Monday, April 25, 2016

Music Mondays: Miles Davis "Générique"

This past week, drowning in work and preparing for this week's Mexican vacation (I'm posting this while sitting poolside), the only way I could focus was by listening to the master trumpeter, Miles Davis. Strange coincidence that a bio-pic about him, Miles Ahead, came out this past weekend... while I haven't had the chance to see it yet, I have been reflecting back on my very favorite piece he ever did. "Générique." It's sexy and passionate jazz, and I listened to it on repeat the semester I stayed up multiple nights in a row to complete my first full 'spec' screenplay. As a result, the script was pretty sexy and passionate, too. ;)

If you're not familiar with Miles Davis' work, it's never too late to start. Take a listen to my pick of his best; it might just lead you to listen to more of his albums (almost all of which can be found on YouTube)... Happy Monday, folks!

Artist: Miles Davis
Song: "Générique" | download
Album: Jazz Track (1958)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

AFI Top 100: #31 "The Maltese Falcon"

Humphrey Bogart & Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Another theatrical screening opportunity lining right up with our scheduled AFI movie night? What are the chances of that happening, not once, but twice?? Ecstatic as can be, I wrangled some friends to join me at the 75th Anniversary screening event of AFI's #31 movie, The Maltese Falcon, at our local theater. The crowd may not have been as large as the one for our screening of Jaws last summer, but it was certainly as passionate. This iconic film noir—the first, but not last, on our list—stars by fifth grade crush, the greatest actor to ever grace the silver screen, Humphrey Bogart, in the role that made him the Master of Detective Noirs: Sam Spade.

Set in foggy San Francisco, Sam Spade (Bogart) and his partner, Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan), run the aptly named detective agency, Spade & Archer. Their newest case, having been hired by the mysterious Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor), may look like a cut-and-dry missing persons case—that is until a series of dangerous men come out of the woodwork, and Miss Wonderly is revealed to be Bridget O'Shaughnessy, with the case now becoming one of murder. Now entrenched in a confusing web of intrigue, Spade is confronted by the weaselly but eccentric, Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre), only to find his movements being tracked by the rotund Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet), all of whom appear to be looking for the same thing: the true location of a mysterious artifact, the bejeweled Maltese Falcon. But all is not as it appears.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Music Mondays: Tegan and Sara "Boyfriend"

Is anyone else excited for the new Tegan and Sara album??? One of their new tracks is called "Boyfriend," and it is Cyndi Lauper-esque perfection! On a day like today, I needed some synth beats in my life. I've been a fan of this twin electro-pop duo since I first heard their music playing on the early seasons of "Grey's Anatomy" (yes, I'm still religiously watching that show), and this is the most excited I've been about new music from them in quite some time. Maybe because it's been so long since we've gotten a full-length album!

Check out their new song, and prepare yourself for June 3 when Love You to Death officially drops!

Artist: Tegan and Sara
Song: "Boyfriend" | download
Album: Love You to Death

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

12 More Tattoo Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram

After this long movie season year, we are long overdue for a movie-break! I've taken a hiatus from talking about story and cinematography and film tropes to indulge in another one of my passions: Tattoos. The last few years have been full of sessions to expand my own collection (I'll be posting something about my newest piece as soon as I can get some decent pictures!), but more than anything, finding new artists with styles to drool over take up much of my leisure, online surfing time.

I've shared some personal favorites on Through the Reels before (check out a list of 15 Artists here and 10 More Artists here if you haven't seen them), and there are so many more that have consumed me with need—particularly a need to save up enough money to get tattoos from them all! My current obsession is blackwork pieces; you'll see plenty of incredible ones below!

So once again, here are my very personal recommendations for ink-tastic artists to liven up your Instagram feeds, with 12 More Tattoo Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram:

(NOTE: all images via each artist's Instagram pages, I do not claim ownership of these)

Located: private studio (Istanbul, Turkey)

Why I Love Her: Described once by Bored Panda as the Turkish Dr. Woo (who hasn't been featured on these lists simply because he's so popular), Bicem creates intricate designs with the finest of needles. Her work is whimsical, and her dot and line work give me a longing feeling in the pit of my gut. I knew I always wanted to pay a visit to Istanbul.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

AFI Top 100: #32 "The Godfather Part II"

Robert DeNiro in The Godfather Part II (1974)

Every time I watch this movie with another person, the same debate always occurs: whether AFI's #32 movie, The Godfather Part II, is better than its predecessor, The Godfather. I have plenty of thoughts on the matter, but honestly, I don't have an answer. They're both far too incredible to place below or above one another, and far too different to compare. A fact it's best to state upfront in this critique, I think. But what I don't have any issue saying is that this movie is—hands down, no contest—the greatest sequel of all time. It is truly a masterpiece, and while discussing Part II will surely betray my thoughts on Part I (coming in at #2 on this AFI list), that's just a fact we'll all have to accept. Because you could have one with the other—but you shouldn't.

Following the violent closing events of 1972's The Godfather, the Corleone crime family, through the leadership of the founding Don's youngest son, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), has reestablished its influence and power in 1958 among New York's original Five Families—by picking up and leaving New York City for the tranquility of Lake Tahoe, CA. While Michael attempts to expand his organization with business ventures in Cuba, Las Vegas and Hollywood, he must also suss out a betrayal in the family that may be closer than he could ever imagine.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Music Mondays: The Chainsmokers feat. Charlee "Inside Out"

Remember that incredible dance anthem "#SELFIE" that we all couldn't get enough of in 2014? Yeah, well, the incredible DJ mix-masters (Andrew Taggart and Alex Pall) behind that track didn't stop there. The Chainsmokers have released their newest track, which has a significantly more indie sound, not unlike Chvrches, but of course featuring their signature beat-drops. Featuring Austrian electropop artist, Charlee, "Inside Out" is bringing me out of my music funk and inspiring me to start sharing again on these Music Mondays.

Sometimes we all just get a little... bored with our music don't we? That's been me the past few weeks, hence the lack of attention paid to this series. I've long been waiting for something new to come across my Pandora or introduced on the radio, and The Chainsmokers are breathing new life into my iPod. And it's not just this song! You've probably been hearing their other new track, "Don't Let Me Down" feat. Daya playing all over the radio (and it's incredible musical break)! Maybe because it's Spring, I just wanna wake up and feel the beat.

Happy Monday! xx

Artist: The Chainsmokers (feat. Charlee)
Song: "Inside Out" | download
Album: Inside Out single

Sunday, April 3, 2016

AFI Top 100: #33 "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

Sometimes a break is all you need. Three weeks was a bit long, granted, and I've felt the pull to return for many days now. But it's appropriate, in a way, that my venture back into movies and sharing thoughts on this blog is to talk about AFI Top 100 flick, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, coming in at #33—though thankfully, my "break from the world" was far less dire than the men featured in this story. Approaching a huge milestone in this epic journey (the 20s!), we continue the American Film Institute's love affair with the films of the 1970's, considered one of the most celebrated decades of cinema, and it's not hard to understand why. Not only did movies begin to explore what could be done visually, pushing the envelope in its dialogue, violence, and scope, they also began looking closely at the psychological.

Based on the novel written by Ken Kesey in 1962 and directed by Miloš Forman, this film remains one of only three features to win all "Top 5" Oscar prizes: Best Picture, along with Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress. (The other 2 have already appeared on this list, here and here). It also introduced a slew of acting talent to the world, some that went on to be more iconic than the film that launched their careers.

After feigning mental illness in order to be moved from an Oregon prison labor camp to the nearby mental institution in hopes of riding out his sentence in peace, Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) finds himself surrounded by men from every walk of life—and every level of sanity. Quickly earning the trust and adoration of the other patients due to his brash and reckless sense of freedom, McMurphy unknowingly begins to earn the ire of Head Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) for the very same reasons. Skilled at sussing out the insecurities of the inmates and using it against them to swell her authority and power, Nurse Ratched's hard and unforgiving oppression collides with McMurphy's determination to maintain his sanity, protect his new friends, and eventually be set free. The manipulative and villainous Nurse Ratched, however, has other plans in mind, and she's willing to compromise the lives of the other patients to ensure she comes out on top.

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