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New on TV: The Henry Rollins Show and Samurai 7
pokemon
unwiredben
I recorded the premieres of two new series on IFC last night. The first was "The Henry Rollins Show", a new series that continues from Mr. Rollin's previous IFC show, "Henry's Film Corner". The new name and format gives them more flexibility to go beyond just filmmaking and look at the whole spectrum of pop culture. When I saw Henry Rollins at SXSW, I knew I had to check out the new program after hearing how excited he was with the broadened scope.

The first show had an interesting interview with Oliver Stone where they talked about the parallels between Nixon and Bush, what we didn't learn from the Vietnam War, and Stone's view of his films as historical dramas. It was too short; I wish they could have had fifteen more minutes with Stone and really gotten into more of the context of his work. Then, there were two Rollins bits -- a funny "Letter from Henry" to Laura Bush, offering sympathy for having to live with GW, and "Rollins Reconsiders", a sarcasm-filled ode to the Blackberry that didn't quite work for me; I guess I'm too close to the technology, being a bit of a Treo fanatic. Finally, the show closed out with a great performance by Sleater-Kinney doing their song "Entertain". The sound was good, the camera work was a little more creative than the usual TV spot, and there was no censoring of lyrics. They've got another performance clip, "Jumpers", on the web site.

The second show was "Samurai 7", a futuristic anime retelling of Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai". According to the guide, this is being serialized over 26 episodes. The visual style was standard anime, but there was some nice work done with processing footage to provide different points of views. The story's been altered quite a bit, introducing the standard tropes of the "magical" girl and guys in robot suits, but it's certainly recognizable. I've setup a season pass for this; I'm curious how their version of the story evolves.

Both shows re-air on Thursday night if you want to catch them, and new episodes premiere next Saturday -- Henry hosts Chuck D and Jurassic 5 for episode #2.

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