Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Intense material hailing from the Portuguese speaking lands......

I ducked out during the day a week or two back to go the movies. I won't talk about the film I saw (truth be told, it didn't really make much of an impression on me), and this was a strange feeling because what I found far more evocative was sitting in the front row of the virtually empty cinema listening to my iPod while I waited for the show to begin. The blank screen and the quietness of my surroundings acted as a feedback loop to the dark ambient soundtrack I was listening to. I had barely recovered from the brilliance of Les Joyaux de la Princess when Thermidor's 1929 kicked in. I hereby declare Thermidor the most stunning new artist I have heard for a long time. This even extends to the album's concept art, which is very reminiscent, to me at least, of Sam Von Olffen's steampunk style, which I posted on this blog before. I'm trying to chase more information about Thermidor, but I think the artist wishes, like Les Joyaux, to preserve anonymity as much as possible. Be sure to check out Thermidor's website to get a better idea of what I'm so enthused about.

OK, I described Thermidor as offering a dark ambient soundtrack, but it's hard to see the style as complementary to that mad visionary José Mojica Marins, try as I might. Any connections are tangential, aside from their speaking the same language, suffice to say I would be curious to know how this Brazilian filmmaker has been received in Portugal. As far as explicit musical affinities go, I don't think Rob Zombie would hesitate to admit how he has been influenced by Coffin Joe. For now at least I'll have to content myself with posting Pt 1 of a fascinating documentary about a director who has been described thus:

"Marins’ furiously subversive anti-religion/anti-government interpretation of the genre took shape in the midst of a brutal dictatorship and remains wholly without parallel.

Over his nearly half-century-long career, he has created some of the most inspired, inflammatory and hallucinatory imagery in the history of fantastic cinema. His Coffin Joe character is equal parts the Marquis De Sade, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Salvador Dali and Friedrich Nietzsche, channeled through a love for confrontational horror films and the darkest of carnivalesque spook show iconography".

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