The American: nice shot, man

The American is the second feature film from Anton Corbijn, following on from the brilliant Ian Curtis biopic Control, and though this thriller is a different beast, once again the photographer’s eye is up front and centre on the big screen.

The story, about an tired assassin/gun maker to the nefarious who seeks a seachange and lurv after a life of loneliness and violence, isn’t remarkable, and there are occasional, minor bumps in the logic road.

George Clooney, and his co-stars, are superb; Clooney is so understated, as is so much of the film. Funnily enough, if an American studio had made this movie, well, it would most likely have been such a different fish.

But instead of sparking, flipping, roaring car chases and huffing foot chases and cut sequences of martial arts and amazing volleys of inaccurate gunfire all set to a thumping techno beat, we have a far more contemplative movie: it still has car chases, foot chases and exchanges of gunfire, but this is a character piece, and it’s beautifully done. Even the soundtrack is treated with minimalist regard.

Much of the charm is in the direction, with almost still images striking such emotional chords: Clooney framed in a cafe window, looking out, seeming so small and paranoid and very alone, is one that sticks in the mind. But these remarkably evocative images are everywhere, whether in the twisting streets of an Italian village or the panoramic landscape or the framing of the characters, making this a real joy to watch.

Bullseye.

Tycho Brahe – live and free

Tycho Brahe with us on our wedding night.

Tycho Brahe with us on our wedding night. Pic: Kim Thomsen

Tycho Brahe are an awesome Brisbane band who were kind enough to play at our wedding. They rocked out and were absolutely fantastic. They also produced a lovely cover of The Cure’s ‘Lovesong‘, which was our theme song.

And now, I’m ecstatic to say, there’s a version of the cover available online. The ’80s-lovin’ band had an, um, interesting live session in a recording studio, in which they aimed to produce a ‘live in the studio’ ep. The ep is now available for free download from CDBaby. You might also like to sample their other output: maybe the uber-catchy ‘1985’ single or one of their albums — Atlantic is probably a good place to start, and work your way back!

I’d also mention that the other band who played at our wedding, the divine Brissie Celtic outfit Sunas, have an album coming out kind of soonish through the ABC. These guys performed a simply beautiful instrumental version of ‘Lovesong’ for the processional, then added vocals while we signed the paperwork. And then they too rocked out! You don’t have to wait for the ABC album (I don’t know if their ‘Lovesong’ cover will be on it, but wouldn’t it be cool if it was?): they have a perfectly engaging self-produced album available now.

Wedding background music

While I’m reminiscing, here’s the tunes that were on the iPod’s wedding playlist for when our pals weren’t shaking Bar Soma.


Angel, Massive Attack
Beautiful Day; Lucky Day: Stringmansassy
Ain’t No Cure for Love; Dance Me To the End of Love: Leonard Cohen
I Let Love In; Into My Arms: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Grace; Hallelujah: Jeff Buckley
Fade Into You, Mazzy Star
Beyond the Field We Know, Sunas
Lovesong; Love Cats: The Cure
A Promise Made (Wedding Day), The Cruxshadows
Building a Mystery, Sarah McLachlan
London Rain, Heather Nova
Amazing, Johnette Napolitano
I Love You, Jeff Martin
Such a Night, Dr John
Let’s Stay Together, Tina Turner
White Wedding, Billy Idol
Living Dead Girl, Rob Zombie (touring!)
Science Fiction, Divinyls
She Sells Sanctuary, The Cult
Stripped, Rammstein
Temptation; Shadows on the Mountainside: The Tea Party
Seven Nation Army, The White Stripes
Disarm; Ave Adore: Smashing Pumpkins
Wild is the Wind; Heroes: David Bowie
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out, The Smiths
Love Will Tear Us Apart, Evelyn Evelyn
Easy, Faith No More
Come As You Are, Nirvana
The Ship Song, Concrete Blonde
Together in Electric Dreams, The Human League
Paint It Black, Inkubus Sukkubus
Last Beat of Your Heart, Mission UK
Tainted Love, Marilyn Manson
To Lose My Life, White Lies
Zero, Yeah Yeah Yeahs
What You Waiting For?, Gwen Stefani
True Faith 94, New Order
Temple of Love, Sisters of Mercy
No Ordinary Love, Sade
I Will Find You, Clannad
I Do, Placebo
If I Was, Midge Ure
I Just Died in Your Arms, Cutting Crew
Pictures of You, Berlin
Evil Night Together, Jill Tracy
Ampersand, Amanda Palmer
Love in Motion, Icehouse feat. Chrissy Amphlett
Vienna, Ultravox