Tuesday, September 02nd | CinemaSpartan.com

Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]

Continue...
Interview with Journalist

From the Vault: Interview w/ Wolf Parade

  Working as an editor of a small weekly in the aughts, I fought to perforate the innocuous milquetoast sheen of community articles by bringing in band interviews. The experiment didn’t last long, and pictures of pumpkin patches prevailed. I was in my early twenties, I was barking up the wrong tree. Though violently abridged, this […]

Continue...
From the Vault: Interview w/ Wolf Parade
21:35

Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

9:41

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]


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Rich Hill (0)

Published on Thu, 21/08/14 | Documentary, Written By: Robert Patrick

Hymns and Road Signs

006

Review written by Robert D. Patrick

A coral reef of dirty dishes. Later, a flippant exchange between siblings. The drum roll delivery of an auctioneer bruising the night sky. A parent, sheathed in a comforter, siphons soda out of a Doctor Pepper cup while cavalierly telling the cameraman that her thirteen-year-old son is old enough to make his own decisions. Shouts. Screams. Ire and bellyaching. Rich Hill, filmed in the rural community of the same name, is under a smudged microscope of emotional dissension.

Directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo focus on three families in the Missouri township. The surroundings of Rich Hill are half-mast and dour, for the most part, with only creaky smiles here and there to perforate the indecisive paralysis of these kids and their documented life. There’s a definitive subterranean gloom that hangs like weeping willow trees over each shot. Imagine a Norman Rockwell painting if everyone wore a logo t-shirt. Grimy images of flaccid piles of laundry and furniture-dotted yards may remind you of a Harmony Korine movie if staged by Werner Herzog.

With all of the textual arrows, it’s hard to watch Rich Hill without wondering about the exploitation of these families for the sole purpose of wringing out emotions from an audience removed of the situation. The narrative, led by an orchestra of melancholy instruments, feels more like a funeral procession than an unbiased snapshot of a town’s youth. You get the sense that the filmmakers want you to overtly pity the conditions of the subjects instead of exploring them. Rich Hill is a weird waltz of film making that comes across as more of a TLC reality show than a focused documentary.

Hank Williams’ syrupy intonation lacquers the film, the community. More mood and measurement. At an hour thirty, the repetition of daily life sets in: perhaps you’re supposed to feel the doldrums. More thwacking of shoes as kids run. More shots of disconnected mothers and fathers. Rich Hill is an essay without an editor. “I was thinking about moving to China and becoming an art teacher,” one child says, “you’d get to sit there and draw dragons all day.” Meanwhile, the plunking of piano keys sorrowfully reverberate, as if the kid in question has no chance of approaching his dreams. These directors are twisting the knife before a blade even appears.

Grade: D+

Rich Hill opens 8/22 at Landmark’s La Jolla Cinemas.

 

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Finding Fela (0)

Published on Fri, 15/08/14 | Documentary, Written By: Robert Patrick
Finding Fela

A Low Fog Hums Review written by Robert D. Patrick Alex Gibney’s documentary about the enigmatic spiritual warrior, Fela Kuti, finds itself bolstered by primary colors and pulsing enthusiasm. The counterculture musician, lacquered in sweat and crosshatched with warpaint, remains, at the end of Gibney’s expressive exploration, a rattling shadow in the distance. An opponent […]


Alive Inside (0)

Published on Fri, 8/08/14 | Documentary, Music, Written By: Robert Patrick
Alive Inside

Waltz of Mysteries Review written by Robert D. Patrick A mosaic of incorporeal, lost memories coupled with jolts of expression. Ethereal images flutter and dissolve. And the past becomes nothing but an old, scorched match head. But what if the intangible profundity of music can cull perforated memories out of someone’s mind? Or, at the […]


Happy Christmas (0)

Published on Thu, 31/07/14 | Drama, Written By: Robert Patrick
Happy Christmas

Christmas Blights Starring: Anna Kendrick, Joe Swanberg Review written by Robert D. Patrick The tepid, doldrums approach of lo-fi cinema is evident in minimalist director Joe Swanberg’s latest drama, Happy Christmas. The film is grainier than a bag of wheat, but at least the camera isn’t bobbing like a buoy in a directionless ocean (all […]


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Pootie Tang: Revisited

I wanted to confirm my suspicions that Pootie Tang was indeed relegated to hatred and disgust prior to writing this column.  Yes, I am that delusional about this film… according to others.  I browsed to a certain spoiled produce aggregator and saw a resounding 26% approval, lauded as dismal, and completely admonished by various critics.  […]

Critical Failures: Coming Soon…

A new column written by Kyle Henke that argues against critical viewpoints shared by many.  Was the movie really awful or actually great?  Is the actor playing the role amazingly while being shamed for the script?  Lets find out.  Share on Tumblr

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Interview with Spencer Krug of Moonface

The melancholy latticework of Spencer Krug is like an ethereal brume. Operating as Moonface, the musician juts his hands over a piano and begins to weave a gossamer kaleidoscope comprised of recollections and fears. City Wrecker, the singer songwriter’s newest EP, releases later this year. We interviewed Spencer about the importance of lyrics, the influence […]

Interview with Journalist

Journalist’s musical palette is flecked with words, strategic intonations, acute ideas. He’s been wading through hip-hop for over a decade, and in that time he has shared the booth with incisor-flashing mavericks such as Canibus. Once signed to Motown, the lyricist is now on Hardrout, his own label. Mastering the craft of internal rhymes and battle hardened […]

From the Vault: Interview w/ Wolf Parade

  Working as an editor of a small weekly in the aughts, I fought to perforate the innocuous milquetoast sheen of community articles by bringing in band interviews. The experiment didn’t last long, and pictures of pumpkin patches prevailed. I was in my early twenties, I was barking up the wrong tree. Though violently abridged, this […]

Interview with TV Girl

‘I’m fascinated by beautiful women & not in a (strictly) prurient sense’ TV Girl’s hushed, ethereal hymns aren’t as docile or playful as they may seem. Flecked with emotional carnage and fanged observations, the Los Angeles based band has carved out a living making heart-masticating songs that deal with the pangs of acceptance. Brad Petering, […]

Interview with Colleen Green

Cool, ethereal, and blistering. Colleen Green’s fuzz-laden punk-rock is a carbonated minefield of guitar riffs and drum machines. It’s a sort of sonic hush that emblazons every fiber of her music. “Sock it to Me,” the newest opus by Green, has been heralded by critics and adored by fans. Cinema Spartan managed to catch up […]

Interview with Chastity Belt

‘We Don’t Have to Hide Behind Anything Now’ The rowdy, carbonated, guitar tenderizing music of Chastity Belt hails from Walla Walla, Washington. Through a cocktail of venomous riffs and feet stomping snark that bruises amps, the band released one of the best records of 2013. Lead singer Julia Shapiro’s sonic, booming vocals soar over the […]

Q&A w/ Julie Klausner

Julie Klausner’s anecdotal, razor-sharp wit has branded everything from television shows to an autobiographical memoir.  Bubble wrap snark and cultural observations stirred by cocktail swords, Klausner always has something new in her book bag. Her show, How Was Your Week?, was earmarked by Rolling Stone Magazine as one of the top ten comedy podcasts of […]

From the Vault: The Fiery Furnaces Interview

In 2008, I interviewed the mercurial, outspoken, often times wonky Matthew Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces for The East County Herald newspaper. Here, in its entirety, is the clunky, humorous, sometimes incendiary transcript of the exchange I had with Matthew. Known for their staccato production, esoteric lyrics, plunking pianos and rarely middling subject matter, The […]

Medium to Medium with Colleen Green

Fuzzy, dirty, rollicking guitar riffs that feel like you’re being bludgeoned with a pillowcase full of Pop Rocks and fireworks. Ethereal and airy vocals that perforate the buzzing instruments. Lou Reed sunglasses and some jagged abandon define the mercurial, sonic, who-gives-a-fuck offerings of Colleen Green. With her newest record, Milo Goes to Compton, the barbed […]

Medium to Medium: The Wooden Birds

Andrew Kenny’s achingly ethereal voice whittles away your preconceptions about what a band, emotionally, is capable of doing. The singer-songwriter has been a workhorse when it comes to traveling coast-to-coast – he has done it practically nonstop – throughout his career; if you tracked the flight lines across the United States it would look like […]

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The Best of Arnold

I was a child of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and as a result I was weaned on action movies, particularly the glorious works of Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and, OF COURSE, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Watching these films still imbues me with a sort of visceral delight, an upsurge of joy and contentment within the universe. I […]

Ultraman: Episodes 1&2

I was thrilled this weekend when I glanced through a $3.99 movie bin at Albertson’s and pulled out the most random inclusion I could find: Volume One of the 1966-7 Japanese TV show ULTRAMAN: A SPECIAL EFFECTS FANTASY SERIES.  One look at the cover art and I knew I’d be in for a treat. A quick […]

Sam’s Cosmic Movie Peeves

We’ve all got our little pet peeves when it comes to movies and television. Sometimes it stems from our areas of expertise (“Well I’M a fighter pilot and there’s no way I’d do it like that”) or sometimes we just learn some trivia and can never look at those troublesome scenes the same way again. […]

B-Movie: Rock N Roll Nightmare

Review by Sam Wood Jon Mikl Thor, the Legendary Rock Warrior, has had an expansive career spanning back to 1973 and continuing on in the present day. According to his VERY self-aggrandizing website, “THOR first made waves in the bodybuilding world, becoming Mr. Canada and Mr. USA, always using heavy music as an intensive training […]

A Chinese Torture Chamber Story

My little column turns twenty posts old today, and what better way to celebrate than by reviewing the most ridiculously sleazy Hong Kong exploitation film I have ever seen? “A Chinese Torture Chamber Story” exemplifies the concept of a guilty pleasure film. It is as hilarious as it is disgusting. The first time I watched […]

Presidents in Film

I was puttering around the Box Office Mojo website recently and came across an interesting comparison: the domestic box office gross of films about U.S. presidents. This includes documentaries, fictionalized accounts, and accounts that are entirely fictional in the first place. Here are the fifteen top-performing presidential films (rounded to the nearest million): Independence Day […]

Holiday Cards

In lieu of an article this week I thought I’d provide something special for all the procrastinators out there. If you haven’t sent out Christmas cards this year, but you vaguely intended to do so, and now you’re looking at the calendar and realizing there is no way in hell they would arrive in time: […]

Solarbabies

From the moment the title screen flew at my face, I knew I was in for something special. And I was right! “Solarbabies” is not just special, it is exceptional, mind-blowing, earth-shattering (sometimes literally). The movie has a whopping 0% approval rating on Rottentomatoes (though in its defense there are only 10 accumulated reviews, and […]

My Favorite Aliens

Guys, I have a confession to make. I am really excited about the upcoming “Cowboys and Aliens.” Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell? Um, cowboys fighting aliens? I’m a little nervous though, because often when Hollywood raises my expectations with a fun concept they are planning some prank to dash it all away again. The […]

Old School Movie Review: The Hobbit

I was initially planning to do another B-Movie review this week, but decide to do an old-school movie review instead. There’s a fine distinction between them sometimes, but in this case I couldn’t classify the film in question as B-grade material. Mostly it’s just… horrible. Plain horrible. Just not due to budgetary reasons. Purportedly this […]

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