SIFF 2015 (Seattle International Film Festival) really shows off its vitality as the longest film festival in North America this year. Operating a host of its own theatres this year, from the SIFF Cinema Uptown and SIFF Cinema to the newly acquired SIFF Egyptian, SIFF is going strong, and this...

The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is back, this year with numerous can’t-miss films from all corners of the globe. The festival screenings kick off February 5, 2015, and continue through February 21 at various theaters around Portland. Over the next several weeks, check back here for in-depth reviews of those screenings -- but in the meantime, study up; we've culled together a list of the most tantalizing offerings you'll want to check out.
Schedules are subject to change, so please consult the official festival website before you head out! Jauja, directed by Lisandro Alonso
Titling your sophomore release is almost as important as the music contained therein. Its purpose is to reinvent the persona without forsaking tradition. When mentioned, the follow-up name should take us to the same familiar feeling we came to know from the artist's first expressions, and hint at an approach that is new and refreshing.Jupiter Lion - Brighter Album ReviewFor the second album by Spanish band Jupiter Lion, the name Brighter is an emphasis on a highly synesthetic experience for their listeners. Of the many shapes and colors the band have put down on the record, it's safe to say that in comparison to 2013's Silver Mouth, Brighter illustratively self-explains that the band has intensified the metaphysical drift of their sound. But visualizing how their songs may appear as a picture on your mind is just a precursor; Brighter is also for those longing to visit the sector of outer space that you can only reach by surpassing five minutes in track length.
Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) 2014 is here, which means another few weeks of impressively-curated film-going madness for everyone in the Puget Sound Region. Below, we've once again given you our top selections for the year, grouped by world region. Stay tuned in the weeks to come, as we offer updates throughout the festival's progression, with general thumbs up and thumbs down summaries of the films we will painfully and enjoyably slog and float through, as well as one-off full-length reviews. Happy SIFFing!

Call it a spiritual treatise, a visual masterpiece, or whatever you like -- but Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1973 film, The Holy Mountain, has inspired musicians dating as far back as members of the Beatles, who played an instrumental role in funding and distributing the work. In this timeline of artistic individuals...

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop highlights across a selection of styles, updated every month to keep you funkeh. +++ FULL POST + TOP POPS! COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS Empress Of - Systems EP (Terrible Records) Brooklyn-based Empress Of is picking up...

Due the unfortunate fact that we are merely human and Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is just beginning its three-week film rampage, we've sifted through the Festival's gigantic catalog to come up with the best films of the bunch -- or so we suspect. SIFF is annually guaranteed to have a mixture of some of the best and worst films that one can see -- and these film recommendations come from the minds of three REDEFINE writers with good intentions. Yet at best, these selections are our most educated hypotheses, determined from a mixture of film industry knowledge and intuitions based on trailers. Below, we've grouped our selections for 2013 by world region. Stay tuned in the weeks to come, as we offer updates throughout the festival's progression, with general thumbs up and thumbs down summaries of the films we will painfully and enjoyably slog and float through, as well as one-off full-length reviews. Happy SIFFing!
The Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) is upon us again, and we have whittled down their list of 100+ international shorts and full-length films to summarize the most interesting, socially-conscious, and boundary-pushing of the bunch. This year's festival runs from February 7th through the 23rd, beginning with an Opening Night celebration featuring Blancanieves, a silent Spanish reworking of Snow White. Purchase tickets and find out more. Our festival preview begins below with this year's top five picks, followed by the rest in alphabetical order.

Beyond The Hills Directed by Cristian Mungiu (Romania) Based on the novels of Tatiana Niculescu Bran, which are real-life documents of demonic possession, Beyond The Hills is a bleak and stark religious drama set an Orthodox monastery in Moldovia. Though Alina (Cirstina Flutur) heads to the monastery to convince her friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan) to leave and return to Germany, Alina finds herself sucked more and more into the environment and its callings. Flutur and Stratan both shared the Best Actress Prize at Cannes Film Festival for these performances.          Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)          Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 7:30 PM (Regal Lloyd Center 4)
Hannah Arendt Directed by Margarethe von Trotta (Germany) Based on the life of German philosopher and writer Hannah Arendt, Hannah Arendt chronicles her writings for The New Yorker on the 1961 war crimes trial of Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann covered a scenario that was not black and white but veiled in greys, causing great conflict and protest amongst an American public and the publication's editing staff. Hannah Arendt is a drama about journalism, and the social duty of reporting as one sees as truthful, rather than as it is idealized or pressured to be.          Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)          Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 5:15 PM (Regal Lloyd Center 4)
Laurence Anyways Directed by Xavier Dolan (Canada) Despite being happy and in love, high school teacher Laurence finally reveals to his girlfriend Fred his long-standing desire to become a woman. Fred agrees to support him on his quest, though once the transformations begin, social complications begin to pressure, ostracize, and place fear into the hearts of the couple. Through it all, Laurence Anyways is a tale of love and the ability to weather storms for it.          Sat, Feb 16, 2013 at 8 PM (Cinema 21)          Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 7 PM (Regal Lloyd Center 10)
Leviathan Directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel (United States) Leviathan presents experimental filmmaking at its finest or its worst, depending on your opinion of macro-view, immersive documentary art. The New York Film Festival describes Leviathan as "a hallucinatory sensory experience quite unlike any other", and the trailer is seems to assert this with views of commercial fishing, as presented with only abstract sounds and imagery.          Sat, Feb 9, 2013 at 3:15 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)          Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 6 PM (Cinemagic)
Lore Directed by Cate Shortland (Australia) After World War II and the death of Adolf Hitler, five young children are left to fend for themselves when their Nazi SS parents are captured. In an attempt to reach their grandparents in Hamburg, they traverse 500 miles of changing landscapes, meeting unfortunate families along the way and finding a savior in a young Jewish man whose kindness goes against all of their programmed teachings.          Sun, Feb 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)          Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 5:45 PM (Regal Lloyd Center 10)

 

Bleep is a column focusing on varying degrees of electronic music news, videos and MP3s. In this post, Kitsune shows off disco house singles from Gigamesh and Plastic Plates, and we quickly look at the John Talabot and Pional collaborations from earlier this year.
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Gigamesh

In "Don't Stop", featuring Jana Nyberg, American producer Gigamesh pairs lyrics about speediness and constantly being on the run with a retro-futuristic video featuring some truly explosive footage from Death Race 2000. Centered around sex, hip architecture, and race tracks, the video manages to montage a fully sexy portrait of forward-thinking disco music. His latest EP release, All My Life, has just been released on Kitsune, and another track of the same title features collaged clips of Logan's Run. You can also hear the "Dream On" HERE.

 

"Pop music shouldn't always get a bad rap," says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. Emil & Friends return with their signature indie electro sound and Spain's Cocolixe groove.
SEE ALSO +++ FULL POST + ALL TOP POP COLUMNS + ALL MUSIC COLUMNS

 

Emil & Friends

Emil & Friends' last two releases, 2011's Lo & Behold and 2010's Downed Economy EP, have been reliable releases year after year. This year's short five-track EP (with two tracks and three remixes) does not pack quite the same punch, but the track below, "Internal Affairs" is veritably Emil & Friends, in the best of groovy and swaggery ways. You can also hear a minimix of the rest of the release on Kitsune's Website. It features "Internal Affairs" along with another original track, "Royal Oats", and three remixes of "Royal Oats" by Dubka, Radial, and DVNO.

 

Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. Spain's Grammy-winning Ojos De Brujo tackle every genre under the sun in their remix album, and Montreal/Los Angeles by-way-of Iran's Niyaz talk humanitarian ideas on their latest, Sumud.

 

Ojos De Brujo

Barcelona's Ojos De Brujo (aka Eyes Of A Warlock/Sorceror in English), certainly know how to release a multicultural slaw of dub, electronica, tropical, ragga, everything, and more of everything. Antagonistic male rapping cuts into female vocals singing Spanish with a Middle Eastern warble and flair; dubstep takes over with stereotypical wobbles at times, only to fall into ragga beats; tropical rhythms and flamenco influences creep in until all things are indistinguishable and challenging. This is global dance music at some of its best, and it's a pleasing surprise Ojos De Brujo are a Grammy-winning act. At right, stream the equally Latin and Indian-influenced "Todo Tiende", remixed by Los Chicos Altos, and watch the animated music video of the original. See full post for a megamix of their entire remix album (which is well worth it to dive into!)
Ojos De Brujo - "Todo Tiende" (Original)

 

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.

 


4 DAYS IN MAY
Germany/Russia/Ukraine Directed by Achim von Borries
Set in 1945 and based off a true story, 4 Days Of May follows the days before the official end of World War II. The Germans have already lost, but as soldiers and civilians both learn how to deal with the change, drama and unconventional decision-making ensue. May 31st @ 4:00pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown June 7th @ 9:00pm, Harvard Exit June 9th @ 4:30pm, Egyptian Theatre