The. Wait. Is. Over:
As wonky as the proceedings get, director Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc.) and screenwriter and co-director Bob Peterson (Finding Nemo) never entirely lose touch with the ragged human emotions underlying the story. There’s an obvious metaphor in the film itself for the strange blend of realism and zaniness, partly tethered to solid ground, partly twisting in the capricious winds of whimsy.
My review of Grizzly Bear’s new album, Veckamist, is now live at Into the Hill.
Almost as hyped as Animal Collective’ suddenly beloved Merriweather Post Pavilion, the Brooklyn quartet’s third effort, Veckatimest, was hailed by Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold as one of the great albums of the decade. And, not surprisingly, the similarities between Grizzly Bear and Fleet Foxes are striking: the gorgeous harmonies; the impressionistic, orchestral arrangements; the album’s rustic tone and folksy heartbeat. Sonically, Veckatimest has more in common with the Fleet Foxes ‘08 debut LP than the stratospheric ambiances of Animal Collective or even the epic rock sounds of The Arcade Fire. However, Grizzly Bear’s wandering, twisting, dreamy form is certainly more reminiscent of the experimental ethos of aesthetic eclecticism in which Animal Collective indulges.
Over at his blog, Roger Ebert has recorded a run-down on the ’09 Cannes Film Festival. He gets into which films won which awards, why it made sense for the festival to open with “Up” and a why the judges made the decisions they made. Interesting read.
One of my favorite bloggers and critics, my friend Brett McCracken is currently enjoying an extended tour of Europe as he researches the global phenomenon of the hipster. These days he’s in Englans, in Oxford actually. In C.S. Lewis home. Yes, in the Kilns, where he is resting, writing and surely savoring of the sweet, ancient aroma of Ol’ Jack’s days gone by. Congratulations to him on this awesome opportunity.
You can follow his adventure and the thoughts it elicits over at his blog, Still Searching.
About Up he writes:
And yet, the Pixar movie it most reminds me of, I think, is Brad Bird’s beautiful, unforgettable Ratatouille. Like that movie, Up is a small and wondrous story, a miracle of a movie that is destined to be not simply liked, but cherished and treasured by many. Personally: It damn near brought me to tears on a couple of instances, with its depictions of lifelong, marital love that are as pure and as sweet and as real as in any film that I’ve seen. You’ll notice that I’ve barely mentioned the balloons. That’s because it’s as much about balloons as Ratatouille is food. It’s a story that goes deeper down than most live-action filmmakers dare to dig, ad as such, it soars higher than most filmmakers could even imagine.
About Henry he concludes:
In short, it’s an album I expect I’ll be living with– gratefully, if not always comfortably– for the forseeable future.