Many of my favourite films of recent years have been classified as documentaries (The Fog Of War, Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, Inside Job, Beware Of Mr Baker, Nostalgia for the Light, Stories We Tell….) but the one that won the Bafta in that category last year takes the genre into brave, new territory.
In The Act Of Killing, filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer puts in front of the camera a handful of the gangster* paramilitaries who helped the Indonesian army torture and kill around a million ‘communists’ in 1965/66. He then encourages them to create fictionalised versions of their acts. Being still highly-regarded by the current regime, they are keen to do so and, being fans of Hollywood films, they use the language of the Western, film noir, the musical and the gangster film.
The result is a devastating, upsetting, mesmeric, often surreal, portrait of corrupted humans who are celebrated and still valued by a corrupt government. It is now available on DVD/Blu-ray and I urge you to see it.
*The label ‘gangster’ is worn as a badge of honour, as it is understood to mean ‘free man’. Hence the use of Born Free in the film.
Why oh why is it Y?
Well, I’m away for a couple of days and really don’t need to come back to a full inbox of astronomical levels – so we get a tough one… and a little earlier in the week.
It’ll be easier next time – I promise.
The game to illustrate either:
How wildly eclectic your taste is… or,
How perfectly streamlined it is.
Some of you may know that I help put on gigs in our village’s community centre, so I thought I would share some of the homegrown talents of Newport-on-Tay.
First of all is Sonny Carntyne who are an echo-rock 4/5 piece who make great songs in the vein of The National or Interpol with a deep musical intensity & evocative lyrics.
Their “Retreat” EP is up on band camp for a pay-what-you-like arrangement here
Then there is St Kilda Mailboat, who have been wowing crowds with post apocalyptic skiffle songs about David Niven, Heebie-geebies, cats called Michael Stipe, and a tune called Mini Wham Bar Rampage where they pelt the unsuspecting audience with mini Wham Bars.
And thirdly we have Seven Sons who play americana tinged folk with lovely harmonies & are very engaging live to boot!
So, open up your village hall, be merry & please share in the comments what’s going on in your neck o’ the woods!
10 dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip – I’m contracted to add Pip every year.. this is one of the best protest tracks of the year – again missed by Dorian. Stiff Upper Lip dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip feat. Itch Repent Replenish Repeat
9 Orties – French elctro making you dance like a robot from 1984 – here you go – accented songs about orgasms and goths – sold. Ghetto Goth Orties Sextape
8 The Indelicates – Arcade Fire’s extremely intense love of their own dangly bits getting on your nerves? – then try this – yet another brilliant story telling album played with passion and anger but without the egoistic self love of the brilliant ideas involved – they ARE brilliant ideas and wonderfully imaginative musically and lyrically too. Bitterness Is the Appropriate Response The Indelicates Diseases of England
7 Zola Jesus – with strings, lush and cool reedits of her ‘famous hits’. Collapse Zola Jesus Versions
6 Manix – the Daft Punk album retro theft left you cold with it stealing from all the crap eras (when they used to at least try and be pioneers) and only having one track of any merit – yep – skip that and play this; it recreats 1992 with all the fun of a prodigy album off their tits with spiral tribe… no pretense at originality – no media hype – this it 24 hour rave and it’s boz. Your Love Is Over Manix Living In The Past
5 The Lovely Bad Things – the pixie aping nuggets loving bad things. Darth Lauren The Lovely Bad Things The Late Great Whatever
4 Savages – there’s is no better indie this year – full stop. No Face Savages Silence Yourself
3 Tricot – jagged jittery brilliance from Japan – a masterpiece of alternative buzz rock playing and performance. ACE. Artsick Tricot The
2 Sleaford Mods – ranting, swearing infested, bile, spewed forth with aggressive venom and stream of consciousness – brilliant – is number one album of the year when I’m not in polite company – (**this track from Jobseeker 3 track single not austerity dogs album). Black Monday Sleaford Mods Jobseeker album is Austerity Dogs
Okay – so it’s Luke’s birthday HAPPY BIRTHDAY PANTHERSAN
I picked up my record player in a suitcase and headed to the wilds of Japan’s countryside (via China so they could make my record player) and I grabbed a few slabs of vinyl for a party game.
What connects the songs?
DON”T TYPE IN THE ANSWER – just say YEAH, I GOT IT – when you work it out.
and we’ll wait until the birthday boy knows what the link is.
happy happy joy joy – pin the tail on the panther GO:
Kool Thing Sonic Youth
Get It On Grinderman
Rebel Without A Pause Public Enemy
Miss Lucifer (Bone to Bone Alec Empire Remix) Primal Scream
Blondes With Lobotomy Eyes My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
TV All Greasy (feat. Anti-Pop Consortium) TOBACCO
Apollo Throwdown (Star Slinger Remix) The Go! Team