We’re already nearly half of the way through October — can you believe that? Well, me neither. It’s Tuesday, so of course Jake and I have updated the weekly Jukebox for your listening pleasure.
The ‘list features 20 songs including new singles from Run The Jewels, Sam Smith, and Jessie J, as well as a pick from both Jake and I off of Kelela’s awesome debut LP.
Also, since I’ve added a brand new single from St. Vincent here, I would like to inform you that she has an album coming out at the end of the week called Masseduction. Yeah, this is a big deal, people! Keep an eye out for that, and I will surely be picking out a favorite for next week’s playlist.
The term “sequel,” when it comes to film especially, is almost always liable to send a shudder down the spines of dedicated fans — something that’s doubly true when speaking about cult films. While it makes absolute sense for some movies to receive follow-ups, others are likely better off left as standalone affairs. For 35 years, Blade Runner definitely fell into the latter category, being one of the most beloved cult sci-fi films ever made. Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic remains an utterly definitive and complete film — one that left its viewers with a set of unanswered questions that would fascinate an audience and be mined over for decades to come; its ambiguity prevailing as one of its greatest strengths.
So when Scott began talking about a potential sequel earlier this decade, fans were understandably skeptical and rather doubtful of its ability to live up to the first. But with Blade Runner 2049, acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Arrival) has teamed with screenwriter Michael Green and original Blade Runner scribe Hampton Fancher to deliver what is not only one of the great films of 2017, but what will very likely go down as one of the best sequels in all of film history. 2049 does answer some ideas leftover from before, but in their place introduces its own bevy of compelling questions, being a successor worthy of the Blade Runner title as well as a film that may even surpass its predecessor.
It’s finally October, which will allow me to focus on many genres of film, right? Well, maybe not.
For this month on Christian’s Cinematic Syntax, I will be exploring the horror film and its sub-genres to demonstrate their inner complexities — those of atmosphere, as well as the many different underlying factors that make a horror film truly horrific. In order to do so, it is necessary to establish my thoughts on horror films from different decades and review them. It is also important to say, I will have no pattern to the films I choose. It will be heavily influenced by memory, and films that I am reminded of for spontaneous reasons. And since the Criterion Collection recently upgraded the film Vampyr to Blu-Ray on October 3, it was an obvious first choice.
Vampyr is a film directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer, and was originally released in 1932. At its release, it was barraged with backlash, so much so that it even caused the director to have a nervous breakdown. But as the film moved on through the ages, it emerged as a classic of the time period.
It’s Friday, and with that of course comes another installment in our “Meet the Editors” series. This week’s highlighted editor is Zach Meredith, who is stepping in as our new Art and Design Editor.
Zach is a senior studying graphic design with a minor in marketing. In his spare time, he designs, listens to music, and plays basketball, but art and fashion are his true passions. Zach has been designing clothing since high school and has been running a clothing brand for almost two years. He plans to run his own fashion label on a larger scale in the future.
What do you do if you’re one of Chicago’s top indie bands and you’re still coming off of releasing an incredibly successful debut LP from last year? Well, if you’re Whitney, then you release a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Gonna Hurry (As Slow As I Can),” along with another cover of a song called “You’ve Got a Woman,” by 70s Dutch psychedelic band, Lion. This is not the type of content that one would expect from a contemporary indie band. Upon further thought, however, it makes sense that this type of experimentation would earn Whitney such positive critical recognition. Releasing these covers shows their bravery and nuance in the scope of indie rock music being produced today.
Unsurprisingly, the covers have been initiating many listeners to respond about how pleased they are with the results of Whitney’s electrifying new releases. Reporter Alex Robert Ross states in a Noisey article, “Because Julian Ehrlich’s voice can hit highs that few other modern indie bands dare to reach for, Whitney sounds comfortable on both covers.” He calls the official music video for “You’ve Got a Woman” “sun-dappled in parts, retro, handsomely shot, and at home in a dive bar.” I can usually get behind the majority of the music that VICE promotes. I am glad that it seems like people are agreeing that these covers are amusing as opposed to just strange.
“And that which has happened before is happening again: George GERFAUT is cruising the outer lanes of the beltway that encircles Paris.”
So begins West Coast Blues, Jacques Tardi’s adaptation of the 1976 novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. At its core, West Coast Blues is a tense thriller that features the gritty style that readers of Tardi would expect, but what gives this adaptation staying power is its ability to present heavy postmodern themes as casually and effectively as it presents its brutal violence.
West Coast Blues follows the story of George Gerfaut, a young Parisian sales executive who is dissatisfied with the world that he finds himself in. He has a wife and child, but spends his time driving around Paris at dangerously high speeds, drinking Four Roses bourbon with his barbiturates and listening to American West Coast-style jazz music on the tape deck of his Mercedes. While on an inane family vacation to the beach, he is attacked by two hit men, prompting a violent escape from his buttoned-down, comfortable life.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend thoughts and prayers from the entire Jet Fuel Review staff to any and all affected by the horrendous shooting that occurred in Las Vegas the other night. It is true, especially in troubling times like this, that turning to music may feel like one of the only things we can do, as it provides the comfort and escape we need from the travesties in the real world. But even then, I encourage all to help out in any way, if possible, to support and aid the people and families who are victims of the attack.
Secondly, RIP to Tom Petty, who was one of the greatest rock performers of all time and a childhood favorite of mine. As such, I have honored the man with the inclusion of what is likely my favorite track of his at the top of my half of the playlist.
Elsewhere on the Jukebox this week, Jake and I have highlighted tracks from Angel Olsen, Grizzly Bear, James Blake and Bon Iver, and Post Malone.