Archive for November, 2011

A$ap Rocky TopsLoopA$ap

The latest hip-hop artist causing a commotion, A$ap Rocky gets top honours in the loop with ‘Palace’, one of the standout moments of his latest mixtape, ‘LiveLoveA$ap’. The rapper has just been signed by a major, so we’ll be hearing more from him in the new year.

Veronica Falls; Betty Wright With The Roots; Girls & Rihanna Feat. Jay-Z are some of the weeks highest entries. Best freebies are provided by new Odd Future female star Jhene Aiko; Washed Out and prolific Spanish songwriter Nacho Vegas , who’s giving away his new EP ‘Como Hacer Crac’.

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The Loop Enters Nuclear Season

Another week, another new female singer topping the loop, this time 19 year old goth-pop Londoner Charli XCX with her 80’s retro-infused ‘Nuclear Season’.

Tom Waits; James Blake; The Internet and R.E.M.’s farewell song stand out among the entries. Whereas Busdriver; Lindstrøm and the Steve Albini produced return of Cloud Nothings are this edition’s freebies .

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Total Recall: Top 50 Best Films #LFF 2011

And after having a look at those works which somehow disappointed us, it’s time for a recap of the movies we enjoyed the most, compiled in an improvised Top 50. To choose amongs them wasn’t easy; even some of those already mentioned disappointments (The Deep Blue Sea; This Is Not My Place; Faust…), only felt as such because of the high hopes we had for them, and could have also been part of our selection.

A few notable titles had to remain bubbling under, from crowd-pleasers such as the over the top Swedish thriller ‘Headhunters’, adaptation of best-selling author Jo Nesbo’s tome about a human resources executive who finances his lavish lifestyle recurring to art forgery; epic catastrophe specialist Roland Emmerich surprising everyone by reinventing the story of Shakespeare and questioning whether the writer was the real author of his classic work in ‘Anonymous’; French auteur Robert Guédiguian returning to his habitual socialist reflections and troupe of actors with ‘The Snows Of Kilimanjaro’; in France too, ‘Early One Morning’ gave a glance at the life of a banker and the way the Financial industry manipulates and disposes of people; down the Pyrenees, the Spanish post -civil war tear-jerker ‘The Sleeping Voice’, conceived as a tribute to the women whose lives were the worst affected by the conflict; US indie ‘Terri’ told another story of dysfunctional kids mentored by the peculiar tutor of their high school, plus the directorial debut by British actor Dexter Fletcher ,‘Wild Bill’, revisiting the ever popular world of east London gangsters.

Another actor turned director, Austrian Karl Markovits, presented ‘Breathing’ – The films of his country were subject of one of the festival’s events – one of many promising first features. As well as American Braden King with its Armenian set drama ‘Here’; Italian Alice Rohrwacher’s ‘Corpo Celeste’, exploring the effects of religious myth and rituals in the mind of a young girl on the eve of her confirmation and Zuzana Liova’s solid family drama ‘The House’.

The Documentary field has also provided a wealth of fine work. The return of Jonathan Demme with ‘I’m Carolyn Parker’, which follows the struggle to get her home and life back of a victim of Hurricane Katrina. The Look at the bunch of outsiders populating ‘Darwin’, a nearly abandoned ex-mining town lost in the California desert or a deserved tribute to the eternal hope of British Pop, ‘Lawrence Of Belgravia’. On a more experimental note, the audio visual correspondence between J.L. Guerin and Jonas Mekas, a new instalment of the project that began with Victor Erice and Abbas Kiarostami, was also worth checking.

Our Top 50 movies of this year’s London Film Festival after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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Total Recall #LFF 2011: The Misses

It’s been a blast of a fortnight and one of the strongest LFFs we can remember. This year we’ve been spoilt for choice, having the chance of fitting over 100 films in a viewing schedule so crammed that we’ve needed a couple of weeks to make sense of it all. Our overall impression amply reassures 2011 as a vintage year for filmmaking. The 55th edition of the London Film Festival was also the last for director Sandra Hebron being in charge, after nearly a decade taking the event from strength to strength. The wealth of great movies on show couldn’t have made a better tribute to her excellent work.

We’ll try to compile our experience ranking the festival ‘hits’ in a later post. But beginning with the bad news, we are first having a look at the misses. With a program that comprised over 200 works, there was always going to be some sacrifices to make. Luckily enough, only two titles in our most awaited list were among them: ‘Alps’, Greek rising star Georgios Lanthimos’ follow-up to his acclaim debut ‘Dogtooth’and one of the hottest ticket of the festival despite the division of opinions it’s generated and Roman Polanski’s ‘Carnage’, adapting a recent Broadway play with a quartet of top acting talent (Kate Winslet; Jodie Foster; John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz).

We’ve also heard good things about Iranian drama ‘Goodbye’; experimental noir ‘The Pettyfogger’ and Argentinean college political thriller ‘The Student’. On the other side of things, missing Madonna’s newly edited ‘W.E.’ and Nick Broomfield’s ‘I’m Sarah Palin’ documentary, may have turned out to be blessings in disguise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Azealia Banks Gets On Peak Position

The world’s endless appetite for female artists keeps on pushing new blood, this week with Brooklyn rapper Azealia Banks getting to the top of our chart with her debut in the loop ‘212’. Compared to Missy or Nicki Minaj, Azealia’s track boasts some personality of her own.

Among the new entries we find the latest from King Crule; Nicolas Jaar and the as yet unreleased duet between Amy Winehouse & Nas anticipating a new album of new and rare material by the late singer. Free mixtapes by A$ap Rocky and Freddie Gibbs are also featured.

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Tom Waits Back In The Loop

After a few weeks of absence covering the London Film Festival, the loop returns with a recap edition having a look at the most interesting tracks released during October, which has been a surprisingly quiet month considering we are in the most important quarter of the year for the industry. Tom Waits returns to the top with ‘Back In The Crowd’, the second single from his superb new work ‘Bad As Me’.

Nearly the full chart is comprised by new entries, including the latest from Nas; Boris; Cass McCombs; The Weeknd… as well as promising debuts such as The internet or Azaleia Banks and downloads aplenty by the likes of Grimes; Charli XCX; Maria Minerva or Gonjasufi.

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The Loop Making New Friends

A couple of weeks behind schedule, we recall the latest edition of our loop, headed by Brooklyn newcomers Friends and his impressive second single ‘I’m His Girl’, a superb melting pot of cool pop references that has catapulted the band to next big thing status.

New entries by Future Islands; Doble Pletina; Jim Reid.. as well as Kavinsky’s theme for future cult movie Drive ; plus downloads courtesy of Au/Palais; How To Dress Well; New Look; etc. make for another excellent seven days of music.

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