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Films: Lies (1999) - Girl on the Bridge (1999) - Audition (1999) - Eyes Wide Shut (1999) - Fight Club (1999) - Ghost Dog (1999) - Une Liaison Pornographique (1999) - The Matrix (1999) - Romance X (1999)
Non-fiction: Last Night a DJ Saved my Life (1999) - Brewster and Broughton
NapsterNapster is the killer app that will be undoubtedly remembered more than any other MP3-related software. When Napster hit the Internet in 1999, it allowed anyone with a connection to find and download just about any type of popular music they wanted, in minutes. By connecting users to other users' hard drives, Napster created a virtual community of music junkies that's grew at an astonishing pace.
Simon Reynolds Faves 1999Dr. Doom---First Come, First Served (Funky Ass Records)
Retro-sci-fi sounds and cosmic paranoia lyrics make these undeniable, even if Kool Keith fits almost too patly the emerging Afro-Futurist/black science fiction canon, per Greg Tate/John Corbett/Kodwo Eshun.
- Marshmellows - Soulpower - official site
- DJ Rolando - Knights Of The Jaguar
- Roy Davis Jr - Remember the Day
- Soldiers of Universal Love - Got 2 Get 2 Heaven
- Femi Kuti - Truth Don't Die (Kerri Chandler remix)
- Lenny Fontana Presents Black Sun - Spread Love
- Marcel - On The Beach
- Karizma - The Power EP (Black Vinyl 015)
- Trüby Trio - Galicia
- Maurice Fulton - Revenge of the Orange
- Mr Scruff - Get a Move On (Moondog's Birds Lament)
- Vince Montana Jr - I'm Still The Best [...]
- Jovonn & DJ Deep - Pitch Black EP (Next Moov Traxx 001)
- Moodymann - Shades Of Jae Part 1&2 (KDJ 21)
- Cesaria Evora - Carnival de Sao Vincente (Wave/BMG)
- Lenny Fontana presents Black Sun - Spread Love (Estereo 017)
- Pepe Bradock - Burning (Kif S.A. 008)
- Joe Claussell - Je Ka Jo (Ibadan 020)
- Moloko - Sing It Back
- Vol. 1-Disco Spectrum [2CD Amazon US]
John Davis Orchestra - Bourgie Bourgie Rare Pleasure - Let me down easy Ramona Brooks - I don't want you back Fresh Band - Come back lover' Omni feat. Connee Draper - Out of my hands Revelation - Feel it Logg - You've got that something Frontline Orchestra - Don't turn your back Clyde Alexander - Gotta get your love Baby'O - In the forest DISCO 02 Two Man Sound - Que tal America Azoto - San Salvador Esther Williams - I'll be your pleasure Salsoul Orchestra - Take some time out for love Exodus - Together forever Hudson People - Trip to your love Ramsey & Co. - Love Calls John Gibbs & The US Steel Orchestra - Trinidad Family of Eve - 'I wanna be loved by you'
- Programmed (1999) - Innerzone Orchestra [Amazon US]
Future-jazz visionary Carl Craig's Innerzone collaboration project highlights his pedigree as a producer, arranger, and all-around genius, ranking him with the likes of Stepney and Jones. Craig has created an album that genuinely manages to break new ground, merging the musical past with the technological future, blurring the textures of the electronic and the organic. "Manufactured Memories" like "Blakula" sets the abstract pace, as breaksmith Fransico Mora executes immense live drum technique (as he does throughout) within an electronic framework. Like some lost studio session tapes of Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra, and Max Brennan, "Basic Math" and "Timing" are avant-fusion workouts. As some plunder and exploit, claiming originality, Craig makes no secret of the inspiration drawn from the others' works (including the superb reinterpretation of the Stylistics' "People Make the World Go Round"). By borrowing, reconstituting, and making his own, he has created something very unique and utterly sublime. --Amazon.co.uk [with the Stylistics cover of People Make the World Go Round.]
- Grassroots - Ashley Beedle[1CD, Amazon US]
Ashley's faves, from jazz to hip hop, from disco to reggae. The way it should be. Eclecticism rules.
1 Introduction (Windy City Theme) - Windy City 2 The Liberation Song (Red, Black and Green) - Gil Scoot Heron & Brian Jackson 3 Sweet Thing - Rufus & Chaka Khan 4 Let Me Down Easy (12'' Disco Version) - Rare Pleasure 5 My Babe's Got ESP (Special Disco Version) - Four Below Zero 6 Welcome To The Club - Blue Magic 7 Stan's Theme - Stan Ivory 8 Gibraltar - Freddie Hubbard 9 Hihache - Lafayette Afro-Rock Band 10 J Dub's Theme - feat. No Self Control + The Band Son Of Bazerk 11 Canned Interlude - Unknown 12 Doin' It - Gwen McCrae 13 Feel Up (Original US 12'' Version) - Grace Jones 14 Adventures In Success (Dub Copy) - Will Powers 15 Stop Bajon...Primavera - Tullio De Picopo [...]
- David Mancuso Presents the Loft, vol 1 [Amazon US]
Ain't No Stopping Us Now (Version) - Risco Connection | Is It All Over My Face (Unreleased Original Full Length Version) - Loose Joints | The Spirit's In It - Patti Labelle | Get Ready For The Future - The Winners | Life On Mars - Dexter Wansel | Say A Prayer For Two (U.S. Remixed Version) - Crown Heights Affair | Love Money - T.W. Funkmasters | Love Honey, Love Heartache (Larry Levan Vocal Mix) - Man Friday | Serious, Sirius Space Party (Club Version) - Ednah Holt | Yellow Train - Resonance | Mysteries Of Love (Instrumental) - Fingers, Inc. | Devotion (Bam Bam's House Mix) - Ten City | High Priestess - Karma | Soul Makossa - Manu Dibango
- Faze Action - Plans & Designs [Amazon US]
Could the producers, arrangers and song-doctors of Philly and Salsoul have ever, in their wildest, most self-aggrandising dreams, imagined that one day there would be such a thing as "classicist disco"? That's what Faze Action's Robin & Simon Lee (brothers, not a typo) are. Like Brian Jones and Keith Richards poring over their blues records, Faze Action are purist scholars of the form -- for them the Salsoul Orchestra is Howlin' Wolf and Walter Gibbons is Muddy Waters. Plans & Designs's near eleven-minute title track-- an art-disco percussadelic symphony of tremor-rendous timpani and melodramatic violas, violins and cellos--is the best thing of its ilk since Dinosaur L's "Go Bang" (Arthur Russell at his Van McCoy-meets-Steve Reich peak). Cool CD packaging too, with the silver disc coming in an inner cardboard sleeve just like a vinyl 12 inch.
1. Plans And Designs 2. Original Disco Motion 3. In And Out 4. In The Trees 5. Astral Projection 6. Turn The Point 7. Vortex 8. Plans & Designs String Reprise [...]
- Magnolia (1999) - P.T. Anderson [Amazon.com]
This third feature from Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) is a maddening, magnificent piece of filmmaking, and it's an ensemble film to rank with the best of Robert Altman--every little piece of the film means something, and it's solidly there for a reason. Deftly juggling a breathtaking ensemble of actors, Anderson crafts a tale of neglectful parents, resentful children, and love-starved souls that's amazing in scope, both thematically and emotionally. Part of the charge of Magnolia is seeing exactly how may characters Anderson can juggle, and can he keep all those balls in air (indeed he can, even if it means throwing frogs into the mix). And it's been far too long since we've seen a filmmaker whose love of making movies is so purely joyful, and this electric energy is reflected in the actors, from Cruise's revelatory performance to Reilly's quietly powerful turn as the moral center of the story. While at three hours it's definitely not suited to everyone's taste, Magnolia is a compelling, heartbreaking, ultimately hopeful mediation on the accidents of chance that make up our lives. Featuring eight wonderful songs by Aimee Mann, including "Save Me." --Mark Englehart
- Being John Malkovitch (1999) - Spike Jonze [Amazon.com]
Being John Malkovich is a 1999 film written by Charlie Kaufman and directed by Spike Jonze.
The film centers around a puppeteer named Craig Schwartz, who gets a job at the Lestercorp company in the fictional Mertin-Flemmer building in New York City. One day he finds a door in the wall of an office; going through it, he is transported into the brain of actor John Malkovich. He sees, hears, and feels everything Malkovich experiences for about fifteen minutes, and is then deposited into a ditch next to the New Jersey Turnpike. Schwartz and Maxine, a co-worker to whom he is unrequitedly attracted, set up a night business charging people to experience it. Schwartz eventually becomes adept at controlling Malkovich and resides in the body for several months before an ending in which he is absorbed into the body of the unborn baby of Maxine and Malkovich (conceived while Schwartz's wife Lotte was inside Malkovich).
The film was widely praised for its originality, both in terms of the script and Jonze's direction. Kaufman's blending of fact and outrageous fiction was a theme continued in his next film with Jonze, Adaptation (which features Kaufman himself as a character and briefly touches on the making of Being John Malkovich). Jonze's direction and the performances of the lead actors was also viewed favourably by most critics. As well as Malkovich's performance as himself (or at least a version of himself; his middle name in the film is Horatio, which is not his real middle name), Cameron Diaz's small role attracted considerable attention, at least partly as she was almost unrecognizable as the dowdy Lotte. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_John_Malkovitch [Apr 2005]
- Todo Sobre Mi Madre (all about my mother) - Pedro Almodovar [1 DVD, Amazon US]
After her son is killed in an accident, Manuela (Cecilia Roth) leaves Madrid for her old haunts in Barcelona. She reconnects with an old friend, a pre-op transsexual prostitute named La Agrado (Antonia San Juan), who introduces her to Rosa (Penélope Cruz), a young nun who turns out to be pregnant. Meanwhile, Manuela becomes a personal assistant for Huma Rojo (Marisa Paredes), an actress currently playing Blanche DuBois in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. All About My Mother traces the delicate web of friendship and loss that binds these women together. The movie is dedicated to the actresses of the world, so it's not surprising that all the performances are superb. Roth in particular anchors All About My Mother with compassion and generosity. But fans of writer-director Pedro Almodóvar needn't fret--as always, Almodóvar's work undermines conventional notions of sexual identity and embraces all human possibilities with bright colors and melodramatic plotting. However, All About My Mother approaches its twists and turns with a broader emotional scope than most of Almodóvar's work; even the more extravagant aspects of the story are presented quietly, to allow the sadness of life to be as present as the irrepressible vitality of the characters. Almodóvar embraces pettiness, jealousy, and grief as much as kindness, courage, and outrageousness, and the movie is the richer for it. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com
- The Blair Witch Project (1999) - Daniel Myrick, Eduardo Sánchez [Amazon US]
Anyone who has even the slightest trouble with insomnia after seeing a horror movie should stay away from The Blair Witch Project--this film will creep under your skin and stay there for days. Credit for the effectiveness of this mock documentary goes to filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez, who armed three actors (Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, and Josh Leonard) with video equipment, camping supplies, and rough plot outlines. They then let the trio loose into the Maryland woods to improvise and shoot the entire film themselves as the filmmakers attempted to scare the crap out of them. Gimmicky, yes, but it worked--to the wildly successful tune of $130 million at the box office upon its initial release (the budget was a mere $40,000).
For those of you who were under a rock when it first hit the theaters, The Blair Witch Project tracks the doomed quest of three film students shooting a documentary on the Burkittsville, Maryland, legend of the Blair Witch. After filming some local yokels (and providing only scant background on the witch herself), the three, led by Heather (something of a witch herself), head into the woods for some on-location shooting. They're never seen again. What we see is a reconstruction of their "found" footage, edited to make a barely coherent narrative. After losing their way in the forest, whining soon gives way to real terror as the three find themselves stalked by unknown forces that leave piles of rocks outside their campsite and stick-figure art projects in the woods. (As Michael succinctly puts it, "No redneck is this clever!") The masterstroke of the film is that you never actually see what's menacing them; everything is implied, and there's no terror worse than that of the unknown. If you can wade through the tedious arguing--and the shaky, motion-sickness-inducing camerawork--you'll be rewarded with an oppressively sinister atmosphere and one of the most frightening denouements in horror-film history. Even after you take away the monstrous hype, The Blair Witch Project remains a genuine, effective original. --Mark Englehart
- American Beauty (1999) - Sam Mendes [Amazon US]
From its first gliding aerial shot of a generic suburban street, American Beauty moves with a mesmerizing confidence and acuity epitomized by Kevin Spacey's calm narration. Spacey is Lester Burnham, a harried Everyman whose midlife awakening is the spine of the story, and his very first lines hook us with their teasing fatalism--like Sunset Boulevard's Joe Gillis, Burnham tells us his story from beyond the grave.
It's an audacious start for a film that justifies that audacity. Weaving social satire, domestic tragedy, and whodunit into a single package, Alan Ball's first theatrical script dares to blur generic lines and keep us off balance, winking seamlessly from dark, scabrous comedy to deeply moving drama. The Burnham family joins the cinematic short list of great dysfunctional American families, as Lester is pitted against his manic, materialistic realtor wife, Carolyn (Annette Bening, making the most of a mostly unsympathetic role) and his sullen, contemptuous teenaged daughter, Jane (Thora Birch, utterly convincing in her edgy balance of self-absorption and wistful longing). Into their lives come two catalytic outsiders. A young cheerleader (Mena Suvari) jolts Lester into a sexual epiphany that blooms into a second adolescence. And an eerily calm young neighbor (Wes Bentley) transforms both Lester and Jane with his canny influence.
Credit another big-screen newcomer, English theatrical director Sam Mendes, with expertly juggling these potentially disjunctive elements into a superb ensemble piece that achieves a stylized pace without lapsing into transparent self-indulgence. Mendes has shrewdly insured his success with a solid crew of stage veterans, yet he's also made an inspired discovery in Bentley, whose Ricky Fitts becomes a fulcrum for both plot and theme. Cinematographer Conrad Hall's sumptuous visual design further elevates the film, infusing the beige interiors of the Burnhams' lives with vivid bursts of deep crimson, the color of roses--and of blood. --Sam Sutherland for amazon.com
- Sweet and Lowdown (1999) - Woody Allen [DVD, Amazon US]
Woody Allen makes beautiful music but only fitful comedy with his story of "the second greatest guitar player in the world." Sean Penn plays Emmett Ray, an irresponsible, womanizing swing guitar player in Depression-era America who is guided by an ego almost as large as his talent. "I'm an artist, a truly great artist," he proclaims time and time again, and when he plays, soaring into a blissed-out world of pure melodic beauty, he proves it. Samantha Morton almost steals the film as his mute girlfriend Hattie, a sweet Chaplinesque waif who loves him unconditionally, and Uma Thurman brings haughty moxie to her role as a slumming socialite and aspiring writer who's forever analyzing Emmett's peculiarities (like taking his dates to shoot rats at the city dump). The vignettelike tales are interspersed with comments by jazz aficionados and critics, but this is less a Zelig-like mockumentary than an extension of the self-absorbed portraits of Deconstructing Harry and Celebrity. The lazy pace drags at times and the script runs dry between comic centerpieces--the film screams for more of Allen's playful invention--but there's a bittersweet tenderness and an affecting vulnerability that is missing from his other recent work. Shot by Zhao Fei (The Emperor and the Assassin, Raise the Red Lantern), it's one of Allen's most gorgeous and colorful films in years, buoyed by toe-tapping music and Penn's gruffly charming performance. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com
- Wonderland (1999) - Michael Winterbottom [DVD, Amazon US]
I avoid the "grade inflation" so prevalent at this site. There are few movies I rate "5", but this one certainly deserves it. It has the feel of Magnolia, but with more subtlety. Wonderland depicts modern urban alienation, but with tremendous human compassion and artfullness instead of cold philosophy or polemics. The directing and photography are both top-notch. The occasional visual gimmick works because it is employed only where appropriate. Unlike Magnolia, the several characters intermix throughout the movie. Our understanding of the them is established with impressive economy. The only criticisms I have are the several instances of indistinct dialogue (I'm thankful for subtitles) and the lack of extras on the DVD. --A viewer for amazon.com
- Man on the Moon (1999) - Milos Forman [1 DVD, Amazon US]
"There is no real you," jokes Lynn Margulies (Courtney Love) to her boyfriend, Andy Kaufman (Jim Carrey), as he grows more contemplative during a battle with cancer. "I forgot," he says, playing along, though the question of Kaufman's reality is always at issue in Milos Forman's underappreciated Man on the Moon. The story of Kaufman's quick rise to fame through early appearances on Saturday Night Live and the conceptual stunts that made his club and concert appearances an instant legend in the irony-fueled 1970s and early '80s, Man on the Moon never makes the mistake of artificially delineating Comic Andy from Private Andy. True, we get to see something of his private interest in meditation and some of the flakier extremes of alternative medicine, but even these interludes suggest the presence of an ultimate con behind apparent miracles of transformation.
Screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt) allege that transformation was Kaufman's purpose--more than a shtick but less than a destiny. As we see him constantly up the ante on the credibility of his performance personae (the obnoxious nightclub comic Tony Clifton; the insulting, misogynistic professional wrestler), Forman makes it harder and harder to detect Kaufman's sleight of hand. But it's there, always there, always the transcendent Andy watching the havoc he creates and the emotions he stirs.
Carrey is magnificent as Kaufman, re-creating uncannily detailed comedy pieces etched in the memory of anyone who remembers the real Andy. But while Carrey's mimicry of Kaufman is flawless and funny, the actor probes much deeper into an enigmatic character who, in life, was often a moving target even for those closest to him. --Tom Keogh
- eXistenZ (1999) - David Cronenberg [1 DVD, Amazon US]
Director David Cronenberg's eXistenZ is a stew of corporate espionage, virtual reality gaming, and thriller elements, marinated in Cronenberg's favorite Crock-Pot juices of technology, physiology, and sexual metaphor. Jennifer Jason Leigh is game designer Allegra Geller, responsible for the new state-of-the-art eXistenZ game system; along with PR newbie Ted Pikul (Jude Law), they take the beta version of the game for a test drive and are immersed in a dangerous alternate reality. The game isn't quite like PlayStation, though; it's a latexy pod made from the guts of mutant amphibians and plugs via an umbilical cord directly into the user's spinal column (through a BioPort). It powers up through the player's own nervous system and taps into the subconscious; with several players it networks their brains together. Geller and Pikul's adventures in the game reality uncover more espionage and an antigaming, proreality insurrection. The game world makes it increasingly difficult to discern between reality and the game, either through the game's perspective or the human's. More accessible than Crash, eXistenZ is a complicated sci-fi opus, often confusing, and with an ending that leaves itself wide open for a sequel. Fans of Cronenberg's work will recognize his recurring themes and will eat this up. Others will find its shallow characterizations and near-incomprehensible plot twists a little tedious. --Jerry Renshaw [...]
- Extension du domaine de la lutte (1999) Directed by Philippe Harel, novel by Michel Houellebecq
A true anomaly in the French cinema scene,this despairing work has no equivalent in the contemporary production.One would rather have to look on the side of Louis Malle's "le feu follet" (1963)(the fire within) to find something not completely unlike Harel's effort.
- Writing on Drugs (1999) - Sadie Plant [Amazon US]
In this exhilarating literary exploration, Sadie Plant traces the history of drugs and drug use through the work of some of our most revered, and infamous, writers. Rather than exploring drug use as an avenue to spiritual transcendence, Plant focuses on the way that drugs themselves make precise, recognizable interventions in consciousness, in cultural life, in politics. She argues that the use, production, and trafficking of drugs--narcotics, stimulants, and hallucinogens--have shaped some of the era's most fundamental philosophies and provided much of its economic wealth. "The reasons for the laws and the motives for the wars, the nature of the pleasures and the trouble drugs can cause, the tangled webs of chemicals, the plants, the brains, machines: ambiguity surrounds them all. Drugs shape the laws and write the very rules they break, they scramble all the codes and raise the stakes of desire and necessity, euphoria and pain, normality, perversion, truth, and artifice again." [...]
- An Underground Education (1999) - Richard Zacks [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
An Underground Education : The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew About Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human Knowledge
Forget the history you were taught in school; Richard Zacks's version is crueler and funnier than anything you might have learned in seventh-grade civics--and much more of a gross-out, too. Described on the book jacket as an "autodidact extraordinaire," Zacks is also the author of History Laid Bare, making him something of an expert guide through history's back alleys and side streets. There's no fact too seamy or perverse for Zacks to drag out into the light of day, from matters scatological and sexual to some of history's most truly bizarre episodes. Curious about ancient nose-blowing etiquette? What about the sexual proclivities of Catherine the Great? Throughout chapters such as "The Evolution of Underwear" and "Dentistry Before Novocaine," Zacks proves a tireless debunker of popular myths as well as a muckraker par excellence.--Amazon.com
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