Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Video troika: Three things that caught my eye this morning

Did anyone notice that Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" has come out, 13 years in the making? I would think not, but according to Variety, at least the Chinese government took notice - and offense.

In an article Monday headlined "American band releases album venomously attacking China," the Global Times said unidentified Chinese Internet users had described the album as part of a plot by some in the West to "grasp and control the world using democracy as a pawn."

Call me crazy, but if the Great Wall does somehow come tumbling down, I'm confident it won't be Axl Rose leading the charge. As for the album, I think I'll just say meh.

There were, however, three other things that caught my fancy this morning, starting with the equally odd fact that Universal is about dump some rather serious bucks on a biopic of the late French pop star Serge Gainsbourg. Which would, of course, be in French.

Even so, I'm still convinced this could be both very cool and possibly a hit too, because Mr. Gainsbourg was just the definition of a bad dude. Along with recording silly '60s pop songs that always told you exactly what you were gonna get in the title - "Bloody Jack," "Docteur Jekyll and Monsieur Hyde," "Ford Mustang" - he also lived hard enough to make Keith Richards look like an amateur and shacked up along with the way with Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin and other beauties.

And, in easily his oddest move, shortly before his death in 1991 he recorded an album with daughter Charlotte titled "Lemon Incest." It's fairly tame by today's standards, but it delivers exactly what the title promises - a series of mushy father-daughter love duets that just get exceedingly creepy (and yes, I can attest to that, because I own a copy - how could I resist that?) Charlotte, of course, would go on to become a well-known actress herself, and if I can make one DVD recommendation, watch one of her earliest roles in Claude Miller's "The Little Thief" (which I was rather sad to find you can't find on Netflix, though I know it's out on DVD.)

As for the movie about her papa, Eric Elmosnino will play the singer himself, and graphic novelist Joann Sfar will direct the flick. And for his bevvy of babes, French model Laetitia Casta will play Bardot, Mylene Jampanoi will play Gainsbourg's last paramour, Bambou (I can't make this stuff up), and Anna Mouglalis will play French singer Juliette Greco, who collaborated with Gainsbourg for many years.

OK, I concede that's a lot about a flick that no one may care about one lick, but for a taste of just how sublimely silly Gainsbourg's best songs were, here's a mashup of his "Bonnie & Clyde" duet with Bardot, mixed with visuals from the film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Enjoy.

A glimpse of "Adventureland"

I can't imagine this will be nearly as good as "Superbad," but director Greg Mottola looks like he has something pretty funny in the works for his next flick, "Adventureland." An at least semi-autobiographical tale about the summer he had to work at the titular theme park after graduating college, it stars Jesse Eisenberg (remember him from "The Squid and the Whale"?), la Bella Kristen Stewart of "Twilight" fame, Bill Hader and even Martin Starr (who will of course always be known to us Freaks and Geeks as Bill Haverchuk.) Here's the trailer for the flick, which is set to come out next spring, methinks.

And yes, "Battlestar Galactica" will be back!

It seems like forever since "Battlestar Galactica" has been on the air, and it finally returns to Sci-Fi for the final 10 episodes beginning Jan. 16. Episode 4.11 will be titled "Sometimes a Great Notion."

I'm gonna have to rent the first half of season four when it comes out soon just to get reacquainted, but I can with confidence tell you this: For a show that mixes seriously geeky sci-fi with a smart topical edge, you can't even come close to doing better than this show. Here's Sci-Fi's promo reel for the last 10 episodes, which indeed promise an action-packed sprint to the finish. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Tuesday.


Tony Kay said...

You are loudly and clearly preaching to the choir re: Serge Gainsbourg. The tossed-off brilliance of his sixties work is unparalleled. And his career as provocateur? C'est magnifique. Go to YouTube and type 'Serge Gainsbourg Whitney Houston' for yet more evidence.

Reel Fanatic said...

I've seen that clip, Tony, and it is indeed remarkable ... I bought that "Comic Strip" collection a few years back, and its one of the CDs I listen to most in my car 'cause it's just so damn fun