I've been catching up on a backlog of movies lately, mostly things I've been meaning to see for a while. I finally saw Amelie, which was just as romantic, whimsical, and beautiful as I'd heard. It was an absolutely fantastic film that makes me wish there were more movies like it. By the way, I haven't tried it yet, but the Amelie action for photoshop looks pretty cool.
In 1999, I noticed a screening of the then-new Genghis Blues (complete with appearance by Paul Pena) coincided with a trip to San Francisco, but I didn't make time to see it. I've been kicking myself in the days since I watched this. It's an incredible journey and story that reminded me why I have a soft spot for documentaries. I went out and got both the soundtrack and Paul Pena's long unreleased album and they're both great. Paul's stuff from the 70's rivals Stevie Wonder's work from the time, and his current blues complete with Tuvan infusion is inventive. The Tuvan throat singing from the movie and soundtrack is amazing and as hard as I try, I can't quite figure out how they do it.
In other movie-related news, I'm bummed to hear James Coburn has passed on. I got to see him speak after a screening of Affliction, where he was frank, funny, and introspective for over an hour. He seemed like the most genuine person in the business and his death is a tremendous loss.