mediums, well done

Personal Shopper is a ghostly story about a young woman who is seeking some sign from her deceased twin brother, a powerful medium, who had promised to communicate from beyond the grave. At the same time, she works as a personal assistant to a celebrity, earning just enough money to have a small place in Paris where she can pursue her spiritual quest and, nominally, her artistic career.

At the TIFF premiere of Personal Shopper, director Olivier Assayas stated that Kristen Stewart was the greatest actress of her generation, and that he wished she could have shared in his best director win at Cannes. The film itself stands as strong proof of his point, Stewart is absolutely riveting even when silently stalking through a deserted dimly lit house, or while texting at length on a busy train.

This slow burning thriller straddles genres and tones, while maintaining its distinctive artistic integrity.

Highly recommended.

Planetarium tells the story of two American sisters travelling the world in the 1920’s performing séances as cabaret act when they are taken under the wing of a credulous French filmmaker who wants to revolutionize cinema by capturing the first images of real ghosts. This European production with a November release, directed by Rebecca Zlotowski, features transporting images and great acting, but we don’t need another thin story about filmmaking or prewar anti semitism.

Natalie Portman is the strongest force in this film, yet she is even better in Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, where the script gives her something to work with. Like its namesake, Planetarium simulates a grander power without embodying it.

Worth catching when it’s streaming, so you can let the beautiful images flow over you.

Freezepop playing @TheSinclair this evening

Freezepop is at the Sinclair this evening, a few tickets are still available.  The Symbion Project opens, followed by CBM   (How can one not admire a musical project named after the thermal radiation left over after the big bang?)  and The Static Dynamic.

Also, as a reminder, Freezepop’s kickstarter is funded, but there are still 12 days left to help them pass their 3rd stretch goal!


Shakespeare celebrations today

Celebrated Somerville bakery 7ate9,  has special Shakespeare cheesecakes for sale and one can receive a mini cheesecake for accurately reciting a Shakespearean sonnet from memory.  “Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?”

There will be Bard birthday cake at in Harvard Square for the 9th annual Bookish Ball, with Shakespearean performances,  a Sonnet Slam, and live music by the Willow Flute Ensemble!

Actors from Shit-faced Shakespeare will have a busy day, performing in the Square, then performing all three of their shows:  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing at the Davis square theater.

shakespeare cheesecake

Catch Freezepop and friends @ the Sinclair on May 14th

Synthpop legends and local favorites Freezepop will be playing The Sinclair on May 14th.

It’s a SuperFreezepop lineup with The Duke, who will also be performing as the Symbian Project.  (Will we see a return of the French horn players who  accompanied him at the  Harmonix Amplitude release party this winter? Time alone will tell.)

Also appearing: The Static Dynamic and  CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background).


Freezepop @ the Middle East downstairs in 2015