Sundance Soundtracks: Flying Lotus, Edwarde Sharpe, Phosphorescent cameos
Shorts Program I was more than just Beasties, plus: hip-hop 'On the Ice'
PARK CITY -- Shorts Program I may boast of one of the biggest music stories to come from the Sundance Film Festival this year due to the Beastie Boys blasting new tunes, but its quirky cohorts shouldn't be overlooked for a nice crop of music.
Flying Lotus -- festival beloved laptopper and producer -- scored the mobile home mind-fuck "The Terrys," which follows methamphetamine misadventures and puppet births of Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. The "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!" creators seemed to fit naturally with the Warp-signed artist, considering the latter has been known to contribute his craft to shows on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" program schedule.
It's a subtle addition to "The Terrys," but two grown men dry-humping and giving birth to demons need at least one ground wire.
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Of his various sound and music contributions from the last five years or so, I've only heard the work of composer Bram Meindersma in "Please Say Something," from 2008. But his combined effort with the negative space of "The External World," from animator David OMalley, particularly struck me. The narrative-less 15-minute piece exlores 3D, video games, animation history and humor, through the decapitation and coitus of cartoons, Weinstein name-drops and walking turd (literally).
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And two indie sweethearts -- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and Devotchka -- made their way into the bookends of "Worst Enemy." I was both tickled by the appearance of Matt Walsh -- the doctor from "The Hangover" -- reprising that occupation to help a weird girl get out of a girdle; and by the lyrics "Oh, no, I could die / Oh, now I can die" from Sharpe's "40 Day Dream." It's apt, I'll say that much.
"Margin Call" renewed my utter disgust and partial confusion about the world's most recent financial collapse. But for a movie with no car chases, explosions, sex scenes or slapstick, it was awfully quiet. One moment may pique your interest, though, when analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) settles in for a night of work, plugs in some earbuds and opts for... Phosphorescent. The Dead Oceans artist has been quite lucky lately, what with a van of stolen music gear being recovered in full and that sweet "Letterman" stop and his old label home Misra relaunching. GET PAID
I'm disappointed to hear from HitFix's Melinda Newman that perhaps Questlove's mad skills were squandered when they were barely utilized for "Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975." I may still check this out tomorrow, if just at least to see what Erykah Badu wore.
U.S. Dramatic Competition film "On the Ice" was made possible to Chris Columbus/Richard Vague, the Kanbar Institute and the Tisch School of the Arts, and I'm willing to bet a cute chunk of that went into clearing a license for Fat Joe's "(Ha-Ha) Slow Down" featuring Young Jeezy. It was the only known amongst unknowns for the soundtrack and portions of the film that turned the lens toward teenagers in arctic Alaska obsessed with hip-hop. Prominently featured was "One of Those Days" by British artist Yes King (aka Rhys Adams) as two kids have their own "Garden State" moment.
Director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean calls his actors "non-actors" -- amateurs found and trained on the spot (and, yeah, it shows). One actor, though, tries his hand at spitting rhymes himself: "Arctic Thug" (ha!) is as jagged as Frank Qutuq's acting performance, but at least there's heart and the willingness to let it all hang out on screen.
I was also unawares of Inuit rap. So Stacy & Sandra Milortok have opened my mind. "Inuktituurunnaliqpili?" arrives courtesy of the Iñupiaq language.
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