A horror, a music documentary, and a little ol’ paper called The Seattle Times. Check it out and learn a thing or two–
Review by Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
Plot: Puritan New England, 1630. In a lone house on a field surrounded by evil, dark woods, lives a family with a couple of kids. The father makes sure that his family lives by strict Puritan doctrine: we enter life as sinners, and if we live a righteous life, we will enter heaven when we die. So there will be no sinning in the father’s house–and whatever you do, he says, you are not to go in the woods because evil lurks there. (You know what’s coming!) One fine day, the woods snatches up the infant. The family goes into the woods to find the baby. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Yadayadayada, the oldest girl is accused of being a witch.
Spoilers skimmable? Yes. I don’t know the connection between the dark woods’ abduction of the baby and the girl’s being declared a witch, but I don’t need to know–and neither do you.
Bottom line: 3.5/4 stars. Andersen thinks this movie is damn good:
Eggers’ depiction of the family’s psychological decay and his relentless piling up of deeply disturbing imagery make “The Witch” an unnerving and fresh-feeling horror masterwork. (Robert Eggers is the director.)
Furthermore, the actor who plays the father has a perfect voice and timbre–deep and stern.
Authentic cinematography: There is virtually no sign of obvious studio artifice in the picture, other than in a limited number of very effectively frightful CG images.
EEK: It sounds really cool, but I need the comfort of my home if I see this one.
“We Are Twisted F***ing Sister”
Review by Jeff Albertson, The Seattle Times
Plot: Directed by Andrew Horn, this film is a documentary about Twisted Sister (TS), a glam rock band from Long Island (where all good things come from). It tells the story of the band’s beginning, in 1972, up until its rise to fame, in the early 1980s.
Spoilers’s skimmable? Yes! He does a great job of holding them back.
Bottom Line: 3.5/4 stars. Albertson claims that the anecdotes are super “juicy” and fascinating.
Of note: Horn’s use of raw early footage proves that Twisted Sister was able to draw thousands of die-hard fans to its raucous and over-the-top shows in the Long Island and New Jersey area. The highlight of this period was a sold-out gig at New York’s 3,000-capacity Palladium — all without a recording contract or radio airplay.
For rock fans everywhere? Albertson is surprised that the movie does not include TS’ videos for their hit songs, which received high play on MTV. “That may be a drawback for casual fans, but the juicy details about the band’s early days make up for it.”
Here’s an official TS video. There are full two-minutes of acting before the music starts, so you may want to skip the intro.
But what about the non-fans, or the anti-fans, as it were? Would I be interested in it?
Warning: not enough spoilers! I need to know why the tidbits are so interesting before spending my time on this movie. I can’t tell from the review.
Glam rock? Albertson describes TS’ music as “’80s glam metal with outrageous videos and fist-pumping anthems.”
OCD begets website begets website begets website begets knowledge: I had to look up what exactly glam rock was. I found a definition plus more than a modicum amount of pretension on this British site:
It is my great honor to disentangle Allmusic’s pretense for you. The following is what I learned.
Definition: Glam rock is about showmanship. Musicians are usually in drag, androgynous attire or just plain meshugena costumes.
Not in America? It was mostly popular in the first half of the the 1970s in England. Not in America until the 80s because Americans were homophobic.
Two schools of Glam rock (yes, the term “school” is used):
- “Intentionally disposable trashiness”: what you see is what you get–just a couple of good ol’ musicians playing so-so music in weird costumes that don’t necessarily have anything to do with the lyrics. This is the more prevalent school. Twisted Sister falls in here.
- The “Arty School”: ahh, the opposite. Music and fashion combine to form “the overall artistic statement” Musicians can transform their identities, and explore “the darkness lurking under the music’s stylish, glitzy surface.”
which school are they in:
What about this guy–
David Bowie, in the 70s was the epitome of the arty school–In his Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs etc era. He wove together theater and rock by making concept albums–where the songs surround a persona he inhabited, starting with Ziggy Stardust.
Click on here to see one of his performances on SNL in 1979 when he wore a stewardess suit. Then again, this next video is super interesting–
Click here to see another performance in the same SNL episode. He was forbidden from saying a line–about boys wanting boys from –and then he did them one better: he walked out in a green suit with a male puppet and at the end of the song he whips out the puppet’s wiener. The proportions are out of whack.–it def didn’t come with the puppet.