Thursday, January 31, 2008

Robert Rodriguez: Comic Book Auteur?

Having to wait two weeks to start my new job has given me the opportunity to view a lot of DVD's at home. This morning I revisited Once Upon a Time in Mexico, the action packed quasi-western directed by Robert Rodriguez. I wasn't impressed the first time I viewed it because I felt it had too many characters and too many plot elements (for this sort of action film). I felt the Mariachi character (previously seen in El Mariachi and its sequel Desperado) took a backseat in all of this to make way for characters played by Ruben Blades, Johnny Depp, Willem Defoe and Mickey Rourke. It's ambitious story arch was certainly more than your standard mariachi-for-hire plot. So when I first saw it in a theater I considered it was just a throwaway time-waster to showcase all these actors. Since Desperado, Robert Rodriguez has picked up the baton that John Woo dropped when he moved to mainstream Hollywood movies. I dare say these Mariachi movies are capable of delivering the same sort of action as in John Woo movies like A Better Tomorrow, The Killer and Hard-Boiled.
The plot to Once Upon a Time in Mexico cushions out the mindblowing action scenes in what is otherwise a shoot 'em up cartoon. With its bright red, green and gold colors, its sweaty close ups and Sergio Leone hommages, this film leaves the viewer with little room to catch their breath. It is a dazzling film in a long line of great action films directed by self-made independent director Rodriguez (independent with a big studio backing him, natch, he's not Jim Jarmausch after all). It is part of a collection of action films taking place within a hyperkinetic universe all its own; films like From Dusk 'Til Dawn, Desperado, Sin City and most recently, Planet Terror.
I remember reading the comic book Body Count by Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Simon Bisley (Lobo, Judge Dredd, etc.) about eleven years ago and for the first time in a long time I was reminded of this incredible book while watching Once Upon a Time in Mexico. And then it hit me that Robert Rodriguez is progressively becoming more and more of a comic book-styled film director. Having given us cartoon family fare such as Spy Kids and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, adding to that his brilliant adaptation of Sin City, he's already created a universe of pulp comic cinema. Not like Alex Proyas (The Crow, Dark City) or Bryan Singer (X-men), who obscured their superheroes in shadows while they boil with emotion and inner-turmoil. Rodriguez highlights action and adventure. Slowly his films are becoming comic book panels, exploding with a cornucopia of bright colors and cartoon action. So I write this because I was reminded so much of Body Count that I had to revisit the comic and post some pictures of contrast and comparisons.
Simon Bisley
Salma Hayek in From Dusk Til Dawn

Cover of Body Count
Did I mention that Body Count was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book done in the style of John Woo's Hard Boiled?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank You Tim Lucas

Tim Lucas, editor extraordinare of Video Watchdog was my inspiration for this blog. For years I have subscribed to his magazine and though I've never considered myself an essayist or review scribe, it at least made me want to write down my notes on film and the like. For years Video Watchdog has maintained consistent film reviews and essays on great lost films and interviews with forgotten artists. They also maintain a meticulous archive of film details and notes on DVD releases, always recommending the best version of a film to buy, be it an American DVD or an overseas version. And did I mention they worship Mario Bava and that the Bava book is one of the greatest film tomes ever written?

This is a copy of the latest issue:

Also, Lucas wrote this great review about Cloverfield, a film I will probably be defending for years to come. Much like the way I stood up for Napoleon Dynamite.
Check out this article. It's a great read.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Godzilla vs. Cloverfield (Or Godzilla vs. Yer Mom)

A lot of people have voiced their indifference to Cloverfield. Well, I'm going to tell you that if you missed the symbolism and what the monster really was, you should pack yer bags and never watch a monster movie ever again.

(Did you ever really think Godzilla was about a giant lizard stomping Tokyo? It was about nuclear annihilation, man! That monster isn't really there! That monster is your worst fear manifested into a building crushing, fire breathing juggernaut! Do I have to spell it out?)

In other film related rants, I did watch There Will Be Blood, a long rambling character study starring Daniel Day-Lewis in his most challenging and possibly greatest role. I can understand why it will compete with No Country for Old Men for best picture of the year. There Will Be Blood has touches of a Cormac McCarthy drama, with apocalyptic characters battling their wills and their superstitions of god, while spending a lifetime trying destroy each other. There was oil, there was blood. And some amazing acting.

Friday, January 25, 2008

DVD Selections on Clearance

The local video store ran a sale on DVDs. I went in looking for Straw Dogs and not only came out with that, but I also found:

I really enjoy movie posters and alternative posters from other countries or of retitled films.

This is the French poster for The Brood.
I love the title Chromosome 3 because it invokes some of the psychological and scientific aspects of this horrific film.

American DVD cover (and the version I bought).

But most dramatic and my personal favorite is this:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Three Stigmata

J.G. Ballard, R.I.P. to be? Yes, perhaps. The 77 year old English writer was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I imagine that prepares you for the big change. He is currently finishing up work on another book. Ballard has been called the William S. Burroughs of England and is in the tier of writers who have influenced me and my writing. Those writers include Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs and Cormac McCarthy. Certainly he has already given us a dozen or more great books; focused and without catagory; intense, erotic, violent and thought-provoking.
When it comes to new writers his style is often copied but never as intelligent, obsessive or given to bizzare medical and psychological abstraction (i.e. The Atrocity Exhibition, a book that is possibly stranger than Naked Lunch and certainly prefigured Ballard's own Crash).
Don Delillo and Chuck Palahnuik have nothing on Ballard.

Suggested reading:

Vermillion Sands
The Crystal World
Concrete Island
The Unlimited Dream Company
Empire of the Sun
The Best Short Stories of JG Ballard

Currently reading The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch.

Having some difficulty finishing because Philip K. Dick is often a difficult read. Not the context or subject. It is in the prose itself. He wrote books a mile-a-second, done at a breakneck speed-influenced pace and I feel his editors could have worked a little harder to reduce. Reduction is the key in editing a text and a book is born only when it has been edited several times. Reduction, reduction, reduction. It is amazing how many ideas he could pump into a story. He certainly was not without ingenuity and seemed to have an endless stream of original ideas.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

High Praise But Only "Cult" Status Or: The Oscars, Part 2

Werner Herzog, the last of the great German New Wave directors is often neglected by the Oscars. Last year (or I should say 2006) he gave us Rescue Dawn starring Christian Bale and Steve Zahn. I was watching Zahn in thinking, this guy's a sure thing for at least one Oscar nod. His performance was subtle and heartbreakingly morose. I hadn't experienced such pathos in a character in a very long time (and in terms of a Herzog film, not since The Enigma of Kasper Hauser).

I don't know how his portrayal of a starved Vietnam War POW who withers away during an escape, eventually meeting his fate in a hellish Laosian jungle, was overlooked. Even Christian Bale's cheerful portrayal of Dieter Dengler (who successfully escapes the POW camp) was snubbed. Once again, his performance was forgotten, not only for Rescue Dawn but for his portrayal of Jack Rollins (nee, Bob Dylan) in I'm Not There. And though Herzog is often showered with critical exaltation, it is never an Oscar nod. Maybe when he is 98 years old they will give him a lifetime achievement award (the way they did Kurosawa though he was 87 or 88). Although he is still making movies and documentaries, and is very much a contemporary director, his films continue to garner at best, a "cult" following.
Recommended films:
Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)
Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1972)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Woyzeck (1979)
Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979)
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997) (the documentary on which Rescue Dawn was based)
Grizzly Man (2005)
(really, I can go on and on...)
Tired of Netflix? Try Greencine. They have an incredible collection of indie, foreign and cult films (including a lot of Herzog titles).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Did I mention the fucking Oscar Nominations?

I am always grateful that the Oscars nominate little known films because it always leads to wider theatrical distribution or an early stateside DVD release. Two things that remain constant with the Oscars (while I'm on the topic constants):
  • While David Cronenberg will always be appreciated in France, England and his native Canada, he will always be screwed over come Oscar time. His previous A History of Violence was on every top 10 list in 2005. This year his newest film Eastern Promises manages to get a single nomination (and very well deserved) for Viggo Mortensen. Nothing more. There was no mention of Howard Shore's subtle but majestic score; no mention of cinematography, editing or even a nod to often-shoe-in Naomi Watts. Original screenplay? Nope. Anyway, I waste my hand with all of this.
  • The Oscars really despise someone like Todd Haynes (Velvet Goldmine, Safe, etc.). He directed the YEAR'S BEST FILM (I'm Not There) and created a most original masterwork of Bob Dylan's life (based on the life and personalities of Bob Dylan!). I don't understand how a film this beautiful (different film types, hallucinagenic effects, bold imaginative visuals, David Cross as Allen Ginsberg and GREAT music) completely misses the boat when it comes time to honor great films. I suppose Haynes will have to wait for England or France to award him with the recognition he truly deserves.
On the plus side, the SECOND BEST FILM OF THE YEAR, No Country for Old Men, is nominated several times, including best picture. But since There Will Be Blood is also running against it, they may give it to another film altogether. Or if they give it to There Will Be Blood (deservedly so, I imagine) we may get a film that will win everything (like Lord of the Rings, parts 432 thru 757).
Who will win best supporting actor? Not Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men, but Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild. Why? Because he will probably die this year.
Those are the rules.

R.I.P. Heath Ledger

For me 2007 was devastating in several ways, mostly because it was full of unexpected change. The constant we can always rely on as we age, as life progresses, is that our lives are subject to change.
Financially, for myself, my company downsized and eliminated my job. Family wise, my uncle passed away, downsizing our family. Professionally, a dedicated coworker and business partner died. He went to the hospital complaining of stomach pains and the doctors found he had a hole in his stomach that was slowly filling with blood. A week later he died.
There is certainly no change in life like death.
Having said that, I'd like to commemorate Heath Ledger, actor. He was found dead today in his New York apartment, gone, gone, gone too early in his life. Too big of a talent, too beautiful of a man and such a waste.
This coming summer he will be seen in the new Batman film The Dark Knight playing The Joker.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


This post will try to encapsulate my reaction after taking in the new film Cloverfield. This is a reactionary piece of film making, a response to our fear that we are never safe from unknown threat. This is the first great response to the devastation that fell upon New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, yet it has nothing to do with terrorists (well, while there are no such characters in the film, we can clearly see that this is what is meant).

In order for a horror film to work it has to instill panic, otherwise it's just a monster ride through a carnival spookshow. What Cloverfield manages is, is not only to grab you by the throat and take you on a devastating hellride, but it plants seeds of fear into your conscious mind. What you don't see is what you fear most. I'm glad the threat is never explained. It is shown and best of all the audience must decide what it is and where it came from by the clues that are suggested through bits of scattered dialogue.
The secret to this film's success is that it sets up the unlikely premise, strands the characters and then puts you in their shoes as they try to:
A) realize what it is that is attacking
B) discover their escape plan
C) throw off their rescue attempt with several turns of unexpected events.

But most frighteningly of all is the depiction of a ruined New York and how I would escape this devastation. Seeing the Brooklyn Bridge crumble under the wrath of the unknown beast, I immediately thought: they can't rebuild that. My mother lives just above Central Park in NYC and my most reactionary response was: I hope she knows to take the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. I wasn't so much frightened for the characters in the film but all of NYC. Most of my family lives there. The sense of extinction is a devastating one when I consider it.
I know that this movie isn't about a monster wrecking havoc in a big city. This movie is about how people responded, what they felt, what they saw on Sept. 11, 2001. Again, I thought of my mother sitting on a park bench just west of the Brooklyn Bridge on that day and her not knowing what had transpired, and wondering to herself (as she later explained) where that big cloud was coming from. It stands to remind a movie audience that no one would be ready for something like that, no one was ready for something like that.
This goes back to what I said in my manifesto that films should leave a mark on you in any way that it can. With this film, I believe the makers achieved what they set out to do.

"This movie was so low-budget. It looks like it was filmed on a camcorder."
--theater patron's comment while I waited to use the restroom.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two Records from the 80’s Uncovered

Deceit by This Heat

Proposing an alternative: where This Heat, Wire and Joy Division replace previously established groups of the “punk movement”, the “punk movement” being neither “punk” nor a “movement”. “Punk” was what people wanted to listen to other than disco and prog rock in the late seventies. This Heat, Wire and Joy Division were an alternative to the alternative. That’s why it’s taken thirty years for a listening audience to catch up with them.
This Heat was a band from Brixton, England, established sometime in 1975, progenies from a line of progressive rock circles. Drummer Charles Hayward had previously been in Daevid Allen’s Gong, and Quiet Sun with Phil Manzanera. This Heat set out to record and play live, inspired by everything which had come before them, with a mission to sound like The Who. They eventually complied songs for their first, self-titled album, played locally and fell into obscurity.

Deceit was the second and last record from This Heat. Aside from an EP, single and first album, their discography was miniscule. It has now been established that their sound was ahead of its time (some of it still is), sounding like some garage attempt at Harry Partch’s gamelan music and post-prog experimentalism. All three members—including Charles Bullen and the late Gareth Williams—played a variety of instruments but all had a hand at tape manipulation. This was a tool for them, both on record and live shows.
Deceit was released in 1981 and contained influences of “punk” (more attitude than “sound”), world music and rock. A lot of songs contained strange looped percussion, slowed down tapes, musique concrete and other experimental techniques. But if ever there was an album motivated by the fear of nuclear annihilation, it was Deceit. The band members were of the belief that it would all be over soon under a shower of nuclear warheads and that this would be their last recording. This album was recorded in the cold and cavernous Cold Storage studio (once a meat factory) and reflects some of the paranoia of its time.
This music points to the future, including Charles Hayward’s next band, The Camberwell Now. Having first heard Deceit as a bootleg back in 2000, I was aware of other bands who had been influenced it: Isotope 217, Tortoise (John McIntire was once asked what he considered a rock band, answering “This Heat”), Trans Am, Don Caballero, Mogwai and several other “post-rock” bands (groups who play rock instruments whose sound defies categorization).
Deceit spoke of deceit by policy makers and the failure of the Marxist dream. The lyrics of “Independence” recite the words written in the Declaration of Independence. “S.P.Q.R.” establishes a proclamation for manifest destiny:

We are all Romans unconscious collective, we are all Romans we live to regret it…we organise via property as power, slavehood and freedom imperial purple pax romana!”

“Sleep” emphasizes complacency:

“You are now in a deep sleep
In store promises endless possibilities a life of ease
A life cocooned in a routine of food stimulus and response
Softness is a thing called comfort doesn't cost much to keep in touch
We never forget you have a choice
Possibilities in store
A taste of Paradise
Success on a plate for you
Endless Promises
Sleep, sleep, sleep
Go to sleep you are now in a deep sleep…”

The clear and loud mix is up front and amazing. And it was recorded in a meat storage warehouse! (Even in its bootleg form it was a great mix). Those bells on “Sleep” and the low chorus reach deep into you upon listening.
Guitar and keyboards were often mixed lower in the recording. Percussion was prevalent and the forefront sound for this band (much like Tortoise). Drums were usually a mix of live and studio takes (as in “Makeshift”), layered on top or against tape loops of water drums, pipes, slowed down percussion and strange gongs. If ever there was a blueprint for a makeshift garage prog band, This Heat’s Deceit was it. Without assigning itself to a category this music arrives from a future past, having been buried in an avalanche of new decade superfluity.

Cheap at Half Price by Fred Frith

In 1979 former Henry Cow guitarist Fred Frith moved to New York City, immediately attaching himself to the burgeoning avant-garde scene. This group of musical elitists (some would say) consisted of Tom Cora, Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori (of downtown no-wave unit DNA), Curlew and many more. In the period between 1974-1980 Frith had explored Eastern European folk and dance music, scrutinizing the complexities of different rhythm structures. He appeared to mix all of this gathered experience and information into his fifth solo record, Cheap at Half Price. In his years after Henry Cow dissolved he played with The Residents, formed Massacre with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher (who was later replaced by Charles Hayward); he’d recorded with Samla Mammas Manna and worked on several solo projects. Among his many solo records and collaborative output, this record had the structure of a pop album, proper. Well, a pop album that was mostly recorded in his apartment, with most instruments played by Frith, recorded on a portable 4-track. Cheap at Half Price collects tiny pop and avant-garde gems and finds Frith doing all the singing (where applicable).

Somewhere in here Ronald Reagan makes a cameo.

With its unconventional momentum you get pop music that is sometimes tumultuous and chaotic yet beautifully rendered. The album explodes with many kitschy ideas in its myriad musical styles. Aside from avant-rock and experimentalism (found sounds notwithstanding), you hear ska, polka, reggae, Prague rock (sic) and The Beatles. Although more accessible than any of his solo work up to that point in his career, Cheap at Half Price highlights Frith’s ceaseless exploration of the strange and beautiful.
Frith often cut a hilarious character (sitting barefooted on stage, playing guitar with dried beans and wires, etc.) and it shows on this record.

His sense of humor surfaces in every song even though this is a very personal and VERY political album. It explodes with the joy of an artist playing alone, playing to himself, but a small individual living with the fear of the “wise” and their “lies…lies”. At times its ragged pop songs come off as like Paul McCartney’s first album filtered through the avant-garage.

Listening to this album not only sends me reeling back towards a sweaty, gritty New York of 1983, but it puts me at the center of the fear and paranoia of this decade, as described in the Deceit review. It makes me imagine Frith hunched over his guitar playing and mixing this album while the world’s consensus was that it was all going to wash away in a blast of nuclear oblivion.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Expectation is the prediction that history will repeat itself, exactly, precisely.

"Expectation is the prediction that history will repeat itself, exactly, precisely." -Robert Fripp

I write this as I find that I am repeating a lot of my fiction ideas. I think with my fictional writing I have reached the point where I am writing the same story over and over. The same characters seem to appear when I didn't invite them. And they all break off into the same path ending with the same results. But since my stories all take place in different universes, it is safe to say, that they will never cross paths and point and say, "Hey, I've been in this scenario before. How does it end?"
But they are all walking inside my mind occasionally encountering one another and duking it out for my attention.

Coming soon: two reviews of two key records of the 80's: Fred Frith's Cheap At Half Price and This Heat Deceit. Of course at the time they came out I was listening to Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC, but in retrospect, listening to these albums absolutely remind me of being alive and being afraid in 1980's America. They inspire a kind of joyful paranoia.
Also, by popular demand, a review of Red Dawn, a film I have never seen.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Airport Book Shop (Peter Greenaway)

JG Ballard- Crash!

Instant Makeover

I was out of my element in previous postings. I am out of my element now. This is what I do with boredom. There is an immense rush of energy to write which has possessed me as of late, but with little or no original ideas, there is this...

Videos to follow.

The title has changed and perhaps the mission at hand too. I have taken in several films by Peter Greenaway and perhaps he is better heard in interview for a better grasp of his ideas. Exposure to this has rearranged some thoughts and ideas. Add a recent viewing of an early film of Crash starring JG Ballard (not the Cronenberg film) and you can get the idea.
Note that blog name change and perhaps even direction. I feel that I am in a better place now. In terms of blogs, at least.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We Begin With Films of the 80's

This post was inspired by my friend Dave who recently gave me a DVD copy of License to Drive and Mischief ("this one you have to see because Kelly Preston is naked in it!") which had me considering the movies of that era. I wanted to address the myth that all 80's movies were teen sex romps, The Breakfast Club and Freddy Krueger sequels.

Nostalgia for all things 80's has become a current trend among twentysomething's. The children of the 80's have grown up and are now looking back, reflecting on movies, music and styles that were popular during this "plastic decade". Adoration for John Hughes' films and TV shows of the era are all the rage. Trendy clothing boutiques now specialize in jelly shoes, studded belts and leggings. Anyone in a who's-who in a circle of hipsters sports a Pat Benetar-do (although even that's become passe' now, like it's so 2004!).
I remember the 80's and it wasn't Molly Ringwald, Flock of Seagulls and Madonna rolling around in a wedding dress. The way the 60's are often misrepresented in a montage of U.S. troops in Vietnam, hippies at Woodstock and footage of a rallying Nixon (all to the tune of "All Along the Watchtower"), the 80's have now taken on this mythical representation by way of popular culture nostalgia.
I remember the 80's as a particularly mad period. The decade got off with a bang--literally, as the shot that killed John Lennon set things off with a cynical and avarice tone. I remember becoming a teenager and moving out of New York. I remember the culture shock I felt and the aftereffect of displacement. When asked, I always associate the 80's with the Cold War (does anyone remember the paranoia instigated by great TV films such as World War III and The Day After?). The 80's was Reagan and Reaganomics. It was poverty for the lower classes. It was an excess of Rocky movies. It was bad clothing, pollution, Iran-Contra, greed, android Republican politicians. But if the best that anyone can recall is Punky Brewster and Breakfast Club, let's at least celebrate what I think to be essential films of that decade. (Later I will recount the great and forgotten music of those years, and it wasn't Simple Minds or even The Art of Noise...)

This blog may just become an obsessive list. I find that to be poor journalism but then again, I've always thought of myself as a poor journalist.
Let's begin with the basic premise of films from the eighties. You had war movies (First Blood, Uncommon Valor, Rambo: First Blood Part 2, Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, et al.); everybody was in some sort of post-'Nam war flick (even David Carradine (P.O.W. anyone?)). You had horror and slasher films (Nightmare on Elm St. parts 1 thru 256, and any other garbage by Wes Craven and Joel Schumacher, et al.). 90% of fantasy films were crap. There were two Star Wars movies, three Indiana Jones movies, a James Bond movie with Grace Jones, two Rocky movies and no less than three Missing in Action films starring Chuck Norris. I would require an additional blog just to list the movies starring the so-called Brat Pack, an yet another blog to illustrate a family of all of their common films.
  • Kirk Cameron was a commodity. He also helped to finish off Dudley Moore's career.
The 80's may have been plastic-coated and smothered in hairspray but the consensus seemed to be as naive as it was for white America in the 50's. Then again, I wasn't alive in the 50's so I can't fully support that statement. I do know that history does repeat itself. Looking back at the 80's is like looking at a time where everything was superficial and it was okay because the 80's were the future; the idea that there was a bomb looming overhead, but everything was F-I-N-E. We'd made it out of the 70's and we were going to be rich because the peanut farmer was out of the office and a movie star had replaced him...
  • Every girl wanted to grow up to be Molly Ringwald. (How come none of them wanted to be Sigourney Weaver?)
The following is my list of greatest films of the 80's. Try if you might to see if you spot a John Hughes film. You'll be surprised. (Because you won't find one). The list represents films which I found to be exemplary of the true culture of the time, artistic merit and historic significance. Films of the the first half of the decade were more "Everything is great!"; the second half was a more "Oh shit, we fucked this up, didn't we?"

The 80's gave us films that broke the mold and set the standard for other films which followed. Almost all film making could have ceased, seeing as some directors and their innovative films closed the deal on a lot of ideas. Ideas that previous filmmakers were reaching for but couldn't quite make it. Some directors were never able to dignify their careers with their follow-up films.

The list goes:
  • Blade Runner
  • Repo Man
  • Ran
  • Full Metal Jacket
  • Raging Bull
  • Brazil
  • Do the Right Thing
  • The Thing
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Akira
To that, add:
  • Basket Case
  • Laputa: Island in the Sky
  • A Zed and Two Noughts
  • Santa Sangre
  • Blue Velvet
  • The Killer
  • Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior)
  • Bad Lieutenant
  • A Christmas Story
  • Beat Street
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  • Aliens
  • Robocop
  • Stop Making Sense
  • The Abyss
And what's this? Fellini made four films in the 80's? Two of which I believe to be commendable output for his later work:
  • Citta delle Donna
  • E La Nave Va
  • Ginger e Fred
  • Intervista
(At best Woody Allen gave us Stardust Memories)

Next I will discuss the themes of some of these films and their historical significance.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Burden of Dreams Manifesto

A film is to be absorbed, not merely observed. The experience of watching a movie, "taking in a film" is stimulus to each of the senses. A film is heard, a film is smelled; it reaches out, touches you and most of all it is to be taken through the eyes. A movie, like great literature, will open your mind to ideas. To leave its trace, a film should make you cry, it should sicken you, it should make you laugh, entertain, change. It should scar. Leave its impression for as long as you can remember. A film is a collage of moving pictures that attempts a semblance of narrative.

I've never understood individuals who get up and leave a movie before it ends. This is not what this blog is about.

This blog is dedicated to :
  • Werner Herzog
  • Federico Fellini
  • Pier Paolo Pasolini
  • Alexandro Jodorowsky
  • Kenneth Anger
  • Jean-Luc Godard
  • Akira Kurosawa
  • Mario Bava
  • Louis Bunuel
  • Georges Melies
This blog was inspired by individuals requesting my ramblings on film and because the suggestions I make are too many to take in all at once during conversation. Here it is, here they are: ramblings, delusional critiques and moments of ridiculous statements.
This was also inspired by Guillermo Del Toro and his love for film and the many inspired interviews he's given over the past years and months.
To enjoy film one must love the medium unconditionally. All one has to give film is eyes and intelligence and the rest happens on its own. One takes from it what one brings to it.

This blog is dedicated to the artful, the psychotronic, the exploitive, the terrible, the strange, the beautiful and sometimes the despised. There will be music critiques, there will be film reviews. There will sometimes be nothing. This is written while the writer's block passes.