Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, March 4, 2010




By The Anarchist Kitten and Ahsan Sajid

With as many movies there are about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll and life in the fast lane, some of these 'bands', fictional as they may be, with as much support as they received in writing and recording, had to be good. One can't imagine how good some of these bands really are, and how competitive the market for fictional bands really are until they sit down to list them in order of greatness. Here's a narrowed down list of the top 8 fictional bands of all time (subjective to the writers' and various interviewees' preference).

8) School of Rock: The movie is classic Jack Black, but the band with the children, and the child-at-heart Jack Black is classic rock. The songs were so great, ignoring the weird lyrics, that many of us found ourselves looking for the songs after the movie was over, downloading them, listening to them- on repeat.

7) Josie and the Pussycats: Long before the movie, these attractive albeit animated girls with cat ears for hats and tails were rocking hard and were the precursors of girl power pop bands like The Bangles and artists like Belinda Carlisle.

6) Driveshaft: Charlie's band from the TV series Lost had only one good song, and the band's only shown in flashbacks, but what an amazing song that was! Despite having the stupidest song title ever, of course. 'You All Everybody'. However, the song is a true gem of Britpop.

5) Hedwig and the Angry Inch: the movie about this transgender punk band is not only enthralling but featured a band so amazing that artists like Cyndi Lauper, Spoon and Rufus Wainwright covered their songs! The soundtrack for the movie was sold as a successful, concrete album by a real band- that's how well the actors played the part.

4) Blues Brothers: what started off as a silly comedy sketch in Saturday Night Live by comedians Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi lead to a movie focusing on the band itself and a highly successful record album. Considered one of the best rhythm and blues bands of all time by a real fan base, Blues Brothers have drawn comparisons with the likes of B.B. King.

3) Barry Jive and the Uptown Five or Sonic Death Monkey or Kathleen Turner Overdrive: What was cool about the band? The names? The music? Or Jack Black (making a second appearance in this list) singing a Marvin Gaye classic? Everything about the band that Jack Black finished the movie High Fidelity with was cool.

2) Gorillaz: Surprised? The band technically is made up of four cartoon characters, so they are fictional. They were awarded the most successful virtual band by Guinness World Records after selling six million copies of their debut album. The band's sophomore album received five Grammy nominations. What other fake band has done that?

1) Stillwater: as a kind of homage to, or commentary on bands like Credence Clearwater Revival, Allman Brothers Band and Led Zeppelin, Stillwater was the kind of fictional band that made every viewer wish the band was real.

Are there other cool fictional bands out there we have completely overlooked? Please email us and let us know which, and why you think they should have made top eight!

Anime Movie Review
5 cm per Second

By Jawad

Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
Ages 13+

A popular belief is that anime is about actions, fights and characters with eyes bigger than their mouths and uradhura crazy haircuts. A fellow anime lover once said these are but grains of sand in the big world of anime. Proof is in the increasingly popular anime film industry. Today we will have a look at the masterpiece named 5 cm per Second.

5 cm per second is a series of short stories “about their distance”, as presented in the premier. It is a 2007 animated feature film by Makoto Shinkai, famous for The Place Promised in Our Early Days and Voices of a Distant Star. The movie contains three short films titled Cherry Blossom, Cosmonaut, and 5 Centimetres per Second, the total play time covering about an hour.

The Plot:
Makoto's film gives a realistic view of the struggles many face against: time, space, people, and love. This film is not an exception to that trend. The story begins with a reference to the film's title: five centimetres per second. The rate at which the cherry blossoms fall, the cherry blossoms that accompanied young Takaki and Akari in their childhood bliss. Beginning from such a straightforward, innocent point in one's life, 5cm/s pulls the viewer in by providing a scenario that can be either relatable or enviable, but certainly believable. The innocence of the characters' feelings for one another, romantic and otherwise, is captured as well in the first several minutes of the film as it is through the rest of the story. Takaki and Akari had to move apart from each other due to their parents' jobs. But they still keep correspondence through letters. To be very brief, they meet after several years and find their love for each other deepened in the meantime, proved by the long wait of Akari for Takaki in the dead of the night, by the moments they share beneath a snowy sky and by the narration of the characters on their letters and the longing they both express.

In the second chapter we are introduced to Kanae, a fairly ordinary high school student, living a seemingly satisfying and independent life. Her rides on her scooter to and from school coupled with her surfing training make her appear free-spirited and self-sufficient. However, there was one thing that held this girl back from riding the waves and deciding on her career goals, and it was a problem that I daresay every human being goes through at some point in their life. She has a huge crush on Takaki but can't gather enough courage to confess. Eventually she realizes Takaki's “eyes were already focused on that elusive figure at the other end of the dissolved sky.” Cosmonaut is a fitting title for the second chapter, with the struggle to reach out and touch the vastness of space representing Takaki's goal of being together with his distant love, quoting straight from the film.

At that point the viewers cannot but feel gripped by the thought of seeing the climax of the film. Well, let's leave it to you to find out, shall we? There won't be any fun if it is spoiled. But to tell you one thing, there is a super cool, awesome and fantastic song here: One More Time, One More Chance. It was the moment when the 'meaning' became clear as well as the conclusion.

Ultimately 5 cm/sec is a story about love and love alone

The Backdrop
The thing that is most awesome about 5 cm per second is its graphics and audio. The first ten minutes are slow, but that's the time required for you to give your brain a rest and let your eyes do the work: the graphics is that much mind blowing. And if you happen to get your hands on a 1080p x 264 version… you are in for a real treat. Apart from the art, there are the sound tracks too. “One more time, one more chance” was simply fabulous, can't help saying it twice.

The Verdict:
Masterpiece. Like emotions, like arts? This one is definitely for you. I am not just talking about the serious anime-watchers; this film will move anyone.

Tell you what, Bangladesh Anime and Film Society which has already screened movies like Spirited Away, Grave of Fireflies and Princess Mononoke, is planning on streaming this movie too on the big screen. Details will be divulged in due time.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2010 The Daily Star