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Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

Have You Heard Of: The Mondrians

In Switzerland on October 13, 2009 at 4:57 pm

Incorporating elements of garage rock, psychedelia, power pop, and good ol’ fashioned rock’n’roll, Swiss indie band The Mondrians first hit the music scene back in 2005 with the release of a set of homemade demo recordings called Pearl of the Lake. They followed this up with several more demos throughout the next couple of years and began their assault on mainland Europe, playing shows in Switzerland and France, before trekking across the English Channel to attempt to impress the notoriously tough British music press and audience. After doing just that the band journeyed to Spain in 2008 to begin work on their debut album with producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor, Skin). After a little over a year of working on it, self-titled album was finally released to iTunes on September 30, 2009 and will be physically released in Europe on November 5.

Quirky album opener “Jesse James (the Gentle Borial of a Hero)” sounds like The Beatles circa The White Album, though with a modern twist. Other songs, such as “Reason to Live”, “I’m Not Like Everybody Else”, “So What for Candide”, are sonic soulmates to The Strokes. Still, they aren’t afraid to slow things down and go introspective; look to “Out of Bananas” and the eight-minute long album closer “Christmas On Your Windows” as evidence. Their debut clearly marks them as a band who knows exactly what sound they want and exactly what they’re doing. It’ll be interesting to see them evolve in the coming years, especially if they are able to find a fair amount of critical or commercial success either stateside of overseas.

Home, dir. by Ursula Meier

In Switzerland on October 13, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Home, Switzerland’s 2010 Oscar submission, tells the interesting story of one family whose unique way of life is threatened by the opening of a previously unused freeway by their house. The film stars legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert as the family matriarch, and Belgian actor Olivier Gourmet as her husband. The two characters preside over a seemingly idyllic and happy family of five, but the introduction of the freeway brings about cracks in the family structure in strange and unique ways. Reactions from those who have seen the film at various festivals, such as those at Cannes, San Francisco, and London, have largely been positive (it’s currently at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes); critics have noted its strong performances (particularly from Huppert), originality, and thematic ambition. It has also been deemed “a deeply disconcerting provocation about the future of civilization” (Empire), “as unsettling as it is sensual” (Daily Telegraph), “a nightmare metaphor for the horrors of the modern world” (Observer), and “one of the strangest horror films of recent years” (Sky Movies). It played the art house circuit in the US back in May, but as of yet does not have a DVD release date.