July 21, 2006

RiffTrax Road House

So you can play Dark Side Of The Moon while watching The Wizard Of Oz, or you can play an mp3 commentary by Mystery Science Theater 3000 star/writer Mike Nelson while watching--Roadhouse, starring Patrick Swayze's well-oiled rack.

Check out RiffTrax, Nelson's new funny commentary site. Then check it out again when he's got more than one movie on there. [via robotwisdom]

Wow, can you imagine Ronald Reagan as a bad guy? Here he is in The Killers getting punched by one of his henchmen, played by John Cassavettes. I-- wow.

Ronald Reagan John Cassavetes Duel [youtube via wmfublog via rw]
The Killers []

In August 2001, video gamers protested the cartoony feel of the new version of Zelda because "it would be nigh impossible to introduce a serious and epic plot and epic characters" into such a "childish environment."

It's not unlike that time, fellow old-school Zelda fan Jordan Barry, replied, when Robert Reed sent a memo to Sherwood Schwartz, expanding on his refusal to appear in episode 116 of The Brady Bunch:

There is a fundamental difference in theatre between:
6.Satire &

They require not only a difference in terms of construction, but also in presentation and, most explicitly, styles of acting. Their dramatis peronsae are noninterchangable. For example, Hamlet, archetypical of the dramatic character, could not be written into Midsummer Night's Dream and still retain his identity. Ophelia could not play a scene with Titania; Richard II could not be found in Twelfth Night. In other words, a character indigenous to one style of the theatre cannot function in any of the other styles. Obviously, the precept holds true for any period. Andy Hardy could not suddenly appear in Citizen Kane, or even closer in style, Andy Hardy could not appear in a Laurel and Hardy film. Andy Hardy is a "comedic" character, Laurel and Hardy are of the purest slapstick. The boundaries are rigid, and within the confines of one theatric piece the style must remain constant.


Teevision falls under exactly the same principle. What the networks in their oversimplification call "sitcoms" actually are quite diverse styles except where bastardized by carless writing or performing. For instance:

The Paul Lynde Show....Farce
Beverly Hillbillies.....Slapstick
I dream of Jeannie....Fantasy

Episode 116, by the way, was titled "The Hair-Brained Scheme." Here's a synopsis:
In the final episode, Bobby's hair tonic turns Greg's hair orange on graduation day. Robert Reed refused to appear in this episode. Oliver speaks the last dialogue of the series. And the word "sex" is used for the only time in the series.
Wow, protesting the last episode? That's really standing up for your Craft. Meanwhile, how'd Zelda turn out?

The Odyssey of Hyrule - Letter of the Month - August 200190- [via tmn]

To watch McQueen and the other cars motor along the film's highways and byways without running into or over a single creature is to realize that, in his cheerful way, Mr. Lasseter has done Mr. Cameron [director of The Terminator] one better: instead of blowing the living world into smithereens, these machines have just gassed it with carbon monoxide.
- from Manohla Dargis' NYT review of Matrix 4: Cars

I already added X3 to the pile of sequel-sequels that I won't see [lessee, there's Matrix 3, Star Wars 3, Godfather 3, Police Academy 3...], but that doesn't mean I don't love reading the reviews.

Take Walter Chaw's review, for example, at Film Freak Central: " example of what can happen when a homophobic, misogynistic, misanthropic moron wildly overcompensates...

...It's Michael Bay's Schindler's List..."

X-Men: The Last Stand review by Walter Chaw [ via goldenfiddle]

Considering that the Decalogue is at least partly to blame for me deciding to become a filmmaker, and that it's partly an inspiration for my Souvenir Series, I can't let a Kieslowski festival go without genuflecting.

The National Film Theatre is running an in-depth program of Krzysztof Kieslowski's films and his influences/inspirations. It started on Thursday, but you haven't missed anything so far, "just" The 400 Blows and La Strada. [of course, what I meant was, they'll both be screened again.] Decalogue screenings start next weekend, and Three Colours screenings the weekend after that.

The NFT site is comprehensive, but hard to peruse, while the Kultureflash overview is deliciously easy, as always. How DO they do it?

Krzysztof Kieslowski Revisited []
previous kieslowski adulation and influencing on

"When I originally posted the video on the site I likened watching it to a life-changing experience 'on par with losing your virginity or seeing Garden State for the first time'..." [emphasis added]


That's part of Derek's description of #1, "Glosoli," a Sigur Ros video, which is pretty gorgeous. Obviously, it might be that I'm just waaay too old and outside the demo anymore, but if Beck's boring-ass breakdancing robot video is #47, I guess there really aren't 65 good music videos made each year.

M3 Online: Top 65 Music Videos Of 2005 [gwfa via robotwisdom]

sigur_ros_reyk05.jpgSo there's a full Sigur Ros concert from Reykjavik available to stream online. Two-plus hours of maxed out visuals and...aurals? You know what I mean.

sigur rs live in reykjavk 2005 []

Also, Ari Alexander's documentary tracing the development of Icelandic music, Screaming Masterpiece, opens tomorrow in London at the Curzon Soho for a one-week run. [According to Kultureflash, one of the highlights is footage from a firework-equipped Bjork concert in Central Park, which'd be quite a get; the concert in question was actually at Coney Island. But then I don't know Shoreham from Nottingham, so it's all good.]

See the Screaming Masterpieces schedule at Curzon Cinemas, get more info at Kultureflash, and check out the official film site.

  • Gabriel Orozco's computer animated film at Marian Goodman, which morphs through all 700-something color permutations of the paintings in the main gallery. It's like Jeremy Blake-meets...Gabriel Orozco.
  • Shirin Neshat's Zarin, in which a Muslim prostitute's spiral descent into psychic delerium is revealed. May not be suitable for infant children. At Barbara Gladstone.
  • The Journal of Short Film is throwing a launch party for its first issue, Saturday at 3pm at Columbia. The JSF will present experimental and independent short films (are there any other kind? Yes, Hollywood vanity projects for career-switchers and sponsored shorts) in a DVD-based quarterly format. Check the website or this pdf invite for details.
  • And speaking of Jeremy Blake, you now have until Dec. 3 to see his exhibit at Feigen. His latest film, Sodium Fox, is a dazzling collaboration with poet/musician David Berman. [Good to know people are calling themselves poets again.] Also good to see the gallery of paintings, drawings, c-prints, and collages; it's like buying a "making of" dvd and finding a bonus disc with the film on it.

  • Jia Zhangke's Unknown Pleasures was eye-opening, the tale of two disaffected slackers told in a Chinese-inflected, naturalist style.

    Now Jia has turned his eye on a symbol-soaked Chinese theme park full of miniature world landmarks, which provides the impossibly contrived backdrop for an unassuming, bleak narrative. Roger Ebert loves it.
    The World, dir. by Jia Zhangke [ebert via archinect]

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    Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

    Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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