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Nerd Glass: Stained glass characters and logos for nerds only
07.02.2012
01:58 pm

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The TARDIS

I love this. Artist Judith Mascolo makes these wonderful one-of-kind glass pieces of pretty much anything you wanna nerd-out to like Dungeons and Dragons, Doctor Who’s trusty TARDIS, Futurama , superhero logos and much more.

Mascolo takes custom orders, too. I wonder if she’d make a stained glass Troy and Abed for me? Now that would be somethin’!

See more of her work at Nerd Glass
 

D&D
 

Wonder Woman logo
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Dock Ellis: Believe in Yourself
06.29.2012
05:33 pm

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Heroes
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Dangerous Minds pal Glen E. Friedman is involved with a new “dockumentary” about flamboyant major league baseball pitcher Dock Ellis, who threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1970 while high on LSD.

Friedman listed Ellis in the acknowledgements of his book, Fuck You Heroes and considers him to be a personal hero. Recently Glen gave an interview about his youthful interaction with the man they called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball” and told his story to the filmmakers:

How did you meet Dock Ellis?
I first met Dock at Shea Stadium, here in New York, when I was a kid around 11 years old. When I went to games, I was fervent about getting autographs and memorabilia and I would always get there early to watch batting practice and to try to talk to the players ... asking for autographs, loose practice balls, broken bats, whatever a player had access to.

One afternoon Dock walked over to me, probably 1973, and asked why was I yelling so much. Of course I just wanted his attention, to say hello and to get an autograph. He said relax, not to worry, after he was done practicing he’d come back over and give me an autograph. A few minutes later, he came over and asked me why I wasn’t wearing an authentic Dock Ellis shirt? I happened to be wearing the nearest thing to a game jersey one could get in the early seventies - a 100% nylon Willie Stargell kid’s jersey I picked up in Cooperstown, just across from the Baseball Hall of Fame. There was Dock, pulling at my most prized shirt and asking why was I wearing a fake. I was bummed he was making fun of my favorite shirt, so I asked him, “Well, where can I get one of the Dock Ellis shirts you’re talking about? I’ve never seen one.” He didn’t really clue me in on that, but he signed my autograph book, for the first of many times.

Eventually in the conversation… Dock told me to meet him by the press gate later in the day, once he was sure he wouldn’t be called upon to pitch (midway through the 2nd game of a double header). I went to the designated place at the designated time and there came Dock strutting out in platform shoes, double-knit black flair paints and a red fishnet t-shirt. He was behind a fenced-in area, near the press gate and player entrance. People saw him and started yelling his name, “Dock, Dock!” He walked straight towards me. He’s got a brown paper bag, lunch bag sized, in his hand. He knelt down and started to talk to me, and said, “Don’t open this up! Don’t even peek inside this bag, until you get back to your seat, otherwise you won’t get outta here alive.” I said, “OK, Thanks Dock! See you around ...” thinking I’d got some super cool “Official” Dock Ellis T-Shirt.

I got back to my seat and looked inside the bag then, as discreetly as possible. I didn’t really believe my eyes, so I couldn’t just peek in the bag, I had to take out the contents to really see what it was, if in fact it was, yes it was his actual game jersey right off his back! I had a Number 17 Pittsburgh Pirates visiting team jersey. That was the first time I met Dock, but I saw him and hung out with him several times over the years after that.

You grew up a bi-coastal kid, in both Los Angeles and the New York metropolitan areas, how did you become a Pittsburgh Pirates fan?
I grew up a Pirates fan, because as most little kids, I just liked PIRATES—with eye patches, bandannas, swords and severed limbs—and I never let go. I never lived in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Pirates team that I grew up with became great winners just as my baseball enthusiasm was peaking. Remember, from ‘70 to ‘75 they won four out of five National League East pennants, one NL Pennant, and the World Series in 1971. Those years had to be there strongest in the history of the franchise. With players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Al Oliver, Bill Mazeroski, Dock Ellis, Steve Blass, Manny Sanguillen, what’s not to like?

How important are the Pittsburgh Pirates to Dock’s story and how important is he to theirs?
Dock was the personification of the growth of the Pirates team through the civil rights era, as much as they were the steel town they became a melting pot of the new American society. Dock was the antithesis of Jackie Robinson, but he was the man who Jackie and so many other black major league players before him were waiting for. He was the Satchel Paige of his generation: unapologetic, friendly, spirited, confident, rebellious and wise. The pitcher as the first all black opening line-up took the field, there were few who could pull that off as Dock. Being one of the first two black pitchers, with Vida Blue, to open the All Star game. Being the first pro ballplayer ever to be talked about for wearing curlers in his hair, which unless you were black, you had no idea in the ‘70s what that meant culturally. Dock, perhaps more than any other player up to that time (or since), “kept it real.” Who was important to whom? You figure it out.

Read more…
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’: Dreams scattered in the wreckage of Katrina
06.29.2012
03:39 pm

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Quvenzhané Wallis.
 
Beasts Of The Southern Wild is a stunning film with an absolutely amazing performance by young actress Quvenzhané Wallis. Directed by Benh Zeitlin with great delicacy and vision, the movie deals with the spiritual consequences of life out of balance with nature and the struggle of a community of outcasts to maintain their identity as a tribe and as individuals.

Using hurricane Katrina as both the reality and a metaphor for what happens when people are torn from their roots, the film is a deftly constructed blend of harsh truths and dreamlike fantasy - without the dreams, the movie, like its characters, would be trapped in almost unbearable suffering. This was not always so. The scenes before the great storm hits are almost magical in their depiction of life in a mythical southern Louisiana bayou called The Bathtub. Dirt poor, but living in tune with the bountiful waters surrounding them, the denizens of The Bathtub are a motley collection of drunks, soothsayers and wild children who seem to have wandered out of the same asylum as the townsfolk in King Of Hearts. With the arrival of Katrina they are confronted not only with devastation to their ramshackle homes but to their souls as well.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild is one of those magic-realist fables that require you to suspend belief and surrender to the story’s flow in order to fully enter its world. Prehistoric creatures appear in the film, the power of voodoo thickens the air and characters often seem more like apparitions than embodiments of flesh and blood. Cynics and those who resist having their tears jerked may find the movie’s sentimental moments cloying and its narration by the little girl, Hushpuppy, too heavy on homegrown homilies, but I fell under the movie’s spell and longed to return to the magic lurking in those southern wilds.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild is playing in New York City and L.A. and starts a national roll-out on July 13.
 

 
Benh Zeitlin’s short film Glory at Sea after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Berlin Super 80’: Films from the German underground
06.29.2012
02:39 pm

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Berlin Super 80 is a compilation of 18 short movies shot in Super 8 by West German experimental film makers during the late 1970s/early 80s. Featuring music by Malaria, Reflections, Einstürzende Neubauten, Frieder Butzmann and Die Tödliche Doris. It’s a hit or miss affair with films that range from the brilliant to the banal. Well worth watching for the flashes of genius.

01. Brand & Maschmann: E Dopo? (1981)
02. Christoph Doering: 3302- Taxi Film (1979)
03. Markgraf & Wolkenstein: Hüpfen 82 (1982)
04. Yana Yo: Sax (1983)
05. Maye & Rendschmid: Ohne Liebe gibt es keinen Tod (1980)
06. Stiletto Studio,s: Formel Super VIII (1983)
07. Walter Gramming: Hammer und Sichel (1978)
08. Georg Marioth: Morgengesänge (1984)
09. Hormel/Bühler: Geld (Malaria Clip) (1982)
10. Notorische Reflexe: Fragment Video (1983)
11. Jörg Buttgereit: Mein Papi (1981)
12. Die Tödliche Doris: Berliner Küchenmusik (1982)
13. Butzmann & Kiesel: Spanish Fly (1979)
14. Manfred Jelinski: So war das SO 36 (1984)
15. Klaus Beyer: Die Glatze (1983)
16. Markgraf & Wolkenstein: Craex Apart (1983)
17. Andrea Hillen: Gelbfieber 1982)
18. Ika Schier: Wedding Night (1982)

A DVD of these films is available with a music CD of Berlin bands as part of a box set, available here.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Wu-Tang Bang!: ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’ directed by RZA
06.29.2012
04:38 am

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RZA directs. The legendary Corey Yuen (RZA’s mentor) does the choreography, Russel Crowe does the scowling and Lucy Liu and Pam Grier bring the Yin to the Yang in what looks like a killer martial arts action flick with a shitload of style. I’m so there.

The press release:

Quentin Tarantino presents The Man With the Iron Fists, an action-adventure inspired by kung-fu classics as interpreted by his longtime collaborators RZA and Eli Roth. Making his debut as a big-screen director and leading man, RZA—alongside a stellar international cast led by Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu—tells the epic story of warriors, assassins and a lone outsider hero in nineteenth-century China who must unite to destroy the clan traitor who would destroy them all.
Since his arrival in China’s Jungle Village, the town’s blacksmith (RZA) has been forced by radical tribal factions to create elaborate tools of destruction. When the clans’ brewing war boils over, the stranger channels an ancient energy to transform himself into a human weapon. As he fights alongside iconic heroes and against soulless villains, one man must harness this power to become savior of his adopted people.

Blending astonishing martial-arts sequences from some of the masters of this world with the signature vision he brings as the leader of the Wu-Tang Clan and as one of hip-hop’s most dominant figures of the past two decades, RZA embarks upon his most ambitious, stylized and thrilling project to date.

No exact release date as of yet, but it will be later this year. Word is some time in October.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Mel Brooks: ‘The 2000 Year-old Man’ turns 86 today
06.28.2012
03:05 pm

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Happy birthday to Mel Brooks on his 86th birthday.

(The great American funnyman and director of such comedy classics as High Anxiety, Blazing Saddles and The Producers is really “Two-thousand years young.” He just looks great for his age!)

Below, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner performing their all-time classic “2000 Year-Old Man” sketch on The Hollywood Palace TV variety hour in 1966
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Degenerate cinema: ‘Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh’ (NSFW)
06.27.2012
05:26 pm

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Degenerate Cinema, the first in a series.

Here’s a real find courtesy of the whacked-out geniuses at Soiled Sinema: Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh, written, directed, and starring Russian-Canadian Demetri Estdelacropolis. This 1984 assault on good taste reminds me of the anarchic films of The Kuchar Brothers, Jack Smith and John Waters - and it holds its own against those masters of mayhem.

Soiled Cinema’s Ty E describes Estdelacropolis’s brilliant freak fest thusly:

Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh is a magnificent nonlinear mess that is comprised of eccentric slapdash scenes that mostly revolve around sexual deviancy, humorous ‘soul-searching’ existential isolationism, and pathetic personal crises. Despite its lack of plot, the film moves along quite fluidly and never wavers in the realm of vulgar artistic pretense, nor pseudo-intellectual banality, but it does feature a wealth of scatological imagery and themes, as well as a sordid buffet of bittersweet food-for-thought. Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh is further accentuated by an exquisite soundtrack by the German New Wave group Trio. In both sight and sound, the film is ultimately a foremost work of avant-garde cinematic debauchery that features a number of quotable lines and ever-present replay value. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it is nearly impossible to find a copy of Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh on the internet, let alone in dvd form.

Well, Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh is now available on the Internet so please take the time to enjoy this twisted mindfucker.

For more on Mother’s Meat & Freud’s Flesh  visit Soiled Sinema here. It’s a terrific website chock-full of articles on all kinds of obscure films, a veritable smorgasbord of cinematic mystery meat. Yum yum.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Anger Me’: A documentary on Kenneth Anger
06.26.2012
07:02 pm

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As a film, Anger Me is almost the antithesis of a Kenneth Anger film . It’s about as artful as an industrial training movie. But it does feature one of the great visionaries of cinema speaking to a camera for 70 minutes and for fans and admirers of Kenneth Anger, that is something to be grateful for. This is a talking head well-worth listening to.

Director Elio Gelmini clearly believes that Anger can carry the film on his own and given Anger’s fascinating history and storytelling gifts the film succeeds despite its threadbare production. The film would have greatly benefited from a more expansive approach. As Anger discusses his work, scenes from his films have been added to a blue screen background and the effect diminishes the evocative mystery of Anger’s imagery. You yearn to enter the mystical caverns of Anger’s world, but instead are left with a kind of retro MTV effect. Ironic, considering Anger hugely influenced the world of music videos, pointing a direction away from glossiness into something more magical and dreamlike. But putting aside my criticism of the film’s technique, I applaud Gelmini for shining a light on one of the most remarkable human beings to have had an impact on my life.

So here have it, Anger Me. For those unfamiliar with Kenneth Anger, this is a solid introduction. Watch it and then seek out his work on DVD. It’s mindblowing stuff.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Voyage Of The Rock Aliens’: Pia Zadora’s stupendously goofy space odyssey
06.26.2012
06:34 pm

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Here’s something very special for fans and friends of Dangerous Minds: the ultra-fabulous, wildly synthetic and cute as a bug’s ear Pia Zadora in the stupendously entertaining sci-fi/musical Voyage Of The Rock Aliens.

This goofy flick contains more spandex, hairspray and lip gloss than Divine’s overnight bag. And it features the video mega-hit “When The Rain Begins to Fall”, in which Zadora and Jermaine Jackson emote like black and white Ethel Mermans while wearing outfits lifted from a discofied mashup of the Road Warrior and Saturday Night Fever.

Who could not love a movie that has the credit “Ruth Gordon as The Sheriff?”

Break out the bath salts and be prepared to eat your own face as you watch Voyage Of The Rock Aliens.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Boing Boing’s Mind Blowing Movies series: ‘What’s New Pussycat?’
06.25.2012
03:01 pm

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Here’s my short piece for Boing Boing’s Mind Blowing Movies series:

After reading over the other entries in Boing Boing’s Mind Blowing Movies series, I couldn’t help feeling a little embarrassed that I was unable to think of even a single film that I felt had truly blown my mind. Works of art, music, weird science, books of philosophy, sure, ideas have blown my mind, but when I try to mentally flip though the catalog of my favorite films, or ones that I quote from the most often, or what have you (Female Trouble, Valley of the Dolls, Putney Swope, Ken Russell’s Isadora Duncan: Biggest Dancer in the World, Head, Richard Lester’s criminally underrated Petulia) I still wouldn’t file any of them as particularly “mind blowing,” just as movies that I happen to really, really like.

When Mark sent out the invite to contribute, I confess that I immediately drew a cinematic blank, but there was one film that that didn’t necessarily “blow my mind,” per se, in the same way that the other participants here have expressed it in their posts, but it did fundamentally alter my mind, or at least it did something to immediately change my perception of the world around me, in the sense that there was a before & after aspect when I watched it. Accordingly my anecdote will be short and sweet.

When I was a 7-year-old kid in 1973, What’s New Pussycat? the quintessential sexy 60s comedy “romp,” aired on ABC’s Movie of the Week and I watched it in the basement of my parent’s house on a cheap black and white TV set with a rabbit-ears antenna with balls of tin foil crunched at the tip of each branch. The picture quality was comparable to a security camera. Why I was watching What’s New Pussycat? sitting alone in a damp, crappy basement or even interested in this particular film in the first place at that age, I couldn’t tell you, but I am guessing I wanted to watch it because I liked the theme song, sung by Tom Jones (I owned the 45rpm on Parrot Records) or else simply because Peter Sellers was in it.

In any case, the pivotal moment for me happens at about 120 minutes into the film when Swiss bombshell Ursula Andress suddenly drops from the sky and parachutes into Peter O’Tootle’s convertible. I can vividly recall my eyes growing wider and wider and feeling what you might call a “stirring” in my loins as I stared in utter amazement at the most gorgeous creature I had ever seen in my short life. I was completely astonished and transfixed by how beautiful she was. I had never before seen a woman who looked quite like that and the sight of this blonde goddess strongly implied to me that there was something that I might be missing out on…

It was at that precise moment the proverbial light-bulb went on over my head about what the whole “big deal” with girls must be all about. That such a creature as Ursula Andress existed indicated that there were more of them out there. Suddenly there was meaning in my life and something to aspire to. I made a mental note to move to Switzerland as soon as I grew up.

By the end of the film—which being a comedy made in 1965 only hinted at the things that were going on offscreen—the mechanics of procreation seemed rather obvious to me.

After that brief “Aha!” moment, the world around me started to make a whole lot more sense…

Mind Blowing Movies (Boing Boing)

In the clip, Ursula Andress drops from the sky to tempt soon-to-be-married Peter O’Toole in What’s New Pussycat? to the tune of Dionna Warwick singing “Here I Am.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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