Posted: 09/01 @ 09:09 amThe flaming lips- money (dave matthews band caravan 7-10-11)
The Flaming Lips performing Money By Pink Floyd…
The Flaming Lips performing Money By Pink Floyd…
Everyone has their favourite period of cinema. For some, it never gets better than the snappy dialogue of the 1940s; plenty espouse the more freeform cinema of the 1970s; who knows, maybe in some far-flung future there may even be people who claim that the 2010s were where it’s at. But if you want to get more specific, then you must turn to the obsessives. The geeks. Because for those argumentative science fiction, horror and fantasy fans, those finickity lovers of genre ephemera, cinema achieved true perfection in a single year: 1982.
In 1982 there was an unprecedented investment in the fantastic. Subjects that would previously have been confined to B-movies, to exploitation flicks, to drive-in fodder became the stock-in-trade of the mainstream. It was a year that changed Hollywood, a year that the movies have never quite recovered from. Already we’ve had the belated sequel to 1982′s Tron on our screens, and now we can now look forward to more films heavily influenced by that banner year with a new Conan The Barbarian and a prequel to The Thing; there’s even a remake of Jim Henson’s all-puppet fantasy movie The Dark Crystal being prepped. But the influence extends beyond straight remakes: recent sleeper-hit horror Insidious borrowed liberally from Poltergeist, and even JJ Abrams’s Super-8 bears the mark (although set in 1979, it’s full of anachronisms and really draws its Spielberg influences from the director’s 1977-1982 period). So why is the class of 82 casting such a huge shadow over this year’s releases?
Well, let’s take a look at the films. For fans of the fantastic, hardly a week went by in 1982 without a new must-see movie. As well as The Thing, Conan (in which Arnold Schwarzenegger hit the big time) and Tron (the first movie to employ CGI on a large scale), there was Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner; Stallone’s First Blood; the best Star Trek movie to date (still) with Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan; Alan Parker’s bonkers movie version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall (starring Bob Geldof) – and that’s just the big movies. Further down the budgetary ladder we got the inventive jet-black comedies of Basket Case, Eating Raoul and Liquid Sky. Like today we had comic-book adaptations such as Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing and John Huston’s musical of Annie. We even had (headache inducing) 3D movies: Parasite, starring a young Demi Moore, and Friday The 13th: Part 3 in 3D (still the most entertaining 3D slasher pic) as well as animated films The Secret Of NIMH and the harrowing Watership Down follow-up The Plague Dogs. Sequels were around (Halloween 3 and Amityville II: The Possession) but not as widespread as today. The same with remakes: The Thing and Cat People were remakes virtually unrecognisable from the originals, more redefinitions than rehashes. So where did this wave of genre movies come from, why are these movies still loved today and, more importantly, why did they nearly all underperform at the box office?
After first being taken totally by surprise by the blockbuster success of Star Wars in 1977, Hollywood then tried to ride on its coat-tails by throwing out as many science fiction films as possible. But while a few directors, such as Ridley Scott, flourished in this environment, most did not, and much of the sci-fi explosion ended in embarrassing failure. It was clear to the industry that they needed to rethink things, to bring in new talent, and let new voices be heard. All this came to a head in 1982.
Film-makers were a different breed back then. They were people who made films. That may sound crushingly obvious, but look to the blockbusters of today – most of them are made by ex-music video and commercials directors. This is all well and good if all you want from a movie is a succession of pretty pictures (reaching such current low points as Sucker Punch and Transformers 3), but not so great if you like storytelling. The class of 82 had all directed films before – maybe not always great ones, but films that granted the opportunity to learn, to see what worked and what didn’t. John Carpenter had directed five feature films (including hits Halloween and Escape From New York) before helming The Thing. Conan The Barbarian’s director John Milius had directed before as well as scripting Apocalypse Now (Conan’s screenplay was co-written by Oliver Stone). Compare those credentials to what we have now: a man responsible for Spice Girls and Simply Red videos (Marcus Nispel) is bringing us the new Conan, and there’s a director (barely) known for car adverts (Matthijs van Heijningen Jr) in charge of the new The Thing. It doesn’t bode too well.
The movies of 1982 tell us a lot about the times they were made in: Cat People, First Blood, Blade Runner and others have pretty downbeat endings in tune with the cold war paranoia and economic depression of Reagan’s first presidency. Even the Star Trek movie killed off a central character (for a while at least), while The Wall’s idea of a happy ending was the protagonist suffering a complete mental breakdown. Russia was still seen as an enemy in films such as Clint Eastwood’s Firefox; the unfairly derided Tron gave us plenty of exotic computer terms that are commonplace today. We were living on the cusp of the future, things were changing so fast that the movie Class Of 1984 only had to set itself a mere two years into the future to show a total breakdown of society. There are plenty of more explicit markers to the times in films such as Poltergeist where the mum and dad of the haunted family are ex-hippies turned yuppie sellouts. It’s hard to imagine such resonance in blockbuster fare this summer.
The budgets were also key, with the average cost for a big studio picture somewhere between $10m and $20m (even adjusting for inflation that’s nowhere near the $100m price tags they attach to films now). Directors couldn’t rely on expensive visual effects to bludgeon viewers into submission, they had to impress in other less flashy ways. And there were other blessings, too. The original cast of Tron were all in their 30s, so they didn’t need a kid character to spout meaningless “I gotta get me one of those” lines. Conan’s cast of bodybuilders and non-American faces gave it an exotic, timeless look you don’t get with the more homogenised castings currently in vogue. These seem like small changes but they capture much of what made these films memorable. Even the big teen movie of the year, the Cameron Crowe-scripted Fast Times At Ridgemont High, dealt with abortion and drug-taking full on. Now even the nerdiest teenagers in movies have supermodel girlfriends and save the world from robots that turn into cars.
The main reason we’ll never see another year like 1982 lies in the biggest success of the year. While Hollywood had a raft of downbeat, punchy films that it didn’t understand well enough to market properly, one film came through as the clear winner at the box office: Steven Spielberg‘s ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. ET made more than most of the rest put together. Even though it nails the single-parent family dynamic and deals with loss and loneliness in affecting ways, ET had a happy ending with plenty of wish fulfilment along the way.
With the success of ET and the relative failure of the rest of the crop, Hollywood took the safest, most obvious lessons from what had happened and the trend towards today’s bland, boisterous multiplex began. It was also around this time that executives from multinationals pushed out actual film-makers in studios. Creative decisions were now made by non-creative types, there was no glory in losing money, and much more to be had in making as much as humanly possible. No matter how much the titles and styles of many of 2011′s films hark back to the glorious summer of 1982, we’ll never see its like again.
This lovely tale of a robot learning about life on a remote space station could be remade as a Moon-type experience.
Colourful clunker concerning a super-super-elite force of US soldiers who employ flying bikes, toy-looking tanks and spandex uniforms to save the world.
Q: THE WINGED SERPENT
B-movie auteur Larry Cohen delivered the goods with a giant stop-motion Aztec flying lizard terrorising New York .
Wes Craven’s movie was pretty dire but it did revitalise the comic book, bringing in new talent Alan Moore to shake things up. A movie of the Moore-era Swamp Thing would be an instant classic.
THE SWORD AND THE SORCEROR
Conan was supposed to herald in a wave of sword and sorcery epics. It never happened, but this excellent low-budget effort beat Arnie’s movie in many ways.
STOCKHOLM (AP) — American string quartet Kronos Quartet and rocker Patti Smith have received the prestigious 2011 Polar Music Prize from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf.
The musicians accepted their awards at a glitzy ceremony in Stockholm on Tuesday. Each award is worth 1 million kronor ($159,000).
A moved Smith said she was “humbled and inspired” to receive the award. She thanked her family and band members and appealed to the audience to “turn their hearts and minds and resources” toward the famine in Africa.
The Polar Music Prize is typically shared each year by a pop artist and a classical musician. It was founded by the manager of Sweden’s legendary pop group ABBA, Stig Anderson, in 1989.
Previous laureates include Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Bjork and Sir Paul McCartney.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Posted Sep 1, 2011
By Steph Willems
EMC News – Presenting Pink Floyd, all the way from…Australia?
All right, it isn’t the real Pink Floyd, but by all accounts the Australian Pink Floyd Show is the next best thing, and will be stopping by Ottawa Oct. 25.
Tickets for the Centrepointe Theatre gig have already gone on sale, beginning last Friday.
The original Pink Floyd’s music – a progressive mix of classic rock and psychadelia coupled with surreal imagery and cerebral lyrics – defined the 1970s musical landscape with blockbuster albums like Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
At the height of their superstardom, the group could sell out stadiums in minutes, and to this day have left a lasting legacy on the music scene and pop culture.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPFS) gives fans what they want but can’t have (due to the original group’s disbandment) – the sound, melody and mood of a Pink Floyd concert, with modern 3-D special effects thrown in.
“This is the second time they’ve been to Ottawa,” said Dennis Ruffo of Dennis Ruffo Productions.
“The last time was in 2004 when they played Scotiabank Place, and several thousand showed up for that one.”
Centrepointe Theatre seats 900, which means the show will be much more intimate, it also means it will sell out quickly, much like The Led Zeppelin Experience did when it played Centrepointe a few months ago. That show was also brought to Ottawa by Dennis Ruffo.
TAPFS formed in 1988, shortly after the official breakup of Pink Floyd, and has grown in popularity since. The 2011 tour is being billed as the best ever, incorporating quadraphonic sound and (for the first time) the use of 3D stereographic technology.
“They’re evidently very good – I’ve seen their videos,” said Ruffo. “The guys (from Pink Floyd) really like them. (Pink Floyd frontman) David Gilmour had them play at his 50th birthday party.”
During their tour through Canada, the Ottawa stop will be the smallest venue, meaning the fans who act first will be the ones getting tickets.
Ruffo said there has always been a lingering interest in Pink Floyd in this part of North America, as it was music lovers in eastern Canada and the northeast United States who first gravitated towards progressive European bands in the 60s and 70s, spreading their popularity overseas.
“Its always been a strong base for alternative rock bands,” he said. “When these groups broke in North America, they broke in the northeastern U.S.A. and Canada.
Careful with That Axe Eugene /Alien IV…
LA rock fiends Jane’s Addiction have had more reunions than most ’90s boybands, but fans are rejoicing this time around.
After ramping up the atmosphere with some classic Pink Floyd tunes, cult collective Jane’s Addiction smashed it with a set of trademark dark metal and horror rock.
Dispelling rumours of a thorny throat complaint, crazed frontman Perry Farrell, 52, right, gyrated like the devil incarnate. Then he lap-danced for a pair of brunette bombshells before exploding into Nothing’s Shocking.
Powerhouse masterpiece Three Days was near-demonic. But it was wired screamer Stop! that titillated the metal-heads.
Comeback album The Great Escape Artist drops this autumn. Get addicted.
Pink Floyd Live Nassau Coliseum 23rd August 1988 The actual recording date they used for the Delicate Sound Of Thunder VHS and Live Album This is an audience recording raw live sound from that night…