The Figgs’ song “Je T’adore” – originally featured on their 2004 album Palais – has found new life as the soundtrack of a car commercial directed by Jordan Scott. Not just any car, either, but a Lexus RX.
Meanwhile, the Figgs’Pete Donnelly – who co-authored the tune with drummer Pete Hayes – is slated to make a couple of homecoming appearances next week with his other band, the Wise Easy. They’ll be at the Spring Street Gallery in Saratoga Springs at 7pm on Thursday, May 23 and at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany at 8pm on Friday, May 24. Hand Habits will open both shows.
Capsule reviews of recently viewed films from the Netflix Instant Watch cache:
“Classic Albums: ‘The Band’”: An hour-long documentary examines the making of the Band’s 1969 self-titled sophomore album, featuring “Rag Mama Rag,” “Up On Cripple Creek” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” There are a few big-star talking-head accolades thrown around (Eric Clapton, George Harrison), but the gold here is the one-on-one interviews with the Band-members (except Richard Manuel, who died before the doc was made). And especially the insights into what the Band was up to musically and how they put it all together. Now I’m really anxious to see what the mad professor Garth Hudson does when he takes the stage of The Egg with Project Percolator on Saturday, May 18. Greg Haymes *****
“Jerry and Tom”: Joe Mantegna and Sam Rockwell star in this unassuming and perfectly matter of fact tale of a pair of used car salesmen/hit men. The directorial debut of Canadian character actor Saul Rubinek, this 1998 indie nugget also has a solid supporting cast that includes William H. Macy, Charles Durning and in a fabulous one-scene-only monologue, Ted Danson. GH ****
“Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies”: OK, the only reason I tried to watch this one was because I mistakenly thought it was “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter,” which I was interested in watching because I really did enjoy director Timur Bekmambetov’s “Night Watch” and “Day Watch.” This, however, was not that movie. Then I realized that this 2012, low-budget, direct-to-video piece of dreck was directed by Richard Schenkman, whose film 2007 film “Jerome Bixby’s The Man From Earth” I had watched just the week before. So I was curious. As it turned out, it took me three tries to get through the whole “ALvZ,” and it simply wasn’t worth it. GH *
The Summer Blockbuster film season has kicked off with the release of Shane Black’s “Iron Man 3.” As the first stand alone Avengers film, “Iron Man 3″ is unique as the plot explores the post-Avengers life of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), and while this is the first of three films leading up to “Avengers 2″ in 2015, there is no plot progression towards this end. The result is intense character exploration of Stark and the dilemma that surrounds superheroes as their double life progresses. Like most superheroes in their third film of a trilogy, the alter ego is having a crisis of conscience/health as filling the role has become a burden both physically and mentally. In that sense, “Iron Man 3″ is similar to “The Dark Knight Rises” and nearly as good a film.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York announces an evening of screenings by EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson featuring a special guest performance with both Anderson and Rensselaer Arts professor and composer Pauline Oliveros. The screenings will take place in the Concert Hall at 5 and 8PM on Thursday, May 2, 2013.
The back-to-back presentations will provide audiences with a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in Laurie Anderson’s films and videos. She will lead us through two separate screening programs, including many of her works. The 8PM presentation will be capped off with a screening of a silent film to which Anderson and Pauline Oliveros play together.
We’ve been watching a lot of marvelous, old black and white movies lately. And last week we watched “Look Back in Anger,” a classic British gem from the ’50s in which Richard Burton plays a bitter jazz musician stuck in a menial retail job. Which got us to thinkin’…
So in honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, we thought it might be fun to offer a JAZZ JUMBLE – a mix & match, movies & music quiz. We’ll give you the actor’s name and the title of the movie in which he portrays a jazz musician. You tell us what instrument the actor “plays” in the film.
“In 1962 one of the most massive urban renewal projects in American history sterilized the cultural and ethnic heart of Albany, NY.”
So begins the pitch on the Kickstarter page for the proposed documentary film, “The Neighborhood That Disappeared,” that examines the Italian American community that was displaced by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller’s massive South Mall/Empire State Plaza building project.
Documentarian-writer-producer Mary Paley has teamed up with actor-director John Romeo and musician Bernie Mulleda to spearhead the project. “This is a homegrown story about Albany’s big city/small city dilemma; a critique of urban renewal that removes what it should revitalize, and a tribute to Albany’s Old Italian neighborhood,” explains Paley.
To date, the filmmakers have garnered nearly $2,000 in pledges through Kickstarter, but they need to raise a total of $5,000 by Friday, May 24 in order for the project to move forward.