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Exclusive premiere: Eleni Mandell “Magic Summertime”

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You can almost feel the billowy breeze in this hazy ditty by LA’s Eleni Mandell, between the strings and the vibes. The video about musical lovers, in which sea foam and sunbeams play to fond summertime memories, was shot on 16mm and Super 8 to lend that home movie nostalgia.

“The idea came to me while listening to the final mix of the song,” Mandell said, whereupon she imagined having her ex-boyfriend Charlie Wadhams play her leading man in a video where they did a lot of dancing together. Then she brought in her friend Jeff Martin (who’s in the band Idaho) to direct and his ex to play the choreographer. “It was a real love fest!” Mandell noted. “Nanci did a great job of choreographing two non-dancers (though Charlie and I both love to dance) and was such a good sport to agree to be in the video at the last minute and play the home wrecker.”

 

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Mandell went on to tell how she got involved with Martin to shoot the video. “He’s probably filmed every minute of his life,” she said. “We’re in a club (there are only 3 of us in this club) called Urban Hikers. The point is to walk to a restaurant and pig out because we’re walking there and back. Our longest hike was 9 miles! Walking in Los Angeles is a real adventure.” Martin always documents the group’s gluttonous hikes on film and has previously directed few music videos for a few bands (including Ingrid Michaelson), so the collaboration came naturally — even if the personal relationships involved were a bit risque. Eleni Mandell’s “I Can See the Future,” is set for release July 10th on Yep Roc Records.

Do you go out dancing with your ex? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

Bourne

Bourne to Run

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Bourne Movies

Catch The Bourne Ultimatum this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

You know his name, as the Super Bowl teaser for the upcoming summer blockbuster Jason Bourne reminded us. In this era of franchise films, that seems to be more than enough to get another entry in the now 15-year-old series greenlit. And gosh darn it if we aren’t into it. Before you catch The Bourne Ultimatum on IFC, here are some surprising facts about the Bourne movies that you may not know. And unlike Jason Bourne, try not to forget them.


10. Matt Damon was a long shot to play Jason Bourne.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Coming off of Good Will Hunting and The Legend of Bagger Vance, early ’00s Matt Damon didn’t exactly scream “ripped killing machine.” In fact, Brad Pitt, Russell Crowe and even Sylvester Stallone were all offered the part before it fell into the hands of the Boston boy made good. It was his enthusiasm for director Doug Liman’s more frenetic vision that ultimately helped land him the part.


9. Love interest Marie was almost played by Sarah Polley.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon wasn’t the only casting surprise. Franka Potente, of Run Lola Run fame, wasn’t the filmmaker’s first choice for the role or Marie in The Bourne Identity. In fact, Liman wanted his Go star Sarah Polley for the part, but she turned it down in favor of making indie movies back in Canada. A quick rewrite changed the character from American Marie Purcell to European Marie Helena Kreutz, and the rest is movie history.


8. Director Doug Liman was obsessed with the Bourne books.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Liman had long been a fan of the Bourne book series. When Warner Bros.’ rights to the books lapsed in the late ’90s, Liman flew himself to author Robert Ludlum’s Montana home, mere days after earning his pilot’s license. The author was so impressed with his passion for the material, he sold the rights on the spot.


7. Liman’s father actually worked for the NSA.

Universal Picutres

Universal Pictures

Part of Liman’s fasciation with the Bourne series was that his own father played the same spy craft games portrayed in the books while working for the NSA. In fact, many of the Treadstone details were taken from his father’s own exploits, and Chris Cooper’s character, Alex Conklin, was based on Oliver Stone, whom Arthur Liman famously cross examined as chief counsel of the Iran-Contra hearings.


6. Tony Gilroy threw the novel’s story out while writing The Bourne Identity.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Despite being based on a hit book, screenwriter Tony Gilroy, coming off of The Devil’s Advocate, had no idea how to adapt it into a movie. He said the book was more concerned with people “running to airports” than character, and would need a complete rewrite. Director Doug Liman agreed, and Gilroy claims to have condensed the original novel into the first five minutes. Getting that out of the way, he then wrote his own story, based on a man who wakes up one day not remembering anything but how to kill.


5. Damon walked like a boxer to get into character.

Universal Picutres

Universal Picutres

Damon had never played a character like Bourne before, and was searching for a way to capture his physicality. Doug Liman told him to walk like a boxer to give Jason Bourne an edge. Damon took that to heart, training for six months in boxing, marital arts and firearms.


4. Damon broke an actor’s nose.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Damon’s training for the films is legendary, but mistakes still happen. While filming a scene for The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon hit actor Tim Griffin so hard, he shattered his nose. Apparently, the space the scene was filmed in was smaller than originally intended, throwing Damon off just enough to exert a real beat down.


3. James Bond visited The Bourne Legacy set.

Eon Productions

Eon Productions

Actor Daniel Craig stopped by the set of The Bourne Legacy to visit his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, who was starring in the movie. While having James Bond on a Bourne set must have been exciting, The Bourne Legacy was the only Bourne movie to not actually feature Jason Bourne, meaning our bets on who would kick whose ass would have to wait for another day.


2. The Bourne Identity was nearly a bomb (in the box office sense).

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

As reshoots began to pile up, and an all-out war between the studio and director Doug Liman spilled into the press, expectations were that The Bourne Identity was going to flop. Matt Damon told GQ that, “the word on Bourne was that it was supposed to be a turkey…It’s very rare that a movie comes out a year late, has four rounds of reshoots, and it’s good.”


1. Matt Damon wasn’t the first actor to play Bourne.

Warner Brothers Television

Warner Brothers Television

Aired on ABC in 1988, the TV movie adaptation of The Bourne Identity, while not exactly critically acclaimed, was a more faithful version of Ludlum’s book. Richard Chamberlain, of The Thorn Birds fame, played a much less ass-kicking spy, while “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith played love interest Marie. If you like your Bourne movies heavy with poorly lit ’80s melodrama, this might just be the adaptation for you. Otherwise, you should catch The Bourne Ultimatum when it airs this month on IFC.

Exclusive: Imagine Dragons Tour Interview

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Imagine Dragons are breathing fire with their single “It’s Time,” currently featured in the trailer for the teen coming-of-age film, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (Emma Watson, Paul Rudd). Here we have the band in a behind the scenes tour video at the Viper Room.

“There is always a mix of apprehension and excitement before you try songs out on a new audience,” lead singer Dan Reynolds told us. “That said, L.A., and especially the Viper Room, is a second home for us. So it was great to begin testing songs out with so many familiar faces around. The reaction to the music is the most gratifying experience we have as artists.”

Of course we wanted to know what the Las Vegas band thought about having their music identified with “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” based on the acclaimed novel of the same name too.

“I was definitely very happy and humbled,” Reynolds said. “It’s an incredible novel and the team involved with the film are extremely talented. To be a part of something so special is nothing short of a dream.”

On how he saw his music fitting with the theme Reynolds replied, “The novel and film are extremely honest and show a very vulnerable side of human nature. ‘It’s Time‘ is a song about growing, but at the same time staying true to yourself. I think the film definitely resonates with that theme in many ways.”

“I wrote it just wanting to express myself in an honest way,” he said of the song. “It’s a bit of a vulnerable song for me and to see that so many people are hearing it and relating to, even drawing strength it, is an amazing feeling. I am very humbled to say the least.”

TOUR DATES:

July 5 – Summerfest 2012 – US Cell/WLUMMilwaukee, WI
July 6 – Basilica Block Party – Church StageMinneapolis, MN
July 21 – Firefly Music FestivalDover, DE
July 25 – Paramount StudiosHollywood, CA

Exclusive premiere: Exray’s “Ancient Thing”

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Exray’s new video, “Ancient Thing,” gives a grainy glimpse at the long lost remains of human civilization through the eyes of a pill-popping robot. The David Fincher approved band, whose song “Hesitation” was hand picked for “The Social Network,” co-directed the video with Kyle Giacomo, and Pixar’s Jeanne Applegate — but there’s no glossy photo-realistic animation here, it was all shot old school on Super 8.

“You can trust a robot,” the title track from Exray’s latest record, “Spells out the scenario of our whole album,” singer Jon Bernson said. The song goes, “She’s going to make it to the new star / with a white light we can orbit / she will come back to retrieve us / from the black night on a fading blue dot.” And here we see what the world looks like when “the robot returns to earth.”

 

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Do you trust robots? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook!

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