"For the previous generation of French filmmakers, the big artistic event in their youth was the New Wave. All the directors from the generation above me saw the Godard films, the Truffaut films, Rivette," Assayas said. "Those movies really captured the spirit of their generation; they really felt part of something that was happening with those films. I never really experienced that. When I grew up and was nineteen years old, the big experience for me was punk rock. It had the kind of energy I related to; it struck a chord within me. It was the poetry for my generation."
That taste for punk and postpunk was revealed to dramatic effect in his 1996 film Irma Vep, a loving satire of the French film industry that used Luna's sultry update to the classic 1967 Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot duet "Bonnie and Clyde," as well as Sonic Youth's squalling "Tunic (Song for Karen)."
Punk, not New Wave: French director Olivier Assayas's latest film hits the Bill Cosford Cinema
"Irma Vep was very improvised. I wrote it fast and shot it fast," recalled Assayas. "We ended up using the music I was listening to at the time. Luna's version of "Bonnie and Clyde." I just felt it belonged in the film. I had no idea why or how, I didn't even know exactly where I would put it, but I knew it had to be in the film. The Sonic Youth song was written right into the screenplay; it was connected to my feelings then."
Late August, Early September screens at the Cosford this Friday, September 24, and Saturday, September 25, at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, September 26, at 5:30 p.m., October 1 and 2 at 9:30 p.m., and October 3, at 7:30 p.m. Kulchur has taken the Cosford's programming don to task in the past for his conservative booking choices, which hewed a bit too closely to the multiplexes. The arrival of Assayas's current work is a welcome sign that the Cosford is reoriented in the right direction. Here's hoping this film is just the first of many such "new" New Wave pictures to hit that theater.
In the world of electronic dance music, "Detroit" is a word that carries as much aesthetic baggage as "Memphis" does to the genre of soul music, or "Chicago" to the blues. Simply put, Detroit equals techno, and those who choose to delve into that field labor in the shadow of Detroit techno pioneers such as Derrick May and Juan Atkins, as well as second-generation producers like Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Claude Young, and the Underground Resistance crew. All of which tends to obscure the work of Detroit's deep-house producers; isn't house from Chicago? Still a host of house talent is diligently puttering away in their Motor City studios: Theo Parrish, Moodymann, Terrence Parker, and Boomer "Omegaman" Reynolds, to name just a few. The latter arrives at Gables's Meza Gallery for a DJ set during Blow Up this Saturday, September 25. Reynolds distinguishes himself from his Detroit brethren by opting for a warmer sound than many of his peers, one that is churningly dense, almost bubbly, and obviously indebted to the swoon of vintage disco. It's an influence that at times is indulged a little too unimaginatively (as on his "Dola's Track," which lifts wholesale the entire hook from Chic's "Le Freak"), but when tempered with Reynolds's fondness for the soulful grooves so rarely heard in these parts, Saturday night's crowd should be beaming -- and bopping up and down -- appreciatively.