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Deepa Mehta, the woman behind the Elements film trilogy—Fire, Earth, and Water—directs this adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s 1980 novel, an epic story that deftly combines elements of magical realism, historical fiction, Indian postcolonial literature, and deeply personal family dynamics. At midnight on August 17, 1947—the very moment of India’s independence from Great Britain—two baby boys are born to two families on opposite sides of the economic spectrum, and are swapped by a nurse wishing to make a political statement. Read More
Sean Tillmann, aka Har Mar Superstar, is a veteran musician who should be more famous than he is, given that he’s a stellar singer/songwriter with a sublime set of pipes. On Bye Bye 17, his fifth album under the Har Mar moniker, Tillmann takes a detour from 2009’s disco-infused Dark Touches and delves into full-on classic R&B, Sam Cooke-style soul, and early ’70s-era Al Green-inspired tunes. On the opener, “Lady, You Shot Me,” bombastic horns support Tillmann’s woeful tale of heartbreak. Read More
Actual pyramids are bottom-heavy, just like Brightest Darkest Day, the debut from a duo made up of vocalist Drea Smith and OK Go’s Tim Nordwind. The two concoct a range of sonic textures which sometimes captivate and other times get lost in the fray. Album closer “Nothing I Can Say” staggers under a feedback loop as dreary as a rainy day in Manchester. About half the album is bogged down in these kinds of post-punk genuflections—a pity, because Smith’s voice smoldered in the less forbidding climate of 2011’s Human Beings, the band’s poppy EP. Read More

Book Review: Honor

BY BUST Magazine in General

Honor is a novel about twin sisters—one who marries and moves to London and the other who stays behind in their Turkish village—and follows the pains they go through for love, family, and tradition, even when that tradition is honor killing. In the 1970s, Pembe and her husband Adem move to London for a better life. As they try to fit into a different culture, their loveless marriage crumbles, and Adem leaves Pembe to fend for herself and their children alone. When Pembe begins seeing a new man, it falls to her oldest son to defend the family honor. Read More
Fractured fairy tales have dominated this year’s box office, but most of the stories are pretty far removed from the real world. Enter The Brass Teapot, a topical spin on this formula that follows neither witch hunters nor giant slayers, but a couple of broke kids. Married protagonists Alice (Juno Temple) and John (Michael Angarano) find a shady solution to their debt in a teapot that responds to pain by filling itself with cash. It’s not long before the two use sadomasochism, body modification, and plenty of slapstick to amass themselves a fortune. Read More
     On their fourth album Indigo Meadow, the Black Angels have kept all of the echo, fuzz, and organ-wailing they’re known for, but added a tighter sound and clearer vocals. It’s obvious the band’s heroes are ahead-of-their-time legends like the 13th Floor Elevators, the Velvet Underground, and the Stooges, but the Angels don’t sound dated while renovating the psych-garage punk genre. Every song on Indigo Meadow flat out rocks, especially the title track and the lead single “Don’t Play With Guns. Read More
A veritable Jane-of-all-trades, Rayya Elias has been a musician, hair stylist, inmate, addict, and now, author. Harley Loco begins in 1967, when seven-year-old Elias and her family flee their home country, Syria, for Detroit. As she struggles with bullying by her peers, Elias gains the respect of her classmates by taking her first hit of mescaline at school. Drugs quickly become a source of power and help to soothe the internal rift created by the life she left behind. Read More
With two of Hollywood’s most consistently funny and charming actors topping the bill, a fitting subtitle for Admission could have been “Oh My God, Tina Fey and Paul Rudd: I Love Them!” Fey stars as Portia, a strait-laced admissions officer at Princeton University whose uneventful life is intruded upon by her former classmate John (Rudd), a well-meaning high school teacher. John wants to introduce Portia to his student Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), who he believes would make a great addition to Princeton. Unfortunately, Jeremiah is far from Princeton material. Read More
  Lisa Germano’s albums always remind me of a car accident—her lyrical stories contain elements that both attract and repel, like she can’t stop picking at certain wounds, even if it hurts a little. Her newest album No Elephants is rife with similar dualities. Germano’s breathless voice is simultaneously ecstatic and on the verge of a meltdown, especially when she sings lyrics like, “All is not well outside.” A multi-instrumentalist, she accompanies herself on piano on many songs, and demonstrates her skillful violin work on “Diamonds. Read More

Movie Review: Lore

BY BUST Magazine in Movies

  The titular character in this haunting film by Somersault director Cate Shortland is the 14-year-old daughter of a high-ranking Nazi official. When Allied forces inter her parents in their sweep through Germany as World War II comes to a close, Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is left to care for her four much-younger siblings, including a baby. So she leads them on a trek through her devastated country to find safety at their grandmother’s house. Read More
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