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Archive for May 7th, 2009

On the face of it, Tomas Alfredson’s Swedish film about two 12 year olds shouldn’t work, but it really does.    It is fairly disturbing.

Set in a snowy suberb of Stockholm, it tells the story of  the fragile boy Oskar, brilliantly played by Kåre Hedebrant who becomes friendly with his new neighbour Eli, who appears as a girl.    Eli is a vampire, and has been 12 years old for a while.

Let The Right One In

Let The Right One In

And this film, although very gory in bits, as a vampire movie is, actually focuses on the friendship between the two children, and the bullies at Oskar’s school.      It is a love story in a way, and the ending is left very open.

Lots of attention to detail – apparently the most realistic sound of drinking blood was found by trail and error to be yoghurt, and the sound of the children’s eyelids opening and closing was done with sliced grapes.

Without spoiling this for anyone yet to see it, this film is completely spellbinding, and the while the images will haunt you for a while – the performances by the children, and the whole concept will stay with you for longer.    

Highly recommended – and do go and see the original before a Holywood version, already in production, hits the screens.        Subtitles are not difficult!

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Perth Theatre has a series of ‘in the bar’ entertainment on Monday nights, called simply ‘The Monday Night Thing’.

Well, last Monday, the ‘thing’ was a rather special performance from UK Saxphonist Julian Arguelles playing with the legendary John Abercrombie trio.     Arguelles was a member of the 1980s iconic jazz collective Loose Tubes and now writes and performs with his own band, as well as teaching.     John Abercrombie is a veteran jazz guitarist, and does not play in the UK very often.      In the 1970s he played with the likes of the Brecker Brothers and drummer Billy Cobham, but he has played with a long list of the famous as well as his own band.    

Julian Arguelles

Julian Arguelles

They were backed by Michael Formanek on what looked like a 3/4 size double bass, and Tom Rainey on drums.    I have to say, Tom Rainey was just extraordinary to watch.    He only had a fairly small four piece drumkit, but he was very very creative as he took a fixed stare into space and hit anything and everything with sticks, brushes, mallets and his bare hands.    He rarely did the same thing twice, yet it all worked in with the music.    He hit cymbals from the top, sideways and from underneath.    At one stage he played a glass bottle of water, transforming it into sounding in different pitches by tilting the angle.     Pure and utter genius.

The band played some new Arguelles numbers, an Abercrombie tune and  a few standards were thrown in.   The pieces were well extended, often lasting 20 minutes or so.    The standards were standards with a difference.   Arguelles blew city sounds, and performed immense breath defying runs up and down the instrument.      The sold out audience of around 100 or so gave them warm appreciation, and brought them back for more.

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