#LFF Recommended: Taxi Tehran (Jafar Panahi)


Since the Iranian government banned him from the exercise of his profession, Jafar Panahi has managed to find increasingly brave ways to circumvent that ban and carry on shooting new works internationally acclaimed as courageous acts of nonviolent resistance.

Taxi Tehran is the third and best film on this new, highly restricted period of his career, after This Is Not a Film and Closed Curtain. The auteur, who humbly declares he carries on filmmaking -despite the obvious risks he faces- because is the only thing he can do, shares an idea from fellow Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami‘s ‘10’, impersonating a cab driver who chats to a wide range of customers, with a camera set in the vehicle’s control panel filming their conversations while driving around a Tehran brimming with life. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF Recommended: The Forbidden Room (Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson)


Guy Maddin’s latest experiment, ‘The Forbidden room’ is an astonishing tribute to the history of cinema executed with tremendous craft and originality. The multidisciplinary Canadian artist and his co-director and regular collaborator, Evan Johnson, who is responsible for the film’s awe-inspiring colour and visual effects, began conceiving it in parallel with their art project Seances, both shot publicly in two museums, Paris’ Centre Pompidou and Montreal’s Phi Centre.

‘Seances’ original idea involved the shooting of 100 short movies, remakes of lost films, but while being made, it shifted towards more original material, altogether to become an interactive internet project in which the audience will be able to combine those films at random, generating an unlimited number of permutations connected in surreal; dream-like and unexpected ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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#LFF Recommended: The Club (Pablo Larraín)


The 59th BFI London Film Festival is just round the corner and our blog will be posting daily updates with everything that happens during the event. To build excitement while counting down the days, we begin our coverage with a few recommendations, the first of which is Pablo Larraín’s extraordinary allegory about the sins of the Church, ‘The Club’.

In a misty coastal town four men and their housekeeper share a grey but placid existence. They go through their everyday tasks enjoying what seems like an early retirement whose calm will soon be compromised by the arrival of three strangers, one shortly after each other. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tate Kobang Covers The Loop In Bank Rolls

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Promising Baltimore rapper Tate Kobang is the new #1 in our loop with the irresistible remix of his signature track ‘Bank Rolls’.

A new edition of our chart comes packed with tasters from the best new albums to be heard during the last quarter of 2015; the highest debut is Joanna Newsom‘s newest song; followed by a long list of brand new acts and long awaited returns. Among them one of Ryan Adams much talked-about covers of Taylor Swift; YGG; Empress Of; Carly Jae Repsen; Arcade Fire; Alex G; Teenage Moods; Soleá Morente; Suede; King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard and three surprise collaborations: Tindersticks with Savages singer Jehnny Beth; Janet Jackson with Missy Elliott; and Natasha Kmeto with TVOTR’s Tunde Adebimpe.

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Empress Of The Loop

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Honduran/American female singer Empress Of reaches #1 in our loop with ‘How Do you Do it’, a standout track from her impressive and long-time gestating debut album ‘Me’.

Highest debut of the week goes to the excellent new self-released track by Jay Electronica; followed by the latest from Deerhunter; Autre Ne Veut; Beach House; DIIV; Julia Holter; Stromae; Laurel Halo; Richard Hawley; Deafheaven; Lana Del Rey; New Order with La Roux; Disclosure; Depeche Mode’s Dave Gaham returning next to Soulsavers and two excellent covers: Sharon Van Etten rendition of Donovan’s Teen Angel and Nils Frahm‘s playing John Cale’s 4′ 33′ for his curated ‘Late Night Tales’ compilation.

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‘Hounds Of Love’ 30th Bday leads our Retro-Loop

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Kate Bush‘s landmark album ‘Hounds Of Love’ is 30 years old this week. To celelebrate it, we have picked one of its lesser known tracks to head the newest edition of the retro-loop, our look at those reissues, compilations, soundtracks and treasures from yester-year that have been recently brought back to our attention.

Recent film releases such as Dope, Truman Capote’s In Cool Blood, How To Change The World or The Belier family have delivered some sonic treats with tracks by the likes of Digable Planets; Quincy Jones; Canned Heat or Michel Sardou being part of their correspondent soundtracks. Elsewhere, Sony announced the purchase of Van Morrison‘s back catalogue, Nils Frahm has dusted some obscure gems curating the latest ‘Late Night Tales’ volume; Tracey Thorn compiled her solo output and Colombia’s vintage mix of local folklore, pop and African influences has been nicely put together in a Big Box Of Afrosound; plus a lot of vinyl reissues flooding our record shops this fortnight, among the most interesting ones classic records by The Gun Club; Angie Stone; The Beat Band; McCarthy…

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Julia Holter Calls The Loop Home


The current edition of our loop has been taken over by female artists, seven of which including U.S Girls, Empress Of, Kelela… are in our Top 10, while Julia Holter takes the lead with ‘See Calls Me Home’, the second single from her imminent Ballads album, ‘Have You In My Wilderness’.

Highest debut of the week is by CHROMATICS, delivering another taster from their new album. Right behind them, the latest by Zebra Hunt; Aphex Twin; Kurt Vile ; HELEN; Blank Realm; Girl Band; Rick Ross; Wiley & Zomby ; CHVRCHES ; The Libertines; Hinds ; Ezra Furman covering The Replacements; supergroup Soldiers Of Fortune and Outkast’s Big Boi , teaming up with Phantogram for a whole album under the moniker Big Grams.

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BFI London Film Festival: Our Checklist


With the booking for BFI members beginning Today and for the rest of the public in a week, the 59th BFI London Film Festival makes once again every cinephile in town salivating at the prospect of another terrific and comprehensive showcase of the best cinema from around the globe.

A total of 238 fiction and documentary works, including its usual selection of recently restored Treasures, plus 182 live action and animated shorts will be showcased in venues across London. A series of Screen talks with filmmaker Todd Haynes, actor Saoirse Ronan, casting director Laura Rosenthal and filmmakers Jia Zhangke and Walter Salles, as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations between with such influential artists as Christopher Nolan or Tacita Dean will round up this year’s excellent programme, offering something for everyone, from a preview of the forthcoming award season’s big contenders, to the discovery of the freshest arthouse talent.

In case you need some help to decide what to watch, here’s our LFF preview checklist (roughly) in chronological order of presentation. Have a happy festival: Read the rest of this entry »

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FKA Twigs Back To #1 In Time

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The endlessly suggestive and enigmatic FKA Twigs returns to top our loop with ‘In Time’, arguably the standout moment from her recent ‘M3LL155X’ EP.

Another Female artist, Empress Of is the week’s highest debut, heading a contingent of superb new tracks by the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never; Real Estate ‘s Martin Courtney; Le1f; Battles; EL VY; Kelela; the returns of Junior Boys and Siousxie; plus Dam-Funk appearing twice in our chart this week, with a track from his brand new album and another by his side project with Nite Jewel, Nite-Funk.

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Best Films Of 2015 …So Far


Having said goodbye to the summer blockbusters and with Festival season just kicking in, this is the perfect time for a quick recap of what the year in film has brought so far. Hoping to recall those works deserving to be remembered among the best, some of them at risk of being silenced amidst the deafening noise of the marketing campaigns behind the movies going for awards consideration.

First thing that comes to mind is how remarkably good this first part of the year has been, thanks to a number of terrific arthouse titles which, compared to the list of prestige films scheduled for premieres in the autumn, look like a winning lot. That’s why we believe we may have already seen the best film of the year, and although we still need to give some thought to our favourites, if only a few titles of this year’s festival crop matches the dramatic depths and career best performances of ’45 Years’ ; Roy Andersson’s pessimistic; surreal and compassionate sketches of life in ‘A Pigeon sat on a branch reflecting on existence” or the remarkable achievement that is Joshua Oppenheimer’s ‘The Look Of Silence’, going back to dig in the scars of the Indonesian genocide, after his acclaimed documentary “Act Of Killing’, but this time from the point of view of the victims; this would be another vintage year for the seventh art indeed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Françoise Hardy’s Albums Lead Retro-Loop

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The reissue of five classic vinyls by Françoise Hardy heads the second edition of the retro-loop, our current selection of catalogue discoveries and treasures from the vaults.

Also featured this time, newly rediscovered tracks by Doug Hream Blunt; Brian Eno; Fugazi; The Moody Blues; Pere Ubu; The Isley Brothers; Young Marble Giants; Heavenly; Rita Pavone and a forgotten gem from the glory days of Eurodisco by Mistral, as featured in our latest spotify playlist Sci-Fi Seventies, which you can subscribe or listen to here

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45 Years: A Quietly Devastating Marital Breakdown


Premiered with great success at this year’s Berlinale, where both of its leading actors were awarded with the festival acting honours; one of the best films of the year finally reaches our screens.

’45 Years’ is a quietly devastating dissection of the end of a lifelong marriage, set one week ahead of the couple’s 45 anniversary party. The stress of the preparations, organized with more apathy than enthusiasm, serves as backdrop for the unfolding events that follow a telegram informing the husband about the corpse of a former girlfriend, disappeared in tragic circumstances during a holiday in the Alps, being found. His erratic reactions will quickly lead her wife towards growing doubts and an unsettling discovery that threatens the basic foundation of their partnership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Destroyer Visits Times Square


Destroyer hits #1 in our brand new loop. New pornographer Dan Bejar’s solo project has taken the peak position with ‘Times Square’, a standout from his magnificent new album,’Poison Season’, that´s prevented the latest tracks by Neon Indian or Dr. Dre from reaching our weekly chart’s top.

Highest entry of the week is by Aussie psychedelic purveyors King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard , followed by another batch of some of the most anticipated releases this autumn, featuring great new songs by Julia Holter; Low; The Weeknd XO; Ho99o9; Alessia Cara; Lou Barlow; U.S. Girls; Tink; Tate Kobang; Junglepussy and another new pornographer, Kathryn Calder, resorting to power pop on her infectious new single, among many others.

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Joanna Newsom rockets to #1

The excellent new track by Joanna Newsom, ‘Sapokanikan’, has rocketed her way to the top of our loop. The first taster from the singer-songwriter fourth studio album ‘Divers’ also benefits from a video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

In the latest edition of our chart, Deerhunter are the highest entry, followed by the latest offerings by FKA Twigs; DJ Spinn & DJ Rashad Feat. Danny Brown; Deafheaven; Owiny Sinoma Band; Jay Rock; Beirut; Panda Bear; and Janelle Monáe recovering the spirit of the best protest song while congregating the whole roster of her label, Wondaland, for an anti-racist anthem.

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