SOFT RIOT

Céline and Julie Go Boating

Filed under Film Klub

05 February 2017

Céline et Julie Vont En BateauIt’s a bit of a rusty feeling coming back to this around nine months later since the last entry, “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”, but I feel like I’ve seen many memorable films in that duration, as well as from the many years proceeding that I thought it would be a good time to reflect and post more. Hell, why not?

For me the most intimidating part is the writing; trying to recap my thoughts on something I’ve seen so I’ve decided to write whatever happens to come to mind at the time, no matter how basic the overview is.

Céline et Julie Vont En Bateau (here listed by the English title, Céline and Julie Go Boating) is a film by French director Jacques Rivette, who is commonly grouped with the whole French New Wave — a blanket term used for such directors as Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut who tried new things with cinema in starting as early as the late 1950s.

I’ve never seen films by Rivette before but I was aware of work done by actors in his film, including Barbet Schroeder (director of Maîtresse) and Bulle Ogier, who had done films for Schroeder as well as other European directors such as Fassbinder.

Anyway, with this film, Céline and Julie Go Boating, I held off watching it for a number of months as the running time is 193 minutes. I wanted to be in the right mood to watch it. I had no idea what to expect from a film that runs that long. When I did get around to it the pacing worked quite well.

The film follows two women who cross paths in a park when one woman drops her scarf. From there there’s a bit of a chase as Julie tries to return the scarf to Céline. This chance meeting brings the two women together under strange circumstances that could be categorised as “magical realism”. As the film progresses the women keep visiting a strange house where they don’t remember what happened during their time there. Only when they start sucking on these mysterious candies do they get transported to their time spent at the house, which is a “groundhog day” style routine of a set of actions and conversations that result in a young girl being murdered.

As Julie and Céline keep returning to this “routine” by ingesting the candies, they start to have fun with the repeating actions of this dream state, and eventually start changing the course of events, breaking down the somewhat normal feeling of these events into something more bizarre and surreal.

It’s a bit hard to explain it and it’d be a shame to give too much away. The long running time of the film however feels natural as you feel like you’re hanging out with the two protagonists as they go about their increasingly bizarre adventures and start morphing together in terms of personality traits.

And yes, there’s a scene where they do “go boating” — it’s short but an integral part of the film.

If you’re in the UK this film is available on player.bfi.org.uk (with a monthly subscription).

A Soft Riot Message In This New Year

Filed under News

05 January 2017

Soft Riot | July 2016 | Photo Outtake B&W

Realising that I as Soft Riot have been a bit quieter than usual I thought I would write an update in this new, futuristic sounding year of “2017” (I say that every year). So I’ll start with the news items and then move onto more reflective items. Here we go.

RELEASES ON SALE

First off, I’m doing what a lot of other people are doing and putting all items in the Soft Riot online store on sale. 20% off if you enter the code ohseventeen.

SOME MORE TERROR

Some More Terror, an album released in 2014 of instrumental, soundtrack-influenced compositions, has been out of print for a while and will be released again physically again in the coming months.

LIVE DATES

Shows are in progress for this year in the UK and Europe. If you are interesting in booking or sharing a bill — get in touch. Show announcements will come soon enough! In the meantime you can check the Live Events page for updates. There you also also opt to be notified when show listings are added.

BEHIND THE SCENES

If I haven’t had much of an online presence as of late it’s likely because I’ve been spending a lot less time on social media as of late as I’m a bit burnt out on it. I’ve met a lot of great people over the world over the years but sometimes they just become abstract personalities online. Fragments of people you know. There was also a lot of hard times for people in 2016 and a lot of those people had a far worse time than I or my friends around the world did.

As far as music goes, in 2016 I lost some confidence and dealt with life and depression but I think that happens to a lot of people. Sometimes one is not entirely sure what to do next, or unsure about being a salesman or promoter for your own music. Like a lot of artists and musicians out there I’m my own worst critic but as I’m a conflicted optimist/pessimist, toward the end of this past year I started to focus on what I enjoy most, creating music and getting immersed in it and that has started to get a bit of excitement stirring within me. Things comes in waves, up and down and I’m trying to frame myself to be in an “up” wave.

There’s eight new songs that are being finished up into first mixes for the next record. The next step is figuring out the best plan for releasing it. And shortly after that things will hopefully “click” to feel a wave of inspiration to get out there and play it! And there will be of course a number of video projects going along with that in the form of music videos and other things. Can’t give away too much yet.

The tracks are three new ones that I’ve been playing live over the last year or so including another five that are very new: THE EYES ON THE WALLS / KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE / NOW WORLD ROMANCER / WAITING FOR SOMETHING TERRIBLE TO HAPPEN / YOU SEE HOW THEY BURN / HE’S GONE UNDERGROUND / THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD / THE OUTSIDER IN THE MIRRORS.

The album will be named after the last track, “The Outsider In The Mirrors”. I’m sure it will see the light of day in this year and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

Here’s a recent interview done with Belgium’s WAVES radio where I talked with Philippe Bauwens about a range of topics, including the origins of the Soft Riot name, creative approach, the new Possession Records as well as fellow artists Hausfrau and Marcel Wave. The interview premiered on air on Oct 23rd and is now available as a MixCloud archive below.

There’s a number of upcoming shows in the UK and Canada which you can check out below. Further shows for 2017 will be announced soon, as well as other developments behind the scenes.

Possession RecordsThis past week a new Glasgow-based label called Possession Records announced its existence. It is a new endeavour that I am starting with members of other Glasgow groups Hausfrau, Kaspar Hauser and Ubre Blanca. It is a co-operative affair and a new direction that’s being taken for future releases for all bands involved, including a new Soft Riot album in the works for 2017. Not only will the label be handling artist releases but also organising and promoting music events in Glasgow in the near future — “Processed and prefabricated music out of Glasgow.”

www.possessionrecords.com
www.facebook.com/possesionrecords/

The first release will be for Hausfrau‘s Trivial Pursuits EP available in digital/cassette format for pre-order very soon. In the meantime, you can check out a video for the title track below:


Video by Georgina Penstkart

Top 10 Covers for Peek-A-Boo MagazineThe title of the article is a bit heavy-handed but I suppose this is a selection of 10 albums that have a place in my history of writing and listening to music. Thanks to Didier at Belgium’s Peek-A-Boo-Magazine for getting in touch with me to ramble on about this group of records. Albums by Unwound, The VSS, Simple Minds, DAF, Second Layer, Adult., Fad Gadget, Martin Dupont, Labradford and U.S. Maple. You can click the link at the end of the end of the excerpt to read the full article at www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be

1. UNWOUND – New Plastic Ideas

When I started actively getting into music and playing in bands, I was in my teens and I was very immersed in the underground experimental punk and hardcore that was happening in the US and Canada at the time. I was always checking out new releases on labels like Kill Rock Stars, 31G, Gravity, Ebullition, Lovitt, Troubleman, Great American Steak Religion, Touch and Go and the list goes on. Over the years, some of those records haven’t aged with me, but there’s a significant portion of records from that era that I’ll come back to from time to time and listen to and I still get that goosebumps feeling as to when I first listened to it.

Unwound put out a string of records from the early to late 90s that were incredible. They were very aggressive and dissonant but still having some atmosphere, interesting song structures and an appeal to misanthropic youth in a 1990’s North America. There was a great chemistry between guitarist/vocalist Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Ramsey and drummer Sarah Lund. The album Repetition (1996) is arguably my favourite, but New Plastic Ideas was the first I listened to and got me hooked. In fact, the title of the Soft Riot album Fiction Prediction is a bit of a wordplay of a title of a song of this album as a bit of an homage, I guess.

Read full article at www.peek-a-boo-magazine.be