Archive for the 'Film' Category

Gimme Danger

I didn’t mean to make this a month of music docs, it’s just working out that way. Jarmusch’s Stooges doc is pretty good. Apparently its an absolute rule at this point that you can not make a music doc without animation in the modern age, but I’m getting used to it, and it’s well done here. I heard one review on the radio imply they sort of skipped the bad dope part, but I wouldn’t say that. They didn’t linger or glamorize it, which I’d say is wise and responsible in light of the currently epidemic. It’s not like you can really translate the narcotic experience anyway, but you can see evidence of it, as Ig’s “pretty face goes to hell”. I heard in an interview the other day he’s been clean, short of caffeine and some wine, since ’83. I’d like to see more of the Hero’s/Berlin era, when Bowie essentially saved his life by getting him out of the US and to East Germany, but that’s for the Iggy doc, surely yet to come.
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Rush – Time Stand Still

I went and saw this new Rush doc last week. I was pleasantly surprised: I thought there would be a lot of footage of newer stuff that only the diehard fan friends I went with would appreciate, but it was pretty great overall. I’d consider myself a “pre-GUP fan”, appreciate a few tunes here and there after that. The doc had a bit too much apology from Neil about wanting to stop touring, and don’t know if I’ll ever do a Rushcon, but… Bungled and left my phone at the first friends house before the movie so we couldn’t be in touch with the second, but he came on in to the theater eventually and it all worked out.

Monsterama 2016

So while at Dragoncon last month I sort of came to a realization: in addition to being more a scifi than fantasy guy, I’m also a very classic and older b horror movie guy. I also heard about Monsterama, a small con in ATL in it’s 3rd year, and right at the Perimeter Marriot, very close to where I grew up.

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This year’s special guest was Caroline Munro. I had her sign a 7 Golden Voyages of Sinbad poster I got at Dcon for the occasion and had a pic with her. She was very swell and relatable, but unfortunately, when I asked about a biography admitted my wild imaginings of behind the scenes debauchery with co-stars like Christopher Lee, Tom Baker, Hasslehoff, or monster master Ray Harryhousen did not exist – at least not including her. Though she did meet David Bowie when he was little known and she yet to hit Bond girl status.

C SM and Caroline Munro

In addition to her panel, I attended one from a GA Tech lit teacher researching “real” vampires, i.e. those who drink blood for a feeling of power and fulfillment from willing doners; one on pulp writer Manly Wade Welman; and another on a subgenre some folks are trying to get going called Dreadpunk. My nieces came by briefly, since kids got in free, and we took pics with some of the monster statues. Also got some things from the merch room.

SpaceCat in light

Then waiting in line for the Spook Show before the screening of Star Crash (Spook show being a shlocky thing involving Jim Stacy and others, that at various times has gone on at the Plaza Theater and Drive In on Moreland), I took a pic of a kid in a space suit with a cat head. Her mom came over later to see the shot and I found out she was actually an 8 year old Special FX wiz, also speaking at a panel I had missed. Marvel the modern age! As mom was part of some Shining Twins cosplay, I got a pic of them too.

Shining Twins

In all, Monsterama was less organized than Dcon, thankfully smaller, and I’m not sure I missed anything by only attending one day instead of the three, but I’m not sorry I went and will look for it next year if I’m in town.

Train to Busan

It’s been a while since I’ve checked out any Asian film in the theater, much less horror. I heard a radio review about S Korea’s break out hit of the Summer, and first major zombie flick, plus a woman at Dragoncon told me where it was playing in deep Gwinnett.

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It’s good zombie fun! They kept things nicely make up vs. CG, except for a few pile up scenes, but then I am heavily critical of CG. There is sort of a sappy father/daughter story through it all, but it’s classic Korean cinema to mix genres. And after all, they need some story to hang the monsters on. We need to care somewhat about these characters if we are vested in them staying “survivors”. I also sort of question if since Oldboy these films feel they need to have a “horizontal fight sequence”, but then on a train, such a fight would be logical.

There’s also a bunch of societal critique going on, trust of corporations and govt. reflecting current events in Korea, but it’s not so heavy handed and you can remain gleefully oblivious should you choose.

Dragoncon 2016

Several years I’ve gone down just to take pictures, but as the event has grown, security and the fire marshal have become more of a drag for free roaming. So I told myself the next time I was in the country over Labor Day, I’d get the pass and do it right. And even cosplay!

Steampunk Jedi

Uncle Iroh finds the missing piece

Staying at my friend's in nearby People'sTown, I biked down each day. I only dressed on Saturday, and in addition to people thinking I was Uncle/General Iroh, which I was, people also guessed Kung Fu Panda and Raiden. Saturday was the main party night and I was well rocked. Over the course of the con I saw Battlebots fight (smaller/lighter versions than on the show: #Season 3) and went to panel about that show, one on space colonization, the history of Sci fi, effective writing of SF, a collection of animated shorts, two panels on Hammer Horror films (one just the 70's), one on metal and horror, a short Korean film, and a live reading of a lesser known Tolkien work.

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DSA girls take aim

Shining Twins

The entire event has grown, the merch area now taking two full floors of the Merchandise Mart. I got a few goodies at the end, D+D artifacts and small movie posters. It was a blast and I'll do it again right if I'm in town next year. And also start my costume a bit earlier, so I'm not running to CVS hours in to try and save it with safety pins. Shout out to the Cosplay repair squad who hooked me up.

The Lobster

I met this guy at my gym in those final days in Beijing. Peter ran an intl film festival. We did a huge media swap: music and film. He’s a bit burned out on the film unfortunately, but I guess when you organize a festival, you just get reams of submissions. Most of what I got from him I considered to be “obscure European stuff”, and this certainly qualifies. But when I started hearing reviews for The Lobster, I realized…”wait, I have this”, so watched. Excellent black comedy. Excellent for the happily single, or maybe the not so happily so. An examination of how society treats “the single”, taken to an absurd level.

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I can’t remember when I last laughed aloud at a representation of child cruelty in a film (its not THAT dark). The end devolves into something I can’t completely absorb or explain and will need future re-viewings. Definitely a unique vision, but not for everyone…

Resolution

Somehow I forgot about seeing this on the flight over last March until I was on this flight down to HK. I actually watched a bunch of flicks on that trans-Pacific flight: Birdman, Whiplash, Wild, Mr. Turner, all of which you are more likely to hear about in other channels, but I want to plug a lesser known Indie-hit: Resolution.

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They really did a lot with a little, and it comes down to good writing and some effects. To summarize without spoilers: a friend wants to help his buddy get off meth where he’s been hold up in a house out in rural Oregon. Things get meta and weird and it works because you don’t know what is “drug kicking” and what is “real”. I won’t say more, but definitely see this!

And props to United Airlines for throwing such things into the mix! It’s actually nuts how many choices one has to pass the time on long flights these days compared to just a few years ago. But the US needs to get with more free booze (beer at least) as is found on many Asian flights…

Nostalgia for the Light

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I saw this some months ago while back in Bali, obtained from a fellow teacher. It’s a painful but deep juxtaposition of the horrors of Chile in the 70’s under Pinochet and astrophysics, more specifically observations made from the Atacama desert. Empathy for people still dealing with their pain, possible poetic perspective on it all – possibly just a look at the absurdity and meaninglessness of Earth monkey’s torturing one another. Power struggles on a little spec of dust that seems so unique.

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