Friday, May 30, 2008

(r)evolution

Now I have a manager. Ho Ho Ho.

My growing army now includes a lawyer, agents, a manager, a small trebuchet and a handful of archers.

It seems extravagant. But it's competitive out there.

Time to get something done, ya feel meh?

Get your guns. We're going out.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Youth Without Youth

If you ever need anything please don't
Hesitate to ask someone else first!
I'm too busy acting like I'm not naive!
I've seen it all!
I was here first!


All the advice on WHAT TO DO when building a career in the entertainment industry can be frustratingly contradictory. It's this cacophony that's so hard to sift through. For everything you want to do, there are vehement arguments for and against it.

And then you catch sobering bits of truth, like this excerpt from a recent Christian Bale interview:

Was there ever a time when you were in danger of not making enough money to support yourself through acting?
I don't believe that there's an actor alive who hasn't been in that position—and in that position many years after people recognize you and have a very wrong impression of what they imagine your lifestyle to be.

Do you remember the last time you were in that position?
[Long pause.] I know absolutely when it was; I'm just trying to decide how comfortable I am talking about it. Certainly . . . what year are we in? 2008? Only going back five years. Absolutely, yeah. House repossession—all that.

House repossession?
Yeah—but I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Enchantress of Florence

From NYT:
Not being able to work was one of the terrible byproducts of his breakup with Ms. Lakshmi, Mr. Rushdie said. He has described the split as a “nuclear bomb dropped in your living room when you’re trying to work.”

In the end, he said, “A lifetime of discipline got me back to work.”

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Casualties

From CBS news article:
CBS News correspondent Byron Pitts met [Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez III] two months ago. That once-buff physique had been whittled down to less than 80 pounds in 18 months by stage 4 melanoma. He was surrounded by family, including his 7-year-old son holding his hand...

When Sgt. Rodriguez was in Iraq, military doctors, he says, misdiagnosed his skin cancer. They called it "a wart."

Eight minutes after Pitts met Sgt. Carmelo Rodriguez, and CBS News was preparing to interview him, he died.


Byron Pitts piece.

According to a veterans group that tracks soldiers who are misdiagnosed, there are hundreds of misdiagnosed cases across the country.

Sydney Pollack has a Posse

Sydney Pollack
July 1, 1934 - May 26, 2008

Shit...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Waiting for the War


The stupid neither forgive nor forget;

the naive forgive and forget;

the wise forgive but do not forget.


Thomas S. Szasz

Friday, May 23, 2008

Life After Film School

There's this pretty cool series where film school brats interview entertainment industry folk called "Life After Film School".

I've only seen the Kevin Bacon and Doug Limon eps so far, but they're cool...

... if dispiriting.

All right, these kinds of things are always a bummer because the bottom line is always, "It's fucking hard."

And having come from film school, there's still nothing quite as grating as other film school kids, eyes wet with expectations of stardom. Jesus fuckin Christ, it makes you wanna puke.

And yet, I'm fascinated hearing about how other people have made a living in the entertainment industry.

Hey -- NEW INDIANA JONES FLICK DROPS THIS WEEKEND!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beverly Hills Teens

"Come live your fantasy in Beverly Hills..."

Fair enough, some may think I'm hung up on nostalgia. But it's all this junk that I ingested growing up that keeps me going. Reminds me of those early sparks of inspiration. That childlike sense of excitement that suggests, You are about to experience something amazing.

Even if it may seem like tripe in hindsight, I can still remember how I saw it as a kid.

Which brings us to "Beverly Hills Teens".


I never really cared for the actual show, but I loved that opening. Complete with the musical riff it ripped off from "Purple Rain".

The idea of "Beverly Hills" really was this childlike 80s fantasy. Being filthy rich was almost like having a super-power. I wonder how actual rich Beverly Hills kids saw this show back then.

Oh, I bet they were rotten...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In the Name of the Rose

When Scott Weiland was with VELVET REVOLVER, he definitely threw some shots at Axl Rose. Mainly concerning a dust-up over an alleged impromptu meeting between Axl and Slash.

But now that he's out of the VR (and back with STP), looks like he's got a change of heart concerning who was at fault with the bust-up of the original Guns N' Roses.

"...having been in a band with Velvet Revolver now for five and a half years, I'm not quite so sure that it was all Axl's fault."

Yeah, all this He-Said-He-Said shit gets a bit tiresome, but it's still fascinating. I'm all for the rehab of Axl's image in the media, which I think would be helped immensely by the actual release of the epically-delayed "Chinese Democracy" sometime this year.

What? It could happen!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bitternet

What I find so tiresome are all the comments on internet movie "fan"-sites. They quickly become a magnet for all these bitter souls bemoaning the end of all that is sacred.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

PRODUCTION-COMPANY-A is moving forward with a remake of OLD-MOVIE. The script by WRITER-B is going out to potential directors.

Comments:

Nooo! More evidence that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt and willing to eat babies fresh from the womb. Old-Movie is a modern classic and should never be touched.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

GRAPHIC NOVEL has been snapped up by MOVIE-STUDIO-D.

FILMMAKER-X is set to adapt.

Comments:

WHY??? Why do they let Filmmaker-X keep making movies!? Graphic Novel will get completely ruined. I may have to kill myself and my loved ones before this comes to pass.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MOVIE-STUDIO-G has greenlit a sequel to FRANCHISE.

FILMMAKER-Z will tackle WRITER-M's script.

Comments:

NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!

Why would they try to make a sequel to Franchise?!? Filmmaker-Z is a hack and I've never heard of Writer-M.

This is a clear sign that there is no God. I can only pray for a nuclear holocaust to wipe out Hollywood. Everyone must die.
I get it.

It's anonymous. People are hiding behind faceless handles. Most are just letting off steam or trying to get rises out of others.

But most of these people will STILL go see the movies. If only to trash them online. If they're reading those sites religiously, I'd say they're more likely to go see the splashy Hollywood adaptations/remakes/sequels over the smaller arthouse films.

I don't want to get all high-and-mighty about it, but Jesus Christ. They're movies. People get so fucking uppity over this shit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cockaboody Confessional

Over two years ago, I posted an entry trying to find this old animated short I remembered from my childhood called "Cacaboody". My sister and I watched this about a billion times on HBO. They used to run short films between features in something they called "HBO Short Take". (You can watch the intro HERE.)

"Cacaboody", from my memory, concerned two little sisters who are talking and loosely making up a story as they go. Even that suggests more of a narrative than there really was. It sounded like two little girls were recorded playing and someone created an animation on top of their natural, unscripted conversation.

From memory.

Of course, I misspelled the title in the entry I wrote, which made it infinitely harder to hunt down...

... but eventually, I found it.

From John & Faith Hubley.

Watch it, even if you wouldn't normally:

The Hubley's work has been around. The most recent notable contribution being the animation for the great Hedwig & the Angry Inch movie.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

I've been looking for this for years...


From the Google Video description:
Openly gay, experimental filmmaker Todd Haynes burst upon the scene two years after his graduation from Brown University with his now-infamous 43-minute cult treasure "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987). Seizing upon the inspired gimmick of using Barbie and Ken dolls to sympathetically recount the story of the pop star's death from anorexia, he spent months making miniature dishes, chairs, costumes, Kleenex and Ex-Lax boxes, and Carpenters' records to create the film's intricate, doll-size mise-en-scene. The result was both audacious and accomplished as the dolls seemingly ceased to be dolls leaving the audience weeping for the tragic singer. Unfortunately, Richard Carpenter's enmity for the film (which made him look like a selfish jerk) led to the serving of a "cease and desist" order in 1989, and despite the director's offer "to only show the film in clinics and schools, with all money going to the Karen Carpenter memorial fund for anorexia research," "Superstar" remains buried, one of the few films in modern America that cannot be seen by the general public. Now finally you have a chance to see this piece.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Tomorrow is Too Far Away

The best of times is now!
What's left of Summer
But a faded rose...?
The best of times is now!
As for tomorrow,
Well, who knows? Who knows? Who knows?

So hold this moment fast,
And live and love
As hard as you know how.
And make this moment last,
Because the best of times is now,
Is now, is now.

Now, not some forgotten yesterday.
Now, tomorrow is too far away.

So hold this moment fast,
And live and love
As hard as you know how.
And make this moment last,
Because the best of times is now, is now.

So hold this moment fast,
And live and love
As hard as you know how.
And make this moment last,
Because the best of times is now,
Is now, is now
Is now, is now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Block Party

Wendy. Darling. Light of my life. Now, we're going to make a new rule...

When you come in here and hear me typing, or whether you DON'T hear me typing, or whatever the FUCK you hear me doing -- when I'm in here, it means that I'm working:

THAT means don't come in.

Now why don't you start right now and get the fuck out of here...?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bloody Swoosh

I'm no sneaker-nut, but a line of kicks inspired by horror movies...?

Kick ass.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Temple of Doom

What does "Temple of Doom" have going for it over "Raiders" and "Last Crusade"?

First, it's the only one of the lot to actually feature that signature, splashy comic-booky title card. (The other two use fairly understated text to reveal their titles.)

Opens with a fucking musical number. That shifts into a tense stand-off. That shifts into an action/chase scene. And then we're up in the skies for a brief respite before another huge action sequence!

Need more?

In Raiders, we've got several parties looking for the Ark.

In Crusade, we've got several parties looking for the Grail.

In Temple, Indy's party is alone in their mission. And freeing enslaved kids is much more of a clear "win" than what either Raiders or Crusade have to offer. (In fact, the endings of both Raiders and Crusade rely on Indy surrendering the object he's looking for.)

I was too young to appreciate Raiders when my folks dragged me to it in theaters; it was too mature for me to fully appreciate. Good and evil is a lot more clear in Temple. The bad guy is clearly evil.

The bug scene is wayyy more intense than the snakes in Raiders or the rats in Crusade.

Big mine-cart chase sequence?! Amazing.

And, of course, Short-Round was the perfect Indy sidekick.

People complain that Temple's too dark. I argue it's clearly the most kid-friendly of the lot. And it's way more focused than Crusade.

There, I said it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rules of Attraction

I think Roger Avary's film adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis's "The Rules of Attraction" is just a fucking gem. Totally missed it in theaters, discovered it on DVD.

The thing's overstuffed with film geekery. The kind of film that invites you to rewind certain scenes just to get a closer look, like trying to figure out how a magic trick is done.

It's got one of the most beautiful suicide scenes I've ever seen.

Here's a good article from the AV Club, on the cult status of the film.

Jesus, I'd like to see Avary's "Glitterati".

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Can You Hide Them from the Waiting World

I do hate these Hallmark sponsored pseudo-holidays.

I'm not spending $70 on a fistful of dead flowers as some sort of stupid gesture. I'm not! I won't!

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Slip


Thank you, Trent Reznor.

I love it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Uncanny Valley of the Dolls

DISGUST:
The more closely an organism is to human beings genetically, the more likely it is to carry transmissible diseases.

Paul Rozin (1987) offers that disgust is an evolved cognitive mechanism to motivate human beings to avoid infection.

An interesting (if dry) video essay about the The Uncanny Valley.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Kids of America

Christina was working at Fantasy Dolls as a stripper. Lavon Rowells got bored and went to go see her.

The police report says he told authorities: "The kids were sleepin so it didn't matter."
Parenting was never so easy!

(Admittedly, the above animated image doesn't completely relate to this story... but I include it for fans of Twizzlers.)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dungeon Crawlers

"For the first nine months of her 24 years in captivity, she was also tethered with a 5ft dog leash around her neck to prevent her escape..."

Yes, the terrible story of the Fritzl house just grows and grows with details.

And I can't look away.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Internet Killed the Video Star

... and then there's the story of the decline of the adult entertainment industry...

As we all know from our history lessons, the adult film industry grew exponentially with the explosion of the home video industry in the 80s.

Then the internet came around. And stole everyone's fucking cake.
"As its name suggests, YouPorn lets users upload and watch a virtually unlimited selection of hardcore sex videos for free. The user-generated clips on YouPorn—like those on YouTube, the site it mimics—range from the grainiest amateur footage to the slickest professional product... Today, YouPorn is the No. 1 adult site in the world; Vivid.com, a pay site, is ranked 5,061. According to Alexa, a website-ranking company, YouPorn’s overall rank is higher than CNN.com (84), About.com (114), and Weather.com (195)."
Read the full article HERE.

Friday, May 02, 2008

They Didn't Obey the Rules

I was obsessed with GREMLINS when I was a kid. It was just one of those pitch-perfect movies that finds you at the ideal age. Not yet jaded enough to hate on the treacle. Also, I was obsessed with owning pets when I was growing up—and I wanted a dog for FOREVER—so this kid (in his 20s, but he's still living at home) getting a weird pet for Christmas was all the hook I needed.

I guess this U.K. company ponied up the rights to use them in a commercial. Too bad it's just a commercial, but seeing those old puppets in action is real nice.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Creep Show

"None of them had ever seen a doctor or a dentist before their release and the oldest, at the age of 19, has already lost most of her teeth."

I'm just fascinated by this macabre, V.C.-Andrews-tinged news story about Austrian patriarch Josef Fritzl and the incestuous clan he kept locked up in his cellar.

Pleasant May to you, curious lurkers. Can't believe we've already sealed April in its crypt. I might have some significant news before this month is out.