Friday, June 29, 2007

A Parody Now: The Best Apocalypse Now Parodies

TACO LIPS REDUX – This episode of “Son of the Beach” begins with an homage to APOCALYPSE NOW and PLATOON before becoming a courtroom drama.

APOCALYPSE OZ – A nicely-produced parody that combines THE WIZARD OF OZ with APOCALYPSE NOW, this Ewan Telford film would make Joseph Campbell proud in its comparison of the “heroic quest” myth. Here the Wizard/Colonel Kurtz (M.C. Gainey) is a man behind the curtain that Dorothy Willard (Alexandra Gizela) must encounter and defeat. The use of Kilgore (Kevin Glikmann) as a stand-in for the Wicked Witch of the West doesn’t work as well as it should but the hybrid dialogue induces chuckles.

PROJECT: TIKI PUKA PUKA – This second chapter in Jay Wade Edwards’s “Monster Trilogy” mixes cornball ‘50s sci-fi with Marlon Brandoisms, pulling inspiration from both APOCALYPSE NOW and THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. After all, aren’t Brando’s Colonel Kurtz and Doctor Moreau characters two coins in a fountain? They’re isolated madmen in search of perfection.

Part 2 | Part 3

APOCALYSE POOH – A stand-out from the golden age of VHS trading, this mash-up of dialogue from APOCALYPSE NOW and images from THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH might only be trumped by RAGING FRED (a combination of RAGING BULL and “The Flintstones.” What APOCALYPSE POOH lacks in technical prowess (definitely a VCR-to-VCR edit job) is made up for in brilliant juxtaposition.

HEARTS OF TWILIGHT – An out-of-control director working on an ill-conceived project. No, that’s not Francis Ford Coppola. It’s a very Jerry Lewis-like director working on his very DAY THE CLOWN CRIED-like project. Like Coppola, “Mr. Director” (Paul Rugg) is running over budget and can’t find an ending to his opus. It’s up to Dot, Wakko, and Yakko to cross the Universal studio lot and lower the hammer on Mr. Director’s spendthrift ways and rampant Froynlaven.

CHOCOLYPSE NOW – This comic mash-up by Dave Milloway, Matt Wood, and Stephanie Freese puts Willy Wonka at the end of the chocolate river with Charley on a mission to terminate the command of the crazed confectioner. In his Loompa Land refuge, Wonka is lord and master of hordes of loyal Oompa Loompas. Where Colonel Kurtz quoted liberally from T.S. Eliot, Wonka is known more for spinning likes like, “Are the fires of hell a’glowing? / Is the grisly reaper mowing?” Will Charley stop the chocolypse and learn the secret of the everlasting gobstopper?

A PACK OF GIFTS, NOW – You’ll never see a better claymated Jerry Ziesmer than the one in Corky Quackenbush’s parody of Rankin & Bass’s X-mas special. Along with THE GODFATHER, GOODFELLAS, and other classic cinema, Quackenbush has had Rudolph the Red-Noised Reindeer and friends in some terrific tributes. This claymation short has Rudolph on a mission to kill The Claus. This mad ruler of the North Pole is having visions of trains with square wheels. “The Ho-Ho-Horror.”

PORKLIPS NOW – Ernie “Ford” Fosselius is best known for his parody of STAR WARS, the short film HARDWARE WARS. However, his take on APOCALYPSE NOW is just as good, if not more admirable in its outright weirdness. William Gray (bearing a remarkable resemblance to Martin Sheen) stars as Dullard, a literal errand boy sent by butchers; not to collect a bill but to, you know… The butchers aren’t too happy with their competition that’s slashing prices with a straight razor, “Mad Man” Mertz (Ernie Fosselius). Holed-up in Chinatown, Mertz babbles non sequiturs (“I was sad because I had no shoes. Until I met a man... who had no socks.”), threatening to bore Dullard to death. Recalling the trouble production of APOCALYPSE NOW, Fosselius (as Coppola) breaks into the proceedings to give audiences multiple optional endings.

Part 2 | Part 3

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Nobody Likes Me

As Atomic Books are reliable and have a great online ordering system, I partnered with them so folks could pre-order the next issue of Cashiers du Cinemart. I sent out about 10,000 emails and 500 postcards announcing where folks could go to pre-order their new ish -- http://www.impossiblefunky.com/atomic.

From that massive outpouring, Atomic has garnered ten -- that's right -- ten whole pre-orders! What a massive return on investment! Brilliant!

Don't make a grown man cry.
http://www.impossiblefunky.com/atomic

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Secretly Canadian

Sometimes I think that I'm secretly Canadian. I'm glad that they have so many good film events. I just saw some of the announced titles for the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and am really salivating for some of them. Of course, the TIFF is all about Midnight Madness for me but some of those more "mainstream arthouse" titles (how's that for an oxymoron?) still hold some ground for me.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Fantasia Schedule

Fangoria has announced the schedule for Fantasia -- most of the times contradict what's on the Fantasia site -- and there are even some extra/different movies listed there. I'm a little short on details for some films -- hoping to flesh them out when the official site goes up. In the meantime, I've been researching movies. Here's what's playing for the days that Rich Osmond and I are in Montreal. The titles in bold are recommended to me by Colin Geddes of Toronto.


Thursday, July 5

Hall Cinema:
7:00 p.m.: Tekkon kinkreet (Michael Arias, 2006) – Anime
9:30 p.m.: Perfect Creature (Glenn Standing, 2006) - Vampire

Friday, July 6

Hall Cinema:
5:00 p.m.: Watch Out! Beyond the Genres of Korean Short Films
7:00 p.m.: THE RESTLESS / Jungcheon (Dong-oh Cho, 2006, Korea)
9:15 p.m.: Signal, The (David Bruckner, Dan Bush, Jacob Gentry)
11:20 p.m.: FLIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD / Plane Dead (Scott Thomas, 2007)
de Séve Cinema:
5 p.m.: Outer Limits of Animation 2007
9:25 p.m.: Offscreen (Christoffer Boe, Denmark, 2007)
11:55 p.m.: DOG BITES DOG / Gau ngao gau (Pou-Soi Cheang, 2006, HK)

Saturday, July 7

Hall Cinema:
12 p.m.: ARCH ANGELS / Warau Mikaeru (Issei Oda, 2006, Japan)
2 p.m.: 200 POUNDS BEAUTY / Minyeo-neun goerowo (Yong-hwa Kim, 2006, Korea)
4:30 p.m.: DASEPO NAUGHTY GIRLS / Dasepo sonyo (Je-yong Lee, 2006, Korea)
6:45 p.m.: THE BANQUET / Ye yan (Xiaogang Feng, 2006, China)
9:40 p.m.: HATCHET (Adam Green, 2007)
12 a.m.: HELL'S GROUND / Zibahkhana (Omar Khan, 2007, Pakistan) - Pending
de Séve Cinema:
12:00 p.m.: Once in a Summer / Geuhae yeoreum (Geun-shik Jo, 2006, Korea)
2:25 p.m.: Offscreen (Christoffer Boe, Denmark, 2007)
5:00 p.m.: The Restless / Jungcheon (Dong-oh Cho, 2006, Korea)
7:00 p.m.: Taiwan Black Movies + Lady Avenger (Yang Chia-Yun, Taiwan 1981)
10:00 p.m.: Adams Apples (Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark 2005)
11:55 p.m.: TEN NIGHTS OF DREAMS / Yume jûya (Various, 2006, Japan)
DB Clarke Cinema:
3 p.m.: Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. Solid State Society / Kôkaku kidôtai: Stand Alone Complex Solid State Society (Kenji Kamiyama, 2006, Japan) - Anime
5:05 p.m.: Yellow Fellas (Tetsuro Shigematsu, Canada, 2007)
7:05 p.m.: YOUR MOMMY KILLS ANIMALS (Curt Johnson, 2006) - Documentary
9 p.m.: THE RUG COP / Dura Deka (Minoru Kawasaki, 2006, Japan)

Sunday, July 8

Hall Cinema:
11:45 a.m.: WOLFHOUND / Volkodav iz roda serykh psov (Nikolai Lebedev, 2006, Russia)
2:25 p.m.: WAR OF FLOWERS / Tazza: The High Rollers / Tajja (Dong-hun Choi, 2006, Korea)
5:00 p.m.: TEN NIGHTS OF DREAMS / Yume jûya (Various, 2006, Japan)
7:05 p.m.: Show Must Go On, The (Han Jae-rim, 2006, Korea)
de Séve Cinema:
12:00 p.m.: 200 POUNDS BEAUTY / Minyeo-neun goerowo (Yong-hwa Kim, 2006, Korea)
2:15 p.m.: DASEPO NAUGHTY GIRLS / Dasepo sonyo (Je-yong Lee, 2006, Korea)
6:30 p.m.: STALKER (Andrei Tarkovsky, Russia, 1979)
9:40 p.m.: Diary (Oxide Pang, Hong kong, 2006)
DB Clarke Cinema:
4:45 p.m.: RETURN IN RED (Tyler Tharpe, 2007)
7:30 p.m.: S&MAN (J.T. Petty, 2006) - Documentary
9:30 p.m.: SPIRAL (Adam Green & Joel Moore, 2007)

Any other suggestions/recommendations?

It's Away!

That's right! Cashiers du Cinemart #15 is now in the capable hands of my printers. I decided that I could only dink around with the layout and copy so much. I could probably tweak from now until the end of time. There comes a moment when you have to realize that things are "good enough" and let it go. That time was Friday after I spent all morning pouring over the last print out of the zine.

If memory serves, the new ish should be shipping out in about a month. If you're expecting an issue, please make sure that I have your updated address! (Beware my spam blocker, too!)

More news to follow.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Annoying Lists

Gosh, I hate lists. They seem to be the refuge of the unimaginative. Despite making a "Top Fifty Midnight Movies of the Last Decade" list for Cashiers du Cinemart #14 and even hosting a "Top Ten Time Travel Movies of All Time" list in the upcoming issue, I find lists to be an annoyance.

That said, I just can't understand the AFI (American Film Institute) and their new list of the "100 greatest American movies of all time." They seem to put out this list every decade, which calls into question their "of all time" label. Why is this "of all time" different than the last "of all time"? It's not, as I initially suspected, that a deluge of great films have been released in the last ten years. Films that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Instead, it seems that the AFI is just looking for headlines--or at least some Reuters/Nielsen feeds.

Basically, the AFI is picking from the same bucket of 150 movies and just rearranging them. Why a movie moved rank is not explained. Is SINGIN' IN THE RAIN suddenly better than it was in years past? Did MY FAIR LADY not sleep with the judges? I imagine that the sudden appearance of NASHVILLE is a bone to the late Robert Altman and, perhaps, the drop-off of DANCES WITH WOLVES is a slam on Kevin Costner. And that TITANIC is on the list? What a fucking joke.

Below that is a list of the titles that fell off the latest list and their previous ranking. An asterisk denotes a film added to the roster since the last AFI list 10 years ago. The film's last ranking is in parentheses. The numbers highlighted in yellow are the films that I, sometimes shamefully, admit that I have yet to watch. Notice the preponderance of Charlie Chaplin titles in that category. I've never been a Chaplin fan.

1.(1) CITIZEN KANE 1941
2.(3) THE GODFATHER 1972
3.(2) CASABLANCA 1942
4.(24) RAGING BULL 1980
5.(10) SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952
6.(4) GONE WITH THE WIND 1939
7.(5) LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 1962
8.(9) SCHINDLER'S LIST 1993
9.(61) VERTIGO 1958
10.(6) THE WIZARD OF OZ 1939
11.(76) CITY LIGHTS 1931
12.(96) THE SEARCHERS 1956
13.(15) STAR WARS 1977
14.(18) PSYCHO 1960
15.(22) 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 1968
16.(12) SUNSET BLVD. 1950
17.(7) THE GRADUATE 1967
18.(*) THE GENERAL 1927
19.(8) ON THE WATERFRONT 1954
20.(11) IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE 1946
21.(19) CHINATOWN 1974
22.(14) SOME LIKE IT HOT 1959
23.(21) THE GRAPES OF WRATH 1940
24.(25) E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1982
25.(34) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
26.(29) MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON 1939
27.(33) HIGH NOON 1952
28.(16) ALL ABOUT EVE 1950
29.(38) DOUBLE INDEMNITY 1944
30.(28) APOCALYPSE NOW 1979
31.(23) THE MALTESE FALCON 1941
32.(32) THE GODFATHER PART II 1974
33.(20) ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST 1975
34.(49) SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS 1937
35.(31) ANNIE HALL 1977
36.(13) THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI 1957
37.(37) THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 1946
38.(30) THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE 1948
39.(26) DR. STRANGELOVE 1964
40.(55) THE SOUND OF MUSIC 1965
41.(43) KING KONG 1933
42.(27) BONNIE AND CLYDE 1967
43.(36) MIDNIGHT COWBOY 1969
44.(51) THE PHILADELPHIA STORY 1940
45.(69) SHANE 1953
46.(35) IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT 1934
47.(45) A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE 1951
48.(42) REAR WINDOW 1954
49.(*) INTOLERANCE 1916
50.(*) THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 2001
51.(41) WEST SIDE STORY 1961
52.(47) TAXI DRIVER 1976
53.(79) THE DEER HUNTER 1978
54.(56) MASH 1970
55.(40) NORTH BY NORTHWEST 1959
56.(48) JAWS 1975
57.(78) ROCKY 1976
58.(74) THE GOLD RUSH 1925
59.(*) NASHVILLE 1975
60.(85) DUCK SOUP 1933
61.(*) SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS 1941
62.(77) AMERICAN GRAFFITI 1973
63.(*) CABARET 1972
64.(66) NETWORK 1976
65.(17) THE AFRICAN QUEEN 1951
66.(60) RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK 1981
67.(*) WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? 1966
68.(98) UNFORGIVEN 1992
69.(62) TOOTSIE 1982
70.(46) A CLOCKWORK ORANGE 1971
71.(*) SAVING PRIVATE RYAN 1998
72.(*) THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION 1994
73.(50) BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 1969
74.(65) THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS 1991
75.(*) IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT 1967
76.(71) FORREST GUMP 1994
77.(*) ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN 1976
78.(81) MODERN TIMES 1936
79.(80) THE WILD BUNCH 1969
80.(93) THE APARTMENT 1960
81.(*) SPARTACUS 1960
82.(*) SUNRISE 1927
83.(*) TITANIC 1997
84.(88) EASY RIDER 1969
85.(*) A NIGHT AT THE OPERA 1935
86.(83) PLATOON 1986
87.(*) 12 ANGRY MEN 1957
88.(97) BRINGING UP BABY 1938
89.(*) THE SIXTH SENSE 1999
90.(*) SWING TIME 1936
91.(*) SOPHIE'S CHOICE 1982
92.(94) GOODFELLAS 1990
93.(70) THE FRENCH CONNECTION 1971
94.(95) PULP FICTION 1994
95.(*) THE LAST PICTURE SHOW 1971
96.(*) DO THE RIGHT THING 1989
97.(*) BLADE RUNNER 1982
98.(100) YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942
99.(*) TOY STORY 1995
100.(72) BEN-HUR 1959

PICTURES THAT FELL OFF LIST:

39.DR. ZHIVAGO 1965
44.THE BIRTH OF A NATION 1915
52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY 1953
53.AMADEUS 1984
54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1930
57.THE THIRD MAN 1949
58.FANTASIA 1940
59.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE 1955
63.STAGECOACH 1939
64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 1977
67.THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE 1962
68.AN AMERICAN IN PARIS 1951
73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS 1939
75.DANCES WITH WOLVES 1990
82.GIANT 1960
84.FARGO 1996
86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY 1935
87.FRANKENSTEIN 1931
89.PATTON 1970
90.THE JAZZ SINGER 1927
91.MY FAIR LADY 1964
92.A PLACE IN THE SUN 1951
99.GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER 1967

Highest-ranking newcomer: The General (1927), at Number 18
Biggest decline: Dr. Zhivago (1965), from Number 39 to off the list
Biggest rise among returnees: City Lights (1931), from Number 76 to Number 11.

Best License Plate Ever

This has to be the best license plate ever. Big ups to Look At His Butt for this.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Itching for Fantasia

Two weeks from today I'll be picking up Cashiers du Cinemart writer Rich Osmond and beginning our trek to Montreal for the 2007 Fantasia Festival.

We'll be swinging through Toronto and arrive in Montreal on the first day of the festival. This will be my first time in Montreal and Rich's first time in Canada. Both of us are chomping at the bit to get confirmed for our press passes and start planning out what we're going to see. The schedule is to be announced next week but this peek of films, over at Fangoria shows some great titles.

The festival runs 18 days (!) and we'll be there for the first five. I can't wait to get my fill of genre films and FrancoCanadian attitude.

Keep checking the blog for reviews from the festival!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

THE CONDEMNED (Scott Wiper, 2007)

A group of ten convicts are taken from their death row cells to a remote island where they’re set against each other in a fight to the finish. The last person standing will regain their freedom (and some phat cash). The contest is the brainchild of entertainment pioneer Ian “Breck” Breckel (Robert Mammone), who hopes to make the webcast event “bigger than Live Aid meets ‘We Are the World.’” He’s aided by a typical crew of morally ambiguous geeks including his director Goldy (Rick Hoffman).

A co-production of Lion’s Gate Entertainment and WWE Films, THE CONDEMNED stars retired wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and former soccer player Vinnie Jones. Written and directed by Scott Wiper, the film plays like BATTLE ROYALE (2000) meets CON AIR (1997) by way of NO ESCAPE (1994). As Jack Riley, Steve Austin is the Nicolas Cage character from CON AIR. Riley is a Delta Force soldier who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and Sarah Cavanaugh (Madeleine West) is his long-suffering girlfriend back in the Texas, working with an intrepid F.B.I. agent. As agent Wilkins, Sullivan Stapleton is notable for being the most slovenly government employee ever—he’s unshaven and doesn’t seem to know how to tuck in his shirt. The Cavanaugh and Wilkins parts of the film feel like they’ve been shoehorned in to add emotional resonance and overbearing morality. That these characters aren’t seen until thirty-six minutes into the film adds to this tacked-on feeling.

Sarah and her coworkers watch Riley’s progress at the Blue Boots bar where she works. That Sarah continues to go to work while she’s worried about her boyfriend seems disingenuous. And that her coworkers scream and cheer for the action is particularly rude to Sarah. As soon as the webcast of “The Condemned” ends, the bar’s television sets cut to a reporter who rallies against Ian Breckel’s brand of exploitive entertainment and harshes everyone’s good time. What a downer, man. The Blue Boots bar crowd is probably meant to be a microcosm of society, showing how far reaching Breckel’s webcast can reach. However, it feels that—despite the millions of subscribers—only Wilkins and the Blue Boots patrons are watching. There isn’t even an obligatory evening news teaser segment (“Millions of people are logging in to see people dying off! Story at eleven.”)—in these kinds of films that always telegraphs what’s on the nation’s mind.

Back on the island, a few of the convicts form alliances with Riley showing his nice side by helping out a pair of lovebird murderers. On the other side of the coin, government mercenary Ewan McStarley (Vinnie Jones) teams up with Saiga (Masa Yamaguchi). They cut a swatch of rape and murder across the island, making some of Breck’s team squeamish (and increasing click-thru rates on www.the_condemned.com* astronomically). One has to hand it to Breckel; he’s got one heck of a server environment that can handle so many hits and live streaming video.

Too much of THE CONDEMNED is shown via too-slick cinematography (there’s always an extra zoom or pan at the end of each shot) rather than via the webcast conceit. If Wiper had wanted the audience to identify as a voyeur rather than an active participant, he would have presented more of the film through the “television” lens rather than the film lens. That said, the few snatches of webcast seen (usually via shots of monitors rather than direct feed) display a lack of production values. “The Condemned” webcast (and film) should have had a countdown clock and an up-to-the-moment death toll à la BATTLE ROYALE.

As to be expected, everyone but Riley and McStarley survive and the fight is taken to Breckel. With the resolution not being televised, I would be writing to Breck’s website for a refund. Austin makes a pretty good “speak softly and pack a wallop” protagonist and THE CONDEMNED proves entertaining, albeit scattered, though it’s nowhere near as subversive or disturbing as BATTLE ROYALE.

For more on "people hunting people" films, read "The Prize is Your Life."

*In THE CONDEMNED, the website for Breck’s site is www.the_condemned.com. This is a missed marketing opportunity and an invalid URL—underscores are illegal characters. A visit to www.the-condemned.com redirects to www.wwe.com. Meanwhile, www.watchthemdielive.com is the film’s website.

Who Needs Longer Movies?

Mike,

You're gonna love this. Here's another entry for your superfluous movie list collection. Seriously, how far can one guy be off?

I heartily disagree with ALL of his choices. Who lets these guys publish stuff on the net? Oh right, nobody does, they are self-appointed douche bags!

  • SPIDER MAN 3 should be a few plot point shorter not an hour longer.
  • FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is perfectly timed--it stops exactly at the right moment, just before the gore gets repetitious (and the gore CAN get repetitious). It's a fun ride; what the hell did he expect? A Sergio Leone epic?!?
  • HARD CANDY is a downright ridiculous, a tight psycho-drama that wastes absolutely no celluloid.
  • SMOKING ACES?!? That film should never have been made in the first place, let alone with a longer running time.
  • THE WARRIORS? Yeah, maybe, if Scorsese had messed up the project. Walter Hill is, thankfully, one of the meanest, leanest director's out there. He trims every ounce of fat off his movies, and for a purpose.
  • 28 WEEKS LATER? Who needs cash-in sequels anyway? Want more fuck for your buck, go visit a pig farm!
  • Maybe a slight case could be made for X-MEN 3. It felt about ten minutes too short.

Sorry for my rant, just had to get this of my chest. Talk about senseless movie lists... pah...

- Jérôme

National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets Trailer

I'm absolutely loving this whole brave new world of Nicolas Cage movies. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion.

This is the preview for the much-needed sequel to NATIONAL TREASURE. If you thought that THE DA VINCI CODE was light entertainment, I suppose that this is "entertainment lite."

I'm hoping that Cage gets attacked by bees in this one.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Chop Chop

I've had a lot of folks step up and offer me articles/reviews over the last few days, hooking on to my talk of stretching out the issue in order to accommodate some new ad pages. Big thanks to all. Instead of doing that, I've decided to kill a few pieces and keep the ish to its 80-page state. Either those articles will find life on the web soon or they'll carry over to the next issue.

In the meantime, I'd advise those folks and my irregular contributors to start thinking about articles/reviews for the next ish.

So close to sending this bad boy in to the printers. Despite "depressing the market" with the few hundred copies, I still plan on unleashing this on the world as soon as it's ready.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Put Your Hands Up For Detroit

And what are those ideas rattling around in my head? Though I try to keep myself accountable (to me and my readers), I tend to not announce stories before they're done as they might die on the vine. Regardless, here are some of the pieces that I want to pen in the near future:

  • Cinema Cockfight
  • William Shatner In Peril!
  • An Appreciation of Jean-Pierre Melville
  • A Study of Oldrich Lipsky
  • A Mess of Dusan Makavejev (Dusan, I'm still waiting for those interview answers that I sent back in 2002, buddy!)
  • Feels Like Dick - The films that aren't based on Philip K. Dick, but feel like they are
  • The Reality of Peter Watkins
  • The Red Peony Gambler Series
  • Richard Brautigan

And some of my "dream articles" include:

  • The Films of Rafael Corkidi
  • Cinema Suzuki - A Study of Seijun Suzuki
  • Kanai Katsu - The Bad Boy of Japanese Cinema
  • Maria Beatty: Beauty in Brutality

I'm sure that there are others but those are the ones that come to mind with ease.

Addendum: Further Crushing My Dreams

Here I thought I was going to be really good and aim for putting out an issue a year. All problems solved, right?

No.

Unfortunately, we really can't do distribution for a yearly at this time. The bookstores require that a magazine print at least twice a year, or won't take it. The magazine gets kicked out of their systems and it has to be completely remarketed every year. Barnes-N-Noble, Borders, and Hastings won't really make exceptions unless it is a very mainstream title.

OUCH!

I can't win for losin' here. Even if I cut down the usual pages of an issue (anywhere from 80 to 96) and spit out a 48 page "half zine," that still is a lot to pay for printing and shipping. It's pretty much cost-prohibitive. Dang! All that said, the layout tweaking continue and stories for the next issue of Cashiers du Cinemart keep rattling around in my head.

If I were to go to shorter issues with more frequency I think I'd need the following:

  • Regular advertisers -- perhaps an "ad manager" to take care of this aspect for me
  • Regular distribution of a lot of issues
  • More money for printing said issues
  • Reliable contributors -- people I could count on for good pieces who sent them in on time and who I wouldn't have to edit like mad. (I don't want any more notes from my proofreader saying, "This pains me to read")
  • A better "hobby work" ethic

I'm not sure how many of those things I see coming in the near future.

Things sure have changed for zines in the last few years. It used to be that I could go into Borders and see a "hobby publication" that would come out once in a blue moon and not give it much thought. Now it's publish (often) or perish -- or move your act to the web.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mania Mania

I'm getting near the end of "layout stage" for Cashiers du Cinemart #15.

I'm completely manic.

I had a few advertisers come in at the eleventh hour. I'm always happy to have the advertising but had to go ahead and work under the assumption that they weren't coming through. This means that I've got ads and no room anymore. I'm going to have to go back in and chop out some pages or magically pull a number of stories out of the air. That said, I probably could whip out a number of reviews or even an article in this current state.

Why can't I be in this mode all the time? If I kept up this pace I'd burn myself out, I'm sure, but if I could keep just a fraction of it -- enough to keep me writing on a regular basis and providing sufficient material for a regularly-scheduled publication, I'd be golden. Instead, I burn bright and then snuff out for a while as things percolate in my noggin for months or years.

Hell, in this upcoming issue I've got stories written that I began when I was on my "honeymoon" over six years ago. What I need to keep in mind is that I don't have to sit down and write the larger articles all at once -- that I can piecemeal them over a few months. Why I forget this, I don't know.

Maintaining a schedule for Cashiers du Cinemart would help me in so many ways. It'd help me gain and maintain advertisers. It'd make my distributors happy. It'd probably even make my wife happier that I wasn't a pendulum of activity. Way back during issues 9-12, I managed to set aside a night a week for writing. Now that I've got my own bank of TVs with LD, DVD, and VHS players in the basement, you'd think that I'd be able to get my shit together and lay claim to that practice again.

It's not like I'm still working 80-100 hours a week at ePrize anymore. I can actually devote some time to the zine outside of work. And, if I can find balance between the zine and my subtitling projects, I'd be living on cloud nine.

Meanwhile, on the distribution front, I've started working with a new company that should be able to get me into some more book stores. And, I've got another company that might get me into some comic book stores. The only problem there is that the comic company wants me to wait until October to put out the next ish. They're afraid that if I have it sent out through my regular channels of distribution that I'll "depress the market." That's a fair fear but I'm not sure if I can wait a few more months, my garage filled with boxes of zines that no one's reading.

Oh, wait a second... I already have a garage full of zines that no one's reading. I tried to get rid of some a few months back; offering them to various film festivals as free swag but not a one took me up on it. It's so tough to give away free things.

In short, when it rains it pours and I want a constant drizzle. Maybe I should move to Seattle.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Domo Darko by Fnord

This ia an internet classic. Domo-kun video mixed with Gary Jules's cover of "Mad World" for audio. Don't cry, Domo-kun.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Soy Antipatico

Just found a little write-up on me and some of my videos on a Spanish blog. Without knowing exactly what they're saying, I know it's not good just by the mention of Alfred Hitchcock. Probably copping to that, "Well, Brian DePalma rips off Alfred Hitchcock and no one seems to mind..."

I wonder how you say, "Good artists create and great artists steal" en espanol.

SEX MISSION / SEKSMISJA (Juliusz Machulski, Poland, 1984)

Juliusz Machulski is fast becoming my favorite Polish director. I’ve only experienced a few of his films but, thus far, they’ve all been extraordinary. SEX MISSION is Machulski’s entry in the “frozen in time” sci-fi pantheon. Much more akin to Woody Allen’s SLEEPER (1973) than Marco Brambilla’s DEMOLITION MAN (1993), SEX MISSION tells the tale of two men—Max Paradys (Jerzy Stuhr) and Albert Starski (Olgierd Lukaszewicz)—placed into hibernation that are supposed to be de-thawed in three years. Of course, forces conspire against them, resulting in a fifty year delay.

Upon revival, the fellows learn that they’re the last men on Earth. Everything with a Y chromosome perished from an “M-Bomb” decades before. The last remnants of the human race—self propagating females—reside in an elaborate underground fortress, unable to return to the planet’s poisoned surface. Even without men to muck things up, not everything is hunky dory in the gynocracy. Various factions of females bicker, all vying for control of power. The introduction of Max and Albert merely exacerbates the situation. One thing is certain, though, the male “threat” needs to be contained. It seems that things could go one of two ways for our heroes: they could be neutered or neutralized. Luckily, they find a friend in Lamia (Bozena Stryjkówna). She’s intrigued by the men, if only about their purpose, at first. While her rivals rally to castrate or kill the men, she begins an investigation into how such creatures could captivate her, especially the lumpy Max.

Sporting some laughably crude special effects, the clever writing and great performances are what make Machulski’s thoughtful “war of the sexes” an enjoyable farce.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Goonies of the Caribbean

This is amazing. Soooo much better than PIRATES 3. This makes a lot more sense.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Psychic - Preview (NSFW)

This man is dangerous! He carries no gun, no knife, no stick of dynamite. But, locked in his head, is a power stronger than a load of dynamite, the power to read men's minds and corrupt their women. This is... The Psychic!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Top 10 Detourned Trailers

There's a countdown of the Top Ten Movie "Spoofs" over at Uber.com today. By "spoof movies" they're referring to the phenomenon of detourning trailers. As is my modus operandi, it's my job to take the piss out of this list with what I feel truly are the best.

10. Mel Gibson's SIGNS

Though Mel Brooks already gave us "Jews in Space," this is another take on the "insidious menace" that threatens the Earth.

9. Lost in Translation

This plays up the creepy October-March romance of LOST IN TRANSLATION and makes for a much more compelling film.

8. Titanic 2: Jack's Back

Breaking away from the "single source with new music" structure, this sequel to TITANIC uses several Leonardo DiCaprio films to tell a "man out of time" story.

7. Office Space: The Horror

Turning up the tension of OFFICE SPACE a little to make the film look like a slasher film. Someone's pushed Milton a little too far...

6. Sleepless in Seattle

Making the two star-crossed lovers into a stalker/stalkee relationship much like LOST IN TRANSLATION (#9) but with more "lovable" characters. It's easy to take Tom Hanks from manic to maniac (#2).

5. 10 Things I Hate About Commandments

Sibling rivalry of Biblical proportions! I'm surprised that this hasn't been made into a real film a la the "updating" of ROMEO + JULIET or O (OTHELLO).

4. Scary Mary

Something is brewing... about to begin... can't put my finger on what lies in store but I feel that what's about to happen... has all happened before.

3. Must Love Jaws

Turning JAWS into a love story between two men and a shark. Brilliant.

2. Forrest Gump

I always found Forrest's blind devotion to Jenny a bit scary, especially when he went on a "tard spasm" against her potential date raper.

1. Shining

This one will always have a place in my heart as it was the first and, quite possibly, best at taking a film of one genre and portraying it as another. Of course, Hollywood does this all the time with trailers re-cut for different movies (notice that some trailers for DEJA VU left out the sci-fi angle completely).

Honorable Mention: Brokeback to the Future

There were countless parodies of BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN with different main characters -- usually action buddies -- being recast as lovers. By making the relationship between Doc and Marty a love that dare not speak its name was truly clever and went beyond the norm.

Original Detournment:

I was reading the article on Wikipedia about Situationalists and they seem to overlook René Viénet's CAN DIALECTICS BREAK BRICKS. That's just not right.