an absolute must-see. Here are the 20 Best Documentaries of 2012.

20. Under African Skies
Director: Joe Berlinger
Joe Berlinger’s fascinating, immersive documentary Under African Skies celebrates the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s landmark Graceland album and examines the firestorm of controversy that it ignited.The narrative core of the film is Simon’s 2011 return to South Africa to stage a reunion concert and, most poignantly, a conversation between him and Dali Tambo about their opposing stances 25 years ago and where they find themselves today. To his credit, Berlinger presents all arguments impartially and leaves the viewer to come to his or her own terms with Simon’s motives and actions.—Clay Steakley

19. The Queen of Versailles
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield only meant to take a few pictures of a very wealthy family in the midst of all their opulence. Her subjects were the Siegels—the self-made billionaire, the trophy wife, the eight not-as-maladjusted-as-you-might-think children, the monochromatic menagerie of animals. But once the family began opening up about their lives, the woman behind the camera decided to stick around a little while longer, positing that there might be more to this story than just infinity symbols for account balances. Her perseverance resulted in an alternately hilarious and heart-wrenching cautionary tale about the excesses of the American dream.—Tyler Chase

19. The Queen of Versailles
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield only meant to take a few pictures of a very wealthy family in the midst of all their opulence. Her subjects were the Siegels—the self-made billionaire, the trophy wife, the eight not-as-maladjusted-as-you-might-think children, the monochromatic menagerie of animals. But once the family began opening up about their lives, the woman behind the camera decided to stick around a little while longer, positing that there might be more to this story than just infinity symbols for account balances. Her perseverance resulted in an alternately hilarious and heart-wrenching cautionary tale about the excesses of the American dream.—Tyler Chase

18. Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Director: Joe Berlinger
In 1993, the bodies of three eight-year-old boys were discovered in a creek in West Memphis, Ark. They were naked and hogtied, and had possibly been sexually mutilated before being murdered. It’s hard to believe that a situation could get any worse from there, but it did. Three teenage boys were put on trial for the crime. None of them had anything to do with it. They might have been victims of the system, had their case not caught the attention of documentary filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. Given that all three of these documentaries draw attention to the institutional problems of our legal system, it only makes sense that the long-awaited outcome would still be frustrating. As much as we would like to hope otherwise, there was never any Hollywood-style perfect happy ending to this case in the picture. This is what Echols, Baldwin, and Misskelly had to settle for: the good enough. There’s a valuable lesson right there.—Dan Schindel

17. Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Director: Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney’s latest film delves into the history of sexual molestation in the Catholic Church as cases began to emerge in the late ’50s. Even though it can be incredibly sad and frustrating, the documentary is able to go beyond the tragedy of these boys’ lost childhoods, using empathy to incite anger, impatience and action in its audience. The lack of answers or rectification for the victims and the church’s attitude of omnipotence and turning a blind eye is enough to move even the most passive viewer to want to dosomething. And it’s that persuasive power that makes Mea Maxima Culpa a great documentary. The film is able to tell these traumatic stories without limiting them to just the impotence of sadness and lack of resolution; it encourages its viewers through history and facts to participate in the same sense of rage and injustice underscored with retributive justice that this group of deaf men so eloquently embody in their stories and interviews.—Emily Kirkpatrick

16. Shut Up and Play the Hits
Directors: Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern
A year ago, hundreds of friends and thousands of fans converged on Madison Square Garden for LCDSoundsystem’s farewell performance. All the while, the cameras were rolling, resulting in Shut Up And Play the Hits, a documentary that follows James Murphy and the band in the days leading up to, during and after the tumultuous four-hour farewell. Directors Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern use a staggering number of cameras and crosscut liberally to provide an experience that’s arguably even better than seeing the band live (okay, maybe not quite that good but…). And the scenes outside the concert footage are equally compelling. —Michael Dunaway/Bo Moore

15. The Waiting Room
Director: Peter Nicks
A heart-wrenching wake-up call about the complex problems with our healthcare system in America. Director Peter Nicks chronicles patients who are waiting for treatment in a saftey-net hospital in Oakland, Calif. People living without health insurance talk about their hardships and struggles as they to find relief for their illnesses. A real eye-opener, The Waiting Room beautifully pieces together disparate stories that make us question our current healthcare system, and point us to reform. —Danielle Radin

14. Brooklyn Castle
Director: Katie Dellamaggiore
The subject of Brooklyn Castle sounds like the premise for a soppy, Oscar-baiting drama. At I.S. 138 in Brooklyn, New York, a competitive chess program has helped an extraordinary number of lower-income inner city students improve their standings in life. But this documentary is all real, which makes the triumphs and failures of these kids all the more affecting. Featuring a delightful roster of vibrant young people and a timely exploration of how budget cuts are harming extracurricular programs, it may be the best school doc since Resolved_._—Dan Schindel

13. Tchoupitoulas
Directors: Bill Ross and Turner Ross
Named for the New Orleans street that traces the Mississippi River from the southern edge of the French Quarter through Uptown, Tchoupitoulas is a lyrical nighttime exploration of the city from the point of view of three brothers who embark on a secret, illicit adventure in the Big Easy. On the heels of Bryan, Kentrell and especially little William Zanders, filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross (who are brothers themselves) dip into the flow of Crescent City nightlife—the revelers, the hustlers, the street preachers and especially the musicians—with a vérité camera, watching and listening, without motive or commentary. The result is less documentary than experience, an immersion in a neighborhood infused with culture and soul.—Annlee Ellingson

12. How To Survive a Plague
Director: David France
A New York journalist who has covered the AIDS epidemic for 30 years, first-time filmmaker David France has assembled a superb record of the decade-long fight for a viable treatment protocol and an intimate portrait of the personalities leading the charge. How to Survive is indeed a tale of survival, but the AIDScommunity didn’t get there without a fight—and a steep personal toll. —Annlee Ellingson

11. Bully
Director: Lee Hirsch
According to the Department of Education, 13 million children will be bullied this year. Bully profiles five of these victims, including Alex, a 12-year-old seventh grader at East Middle School in Sioux City, Iowa. Alex’s victimization, as well as the well-meaning yet highly ineffectual efforts of school administrators and even his parents to deal with what they don’t fully understand, is caught on tape. Alex is subjected to the foulest of threats and name-calling by his peers. He’s also hit, pushed, poked and stabbed—all on film. Hirsch was able to capture such shocking behavior by blending into the fabric of the school while shooting over the course of the 2009-2010 academic year. He also wielded a Canon 5D Mark II, which looks like a regular still camera, an equipment choice that also yielded footage that struggles to stay in focus. Still, the camera yields exquisite imagery with the intimate feel of home video, especially in Hirsch’s moving interviews with the parents of Tyler and Ty.—Annlee Ellingson

10. Undefeated
Director: Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin
In introducing us to Coach Bill Courtney, Undefeated finds its voice. The Memphis family man and owner of a lumber business isn’t just the team’s coach; he’s a father figure, mentor and therapist to its troubled players. O.C., Chavis and “Money” are, for all their pluck, still teenagers from broken homes—making them especially difficult and moody. It’s a marvel how tirelessly Courtney works to instill character, discipline and selflessness into each of them—to mold these boys into sound human beings. WatchingUndefeated, one realizes that it’s on the backs of individuals like Courtney that entire communities find their soul, their humanity.—Jay Antani

9. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Director: Alison Klayman
Alison Klayman’s loving portrait of China’s dissident artist Ai Weiwei may strike some as hagiographic, but how can it not be? This is a man who would be a major artist no matter what his national origin. Yet both his art and his story are made infinitely more fascinating by the incredible courage and steadfastness he shows in openly defying and mocking one of the most evil regimes on Earth. He’s smarter than them, he’s more talented than them, and he’s more charismatic and popular than them. Of course, they have the guns. That the fight seems evenly matched may be the greatest tribute of all.—Michael Dunaway

8. Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
Director: Ben Shapiro
Many photographers work meticulously for ever-more-true depictions of physical reality. Not Gregory Crewdson. His delberatley conceived, meticulously constructed, artificfially lit scenes are more like paintings; they just happen to be captured with a camera. Ben Shapiro’s documentary isn’t a particularly deep dig into Crewdson’s background or psychology, nor is it a linear story with conflict and climax. It’s really just an exploration of the work itself, as we look over Crewdson’s shoulder while he prepares, shoots and opens his monumental “Beneath the Roses” show. It’s a fascinating, unforgettable ride. —Michael Dunaway

7. Marley
Director: Kevin Macdonald
It’s not entirely clear why director Kevin Macdonald decided to make a documentary about the musician Bob Marley, a cultural icon whose life has been recounted countless times through a variety of mediums. Macdonald claims it’s because he wants to understand why Marley continues to speak to legions of fans around the world. Whatever his reasons, he’s clearly up to the task. Marley offers an expansive and at times fascinating perspective on the man through interviews with his fellow former Wailers, family, and childhood friends. The film is fairly detailed concerning Marley’s songwriting and musicianship from his early ska days up through the release of Catch a Fire. After this, however, it skips through his catalogue, choosing to focus more on his personal life, conversion to Rastafarianism, the tumultuous state of Jamaican politics, and his prolific womanizing—all of which are important elements of the artist’s character.—Jonah Flicker

6. West of Memphis
Director: Amy Berg
The buzziest documentary of the Sundance Film Festival was also one of the very best. The involvement of Peter Jackson (one of the film’s producers), Eddie Vedder, Henry Rollins, and others, as well as the very recent dramatic developments in the case, ensured that. The film itself is enormously moving. Any investigative documentary, especially dealing with the wrongly accused, walks in the gargantuan footsteps of Errol Morris and his seminal The Thin Blue Line. Director Amy Berg received an Academy Award nomination for her Deliver Us From Evil, but the fact that she lives up to the legacy of Morris’ film may be an even greater accomplishment. In addition to chronicling justice, West of Memphis actually helps enact it. What higher calling can there be?—Michael Dunaway

5. Searching for Sugar Man
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
“The Story of the Forgotten Genius” is such a well-worn formula for music documentaries that it was already being parodied more than three decades ago in This is Spinal Tap. In Searching for Sugar Man, as Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul begins to tell the story of Rodriguez—the Dylanesque folk rocker who released two apparently brilliant albums in the early 1970s, then disappeared—it appears he’s traveling a familiar road. But that road takes a sharp left turn when we learn that bootleg recordings catapulted Rodriguez to stratospheric heights of fame in apartheid-era South Africa. (When a record-store owner is asked if Rodriguez was as big as the Rolling Stones, he matter-of-factly replies “Oh, much bigger than that.”). In fact, his uncensored depictions of sex and drugs were so thrilling to South African musicians that he became the patron saint of the Afrikaner punk movement, which in turn laid the groundwork for the organized anti-apartheid movement that eventually brought the regime down. It’s just a shame that Rodriguez never lived to see it—he burned himself to death onstage in the middle of a show. Or overdosed in prison. Or shot himself alone in his apartment. Or… could he still be alive? Bendjelloul’s film manages to create an aura of mystery and suspense around a search that actually unfolded 14 years ago—a “detective documentary” set in the very recent past.—Michael Dunaway

4. This Is Not a Film
Directors: Jafar Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb
In December 2010, renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi (Offside) was sentenced to six years in prison and banned from making films for 20 years. His crime? Supporting the opposition party during Iran’s highly charged 2009 election. Three months later on the eve of the Iranian New Year, while his wife and children are away delivering gifts, Panahi is home alone in his apartment. He turns on a camera. What follows is a document of the day-to-day life of a man under house arrest: He spreads jam on bread. He brews tea. He feeds his daughter’s pet iguana. He calls his family. He checks in with his lawyer. But it also evolves into a provocative meditation on the nature of filmmaking itself: Although he has been barred from directing films, writing screenplays, leaving the country and conducting interviews, Panahi’s sentence says nothing about reading or acting, so this is what he does, explaining what his most recent film would have been about had he been allowed to make it. Like René Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, in which the artist scrawls the words “This is not a pipe” under a painting of just such a smoking device, this is not a film but a representation of one.—Annlee Ellingson

3. Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Director: David Gelb
Jiro Dreams of Sushi is a documentary about one of the greatest masters of the culinary world, one whom casual foodies have never even heard of. Although Jiro’s work is ostensibly the focus of the documentary, the film is really propelled by the story of his relationship with his two sons; the youngest of whom has started his own restaurant, and the oldest of whom, at the age of 50, continues to work with his father, training to one day take over his restaurant. Devoid of the typical familial jealousy you may expect, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is instead a beautifully filmed documentary about a father and his sons who have devoted their lives to the pursuit of the perfect piece of sushi. —Emily Kirkpatrick

2. The Imposter
Director: Bart Layton
It’s obvious The Imposter is going to be a thriller, and a thriller it is, and then some. Three years after the disappearance of their 13-year-old son, a Texas family receive word he’s been found in Spain. When they go to pick him up, they’re so desperate to believe he’s alive that they don’t even notice that the “boy” is actually a French man in his mid-twenties. Is it a monumental case of grief and hope blinding sense, or is there a darker explanation? Director Bart Layton mixes elements of documentary and narrative filmmaking seamlessly in ways I’ve never seen done before. And every character he uncovers in the drama is more of a treasure trove than the last. It’s one of the most compelling films you’ll see all year, in any genre.—Michael Dunaway

1. Low and Clear
Directors: Kahlil Hudson and Tyler Hughen
Reading the description of Kahlil Hudson and Tyler Hughen’s remarkable film—two friends who are world-class fishermen, half a country apart, take a trip to British Columbia to fly fish and reconnect—you’ll think that you’re in for a slow, meditative, deeply felt journey with lots of beautiful scenery. And it is meditative and deeply felt and beautiful, but it’s anything but slow. Having two fascinating, outspoken, and often at-odds subjects helps, as does the deft and slightly mischievous touch of editor Alex Jablonski. But most of all, Hudson and Hughen seem determined not to settle for a tone poem and tell a real story here. And it’s mesmerizing.—Michael Dunaway

 

(compiled by michael dunaway for paste magazine)

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