BEYONCÉ 2013 video album, YouTube previews (in order)

The official Beyoncé YouTube page has posted these 30-second preview tracks (released Friday, December 13, 2013). Here they are in the order they appear on the DVD; the director(s) are listed after each song title. It’s also worth checking out the “Self-Titled” mini art features that followed the release of the album.

beyonce-sm
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Kirkeby’s panoramas in von Trier’s *Breaking the Waves*

Per Kirkeby has created unforgettable works of art, some of which were commissioned for three of Lars von Trier’s films. After watching all of von Trier’s theatrical releases over the last three months, I kept returning to Kirkeby’s digitally-altered landscapes in Breaking the Waves (1996) for inspiration.

To avoid spoilers, I’m including screenshots only of the latter half of each episode/chapter intro. Watch the movie for the full effect! NOTE: Von Trier films are not for the faint of heart.

Breaking the Waves, Chapter One

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Summer Movies I Want to See, 2013 Part 1

My fifth annual list of summer movies. More to come… this is just for May so far. I must be getting picky—there are only four wide-release films on my list (see asterisks). On the other hand, it’s nice that there are twenty-six films in May alone that seem to be worth watching. For previews and synopses, go to Rotten Tomatoes Upcoming Movies.

Star Trek Into Darkness crash

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Best Songs of 2012

A YouTube playlist of my favorite videos and/or songs released in 2012. I generally prefer the studio tracks, but a few of these are live versions, mainly because there is no official studio version on YouTube. Also, in some cases, I enjoy the official video better than the song itself, and vice versa.

Best of 2012 YouTube playlist

A few of these YouTube videos will not play on mobile platforms. I’ve attempted to make the same list on Spotify (also embedded below), although not all the songs are available there, either!

A “Best Albums” post (which requires a lot more thought) is forthcoming by the end of the month.

Embedded playlists after the jump… Read more Best Songs of 2012

Cloud Atlas: The most epic film of 2012

Since seeing the film (twice) the week it came out in October, I’ve been entralled with the ideas presented in Cloud Atlas – in both the book (by David Mitchell in 2004) and the movie (screenplay and direction by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer). I hate to give too much of a movie away, so I will simply encourage you to see this film if you’re interested in stories that mix genres and challenge your perception of the world. It’s also the fastest-paced 172-minute film I’ve ever seen. I’m currently a few chapters into the book, so I can’t say too much about it other than that I’m amazed by the heartfelt dialogue.

Cloud Atlas poster

Synopsis from the official website:

Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another through the past, the present and the future.

Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.

A distillation of the book in the author’s own words:

Literally all of the main characters, except one, are reincarnations of the same soul in different bodies throughout the novel identified by a birthmark… that’s just a symbol really of the universality of human nature. The title itself “Cloud Atlas,” the cloud refers to the ever changing manifestations of the Atlas, which is the fixed human nature which is always thus and ever shall be. So the book’s theme is predacity, the way individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations, tribes on tribes. So I just take this theme and in a sense reincarnate that theme in another context.

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