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Hunter Thompson’s ‘The Rum Diary’ movie trailer

The film version of Hunter S. Thompson’s novel “The Rum Diary” is finally hitting the screen on October 28 after a long and tumultuous trip through development hell. The movie had been optioned by now-defunct production company The Shooting Gallery who never managed to get it off the ground.

On January 22, 2001, in a fit of frustration and anger, Thompson sent production executive Holly Sorensen the following letter:

Hunter S. Thompson
Woody Creek

HOLLY SORENSON / Shooting Gallery / Hollywood / Jan 22 ‘01

Dear Holly,

Okay, you lazy bitch, I’m getting tired of this waterhead fuckaround that you’re doing with The Rum Diary.

We are not even spinning our wheels aggresivly. It’s like the whole Project got turned over to Zombies who live in cardboard boxes under the Hollywood Freeway… I seem to be the only person who’s doing anything about getting this movie Made. I have rounded up Depp, Benicio Del Toro, Brad Pitt, Nick Nolte & a fine screenwriter from England, named Michael Thomas, who is a very smart boy & has so far been a pleasure to talk to & conspire with…

So there’s yr. fucking Script & all you have to do now is act like a Professional & Pay him. What the hell do you think Making a Movie is all about? Nobody needs to hear any more of that Gibberish about yr. New Mercedes & yr. Ski Trips & how Hopelessly Broke the Shooting Gallery is…. If you’re that fucking Poor you should get out of the Movie Business. It is no place for Amateurs & Dilletants who don’t want to do anything but “take lunch” & Waste serious people’s Time.

Fuck this. We have a good writer, we have the main parts casted & we have a very marketable movie that will not even be hard to make….

And all you are is a goddamn Bystander, making stupid suggestions & jabbering now & then like some half-bright Kid with No Money & No Energy & no focus except on yr. own tits…. I’m sick of hearing about Cuba & Japs & yr. Yo-yo partners who want to change the story because the violence makes them Queasy.

Shit on them. I’d much rather deal with a Live asshole than a Dead worm with No Light in his Eyes…. If you people don’t want to Do Anything with this movie, just cough up the Option & I’ll talk to someone else. The only thing You’re going to get by quitting and curling up in a Fetal position is relentless Grief and Embarrassment. And the one thing you won’t have is Fun…

Okay, That’s my Outburst for today. Let’s hope that it gets Somebody off the dime. And if you don’t Do Something QUICK you’re going to Destroy a very good idea. I’m in the mood to chop yr. fucking hands off.




M. Thomas

Here’s the trailer for The Rum Diary. It’s directed by Bruce Robinson based on his own screenplay. Robinson wrote and directed the fabulous Withnail And I, one of my all-time favorite movies. The Rum Diary is produced by and stars Johnny Depp who was close and very loyal to Thompson. These are good indicators that the movie may be a fine one indeed.

Robinson, a recovering alcoholic, was hit with a bad case of writer’s block while working on the screenplay for the movie. He jumped off the wagon and managed to kickstart his Muse by drinking a bottle of booze a day. I guess he needed to get into a gonzo frame of mind. Once the work was done, he immediately went back to his life of sobriety.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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A Fistful Of Dub
09:45 pm


A Fistful Of Dub

A Fistful Of Dub is video mix featuring new and old dub and reggae recordings with clips from Spaghetti Westerns - not a mashup but an imaginary soundtrack where cowboys meet engines of rhythm.

01. ‘Black Panta’ - Lee Scratch Perry
02. ‘A Ruffer Version’ - Johnny Clarke and The Aggrovators
03. ‘Dread Are The Controller’ - Linval Thompson
03. ‘Cool Rasta’ - The Heptones
04. ‘Tel Aviv Drums’ - Glen Brown
05. ‘Dubbing With The Observer’ - King Tubby
06. ‘Funky Ragga’ - Dave and The Supersonics
07. ‘A Useful Version’ - Prince Jammy
08. ‘Magnum Force’ -  The Aggrovators
09. ‘Electro Agony In Dub’ - The Grynch featuring Tippa Irie
10. ‘President Mash Up The Resident’ - Shorty
11. ‘Steel Plate’ - Fat Eyes
12. ‘Diplo Rhythm’ - Diplo
13. ‘Streetsweeper’ - Steely and Clevie
14. ‘X- Perry-Ment’ -  Lee Scratch Perry

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Olive and Mocha: (Little) Riot Grrrls

Simply brilliant:

“An unlikely friendship between a goody-goody and a bad seed results in havoc at a birthday party.”

Directed by Suzi Yoonessi. Written and produced by Molly Hale. Producers: Lara Everly, Jonako Donley

More information at

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Behind the scenes documentary about Jim Henson’s ‘The Dark Crystal’
09:36 am


Jim Henson
The Dark Crystal

Before there was CGI, there was Jim Henson’s animatronics masterpiece The Dark Crystal. I remember seeing this as a little kid and totally having my mind blown with all the fantastic creatures, detailed sets and elaborate costumes. This 1982 behind-the-scenes documentary on the film shows just how much hard work and dedication was used in making this cult classic.


Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cable gets synopsis of ‘The Dark Crystal’ very, very wrong

Parts II and III after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Trailer for the upcoming George Harrison doc by Scorsese

Really looking forward to this one !

Thanks Alex Graham !


Posted by Brad Laner | Discussion
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Turntables of Fury: Dub vs. chop socky mix
10:21 pm


Martial arts movies

Dub meets chop socky.

01. ‘Red Alert’ - South Rakkas Crew
02. ‘Aktion Dub’ - The Bug
03. ‘Sign Rhythm’ - Andre Gray
04. ‘Babatunde’ - Henfield and Shadowman
05. ‘A Noisy Place’ - King Tubby
06. ‘Poison Dart’ - The Warrior Queen
07. ‘Throw Your Hands Up’ - Steven Ventura 4 Kings Of Kings
08. ‘No False Hair’ - Firehouse Crew
09. ‘Elephant Rock’ - The Upsetters
10. ‘What You Gonna Do’ - Kickin’ Productions
11. ‘Corners Boy’ - Christopher Birch
12. ‘Stalag 17 Version’ - Techniques Allstars
13. ‘VS Panta Rock’ - The Upsetters
14. ‘Bazooka Riddim’ - Harmonic 313
15. ‘M.D.M.A.’ - Redlight

The titles of most of the movies appear in the video mix.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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Marlene Dietrich screen test 1929
08:55 pm


The Blue Angel
Marlene Dietrich

Marlene Dietrich performs a screen test for director Josef von Sternberg in 1929 for the movie The Blue Angel.

Is she in character as the femme fatale Lola Lola or is she being a prima donna? Either way, she was obviously right for the role.

The Blue Angel premiered at the Gloria Palast theater in Berlin on March 31, 1930 and received rave reviews. The film propelled Dietrich to International stardom.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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‘Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life’ from 1993

This is an excellent short film, Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life, written and directed by the immensely talented Peter Capaldi. It stars Richard E. Grant, Elaine Collins, Phyllis Logan, Cripin Letts and Ken Stott, and is a comedy about Kafka’s frustrations in writing Metamorphosis - with a little nod towards the work of Frank Capra. This was a deserved Oscar winner back in 1995, for best short film, and Capaldi is now better known for his foul-mouthed Maloclm Tucker form The Thick of It. One hopes he will return to writing and directing soon.

The rest of ‘Franz Kafka…’ plus the best of Capaldi as the foul mouthed Malcolm Tucker - NSFW, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Ken Russell’s early documentary: ‘A House in Bayswater’

Between 1959 and 1969, Ken Russell flourished as a brilliant director of television documentaries for the BBC, where he single-handedly advanced the documentary genre by creating a hybrid of the drama-documentary. Firstly with his splendid film on Elgar in 1962, developing the form with Oliver Reed in The Debussy Film in 1965, then making the classic drama on Delius, Song of Summer in 1968, before finally and most controversially making his masterpiece Dance of the Seven Veils A Comic Strip in Seven Episodes on the life of Richard Strauss 1864-1949, which infamously depicted the German composer of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” as a Nazi, and lead to questions being raised in the British Parliament, before it was eventually banned.

Russell’s brilliant style of film-making was a long way from how things worked when he first arrived at the BBC. Then ‘biography’, as Joseph Lanza explained in Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films, was:

...more like strict documentary. There was no place for metaphors or speculative drama. The network’s purists felt such tactics were synonymous with the kinds of exaggeration [the Futurist artist] Henri Gaudier championed and that Russell longed to create. So Russell kept a humble exterior while secretly plotting to subvert the BBC’s codes of propriety.

“Ken was different in every way from what he is now,” Russell’s BBC boss Huw Wheldon reflected in the early 1970s on working with Russell in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. “To start with, he was virtually wordless. He was shy and quiet. Quiet in every way: his clothes, his haircut, his countenance. A little watchful, but silent and completely modest. I couldn’t make head nor tail of him, partly because he wouldn’t help me. He didn’t say anything. He just looked at me.”

Russell’s first short film for the BBC’s Monitor series was Poet’s London - an effective evocation of John Betjeman’s poetry; quickly followed by Guitar Crazy on the rise of guitar music; Portrait of a Goon, a look acclaimed comic and scriptwriter, Spike Milligan; and a profile of dance legend, Marie Rambert and her ballet company. Then in 1960, during a summer break from the series, Russell wrote, directed and produced his first full-length documentary film, A House in Bayswater.

In An Appalling Talent - Ken Russell, film writer and critic, John Baxter described Russell’s film as ‘...ostensibly a protest at the razing of tall old buildings to make way for office blocks…’

‘Beginning as a systematic representation of Bayswater as a hive of creative activity - his chosen terrace houses a painter, a photographer, a ballet dancer and ex-pupil of Pavlova, a retired lady’s maid who pines for the affluent USA of the Twenties, and an odd but lively landlady - the film changes tone as both artists reveal themselves as tedious poseurs, and Russell’s sympathy swings towards the old people, sustained and enriched by the past. The dancer, leading her willing, wispy pupil through a two-woman show hazed in memoriesof better days (“My next solo is one I did on Broadway in 1929 and I am wearing the same costume”) is faded but not absurd, the maid’s images of New York have the insouciant fever of Scott Fitzgerald, and the concierge who sells her junk to the photographer for props, offers bumpers of sherry as rent receipts and cultivates toadstools and deadly nightshade in the garden with a philosophical “They might come in useful” celebrates the indestructible eccentric. The last Cocteauesque image, of the dancer and her little pupil battling in slow motion against a windy torrent of streamers and balloons (to be recalled in the 1812 episode of The Music Lovers) holds the promise of immortality for all those who survive and, above all, keep faith.’

A House in Bayswater is a beautiful piece of documentary-making, which slowly develops towards a memorable finish. What isn’t revealed is that the fact this was this house in Bayswater was Ken Russell’s home during the 1950s.

I have lived most of my life in rooming houses, and shared apartments, and run-down hotels, where there is great comfort in anonymity and company amongst strangers, and understand Russell’s nostalgia for a life that is being slowly removed, as cities are carelessly gentrified. Watching it in the month when New York’s Chelsea Hotel announced its demise, only reinforced how much of our shared environment is now monetized for the benefit of a few. This is apparent in Russell’s film, as the film details the lives and hopes of the tenants, connected by a house that was soon to be lost to demolition and replaced “by a soulless office block.”

Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Book, The Sculptor, His Life & Ken Russell

Ken Russell’s banned film: ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’

Ken Russell on Antonio Gaudi


Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Polanski’s new film ‘Carnage’ to open the 2011 NY Film Festival
12:53 am


Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski’s new film, Carnage, looks like a juicy combination of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Wolf, Knife In Water and Repulsion.

Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Reilly appear to be bringing some very edgy performances to the project.  Roman is a great director of actors and he has a knack for bringing out their dark side. Love the Winslet freak out in the clip.

Carnage, based on a play by Yasmina Reza, opens the 2011 New York Film Festival which runs from September 30 until October 16. It opens in select theaters in December in order to qualify for Oscar nominations. I predict it will receive noms in the acting categories, screenplay and director. I’ll put money on it.

This is at the top of my “must see” list.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Discussion
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