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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Music’

Vinyl: When rock and roll ruled the world

April 15, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Television No Comments →

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The two-hour premiere is actually the newest film by Martin Scorsese, and it feels a lot like Goodfellas. A grisly murder is committed, a body is stuffed in the trunk and driven to the suburbs, and when the trunk is slammed you expect someone to look at the camera and say, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to have a record label.” Then the murder is mostly forgotten and we’re back in the music business in 1973.

What can we say about the Scorsese style that has not been said before? It’s all there: the restless camera, the rhythm of childhood asthma and cocaine, the all-consuming intensity. It can give you a bit of a headache, and the first time I saw the premiere I did not know what to make of it. It looks fantastic, the dialogue is hilarious and the attention to detail is insane, but why? What for? Then it occurred to me that it doesn’t have to mean anything. Do we look to “Jumping Jack Flash” for the meaning of life? No. We’re here for the feeling of being alive. Rock and roll!

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Read our review of Vinyl in The Binge.

Culture Shock and Awe: A diary of National Arts Month

February 27, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Art, Movies, Music, Theatre No Comments →

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A scene from the Met Opera’s Bluebeard’s Castle

ON SUNDAY we ran into Grace at the ballet at the Cultural Center, and on Wednesday we saw her again at the opening of the Art Fair. “Uyy, culture!” she said, and there has been an unusual number of arts and culture events in February. I know, because otherwise I would’ve seen Deadpool five times (You snobs don’t know what you’re missing. My favorite line: “Of course looks matter! Ever heard David Beckham speak?”). For a few weeks it felt like Manila was a Culture Capital, fairly teeming with plays, screenings of classic Filipino movies, art expositions, even opera.

Then I learned that February is National Arts Month, which means that when it ends we go back to being, as Noel puts it, culture lower-case.

Read it

Alan Rickman in Truly, Madly, Deeply

January 15, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music 3 Comments →

In Anthony Minghella’s Truly, Madly, Deeply, Alan Rickman plays a dead cellist who reappears in his girlfriend Juliet Stevenson’s apartment, summoned back by her boundless grief. This was the second movie we saw him in; the first, of course, was Die Hard. Alan Rickman, you are welcome to haunt our houses any time. Thank you.

Bowie, first and last

January 11, 2016 By: jessicazafra Category: Music 4 Comments →


From his first album in 1969: Space Oddity.

From his final album in 2016: Lazarus.

He knew, because David Bowie always knew.

9 years, 9 stories: Travel, music, and world domination

September 27, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Music, Travel Diary: Turkey, Traveling, World Domination Update No Comments →

Travel
From 2013: Turkey Travel Diary, featuring some of the handsomest cats we’ve ever seen

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Music
From 2008: Sad, Sadder, Saddest, in which we wound up at a “Lost 80s” concert.

Either all the ticket-holders had already gone inside, or they were all late, because there were no queues of any sort. Ernie went up to some people standing by the flower beds and asked them if they needed tickets.

Sad: They all said, “Hindi kami manonood niyan (We’re not watching that),” with matching expressions of loathing.
Sadder: A woman glared at Ernie and said, “I already have tickets.” What she meant was, “Extra tickets to an 80s concert is a problem I don’t need.”
Saddest: Later, Grungella realized that they probably mistook Ernie for a scalper.
Positively funereal: Being mistaken for a scalper to A Flock Of Seagulls show.
Lugubrious: They literally could not give the tickets away!

World Domination
From 2012: Let’s Buy Spain. We can afford it, it would be our revenge for three centuries of colonial oppression, and we can call them our muchachos and muchachas.

Ricki and the Flash: Meryl Streep’s second worst performance

September 13, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies, Music No Comments →

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Ricki and the Flash, an Oscars reunion, is maudlin, belabored, hollow, and features the second worst Meryl Streep performance in our memory (“Worsted” only by her Witch in the altogether horrible bowdlerized film adaptation of Into the Woods; her title role in Mamma Mia is third). We didn’t believe a moment of this Jonathan Demme-helmed, Diablo Cody-written vehicle, and only our faith that Meryl would do something amazing at the last minute kept us in our seats. At the last minute we concluded that she could not technique her way out of this. Rick Springfield is more believable than Meryl is—a sentence we never thought we would type. Casting beats technique in this round. (Her cover of Bruce Springsteen: Aieeeeeee.)

For a rockstar/horrible mother we can believe in, check out Julianne Moore in What Maisie Knew.

Rick Springfield reminds us of Jesse’s Girl which reminds us of this scene from Boogie Nights. Between a bonkers Alfred Molina, that coked-up look on Mark Wahlberg’s face, and the Asian boy setting off firecrackers: perfection.