Beautiful Noise is a documentary about what is commonly known as the shoegaze genre of noise guitar music that developed in the UK in the late 1980s. It focuses on the Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine but also features bands I loved as an undergraduate like Ride and Lush (the only one from this scene that I saw live at the time. I later saw The Jesus and Mary Chain on their reunion tour here in 2008). It also features interviews from Robert Smith (The Cure) and Trent Reznor (NIN), who are both enthusiastic and informative about the genre and its influence on later bands. Billy Corgan wears a stupid hat.
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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is an Iranian vampire film currently on at ACMI. It’s only on for another week so go now! It’s one of the coolest vampire films I’ve seen. It’s possibly better than the recent Only Lovers Left Alive. It’s also very strange in its late 1980s / early 1990s American indie noir western influences. Beware the spoilers that follow.
Imagine Iran to be completely culturally isolated, but for someone who lives there to be given pirated copies of late 1980s and early 1990s films like Vampire’s Kiss, Red Rock West and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. If you then asked them to make a vampire film based on these influences, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is what they’d make. But Iran is not entirely culturally isolated, so there’s no reason why these particular influences should be so apparent. It’s just wonderful that they are.
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Late on Saturday afternoon as I walked past Bimbo’s I noticed an offering left on their entrance step – a solitary bruised mango. I’m not sure of the symbolic importance of this.