Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FanFilm: X-Men First Class - Opening Credit

X-Men First Class - Opening Credit - Joe D Version

Created by Joe D at - Great Saul Bass-inspired main title sequence for the new Matthew Vaughn X-Men film.


Joe D's X-Men: First Class Main Title (Remix)

From Zob10701 @ YouTube: Joe D over at created this great Saul Bass-inspired main title sequence for the new Matthew Vaughn X-Men film. I replaced the audio with a cue from the late, great Jerry Goldsmith—who would've probably ended up scoring the movie had it been made in the 60s—with a cue from the score to "Our Man Flint" edited to fit the sequence.


VIDEO: Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse - Body And Soul

Music video by Tony Bennett & Amy Winehouse performing Body And Soul. 
(C) 2011 Sony Music Entertainment -

Amy Winehouse's Final Video Leaves a Bittersweet Legacy  - Posted by Linda Sharps  on September 14, 2011 at 12:49 PM

She sings the lines and her voice soars, purrs, and becomes a presence that's almost visible in the studio: I spend my days in longing/And wondering why it's me you're wronging/I tell you I mean it/I'm all for you body and soul. Afterward, Amy Winehouse kisses her gold necklace and briefly looks up and points to the ceiling.

This is the last video and song recorded by Winehouse, and it's a beauty. Gone is the bizarre behavior that often accompanied her live concerts, and no fancy camera tricks or special effects make this video anything more than what it is: a perfectly lovely duet performance of "Body and Soul." Sharing the spotlight with Tony Bennett, Amy Winehouse truly looks like she's been resurrected from a healthier, happier time.

Her hair is piled up in that signature bouffant, her eyes are kohl-lined as always, and she appears in glowing good health and spirits. It's all the more tragic that the song was recorded in London's Abbey Road Studios this March, just months before her death.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 2001 – The September 11th Attacks

The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/11) were a series of four coordinated suicide attacks upon the United States in New York City and Washington, D.C. on September 11, 2001. On that morning, 19 terrorists from the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger jets. The hijackers intentionally crashed two planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City; both towers collapsed within two hours. Hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth jet, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to take control before it could reach the hijacker's intended target in Washington, D.C. Nearly 3,000 died in the attacks.

Suspicion quickly fell on al-Qaeda, and in 2004, the group's leader Osama bin Laden, who had initially denied involvement, claimed responsibility for the attacks. Al-Qaeda and bin Laden cited U.S. support of Israel, the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, and sanctions against Iraq as motives for the attacks. The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror, invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, who had harbored al-Qaeda members. Many countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and expanded law enforcement powers. In May 2011, after years at large, bin Laden was found and killed.

The destruction caused serious damage to the economy of Lower Manhattan. Cleanup of the World Trade Center site was completed in May 2002. The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is scheduled to open on September 11, 2011. Adjacent to the memorial the 1,776 feet (541 m) One World Trade Center is estimated for completion by 2013. The Pentagon was repaired within a year, and the Pentagon Memorial opened, adjacent to the building, in 2008. Ground was broken for the Flight 93 National Memorial in November 2009, and the memorial was formally dedicated on September 10, 2011.


September 11 Memorial Playlist:

U2 - One (Studio)

Bruce Springsteen - Into The Fire - 9/11 WTC Tribute Video

Bruce Springsteen - You're Missing - A Tribute to 911 Victims

The Hollies - He Aint Heavy, He's My Brother - 9/11 Tribute

Ennio Morricone - Four Friends - The Untouchables Soundtrack

Interpol – NYC

Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad

Maurice Ravel - Pavane for Dead Princess

Moby - In This World

Friday, September 9, 2011

TV Series: Band of Brothers - HBO Mini-Series

One of the greatest war TV shows ever made debuted on HBO on September 9, 2001, only a few days before the tragic events of September 11.

When I finally watched the complete series a few years ago, I was overwhelmed with the bravery and stories of these great soldiers. It is truly an epic masterpiece!

Many of the actors in the film have gone on to have successful careers in both film and TV. It is a great series that everyone should see.

A great article I came across about them was posted recently:

'Band of Brothers' actors are a successful, tight unit - Ten years ago, 'Band of Brothers' aired starring largely unknown performers. Since then, their careers have blossomed and they gather annually for a reunion. Read More:,0,1628152.story


Band of Brothers is a 2001 ten-part, 11-hour television World War II miniseries based on the book of the same title written by historian and biographer Stephen E. Ambrose. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who had collaborated on the World War II film Saving Private Ryan (1998). The episodes first aired in 2001 on HBO and are still run frequently on various TV networks around the world.

The narrative centers on the experiences of E Company ("Easy Company") of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army. The series covers Easy's basic training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, the American airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne and on to the end of the war, including the taking of the Kehlsteinhaus (Hitler's Eagle's Nest).

The events portrayed are based on Ambrose's research and recorded interviews with Easy Company veterans. A large amount of literary license was taken with the episodes, with several differences between recorded history and the film version. All of the characters portrayed are based on actual members of Easy Company; some of them can be seen in prerecorded interviews as a prelude to each episode (their identities, however, are not revealed until the close of the finale).

The title for the book and the series comes from a famous St. Crispin's Day Speech delivered by the character of Henry V of England before the Battle of Agincourt in William Shakespeare's Henry V; Act IV, Scene 3. A passage from the speech is quoted on the first page of the book, and is also quoted by Carwood Lipton in the final episode.


VIDEO: Band of Brothers - Official Trailer

VIDEO: Band of Brothers - The Inspiring Opening Theme Song To The Series By  Michael Kamen -

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Profile: Richard Wright - Author

Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) was an African-American author of sometimes controversial novels, short stories and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially those involving the plight of African-Americans during the 19th century. His work helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century.

Wright gained national attention for the collection of four short stories titled Uncle Tom's Children (1938). He based some stories on lynching in the Deep South. By May 6, 1938 excellent sales had provided him with enough money to move to Harlem, where he began writing Native Son (1940).

The collection also earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, which allowed him to complete Native Son. It was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author. The lead character, Bigger Thomas, represented the limitations that society placed on African Americans as he could only gain his own agency and self-knowledge by committing heinous acts.

Wright was criticized for his works' concentration on violence. In the case of Native Son, people complained that he portrayed a black man in ways that seemed to confirm whites' worst fears. The period following publication of Native Son was a busy time for Wright. In July 1940 he went to Chicago to do research for a folk history of blacks to accompany photographs selected by Edwin Rosskam. While in Chicago he visited the American Negro Exhibition with Langston Hughes, Arna Bontemps and Claude McKay.

Read More:


"My mother's suffering grew into a symbol in my mind, gathering to itself all the poverty, the ignorance, the helplessness; the painful, baffling, hunger-ridden days and hours; the restless moving, the futile seeking, the uncertainty, the fear, the dread; the meaningless pain and the endless suffering. Her life set the emotional tone of my life, colored the men and women I was to meet in the future, conditioned my relation to events that had not yet happened, determined my attitude to situations and circumstances I had yet to face. A somberness of spirit that I was never to lose settled over me during the slow years of my mother's unrelieved suffering, a somberness that was to make me stand apart and look upon excessive joy with suspicion, that was to make me keep forever on the move, as though to escape a nameless fate seeking to overtake me.

At the age of twelve, before I had one year of formal schooling, I had a conception of life that no experience would ever erase, a predilection for what was real that no argument could ever gainsay, a sense of the world that was mine and mine alone, a notion as to what life meant that no education could ever alter, a conviction that the meaning of living came only when one was struggling to wring a meaning out of meaningless suffering.

At the age of twelve I had an attitude toward life that was to endure, that was to make me seek those areas of living that would keep it alive, that was to make me skeptical of everything while seeking everything, tolerant of all and yet critical. The spirit I had caught gave me insight into the sufferings of others, made me gravitate toward those whose feelings were like my own, made me sit for hours while others told me of their lives, made me strangely tender and cruel, violent and peaceful.

It made me want to drive coldly to the heart of every question and it open to the core of suffering I knew I would find there. It made me love burrowing into psychology, into realistic and naturalistic fiction and art, into those whirlpools of politics that had the power to claim the whole of men's souls. It directed my loyalties to the side of men in rebellion; it made me love talk that sought answers to questions that could help nobody, that could only keep alive in me that enthralling sense of wonder and awe in the face of the drama of human feeling which is hidden by the external drama of life."

 — Richard Wright (Black Boy)