Scottish rockers The View were thrilled to land a tribute from celebrated author Irvine Welsh on their new album after befriending the writer on tour. The Trainspotting novelist, who is a big fan of the band, has written a foreword for the sleeve of their new record Seven Year Setlist, which hit shelves this month (Jun13).
Frontman Kyle Falconer met the author through his actor roommate Martin Compston, who appears in a new movie adaptation of Welsh's book Filth, and they all became friends after hanging out together at a gig in Chicago, Illinois.
Falconer tells the Daily Record newspaper, "We first met Irvine in Chicago. He wrote some stuff for us. He was Martin Compston's pal and we heard he was a big fan of The View. It is really cool."
Drummer Steven Morrison adds, "When we were in America on tour it was absolutely insane when Irvine showed up in Chicago and we ended up going for a few beers with him. He's pretty much the most interesting guy I've met in my life and he was still there until the very end at 4am and was asking if we wanted another beer."
Compston, adds, "Irvine already loved The View when I moved in with Kyle. Knowing them both independently, I knew they'd get on so well. I sorted Irvine out to go and see them play in Chicago and just knew a lively evening would ensue. Suffice to say, they had a ball."
In the album foreword, Welsh writes of the band, "Despite having been around for what seems like a long time, they still remain young precocious talents, playing their unique brand of catchy, quirky, dirty, sleazy, banging, honest and uplifting rock and roll. So above all else, The View are a big fun band, a party that everyone else is invited to. I'm in. What about you?"
The View frontman Kyle Falconer suffers panic attacks before gigs. The Scottish singer reveals he is trying to promote a "calmer" atmosphere backstage ahead of the band's shows in a bid to help him keep his anxiety under control.
He tells Britain's Daily Star, "They're (the panic attacks) a big deal, and it's from adrenaline, not nerves. I need to try to be less hyper, but our dressing room is always mobbed before gigs. We are getting a bit calmer. I do occasionally get some sleep now.
"It's not just me who suffers from high adrenaline. I've spoken to a lot of singers in other bands who go through the same thing."
Found-footage filmmaking has been all the rage in horror films for the past few years with the Paranormal Activity franchise and its innumerable variants making enthusiastic use of the cheap but effective vérité technique for conjuring scares. Silent House the new (well somewhat new) thriller from the husband-and-wife directing team of Chris Kentis and Laura Lau may not technically be found-footage but its hand-held “captured in real time” approach achieves essentially the same effect minus the idiotic faux disclaimers attesting to its "authenticity."
Presented as a single 88-minute take without any visible editing (think Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope) Silent House stars Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) as Sarah a somewhat aloof young girl staying with her father (Adam Trese) as he and his brother (Eric Sheffer Stevens) renovate their family’s waterfront vacation home in preparation for its sale. After years of neglect the house has fallen into disrepair lacking electricity phone lines or much of anything else that might possibly aid a girl in surviving a home invasion the potential for which is made abundantly clear in the film’s opening act.
And just who might wish to pay Sarah an unwelcome visit? Silent House’s script written by Lau offers any number of likely suspects from the vandals who’ve repeatedly trashed the vacation home to the unsavory ex-boyfriend who’s recently resurfaced in Sarah’s life. And that supposed “childhood friend” who paid her an ominous visit can’t possibly have good intentions. Oh and let’s not forget the simmering feud between Sarah’s father and uncle the fallout from which is bound to turn one of them homicidal. Perhaps they’ll all join forces and form some kind of supergroup the Power Station of sociopaths.
Whoever they are they’re exceedingly ill-tempered as Sarah learns when she happens upon her bloodied father in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Sounds of footsteps signal that his attacker(s) is near and soon Sarah is engaged in a terrifying game of hide-and-seek scrambling about the house to evade capture.
Generous kudos must be paid to cameraman Igor Martinovic who works in lock-step with Olsen in Silent House trailing close behind as she darts up and down the stairs peering over her shoulder as she gingerly opens a door and training on her face as she grimaces in silent terror trying to contain her panic as her unseen tormentor approaches. There are times however when Silent House could use a steadier hand. During some of the film’s more frantic moments the action becomes so hopelessly frenzied as to turn cinema vérité into cinema vomité.
Silent House’s "captured in real time" gimmick is exceedingly well-executed with hidden cuts spread pretty much seamlessly throughout the film. (Of course the fact that I spent a good deal of time scanning for said hidden cuts testifies to its potential to become a distraction.) Lau and Kentis establish a steady build-and-release rhythm with the tension while dropping in subtle clues here and there as to the motives behind the mayhem.
The success or failure of Silent House ultimately hinges on the efforts of Olsen who quite impressively shoulders the burden of inhabiting nearly every frame of the film. Olsen is significantly more nuanced than your typical scream-queen and it’s her performance alone that holds the film aloft during its more ludicrous moments.
Good as she is Olsen can’t hope to rescue the film’s poorly conceived third act. Over a year removed from its 2011 Sundance debut Silent House saw its ending thoroughly rejiggered in preparation for its theatrical release with the final 15 minutes replaced entirely. In its existing iteration the film abruptly takes leave of its senses during the climax with a flurry of preposterous twists and revelations that are only frightening in their abject inanity.
Click here to hear Elizabeth Olsen talk about Silent House's arduous shooting process in our exclusive interview.
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Two orphaned kids Andi (Emma Roberts) and her mechanical whiz of a younger brother Bruce (Jake T. Austin) live in a foster home with a couple of aging wannabe rock stars (Lisa Kudrow Kevin Dillon) who are vehemently anti-pet. Running out of ways to keep their stray pooch Friday hidden in plain sight they stumble on to an abandoned hotel that turns out to be the perfect shelter for Friday – and transform the place into luxury accommodations for all sorts of unwanted pets they spring from the local pound and the streets. But can they stay one step ahead of the law while keeping this United Nations of dogs in line? Human actors don’t have a chance against the gifted assortment of canines. With dogs of every breed from a border collie who loves to herd sheep (don’t ask) to an English bulldog obsessed with chewing stuff the trainers deliver a cast that flawlessly pulls off every dog trick in the book. Fortunately Roberts (Nancy Drew) and Austin are winning and likeable as the two main kids who share a need for family with their four-legged counterparts. Kudrow and Dillon don’t get a whole lot to do in strictly stereotyped roles but Don Cheadle as the kids’ social worker adds a nice touch of dignity and warmth to the story. For his first American feature German director Thor Freudenthal got the supreme challenge: working with kids and animals. Getting this furry menagerie to act on cue could not have been easy but Freundenthal and his talented trainers make it look so. Particularly amusing are the various gadgets and elaborate contraptions Bruce builds to keep the doggies occupied and quiet -- including simulated car windows they can stick their heads out of portable toilets complicated feeding machines and on and on. Just like the current hit Marley & Me it’s a funny and heartwarming family comedy.