Tag Archives: Whiplash

La La Land (2016)

La La Land review

written by Souranath Banerjee

A Classic is born and it will make you sing and fall in love all over again!

My Ratings: 4.3/5

The original 1953 20th Century Fox logo reappears on the big la- la-land-posterscreen and makes it seem even bigger, and then the magic begins!

Yes, the resurrection of the old Hollywood charm, that feeling when the white shoes start tapping in rhythm and the dialogues metamorphose into soothing songs – the sheer magic of experiencing a musical, an odd combination of a modern classic!

And you are lost in the darkness of the theatre, well suspended on your disbeliefs, wondering in a world so full of love and dulcet melodies, absorbed in the sheer beauty of brilliantly choreographed, colourful, talking Cinema!

“How are you gonna be a revolutionary if you’re such a traditionalist? You hold onto the past, but jazz is about the future.”

Director Damien Chazelle‘s love for Jazz was pretty evident in his previous film Whiplash but this time he makes a more definite statement – a desperate effort to save Jazz!

And thus he join hands with Ryan Gosling who learns to play piano like a professional just for this film, and then Gosling’s chemistry la- la-land-poster1with Emma Stone (undoubtedly one of the best actresses at present) is just so sublime! When they dance looking at each other’s eyes – that’s a major part of the ‘magic’ in the film that I was talking about earlier!

Long song and dance sequences masterfully choreographed that takes Justin Hurwitz‘s music to another level; great camera work and colour play by Linus Sandgren and crisp editing by Tom Cross. But again along with superlative directional capabilities thanks to Damien Chazelle‘s brilliantly written love story!

Recommended only for those who adore Jazz, Musicals, Ryan GoslingEmma StoneDamien Chazelle and powerful Cinema!

P.S – Oscar winner J.K. Simmons makes a guest appearance where he seems to hate good music!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Montreux Jazz Festival 2016 comes to Mumbai!

Montreux Jazz Festival 2016 comes to Mumbai!

written by Souranath Banerjee

The famous American composer George Gershwin once said ‘Life is a lot like Jazz … It’s best when you improvise’ 

Originated by the African American communities Jazz music has always fascinated me, specially since I watched such brilliant Jazz-based films like ‘Round Midnight (1986), Sweet and Lowdown (1999),  Lady Sings the Blues (1972), The Connection (1961), Bird (1988), Cabin in the Sky (1943) and the most recent one Whiplash (2014).

And of course like any other Jazz enthusiast I immensely enjoy Jazz concerts and screenings, so when a dear friend of mine told me that Montreux Jazz Festival is coming to Mumbai I had to make sure I was there.  

Venue: antiSOCIAL at 5th Road, Khar West; on 08 July, a perfect Friday Montreux-Jazz-Festivalevening in Mumbai, all ready to get jazzed up!

LeEco the global internet and technology company hosted a special screening of curated performances from te Montreux Jazz Festival in presence of GINO BANKS. It included performances by some of the prolific jazz musicians like Randy Weston, John Mclaughlin & the 4th Dimension that included Ranjit Barot, Aruan Ortiz Trio, Alina Engibaryan, MOderat and FKG. Gino Banks along with his musician friends was enthralled by the acts.

LeEco consumers can live stream the performances of the fest which is in its 50th year starting July 4, 2016. This is one of the 50 plus concerts that LeEco smartphone members get access to as part of the unique membership program of SUPERTAINMENT.

Commenting on this association, Debashish Ghosh, COO Content LeEco India said, “We recently partnered with IIFA 2016 and handpicked two of our lucky members to be part of the IIFA celebration. This was an exclusive offer to our LeEco members. We understand the demand for diverse and LeEo-Montreux-Jazzgenre specific content that our audiences have – and are committed to providing the same. Our association with Montreux Jazz Festival is of course targeting the niche Jazz music aficionados. Similarly, our other Music concert associations – that are streamed in future will cater to other genres – ranging from Rock to Fusion to Blues to Jazz – basically covering all forms of music – but exclusive to only our Members. For the duration of Montreux Jazz Festival our members will have the opportunity to access over live streaming, some of the best know Jazz musicians from across the globe. LeEco believes that such exclusive Content, Experience and Services (more details will be revealed in future) will ultimately drive consumer attention and engagement in our Ecosystem of Products and Services. And this will be the differentiator tomorrow.”

Originally the Montreux Jazz Festival was created way back in 1967 by Claude Nobs, René Langel, and Géo Voumard, and has since become a landmark event.

While jazz and blues are at the roots of this event, other styles of music quickly found their place as well, anchored by artistic encounters between generations of musicians and unique experiments. Montreux has seen historic performances by artists including Nina Simone, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Weather Report, Ray Charles,  B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder!

The 50th anniversary is leaded by stars, such as Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Santana, Marcus Miller, Jamie Cullum, Alfredo Rodriguez,and Neil Young, Van Morrison, ZZ Top, PJ Harvey, Muse, Mogwai, Lana Del Rey, DJ Shadow, M83, Grimes.

Chinese uprising Jazz star A Bu who claim the champion of Montreux’s piano competition is going to perform this year as well.

LeEco has tied up with Eros Now and YuppTV, through its platforms – Levidi and LIVE. For music fans, LeMusic – our free Music App – will be
Montreux-Jazz-Festivalpowered by Hungama and also adding other music sources to create a vast catalogue music across genres. Users will have access to more than 2 million songs with lossless audio, over 4 million songs in total, 3000 plus movies, 50 plus Big Ticket International Live Concerts, 100 plus premium live channels, exclusive Live Streaming of Major Entertainment Events and Music Concerts Worldwide along with 7500 plus hours of world class entertainment. This amazing SUPERTAINMENT library worth Rs. 4,990 per year – and is being offered bundled with the Le 2 and Le Max2 – as an initial offer.

The screening was highly entertaining, awesome performances accompanied by a variety of choicest snacks and beer – a heaven for the Music Lovers!

The upcoming line-up for live streaming from the festival is:

Date Performer Indian live streaming time
8/7/2016 Quincy Jones 11:30 pm
9/7/2016 Robben Ford 1:00 am
11/7/2016 Christian Scott 11:30 pm
12/7/2016 Liro Rantala & Ulf Wakenius 11:30pm
14/7/2016 Ernest Ranglin & Friends 1:00 am
15/7/2016 Francois Linderman 11:30 pm
16/7/2016 Harold Lopez – Nuss Trio 11:30 pm
16/7/2016 Lagrene, Farao, Willis, White 1:00 am
17/7/2016 Volcan 1:00 am

As we all Jazz enthusiasts already know ‘Jazz Music doesn’t have an expiration date’ – so keep the rhythm flowing till the next time we meet. Enjoy!

Best of Hollywood 2014

Best of Hollywood 2014 

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Best of Hollywood 2014 – is not at all an easy list to make. 2014 being an awesome year for film-lovers and thanks to Hollywood for giving us such a balanced dose of entertainment; Thrillers, Hollywood-2014SciFis, Comedies, Love stories War Dramas, Horror flicks and lots of Biographies.

But then again, it’s the time to remember the best performances of this year (no foreign language films included in this list), the awesome directorial ventures, those brilliant visuals and mesmerizing background scores – the films that touched your heart, amazed you and made you fall in love with Cinema (all over again).

But first a few honorable mentions (films that almost made the list) – WildInherent ViceThe Hundred-Foot JourneyPrideAmerican SniperCalvaryStill AliceCamp X-RayPredestinationKill the MessengerCake and Mr. Turner

And now the countdown begins.

10. Selma

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6t7vVTxaic

Hollywood-2014

It was 1965 and Martin Luther King leaded the epic march from Selma to Montgomery (Alabama), a nonviolent protest demanding for the right-to-vote for all black men and women in the country.

(Click for the film review)

Such a powerful film evidently backed by some outstanding performances. A must watch.

9. Gone Girl

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esGn-xKFZdU

Hollywood-2014

Gone Girl is fast paced film that demands your full attention, a superbly crafted thriller that plunges into the depths of a psychologically twisted marital relationship.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performance by Ben Affleck but the real stunner is Rosamund Pike; she proves to be the perfect cast possible for the ‘gone girl’ character.

Hollywood-2014A dangerously realistic, gritty tale based on the concept of our unconscious satisfaction in watching other people’s loss and tragedy. Thanks to the news channels.

(Click for the film review)

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) – is he a scavenger or a survivor, a psychopath or a potential businessman, a cold-hearted predator or an insane professional?

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

Hollywood-2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel is the most stylish comedy I have seen in years.

(Click for the film review)

Wes Anderson’s obsession for perfect production design, bold color schemes, faultless framing and as always the cheeky humor brings out an unique creation. Simply wonderful to watch, probably his best work till date.

6. Interstellar

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSWdZVtXT7E

Hollywood-2014

A Sci-Fi starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathway and Jessica Chastain, Interstellar is a film about space and black holes, about dimensions and relativity; and then again it’s also about love and betrayal.

(Click for the film review)

By the acclaimed director Christopher Nolan and undoubtedly one of his best films ever.

5. The Theory of Everything

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Salz7uGp72c

Hollywood-2014

The Theory of Everything tells the emotional story of Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Wilde.

(Click for the film review)

Eddie Redmayne this year won the Oscar (in the Best Actor category) playing Stephen Hawking’s character with extraordinary authenticity and brilliance. A must watch.

4. Foxcatcher

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8361stZ8n0w

Hollywood-2014

Foxcatcher is a film that tells the tale of two troubled souls, a multimillionaire and a wrestler, both disturbed and consumed by their own ambition and distorted personal lives.

(Click for the film review)

The film doesn’t fit the mainstream, melodramatic sport-movie pattern but after watching i am sure you will be thankful it didn’t.

3. Whiplash

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d_jQycdQGo

whiplash-poster

The intense story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

(Click for the film review)

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success – it stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

2. Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJfLoE6hanc

Hollywood-2014

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu and this year’s Oscar winner.

(Click for the film review)

Michael KeatonEdward NortonNaomi WattsZach GalifianakisEmma Stone and all others are magical in front of the camera.

The whole film is edited to look like one continuous shot, a tremendous effort and brilliantly executed.

1. Boyhood

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Hollywood 2014

A film so real and shot through such an unreal time-span that it gives you the feel of being a part of the journey with this boy Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who was 7 years old when Richard Linklater started filming and 18 when he finally felt it’s time to wrap up.

(Click for the film review)

Boyhood is something very special, a daring experiment and totally worth it.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Imitation Game

film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5CjKEFb-sM

Hollywood 2014

Based on the life of an unsung war-hero, a genius mathematician and a troubled soul who never got the recognition he deserved – Alan Turing.

(Click for the film review)

Brilliant performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley The imitation game is one of the best biographies made last year – a perfect combination of history and good cinema.

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Whiplash (2014)

My Ratings: 4.3/5.

“Nieman, you earned the part. Alternates, will you clean the blood off my drum set?”

The above dialogue sets the tune of the film so damn well.

Whiplash is a film that stretches the boundaries of all previous student-mentor relationship based dramas.

The story of Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller), a 19-year-old aspiring jazz drummer and Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), his brutal school music instructor.

Pumped up with such energy and passion, a young achiever ready to shed enough blood and sweat till he achieves; while on the other hand a tutor who believes in pushing his pupils to accomplish beyond what’s expected of them.

Whiplash is a gritty and uncompromising take on ambition and success from the point of views of both a trainee and the trainer.

whiplash-posterShot over a period of just 19 days, writer-director Damien Chazelle‘s Whiplash has taken the festival circuit by storm since its 2014 Sundance Film Festival premiere.

Performances are outstanding: Miles Teller (one of the most talented young actor of recent times) perfectly exhibits the young musician’s hunger for perfection and fame, while J.K. Simmons (his best ever performance) brilliantly commands the ruthless manipulative jazz instructor’s part (in search for the next Charlie Parker).

The casting director Terri Taylor deserves a mention for such a perfect casting. Justin Hurwitz must be credited for the awesome Jazz music through out the film.

Numerous awards and acclamations aside, Whiplash is a film that kind of syncs your heart with young Andrew’s drums and by the end of the film they beat together with passion.

I am not exaggerating. Watch the film and then you tell me!