Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Mix'd and matched

Those of you old enough to remember the process of mix tapes on cassette will appreciate this essay - and this site.

The print issues #2 and #3 have been reviewed at this site, Bibliotheque - AR does a wonderful zine, LOVELY UGLY CRUEL WORLD, that's worth your time to investigate - and has an interesting art journal as well.

Those into the geek side of record/music collecting have something to celebrate.
Look up the name 'ScriptSupr' for my listing, still in progress.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Lazy Days

Well... it's been awhile since my last entry. After returning from Ebertfest in Champaign (where a wonderful film called STONE READER was screened), and a 20th high school reunion in Southeast MO which was both simultaneously exhilerating and disappointing, I basically just took a break from the web... not that I was missed by any means. Read a lot... saw a bunch of films... started to write some film scripts again. Basically lazed about, which summer is a perfect time of year to do so.

More things are on the way... however, I'd like to direct your attention to this Kansas City based artist, Parrish Baker, who has a wonderful thing he does called Sparrow's Fall. Well worth your time to take a peek at.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Which David Lynch movie are you?

you are the rarest: Industrial Symphony No. 1:

The Dream of the Broken Hearted

Which David Lynch movie are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Sounds of "Silence"

Back from Ebertfest in IL... plenty of doin's that went on. More about that later.

Do you like musicals?

Do you like "Silence of the Lambs"?

Well, this gives you the best of both worlds!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

On the road...

I'll be up at Champaign-Urbana, IL for the next couple of days for two reasons - the first being to help out at this screening, co-sponsored by the magazine that I write for; the second to spend at least one day at Ebertfest. Time contraints prevent me from staying the length of the festival, but it should be very interesting.

More about it when I return.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Life's little horrors

Before I go on, you need to go here first.

I picked up the WENDIGO dvd over a month ago, having heard good things about it for awhile and having missed it's festival run when it got to Kansas City... I managed to find, after several weeks of looking, a copy of HABIT. Now I'm looking for the first feature, NO TELLING.

The filmmaker in question is one Larry Fessenden. And he's the Real Deal amongst a wave of indie-poseurs and Hollywood wanna-be's.

Check out the site - then see the work.

Monday, April 14, 2003

History shows again and again how Nature points up the folly of Men...

Picked a new book off of the shelves of my local library - THE BUZZING, by Jim Knipfel (Vintage Books) - had never heard of the man before, although the jacket copy pegs him as a columnist for a NYC paper, and the cover features a blurb by Thomas Pynchon.

The Pynchon blurb was not a draw (since I spent a good week during my college days repeatedly throwing my copy of GRAVITY'S RAINBOW across the room in fits of frustration), but even so, I cracked it open, and was suitibly rewarded with a decent yarn about a NY newspaperman, not quite burnt out, but getting pretty near, covering "kook" stories, who stumbles into something even too wierd for him. I won't spoil it for anyone here, but suffice it to say that the saying, "Life is not a movie" is missing an important qualifier -- "Life is not an American movie".

Knipfel has a pretty extensive knowledge of pop culture - if you're a fan, you get shivers of delight finding references to "Kolchak: The Night Stalker", Japanese 'B' films like THE GREEN SLIME, and lots of others. Being a journalist himself, he also manages to immerse one thoroughly in the workings of the trade. Beyond all of that, the serious point of the book (and yes, there is one, sorta) is about the paranoia that abounds in American culture.

This Knipfel is quite a character - check out his website about his other writings and to find out about his previous non-fiction books.
Besides, anyone who knows the theme from THE GREEN SLIME is OK by me.
Monkeys With A Concept

Everybody under 25 is a dumbass.

At least that's the impression I'm getting watching SCARE TACTICS, the Sci-Fi Channel's take on 'hidden video' programming with Shannon Doherty. The basic set-up is pretty much the same as Candid Camera, Spy TV and the endless follow-ups/rip-offs -- the gimmick this time around is that most of the situations are inspired by science-fiction & horror movies.

This has the probability of being somewhat greasy fun... the first segment kicked off with an "alien abduction" prank, which then decended into cheesiness with the appearance of the rubber-suit 'alien' pulling the door off of the car and dragging out the driver. Subsequent segments go through a catalog of urban legend bane - Bigfoot, homicidal maniacs in the woods, murderous clones in warehouses - and some take their cues from films such as "Flatliners", "I Know What You Did Last Summer", and more.

While it is fun watching clueless youth work themselves into frightful fits, the overall impression one is left with is that the Youth of America are bone-stick stupid, gullible naifs who'll fall for anything. While this does explain the success of shows such as Elimidate, Survivor and others in the "reality/hidden-camera" genre, and our current War In Iraq, it doesn't make one sleep well at night to realize that at some point these same gullible naifs will be running the country some day.

As for Shannon Doherty, who left her previous show CHARMED because it was "stupid" -- someone must have some juicy video footage of her doing something heinous to make a such a lateral career move.. That, or she must be related to one of the creators.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Wrong Is Right

It was a time when Outer Space was filled with incredible machines whose telescopic eyes & ears witnessed our most sensitive secrets. Information that could, and did, change the face of nations.

It was a time when no one on Earth could hide from Technology. No people. No continent.
No one was safe from spy satellites.

It all could have happened in the recent past. Or the present. Or even in the near-future.

But it didn't.

It did happen in that elusive time between now & later. That time when Dark is Light.

When Down is Up;

When Foul is Fair;


well, see the top to finish out that little introduction.

It was pure happenstance that I happen to find my copy of this movie roughly three weeks ago, as our War Against Iraq started. Others may find that what was once thought to be mindless entertainment suddenly became a bit more pointed (I imagine STARSHIP TROOPERS found a little more respect recently). Even this week's episodes of "Angel" and even "Enterprise" seemed to be right on schedule with concurrent events.

Wrong Is Right is a "moldy oldie" from the early 1980's (1982, to be exact), a dark comedy starring Sean Connery and one of the last projects from Richard Brooks (whose resume includes films such as ELMER GANTRY, THE PROFESSIONALS, IN COLD BLOOD, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, and for the cultists out there, co-scripter of the cheese-classic COBRA WOMAN... if you haven't heard of the man before, go out and search out some of these films.) A satire on television media's effect on the world and on political events, it flopped horribly at the time it was released -- I doubt most of anybody reading this who is a fan of Connery has even heard of this picture -- and probably with reason, since political satire was not an audience crowd pleaser at that time, despite comparisons being made with DR. STRANGELOVE at the time.

Brooks wrote the movie, (based on a novel, The Better Angels, by Charles McCarry), which features Connery as superstar newsman Patrick Hale, the shining star of World Television Network, who inadvertantly ends up smack-dab center in a chain of events in the Mideast (well, actually North Africa, but go with it) involving two suitcase atom bombs and various factions (The President and his Cabinet, the CIA, a terrorist leader, and a prospective candidate for the Presidency) all trying to get the bombs first.

From that quick and dirty synopsis, it may appear to be a parody of the James Bond films that starred Connery... not in the slightest. Connery is actually more of a combination of a Dan Rather/Ted Koeppel type, a media superstar who actually gets out and covers the news. The unfolding of the plot is what is of interest here... what was easily dismissed as satire over 20 years ago seems to be indistinguishable from recent events over the past several months/years -- suicide bombings (but only in front of the television cameras), anti-American sentiment in the Mid-East (at the time this was released, the main bad guy was Kadafi (sic)), and a concerted effort for 'regime change' by whatever means necessary.

The plot and tone almost seems to be an advance taste of BUCKEROO BANZAI, although without the overt comic book influences - it was shot by the same person, Fred Koenkamp (who also deserves honor as the DP on BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) and features Rosalind Cash (as the Vice-President of the U.S.) who was also in BB - I suspect that someone at the Banzai Institute may have tipped the filmmakers to take a look at it before work began on BB. There's some nice montage work by George Grenville, that moves things along at a brisk pace (maybe not brisk enough for those who wallow in today's seizure-inducing editing); and a good cast: Katherine Ross, Hardy Kruger, George Grizzard, Robert Conrad, Dean Stockwell, Leslie Nielson (before he totally switched over to 'funny' roles) and a very young Jennifer Jason Leigh who appears in the first 5 minutes.

Unlike contemporary 'black-comedies', which seem to define the term as having lots of "attitude" and cursing and little that's actually funny, WRONG IS RIGHT aims for skewering the (then) pervasive influence of television turning everything into entertainment and in the hypocrisy of the U.S. Government and its foreign policy in the Mid-East. The joke on us, is, that we've gone even further than even political satire could posit.

It's worth hunting for in your local video stores - as things develop over the next year, it could come in handy...

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

so far, so good. Everything appears to be working in proper order...

Recently, I came into possession of a sizeable collection of videotapes, left by my oldest uncle, who died suddenly about a month ago. (I hope you'll understand if I don't go into detail quite yet.)

Anyway, a sizeable collection of tapes, mostly of mainstream films. Add that to MY own sizeable collection of stuff that isn't quite so mainstream, and I realize that an opportunity presents itself. Otherwise, how else am I going to get through this massive pile that will otherwise collect dust?

Something to think about - with all of the available media within reach (I haven't even mentioned the boxes of unread books which seem to multiply every few months, plus the amount of music at one's command), there is no way that I can ever justify being bored or out of something to do on weekends. Being a somewhat average (generally speaking) member of American society, I am pretty well loaded with any number of things to enhance and fill my leisure time. I'm sure many of you can say the same.

With that being the case, why the hell am I so bored most of the time, which has led me to the computer to post for attention?

Also, why are you so bored as to surf around and find quirky stuff to help pass your time?

It's a riddle...

If you're still with me after that, look for some quirky stuff to start appearing in the next couple of days or so.

And feel free to comment responsibly.
hello there.

Well, it was just a matter of time before joining everyone else to check out the Brand New Thing. It should be interesting, to say the least. If you've stumbled in here and have no idea who or what I am, you might check out my main page, first. If you're a friend or acquaintance, then this will just add more fodder/evidence in establishing whatever decision you've made about me.

The title refers obliquely to the depressed state I was in after checking local stores that I had put recent issues of my zine in -- and finding that they were untouched by the public at large. It seems that attempting to tweak the curiousity of the average reader who might be willing to take a chance on something that you've written is something that I seem to be a failure at... at least with this particular issue. I guess it's apt metaphor.

However, in the words of a great American -- "Let's do it."