- Basque group Delorean brings psychedelic Baleric beat to H Street NE on Tuesday. (Photo: Nacho Alegre)
Paul McCartney wasn't knighted for his acting skills, but he wasn't a male Mariah Carey, either. (Wait, that joke doesn't work after Precious, does it?) Every Monday for the next month, the Library of Congress will screen a film that has something to do with Paul McCartney, the recipient of the library's 2010 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The series opens with Yellow Submarine, the animated film about an "earthly paradise called Pepperland"; it's no less bizarre today than it was in 1968. After Let it Be, though, the series moves away from Beatles fare to drama (Give My Regards to Broad Street) and concert documentaries (Live in Red Square, The Last Waltz). So yeah, no Glitter here — just a bunch of harmless fare, kind of like McCartney himself.
This documentary follows ten students from Kamehameha Schools, a multi-campus Hawaiian institution whose controversial admissions policy favors those with native ancestry, as they prepare for a song contest.
Few bands working today awaken the escapist within more than Delorean, an English-language Balearic pop band from the Basque region of Spain. The band's latest album, Subiza, is carefree but never aimless, and more upbeat than downbeat. It sounds, in other words, like the perfect soundtrack for backpacking, and consequently inspires an almost painful wanderlust in me. Then I remember that backpacking is more aimless than carefree, and more downbeat than upbeat, and that weight in my chest lifts. With Delorean, though, I can pretend for an hour or so that traveling can, in fact, produce such a thing as a natural high, and that it's not just that gap-year Brit smoking weed in the bottom bunk.
Kurt Vile is so good that even non-album tracks he dumps on 7-inches, such as "In My Time," are strong enough to close out an episode of Friday Night Lights. I say this without a grain of sarcasm. Vile sounds about forty years older than he is, but without sounding like he's trying to sound forty years older than he is.
Spain consistently puts out some of the best films every year, and these six are considered among 2009's finest. As long as you can stand that inescapable lisp, you can't lose with any of these.
How long is 319 minutes? Let's see ... about five and a half hours. That's how long Carlos is, and here's how long you get for intermission: 15 minutes. Then again, it's Thanksgiving weekend; if you're in town, you're probably lonely. What better way to spend an afternoon than with an Olivier Assayas film (Summer Hours, Irma Vep)? The New York Times calls the film an "excited, exciting, epic dramatization about the international terrorism brand known as Carlos the Jackal," and on Metacritic the film scores a 93. Maybe it's too late for me to cancel my travel plans? "Sorry, Mom, but there's this five-and-a-half-hour biopic about a Venezuelan terrorist that I'm dying to see. Let's reschedule for Christmas."