Director David Mackenzie plays up the claustrophobic and impoverished interior of a Glaswegian barge in this dark indie British film. By being made aware of the lack of options available within such merciless conditions, viewers gain empathy for the depth of the characters’ alienation and despair, and the motives behind their fatal decisions.
A clownfish denizen of the Great Barrier Reef leaves the shelter of home to rescue his son who has been kidnapped by divers and plopped into an aquarium in a dentist’s office. The latest feature from Pixar Animation is another enchanting, eye-filling installment in the studio’s unbroken string of classics.
Being John Malkovich writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze have concocted a wacky mock-autobiography about Kaufman himself not being able to adapt Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief into a movie. The result is a nearly insane mesh of fact and fiction, peopled by unforgettable characters.
|28 Days Later
This modestly budgeted science fiction film involves a highly contagious virus that reduces its victims to ravening killers in just twenty seconds, and a society that has fallen apart as the crazed victims have warred on those not yet infected. While some of the ideas seem borrowed from Cold War classics, the effect is freshly nightmarish.
|Keziah Jones – Liquid Soul
This African singer-songwriter’s third album was mostly self-produced between 1995 and 1998, marking Keziah’s growth as musician, vocalist and lyricist. These 13 tracks provide an impassioned and hook-filled invitation to a banquet of styles and moods – from ’70s soul through interpolations of grunge and ambient to acoustic psychedelia.
|Joshua Bell – Poeme
On six solo violin acts, Joshua Bell and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra lead us on some wild turns, a couple of melancholy pieces and a gypsy aire or two. From Pablo de Sarasate’s fiery “Zigeunerweisen” to the title track, Ernest Chausson’s tranquil “Poeme”, Bell pulls sounds from his violin that will make you gasp, with never a misstep.
If a gang of 16th-century English buccaneers formed a rock band, this would be it. Maritime imagery washes over The Coral’s self-titled debut album, with many tracks featuring ragged, sea-shanty like beats. Although from Liverpool, the band’s sound owes as much to Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd as to anything from the Mersey.
|Norah Jones – Feels Like Home
Refusing to allow herself to be confined by a genre, this young vocalist has departed from the bluesy croonings of her successful first album and applied the soulful, smoky quality of her voice to 13 songs that could be best described as folky, or even country. If you think you’d like to hear Dolly Parton on Blue Note, give it a listen.