Thursday, January 28, 2010


So, the iPad is here. Ok, not HERE here, but people have gotten to play with it and look at it and drop it and all that good stuff now. Am I skeptical? Yes. At the same time, could this be Apple jumping the gun and releasing a new format too soon a la Lisa? Yes, it could definitely be that. Lack of multitasking? I don't know why Apple likes to pretend I never need to multitask, but they sure aren't giving me the option. Pretty screen? Pretty screens are pretty. Brief write-up (here).


RIP Zelda Rubinstein: you filled my childhood with terror, Teen Witch with wisdom, and every moment you were on film with something special.

RIP Howard Zinn: we're still not very good at learning the kind of things you tried to teach us.

RIP J.D. Salinger: thanks for all the ubiquitous rebellion n stuff.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Or more specifically, cannolis! Cannolis with booze! This Saturday! Full write-up here.


Held over at the IFC Center til Tuesday: what happens when you give a Japanese ad man (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi of the Charles Bronson MANDOM commercials) way too much money to make a movie? No, I'm not talking about Survive Style 5+, although that movie is awesome, too. Think weirder. Think matte sunset paintings, eye popping color saturation, wind machines indoors, editing that goes beyond just being "unconventional," more and more mattes, visual metaphor (?), playground style misogyny, uncalled for animation, stop motion, and a sunny soundtrack that's far more suited to the CMs the director was accustomed to crafting than a ghost story, even one as bizarre as this.

Oh yeah, did I mention it's a ghost story? Still, I hesitate to call this a horror movie. There's too much of a distinct childlike sensibility here. Chalk that one up to most of the plot being the product of the imagination of the director's daughter. When people talk/write about this movie, they like to say "it's like [INSERT HERE] on acid." The color palate, editing, and relentlessly bizarre visuals do lend themselves to a psychedelic vibe, but in my opinion, it's an oversimplification and implies that the director was not being deliberate. Dreamlike would be the term I'd use. Hypnagogic works, too.

Believe me, the arsenal of special film techniques used in this movie didn't just happen on their own. They come in and out and overlap and twist and confuse and that's the whole point. Among the rule annihilating cuts, complete breaks in style, and muddled dialog (characters tend to talk over each other, which can make the dialog hard to follow for those of us dependent on the subtitles), all that apparent chaos is actually building the aesthetic. Sneaky. And defining that aesthetic is just about impossible. There's not really a context to discuss it in, except for Japanese CMs. Even so, this is a full length movie we're talking about. The fact the film is intentionally difficult to comprehend in the same way you (AKA an audience) would normally deal with a horror/any film, much less be able to quickly break it down and analyze it, is likely a huge part of its appeal to the cult film community.


Also, I'd like to point out that this was not an obscure director's final career ruining film, as many have implied. Far from it, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi went on to direct many many feature films and successful CMs. Check out his IMDB entry if you want to know more.

Anyway, if I were a good blogger, I would have pimped this part harder at the top of the entry, but alas, it's going down here. SHOWTIMES AND TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE DO IT GO GO GO BE HAPPY GO GO

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


The journey of one lanky redhead and one big chinned graybeard continues 24 hour news cycle by 24 hour news cycle. Latest installment (here).


MSVCLZ took a break from his busy workout schedule to give us a spectacular interview. Full transcript (here). Enjoy!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Sure, he hadn't been making new friends lately, but he was a hell of a songwriter. His antics will be missed.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


For those of you who still own TVs, this is important. For your pleasure, I submit a chronicle of the Leno/Conan controversy, thus far (LINK).

Friday, January 8, 2010


The 9th annual No Pants Subway Ride is this Sunday, so get excited... not too excited. That would be bad. Full write-up is (here).

photo courtesy of Improv Everywhere

Monday, January 4, 2010


Todd & DJ Harrison’s Tuesday Nite Disco is getting started off on the right foot, with SALEM and GATEKEEPER? Both? Playing together?? If you are a fan of dark electronic music, you know how good this is going to be. If you aren't, then is going to be an overdue education for you. Get your tickets (here). Looking forward to what this weekly set at Glasslands will come up with next. I'm sure they'll let us all know. NOTE: this music is designed for being heard in certain contexts (loud rooms full of people who are down), so take advantage.

And oh yeah, there's an after party with an absolutely dizzying list of DJs: Gatekeeper (DJ set), Blackmoth, Kingdom, So Bones, Wish 4 ∞ Orchards, Teengirl Fantasy, DJ Mark Brown, DJ DJ Screw's Ghost, and even more. Wow, Tuesday, good job