Where Did The Week Go…
At the beginning of last week, security firm HALO Corp. announced that about 1,000 military personnel, police officials, medical experts and federal workers will train for the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. No seriously, it’s actually happening.
At the delight of George A. Romero I’m sure, organizations such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet next month to train for a number of scenarios, including a zombie-like outbreak.
The lesson is tongue-in-cheek and only a small part of the security summit’s course load, but a zombie apocalypse is a good training scenario according to HALO Corp. Visitors will learn and deal with a worldwide contagion while zombies roam the summit grounds in San Diego, Calif.
Troops and first-aid teams will be harassed by “fake” zombies while attempting to work in a simulated exercise. The CDC and Department of Homeland Security have used zombies to playfully stress to the public the importance of being prepared for a real disaster, but this might be taking it a bit too far.
For whatever reason, zombies have been popular for more than 40 years (thanks to Romero). There’s endless movies, video games, best-selling books and a popular television show about them. But we all know they’re not real right? Using them in a exercise seems cool, but how effective can it be for a bunch of trained crisis professionals?
As a promotional thing, this is genius, but it seems like a waist of time and money for training. Leave slow-moving, flesh-eating zombies for the movies. Let the professionals train for real-life situations.
Netflix Instant Pick: Sound of Noise
I remember seeing the trailer for this film a couple of years ago and thinking, “Whoa, that’s different.” It’s not often that I see a movie that feels completely original while also borrowing elements from other genres, but Sound of Noise is unique like that. If you like movies that are a little weird, a little rebellious and very harmonious, then this Swedish film is worth your time.
To say that the Warnebring family is musical would be a giant understatement. Mother Warnebring was a concert pianist and her husband a famed conductor. They produced two sons. The youngest, Oscar, learned to play the violin at age four, composed his first piece at twelve and now is a renowned conductor like his father.
And then there’s the other son….Police detective. Ironically named Amadeus, the black sheep of the family is tone-deaf and therefore, hates music. While Oscar receives all the attention for being the prodigal son, Amadeus is enjoying the silence. But when six guerrilla percussionists wreak havoc on the city musically, Amadeus aims to put an end to the noise.
Sanna and Magnus don’t appear to have day jobs, so they spend all of their time interacting with their surroundings to create nontraditional music, even if that means breaking the law occasionally. After their latest mission fails, the duo realizes they must think bigger to get their point across, so they find the four best drummers in town to help create an avant-garde score with four original movements while also dealing with detective Amadeus.
This sounds like a heist film and in a way it is. Only instead of stealing money, they’re stealing your time and ears to pull off one elaborate musical street symphony after another. They use hospital machines, construction equipment, coins and power cables among others to perform these highly creative scores. Anticipating what they’ll use next and how they plan to pull it off makes Sound of Noise a highly entertaining and thrilling movie even though the stakes aren’t that high. It’s just music after all.
From the opening sequence, Sound of Noise will have your head bopping. Mixed with creative animation, a little humor and a love story, Noise just might make you start tapping the coffee table afterwords.
John Williams Conducts Eugene Symphony
On Saturday, Eugene residents were treated to a night with legendary Hollywood composer and 5-time Academy Award winner John Williams. Leading the Eugene Symphony, Williams presented some of his most iconic pieces from such films as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, E.T. and my personal favorite, Superman.
Last week I reviewed Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX, another iconic score that Williams created, and in it I mentioned that while Williams scores are often sweeping, grand and bombastic, they never seem to invade the movie. They always arrive at the perfect moment and while this is probably more of a credit to the editor than the composer, Williams still deserves a lot of praise.
Having worked with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas on nearly every film they’ve made, Williams has been a composer in motion pictures for more than 50 years. While he’s slowed down a little bit over the last few years, fans can look forward to another Spielberg collaboration in November with the release of Lincoln.
Motion Pictures are known obviously for being a visual medium, but sound plays a major role in movies as well (Just look at my Netflix pick this week). Williams doesn’t tour often, so for the legend to make a stop in little old Eugene was a treat. And he doesn’t just come to show off as proceeds from the event benefited the Eugene Symphony’s education and community engagement programs.