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Saturday, September 11th, 2004

Undertow

It dawned on me last night what the upcoming week holds for me – lineups, lineups and more lineups. I started TIFF week with the North American premiere of David Gordon Green’s Undertow. I’ve only seen one of his films, the drama-romance All The Real Girls, which I liked quite a bit but wasn’t using as a reference for what to expect from his latest, and it’s just as well – they don’t have much in common, at least not on the surface. Undertow is a fairly grim drama-thriller about a pair of brothers on the run from their ex-con uncle. While fairly tense all the way through, the pace of the film is a bit uneven. You expect the inevitable climax several times before it finally happens and when it does, you feel like it was stalling for no real good reason.

There are no complaints about the performances, however. Jamie Dunn (Billy Elliott) in particular is amazing as the older brother, you’d never suspect that the intense Southern boy on the screen is actually an English kid. All the actors do an excellent job in their roles – Green is proving himself a master at eliciting incredibly naturalistic performances from his cast. As he addressed in the Q&A after the film, he concentrates on catching the pauses and the nuances that you’d get from real people being themselves as opposed to an actor reciting a role. I found the Q&A particularly interesting – I liked getting some insight as to what the director was trying to convey and accomplish with the film, and it got me more excited about what I had just seen than I was while the credits were rolling. And oh yeah, I had thought that the film starred Dylan McDermott but it was actually Dermot Mulroney… Probably a better choice as McDermott would have looked just odd in the cowboy boots and hat.

If you’re looking for more TIFF reviews, these guys are blogging the whole festival.

Some c-c-c-concerts… Lee’s Palace will host a show with Sufjan Stevens on November 16 and then a two-night stand by Hayden on November 18 and 19. I have heard good things about Sufjan. Should I go see Sufjan? Maybe I just like saying ‘Sufjan’. November’s looking kinda empty right now, so I’ll put it on the calendar. Anyway, ticket info on these shows is still forthcoming.

Some Wilco odds and ends: The company that does the visuals for their tours has some samples of their work in the form of concert footage. Lookee here. Also, Billboard has some bits and pieces about the forthcoming Wilco Book, their track on the soundtrack to the Spongebob Squarepants movie and John and Laurie Stirrat’s upcoming record Arabella, out September 21.

Rusted Robot conducts an excellently informal interview with Jay Farrar and helps dispel some of the perception that he lives in some sepia-toned dustbowl-era middle-American parallel world (okay, that was sort of my perception). Turns out he likes to kick back and watch Ali G like everybody else. I haven’t permalinked the interview as the site has some issues with Mozilla, but it’s the September 10 entry, if you’re looking.

Matador has released the tracklisting for Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain double-disc reissue coming out October 26. Looks goooood.

I got a new washing machine yesterday. Yeah. Appliances are hott, baby.

np – The Sadies / Favourite Colours

By : Frank Yang at 10:03 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. ao says:

    Saw your precious Sufjan at MACROCK (Mid Atlantic College Radio Conference K) in the states; hott happening stuffs. He wore wings and culminated the act by switching shirts.

  2. dave says:

    definitely go see sufjan. i saw him in los angeles a couple months ago and haven’t been that impressed by a performance in a long time. it was fun and ligth hearted yet sincere and heartfelt all at the same time. highly recommended.

  3. pearly says:

    I posted a review of Undertow on my blog too. again, no line up for me b/c I went kinda late at around 8:50pm, when the line started moving, and my friend was already there in line :P

  4. merckeda says:

    I never thought I’d get a chance to see Sufjan play. (Kinda like I never expect to see The Shins). I’ll definitely go to this. Thanks for the heads up.

  5. james says:

    I think I’ll be going to see Sufjan. Thanks for the heads-up. And I’m reviewing all the films I see at TIFF, too. I had picked Undertow, but switched it at the last minute for The Alzheimer Case. Hope you’re having a good time!

  6. janelle says:

    holy shit don’t miss sufjan. do not, do not, do not.

  7. josh says:

    frank, where did you get the info for the upcoming sufjan stevens show/tour? so so good.

    (btw, its pronounced SOOF-YAN .. who knew?)

  8. Frank says:

    I think Sufjan has a long history with Toronto. He has played a lot of shows with Royal City (the latest being last December) and has played Wavelength before, way back in 2001. I’m actually surprised it’s taken him so long to get up here again – we’re only a little ways up the 401, after all.

  9. photojunkie says:

    Sufjan Stevens.. may have to check that out, heard some tracks from a friend in the US awhile back..

    Hmm noticed you had Tift Merritt in your listings. Went to show that she played at last year (I think it was during NXNE and there was all this buzz around her, frankly I was kinda bored and wasn’t impressed)

  10. Frank says:

    I’m just following you around my comments this morning!

    I am not really familiar with Sufjan’s stuff, but everyone says I should go so I guess I’ll go.

    I like Tift’s first record, haven’t heard the second. Mainly I plan on going because it’s cheap and barely 10 minutes from my house. And she’s pretty so assuming I have my camera sorted out by then, I can go for the eye candy.

  11. josh says:

    for sufjan listening, start with ‘michigan’ and then follow it up with ‘seven swans’. both equally beautiful records. buy michigan on vinyl (artwork! bonus tracks!) and then download it in digital form for portable listening.

    if for nothing else the instrumentation/song timings of michigan are awe-inspiring. he plays 97% of all the instruments, and recorded much of it in various bedroom studios.