More after the jump…
More after the jump…
Dangerous Minds pal Ned Raggett has been bravely looking into the career and ultimate downfall of You Light Up My Life composer Joseph Brooks who committed suicide this past weekend.
Read the New York Magazine article for the full deal about why this man will not go mourned by most of humanity. But if you want a picture of deeply hilarious delusion-in-action, enjoy this collection of bits from his WTF 1978 romantic melodrama If Ever I See You Again (With Jimmy Breslin and George Plimpton, who aren’t in this selection of scenes—Shelley Hack, sadly, is immortalized forever.)
Patti Smith must have thought he was alright…
Patti Smith clip originally posted on DM here
Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life which was five years in the making has won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Personally, I’m thrilled. I am a huge Malick fan and the film’s trailer suggests something quite magical. The reviews confirm my sense that this movie may be one of the few contemporary American films that aspire to the kind of consciousness raising that has been all but abandoned since Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey and Peter Weir’s Fearless. Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void stands alone among recent films that recognize cinema as a form of alchemy.
With Sean Penn and Brad Pitt in starring roles and the Palme D’Or, it is conceivable that a pure art film may find an audience in the USA.
Tree Of Life opens next weekend in New York and L.A. and expands to other cities on June 3rd.
Madness, sheer madness.
Mohawk mayhem meets Japanese apocalyptic rock as Intrepidos Punks collide with the epically deranged sounds of Yamantaka Eye in this ballistic mashup-up from Z-movie hell.
This not suitable for children, the easily offended or anyone with a scintilla of good taste. The rest of you, enjoy.
Badass music video from Three Souls In My Mind after the jump…
“Rainbow Bridge” by Jeff Kopp
For those you reading this lucky enough to be in Los Angeles tonight, our pal Jodi Wille of Process Media will be hosting a special screening of the freak-o-delic new age documentary, Rainbow Bridge at Cinefamily, along with a discussion, in conjunction with the new Process title, The Modern Utopian: Alternative Communities Then and Now
Back to the Land. Urban homesteads. Sustainable cooperatives. The movement that swept the nation in the 70s is back with a new passion. Economic, permaculture, and social concerns have drawn thousands across the country to rediscover the benefits of collective living. The new Process book The Modern Utopian is the definitive examination of the alternative communities in the ‘60s and ‘70s, documented by those who knew it and lived it—from the fabled Drop City to Morningstar Ranch, Timothy Leary at Millbrook to Detroit’s Translove Energies and the still-thriving Stephen Gaskin’s Farm.
Join Process Media’s Jodi Wille as she leads a conversation with members of a new generation (mostly in their 20s and 30s) of intentional communities in Los Angeles. Afterwards, Process presents a rare screening of the 1972 documentary/concert film RAINBOW BRIDGE. This gem of occult/commune 70’s cinema features Warhol stars Pat Hartley and Chuck Wein, Dr. Bronner, cosmic surfers, black power soul sisters, clairvoyant shamans, Jesus freaks, and the actual inhabitants of a chic mansion commune in Maui called the “Rainbow Bridge Occult Research Meditation Center.”
Then Jimi Hendrix drops in, and on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, he performs for his penultimate live concert in the U.S. before his departure from the planet only two months later.
Rainbow Bridge is is a mind-blower. It was directed by a guy named Chuck Wein who palled around with Andy Warhol in the 60s and who “discovered” Radcliffe debutante Edie Sedgwick (at their mutual therapist)
Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, 7pm, but if you get there early, there is a meet-n-greet with snacks thing on the patio with the special guests.
Made by UCLA students in 1975, Sonic Boom is a short comedy starring George Kennedy, Ricky Nelson, Keith Moon, Jonathan Winters and Sal Mineo. Directed by Jeff Mandel, the associate producer was Eric Louzil, who went onto make a successful career as a writer, producer and director of low budget horror films. In an interview with Chris Radcliffe, Louzil explained how he had two ideas for his student film:
One was about killer bees coming to California either to be called Deadly Buzz or Deadly Hum to star David L. Lander and Michael Mckean a.k.a. Lenny and Squiggy before they had been cast in the hit television show Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983) and the other was Sonic Boom, a comedy short about a supersonic jet that lands in a small town and creates hysteria over an impending sonic boom that never happens. The former project got scrapped because Landers And Mckean wanted too much creative control over it.
“The way they cast Sonic Boom was simply this: they would get together at production meetings, take out the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times and find out who had made it into press. Then they would essentially stalk these performers and ask them to help out with their student film.
Mandel and Louzil wanted either Keith Moon or Elton John to appear in the film, as Radcliffe explains:
Elton John was in town playing at the Troubadour so it was a toss up between Keith or Elton. They chose Keith because he was a bigger name at the time. They began hanging out at the clubs he was know to frequent until they caught up with him and he agreed to appear in the film for $1,400 In cocaine and a television, though the one page agreement signed between the producers and Keith read for “One Case Of Coke And A Television” - to which one can only assume that the latter he used to throw out of some window.
“There was something of a scene when the Director and some other guy went down to Palm Springs to get the cocaine and were afraid they would get busted on the return trip. In any event Keith’s scene was filmed at the Burbank Court House where he played the part of a professor wearing a cotex on his upper lip for a mustache. He arrived on the set in a gold limousine (which at that time was extremely rare and impressive) and left in a different one. The short film was eventually released theatrically in 1975 where it was shown before the feature film of the evening Man Friday (1975) starring Peter O’ Toole and Richard Roundtree. Man Friday was a retelling of the Robinson Crusoe story with a strong social message.”
Also on DM
Darwin’s Nightmare, Hubert Sauper’s Academy Award-nominated 2004 documentary, is a brutal, unflinching look at the unintended side-effects of globalization, focusing on the gun trade taking place in a Tanzania fishing village:
Some time in the 1960’s, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world.
Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo: Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent.
This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world’s biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.
Buy the Darwin’s Nightmare DVD on Amazon or watch the complete film on Google Video:
The masturbating gunman makes his appearance in the Masked Avenger Versus Ultra-Villain in the Lair of the Naked Bikini.
A gunman gets on the trail of kidnapped women he gets hired to locate by sniffing the crotches of their soiled underwear. The plot involves the gunman’s search for a nun, his sister. In one bravura sequence, the trapped gunman, inspired by his sister’s panties, kills his enemies by firing large loads of his own acidic semen at them. Similar structurally to ‘Rapeman’ in that the gunman and his hunchbacked servant operate out of a legitimate office and offer their ‘find-a-girl’ services as if they were offering carpet cleaning.”
VHS copies of Masked Avenger Versus Ultra-Villain in the Lair of the Naked Bikini are going for $175.00 plus on Amazon. Here’s about two bucks worth:
This weekend, as some await the Rapture, fans of mutant movies in Los Angeles are looking forward to another Everything Is Terrible! presentation at Cinefamily with a special VHS screening of Samurai Cop:
Even in an era when action sludge was more common than shoulder pads or skinny ties, 1989’s Samurai Cop stood out as a true anomaly. Perhaps living legend Joe Bob Briggs summed it up best: a “recently unearthed, soon-to-be-classic kung-fu action-comedy skin flick with gratuitous gore elements.” That’s a good start, and yet there’s so much more! Ex-Stallone bodyguard Matt Hannon stars as Joe Marshall, a rock of a man who will do literally whatever it takes to punish the guilty—even if that means taking dozens of innocent lives in the process!
Teamed up with truly hilarious black sidekick Frank (his race and genitals are mentioned waaaay more than once), Joe embarks on an adventure so psychedelically violent and sex-tastic, there’s a chance Hunter S. Thomson will return from his “space ashes” just to drool along with us. Oh, and fear not, Robert Z’Dar fans, you’ll see plenty of the chin that made the Z famous, in rare bearded form. What’s that, you say? One cop ain’t enough to flog ‘yer fists? Fine, we’ll also add demented Samurai Cop auteur Amir Shervan’s Hollywood Cop into the mix—if you can handle it!
The Samurai Cop/Hollywood Cop double feature commences at 10pm on May 21 at Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, $10
It was about Nuclear War. Of course. What else could it be about? Director Alex Cox on his first major movie, Repo Man. Yes. It was about Nuclear War:
And the demented society that contemplated the possibility thereof. Repoing people’s cars and hating alien ideologies were only the tip of the iceberg. The iceberg itself was the maniac culture which had elected so-called “leaders” named Reagan and Thatcher, who were prepared to sacrifice everything—all life on earth—to a gamble based on the longevity of the Soviet military, and the whims of their corporate masters. J. Frank Parnell - the fictitious inventor of the Neutron Bomb - was the central character for me. He sets the film in motion, on the road from Los Alamos, and, as portrayed by the late great actor, Fox Harris, is the centrepoint of the film.
Alex Cox is cinema’s great wayward genius who has continued to make films against the odds and on ever decreasing budgets. After Repo Man (1984) came his flawed punk biopic on Sid and Nancy (1986), which owed more to Cox’s imagination than fact. But let’s be fair, it’s Cox’s imagination that makes his films so interesting, even when it is demented, as was seen in his 1987 romp, Straight to Hell, which starred Dennis Hopper, Shane MacGowan, Elvis Costello, The Clash and Courtney Love in what was really a semi-autobiographical home movie as comic Spaghetti Western. The film was hated, but not quite as much as his next, the politically weighted Walker (1987), which paralleled the America’s involvement in Nicaragua in the 1800s with American foreign policy in the 1980s:
William Walker was an American soldier of fortune who in 1853 tried to annex part of Mexico to the United States. He failed, though his invasion contributed to the climate of paranoia and violence which led to Mexico surrendering large areas of territory shortly thereafter. Two years later he invaded Nicaragua, ostensibly in support of one of the factions in a civil war. But his real intention was to take over the country and annex it to the U.S. He betrayed his allies and succeeded in making himself President. He ran Nicaragua, or attempted to run it, for two years. In the U.S. he had been an anti-slavery liberal, but in Nicaragua he abandoned all his liberal pretensions and attempted to institute slavery. He was kicked out of Central America by the combined armies of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Honduras.
Walker tried to go back twice and was eventually caught by the Hondurans and executed…
...Walker was made in 1987, in the middle of the US-sponsored terrorist war against the Nicaraguan people. We made it with the intention of spending as many American dollars as possible in Nicaragua, in solidarity with the Nicaraguans against the yanks’ outrageous aggression against a sovereign nation. Then, as now, this was not a popular position with certain people in power. But it was the right one.
Denounced by critics and politicians, Walker finished Cox’s Hollywood career - a damn shame, as it is Cox’s masterpiece, a brilliant piece of cinema, that exhibits the kind of intelligence, humor and political film-making Tinsel Town desperately needs.
While Repo Man may be Cox’s best film, it can only be hoped that the future will see Alex Cox given the opportunity to bring his own particular vision to the mainstream, and not tread water with the so-so follow-up Repo Chick (2010), or gimmicks like Repo Pup.
Alex Cox discusses Repo Man here.
Straight to Hell Returns is now available.
Bonus clip of Alex Cox discussing ‘Walker’, after the jump…