Since 2007, the National have been one of our favorite bands. Together, we’ve seen them perform live at least eight times, playing to hundreds of people in a park to fifty in a small room in the Hudson Valley. We’ve posed for photos with the singer, Matt Berninger, and spent one evening in a giddy haze after he passed us one of his (many) half-consumed bottles of white wine from the stage. As siblings, the band has been one of the things we’ve bonded over the most, and something we’ve enjoyed sharing with each other. For us, they are a band for real New Yorkers: their songs capture the beauty and frustration of being liberal city dwellers, sharing tiny spaces with other people while feeling strangely removed from most of those around us. We really did grow up with them -- ten years is a long time to like anything -- and because the band has had such a pronounced role in our lives individually, but also as sisters, we thought it only made sense that we write about them together.
Last month the National released their 7th studio album, which is one of their best, and are now performing it to sold-out shows around the world. The National are one of the most beloved bands but most people have never heard of them, or at least couldn’t identify them by name. Considered to be “critical darlings” after their release of Alligator in 2005, they have a devoted fan following and success that has dumbfounded the corporate music industry. How could a group of middle-aged men who perform “sad sack songs” about very grown up things sell out arenas and pull in a fan base that includes teenage girls and rock and roll dads? How could any band get a stadium of artists, bankers, tech geeks, fashionistas, and parents to sing together, “I was afraid, I’d eat your brains.” Read More
I will trust in time that we will meet again
If you wait
Last week I flew from Chicago to NYC to see the band London Grammar perform at Brooklyn Steel. It's not the first time I've made ridiculous travel plans to see a band I like, but those trips typically involved trains and automobiles -- not the Delta shuttle.
In June, London Grammar released their second album, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing, a follow up to their first album If You Wait. The gap (4 years) between the two albums led many fans to wonder if the group had disappeared. I held out hope and have been obsessively listening to the new album since it came out in June. Read More
If you’ve watched an American movie recently, there’s a good chance that the script was derived from already published material. For big studio productions, those odds jump up to somewhere between 75 and 90%. Oscar ambitions for Best Original Screenplay aside, the adaptation market is the most lucrative for film, and as a VP of Literary Affairs at Legendary Entertainment, Deborah Kauffmann is at the center of the action. She was joined by acclaimed French director Benoit Cohen at a March 21st French in Motion discussion on adapting stories into films and TV series. Read More
After five hours of watching movies, you'd think your brain would be too fried to contemplate anything other than a stroll around the block. Yet we were buzzing when we emerged around midnight from a fantastic double feature of The Odessa File and The Day of the Jackal at the newly-renovated Quad Cinema. Both adaptations of Fredrick Forsyth's thrillers, the movies were packed with enough suspense and intrigue to keep you watching well into witching hour, but it was the fashions in both films that really had my mind going - particularly The Day of the Jackal. And this is how I came to take some spring style cues from the character hired to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle. Read More
Despite fundamental differences between the American and European film production models—free-market profitability versus state-supported culture—the desire for transatlantic projects is stronger than ever before. The opportunities for the two production models to converge, and the related challenges and successes, were the subject of a March 2nd panel hosted by French in Motion, UniFrance and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as part of the annual “Rendez-Vous with French Cinema” series. Read More
Welcome to “Filmstruck,” or, what was that movie I always meant to watch? Read More