Tonight is Your Last Chance to See the Mexican Spinal Tap for Free

Categories: Film

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Volando Bajo
When the 5th OC Film Fiesta kicked off its series of free Latino-film screenings a month ago, it launched with a campy, musical mockumentary that crossed language barriers with its humorous glam and spot-on parody of Mexican pop music from the '80s.

Volando Bajo, a Beto Gomez film, follows the members of fictional musica romantica duo Los Jilgueros de Rosarito as they grow up besties on the beaches of Baja, rise to fame thanks to some perfectly teased hair and then crumble under the pressure of nationwide celebrity. In between, they perform their cheesy keyboard ballads in movies, music videos and televised musical performances--all dressed in outrageous polyester costumes that hark back to a long-gone era of Mexican popular culture.

Read more: OC Film Fiesta Soars High with Opening Night Film Flying Low

With the sound, look and feel of a past era, it's being hailed as the Mexican answer to This Is Spinal Tap, itself a well-produced parody of an over-the-top music scene.

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The 10 Best Punk Rock Movies

Categories: Film

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Punk rock has been a part of cinema ever since the music was created in places like Los Angeles, New York and London in the mid to late '70s. Aside from the music, either live or on record, the big screen provided another medium to convey what punk truly stands for: not giving a fuck what anyone else says or thinks, having integrity, staying true to your identity, and rebelling against the status quo. Note that this list doesn't include documentaries on punk, only feature films. We now present our list of top ten punk rock movies.

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College Kid Marcus Haney Lived a Real-Life Version of Almost Famous

Categories: Film

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In 2010, Marcus Haney was your typical college kid with a lust to get closer to the core of any modern music-lover's dream -- the music festival. But unlike most people wanting to go to Coachella, Bonnaroo and the rest, Haney didn't save for weeks to buy his event pass, and then ride out to Indio with his buddies for a weekend of partying to Jay-Z and Muse in the audience. Instead, Haney rode out to Indio, jumped a fence when no one was looking, hid out in a Porta-Potty for 8 hours and used a homemade photo pass to enjoy Coachella not from the audience with everyone else, but rather from behind the lens as a press photographer.

And while there might be quite a few people who successfully sneak into Coachella and other big music festivals for a day or so, Haney made a career out of it. He eventually parlayed his fake photo pass and press credentials to sneak into multiple festivals over a couple of years. At one such event, he met Mumford and Sons, who took such a liking to Haney and his work they invited him to go on tour with them as their press photographer. Haney dropped out of USC film school one term before graduating so he could join one of the world's biggest rock bands on their tour.

Haney has turned his adventures into a documentary film, No Cameras Allowed. The footage he shot at festivals and on the road with Mumford and Sons has been edited into a full-length film premiering July 23 at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles.

We sat down with Haney, now 26 and living in Venice Beach when he's not on the road, to talk about what it's like to be the badass who realized his dream one amazing concert at a time.


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The Best Music Videos at Newport Beach Film Festival

Categories: Film, Videos

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Music videos are hardly ever considered in the same vein as short films, but with the upscale production value and high concepts behind music videos today, it's foolhardy to consider them otherwise. The music video showcase happening tonight on what is the conclusion of Newport Beach Film Festival does something that's unheard of, which is to consider the music video as an elevated art form.

While you might be guffawing at the thought of seeing on the big screen what you'd already see on a computer, consider that here you won't be subjected to Vevo's annoying ads or a viewer comment board, or the hundreds of possible interruptions you'd encounter at home (like the dreaded wi-fi disconnection). Plus, you'll be able to know the actual names of the directors behind each vid. 

Here are five music video picks from tonight's showcase to check out at Newport's Triangle theater.

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Terminally Ill's Sick Documentary About Their Crazy "Crunk Rock" Band

Categories: Film

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Kyle Cox
Terminally Ill isn't an easy band to wrap your head around. Despite labeling themselves as "crunk rock," their beer-swilling live show and fuck-shit-up attitude is only a slice of what these rap-rock pranksters are really about. We've followed them since the "Bro Anthem" and even given them some Locals Only love, but now it seems they're ready to give us a full revelation of the Tao of Terminally Ill.

Recently, the band created a little documentary (er dankumentary) that shows us just what makes them tick. They'll be premiering the doc on Sunday, May 4 at Proof Bar, the sight of one of their latest videos, "Act Sick." We caught up with the group's hardcore rhymers Ryan Risetter (Dank Nasty), Steffan Burrati (Steffen Illuminati), Atwon Bartolic (Twon Solo) and Chris Rock (The P-Town Skrillionaire) to get some insight into one of the most fascinating pieces of local cinema we've seen since in a while (eat your heart out, Newport Beach Film Festival!).

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'How To Fight In Six Inch Heels' Is An Instruction on Vietnamese America

Categories: Film

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Courtesy Ham Tran
The film takes place in Saigon and New York
The children of the Vietnamese Diaspora might have the most interesting relationship with their roots of all the second generations of the major immigrant groups in the United States.

They're allowed back to Vietnam, and many of them visit (myself included), but many them feel almost a complete disconnection from the Fatherland. Their parents stressed learning the language, but without people to practice with or experience with tonal languages, their abilities may be a little lacking. Depending on where they grew up, they might barely have a Vietnamese cultural identity at all.

It's an interesting relationship that's defined by small, almost unnoticeable mannerism -- mannerisms that Ham Tran's How to Fight in Six Inch Heels captures nearly perfectly. The hour-and-a-half romantic comedy is wickedly funny and beautifully paced, but where it really shines is in its treatment of the modernization of Vietnam and the relationship between Vietnamese Americans, local Vietnamese, and the country.

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Respect The Iron Sheik's Documentary

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Whether you've followed his career in wrestling or if you are following this master of hilarity threatening people with the "camel clutch" on Twitter, there's still much more to uncover about WWF legend the Iron Sheik. So much in fact, that he needed an entire documentary to fit it all in. At this year's Canadian International Hot Docs film festival (that runs from April 24 to May 4) they will feature a full-length doc about the one and only Shekie himself, aptly titled "The Sheik."

See also: Stop Being a Jabroni and Respect the Iron Sheik!

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Top Five Timeless Horror Film Soundtracks

Categories: Film

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The perfect house for this party playlist
Ye who take delight in ghoulish things, gather 'round! There are many paths into the feared regions of the soul, and it is with pleasure that we shine a helpful torch so that you may find your way to them post-haste!

There are many types of horror stories (including those dealing with: ghosts, vampires, zombies, lunatics, etc.) and various manners of presenting those stories in film; movies can be conservative / straightforward, extreme, campy or surreal. But no matter the style of the film, many aspects of its production contribute to creating a solid effect on audience members. Moreover, the soundtrack of a horror film is just as important in establishing atmosphere as the lighting, the photography or the direction. And though experiencing a horror movie without the sound is to proverbially castrate it, simply listening to some of the best horror film soundtracks is enough to coax the listener into various states of agitation.

Now, for your sick pleasure, the Weekly is proud to present you with a cross-section of some of the greatest horror film soundtracks. Each selection demonstrates its brilliance by delivering willing listeners into a number of regions within the spectrum of darkness. Have fun, kids!

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Real to Reel Celebrates Jazz Music and Film

Categories: Film, jazz bands

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And all that jazz....
This weekend's Jazz: Real to Reel, taking place at Long Beach's Art Theatre, will celebrate jazz's influence in cinema and music through a variety of screenings, music and other activities. The event will also honor Johnny Mandel and Jack Sheldon with lifetime achievement "jazz beret" awards for their contributions to the fields of jazz and cinema.

"Mandel and Sheldon have each contributed more than 50 years of their lives to composing and performing jazz music on stage, recordings and in film," says 88.1 KKJZ's Helen Borgers, who is hosting the weekend's festivities. "Each has left an indelible mark on the history of the music."

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Why Former Descendents' Bass Player Isn't Rushing Out to See the Band's New Documentary

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South Bay pop-punk group Descendents are, by far, the best band to ever exist. Perhaps that sounds like hyperbole, but consider this: When done properly, rock 'n' roll is nothing more than adolescent rage on wax and no one ever captured the frustration of being a teenager better than songs such as "Parents," "I'm Not a Loser," "I'm Not a Punk," "Suburban Home," "Hope," "I Don't Want to Grow Up," "Silly Girl," "Sour Grapes," "Get the Time," "Coolidge" and "Clean Sheets."

So, as you can tell, it's about time someone told the band's story, which is what a team of four people did. The result is Filmage: The Story of Descendents/ALL, a documentary detailing not only Descendents, but also ALL, the group formed by three-fourths of the final Descendents lineup.

Simply put, Filmage rules and you should see it. The film is being shown twice Sunday at the Art Theatre of Long Beach, but you can't go because there was a raffle for tickets and the raffle is over. Thankfully, Filmage editor/co-producer James Rayburn says the movie should be online and on DVD in the recent future.

One person interviewed for the film is original Descendents bass player Tony Lombardo, who plays on the group's first two full-lengths (Milo Goes to College and I Don't Want to Grow Up and the Fat EP). The 68-year-old -- who quit the band in 1985 -- has lived in Lakewood for nearly 30 years and retired from the United States Postal Service in 2005. Considering I am a bass player from the South Bay (and that Lombardo is my bass hero), I had to talk to him regarding Filmage. Here's a snippet of what he had to say about the film (which he has yet to see) and his time in the legendary punk group.

See also: 10 Punk Albums to Listen to Before You Die

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